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And Agrippa said to Paul, It is permitted thee to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched out his hand and entered on his defence.
Touching all things of which I am accused by Jews, King Agrippa, I count myself happy that I am to make my defence before thee to-day;
especially as thou art skilled in all customs and questions that are among the Jews. Wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
My manner of life then from my youth which was from the beginning among my nation and at Jerusalem know all Jews,
knowing me before from the outset, if they be willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
And now I stand to be judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers;
unto which our twelve tribes earnestly serving night and day hope to arrive. And concerning this hope I am accused by Jews, O King.
Why is it judged incredible with you, if God raiseth dead [men]?
I therefore thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus the Nazarene:
which things I also did in Jerusalem; and I both shut up many of the saints in prisons, having received the authority from the chief priests, and I railed against [them] when they were put to death;
and throughout all the synagogues, often punishing I was compelling them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them I was pursuing them even as far as to the outside cities.
On which [business] when proceeding unto Damascus with authority and commission of the chief priests,
at mid-day on the road I saw, O King, a light above the brightness of the sun shining round me and those that were proceeding with me.
And when we all fell to the earth, I heard a voice saying unto me in the Hebrew language, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? [It is] hard for thee to kick against goads.
And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
But rise up and stand on thy feet, for to this end I appeared to thee, to appoint thee a servant and a witness both of what thou hast seen and of those things wherein I shall appear to thee,
taking thee out from the people and from the Gentiles unto whom I send thee,
to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness unto light and the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive remission of sins and inheritance among those that are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Whence, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
but reported both to those in Damascus first, and in Jerusalem, and through all the country of Judæa and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.
On account of these things the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to slay me.
Having, therefore, obtained help that is from God I stand unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said should come,
whether Christ should suffer, whether he first by resurrection of [the] dead should announce light both to the people and to the Gentiles.
And as he thus defended himself, Festus saith with a loud voice, Paul, thou art mad: much learning doth turn thee to madness.
But Paul saith, I am not mad, most excellent Festus, but speak forth words of truth and soberness.
For the king is cognisant of these things, unto whom also I speak with openness; for I am persuaded that none of these things is hidden from him, for this hath not been done in a corner.
Believest thou, King Agrippa, the prophets? I know that thou believest.
And Agrippa [said] unto Paul, With little [pains] thou art persuading to make me a Christian.
And Paul [said], I would to God that both with little and with great [pains] not thou only but also all that hear me this day should become, as I too am, except these bonds.
And the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them;
and when they had retired, they spoke one to another, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or bonds.
And Agrippa said to Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed to Cæsar.