Berean Literal Bible
Paul's Defense to the Crowd
And he says, 3“I am a Jew, a man born in Tarsus of Cilicia and brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, having been instructed according to the exactness of the Law of our Fathers, being a zealous one of God, even as you all are this day, 4who persecuted this Way as far as death, binding and betraying to prisons both men and women, 5as also the high priest and the whole elderhood bears witness to me, from whom also having received letters to the brothers, I was on my way to Damascus to bring also those being there, bound to Jerusalem, in order that they might be punished.
6But it happened to me, journeying and drawing near to Damascus about noon, that suddenly a great light out of heaven shone around me, 7and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’
8And I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’
And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ 9And those being with me indeed beheld the light, but they did not hear the voice of the One speaking to me.
10Then I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’
And the Lord said to me, ‘Having risen up, go to Damascus, and there it will be told you concerning all things that it has been appointed you to do.’
11And while I could not see from the brightness of that light, I came to Damascus, being led by the hand by those being with me. 12And a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the Law, borne witness to by all the Jews dwelling there, 13having come to me and having stood by me, said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And the same hour I looked up at him.
14Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear the voice out of His mouth. 15For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16And now why do you delay? Having arisen, be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’
17And it happened to me, having returned to Jerusalem and of my praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 18and saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste and go away with speed out of Jerusalem, because they will not receive your testimony about Me.’
19And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that in each of those synagogues I was imprisoning and beating those believing on You. 20And when the blood of Your witness of Stephen was poured out, I myself also was standing by and consenting and watching over the garments of those killing him.’
21And He said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”
Paul the Roman Citizen
22Now they were listening to him until this word. Then they lifted up their voice, saying, “Away with such from the earth. For he is not fit to live!”
23And they were crying out and casting off the garments and throwing dust into the air. 24The commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, having directed him to be examined by flogging, so that he might know for what cause they were crying out against him like this.
25But as he stretched him forward with the straps, Paul said to the centurion standing by, “Is it lawful to you to flog a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?”
26And the centurion having heard it, having gone to the commander, reported it saying, “What are you going to do? For this man is a Roman.”
27And having come near, the commander said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?”
And he was saying, “Yes.”
28Then the commander answered, “I bought this citizenship with a great sum.”
But Paul was saying, “But I even was born so.”
29So immediately those being about to examine him departed from him, and the commander also was afraid, having ascertained that he is a Roman, and because he had bound him.
30And on the next day, desiring to know for certain why he is accused by the Jews, he unbound him and commanded the chief priests and the whole council to assemble. And having brought down Paul, he set him among them.