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Acts 26 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Paul’s Defense before Agrippa

26 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You are [now] permitted to speak on your own behalf.” At that, Paul stretched out his hand [as an orator] and made his defense [as follows]:

“I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, since it is before you that I am to make my defense today regarding all the charges brought against me by the Jews, especially because you are an expert [fully knowledgeable, experienced and unusually conversant] in all the Jewish customs and controversial issues; therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.

“So then, all the Jews know my manner of life from my youth up, which from the beginning was spent among my own nation [the Jewish people], and in Jerusalem. They have known me for a long time, if they are willing to testify to it, that according to the [a]strictest sect of our religion, I have lived as a Pharisee. And now I am standing trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. Which hope [of the Messiah and the resurrection] our twelve tribes [confidently] expect to realize as they serve and worship God in earnest night and day. And for this hope, O King, I am being accused by Jews! Why is it thought incredible by [any of] you that God raises the dead?

“So then, I [once] thought to myself that it was my duty to do many things in opposition to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; I not only locked up many of the saints (God’s people) in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being condemned to death, I [b]cast my vote against them. 11 And I often punished them [making them suffer] in all the synagogues and tried to force them to blaspheme; and in my extreme rage at them, I kept hunting them even to foreign cities [harassing and persecuting them].

12 “While so engaged, as I was traveling to Damascus with the authority and commission and full power of the chief priests, 13 at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven surpassing the brightness of the sun, shining all around me and those who were traveling with me. 14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice in the Hebrew dialect (Jewish Aramaic) saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? [c]It is hard for you to kick [repeatedly] against the [d]goads [offering pointless resistance].’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 Get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you [to serve] as a minister and as a witness [to testify, with authority,] not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you, 17 [choosing you for Myself and] rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their [spiritual] eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness and release from their sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified (set apart, made holy) by faith in Me.’

19 “So, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but I openly proclaimed first to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent [change their inner self—their old way of thinking] and turn to God, doing deeds and living lives which are consistent with repentance. 21 Because of this some Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 But I have had help from God to this day, and I stand [before people] testifying to small and great alike, stating nothing except what the Prophets and Moses said would come to pass— 23 that the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) was to suffer, and that He by being the first to rise from the dead [with an incorruptible body] would proclaim light (salvation) both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”

24 While Paul was making this defense, Festus said loudly, “Paul, you are out of your mind! Your great education is turning you toward madness.” 25 But Paul replied, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent and noble Festus, but [with a sound mind] I am uttering rational words of truth and reason. 26 For [your majesty] the king understands these things, and [therefore] I am also speaking to him with confidence and boldness, since I am convinced that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner [hidden from view, in secret]. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the [writings of the] Prophets [their messages and words]? I know that you do.” 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time [and with so little effort] you [almost] persuade me to become a Christian.” 29 And Paul replied, “Whether in a short time or long, I wish to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become such as I am, except for these chains.”

30 Then the king stood up, and [with him] the governor and Bernice, and those who were sitting with them; 31 and after they had gone out, they began saying to one another, “This man is not doing anything worthy of death or [even] of imprisonment.” 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to [e]Caesar (Emperor Nero).”

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 26:5 Paul probably is referring to the school of Shammai, which flourished from 30 b.c. to a.d. 20. Gamaliel, Paul’s teacher in the school of Hillel (22:3), discussed and interpreted the teachings of both schools, and often agreed with the teachings of Shammai, so Paul was familiar with Shammai as well as Hillel.
  2. Acts 26:10 Lit cast down my (black) pebble. In ancient times a vote cast by throwing a white pebble meant acquittal, and a black one, condemnation.
  3. Acts 26:14 An ancient Greek proverb dating back to the time of Euripides.
  4. Acts 26:14 These were wooden shafts (like broomsticks) with a pointed piece of metal on one end, used by the farmer to keep an ox going in the right direction as it pulled a plow. Jesus was “prodding” Paul to take the proper direction in his life, and Paul had been resisting.
  5. Acts 26:32 Nero was the fifth and last of the Roman emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He ruled after the death of Claudius and actively persecuted Christians. Both Paul and Peter were martyred during Nero’s reign (a.d. 54-68).
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Acts 26 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Defense Before King Agrippa

26 Agrippa said to Paul, “It is permitted for you to speak for yourself.”

Then Paul stretched out his hand and began his defense. “Concerning all I am accused of by the Judean leaders, I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, that it is before you that I am about to make my defense today— since you are especially knowledgeable about all Jewish customs and issues. Therefore I beg you to listen patiently to me.

“Now all the Jewish people have known my manner of life ever since my youth, starting from the beginning in my own nation and also in Jerusalem. They have known about me for a long time—if they were willing to testify—that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee.

“Yet now I stand here being judged for the hope in the promise made by God to our fathers. It is the promise that our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope I am accused by Jewish people, O King! Why is it judged incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?

“In fact, I myself thought it was necessary to do many things in opposition to the name of Yeshua ha-Natzrati. 10 And that is what I did in Jerusalem. Not only did I lock up many of the kedoshim in prisons by the authority I received from the ruling kohanim, but I cast my vote against them when they were being condemned to death. 11 I tried to cause them to blaspheme by punishing them often in the synagogues. In furious rage against them, I persecuted them even in foreign cities.

