Atos 26

1 Then Agrippa said to Paul, It is granted to you to speak for yourself. Then Paul, stretching forth his hand, made his defense.

2 I esteem myself happy, King Agrippa, that I am this day to make my defense before you, concerning all those things of which I am accused by the Jews;

3 especially as you are acquainted with all the customs and questions among the Jews: wherefore, I entreat you, that you will hear me with patience.

4 The manner of my life, from my youth, which, from the beginning, was spent among my own nation, in Jerusalem, is known to all the Jews;

5 who knew me from the first, (if they would testify,) that, according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived a Pharisee.

6 And now I stand in judgment for the hope of that promise, which was made by God to our fathers:

7 to which promise, our twelve tribes, worshiping continually, night and day, hope to attain: concerning which hope, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews.

8 Why should it be judged an incredible thing, by you, that God should raise the dead?

9 I, indeed, thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus, the Nazarene.

10 Which, accordingly, I did in Jerusalem; and I shut up many of the saints in prison, having received authority from the chief priests. And when some of them were killed, I gave my vote against them:

11 and frequently punishing them in all the synagogues, I compelled them to blaspheme: and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.

12 With this view, I was going to Damascus, with authority and commission from the chief priests;

13 at mid-day, on the road, King Agrippa, I saw a light from heaven, exceeding the splendor of the sun, shining about me, and those who traveled with me.

14 And when we were all fallen down to the earth, I heard a voice speaking to me, and saying, in the Hebrew language, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.

15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus, whom you persecute.

16 But arise, and stand upon your feet, for to this purpose I have appeared to you, to ordain you a minister and a witness, both of the things which you have seen, and of those which I will hereafter show you:

17 delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles; to whom I now send you-

18 to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light, and from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God; that they may receive forgiveness of sons, and an inheritance amongst the sanctified, through faith in me.

19 From that time, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision:

20 but declared, first to them at Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and through all the country of Judea; and then to the Gentiles, that they should reform, and return to God, performing deeds worthy of reformation.

21 On account of these things, the Jews seizing me in the temple, attempted to have killed me with their own hands.

22 Having, therefore, obtained help from God, I continue, till this day, testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses have declared would be;

23 that the Messiah would be a sufferer-would be first of a resurrection from the dead-would give light to the people, and to the Gentiles.

24 And as he was thus making his defense, Festus said, with a loud voice, Paul, you are distracted: much learning drives you to madness.

25 But he replied, I am not mad, most noble Festus, but utter the words of truth and soberness.

26 For the king knows of these things; to whom, also, I speak with freedom: for I am persuaded none of these things are hid from him, for this was not done in a corner.

27 King Agrippa! do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.

28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, You almost persuade me to be a Christian.

29 And Paul said, I would to God that, not only you, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost and altogether such as I am, except these chains.

30 And as he said this, the king arose, and the governor, and Bernice, and those who sat with them.

31 And when they had retired, they spoke one with another, saying, This man has done nothing worthy of death, or of bonds.

32 And Agrippa said to Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed to Cesar.