Bible: Acts 22:1-24
22:1 “Brothers and fathers, listen to my defense 1 that I now 2 make to you.” 22:2 (When they heard 3 that he was addressing 4 them in Aramaic, 5 they became even 6 quieter.) 7 Then 8 Paul said, 22:3 “I am a Jew, 9 born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up 10 in this city, educated with strictness 11 under 12 Gamaliel 13 according to the law of our ancestors, 14 and was 15 zealous 16 for God just as all of you are today. 22:4 I 17 persecuted this Way 18 even to the point of death, 19 tying up 20 both men and women and putting 21 them in prison, 22:5 as both the high priest and the whole council of elders 22 can testify about me. From them 23 I also received 24 letters to the brothers in Damascus, and I was on my way 25 to make arrests there and bring 26 the prisoners 27 to Jerusalem 28 to be punished. 22:6 As 29 I was en route and near Damascus, 30 about noon a very bright 31 light from heaven 32 suddenly flashed 33 around me. 22:7 Then I 34 fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 22:8 I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’ 22:9 Those who were with me saw the light, but did not understand 35 the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 22:10 So I asked, 36 ‘What should I do, Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Get up 37 and go to Damascus; there you will be told about everything 38 that you have been designated 39 to do.’ 22:11 Since I could not see because of 40 the brilliance 41 of that light, I came to Damascus led by the hand of 42 those who were with me. 22:12 A man named Ananias, 43 a devout man according to the law, 44 well spoken of by all the Jews who live there, 45 22:13 came 46 to me and stood beside me 47 and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight!’ 48 And at that very moment 49 I looked up and saw him. 50 22:14 Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors 51 has already chosen 52 you to know his will, to see 53 the Righteous One, 54 and to hear a command 55 from his mouth, 22:15 because you will be his witness 56 to all people 57 of what you have seen and heard. 22:16 And now what are you waiting for? 58 Get up, 59 be baptized, and have your sins washed away, 60 calling on his name.’ 61 22:17 When 62 I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 63 22:18 and saw the Lord 64 saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 22:19 I replied, 65 ‘Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat those in the various synagogues 66 who believed in you. 22:20 And when the blood of your witness 67 Stephen was shed, 68 I myself was standing nearby, approving, 69 and guarding the cloaks 70 of those who were killing him.’ 71 22:21 Then 72 he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”
The Roman Commander Questions Paul
22:22 The crowd 73 was listening to him until he said this. 74 Then 75 they raised their voices and shouted, 76 “Away with this man 77 from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live!” 78 22:23 While they were screaming 79 and throwing off their cloaks 80 and tossing dust 81 in the air, 22:24 the commanding officer 82 ordered Paul 83 to be brought back into the barracks. 84 He told them 85 to interrogate Paul 86 by beating him with a lash 87 so that he could find out the reason the crowd 88 was shouting at Paul 89 in this way.