1 MEN, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my apology which I now offer unto you. 2 Then when they heard that he spoke unto them in the Hebrew tongue, they kept the more silence: and he said, 3 I am indeed a Jewish man, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but educated in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed accurately in the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, as ye all are this day: 4 so much so that I persecuted this way unto death, binding and delivering up to prisons both men and women. 5 As also the high-priest will bear me witness, and all the body of elders: from whom also having received letters unto the brethren, I went unto Damascus, to bring those who were there in chains unto Jerusalem, that they might be punished.
6 But as I went and drew nigh to Damascus, at noon-day, suddenly there shone a great light from heaven around me. 7 And I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said to me, I am Jesus the Nazarean, whom thou persecutest. 9 Now they who were with me saw the light indeed, and were terrified; but the voice of him that spake to me heard they not.
10 Then I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me, Arise, go into Damascus; and there information shall be given thee of all things which are ordained for thee to do.
11 Then as I could no longer see through the dazzling brightness of that light, led by the hand of those who were with me, I came to Damascus. 12 And one Ananias, a religious man according to the law, and in high repute with all the Jews dwelling there, 13 came to me, and standing by me, said, Brother Saul, recover sight. And the same hour I looked up at him. 14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath predestinated thee to know his will, and to see the Just One, and to hear a voice from his mouth. 15 For thou shalt be a witness for him to all men, of the things which thou hast seen and heard. 16 And now why delay? arise, to be baptised, and wash away thy sins, calling upon the name of the Lord.
17 Now it came to pass, that, when I had returned to Jerusalem, and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance; 18 and beheld him saying to me, Make haste, and depart quickly from Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony of me.
19 And I said, Lord, they know that I was imprisoning and scourging from synagogue to synagogue those who believe on thee: 20 and when the blood of Stephen thy martyr was shed, I myself even stood by, and took delight in his execution, and guarded the garments of those who slew him.
22 And they gave him audience to this sentence, and lifted up their voice, saying, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.
23 So when they began raising a vast clamour, and stripping off their garments, and casting dust into the air, 24 the military tribune commanded him to be brought into the fortress, ordering that he should be put to the question by scourging; that he might know for what cause they clamoured so loudly against him. 25 So as they were tying him up for the thongs, Paul said to the centurion standing by him, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman citizen, and uncondemned?
26 And when the centurion heard this, he came and told the military tribune, saying, Consider what you are going to do: for this man is a Roman citizen.
27 Then the tribune came, and said to him, Tell me, art thou a Roman citizen? And he said, Yes.
28 And the tribune replied, With a large sum of money I purchased this citizenship. And Paul said, But I enjoy it as my birthright.
29 Immediately then they who were about to put him to the question, withdrew from him: and indeed the tribune dreaded the consequences, when he knew that he was a Roman citizen, that he had even gone so far as to bind him.