Weymouth New testament
Paul's Defense to the Crowd
1"Brethren and fathers," he said, "listen to my defence which I now make before you."
2And on hearing him address them in Hebrew, they kept all the more quiet; and he said,
3"I am a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I was carefully trained at the feet of Gamaliel in the Law of our forefathers, and, like all of you to-day, was zealous for God. 4I persecuted to death this new faith, continually binding both men and women and throwing them into prison; 5as the High Priest also and all the Elders can bear me witness. It was, too, from them that I received letters to the brethren in Damascus, and I was already on my way to Damascus, intending to bring those also who had fled there, in chains to Jerusalem, to be punished.
6"But on my way, when I was now not far from Damascus, about noon a sudden blaze of light from Heaven shone round me. 7I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, "'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?' 8"'Who art thou, Lord?' I asked. "'I am Jesus, the Nazarene,' He replied, 'whom you are persecuting.' 9"Now the men who were with me, though they saw the light, did not hear the words of Him who spoke to me. 10And I asked, "'What am I to do, Lord?' "And the Lord said to me, "'Rise, and go into Damascus. There you shall be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.' 11"And as I could not see because the light had been so dazzling, those who were with me had to lead me by the arm, and so I came to Damascus.
12"And a certain Ananias, a pious man who obeyed the Law and bore a good character with all the Jews of the city, 13came to me and standing at my side said, "'Brother Saul, recover your sight.' "I instantly regained my sight and looked up at him. 14Then he said, 'The God of our forefathers has appointed you to know His will, and to see the righteous One and hear Him speak. 15For you shall be a witness for Him, to all men, of what you have seen and heard. 16And now why delay? Rise, get yourself baptized, and wash off your sins, calling upon His name.'
17"After my return to Jerusalem, and while praying in the Temple, I fell into a trance. 18I saw Jesus, and He said to me, "'Make haste and leave Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.' 19"'Lord,' I replied, 'they themselves well know how active I was in imprisoning, and in flogging in synagogue after synagogue those who believe in Thee; 20and when they were shedding the blood of Stephen, Thy witness, I was standing by, fully approving of it, and I held the clothes of those who were killing him.' 21"'Go,' He replied; 'I will send you as an Apostle to nations far away.'"
Paul the Roman Citizen
22Until they heard this last statement the people listened to Paul, but now with a roar of disapproval they cried out, "Away with such a fellow from the earth! He ought not to be allowed to live." 23And when they continued their furious shouts, throwing their clothes into the air and flinging dust about, 24the Tribune ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and be examined by flogging, in order to ascertain the reason why they thus cried out against him. 25But, when they had tied him up with the straps, Paul said to the Captain who stood by, "Does the Law permit you to flog a Roman citizen—and one too who is uncondemned?" 26On hearing this question, the Captain went to report the matter to the Tribune. "What are you intending to do?" he said. "This man is a Roman citizen." 27So the Tribune came to Paul and asked him, "Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?" "Yes," he said. 28"I paid a large sum for my citizenship," said the Tribune. "But I was born free," said Paul. 29So the men who had been on the point of putting him under torture immediately left him. And the Tribune, too, was frightened when he learnt that Paul was a Roman citizen, for he had had him bound.
30The next day, wishing to know exactly what charge was being brought against him by the Jews, the Tribune ordered his chains to be removed; and, having sent word to the High Priests and all the Sanhedrin to assemble, he brought Paul down and made him stand before them.