The New King James Version

Acts 25:23–26:28

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23 So the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had come with great 4pomp, and had entered the auditorium with the commanders and the prominent men of the city, at Festus’ command rPaul was brought in. 24 And Festus said: “King Agrippa and all the men who are here present with us, you see this man about whom sthe whole assembly of the Jews petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying out that he was tnot fit to live any longer. 25 But when I found that uhe had committed nothing deserving of death, vand that he himself had appealed to Augustus, I decided to send him. 26 I have nothing certain to write to my lord concerning him. Therefore I have brought him out before you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after the examination has taken place I may have something to write. 27 For it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner and not to specify the charges against him.”

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: “I think myself ahappy, King Agrippa, because today I shall answer bfor myself before you concerning all the things of which I am caccused by the Jews, 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.

“My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know. They knew me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to dthe strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. eAnd now I stand and am judged for the hope of fthe promise made by God to our fathers. To this promise gour twelve tribes, earnestly serving God hnight and day, ihope to attain. For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?

j“Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things 1contrary to the name of kJesus of Nazareth. 10 lThis I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority mfrom the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 nAnd 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

12 o“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, pto 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 2deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, qto whom I 3now send you, 18 rto open their eyes, in order sto turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, tthat they may receive forgiveness of sins and uan inheritance among those who are vsanctified 4by faith in Me.’

Paul’s Post-Conversion Life

19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but wdeclared 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 xworks 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 ywhich the prophets and zMoses said would come—23 athat the Christ would suffer, bthat He would be the first to rise from the dead, and cwould 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, dyou are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”

25 But he said, “I am not 5mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. 26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely, eknows 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.”

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