Section 5, Chapter 27
Paul gives an account to Agrippa of his life, conversion and calling.
26:1. Then Agrippa said to Paul: Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul, stretching forth his hand, began to make his answer.
26:2. I think myself happy, O king Agrippa, that I am to answer for myself this day before thee, touching all the things whereof I am accused by the Jews.
26:3. Especially as thou knowest all, both customs and questions, that are among the Jews. Wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
26:4. And my life indeed from my youth, which was from the beginning among my own nation in Jerusalem, all the Jews do know:
26:5. Having known me from the beginning (if they will give testimony) that according to the most sure sect of our religion I lived, a Pharisee.
26:6. And now for the hope of the promise that was made by God to the fathers, do I stand subject to judgment:
26:7. Unto which, our twelve tribes, serving night and day, hope to come. For which hope, O king, I am accused by the Jews.
26:8. Why should it be thought a thing incredible that God should raise the dead?
26:9. And I indeed did formerly think that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
26:10. Which also I did at Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority of the chief priests. And when they were put to death, I brought the sentence.
26:11. And oftentimes punishing them, in every synagogue, I compelled them to blaspheme: and being yet more mad against them, I persecuted them even unto foreign cities.
26:12. Whereupon, when I was going to Damascus with authority and permission of the chief priest,
26:13. At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them that were in company with me.
26:14. And when we were all fallen down on the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew tongue: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the good.
26:15. And I said: Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord answered: I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
26:16. But rise up and stand upon thy feet: for to this end have I appeared to thee, that I may make thee a minister and a witness of those things which thou hast seen and of those things wherein I will appear to thee,
26:17. Delivering thee from the people and from the nations unto which now I send thee:
26:18. To open their eyes, that they may be converted from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a lot among the saints, by the faith that is in me.
26:19. Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not incredulous to the heavenly vision.
26:20. But to them first that are at Damascus and at Jerusalem, and unto all the country of Judea, and to the Gentiles did I preach, that they should do penance and turn to God, doing works worthy of penance.
26:21. For this cause, the Jews, when I was in the temple, having apprehended me, went about to kill me.
26:22. But being aided by the help of God, I stand unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other thing than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come to pass:
26:23. That Christ should suffer and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead and should shew light to the people and to the Gentiles.
26:24. As he spoke these things and made his answer, Festus said with a loud voice: Paul, thou art beside thyself: much learning doth make thee mad.
26:25. And Paul said: I am not mad, most excellent Festus, but I speak words of truth and soberness.
26:26. For the king knoweth of these things, to whom also I speak with confidence. For I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him. For neither was any of these things done in a corner.
26:27. Believest thou the prophets, O king Agrippa? I know that thou believest.
26:28. And Agrippa said to Paul: In a little thou persuadest me to become a Christian.
26:29. And Paul said: I would to God that both in a little and in much, not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, should become such as I also am, except these bands.
26:30. And the king rose up, and the governor and Bernice and they that sat with them.
26:31. And when they were gone aside, they spoke among themselves, saying: This man hath done nothing worthy of death or of bands.
26:32. And Agrippa said to Festus: This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed to Caesar.