Acts 261 Yet truly, Agrippa said to Paul, “It is permitted for you to speak for yourself.” Then Paul, extending his hand, began to offer his defense. 2 “I consider myself blessed, O king Agrippa, that I am to give my defense today before you, about everything of which I am accused by the Jews, 3 especially since you know everything that pertains to the Jews, both customs and questions. Because of this, I beg you to listen to me patiently. 4 And certainly, all the Jews know about my life from my youth, which had its beginning among my own people in Jerusalem. 5 They knew me well from the beginning, (if they would be willing to offer testimony) for I lived according to the most determined sect of our religion: as a Pharisee. 6 And now, it is in the hope of the Promise which was made by God to our fathers that I stand subject to judgment. 7 It is the Promise that our twelve tribes, worshiping night and day, hope to see. About this hope, O king, I am accused by the Jews. 8 Why should it be judged so unbelievable with you all that God might raise the dead? 9 And certainly, I myself formerly considered that I ought to act in many ways which are contrary to the name of Jesus the Nazarene. 10 This is also how I acted at Jerusalem. And so, I enclosed many holy persons in prison, having received authority from the leaders of the priests. And when they were to be killed, I brought the sentence. 11 And in every synagogue, frequently while punishing them, I compelled them to blaspheme. And being all the more maddened against them, I persecuted them, even to foreign cities. 12 Thereafter, as I was going to Damascus, with authority and permission from the high priest, 13 at midday, O king, I and those who were also with me, saw along the way a light from heaven shining around me with a splendor greater than that of the sun. 14 And when we had all fallen down to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew language: ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goad.’ 15 Then I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise up and stand on your feet. For I appeared to you for this reason: so that I may establish you as a minister and a witness concerning the things that you have seen, and concerning the things that I will show to you: 17 rescuing you from the people and the nations to which I am now sending you, 18 in order to open their eyes, so that they may be converted from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive the remission of sins and a place among the saints, through the faith that is in me.’ 19 From then on, O king Agrippa, I was not unbelieving to the heavenly vision. 20 But I preached, first to those who are at Damascus and at Jerusalem, and then to the entire region of Judea, and to the Gentiles, so that they would repent and convert to God, doing the works that are worthy of repentance. 21 It was for this reason that the Jews, having apprehended me when I was in the temple, attempted to kill me. 22 But having been aided by the help of God, even to this day, I stand witnessing to the small and the great, saying nothing beyond what the Prophets and Moses have said would be in the future: 23 that the Christ would suffer, and that he would be the first from the resurrection of the dead, and that he would bring light to the people and to the nations.” 24 While he was speaking these things and presenting his defense, Festus said with a loud voice: “Paul, you are insane! Too much studying has turned you to insanity.” 25 And Paul said: “I am not insane, most excellent Festus, but rather I am speaking words of truth and sobriety. 26 For the king knows about these things. To him also, I am speaking with constancy. For I think that none of these things are unknown to him. And neither were these things done in a corner. 27 Do you believe the Prophets, O king Agrippa? I know that you believe.” 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “To some extent, you persuade me to become a Christian.” 29 And Paul said, “I hope to God that, both to a small extent and to a great extent, not only you, but also all those who hear me this day will become just as I also am, except for these chains.” 30 And the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and those who were sitting with them. 31 And when they had withdrawn, they were speaking among themselves, saying, “This man has done nothing worthy of death, nor of imprisonment.” 32 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been released, if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
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