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Acts 22:1-21 (New American Standard)

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Paul's Defense before the Jews

1 "1Brethren and fathers, hear my defense which I now offer to you." 2 And when they heard that he was addressing them in the a2Hebrew dialect, they became even more quiet; and he said, 3 "3I am 4a Jew, born in 5Tarsus of 6Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated bunder 7Gamaliel, c8strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as 9you all are today. 4 "10I persecuted this 11Way to the death, binding and putting both men and women into prisons, 5 as also 12the high priest and all 13the Council of the elders dcan testify. From them I also 14received letters to 15the brethren, and started off for 16Damascus in order to bring even those who were there to Jerusalem eas prisoners to be punished. 6 "17But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, 7 and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?' 8 "And I answered, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said to me, 'I am 18Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.' 9 "And those who were with me 19saw the light, to be sure, but 20did not funderstand the voice of the One who was speaking to me. 10 "And I said, '21What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.' 11 "But since I 22could not see because of the gbrightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me and came into Damascus. 12 "A certain 23Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law, and 24well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me, and standing near said to me, '25Brother Saul, receive your sight!' And h26at that very time I looked up at him. 14 "And he said, '27The God of our fathers has 28appointed you to know His will and to 29see the 30Righteous One and to hear an iutterance from His mouth. 15 'For you will be 31a witness for Him to all men of 32what you have seen and heard. 16 'Now why do you delay? 33Get up and be baptized, and 34wash away your sins, 35calling on His name.' 17 "It happened when I 36returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I 37fell into a trance, 18 and I saw Him saying to me, '38Make haste, and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.' 19 "And I said, 'Lord, they themselves understand that in one synagogue after another 39I used to imprison and 40beat those who believed in You. 20 'And 41when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing by approving, and watching out for the coats of those who were slaying him.' 21 "And He said to me, 'Go! For I will send you far away 42to the Gentiles.'"
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