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Acts 26:9-32Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

“I used to think it was my duty to do all I could to combat the name of Yeshua from Natzeret; 10 and in Yerushalayim I did so. After receiving authority from the head cohanim, I myself threw many of God’s people in prison; when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 Often I went from one synagogue to another, punishing them and trying to make them blaspheme; and in my wild fury against them, I even went so far as to persecute them in cities outside the country.

12 “On one such occasion, I was traveling to Dammesek with the full authority and power of the head cohanim. 13 I was on the road, and it was noon, your Majesty, when I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my traveling companions. 14 We all fell to the ground; and then I heard a voice saying to me, in Hebrew, ‘Sha’ul! Sha’ul! Why do you keep persecuting me? It’s hard on you to be kicking against the ox-goads!’ 15 I said, ‘Who are you, sir?’ and the Lord answered, ‘I am Yeshua, and you are persecuting me! 16 But get up, and stand on your feet! I have appeared to you to appoint you to serve and bear witness to what you have already seen of me, and to what you will see when I appear to you in the future. 17 I will deliver you from the People and from the Goyim. I am sending you 18 to open their eyes; so that they will turn from darkness to light, from the power of the Adversary to God, and thus receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who have been separated for holiness by putting their trust in me.’

19 “So, King Agrippa, I did not disobey the vision from heaven! 20 On the contrary, I announced first in Dammesek, then in Yerushalayim and throughout Y’hudah, and also to the Goyim, that they should turn from their sins to God and then do deeds consistent with that repentance. 21 It was because of these things that Jews seized me in the Temple and tried to kill me. 22 However, I have had God’s help; so to this day, I stand testifying to both small and great, saying nothing but what both the prophets and Moshe said would happen — 23 that the Messiah would die, and that he, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to both the People and the Goyim.”

24 But just as he reached this point in his defense, Festus shouted at the top of his voice, “Sha’ul, you’re out of your mind! So much learning is driving you crazy!”

25 But Sha’ul said, “No, I am not ‘crazy,’ Festus, your Excellency; on the contrary, I am speaking words of truth and sanity. 26 For the king understands these matters, so to him I express myself freely, because I am sure that none of these things have been hidden from him. After all, they didn’t happen in some back alley. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you believe!”

28 Agrippa said to Sha’ul, “In this short time, you’re trying to convince me to become Messianic?” 29 Sha’ul replied, “Whether it takes a short time or a long time, I wish to God that not only you, but also everyone hearing me today, might become just like me except for these chains!”

30 Then the king got up, and with him the governor and Bernice and the others sitting with them. 31 After they had left, they said to one another, “This man is doing nothing that deserves either death or prison.” 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “If he hadn’t appealed to the Emperor, he could have been released.”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Acts 26:9-32New King James Version (NKJV)

“Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.

Paul Recounts His Conversion

12 “While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now[a] send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

Paul’s Post-Conversion Life

19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. 21 For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come— 23 that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”

Agrippa Parries Paul’s Challenge

24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”

25 But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. 26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”

28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

29 And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.”

30 When he had said these things, the king stood up, as well as the governor and Bernice and those who sat with them; 31 and when they had gone aside, they talked among themselves, saying, “This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains.”

32 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 26:17 NU-Text and M-Text omit now.
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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