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BRETHREN and fathers, hear my defense which I now make to you.
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And when they heard him speak to them in the Hebrew tongue they were the more quiet.
And he said,
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¶ I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, yet I was brought up in this city under the care and guidance of Gamaliel, and trained perfectly according to the law of our fathers, and was zealous toward God just as you are also.
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And I persecuted this religion to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
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The high priest and all the elders can so testify about me, for it was from them that I received letters to go to the brethren at Damascus to bring those who were there bound to Jerusalem to be punished.
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And it came to pass as I drew near to Damascus, at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone round about me.
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And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?
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And I answered, saying, Who are you, my Lord?
And he said to me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.
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And the men who were with me saw the light, but they did not hear the voice that spoke to me.
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And I said, What shall I do, my Lord?
And our Lord said to me, Arise and go into Damascus;
and there it shall be told to you all things which are appointed for you to do.
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And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
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And a certain man, Ananias, righteous according to the law, as testified by all the Jews concerning him,
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Came to me and said, My brother Saul, receive your sight.
And instantly my eyes were opened and I looked upon him.
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And he said to me, The God of our fathers has appointed you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear the voice of his mouth.
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And you shall be a witness for him before all men of all that you have seen and heard.
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And now why do you delay?
Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
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And it came to pass that when I returned here to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple,
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I saw a vision, saying to me, Make haste and get quickly out of Jerusalem;
for they will not receive your testimony concerning me.
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And I said, My Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those who believed in you;
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And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by and was in accord with his slayers, and was in charge of the garments of them who stoned him.
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Then he said to me, Depart;
for I will send you afar to preach to the Gentiles.
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They had given Paul audience up to this word, and then they lifted up their voices and cried out, Away with such a fellow from the earth;
for it is not right that he should live.
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And as they cried out and cast off their robes and threw dust into the air,
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The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and ordered that he should be examined by scourging, that he might know for what cause they cried so against him.
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And when they had bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood over him, Is it lawful for you to scourge a Roman citizen who is uncondemned?
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When the centurion heard that, he went to the chief captain and said, Be careful what you do;
for this man is a Roman citizen.
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Then the captain came and said to him, Tell me, are you a Roman?
Paul said, Yes.
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And the captain answered, saying, I obtained Roman citizenship with a great sum of money.
Paul answered, But I was born to it.
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Immediately those who were ready to scourge him left him alone, and the captain was afraid when he found out that he was a Roman citizen, because he had bound him.
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The next day, because he desired to know the truthfulness of the charges which the Jews had brought against Paul, he unbound him and commanded the high priests and all their council to appear before him, and he took Paul and brought him down and set him before them.