12 “While journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the ruling kohanim, 13 at midday, O King, I saw on the road a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those traveling with me. 14 When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against goads!’

15 “Then I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’

“And the Lord said, ‘I am Yeshua—whom you are persecuting. 16 But get up, and stand on your feet.[a] For I have appeared to you for this purpose—to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things you have seen as well as to the things I will yet reveal to you. 17 I will rescue you[b] from your own people, and from the Gentiles to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes—so they may turn from darkness to light[c] and from the power of satan to God, that they may receive release from sins as well as a place among those who are made holy through trusting in Me.’

19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. 20 Rather, I kept declaring—first to those in Damascus, and then Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also the Gentiles—that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds consistent with that repentance.

21 “For this reason some Judeans seized me in the Temple and tried to put me to death. 22 Since I have had God’s help, to this day I have stood here testifying to both small and great. I am saying nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to happen— 23 that the Messiah was to suffer and that, being first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light both to our people and to the nations.[d]

24 As Paul was thus making his defense, Festus says with a loud voice, “You’re crazy, Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane!”

25 But Paul declares, “I am not insane, most noble Festus! Rather I am speaking the sober truth. 26 For the king knows about these things, and I speak freely to him, since I am convinced that none of these things escape his notice—for this was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you do believe!”

28 Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time you are trying to persuade me to be Messianic!”[e]

29 And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would pray to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today would be such as I am—except for these chains!”

30 Then the king stood up, as well as the governor, Bernice, and those sitting with them. 31 When they had gone away, they began talking among themselves, saying, “This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains.”

32 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free, if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 26:16 cf. Ezek. 2:1; Dan. 10:11.
  2. Acts 26:17 cf. Jer. 1:8, 19.
  3. Acts 26:18 cf. Isa. 35:5; 42:7, 16.
  4. Acts 26:23 cf. Isa. 42:6; 49:6.
  5. Acts 26:28 Grk. Christianos; Heb. M’shichim; cf. Acts 11:26; 1 Pet. 4:16.
Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

Acts 26 New Living Translation (NLT)

26 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You may speak in your defense.”

So Paul, gesturing with his hand, started his defense: “I am fortunate, King Agrippa, that you are the one hearing my defense today against all these accusations made by the Jewish leaders, for I know you are an expert on all Jewish customs and controversies. Now please listen to me patiently!

“As the Jewish leaders are well aware, I was given a thorough Jewish training from my earliest childhood among my own people and in Jerusalem. If they would admit it, they know that I have been a member of the Pharisees, the strictest sect of our religion. Now I am on trial because of my hope in the fulfillment of God’s promise made to our ancestors. In fact, that is why the twelve tribes of Israel zealously worship God night and day, and they share the same hope I have. Yet, Your Majesty, they accuse me for having this hope! Why does it seem incredible to any of you that God can raise the dead?

“I used to believe that I ought to do everything I could to oppose the very name of Jesus the Nazarene.[a] 10 Indeed, I did just that in Jerusalem. Authorized by the leading priests, I caused many believers[b] there to be sent to prison. And I cast my vote against them when they were condemned to death. 11 Many times I had them punished in the synagogues to get them to curse Jesus.[c] I was so violently opposed to them that I even chased them down in foreign cities.

12 “One day I was on such a mission to Damascus, armed with the authority and commission of the leading priests. 13 About noon, Your Majesty, as I was on the road, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions. 14 We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic,[d] ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.[e]

15 “‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.

“And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. 16 Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future. 17 And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles 18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’

19 “And so, King Agrippa, I obeyed that vision from heaven. 20 I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must repent of their sins and turn to God—and prove they have changed by the good things they do. 21 Some Jews arrested me in the Temple for preaching this, and they tried to kill me. 22 But God has protected me right up to this present time so I can testify to everyone, from the least to the greatest. I teach nothing except what the prophets and Moses said would happen— 23 that the Messiah would suffer and be the first to rise from the dead, and in this way announce God’s light to Jews and Gentiles alike.”

24 Suddenly, Festus shouted, “Paul, you are insane. Too much study has made you crazy!”

25 But Paul replied, “I am not insane, Most Excellent Festus. What I am saying is the sober truth. 26 And King Agrippa knows about these things. I speak boldly, for I am sure these events are all familiar to him, for they were not done in a corner! 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do—”

28 Agrippa interrupted him. “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly?”[f]

29 Paul replied, “Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that both you and everyone here in this audience might become the same as I am, except for these chains.”

30 Then the king, the governor, Bernice, and all the others stood and left. 31 As they went out, they talked it over and agreed, “This man hasn’t done anything to deserve death or imprisonment.”

32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “He could have been set free if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar.”

Footnotes:

  1. 26:9 Or Jesus of Nazareth.
  2. 26:10 Greek many of God’s holy people.
  3. 26:11 Greek to blaspheme.
  4. 26:14a Or Hebrew.
  5. 26:14b Greek It is hard for you to kick against the oxgoads.
  6. 26:28 Or “A little more, and your arguments would make me a Christian.”
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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