(5) Defending Himself before King Agrippa
1 And Agrippa said to Paul, You are permitted to speak for yourself. Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his adefense:
2 Concerning all the things which I am aaccused of by the Jews, bKing Agrippa, I consider myself blessed that I am to make my 1defense before you today,
3 1Especially since you are 2familiar with all the acustoms and bquestions among the Jews; therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4 The manner of my life from youth, which from the beginning was among my own anation and in Jerusalem, all the Jews know,
5 Since they have previously known about me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to the astrictest bsect of our 1religion I lived as a cPharisee.
6 And now I stand here being judged for the ahope of the promise made by God to our fathers,
7 To which our atwelve tribes, earnestly serving bnight and day, hope to attain. Concerning this hope I am caccused by the Jews, O king.
8 Why is it judged incredible among you if God araises the dead?
9 Well then, I thought to myself that I ought to do many things acontrary to the name of Jesus the bNazarene,
10 Which also I did in Jerusalem; and I both shut up many of the saints in aprison when I had received bauthority from the chief priests and ccast a vote against them when they were being done away with.
11 And in all the asynagogues I punished them often and tried to compel them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged at them, I bpersecuted them even as far as 1foreign cities.
12 Engaged in these things, I ajourneyed to Damascus with authority and a commission from the chief priests.
13 At midday, on the way, I saw, O king, a light from heaven beyond the brightness of the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me.
14 And when we all fell to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the aHebrew dialect, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting 1Me? It is hard for you to kick against the 2goads.
15 And I said, Who are You, 1Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom you persecute.
16 But rise up and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to aappoint you as a minister and a 1bwitness both of the things in which you have cseen Me and of the things in which I will appear to you;
17 Delivering you afrom the people and from the bGentiles, to whom I send you,
18 To 1open their aeyes, to turn them from 2bdarkness to clight and from the 3authority of Satan 4to God, that they may receive 5dforgiveness of sins and 6an einheritance among those who have been 7sanctified by faith in Me.
19 Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly 1vision,
20 But declared both to those in aDamascus first and in bJerusalem and throughout call the country of Judea and to the dGentiles that they should erepent and fturn to God, doing works gworthy of repentance.
21 Because of these things certain Jews aseized me while I was in the temple and tried to slay me.
22 Having therefore obtained the 1ahelp which is from God, I have bstood unto this day, ctestifying both to small and great, saying nothing apart from the things which both the dprophets and eMoses have said would take place,
23 That the Christ would asuffer and that He, being the first 1to brise from the dead, would announce 2clight both to the people and to the Gentiles.
24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, You are 1ainsane, Paul. Much learning is driving you 1insane.
25 But Paul said, I am not insane, most aexcellent bFestus, but I am uttering words of ctruth and dsoberness.
26 For the king 1knows about these things, to whom also I speak 2freely, for I am persuaded that none of these things have escaped his notice; for this has not been done in a corner.
27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.
28 And Agrippa replied to Paul, By so little are you trying to persuade me to become a aChristian?
29 And Paul said, I would to God that both by little and by much, not only you, but also all those who hear me today might become even such aas I am, except for these bbonds.