Acts 26

Paul’s Defense Before Agrippa

1So a  Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense:

2“I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today b  against all the accusations of the Jews, 3especially because you are familiar with all the c  customs and d  controversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.

4 e  My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among f  my own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. 5They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that g  according to the strictest h  party of our i  religion I have lived as j  a Pharisee. 6And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in k  the promise made by God to our fathers, 7 l  to which m  our twelve tribes hope to n  attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope o  I am accused by Jews, O king! 8Why is it thought p  incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?

9 q  I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of r  Jesus of Nazareth. 10 s  And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority t  from the chief priests, but u  when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. 11And v  I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them w  blaspheme, and x  in raging fury against them I y  persecuted them even to foreign cities.

Paul Tells of His Conversion

12In this connection z  I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. 14And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me aa  in the Hebrew language
Or  the Hebrew dialect (probably Aramaic)
Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
15And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16But rise and ac  stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose ad  to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 ae  delivering you from your people and from the Gentilesaf  to whom I ag  am sending you 18 ah  to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from ai  the power of Satan to God, that they may receive aj  forgiveness of sins and ak  a place among those who are sanctified al  by faith in me.’

19Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to am  the heavenly vision, 20but declared first an  to those in Damascus ao  then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also ap  to the Gentiles, that they should aq  repent and ar  turn to God, performing deeds as  in keeping with their repentance. 21For this reason at  the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 au  To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so av  I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what aw  the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 ax  that the Christ ay  must suffer and that az  by being the first ba  to rise from the dead bb  he would proclaim bc  light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”

24And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul bd  you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” 25But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind be  most excellent Festus, but I am speaking bf  true and bg  rational words. 26For bh  the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. 27King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be bi  a Christian?”
Or In a short time you would persuade me to act like a Christian!
29And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day bk  might become such as I amexcept for bl  these chains.”

30Then the king rose, and bm  the governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them. 31And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another bn  This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment.” 32And Agrippa said to Festus bo  This man could have been set bp  free if he had not appealed bq  to Caesar.”

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