Acts 22

Paul's Defense before the Jews

1 "1Brethren * and fathers, hear my defense which I now offer to you."
2 And when they heard that he was addressing them in the 2Hebrew dialect, they became even more quiet; and he said,
3 "3I am 4a Jew, born in 5Tarsus of 6Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under * * 7Gamaliel, 8strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as 9you all are today.
5 as also 12the high priest and all 13the Council of the elders can testify. From them I also 14received letters to 15the brethren, and started off for 16Damascus in order to bring even those who were there to Jerusalem as prisoners to be punished.
7 and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?'
8 "And I answered, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said to me, 'I am 18Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.'
9 "And those who were with me 19saw the light, to be sure, but 20did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me.
10 "And I said, '21What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.'
11 "But since I 22could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me and came into Damascus.
12 "A certain 23Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law, and 24well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,
13 came to me, and standing near said to me, '25Brother Saul, receive your sight!' And 26at that very time I looked up at him.
14 "And he said, '27The God of our fathers has 28appointed you to know His will and to 29see the 30Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth.
15 'For you will be 31a witness for Him to all men of 32what you have seen and heard.
16 'Now why do you delay? 33Get up and be baptized, and 34wash away your sins, 35calling on His name.'
17 "It happened when I 36returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I 37fell into a trance,
18 and I saw Him saying to me, '38Make haste, and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.'
19 "And I said, 'Lord, they themselves understand that in one synagogue after another 39I used to imprison and 40beat those who believed in You.
20 'And 41when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing by approving, and watching out for the coats of those who were slaying him.'
21 "And He said to me, 'Go! For I will send you far away 42to the Gentiles.'"
22 They listened to him up to this statement, and then they raised their voices and said, "43Away with such a fellow from the earth, for 44he should not be allowed to live!"
23 And as they were crying out and 45throwing off their cloaks and 46tossing dust into the air,
24 the commander ordered him to be brought into 47the barracks, stating that he should be 48examined by scourging so that he might find out the reason why * they were shouting against him that way.
25 But when they stretched him out with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge 49a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?"
26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and told him, saying, "What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman."
27 The commander came and said to him, "Tell me, are you a Roman?" And he said, "Yes."
28 The commander answered, "I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money." And Paul said, "But I was actually born a citizen."
29 Therefore those who were about to 50examine him immediately let go of him; and the commander also 51was afraid when he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had 52put him in chains.
30 But on the next day, 53wishing to know for certain why he had been accused by the Jews, he 54released him and ordered the chief priests and all 55the Council to assemble, and brought Paul down and set him before them.
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