Atos 26

1 And Agrippa said unto Paul, 'It is permitted to you to speak for yourself;' then Paul having stretched forth the hand, was making a defence:

2 'Concerning all things of which I am accused by Jews, king Agrippa, I have thought myself happy, being about to make a defence before you to-day,

3 especially knowing you to be acquainted with all things -- both customs and questions -- among Jews; therefore, I beseech you, patiently to hear me.

4 'The manner of my life then, indeed, from youth -- which from the beginning was among my nation, in Jerusalem -- know do all the Jews,

5 knowing me before from the first, (if they may be willing to testify,) that after the most exact sect of our worship, I lived a Pharisee;

6 and now for the hope of the promise made to the fathers by God, I have stood judged,

7 to which our twelve tribes, intently night and day serving, do hope to come, concerning which hope I am accused, king Agrippa, by the Jews;

8 why is it judged incredible with you, if God does raise the dead?

9 'I, indeed, therefore, thought with myself, that against the name of Jesus of Nazareth it behoved me many things to do,

10 which also I did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I in prison did shut up, from the chief priests having received the authority; they also being put to death, I gave my vote against them,

11 and in every synagogue, often punishing them, I was constraining them to speak evil, being also exceedingly mad against them, I was also persecuting them even unto strange cities.

12 'In which things, also, going on to Damascus -- with authority and commission from the chief priests --

13 at mid-day, I saw in the way, O king, out of heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me a light -- and those going on with me;

14 and we all having fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew dialect, Saul, Saul, why me do you persecute? hard for you against pricks to kick!

15 'And I said, Who are you, Lord? and he said, I am Jesus whom you do persecute;

16 but rise, and stand upon your feet, for this I appeared to you, to appoint you an officer and a witness both of the things you did see, and of the thingsin which I will appear to you,

17 delivering you from the people, and the nations, to whom now I send you,

18 to open their eyes, to turnthem from darkness to light, and from the authority of the Adversary unto God, for their receiving forgiveness of sins, and a lot among those having been sanctified, by faith that is toward me.

19 'Whereupon, king Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,

20 but to those in Damascus first, and to those in Jerusalem, to all the region also of Judea, and to the nations, I was preaching to reform, and to turn back unto God, doing works worthy of reformation;

21 because of these things the Jews -- having caught me in the temple -- were endeavouring to kill me.

22 'Having obtained, therefore, help from God, till this day, I have stood witnessing both to small and to great, saying nothing besides the things that both the prophets and Moses spake of as about to come,

23 that the Christ is to suffer, whether first by a rising from the dead, he is about to proclaim light to the people and to the nations.'

24 And, he thus making a defence, Festus with a loud voice said, 'You are mad, Paul; much learning does turn you mad;'

25 and he said, 'I am not mad, most noble Festus, but of truth and soberness the sayings I speak forth;

26 for the king does know concerning these things, before whom also I speak boldly, for none of these things, I am persuaded, are hidden from him; for this thing has not been done in a corner;

27 you do believe, king Agrippa, the prophets? I have known that you do believe!'

28 And Agrippa said unto Paul, 'In a little you do persuade me to become a Christian!'

29 and Paul said, 'I would have wished to God, both in a little, and in much, not only you, but also all those hearing me to-day, to become such as I also am -- except these bonds.'

30 And, he having spoken these things, the king rose up, and the governor, Bernice also, and those sitting with them,

31 and having withdrawn, they were speaking unto one another, saying -- 'This man does nothing worthy of death or of bonds;'

32 and Agrippa said to Festus, 'This man might have been released if he had not appealed to Caesar.'