1 Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now.
2 And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew dialect, they kept all the
more silent. Then he said:
3 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.
4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and
5 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 even those who were
there, bound, to Jerusalem to be punished.
6 Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a
great light from Heaven shone around me.
7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why do you
8 So I answered, Who are You, Sir? And He said to me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom
9 And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the words uttered by Him who spoke to me.
10 So I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me, Arise and go into
Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.
11 And since 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.
12 Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the Law, having a good testimony
with all the Jews who dwelt there,
13 came to me; and he stood and said to me, Brother Saul, receive your sight. And at
that same instant I looked up at him.
14 Then he said, The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will,
and see the Just One, and hear the voice out of His mouth.
15 For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.
16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be immersed, and wash away your sins,
calling on the name of the Lord.
17 And it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I
was in a trance
18 and saw Him saying to me, Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will
not receive your testimony concerning Me.
19 So I said, Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those
believing on You.
20 And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.
21 Then He said to me, Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.
22 And they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said,
Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!
23 Then, as they cried out and tore off their clothes and threw dust into the air,
24 the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should
be examined by scourging, so that he might know for what reason they shouted so against
25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, Is it
lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and not condemned by trial?
26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, Take heed
what you are about to do, for this man is a Roman.
27 Then the commander came and said to him, Tell me, are you a Roman? He said, Yes.
28 And the commander answered, With a large sum I obtained this citizenship. And
Paul said, But I was free born.
29 Then immediately those who were about to examine him stood away from him; and
the commander was also afraid after he fully knew that he was a Roman, and because he
had bound him.
30 The next day, because he wanted to know for certain why he was accused by the
Jews, he released him from his bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all their
council to appear, and brought Paul down and set him before them.