"Brothers and fathers, listen to the defense which I now make to you."
When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they were even more quiet. He said,
"I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as you all are this day.
I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
As also the high priest and all the council of the elders testify, from whom also I received letters to the brothers, and journeyed to Damascus to bring them also who were there to Jerusalem in bonds to be punished.
It happened that, as I made my journey, and came close to Damascus, about noon, suddenly there shone from the sky a great light around me.
I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?'
I answered, 'Who are you, Lord?' He said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.'
"Those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they didn't understand the voice of him who spoke to me.
I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' The Lord said to me, 'Arise, and go into Damascus. There you will be told about all things which are appointed for you to do.'
When I couldn't see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.
One Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well reported of by all the Jews who lived there,
came to me, and standing by me said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight!' In that very hour I looked up at him.
He said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed you to know his will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth.
For you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard.
Now why do you wait? Arise, be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'
"It happened that, when I had returned to Jerusalem, and while I prayed in the temple, I fell into a trance,
and saw him saying to me, 'Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not receive testimony concerning me from you.'
I said, 'Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those who believed in you.
When the blood of Stephen, your witness, was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting to his death, and guarding the cloaks of those who killed him.'