3 " I am a Jew , born in Tarsus of Cilicia , but brought up in this city , educated under e e Gamaliel , strictly according to the law of our fathers , being zealous for God just as you all are today . 4 " I persecuted this Way to the death , binding and putting both men and women into prisons , 5 as also the high priest and all the Council of the elders can testify . From them I also received letters to the brethren , and started off for Damascus in order to bring even those who were there to Jerusalem as prisoners to be punished .
Paul Tells of His Conversion
6 " But it happened that as I was on my way , approaching Damascus about noontime , a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, 7 and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul , Saul , why are you persecuting Me?' 8 "And I answered , 'Who are You, Lord ?' And He said to me, 'I am Jesus the Nazarene , whom you are persecuting .' 9 "And those who were with me saw the light , to be sure , but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me. 10 "And I said , ' What shall I do , Lord ?' And the Lord said to me, 'Get up and go on into Damascus , and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do .' 11 "But since I could not see because of the brightness of that light , I was led by the hand by those who were with me and came into Damascus . 12 "A certain Ananias , a man who was devout by the standard of the Law , and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me, and standing near said to me, ' Brother Saul , receive your sight !' And at that very time I looked up at him. 14 "And he said , ' The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth . 15 'For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard . 16 'Now why do you delay ? Get up and be baptized , and wash away your sins , calling on His name .'
Paul's Call to the Gentiles
17 "It happened when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple , that I fell into a trance , 18 and I saw Him saying to me, ' Make haste , and get out of Jerusalem quickly , because they will not accept your testimony about Me.' 19 "And I said , 'Lord , they themselves understand that in one synagogue after another I used to imprison and beat those who believed in You. 20 'And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed , I also was standing by approving , and watching out for the coats of those who were slaying him.' 21 "And He said to me, 'Go ! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles .'"
Paul in the Custody of the Chief Captain
22 They listened to him up to this statement , and then they raised their voices and said , " Away with such a fellow from the earth , for he should not be allowed to live !" 23 And as they were crying out and throwing off their cloaks and tossing dust into the air , 24 the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks , stating that he should be examined by scourging so that he might find out the reason why e they were shouting against him that way . 25 But when they stretched him out with thongs , Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman and uncondemned ?" 26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and told him, saying , "What are you about to do ? For this man is a Roman ." 27 The commander came and said to him, "Tell me, are you a Roman ?" And he said , "Yes ." 28 The commander answered , "I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money ." And Paul said , "But I was actually born a citizen." 29 Therefore those who were about to examine him immediately let go of him; and the commander also was afraid when he found out that he was a Roman , and because he had put him in chains .
Paul before the Council
30 But on the next day , wishing to know for certain why he had been accused by the Jews , he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the Council to assemble , and brought Paul down and set him before them.