Acts 26
NASB + Strong's
Paul’s Defense before Agrippa

1Agrippa said to Paul, "You are permitted to speak for yourself." Then Paul stretched out his hand and [proceeded] to make his defense:

2"In regard to all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, that I am about to make my defense before you today; 3especially because you are an expert in all customs and questions among [the] Jews; therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.

4"So then, all Jews know my manner of life from my youth up, which from the beginning was spent among my [own] nation and at Jerusalem; 5since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived [as] a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion. 6"And now I am standing trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers; 7[the promise] to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve [God] night and day. And for this hope, O King, I am being accused by Jews. 8"Why is it considered incredible among you [people] if God does raise the dead?

9"So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10"And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against them. 11"And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities.

12"While so engaged as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, 13at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me. 14"And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.' 15"And I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17rescuing you from the [Jewish] people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.'

19"So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20but [kept] declaring both to those of Damascus first, and [also] at Jerusalem and [then] throughout all the region of Judea, and [even] to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance. 21"For this reason [some] Jews seized me in the temple and tried to put me to death. 22"So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place; 23that the Christ was to suffer, [and] that by reason of [His] resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the [Jewish] people and to the Gentiles."

24While [Paul] was saying this in his defense, Festus said in a loud voice, "Paul, you are out of your mind! [Your] great learning is driving you mad." 25But Paul said, "I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I utter words of sober truth. 26"For the king knows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner. 27"King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you do." 28Agrippa [replied] to Paul, "In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian." 29And Paul [said], "I would wish to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains."

30The king stood up and the governor and Bernice, and those who were sitting with them, 31and when they had gone aside, they [began] talking to one another, saying, "This man is not doing anything worthy of death or imprisonment." 32And Agrippa said to Festus, "This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar."

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org

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