11Agrippasaid to Paul, "You are permitted to speak for yourself." ThenPaulstretched out his hand and proceeded to make his defense:
"In regard to all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, I considermyselffortunate, KingAgrippa, that I amabout to make my defensebefore you today;
3aespecially because you are an expert in all2customs and bquestionsamong the Jews; therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4"Sothen, allJewsknow3my manner of life from my youth up, which from the beginning was spentamong my own nation and at Jerusalem;
since they have known about me for a longtime, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a 4Pharisee5according to the strictest6sect of our religion.
"And now I am cstandingtrial7for the hope of 8the promisemade by God to our fathers;
the promise 9to which our twelvetribeshope to attain, as they earnestlyserve God night and day. And for this10hope, O King, I am being 11accused by Jews.
8"Why is it consideredincredibleamong you people 12ifGod does raise the dead?
9"Sothen, 13I thought to myself that I had to domanythingshostile to 14the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
"And this is djustwhat I 15did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the esaints in prisons, having 16receivedauthority from the chiefpriests, but also when they were being put to death I 17cast my voteagainst them.
"And 18as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being 19furiouslyenraged at them, I kept pursuing them 20even to fforeigncities.
"gWhileso engaged 21as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chiefpriests,
at midday , O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, hbrighterthan the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me.
"And when we had 22allfallen to the ground, I heard a voicesaying to me in the i23Hebrewdialect, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? jIt is hard for you to kickagainst the goads.'15
"And I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And the Lordsaid, 'I amJesuswhom you are persecuting.16'But get up and 24stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to 25appoint you a 26minister and 27a witness not only to the things which you have kseen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;1728rescuing you 29from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you,18to 30open their eyes so that they may turn from 31darkness to light and from the dominion of 32Satan to God, that they may receive33forgiveness of sins and an 34inheritanceamongthose who have been sanctified by 35faith in Me.'19"So, KingAgrippa, I did not provedisobedient to the heavenlyvision,
but kept declaringboth36to those of Damascusfirst, and also 37at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even 38to the Gentiles, that they should 39repent and turn to God, performingdeeds40appropriate to repentance.
"For thisreason some Jews41seized me in the temple and tried42to put me to death.
22"So, having obtainedhelp from God, I stand to thisday43testifyingboth to small and great, statingnothing but what44the Prophets and Mosessaid was going to takeplace;
23l45that mthe Christ was nto suffer, and othat 46by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim47lightboth to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles."
While Paul was sayingthis in his defense, Festussaid in a loudvoice, "Paul, you are out of your mind! pYour great48learning is qdriving you mad."
But Paulsaid, "I am not out of my mind, 49mostexcellentFestus, but I utterwordsrof sobertruth.
"For the kings50knowsaboutthese matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of thesethingsescape his notice; for this has not beendone in a tcorner.
27"KingAgrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you udo."
28Agrippa replied to Paul, "vIn a shorttime you wwill persuade me to xbecome a 51Christian."
And Paul said, "yI wouldwish to God, that whetherzin a shortorlongtime, not only you, but alsoall who hear me thisday, might becomesuch as I am, except for these52chains."
3053The kingstood up and the governor and Bernice, and those who were sitting with them,
and when they had goneaside, they began talking to oneanother, saying, "54Thisman is not doinganythingworthy of deathoraaimprisonment."
And Agrippasaid to Festus, "Thismanmight have been55setfreeif he had not 56appealed to Caesar."