Acts 26

Paul’s Defense Before Agrippa

1So aAgrippa 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 bagainst all the accusations of the Jews, 3especially because you are familiar with all the ccustoms and dcontroversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.

4 eMy manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among fmy 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 gaccording to the strictest hparty of our ireligion I have lived as ja Pharisee. 6And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in kthe promise made by God to our fathers, 7 lto which mour twelve tribes hope to nattain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope oI am accused by Jews, O king! 8Why is it thought pincredible by any of you that God raises the dead?

9 qI myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of rJesus of Nazareth. 10 sAnd I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority tfrom the chief priests, but uwhen they were put to death I cast my vote against them. 11And vI punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them wblaspheme, and xin raging fury against them I ypersecuted them even to foreign cities.

Paul Tells of His Conversion

12In this connection zI 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 aain 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 acstand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, adto 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 aedelivering you from your people and from the Gentilesafto whom I agam sending you 18 ahto open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from aithe power of Satan to God, that they may receive ajforgiveness of sins and aka place among those who are sanctified alby faith in me.’

19Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to amthe heavenly vision, 20but declared first anto those in Damascus, aothen in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also apto the Gentiles, that they should aqrepent and arturn to God, performing deeds asin keeping with their repentance. 21For this reason atthe Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 auTo this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so avI stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what awthe prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 axthat the Christ aymust suffer and that, azby being the first bato rise from the dead, bbhe would proclaim bclight 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, bdyou 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, bemost excellent Festus, but I am speaking bftrue and bgrational words. 26For bhthe 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 bia 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 bkmight become such as I amexcept for blthese chains.”

30Then the king rose, and bmthe governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them. 31And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, bnThis man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment.” 32And Agrippa said to Festus, boThis man could have been set bpfree if he had not appealed bqto Caesar.”

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