There are two accounts in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles about the appearance of the Lord to Saul. It seems that there are some contradictions between both accounts, in what they saw or heard, please explain.
The account of the appearance of the Lord to Saul recorded in the ninth chapter, verse 7 states “And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. ” The same incident also described in the twenty second chapter, verse 9 states “Now those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. “
The key to this problem, is that the men who accompanied St. Paul were not on the same spiritual level to see what he saw and to hear what he heard.
This vision was not for them, the apparition of the Lord was not for them and the conversation of the Lord was not with them, but that all was only for Saul of Tarsus.
Nevertheless, there is no contradiction between the two accounts as far as what the men heard or saw as we closely examine both stories, we realise that the men who accompanied Saul, heard his voice talking to the Lord, but they did not hear the voice of the Lord when He talked to Saul.
So if we read the two statements carefully, we realise what proves that, without any contradiction:
1. Hearing a voice but seeing no one.
2. They saw the light but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to Paul.
The voice that is mentioned in the first statement, is the voice of Saul. They heard him talking without seeing with whom he talked. The voice that they couldn’t hear is that of the one talking to Saul. Then there is no contradiction as far as the voice is concerned.
It could have been contradicting, if it had been said in the first statement “They heard the voice of he who spoke to me” or “heard what I heard”, but the word (voice) only meant here the voice of Saul for the spiritual level of those men is to hear the voice of a man but not the voice of the Lord.
The same applies to the vision also: They saw the light, but they did not see the person who was talking to Saul. This is clear from the way the two statements were put:
1. seeing no one (Acts 9:7).
2. Saw the light and were afraid (Acts 22:9).
The light is one thing but the face and shape of the person that was talking is another.