Paul recounts the story of his conversion and also tells of seeing Jesus in a vision—He is accorded some privileges as a Roman citizen.
1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)
3 I am verily a man which am a aJew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the bfeet of cGamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the dlaw of the fathers, and was ezealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
4 And I apersecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received aletters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great alight round about me.
7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, aSaul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am aJesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the avoice of him that spake to me.
10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.
11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
12 And one aAnanias, a devout man according to the law, having a good breport of all the Jews which dwelt there,
13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy asight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his awill, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
15 For thou shalt be his awitness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be abaptized, and bwash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a atrance;
18 And asaw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.
19 And I said, Lord, they know that I aimprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:
20 And when the blood of thy amartyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and bconsenting unto his death, and kept the craiment of them that slew him.
21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the aGentiles.
22 And they gave him aaudience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.
23 And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air,
24 The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the acastle, and bade that he should be examined by bscourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.
25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a aRoman, and uncondemned?
26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.
27 Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea.
28 And the achief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.
29 aThen straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
30 On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was aaccused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them.