1. “Men, brethren and fathers, hear now my defense to you.”
2. And when they heard him speak to them in the Hebrew language, they kept the more silent; and he said,
3. “I am a man who is indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, having been instructed according to the exactness of the law of our fathers, being a zealot for God, even as you all are this day;
4. And I persecuted this way unto death, binding and delivering up to prisons both men and women,
5. As also the high priest and all the elderhood bear witness to me; from whom I received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring bound to Jerusalem those who were there also, in order that they might be punished.
6. Now it happened that while I was journeying, as I was drawing near to Damascus about midday, a great light from heaven suddenly shined around me.
7. And I fell to the ground; and I heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’
8. And I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarean, Whom you are persecuting.’
9. Now those who were with me indeed saw the light, and were alarmed; but they did not hear the voice of the One Who spoke to me.
10. Then I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Stand up and go into Damascus, and there all the things that have been appointed for you to do shall be told to you.’
11. And since I could not see because of the brilliance of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and I came to Damascus.
12. And a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, who had a good report by all the Jews dwelling there,
13. Came to me; and he stood and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, look up.’ And I looked up at him at that time.
14. And he said, ‘The God of our fathers has personally chosen you to know His will, and to see the Just One, and to hear the voice of His mouth;
15. For you shall be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard.
16. And now why do you delay? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’
17. And it came to pass that when I returned to Jerusalem, and I was praying in the temple, I entered into a trance;
18. And I saw Him saying to me, ‘Hurry, and get out of Jerusalem with all speed, because they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’
19. And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves are aware that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those who believe in You.
20. And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was being poured out, I myself was also standing by and consenting to putting him to death, and was holding the garments of those who killed him.’
21. But He said to me, ‘Go, for I am sending you afar off to the Gentiles.’ ”
22. And they listened until they heard him say this; then they lifted up their voices, saying, “Away with such a one from the face of the earth, for he is not fit to live!”
23. And as they were shouting and casting off their garments and throwing dust into the air,
24. The chief captain commanded that he be brought into the fortress and ordered that he be examined by scourging, so that he might know for what cause they were crying out against him in this way.
25. But as he was being tied with the thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?”
26. Now when the centurion heard this, he went and reported it to the chief captain, saying, “Do you realize what you are about to do? For this man is a Roman.”
27. And when the chief captain came up, he said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” And he said, “Yes.”
28. And the chief captain answered, “With a great sum of money I bought this citizenship.” And Paul said, “But indeed, I was born free.”
29. Then those who were about to examine him immediately left the room; and the chief captain also was afraid, after ascertaining that he was a Roman, because he had bound him.
30. And on the next day, desiring to know for certain why he was accused by the Jews, he loosed him from his bonds and commanded the chief priests and their whole Sanhedrin to come; and after bringing Paul down, he set him before them.
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