So when he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying,
"Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now."
And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent. Then he said:
"I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers' law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today.
I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women,
as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.
Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me.
And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?'
So I answered, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.'