Acts 26 NLT/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You may speak in your defense."So Paul, with a gesture of his hand, started his defense: 1 Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You have permission to speak for yourself." So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense:
2 "I am fortunate, King Agrippa, that you are the one hearing my defense against all these accusations made by the Jewish leaders, 2 "King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews,
3 for I know you are an expert on Jewish customs and controversies. Now please listen to me patiently! 3 and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4 "As the Jewish leaders are well aware, I was given a thorough Jewish training from my earliest childhood among my own people and in Jerusalem. 4 "The Jews all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem.
5 If they would admit it, they know that I have been a member of the Pharisees, the strictest sect of our religion. 5 They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee.
6 Now I am on trial because I am looking forward to the fulfillment of God's promise made to our ancestors. 6 And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today.
7 In fact, that is why the twelve tribes of Israel worship God night and day, and they share the same hope I have. Yet, O king, they say it is wrong for me to have this hope! 7 This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. O king, it is because of this hope that the Jews are accusing me.
8 Why does it seem incredible to any of you that God can raise the dead? 8 Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?
9 "I used to believe that I ought to do everything I could to oppose the followers of Jesus of Nazareth. 9 "I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
10 Authorized by the leading priests, I caused many of the believers in Jerusalem to be sent to prison. And I cast my vote against them when they were condemned to death. 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.
11 Many times I had them whipped in the synagogues to try to get them to curse Christ. I was so violently opposed to them that I even hounded them in distant cities of foreign lands. 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.
12 "One day I was on such a mission to Damascus, armed with the authority and commission of the leading priests. 12 "On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.
13 About noon, Your Majesty, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions. 13 About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions.
14 We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to fight against my will. ' 14 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.'
15 "'Who are you, sir?' I asked."And the Lord replied, 'I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. 15 "Then I asked, 'Who are you, Lord?' " 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,' the Lord replied.
16 Now stand up! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and my witness. You are to tell the world about this experience and about other times I will appear to you. 16 'Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you.
17 And I will protect you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am going to send you to the Gentiles, 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them
18 to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God's people, who are set apart by faith in me.' 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
19 "And so, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to that vision from heaven. 19 "So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.
20 I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must turn from their sins and turn to God -- and prove they have changed by the good things they do. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.
21 Some Jews arrested me in the Temple for preaching this, and they tried to kill me. 21 That is why the Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me.
22 But God protected me so that I am still alive today to tell these facts to everyone, from the least to the greatest. I teach nothing except what the prophets and Moses said would happen -- 22 But I have had God's help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen--
23 that the Messiah would suffer and be the first to rise from the dead as a light to Jews and Gentiles alike." 23 that the Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles."
24 Suddenly, Festus shouted, "Paul, you are insane. Too much study has made you crazy!" 24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul's defense. "You are out of your mind, Paul!" he shouted. "Your great learning is driving you insane."
25 But Paul replied, "I am not insane, Most Excellent Festus. I am speaking the sober truth. 25 "I am not insane, most excellent Festus," Paul replied. "What I am saying is true and reasonable.
26 And King Agrippa knows about these things. I speak frankly, for I am sure these events are all familiar to him, for they were not done in a corner! 26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner.
27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do -- " 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do."
28 Agrippa interrupted him. "Do you think you can make me a Christian so quickly?" 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, "Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?"
29 Paul replied, "Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that both you and everyone here in this audience might become the same as I am, except for these chains." 29 Paul replied, "Short time or long--I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains."
30 Then the king, the governor, Bernice, and all the others stood and left. 30 The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them.
31 As they talked it over they agreed, "This man hasn't done anything worthy of death or imprisonment." 31 They left the room, and while talking with one another, they said, "This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment."
32 And Agrippa said to Festus, "He could be set free if he hadn't appealed to Caesar!" 32 Agrippa said to Festus, "This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar."