Paul's Defense before Agrippa
1Then Agrip´pa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:
2I think myself happy, king Agrip´pa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: 3especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
4My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; 5#Acts 23.6; Phil 3.5. which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. 6And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: 7unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrip´pa, I am accused of the Jews. 8Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
9 # Acts 8.3; 22.4,5. I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. 11And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
Paul Tells of His Conversion
(Acts 9.1-19; 22.6-16)
12Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13at midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. 14And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 15And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. 16But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Paul's Witness to Jews and Gentiles
19Whereupon, O king Agrip´pa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 20#Acts 9.20; Acts 9.28,29. but showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. 21For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. 22Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: 23#Isa 42.6; 49.6. that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
Paul Appeals to Agrippa to Believe
24And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. 25But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. 26For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. 27King Agrip´pa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. 28Then Agrip´pa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. 29And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
30And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them: 31and when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds. 32Then said Agrip´pa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.