Acts 22

Paul’s Defense

22:1 “Brothers and fathers, listen to my defense1 that I now2 make to you.” 22:2 (When they heard3 that he was addressing4 them in Aramaic,5 they became even6 quieter.)7 Then8 Paul said, 22:3 “I am a Jew,9 born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up10 in this city, educated with strictness11 under12 Gamaliel13 according to the law of our ancestors,14 and was15 zealous16 for God just as all of you are today. 22:4 I17 persecuted this Way18 even to the point of death,19 tying up20 both men and women and putting21 them in prison, 22:5 as both the high priest and the whole council of elders22 can testify about me. From them23 I also received24 letters to the brothers in Damascus, and I was on my way25 to make arrests there and bring26 the prisoners27 to Jerusalem28 to be punished. 22:6 As29 I was en route and near Damascus,30 about noon a very bright31 light from heaven32 suddenly flashed33 around me. 22:7 Then I34 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 understand35 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 up37 and go to Damascus; there you will be told about everything38 that you have been designated39 to do.’ 22:11 Since I could not see because of40 the brilliance41 of that light, I came to Damascus led by the hand of42 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 came46 to me and stood beside me47 and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight!’48 And at that very moment49 I looked up and saw him.50 22:14 Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors51 has already chosen52 you to know his will, to see53 the Righteous One,54 and to hear a command55 from his mouth, 22:15 because you will be his witness56 to all people57 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 When62 I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance63 22:18 and saw the Lord64 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 synagogues66 who believed in you. 22:20 And when the blood of your witness67 Stephen was shed,68 I myself was standing nearby, approving,69 and guarding the cloaks70 of those who were killing him.’71 22:21 Then72 he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”

The Roman Commander Questions Paul

22:22 The crowd73 was listening to him until he said this.74 Then75 they raised their voices and shouted,76 “Away with this man77 from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live!”78 22:23 While they were screaming79 and throwing off their cloaks80 and tossing dust81 in the air, 22:24 the commanding officer82 ordered Paul83 to be brought back into the barracks.84 He told them85 to interrogate Paul86 by beating him with a lash87 so that he could find out the reason the crowd88 was shouting at Paul89 in this way. 22:25 When they had stretched him out for the lash,90 Paul said to the centurion91 standing nearby, “Is it legal for you to lash a man who is a Roman citizen92 without a proper trial?”93 22:26 When the centurion94 heard this,95 he went to the commanding officer96 and reported it,97 saying, “What are you about to do?98 For this man is a Roman citizen.”99 22:27 So the commanding officer100 came and asked101 Paul,102 “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”103 He replied,104 “Yes.” 22:28 The commanding officer105 answered, “I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money.”106 “But I was even107 born a citizen,”108 Paul replied.109 22:29 Then those who were about to interrogate him stayed away110 from him, and the commanding officer111 was frightened when he realized that Paul112 was113 a Roman citizen114 and that he had had him tied up.115

Paul Before the Sanhedrin

22:30 The next day, because the commanding officer116 wanted to know the true reason117 Paul118 was being accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and the whole council119 to assemble. He then brought120 Paul down and had him stand before them.

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