Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense:
“King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews,
and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.
“The Jewish people all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem.
They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that I conformed to the strictest sect of our religion, living as a Pharisee.
And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our ancestors that I am on trial today.
This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. King Agrippa, it is because of this hope that these Jews are accusing me.
Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?
“I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.
Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.