1 Brethren and fathers, hear my defense, which I now make before you. 2 When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept the greater silence. And he said: 3 I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, yet educated in this city, at the feet of Gamaliel, and instructed according to the strict discipline of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, as you all are this day. 4 And I persecuted this way to the death, binding and delivering into prison both men and women, 5 as the chief priest and the whole body of elders will testify for me. From them I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring those, also, who were there, bound to Jerusalem, that they might be punished.
6 But it came to pass, that, as I was on my journey, and was drawing near to Damascus, about midday, there suddenly shone from heaven a great light round about me; 7 and I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?
8 And I answered, Who art thou Lord? And he said to me, I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you persecute. 9 They who were with me saw the light, and were afraid, but did not understand the voice of him who spoke to me.
10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me, Arise, and go into Damascus, and there you shall be told of all things that are appointed for you to do.
11 And as I could not see for the glory of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and went into Damascus. 12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, who had a good report from all the Jews that dwelt there, 13 came to me, and standing by me, said, Brother Saul, receive your sight. And the same hour I looked upon him. 14 And he said, The God of our fathers has chosen you, that you should know his will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of his mouth; 15 for you shall be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now, why do you delay? Arise, and be immersed, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
17 And it came to pass, after I had returned to Jerusalem, and while I was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance, 18 and saw him saying to me, Make haste, and depart quickly from Jerusalem, for they will not receive your testimony concerning me.
19 And I said, Lord, they themselves know that I threw into prison, and scourged, in every synagogue, those who believed on thee; 20 and that when the blood of Stephen, thy witness, was shed, I also stood by and approved, and kept the clothing of those who slew him.
22 And they heard him to this word, and lifted up their voice, saying: Away with such a man from the earth! for it is not fit that he should live.
23 And as they were crying out, and tossing off their clothes, and throwing dust into the air, 24 the officer commanded him to be led into the fortress, and gave orders that he should be examined by scourging, that he might know for what cause they so cried out against him. 25 But Paul said to the centurion who stood by, as he caused him to be bent forward to the straps: Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?
26 And when the centurion heard that, he went out and told it to the officer, saying: "What are you about to do? for this man is a Roman.
28 And the officer answered: With a great Bum did I purchase this citizenship. And Paul replied: But I was born a citizen.
29 Then, those who were about to examine him, immediately departed from him. And the officer was afraid, when he learned that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.