Acts 26

Paul’s Defense before Agrippa

1 a  Agrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and proceeded to make his defense:

2In regard to all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, that I am about to make my defense before you today; 3
Or because you are especially expert
especially because you are an expert in all c  customs and
Or controversial issues
questions among the Jews; therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.

4So then, all Jews know e  my manner of life from my youth up, which from the beginning was spent among my own nation and at Jerusalem; 5since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a f  Pharisee g  according to the strictest h  sect of our religion. 6And now I am
Lit being tried
standing trial j  for the hope of k  the promise made by God to our fathers;
7the promise l  to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve God night and day. And for this m  hope, O King, I am being n  accused by Jews. 8Why is it considered incredible among you people o  if God does raise the dead?

9So then, p  I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to q  the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10And this is
Lit also
just what I s  did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the
Or holy ones
saints in prisons, having u  received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I v  cast my vote against them.
11“And w  as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being x  furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them y  even to
Or outlying
foreign cities.

Lit In which things
While so engaged ab  as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests,
13at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven
Lit above the brightness of
brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me.
14“And when we had ad  all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the
I.e. Jewish Aramaic
af  Hebrew dialect, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?
An idiom referring to an animal’s futile resistance to being prodded with goads
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 get up and ah  stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to ai  appoint you a aj  minister and ak  a witness not only to the things which you have
Two early mss read seen Me
seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;
17 am  rescuing you an  from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18to ao  open their eyes so that they may turn from ap  darkness to light and from the dominion of aq  Satan to God, that they may receive ar  forgiveness of sins and an as  inheritance among those who have been sanctified by at  faith in Me.’

19So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20but kept declaring both au  to those of Damascus first, and also av  at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even aw  to the Gentiles, that they should ax  repent and turn to God, performing deeds ay  appropriate to repentance. 21For this reason some Jews az  seized me in the temple and tried ba  to put me to death. 22So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day bb  testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what bc  the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place; 23
Lit whether
be  that
I.e. the Messiah
the Christ was
Lit subject to suffering
to suffer, and
Lit whether
that bi  by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim bj  light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”

24While Paul was saying this in his defense, Festus said in a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind!
Lit The many letters
Your great bl  learning is
Lit turning you to madness
driving you mad.”
25But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind bn  most excellent Festus, but I utter words
Lit of truth and rationality
of sober truth.
26For the king
Or understands
bq  knows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a
I.e. a hidden or secret place
27King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you
Lit believe
28Agrippa replied to Paul
Or With a little
In a short time you
Or are trying to convince
will persuade me to
Lit make
become a bw  Christian.”
29And Paul said
Or I would pray to
I would wish to God, that whether
Or with a little or with much
in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these bz  chains.”

30 ca  The king stood up and the governor and Bernice, and those who were sitting with them, 31and when they had gone aside, they began talking to one another, saying cb  This man is not doing anything worthy of death or
Lit bonds
32And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been cd  set free if he had not ce  appealed to Caesar.”
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