"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.