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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 22

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1‘Brothers and fathers, give me a hearing while I put my case to you.’ 2When they heard him speaking to them in their own language, they listened more quietly. 3‘I am a true-born Jew,’ he began, ‘a native of Tarsus in Cilicia. I was brought up in this city, and as a pupil of Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in every point of our ancestral law. I have always been ardent in God's service, as you all are today. 4And so I persecuted this movement to the death, arresting its followers, men and women alike, and committing them to prison, 5as the high priest and the whole Council of Elders can testify. It was they who gave me letters to our fellow-Jews at Damascus, and I was on my way to make arrests there also and bring the prisoners to Jerusalem for punishment. 6What happened to me on my journey was this: when I was nearing Damascus, about midday, a great light suddenly flashed from the sky all around me. 7I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 8I answered, “Tell me, Lord, who you are.” “I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,” he said. 9My companions saw the light, but did not hear the voice that spoke to me. 10“What shall I do, Lord?” I asked, and he replied, “Get up, and go on to Damascus; there you will be told all that you are appointed to do.” 11As I had been blinded by the brilliance of that light, my companions led me by the hand, and so I came to Damascus.

12‘There a man called Ananias, a devout observer of the law and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13came and stood beside me, and said, “Saul, my brother, receive your sight again!” Instantly I recovered my sight and saw him. 14He went on: “The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear him speak, 15because you are to be his witness to tell the world what you have seen and heard. 16Do not delay. Be baptized at once and wash away your sins, calling on his name.”

17‘After my return to Jerusalem, as I was praying in the temple I fell into a trance 18and saw him there, speaking to me. “Make haste”, he said, “and leave Jerusalem quickly, for they will not accept your testimony about me.” 19“But surely, Lord,” I answered, “they know that I imprisoned those who believe in you and flogged them in every synagogue; 20when the blood of Stephen your witness was shed I stood by, approving, and I looked after the clothes of those who killed him.” 21He said to me, “Go, for I mean to send you far away to the Gentiles.” ’

22Up to this point the crowd had given him a hearing; but now they began to shout, ‘Down with the scoundrel! He is not fit to be alive!’ 23And as they were yelling and waving their cloaks and flinging dust in the air, 24the commandant ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and gave instructions that he should be examined under the lash, to find out what reason there was for such an outcry against him. 25But when they tied him up for the flogging, Paul said to the centurion who was standing there, ‘Does the law allow you to flog a Roman citizen, and an unconvicted one at that?’ 26When the centurion heard this, he went and reported to the commandant: ‘What are you about? This man is a Roman citizen.’ 27The commandant came to Paul and asked, ‘Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?’ ‘Yes,’ said he. 28The commandant rejoined, ‘Citizenship cost me a large sum of money.’ Paul said, ‘It was mine by birth.’ 29Then those who were about to examine him promptly withdrew; and the commandant himself was alarmed when he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had put him in irons.

30 THE following day, wishing to be quite sure what charge the Jews were bringing against Paul, he released him and ordered the chief priests and the entire Council to assemble. He then brought Paul down to stand before them.

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