Acts 26:2-23

2 "I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today 1against all the accusations of the Jews,
3 especially because you are familiar with all the 2customs and 3controversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4 4"My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among 5my own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews.
5 They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that 6according to the strictest 7party of our 8religion I have lived as 9a Pharisee.
6 And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in 10the promise made by God to our fathers,
7 11to which 12our twelve tribes hope to 13attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope 14I am accused by Jews, O king!
8 Why is it thought 15incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?
9 16"I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of 17Jesus of Nazareth.
10 18And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority 19from the chief priests, but 20when they were put to death I cast my vote against them.
11 And 21I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them 22blaspheme, and 23in raging fury against them I 24persecuted them even to foreign cities.

Paul Tells of His Conversion

12 "In this connection 25I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.
13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me.
14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me 26in the Hebrew language,[a] 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'
15 And I said, 'Who are you, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
16 But rise and 27stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, 28to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,
17 29delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles--30to whom I 31am sending you
18 32to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from 33the power of Satan to God, that they may receive 34forgiveness of sins and 35a place among those who are sanctified 36by faith in me.'
19 "Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to 37the heavenly vision,
20 but declared first 38to those in Damascus, 39then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also 40to the Gentiles, that they should 41repent and 42turn to God, performing deeds 43in keeping with their repentance.
21 For this reason 44the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.
22 45To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so 46I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what 47the prophets and Moses said would come to pass:
23 48that the Christ 49must suffer and that, 50by being the first 51to rise from the dead, 52he would proclaim 53light both to our people and to the Gentiles."

Acts 26:2-23 In-Context

1 So Agrippa said to Paul, "You have permission to speak for yourself." Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense:
2 "I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews,
3 especially because you are familiar with all the customs and controversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4 "My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among my own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews.
5 They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I have lived as a Pharisee.
6 And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers,
7 to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope I am accused by Jews, O king!
8 Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?
9 "I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
10 And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them.
11 And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
12 "In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.
13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me.
14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'
15 And I said, 'Who are you, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,
17 elivering you from your people and from the Gentiles--to whom I am sending you
18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
19 "Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.
21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.
22 To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass:
23 that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles."
24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind."
25 But Paul said, "I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words.
26 For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner.

Cross References 53

  • 1. Acts 25:7, 19; [ver. 7]
  • 2. See Acts 6:14
  • 3. See Acts 18:15
  • 4. [Galatians 1:13]
  • 5. Acts 24:17; Acts 28:19
  • 6. Acts 22:3
  • 7. See Acts 24:5
  • 8. James 1:26, 27
  • 9. Acts 23:6
  • 10. See Acts 13:32
  • 11. [Acts 2:33; Hebrews 10:36; Hebrews 11:13, 39]
  • 12. Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30; James 1:1; Revelation 21:12; [Ezra 6:17]
  • 13. Philippians 3:11
  • 14. ver. 2
  • 15. [Acts 17:3; 1 Corinthians 15:12]
  • 16. 1 Timothy 1:13; [John 16:2]; See Acts 3:17
  • 17. Acts 22:8
  • 18. See Acts 8:3
  • 19. ver. 12; Acts 9:1, 2, 14, 21; Acts 22:4, 5
  • 20. See Acts 22:20
  • 21. Acts 22:19
  • 22. See Acts 13:45
  • 23. Acts 9:1
  • 24. Acts 22:5
  • 25. For ver. 12-18, see Acts 9:3-8; Acts 22:6-11
  • 26. Acts 21:40; Acts 22:2
  • 27. Ezekiel 2:1; Daniel 10:11
  • 28. See Acts 22:14, 15
  • 29. [Acts 12:11; 1 Chronicles 16:35; Jeremiah 1:8, 19; Jeremiah 15:20]
  • 30. See Acts 9:15
  • 31. [Romans 11:13; 1 Timothy 2:7]
  • 32. Isaiah 35:5; Isaiah 42:7
  • 33. See Luke 22:53; 1 Corinthians 5:5
  • 34. See Acts 5:31
  • 35. See Acts 20:32
  • 36. [Acts 15:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:13]
  • 37. ver. 13
  • 38. Acts 9:19, 20
  • 39. Acts 9:26-29; Acts 22:17-20
  • 40. See Acts 13:46
  • 41. See Acts 2:38
  • 42. See Acts 14:15
  • 43. Matthew 3:8; Luke 3:8
  • 44. Acts 21:27, 30, 31; Acts 24:18
  • 45. 2 Corinthians 1:10; [Hebrews 13:5, 6]
  • 46. [Ephesians 6:13]
  • 47. See Acts 10:43; Acts 24:14
  • 48. [Luke 24:26; Hebrews 2:10]; See Acts 3:18
  • 49. [John 12:34]
  • 50. 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5
  • 51. Romans 1:4
  • 52. [Ephesians 2:17]
  • 53. ver. 18; See Luke 2:32

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or the Hebrew dialect (that is, Aramaic)
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.