Paul’s Defense before Agrippa
1Now Agrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted to speak for yourself.” Then Paul extended his hand and proceeded to make his defense:
2“Regarding all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate that I am about to make my defense before you today,
3Or because you are especially expertespecially because you are an expert in all customs and Or controversial issuesquestions among the Jews; therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4“So then, all Jews know my way of life since my youth, which from the beginning was spent among my own nation and in Jerusalem,
5since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion.
6And now I am standing trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers;
7the promise to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve God night and day. For this hope, O king, I am being accused by Jews.
8Why is it considered incredible among you people if God raises the dead?
9“So I thought to myself that I had to act in strong opposition to the name of Jesus Or the Nazareneof Nazareth.
10And this is Lit alsojust what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the Lit holy ones; i.e., God’s peoplesaints in prisons, after receiving authority from the chief priests, but I also cast my vote against them when they were being put to death.
11And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and since I was extremely enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to Or outlyingforeign cities.
12Lit In which thingsWhile so engaged, as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests,
13at midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, Lit above the brightness ofbrighter than the sun, shining around me and those who were journeying with me.
14And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the I.e., Jewish AramaicHebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? An idiom referring to an animal’s futile resistance to being prodded with a spiked stickIt is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
15And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
16But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you as a servant and a witness not only to the things in which you have seen Me, but also to the things in which I will appear to you,
17rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you,
18to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the Or dominionpower of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’
19“For that reason, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision,
20but continually proclaimed to those in Damascus first, and in Jerusalem, and then all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they are to repent and turn to God, performing deeds consistent with repentance.
21For these reasons some Jews seized me in the temple and tried to murder me.
22So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place,
23as to whether the I.e., MessiahChrist was Lit subject to sufferingto suffer, and whether, as first from the resurrection of the dead, He would proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”
24While Lit hePaul was stating these things in his defense, Festus *said in a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind! Lit The many letters; i.e., educationYour great learning is Lit turning you to madnessdriving you insane.”
25But Paul *said, “I am not insane, most excellent Festus; on the contrary, I am speaking out with Lit words of truth and rationalitytruthful and rational words.
26For the king Or understandsknows about these matters, and I also speak to him with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a I.e., a hidden or secret placecorner.
27King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you believe.”
28Agrippa replied to Paul, “Or With a littleIn a short time you are going to persuade me to Or act as a Christianmake a Christian of myself.
29And Paul said, “I would Or pray towish to God that even Or with a little or with muchin a short or long time not only you, but also all who hear me this day would become such as I myself am, except for these chains.”
30The king stood up and the governor and Bernice, and those who were sitting with them,
31and when they had gone out, they began talking to one another, saying, “This man is not doing anything deserving death or Lit bondsimprisonment.”
32And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”