"1Brethren and fathers, hear my defense which I now offer to you."
And when they heard that he was addressing them in the a2Hebrewdialect, they became even morequiet ; and he said,
"3I am4a Jew, born in 5Tarsus of 6Cilicia, but brought up in thiscity, educatedbunder7Gamaliel, c8strictlyaccording to the law of our fathers, beingzealous for Godjust as 9you all are today.
"10I persecutedthis11Way to the death, binding and puttingbothmen and women into prisons,
as also12the highpriest and all13the Council of the eldersdcan testify. From them I also14receivedletters to 15the brethren, and started off for 16Damascus in order to bringeventhose who were there to Jerusalemeas prisoners to be punished.
"17But it happened that as I was on my way, approachingDamascusaboutnoontime, a verybrightlightsuddenlyflashed from heavenallaround me,
and I fell to the ground and heard a voicesaying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?'8
"And I answered, 'Who are You, Lord ?' And He said to me, 'I am18Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.'9
"And thosewho were with me 19saw the light, to be sure, but 20did not funderstand the voice of the One who was speaking to me.
"And I said, '21What shall I do, Lord ?' And the Lordsaid 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 seebecause of the gbrightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me and came into Damascus.
"A certain23Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law, and 24wellspoken of by all the Jews who lived there,
13came to me, and standingnearsaid to me, '25BrotherSaul, receive your sight !' And h26at that verytime I looked up at him.
"And he said, '27The God of our fathers has 28appointed you to know His will and to 29see the 30RighteousOne and to hear an iutterance from His mouth.
'For you will be 31a witness for Him to allmen of 32what you have seen and heard.
16'Nowwhy do you delay ? 33Get up and be baptized, and 34washaway your sins, 35calling on His name.'
"It happened when I 36returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I 37fell into a trance,
and I saw Him saying to me, '38Makehaste, and get out of Jerusalemquickly, because they will not accept your testimonyabout Me.'19
"And I said, 'Lord, they themselvesunderstand that in one synagogueafteranother39I used to imprison and 40beatthose who believed in You.
'And 41when the blood of Your witnessStephen was being shed, I also was standing by approving, and watching out for the coats of those who were slaying him.'
"And He said to me, 'Go ! For I will send you faraway42to the Gentiles.'"
They listened to him up to thisstatement, and then they raised their voices and said, "43Away with such a fellow from the earth, for 44he should not be allowed to live !"
And as they were crying out and 45throwingoff their cloaks and 46tossingdust into the air,
the jcommanderordered him to be brought into 47the barracks, stating that he should be 48examined by scourgingso that he might find out the reasonwhy they were shouting against him that way.
But when they stretched him out kwith thongs, Paulsaid to the centurion who was standing by, "Is it llawful for you to scourge49a man who is a Roman and uncondemned ?"
When the centurionheard this, he went to the mcommander and told him, saying, "What are you about to do ? For thisman is a Roman."
The ncommandercame and said to him, "Tell me, are you a Roman ?" And he said, "Yes."
The ocommanderanswered, "I acquiredthiscitizenship with a largesum of money." And Paulsaid, "But I was actuallyborn a citizen."
29Thereforethose who were about to 50examine him immediatelypletgo of him; and the qcommanderalso51was afraid when he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had r52put him in chains.
But on the nextday, 53wishing to know for certainwhy he had been accused by the Jews, he 54released him and ordered the chiefpriests and all55the sCouncil to assemble, and broughtPauldown and set him before them.