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.
“On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.
About noon, King Agrippa, 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 voice saying to me in Aramaic,‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
“Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied.