"Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defense which I make now unto you."
(And when they heard that he spoke in the Hebrew tongue to them, they were the more silent.) And he said,
"I am verily a man who am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taughtaccording to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
And I persecuted this Way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women,
as also the high priest doth bear me witness and all the council of the elders. From them I also received letters unto the brethren, and I went to Damascus to bring those who were there bound unto Jerusalem to be punished.
"And it came to pass that, as I made my journey and had come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
And I fell unto the ground and heard a voice saying unto me, `Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?'
And I answered, `Who art Thou, Lord?' And He said unto me, `I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.'
And those who were with me saw indeed the light and were afraid, but they heard not the voice of Him that spoke to me.
And I said, `What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said unto me, `Arise and go into Damascus, and there it shall be told thee of all the things which are appointed for thee to do.'
And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.
"And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, of good report among all the Jews who dwelt there,
came unto me and stood and said unto me, `Brother Saul, receive thy sight!' And that same hour I looked up upon him.
And he said, `The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know His will and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of His mouth.
For thou shalt be His witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'
"And it came to pass that when I had come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance
and saw Him saying unto me, `Make haste and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem, for they will not receive thy testimony concerning Me.'
And I said, `Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those who believed in Thee.
And when the blood of Thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by and consenting unto his death and kept the raiment of those who slew him.'
And He said unto me, `Depart, for I will send thee far hence, unto the Gentiles.'"
And the crowd gave him an audience up to this word; and then they lifted up their voices and said, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for it is not fit that he should live!"
And as they cried out and cast off their clothes and threw dust into the air,
the chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging, so that he might find out why they cried so against him.
And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion who stood by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?"
When the centurion heard this, he went and told the chief captain, saying, "Take heed what thou doest, for this man is a Roman."
Then the chief captain came and said unto him, "Tell me, art thou a Roman?" And he said, "Yea."
And the chief captain answered, "With a great sum I obtained this freedom." And Paul said, "But I was free born."
Then straightway those who should have examined him departed from him, and the chief captain also was afraid after he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
On the morrow, because he would know with certainty why he was accused by the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down and set him before them.