1Brethren and fathers, hear my defence, which I now make to you.
2And on hearing him speak to them in the Hebrew tongue, they kept the more silence. And he saith:
3I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, hut brought up in this city, taught at the feet of Gamaliel in the strictness of the Law of our fathers, being zealous for God, as ye all are this day.
4And I persecuted this way of belief even to death, binding and putting into prisons both men and women,
5as also the high-priest beareth me witness, and all the elderhood; from whom I received letters to the brethren, and was on my way to Damascus to bring those also that were there, bound, to Jerusalem, that they might be punished.
6But it came to pass, as I was on my way, and approaching Damascus, that about noon there suddenly shone around me a great light from heaven;
7and I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute me?
8And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said to me, I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom thou persecutest.
9And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but the voice of him that spoke to me they did not hear.
10And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there thou wilt be told of all which it hath been appointed thee to do.
11And as I could not see by reason of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand of those that were with me, and came into Damascus.
12But one Ananias, a devout man according to the Law, well spoken of by all the Jews who dwelt there,
13came to me, and standing over me said, Brother Saul, receive sight. And I immediately looked up upon him.
14And he said, The God of our fathers chose thee to know his will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth;
15for thou shalt be a witness for him to all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
16And now why dost thou delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.
17And it came to pass after my return to Jerusalem, while I was praying in the temple, that I fell into a trance,
18and saw him saying to me, Make haste, and go quickly out of Jerusalem; for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.
19And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned, and beat in every synagogue, those that believed in thee;
20and when the blood of Stephen, thy witness, was shed, I myself was standing by and consenting, and keeping the garments of those who slew him.
21And he said to me, Depart; for I will send thee far hence to the gentiles.
22And they listened to him as far as this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth! for it was not fit that he should live.
23And as they were crying out, and shaking their garments, and throwing dust into the air,
24the chief captain ordered him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might ascertain for what cause they were thus crying out against him.
25But when they had stretched him out with the cords, Paul said to the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?
26When the centurion heard this, he went and told the chief captain, saying, What art thou about to do? For this man is a Roman.
27Then the chief captain came and said to him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yes.
28The chief captain answered, For a great sum I obtained this citizenship. And Paul said, But I was born a Roman.
29They therefore who were about to examine him left him immediately. And the chief captain also was alarmed when he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
30On the morrow, wishing to have certain knowledge why he was accused by the Jews, he released him, and ordered the chief priests and all the council to assemble; and bringing Paul down, he set him before them.