Acts 26:1-32 - Paul Makes His Defense 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 defense. 2 I think myself happy, King Agrippa, in being allowed to make my defense before you to-day in respect to all things of which I am accused by the Jews, 3 especially as you are acquainted with all the customs and questions of the Jews; wherefore, I beg you to hear me patiently.
4 My mode of life from my childhood, the early part of it being with my nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews, 5 who knew me from the first, if they would testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. 6 And now I stand on trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers, 7 which our twelve tribes, serving God continually, day and night, hope to attain; of this hope, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. 8 Why is it judged by you incredible that God raises the dead? 9 I indeed thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus the Nazoraean, 10 which I also did at Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests, and when they were killed I gave my vote against them. 11 And punishing them often in all the synagogues, I compelled them to blaspheme, and being exceedingly mad against them, I pursued them even to cities abroad.
12 In which [persecutions] also, going to Damascus with authority, and a commission from the chief priests, 13 at midday I saw in the way O king, a light from heaven shining around me and those going with me, exceeding the brightness of the sun; 14 and when we had all fallen on the earth, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? it is hard for you to kick against the goads.
15 And I said, Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you persecute. 16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and witness both of what you have seen and [of visions ] in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from the people, and the gentiles, to whom I send you 18 to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among the sanctified by faith in me.
19 Whence, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but preached first to those at Damascus and Jerusalem, and in all the country of Judea, and to the gentiles, that they should change their minds and turn to God, performing works worthy of a change of mind. 21 On this account the Jews seized me in the temple and endeavored to kill me. 22 Having obtained therefore help from God, I have continued to this day, testifying to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said should take place; 23 that the Christ should suffer, and that he first from the resurrection of the dead should proclaim light both to the people and the nations.
24 And when Paul had said these words, Festus said with a loud voice, You are mad, Paul; much learning has driven you to madness.
25 But he said, I am not mad, most excellent Festus, but utter words of truth and sobriety. 26 For the king knows of these things, before whom I speak freely; for I am persuaded that none of these things have escaped his notice; for this was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, believe you the prophets? I know that you believe.
28 And Agrippa said to Paul, You almost persuade me to be a Christian.
29 And Paul said, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day were both almost and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
32 And Agrippa said to Festus, If he had not appealed to Caesar, this man might be released.