Acts 221 “Noble brothers and fathers, listen to the explanation that I now give to you.” 2 And when they heard him speaking to them in the Hebrew language, they offered a greater silence. 3 And he said: “I am a Jewish man, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but raised in this city beside the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the truth of the law of the fathers, zealous for the law, just as all of you also are to this day. 4 I persecuted this Way, even unto death, binding and delivering into custody both men and women, 5 just as the high priest and all those greater by birth bear witness to me. Having received letters from them to the brothers, I journeyed to Damascus, so that I might lead them bound from there to Jerusalem, so that they might be punished. 6 But it happened that, as I was traveling and was approaching Damascus at midday, suddenly from heaven a great light shone around me. 7 And falling to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 8 And I responded, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’ 9 And those who were with me, indeed, saw the light, but they did not hear the voice of him who was speaking with me. 10 And I said, ‘What should I do, Lord?’ Then the Lord said to me: ‘Rise up, and go to Damascus. And there, you shall be told all that you must do.’ 11 And since I could not see, because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by my companions, and I went to Damascus. 12 Then a certain Ananias, a man in accord with the law, having the testimony of all the Jews who were living there, 13 drawing near to me and standing close by, said to me, ‘Brother Saul, see!’ And in that same hour, I looked upon him. 14 But he said: ‘The God of our fathers has preordained you, so that you would come to know his will and would see the Just One, and would hear the voice from his mouth. 15 For you shall be his witness to all men about those things which you have seen and heard. 16 And now, why do you delay? Rise up, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, by invoking his name.’ 17 Then it happened that, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, a mental stupor came over me, 18 and I saw him saying to me: ‘Hurry! Depart quickly from Jerusalem! For they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19 And I said: ‘Lord, they know that I am beating and enclosing in prison, throughout every synagogue, those who have believed in you. 20 And when the blood of your witness Stephen was poured out, I stood nearby and was consenting, and I watched over the garments of those who put him to death.’ 21 And he said to me, ‘Go forth. For I am sending you to far away nations.’ ” 22 Now they were listening to him, until this word, and then they lifted up their voice, saying: “Take this kind away from the earth! For it is not fitting for him to live!” 23 And while they were shouting, and tossing aside their garments, and casting dust into the air, 24 the tribune ordered him to be brought into the fortress, and to be scourged and tortured, in order to discover the reason that they were crying out in this way against him. 25 And when they had tied him with straps, Paul said to the centurion who was standing near him, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman and has not been condemned?” 26 Upon hearing this, the centurion went to the tribune and reported it to him, saying: “What do you intend to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.” 27 And the tribune, approaching, said to him: “Tell me. Are you a Roman?” So he said, “Yes.” 28 And the tribune responded, “I obtained this citizenship at great cost.” And Paul said, “But I was born to it.” 29 Therefore, those who were going to torture him, immediately withdrew from him. The tribune was similarly afraid, after he realized that he was a Roman citizen, for he had bound him. 30 But on the next day, wanting to discover more diligently what the reason was that he was accused by the Jews, he released him, and he ordered the priests to convene, with the entire council. And, producing Paul, he stationed him among them.
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