|Acts 22 |
1 "Men, brothers and fathers, hear my defense that I now make to you."
2 (When they heard that he spoke in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept silent more; and he said,)
3 "I am truly a man who is a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strict manner of the law of our forefathers, and was as zealous toward God as you all are this day.
4 And I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering both men and women into prisons,
5 As the high priest and all the council of the elders can bear me witness. For I also received letters from them to the brothers, and was on my way to Damascus to bring those who were prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.
6 But it came to pass, that as I made my journey and was near Damascus at about noon, suddenly there shone a great light from heaven around me.
7 And I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?'
8 And I answered, 'Who are you, Lord? ' And he said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.'
9 And those who were with me saw the light and were afraid; but they did not hear the voice of him who spoke to me.
10 And I said, 'What shall I do, LORD?' And the Lord said to me, 'Arise and go into Damascus; and there it will be told to you all things that are appointed for you to do.'
11 Now when I could not see for the glory of that light, I came into Damascus, being led by the hand by those who were with me.
12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report from all the Jews who lived there,
13 Came to me, and stood and said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight.' And at that time I looked up and saw him.
14 And he said, 'The God of our fathers has chosen you, that you should know his will, and see the Righteous One, and should hear the voice from his mouth.
15 For you shall be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.
16 And now why do you delay? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins by calling on the name of the Lord.'
17 So it came to pass, when I came back to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, that I was in the spirit;
18 And saw Him [Jesus] saying to me, 'Make haste, and get quickly out of Jerusalem; for they will not receive your testimony concerning me.'
19 And I said, 'Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat those who believed on you in every synagogue;
20 And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I was standing by, consenting to his death, and kept the clothes of those who killed him.'
21 But He said to me, 'Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.'"
22 Now the crowd had listened to him until he said this, and then they lifted up their voices, and said, "Away with such a fellow from the earth; for he is not fit to live."
23 And as they cried out, and tore off their cloaks, and threw dust into the air,
24 The commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and that he should be examined by scourging [flogging] so that he might know why they had cried out against him.
25 And as they bound him with the 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 [without trial]? "
26 Now when the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, "Take heed what you do, for this man is a Roman."
27 Then the commander came and said to him, "Tell me, are you a Roman? " And Paul said, "Yes."
28 And the commander said, "I obtained my citizenship with a large sum of money." And Paul said, "But I was born a citizen."
29 Then immediately those who would have examined him left him; and the commander was also afraid after he knew that he was a Roman, and that he had put him in chains.
30 But the next day, because he wanted to known for certain why he was accused by the Jews, he loosed him from his bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear; and he brought Paul down and set him before them.
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