22 “Men, brothers+ and fathers, hear my defense+ to YOU now.” 2 (Well, when they heard he was addressing them in the Hebrew language,+ they kept all the more silent, and he said:) 3 “I am a Jew,+ born in Tarsus of Ci·li′cia,+ but educated in this city at the feet of Ga·ma′li·el,+ instructed according to the strictness+ of the ancestral Law, being zealous+ for God just as all of YOU are this day. 4 And I persecuted this Way to the death,+ binding and handing over to prisons+ both men and women, 5 as both the high priest and all the assembly of older men*+ can bear me witness. From them I also procured letters+ to the brothers in Damascus, and I was on my way to bring also those who were there bound to Jerusalem to be punished.
6 “But as I was journeying and drawing close to Damascus, about midday, suddenly out of heaven a great light flashed all around me,+ 7 and I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’+ 8 I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Naz·a·rene′, whom you are persecuting.’+ 9 Now the men that were with me+ beheld, indeed, the light but did not hear* the voice of the one speaking to me.+ 10 At that I said, ‘What shall* I do,+ Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Rise, go your way into Damascus, and there you will be told about everything it is appointed for you to do.’+ 11 But as I could not see anything for the glory of that light, I arrived in Damascus, being led by the hand of those who were with me.+
12 “Now An·a·ni′as, a certain man reverent according to the Law, well reported+ on by all the Jews dwelling there, 13 came to me and, standing by me, he said to me, ‘Saul, brother, have your sight again!’*+ And I looked up at him that very hour. 14 He said, ‘The God of our forefathers+ has chosen you+ to come to know his will and to see+ the righteous One+ and to hear the voice of his mouth,+ 15 because you are to be a witness for him to all men of things you have seen and heard.+ 16 And now why are you delaying? Rise, get baptized+ and wash+ your sins away by your calling* upon his name.’+
17 “But when I had returned to Jerusalem+ and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance*+ 18 and saw him saying to me, ‘Hurry up and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not agree+ to your witness concerning me.’ 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves well know that I used to imprison+ and flog in one synagogue after another those believing upon you;+ 20 and when the blood of Stephen+ your witness was being spilled, I myself was also standing by and approving+ and guarding the outer garments of those doing away with him.’ 21 And yet he said to me, ‘Get on your way, because I shall send you out to nations far off.’”+
22 Now they kept listening to him down to this word, and they raised their voices, saying: “Take such a [man] away from the earth, for he was not fit to live!”+ 23 And because they were crying out and throwing their outer garments about and tossing dust into the air,+ 24 the military commander* ordered him to be brought into the soldiers’ quarters and said he should be examined under scourging, that he might know fully for what cause they were shouting+ against him this way. 25 But when they had stretched him out for the whipping,* Paul said to the army officer* standing there: “Is it lawful for YOU men to scourge a man that is a Roman+ and uncondemned?” 26 Well, when the army officer heard this, he went to the military commander and made report, saying: “What are you intending to do? Why, this man is a Roman.” 27 So the military commander approached and said to him: “Tell me, Are you a Roman?”+ He said: “Yes.” 28 The military commander responded: “I purchased these rights as a citizen* for a large sum [of money].” Paul said: “But I was even born+ [in them].”*
29 Immediately, therefore, the men that were about to examine him with torture withdrew from him; and the military commander became afraid on ascertaining that he was a Roman+ and that he had bound him.