The Gift New Testament

A free online Bible study resource


22:1“Folks, brothers and sisters, parents, listen now to my defense!”22:2Now when they heard him speaking in the Hebrew dialect they became very still, and he continued.

22:3“I am a Judean man born in Tarsus of Cilicia but raised in this city under the strict training of Gamaliel concerning the ancestral law. I was very enthusiastic for God, as all of you are today.22:4I persecuted this Way to the point of death, capturing both men and women to be handed over and jailed.22:5The ruling priest can attest to this, along with the group of elders from whom I received letters to their associates in Damascus, which authorized me to arrest any I found there and take them to Jerusalem to be punished.

22:6“Now it happened that as I came near Damascus around noon, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed all around me!22:7I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?’

22:8“ ‘Who are you, sir?’ I asked.

“ ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene’, he replied, ‘the one you are persecuting!’

22:9“Those who had accompanied me did see the light, but they didn’t hear the voice of the one speaking to me.22:10So I asked, ‘What must I do, sir?’

“ ‘Get up and go into Damascus’, he answered, ‘There you will be told everything you have been assigned to do.’

22:11“Then I could see nothing because of the brilliance of the light, and my companions led me by the hand into Damascus.

22:12“Now there was a certain Ananias, a devout observer of the Law and well-regarded by all the Judeans living there.22:13He came and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And right away I could see him.22:14Then he added, ‘The God of our ancestors has already chosen you to know his will, to perceive the Righteous One, and to hear what he has to say,22:15because you will bear witness for him to all people about what you’ve seen and heard.22:16So now, what are you waiting for? Get up and be immersed; wash away your failures and call on his name.’

22:17“When I returned to Jerusalem, I was praying in the temple compound and fell into a trance.22:18And I saw him speaking to me: ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’

22:19“And I said, ‘Master, they know very well that I was jailing and punishing those in every synagogue who had put their trust in you.22:20And when the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I was standing there giving my full approval, and also guarding the clothing of those who executed him.’

22:21“But he said to me, ‘Go! I am sending you far away to the non-Judeans.’ ”

22:22They listened to him until he said that, then shouted, “Rid the earth of someone like that! He is not fit to live!”22:23Then as they were shouting, flinging off their outer clothing, and throwing dust into the air,22:24the legion commander ordered that he be taken into the citadel. He was to be interrogated under flogging in order to determine the reason for their reaction.

22:25But as they were strapping him down for flogging, Paul asked the Roman army captain standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen without a trial?”22:26When the Roman army captain heard this he went to the legion commander and said, “What are you doing? This is a Roman citizen!”

22:27So the legion commander went over to Paul and asked, “Is it true that you’re a Roman citizen?”

“Yes,” Paul replied.

22:28“I paid a huge amount of money to become a citizen,” replied the legion commander.

“But I was born a citizen!” Paul replied.22:29And immediately those who were about to question him withdrew from him. And the legion commander was afraid, because he had taken a Roman citizen into custody.

22:30The next day the legion commander, determined to find out what Paul was actually being accused of by the Judeans, released him and ordered the ruling priests and the whole Sanhedrin to convene. Then he took Paul there to stand before them.