Paul stared at the Jewish council and said, "Brothers, my relationship with God has always given me a perfectly clear conscience."
The chief priest Ananias ordered the men standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth.
Then Paul said to him, "God will strike you, you hypocrite! You sit there and judge me by Moses' Teachings and yet you break those teachings by ordering these men to strike me!"
The men standing near Paul said to him, "You're insulting God's chief priest!
Paul answered, "Brothers, I didn't know that he is the chief priest. After all, Scripture says, 'Don't speak evil about a ruler of your people.'"
When Paul saw that some of them were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he shouted in the council, "Brothers, I'm a Pharisee and a descendant of Pharisees. I'm on trial because I expect that the dead will come back to life."
After Paul said that, the Pharisees and Sadducees began to quarrel, and the men in the meeting were divided.
(The Sadducees say that the dead won't come back to life and that angels and spirits don't exist. The Pharisees believe in all these things.)
The shouting became very loud. Some of the scribes were Pharisees who argued their position forcefully. They said, "We don't find anything wrong with this man. Maybe a spirit or an angel actually spoke to him!"
The quarrel was becoming violent, and the officer was afraid that they would tear Paul to pieces. So the officer ordered his soldiers to drag Paul back to the barracks.
The Lord stood near Paul the next night and said to him, "Don't lose your courage! You've told the truth about me in Jerusalem. Now you must tell the truth about me in Rome."