Did Paul die when he was stoned in Lystra?

The lapidation of Saint Stephen.

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Question: In Acts 14:19,20 after Paul was stoned by the mob, it says, they “dragged him out of the city, apparently dead. But as the believers stood around him, he got up and went back into the city.” (NLT) Was Paul raised from the dead by God’s power or did he just look dead, and was really not?

Answer: We are not told whether he died or not. But unless the people of Lystra were just really incredibly bad at stoning people, it is hard to believe that Paul did not come away from this at least badly injured. His ability to just get up and go back into the town seems a testimony to God’s healing power in his life at this moment. It is interesting that it does not say the believers prayed over him but that they stood around him, but undoubtedly they were talking to God about this. Perhaps they thought he was dead and there was no need to pray. But God chose to heal Paul or maybe He actually raised him from the dead. In either case it seems to have been a miracle. Paul mentions in 2 Corinthians 11:25 a stoning he experienced and it is probably this one in Acts which is in view.

Randall Johnson


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