1 "Brethren and fathers, hear my defense which I now make to you." 2 And, hearing that he was speaking to them in the Hebrew language, they kept more quiet; 3 and he says, "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, having been trained according to the exactness of the ancestral law, being zealous for God, even as ye all are to-day; 4 and I persecuted this Way unto death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women; 5 as also the high priest testifies for me, and all the eldership; from whom, having received letters, I was journeying to Damascus, intending to bring those also who were there bound to Jerusalem, that they might be punished.
6 And it came to pass, that, as I was journeying, and was drawing nigh to Damascus, about midday, there suddenly flashed around me a great light out of the heaven; 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 are persecuting.' 9 And those who were with me beheld, indeed, the light, but they did not understand the voice of Him Who spake to me.
10 And I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Arising, go into Damascus, and there it shall be told you concerning all things which have been arranged for you to do.'
11 And, as I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand by those accompanying me, I came into Damascus. 12 And one Ananias, a devout, man according to the law, well spoken of by all the resident Jews, 13 coming to me, and standing by, said to me, 'Brother Saul, look up.' And I, in that very hour, looked up on him. 14 And he said, 'The God of our fathers appointed you to know His will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice out of His mouth; 15 because you shall be a witness for Him, to all men, of what you have seen, and heard. 16 And now why do you delay? Arising, be immersed, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.'
17 And it came to pass when I returned to Jerusalem, and while I was praying in the temple, that I came to be in a trance; 18 and saw Him, saying to me, 'Make haste, and go forth quickly out of Jerusalem; because they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.'
19 And I said, 'Lord, they themselves understand that I was imprisoning and beating, throughout the synagogues, those believing on Thee; 20 and, when the blood of Stephen, Thy witness, was poured forth, I myself also was standing by, and approving, and guarding the garments of those who slew him.
22 Now they were listening to him up to this word, and they lifted up their voice, saying, "Away with such a one from the earth; for it is not fit that he should live!"
23 And, as they were crying out, and throwing off their garments, and casting dust into the air, 24 the chief captain gave orders that he should be brought into the castle, saying that he should be examined by scourges, that he might fully know for what cause they were thus clamoring against him. 25 And, as they stretched him out for the thongs, Paul said to the centurion standing by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man, who is a Roman, and uncondemned?"
26 And the centurion, hearing it, going to the chief captain, reported it, saying, "What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman!"
27 And the chief captain, going forward, said to him, "Tell me, are you a Roman?" And he said, "Yes."
28 And the chief captain answered, "I, for a great sum, acquired this citizenship." And Paul said, "But I have been born a citizen."
29 Straightway, therefore, those who were about to examine him departed from him; and the chief captain also was struck with fear, having ascertained that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.