The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Acts of the Apostles
Brethren and fathers, listen to the defence I am putting before you.
(And now they gave him even better audience, finding that he spoke to them in Hebrew.)
I am a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cilicia and brought up in this city; I was trained, under Gamaliel, in exact knowledge of our ancestral law, as jealous for the honour of the law as you are, all of you, to-day.
I persecuted this way to the death, putting men and women in chains and handing them over to the prisons.
The chief priests and all the elders will bear me out in that; it was from them that I was carrying letters to their brethren, when I was on my way to Damascus, to make fresh prisoners there and bring them to Jerusalem for punishment.
While I was on my journey, not far from Damascus, about midday, this befell me; all at once a great light from heaven shone about me,
and I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute me?
Who art thou, Lord? I answered. And he said to me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom Saul persecutes.
My companions saw the light, but could not catch the voice of him who spoke to me.✻
Then I said, What must I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me, Rise up, and go into Damascus; there thou shalt be told of all the work that is destined for thee.
The glory of that light had blinded me, and my companions were leading me by the hand when I came into Damascus.
There a certain Ananias, a man well known among his Jewish neighbours for his pious observance of the law,
came and stood beside me, and said, Brother Saul, look up and see. And at that instant I looked up into his face.
Then he said to me, The God of our fathers has made choice of thee to know his will, to have sight of him who is Just, and hear speech from his lips;✻
and what thou hast seen and heard, thou shalt testify before all men.
Come then, why art thou wasting time? Rise up, and receive baptism, washing away thy sins at the invocation of his name.
Afterwards, when I had gone back to Jerusalem, and was at prayer in the temple, I fell into a trance,
and saw the Lord there speaking to me; Make haste, he said, leave Jerusalem with all speed; they will not accept thy witness of me here.
But, Lord, I said, it is within their own knowledge, how I used to imprison those who believed in thee, and scourge them in the synagogues;
and when the blood of Stephen, thy martyr, was shed, I too stood by and gave my consent, and watched over the garments of those who slew him.
And he said to me, Go on thy way; I mean to send thee on a distant errand, to the Gentiles.
Up to this point, they listened to his speech; but then they cried aloud, Away with such a fellow from the earth; it is a disgrace that he should live.
So, when he saw them raising shouts and throwing down their garments and flinging dust into the air,
the captain had Paul taken into the soldiers’ quarters, telling them to examine him under the lash; thus he would find out the cause of the outcry against him.
And they had already tied Paul down with thongs, when he said to the centurion who was in charge, Have you the right to scourge a man, when he is a Roman citizen, and has not been sentenced?
The centurion, as soon as he heard this, went to the captain and told him of it, What art thou about? he said. This man is a Roman citizen.
So the captain came and asked him, What is this? Thou art a Roman citizen? Yes, he said.
Why, answered the captain, it cost me a heavy sum to win this privilege. Ah, said Paul, but I am a citizen by birth.
Upon this, the men who were to have put him to the question moved away from him; and the captain himself was alarmed, to find out that this was a Roman citizen, and he had put him in bonds.
So, the next day, determined to discover the truth about the charge the Jews were bringing against him, he released him, summoned a meeting of the chief priests and the whole Council, and brought Paul down to confront them with him.
The Holy Bible