'Men, brethren, and fathers, hear my defence now unto you;'
and they having heard that in the Hebrew dialect he was
speaking to them, gave the more silence, and he saith, --
'I, indeed, am a man, a Jew, having been born in Tarsus of
Cilicia, and brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, having been
taught according to the exactitude of a law of the fathers, being zealous of
God, as all ye are to-day.
'And this way I persecuted unto death, binding and
delivering up to prisons both men and women,
as also the chief priest doth testify to me, and all the
eldership; from whom also having received letters unto the brethren, to
Damascus, I was going on, to bring also those there bound to Jerusalem that
they might be punished,
and it came to pass, in my going on and coming nigh to
Damascus, about noon, suddenly out of the heaven there shone a great light
round about me,
I fell also to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me,
Saul, Saul, why me dost thou persecute?
'And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? and he said unto me, I
am Jesus the Nazarene whom thou dost persecute --
and they who are with me the light did see, and became
afraid, and the voice they heard not of him who is speaking to me --
and I said, What shall I do, Lord? and the Lord said unto
me, Having risen, go on to Damascus, and there it shall be told thee concerning
all things that have been appointed for thee to do.
'And when I did not see from the glory of that light, being
led by the hand by those who are with me, I came to Damascus,
and a certain one, Ananias, a pious man according to the
law, being testified to by all the Jews dwelling there,
having come unto me and stood by me, said to me,
Saul, brother, look up; and I the same hour did look up to him;
and he said, The God of our fathers did choose thee
beforehand to know His will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice
out of his mouth,
because thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou
hast seen and heard;
and now, why tarriest thou? having risen, baptize thyself,
and wash away thy sins, calling upon the name of the Lord.
'And it came to pass when I returned to Jerusalem, and while
I was praying in the temple, I came into a trance,
and I saw him saying to me, Haste and go forth in haste out
of Jerusalem, because they will not receive thy testimony concerning me;
and I said, Lord, they -- they know that I was imprisoning
and was scourging in every synagogue those believing on thee;
and when the blood of thy witness Stephen was being poured
forth, I also was standing by and assenting to his death, and keeping the
garments of those putting him to death;
and he said unto me, Go, because to nations far off I will
And they were hearing him unto this word, and they lifted up
their voice, saying, 'Away from the earth with such an one; for it is not fit
for him to live.'
And they crying out and casting up their garments, and
throwing dust into the air,
the chief captain commanded him to be brought into the
castle, saying, 'By scourges let him be examined;' that he might know for what
cause they were crying so against him.
And as he was stretching him with the thongs, Paul said unto
the centurion who was standing by, 'A man, a Roman, uncondemned -- is it lawful
to you to scourge;'
and the centurion having heard, having gone near to the
chief captain, told, saying, 'Take heed what thou art about to do, for this man
is a Roman;'
and the chief captain having come near, said to him, 'Tell
me, art thou a Roman?' and he said, 'Yes;'
and the chief captain answered, 'I, with a great sum, did
obtain this citizenship;' but Paul said, 'But I have been even born so.'
Immediately, therefore, they departed from him who are about
to examine him, and the chief captain also was afraid, having learned that he
is a Roman, and because he had bound him,
and on the morrow, intending to know the certainty wherefore
he is accused by the Jews, he did loose him from the bonds, and commanded the
chief priests and all their sanhedrim to come, and having brought down Paul, he
set him before them.