Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye now my defence unto you.
The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, being in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, And said to him,
Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to premeditate what to answer. For I will give you a mouth and wisdom,
Men, brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
And they thrust Alexander forward from among the multitude, the Jews pushing him on; and Alexander, waving with his hand, would have made a defence to the people.
And Paul earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God till this day.
But Paul perceiving, that the one part were Saducees, and the other Pharisees, cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; for the hope of the resurrection of the dead am I called in question.
Then Paul, after the governor had made a sign to him to speak, answered, Knowing thou hast been for several years a judge to this nation, I the more chearfully answer for myself:
While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Cesar have I offended at all.
To whom I answered, It is not the custom of the Romans, to give up any man, till he that is accused have the accusers face to face, and have liberty to make his defence, touching the crime laid to his charge.
Then Agrippa said to Paul, It is permitted thee to speak for thyself.
And as he was thus making his defence, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself, much learning doth make thee mad.
And after three days, Paul called the chief of the Jews together. And when they were come together, he said to them, Brethren, though I have done nothing against the people, or the customs of our fathers, yet have I been delivered a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans:
Who shew the work of the law written upon their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts among themselves accusing or even defending them,
For behold, this very thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly manner, what diligence it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge? In all things ye have approved yourselves to be pure in this matter.
Think ye that we again excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ, and all things, beloved, for your edification.
As it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, who were all partakers of my grace, both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel.
But the others out of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
At my first defence no man was with me, but all forsook me: may it not be laid to their charge?