Acts 26 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
26 Agrippa said to Sha’ul, “You have permission to speak on your own behalf.” Then Sha’ul motioned with his hand and began his defense:
2 “King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate that it is before you today that I am defending myself against all the charges made against me by Jews, 3 because you are so well informed about all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4 “So then! All Jews know how I lived my life from my youth on, both in my own country and in Yerushalayim. 5 They have known me for a long time; and if they are willing, they can testify that I have followed the strictest party in our religion — that is, I have lived as a Parush. 6 How ironic it is that I stand on trial here because of my hope in the promise made to our fathers! 7 It is the fulfillment of this very promise that our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they resolutely carry on their acts of worship night and day; yet it is in connection with this hope, your Majesty, that I am being accused by Jews! 8 Why do you people consider it incredible that God raises the dead?
9 “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.”
Acts 26 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
Paul’s Defense before Agrippa
26 Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.”
Then Paul stretched out his hand and began his defense: 2 “I consider myself fortunate, that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews, 3 especially since you are very knowledgeable about all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4 “All the Jews know my way of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own people and in Jerusalem. 5 They have known me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived as a Pharisee. 6 And now I stand on trial because of the hope in what God promised to our ancestors, 7 the promise our twelve tribes hope to reach as they earnestly serve him night and day. King Agrippa, I am being accused by the Jews because of this hope. 8 Why do any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead? 9 In fact, I myself was convinced that it was necessary to do many things in opposition to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 I actually did this in Jerusalem, and I locked up many of the saints in prison, since I had received authority for that from the chief priests. When they were put to death, I was in agreement against them. 11 In all the synagogues I often punished them and tried to make them blaspheme. Since I was terribly enraged at them, I pursued them even to foreign cities.
Paul’s Account of His Conversion and Commission
12 “I was traveling to Damascus under these circumstances with authority and a commission from the chief priests. 13 King Agrippa, while on the road at midday, I saw a light from heaven brighter than the sun, shining around me and those traveling with me. 14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice speaking to me in Aramaic,[a] ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
15 “I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’
“And the Lord replied: ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. 16 But get up and stand on your feet. For I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn[b] from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. 20 Instead, I preached to those in Damascus first, and to those in Jerusalem and in all the region of Judea, and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works worthy of repentance. 21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and were trying to kill me. 22 To this very day, I have had help from God, and I stand and testify to both small and great, saying nothing other than what the prophets and Moses said would take place— 23 that the Messiah must suffer, and that, as the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light to our people and to the Gentiles.”
Agrippa Not Quite Persuaded
24 As he was saying these things in his defense, Festus exclaimed in a loud voice, “You’re out of your mind, Paul! Too much study is driving you mad.”
25 But Paul replied, “I’m not out of my mind, most excellent Festus. On the contrary, I’m speaking words of truth and good judgment. 26 For the king knows about these matters, and I can speak boldly to him. For I am convinced that none of these things has escaped his notice, since this was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you believe.”
28 Agrippa said to Paul, “Are you going to persuade me to become a Christian so easily?”[c]
29 “I wish before God,” replied Paul, “that whether easily or with difficulty,[d] not only you but all who listen to me today might become as I am—except for these chains.”
30 The king, the governor, Bernice, and those sitting with them got up, 31 and when they had left they talked with each other and said, “This man is not doing anything to deserve death or imprisonment.”
32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been released if he had not appealed to Caesar.”