37 Then as Paul was about to be led into the barracks, he said to the commander, "May I speak to you?" He replied, "Can you speak Greek? 38 e "Are you not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a rebellion and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?" 39 But Paul said, f "I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no 1 mean city; and I implore you, permit me to speak to the people." 40 So when he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and g motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the h Hebrew language, saying,
1 "Brethren a and fathers, hear my defense before you now."
2 And when they heard that he spoke to them in the b Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent. 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 2 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 a it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance 18 "and b saw Him saying to me, c 'Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.' 19 "So I said, 'Lord, d they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and e beat those who believe on You. 20 f 'And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by g consenting 3 to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.' 21 "Then He said to me, 'Depart, h for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.' "New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.