Acts 22

Paul's Defense to the Crowd

1 “vvv Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense before you.” 2 [When] they heard him speak to them in Aramaic,
Or in the Hebrew language
they became even more silent. Then [Paul] declared,
3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but raised in this city. I was educated at the feet of Gamaliel in strict conformity to the Law of our fathers. I am {just as} zealous for God as any of you [here] today. 4 [I] persecuted this Way even to the death, detaining both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5 as the high priest and the whole Council can testify about me. I even obtained letters from them to [their] brothers in Damascus, [and] I was on my way to apprehend [these people] and bring [them] to Jerusalem to be punished. 6 About noon [as] I was approaching Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’ 8 ‘Who are You, Lord?’ I asked. ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ He replied. 9 My companions saw the light, but they could not understand the voice of the [One] speaking to me. 10 Then I asked, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ ‘Get up [and] go into Damascus,’ [He] told me. ‘There you will be told all that you have been appointed to do.’ 11 Because the brilliance of the light had blinded me, my companions led me by the hand into Damascus. 12 [There] a man [named] Ananias, a devout observer of the Law [who was] highly regarded by all the Jews living there, 13 came and stood beside me. ‘Brother Saul,’ he said, ‘receive your sight.’ And at that [moment] I could see him. 14 Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear [His] voice. 15 You will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized, and wash your sins {away} , calling on His name.’ 17 Later, [when] I had returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance, 18 and saw [the Lord] saying to me, ‘Hurry! Leave Jerusalem quickly, because [the people here] will not accept your testimony about Me.’ 19 ‘Lord,’ I answered, ‘vvv they know very well that in one synagogue after another I imprisoned and beat those who believed in You. 20 And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and watching over the garments of those who killed him.’ 21 Then He said to me, ‘Go! I will send you far away to [the] Gentiles.’”

Paul the Roman Citizen

22 [The crowd] listened to [Paul] until he made this statement. Then they lifted up their voices [and] shouted, “Rid the earth of [him] ! He is not fit to live!” 23 [As] they were shouting and throwing off [their] cloaks and tossing dust into the air, 24 the commander ordered that [Paul] be brought into the barracks. He directed that [Paul] be flogged and interrogated to determine the reason for this outcry against him. 25 But as they stretched him out to strap him down, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “vvv Is it lawful for you to flog a Roman citizen without a trial?” 26 [On] hearing [this] , the centurion went [and] reported [it] to the commander. “What are you going to do?” he said. “ - This man is a Roman citizen.” 27 The commander went to [Paul] and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes,” he answered. 28 “I paid a high price [for my] citizenship,” said the commander. “But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied. 29 Then those who were about to interrogate [Paul] stepped back, and the commander [himself] was alarmed when he realized that he had put a Roman citizen {in chains} . 30 The next day [the commander] , wanting to learn the real reason [Paul] was accused by the Jews, released him and ordered the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to assemble. Then he brought Paul {down} and had him stand before them.
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