New King James Version
Paul’s Early Life
26 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted to speak for yourself.”
So Paul stretched out his hand and answered for himself: 2 “I think myself (A)happy, King Agrippa, because today I shall answer (B)for myself before you concerning all the things of which I am (C)accused by the Jews, 3 especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which have to do with the Jews. Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently.
4 “My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know. 5 They knew me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to (D)the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. 6 (E)And now I stand and am judged for the hope of (F)the promise made by God to our fathers. 7 To this promise (G)our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God (H)night and day, (I)hope to attain. For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. 8 Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?
9 (J)“Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things [a]contrary to the name of (K)Jesus of Nazareth. 10 (L)This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority (M)from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 (N)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(O)
12 (P)“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, (Q)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 [b]deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, (R)to whom I [c]now send you, 18 (S)to open their eyes, in order (T)to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, (U)that they may receive forgiveness of sins and (V)an inheritance among those who are (W)sanctified[d] by faith in Me.’
Paul’s Post-Conversion Life
19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but (X)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 (Y)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 (Z)which the prophets and (AA)Moses said would come— 23 (AB)that the Christ would suffer, (AC)that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and (AD)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, (AE)you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”
25 But he said, “I am not [e]mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. 26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely, (AF)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, (AG)“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, (AH)“This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains.”
New American Standard Bible
Paul’s Defense before Agrippa
26 (A)Now Agrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted to speak for yourself.” Then Paul extended his hand and proceeded to make his defense:
2 “Regarding all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate that I am about to make my defense before you today, 3 [a]especially because you are an expert in all (B)customs and [b]questions among the Jews; therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4 “So then, all Jews know (C)my way of life since my youth, which from the beginning was spent among my own nation and in Jerusalem, 5 since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a (D)Pharisee (E)according to the strictest (F)sect of our religion. 6 And now I am standing trial (G)for the hope of (H)the promise made by God to our fathers; 7 the promise (I)to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve God night and day. For this (J)hope, O king, I am being (K)accused by Jews. 8 Why is it considered incredible among you people (L)if God raises the dead?
9 “So (M)I thought to myself that I had to act in strong opposition to (N)the name of Jesus [c]of Nazareth. 10 And this is [d]just what I (O)did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the [e]saints in prisons, after (P)receiving authority from the chief priests, but I also (Q)cast my vote against them when they were being put to death. 11 And (R)as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and since I was (S)extremely enraged at them, I kept pursuing them (T)even to [f]foreign cities.
12 “[g]While so engaged, (U)as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, 13 at midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, [h]brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who were journeying with me. 14 And when we had (V)all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the [i](W)Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? [j]It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But get up and (X)stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to (Y)appoint you as a (Z)servant and (AA)a witness not only to the things in which you have seen Me, but also to the things in which I will appear to you, 17 (AB)rescuing you (AC)from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to (AD)open their eyes so that they may turn from (AE)darkness to light, and from the [k]power of (AF)Satan to God, that they may receive (AG)forgiveness of sins and an (AH)inheritance among those who have been sanctified by (AI)faith in Me.’
19 “For that reason, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but continually proclaimed (AJ)to those in Damascus first, and (AK)in Jerusalem, and then all the region of Judea, and even (AL)to the Gentiles, that they are to (AM)repent and turn to God, performing deeds (AN)consistent with repentance. 21 For these reasons some Jews (AO)seized me in the temple and tried (AP)to murder me. 22 So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day (AQ)testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what (AR)the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place, 23 as to (AS)whether the [l]Christ was [m]to suffer, and whether, as (AT)first from the resurrection of the dead, He would proclaim (AU)light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”
24 While [n]Paul was stating these things in his defense, Festus *said in a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind! [o]Your great (AV)learning is [p]driving you insane.” 25 But Paul *said, “I am not insane, (AW)most excellent Festus; on the contrary, I am speaking out with [q]truthful and rational words. 26 For the king [r](AX)knows about these matters, and I also speak to him with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a [s]corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you believe.” 28 Agrippa replied to Paul, “[t]In a short time you are going to persuade me to [u]make a (AY)Christian of myself.” 29 And Paul said, “I would [v]wish to God that even [w]in a short or long time not only you, but also all who hear me this day would become such as I myself am, except for these (AZ)chains.”
30 (BA)The king stood up and the governor and Bernice, and those who were sitting with them, 31 and when they had gone out, they began talking to one another, saying, “(BB)This man is not doing anything deserving death or [x]imprisonment.” 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been (BC)set free if he had not (BD)appealed to Caesar.”
- Acts 26:3 Or because you are especially expert
- Acts 26:3 Or controversial issues
- Acts 26:9 Or the Nazarene
- Acts 26:10 Lit also
- Acts 26:10 Lit holy ones; i.e., God’s people
- Acts 26:11 Or outlying
- Acts 26:12 Lit In which things
- Acts 26:13 Lit above the brightness of
- Acts 26:14 I.e., Jewish Aramaic
- Acts 26:14 An idiom referring to an animal’s futile resistance to being prodded with a spiked stick
- Acts 26:18 Or dominion
- Acts 26:23 I.e., Messiah
- Acts 26:23 Lit subject to suffering
- Acts 26:24 Lit he
- Acts 26:24 Lit The many letters; i.e., education
- Acts 26:24 Lit turning you to madness
- Acts 26:25 Lit words of truth and rationality
- Acts 26:26 Or understands
- Acts 26:26 I.e., a hidden or secret place
- Acts 26:28 Or With a little
- Acts 26:28 Or act as a Christian
- Acts 26:29 Or pray to
- Acts 26:29 Or with a little or with much
- Acts 26:31 Lit bonds
King James Version
26 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:
2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:
3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;
5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, unto our fathers:
7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.
11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.
22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:
31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.
32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.