22 “Brethren and fathers (kinsmen), hear my defense which I now offer to you.”
2 When they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew dialect, they became even more quiet. And he continued,
3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of [a]Gamaliel according to the strictness of the law of our fathers, being ardent and passionate for God just as all of you are today.4 I persecuted and pursued the followers of this [b]Way to the death, binding them with chains and putting [followers of Jesus] both men and women into prisons,5 as the high priest and all the Council of the elders (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court) can testify; because from them I received letters to the brothers, and I was on my way to Damascus in order to bring those [believers] who were there to Jerusalem in chains to be punished.
6 “But as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a great blaze of light suddenly flashed from heaven and shone around me.7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’8 And I replied, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’
Acts 22:3According to the Talmud, Gamaliel, who was the leading scholar of the Torah from a.d. 20 to 40, taught a school of 1,000 advanced students.
Acts 22:4See note 9:2. Paul was probably referring to Jesus Himself.
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