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Acts 26 (Third Millennium Bible)

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1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, "Thou art permitted to speak for thyself." Then Paul stretched forth his hand and answered for himself: 2 "I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee concerning all the things whereof I am accused by the Jews, 3 especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews. Therefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. 4 "My manner of life from my youth, which was from the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, is known to all the Jews. 5 They knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee. 6 And now I stand and am judged because of the hope of the promise made by God unto our fathers, 7 unto which promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God day and night, hope to come. For this hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. 8 Why should it be thought an incredible thing by you that God should raise the dead? 9 "I myself verily thought that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth, 10 which things I also did in Jerusalem; and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. 11 And I punished them often in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly maddened against them, I persecuted them even unto foreign cities. 12 "Thereupon, as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 at midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, brighter than the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, `Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? It is hard for thee to kick against the goads.' 15 And I said, `Who art Thou, Lord?' And He said, `I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. 16 But rise and stand upon thy feet, for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose: to make thee a minister and a witness, both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in which I will appear unto thee, 17 delivering thee from the people and from the Gentiles unto whom now I send thee, 18 to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith that is in Me.' 19 "Thereupon, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision, 20 but showed first unto those at Damascus and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. 21 For these causes the Jews seized me in the temple and went about to kill me. 22 Having therefore obtained the help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying nothing other than what the prophets and Moses said should come: 23 that Christ should suffer, and that He should be the first who should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people and to the Gentiles." 24 And as he thus spoke for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, thou art beside thyself! Much learning doth make thee mad!" 25 But Paul said, "I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. 26 For the king himself knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely; for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him, for this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest." 28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, "Thou almost persuadest me to be a Christian." 29 And Paul said, "I would to God that not only thou, but also all who hear me this day, were both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these bonds." 30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and also the governor and Bernice and those who sat with them. 31 And when they had gone aside, they talked among themselves, saying, "This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds." 32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, "This man might have been set at liberty if he had not appealed unto Caesar."
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