"Brothers and fathers,1 listen now to my defense."
When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic,2 they became very quiet. Then Paul said:
"I am a Jew,3 born in Tarsus4 of Cilicia,5 but brought up in this city. Under6 Gamaliel7 I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers8 and was just as zealous9 for God as any of you are today.
I persecuted10 the followers of this Way11 to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison,12
as also the high priest and all the Council13 can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers14 in Damascus,15 and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.
"About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.16
I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, 'Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?'
" 'Who are you, Lord?' I asked. " 'I am Jesus of Nazareth,17 whom you are persecuting,' he replied.
My companions saw the light,18 but they did not understand the voice19 of him who was speaking to me.
" 'What shall I do, Lord?' I asked. " 'Get up,' the Lord said, 'and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.'20
References for Acts 22:10
My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.21
References for Acts 22:11
"A man named Ananias came to see me.22 He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there.23
References for Acts 22:12
He stood beside me and said, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight!' And at that very moment I was able to see him.
"Then he said: 'The God of our fathers24 has chosen you to know his will and to see25 the Righteous One26 and to hear words from his mouth.
References for Acts 22:14
You will be his witness27 to all men of what you have seen28 and heard.
References for Acts 22:15
And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized29 and wash your sins away,30 calling on his name.'31
References for Acts 22:16
"When I returned to Jerusalem32 and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance33
References for Acts 22:17
and saw the Lord speaking. 'Quick!' he said to me. 'Leave Jerusalem immediately, because they will not accept your testimony about me.'
" 'Lord,' I replied, 'these men know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison34 and beat35 those who believe in you.
References for Acts 22:19
And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.'36
References for Acts 22:20
"Then the Lord said to me, 'Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.' "37
References for Acts 22:21