Now it was Paul's turn. The governor motioned for him to rise and speak. Paul said, "I know, sir, that you have been a judge of Jewish affairs for many years, and this gives me confidence as I make my defense.
You can quickly discover that it was no more than twelve days ago that I arrived in Jerusalem to worship at the Temple.
I didn't argue with anyone in the Temple, nor did I incite a riot in any synagogue or on the streets of the city.
These men certainly cannot prove the things they accuse me of doing.
"But I admit that I follow the Way, which they call a sect. I worship the God of our ancestors, and I firmly believe the Jewish law and everything written in the books of prophecy.
I have hope in God, just as these men do, that he will raise both the righteous and the ungodly.
Because of this, I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and everyone else.
"After several years away, I returned to Jerusalem with money to aid my people and to offer sacrifices to God.
My accusers saw me in the Temple as I was completing a purification ritual. There was no crowd around me and no rioting.
But some Jews from the province of Asia were there -- and they ought to be here to bring charges if they have anything against me!
Ask these men here what wrongdoing the Jewish high council a found in me,
except for one thing I said when I shouted out, 'I am on trial before you today because I believe in the resurrection of the dead!'"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)