OF THE APOSTLES
Acts 26 ©
1 Paul, having obtained leave to answer for himself, relates before king Agrippa and the whole council his life before his conversion. 12 His conversion and calling to the apostolic office, how this has happened. 19 And his life after his conversion. 20 What he did. 21 Suffered. 22 And taught. 24 Whose defense being heard, Festus judges Paul to be mad, which Paul denies. 27 Agrippa is almost moved to be a Christian. 30 And he and the bystanders judge that he is innocent. 32 As also that he might be released, had he not himself appealed unto Cæsar.
THEN Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth 1the hand, and answered for himself:
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:
Especially because I know thee to be 2expert in all customs and 3questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
4My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;
Which knew me 5from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the 6most straitesta sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
And now I stand and am judged for the hopeb7of the promise made of God unto our fathers:
8Unto which promise 9our twelve tribes, 10instantly serving God day and night, 11hope to come. 12For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
13Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
14Ic verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of 15the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I 16gave my voice against them.
And I punished them 17oft in every synagogue, and 18compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
19Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
At midday, O king, I saw in the way ad light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
And when 20we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the 21Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.e
And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have 22appeared 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;
Delivering thee 23from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
Tof open their 24eyes, and to turn them 25from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and 26inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
Butg 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 27meet for repentance.
For these causes the Jews caught me inh the temple, and went about to kill me.
Having therefore obtained help of God, I 28continue unto this day, witnessing both to 29small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
That Christ should suffer, and that he should be 30the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew 31light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, 32thou art beside thyself; 33much learning 34doth make thee mad.
But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and 35soberness.
For the king knoweth of 36these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; fori this thing was not done in a corner.
King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou 37believest.
Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou 38persuadest me to be a Christian.
And Paul said, Ij wouldk to God, 39that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except 40these bonds.
And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:
And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, Thisl man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.
Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, 41if he had not appealed unto Caesar.