They have known me for a long time1 and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect2 of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee.36
And now it is because of my hope4 in what God has promised our fathers5 that I am on trial today.
This is the promise our twelve tribes6 are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night.7 O king, it is because of this hope that the Jews are accusing me.88
Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?99
"I too was convinced10 that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose11 the name of Jesus of Nazareth.1210
And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints13 in prison,14 and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.1511
Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished,16 and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.
"On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.
About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions.
We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice17 saying to me in Aramaic,a18'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'15
"Then I asked, 'Who are you, Lord?' " 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,' the Lord replied.