Bible: Acts 22:1-24

Paul’s Defense

22:1Brothers 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.

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