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1Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defense which I make now unto you.2(And when they heard that he spoke in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence, and he said,)
3I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel and taught according to the truth of the law of the fathers, zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.4And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.5As also the prince of the priests bears me witness, and all the estate of the elders, from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring those who were bound there unto Jerusalem to be punished.6And it came to pass that, as I made my journey and was come near unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.7And I fell unto the ground and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute me?8And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I Am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou dost persecute.9And those that were with me saw indeed the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of him that spoke to me.10And 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.11And when I could not see for the clarity of that light, being led by the hand of those that were with me, I came into Damascus.12And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good witness of all the Jews who dwelt there,13came unto me and stood and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.14And he said, The God of our fathers has chosen thee that thou should know his will and see that Just One and should hear the voice of his mouth.15For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.16And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.17And it came to pass that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a rapture of understanding18and saw him saying unto me, Make haste and go quickly out of Jerusalem, for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.19And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and in every synagogue beat those that believed on thee;20and when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by and consenting unto his death and kept the raiment of those that slew him.21And he said unto me, Depart, for I will send thee far from here unto the Gentiles.
22And they gave him audience 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.23And as they cried out and cast off their clothes and threw dust into the air,24the tribunal commanded him to be brought into the fortress and bade that he should be examined by scourging that he might know why they cried out so against him.25And 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 Roman and uncondemned?26When the centurion heard that, he went and told the tribunal, saying, Take heed what thou doest, for this man is a Roman.27Then the tribunal came and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yes.28And the tribunal answered, With a great sum I obtained this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.29Then straightway those who should have tormented him departed from him, and the tribunal was also afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman and because he had bound him.30On the next day, because he wanted to know of certainty the cause for which he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands and commanded the princes of the priests and all their council to appear and brought Paul down and set him before them.