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Acts 22 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Paul’s Defense

22 “Ladies and gentlemen, fellow believers and elders[a]—please listen to me as I offer my defense.”[b] (Now, when everyone realized he was speaking to them in their Judean Aramaic language,[c] the crowd became all the more attentive.)

Then Paul said, “I am a Jewish man who was born in Tarsus, a city of Turkey.[d] However, I grew up in this city and was properly trained in the Mosaic law and tutored by Rabbi Gamaliel according to our ancestral customs. I’ve been extremely passionate in my desire to please God, just as all of you are today. I’ve hunted down and killed the followers of this Way. I have seized them and thrown them into prison, both men and women. All of this can be verified by the high priest and the Supreme Council of Elders. For they even wrote letters to our fellow Jews of Damascus, authorizing me to arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem as prisoners to be punished.

“As I was on the road approaching Damascus, about noon, a brilliant heavenly light suddenly appeared, flashing all around me. As I fell to the ground I heard a voice say, ‘Saul, Saul . . . why are you persecuting me?’

“I answered, ‘Who are you, my Lord?’

“He said to me, ‘I am Jesus, the Victorious.[e] I am the one you are persecuting.’

“Those who were with me saw the brilliant light, but they didn’t hear the voice of the one who spoke to me.[f]

10 “So I asked, ‘Lord, what am I to do?’

“And the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told about all that you are destined to do.’

11 “Because of the dazzling glory of the light, I couldn’t see—I was left blind. So they had to lead me by the hand the rest of the way into Damascus.

12 “A Jewish man living there named Ananias came to see me. He was a godly man who lived according to the law of Moses and was highly esteemed by the Jewish community. 13 He stood beside me and said, ‘Saul! My brother, Saul—open your eyes and see again!’ At that very instant I opened my eyes and I could see! 14 Then he said to me, ‘The God of our ancestors has destined you[g] to know his plan and for you to see the Holy One[h] and to hear his voice. 15 For you will be his witness[i] to every race of people and will share with them everything that you’ve seen and heard. 16 So now, what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized, and wash away your sins as you call upon his name.’

17 “Then I returned to Jerusalem. And while I was praying in the temple, I entered another realm[j] 18 and saw him. He said to me, ‘Hurry and depart from Jerusalem quickly, for the people here will not receive the truths you share about me.’

19 “‘But Lord,’ I argued, ‘they all know that I’m the one who went into our Jewish meetings to find those who believe in you and had them beaten[k] and imprisoned. 20 When the blood of your witness[l] Stephen was shed, I stood nearby in full approval of what was happening. I even guarded the cloaks of those who stoned him to death.’

21 “Then he said to me, ‘Go at once, for I am sending you to preach to the non-Jewish nations.’”[m]

22 The crowd listened attentively to Paul up to this point. But when they heard this, all at once they erupted with loud shouts, saying, “Get rid of this man! Kill him! He doesn’t deserve to live!”

The Roman Commander Interrogates Paul

23 While the crowd was screaming and yelling, removing their outer garments, and throwing handfuls of dust in the air in protest, 24 the commander had Paul brought back into the compound. He ordered that he be whipped with a lash and interrogated to find out what he said that so infuriated the crowd.

25 When the soldiers stretched Paul out with ropes, he said to the captain, who was standing nearby, “Is it legal for you to torture a Roman citizen like this, without a proper trial?”

26 When the officer heard this, he immediately went to his commander and reported it, saying, “This man is a Roman citizen. What should we do now?”

27 The commander came to Paul and asked him, “Tell me the truth, are you a Roman citizen?”

“Yes I am,” he replied.

28 The commander said, “I had to purchase my citizenship with a great sum of money.”

Paul replied, “I was born as a citizen!”

29 All of the soldiers who were about to whip Paul backed away, because they were afraid of the consequences for tying up and holding a Roman citizen against his will.

30 The next day the commander ordered that the high priest and the supreme Jewish council[n] be convened, because he wanted to find out exactly why the Jews were accusing Paul. So he had him untied and brought out to stand before them all.


  1. Acts 22:1 Or “fathers” (or “parents”).
  2. Acts 22:1 The Aramaic is literally “Listen to my soul’s outburst.”
  3. Acts 22:2 Or “Hebrew.” Throughout the Middle East, Assyria, and Babylon, Aramaic was the lingua franca, the language of the people of that day. Greek and Latin were also spoken but were not as prevalent as Aramaic.
  4. Acts 22:3 Or “Cilicia,” which was known as Asia Minor.
  5. Acts 22:8 Or “Jesus the Nazarene.” The word Nazarene means “the branch” or “Scion.” The Aramaic word implies the title of an heir of a powerful family, or one who is victorious (“Jesus, the Victorious”). Believers are now grafted-in branches of his family tree, victorious ones in Christ.
  6. Acts 22:9 Some Greek manuscripts add “and they were afraid.”
  7. Acts 22:14 The Aramaic is “raised you up.”
  8. Acts 22:14 Or “the Righteous One” or “the Just One.”
  9. Acts 22:15 Or “martyr.”
  10. Acts 22:17 Or “fell into a trance.” The Greek word for trance (ekstasis, from which we get the word ecstasy) literally means “to be taken to another place” (state or realm). (See Strong’s Concordance, Gr. 1611.) He was actually taken into another realm as a trance came over him.
  11. Acts 22:19 Or “beat with a whip” (flogged).
  12. Acts 22:20 Or “martyr.”
  13. Acts 22:21 The Aramaic is “the far-away nations.” See also Rom. 11:13.
  14. Acts 22:30 Or “Sanhedrin,” a council of seventy of the elders of Israel.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

Acts 22 New International Version (NIV)

22 “Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”

When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet.

Then Paul said: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.

“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’

“‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.

‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.

10 “‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.

‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ 11 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.

12 “A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. 13 He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.

14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. 15 You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’

17 “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’

19 “‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. 20 And when the blood of your martyr[a] Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’

21 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’

Paul the Roman Citizen

22 The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!”

23 As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, 24 the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. 25 As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”

26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.”

27 The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”

“Yes, I am,” he answered.

28 Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.”

“But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.

29 Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.

Paul Before the Sanhedrin

30 The commander wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused by the Jews. So the next day he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the members of the Sanhedrin to assemble. Then he brought Paul and had him stand before them.


  1. Acts 22:20 Or witness
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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