New King James Version
Paul’s Defense at Jerusalem
Then he said: 3 (C)“I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city (D)at the feet of (E)Gamaliel, taught (F)according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and (G)was zealous toward God (H)as you all are today. 4 (I)I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, 5 as also the high priest bears me witness, and (J)all the council of the elders, (K)from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus (L)to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.
6 “Now (M)it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven 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 So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’
9 “And (N)those who were with me indeed saw the light [a]and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. 10 So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ 11 And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.
12 “Then (O)a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, (P)having a good testimony with all the (Q)Jews who dwelt there, 13 came to me; and he stood and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him. 14 Then he said, (R)‘The God of our fathers (S)has chosen you that you should (T)know His will, and (U)see the Just One, (V)and hear the voice of His mouth. 15 (W)For you will be His witness to all men of (X)what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, (Y)and wash away your sins, (Z)calling on the name of the Lord.’
17 “Now (AA)it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance 18 and (AB)saw Him saying to me, (AC)‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’ 19 So I said, ‘Lord, (AD)they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and (AE)beat those who believe on You. 20 (AF)And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by (AG)consenting [b]to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ 21 Then He said to me, ‘Depart, (AH)for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’ ”
Paul’s Roman Citizenship
22 And they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said, (AI)“Away with such a fellow from the earth, for (AJ)he is not fit to live!” 23 Then, as they cried out and [c]tore off their clothes and threw dust into the air, 24 the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging, so that he might know why they shouted so against him. 25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, (AK)“Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?”
26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, “Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman.”
27 Then the commander came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?”
He said, “Yes.”
28 The commander answered, “With a large sum I obtained this citizenship.”
And Paul said, “But I was born a citizen.”
29 Then immediately those who were about to examine him withdrew from him; and the commander was also afraid after he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
The Sanhedrin Divided
30 The next day, because he wanted to know for certain why he was accused by the Jews, he released him from his bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down and set him before them.
New International Version
22 1 “Brothers and fathers,(A) listen now to my defense.”
2 When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic,(B) they became very quiet.
Then Paul said: 3 “I am a Jew,(C) born in Tarsus(D) of Cilicia,(E) but brought up in this city. I studied under(F) Gamaliel(G) and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors.(H) I was just as zealous(I) for God as any of you are today. 4 I persecuted(J) the followers of this Way(K) to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison,(L) 5 as the high priest and all the Council(M) can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates(N) in Damascus,(O) and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.
6 “About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.(P) 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’
8 “‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.
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.’(T) 11 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.(U)
12 “A man named Ananias came to see me.(V) He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there.(W) 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(X) has chosen you to know his will and to see(Y) the Righteous One(Z) and to hear words from his mouth. 15 You will be his witness(AA) to all people of what you have seen(AB) and heard. 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized(AC) and wash your sins away,(AD) calling on his name.’(AE)
17 “When I returned to Jerusalem(AF) and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance(AG) 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(AH) and beat(AI) 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.’(AJ)
21 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ”(AK)
Paul the Roman Citizen
23 As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks(AN) and flinging dust into the air,(AO) 24 the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks.(AP) He directed(AQ) 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?”(AR)
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.
Paul Before the Sanhedrin
30 The commander wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused by the Jews.(AV) So the next day he released him(AW) and ordered the chief priests and all the members of the Sanhedrin(AX) to assemble. Then he brought Paul and had him stand before them.
- Acts 22:20 Or witness