Atos 26

1 And Agrippa said to Paul, You are permitted to speak for yourself. Then Paul stretched forth his hand, and made his defense:

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

3 especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: therefore I urge you to hear me patiently.

4 My manner of life then from my youth up, which was from the beginning among my own nation and at Jerusalem, all the Jews know;

5 having knowledge of me from the first, if they are willing to testify, that after the straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

6 And now I stand [here] to be judged for the hope of the promise made of God to our fathers;

7 to which [promise] our twelve tribes, earnestly serving [God] night and day, hope to attain. And concerning this hope I am accused by the Jews, O king!

8 Why is it judged incredible with you{+}, if God does raise the dead?

9 I truly thought myself that I ought to participate in many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

10 And this I also did in Jerusalem: and I both shut up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, and when they were put to death I gave my vote against them.

11 And punishing them oftentimes in all the synagogues, I strove to make them blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.

12 In which as I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests,

13 in the middle of the day, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me.

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

15 And I said, Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you persecute.

16 But arise, and stand on your feet: for to this end I have appeared to you, to appoint you an attendant and a witness both of the things in which you have seen me, and of the things in which I will appear to you;

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

18 to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.

19 Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision:

20 but declared both to them of Damascus first and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, participating in works worthy of repentance.

21 For this cause the Jews seized me being in the temple, and assayed to kill me.

22 Having therefore obtained the help that is from God, to this day, I stand testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said should come;

23 how that the Christ must suffer, [and] how that he first by the resurrection of the dead should proclaim light both to the people and to the Gentiles.

24 And as he thus made his defense, Festus says with a loud voice, Paul, you are insane; your much learning is turning you insane.

25 But Paul says, I am not insane, most excellent Festus; but speak forth words of truth and soberness.

26 For the king knows of these things, to whom I also speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things is hidden from him; for this has not happened in a corner.

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

28 And Agrippa [said] to Paul, With but little persuasion you would make me a Christian.

29 And Paul [said], I would to God, that whether with little or with much, not you only, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except these bonds.

30 And the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and those who sat with them:

31 and when they had withdrawn, they spoke one to another, saying, This man does not participate in anything 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 Caesar.