Acts 26
Berean Study Bible

Paul's Testimony to Agrippa
(Acts 9:1-9; Acts 22:1-21)

1Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.”

Then Paul stretched out his hand and began his defense: 2“King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today to defend myself against all the accusations of the Jews, 3especially since you are acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. I beg you, therefore, to listen to me patiently.

4Surely all the Jews know how I have lived from the earliest days of my youth, among my own people and in Jerusalem. 5They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that I lived as a Pharisee, adhering to the strictest sect of our religion.

6And now I stand on trial because of my hope in the promise that God made to our fathers, 7the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to realize as they earnestly serve God day and night. It is because of this hope, O king, that I am accused by the Jews. 8Why would any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?

9So then, I too was convinced that I ought to do all I could to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10And that is what I did in Jerusalem. With authority from the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were condemned to death, I cast my vote against them. 11I frequently had them punished in the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme. In my raging fury against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.

12In this pursuit, I was on my way to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my companions. 14We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice say to me in Aramaic,a ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

15‘Who are You, Lord?’ I asked.

‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16‘But get up and stand on your feet. For I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen from Me and what I will show you. 17I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those sanctified by faith in Me.’

19So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. 20First to those in Damascus and Jerusalem, then to everyone in the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I declared that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds worthy of their repentance. 21For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me.

22But I have had God’s help to this day, and I stand here to testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen: 23that Christ would suffer, and as the first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light to our people and to the Gentiles.”

Festus Interrupts Paul's Defense

24At this stage of Paul’s defense, Festus exclaimed in a loud voice, “You are insane, Paul! Your great learning is driving you to madness!”

25But Paul answered, “I am not insane, most excellent Festus; I am speaking words of truth and sobriety. 26For the king knows about these matters, and I can speak freely to him. I am confident that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”

28Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Can you persuade me in such a short time to become a Christian?”

29“Short time or long,” Paul replied, “I wish to God that not only you but all who hear me this day may become what I am, except for these chains.”

30Then the king and the governor rose, along with Bernice and those seated with them. 31On their way out, they said to one another, “This man has done nothing worthy of death or imprisonment.”

32And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been released if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

a 14 Or the Hebrew dialect

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