Acts 26:2-23 NIV

2 "King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you1 today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews,2

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3 and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs3 and controversies.4 Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.

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4 "The Jews all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child,5 from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem.

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5 They have known me for a long time6 and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect7 of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee.8

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6 And now it is because of my hope9 in what God has promised our fathers10 that I am on trial today.

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7 This is the promise our twelve tribes11 are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night.12 O king, it is because of this hope that the Jews are accusing me.13

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8 Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?14

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9 "I too was convinced15 that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose16 the name of Jesus of Nazareth.17

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10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints18 in prison,19 and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.20

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11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished,21 and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.

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12 "On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.
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 to the ground, and I heard a voice22 saying to me in Aramaic,a23 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'

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      15 "Then I asked, 'Who are you, Lord?' " 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,' the Lord replied.
      16 'Now get up and stand on your feet.24 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.25

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      17 I will rescue you26 from your own people and from the Gentiles.27 I am sending you to them

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      18 to open their eyes28 and turn them from darkness to light,29 and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins30 and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'31

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      19 "So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient32 to the vision from heaven.

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      20 First to those in Damascus,33 then to those in Jerusalem34 and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles35 also, I preached that they should repent36 and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.37

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      21 That is why the Jews seized me38 in the temple courts and tried to kill me.39

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      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 happen40--

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      23 that the Christb would suffer41 and, as the first to rise from the dead,42 would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles."43

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