¶ Agrippa said unto Paul: Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth his hand, and answered for himself: I think myself happy King Agrippa, because I shall answer this day before thee of all the things whereof I am accused of the jewes, namely because thou art expert in all customs, and questions, which are among the jewes. Wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
¶ My living of a child, which was at the first among mine own nation at Ierusalem know all the jewes which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify it. For after the most straitest sect of our lay, lived I a pharisaye and now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers unto which promise, our xij. tribes instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa am I accused of the jewes. Why should it be thought a thing incredible unto you, if God raise again the dead?
¶ I also verily thought in myself, that I ought to do many contrary things, clean against the name of Iesus of Nazareth: which things I also did in Ierusalem. And many of the saints shut I in prison, moreover I received authority of the high priests: And when they were put to death I gave the sentence. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme: and was yet more mad upon them, even unto strange cities. About the which things as I went to Damascon with authority, and commission from the high priests, even at mid day (king Agrippa) I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shine round about me and them, which journeyed with me.
¶ When we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the prick. And I said: Who art thou Lord? And he said: I am Iesus whom thou persecutest: But rise and stand up on thy feet. For I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister, and a witness both of those things which thou hast seen, and of those things in thee which I will appear unto thee, delivering thee from the people, and from the gentiles, unto thee which now I send thee, to open their eyes that they might turn from darkness unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith in me.
¶ Wherefore king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: but shewed first unto them of Damascon, and at Ierusalem, and thorowout all the coasts of Jewry, and to the gentiles, that they should repent, and turn to God, and do the right works of repentance. For this cause the jewes caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. Nevertheless I obtained help of God, and stood unto this day witnessing both to small and to great, saying none other things, than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come, that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from death, and should shew light unto the people, and to the gentiles.
¶ As he thus answered for himself: Festus said with a loud voice: Paul, thou art besides thyself. Much learning hath made thee mad. And Paul said: I am not mad most dear Festus: but speak the words of truth and soberness. The king knoweth of these things, before whom I speak freely: neither think I that any of these things are hidden from him. For this thing was not done in a corner. King Agrippa believest thou the prophets? I wot well thou believest. Agrippa said unto Paul: Somewhat thou bringest me in mind for to become christen. And Paul said: I would to God that not only thou: but also all that hear me today, were not somewhat only, but altogether such as I am except these bonds. And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the debite, and Bernice, and they that sat with them. And when they were gone apart, they talked between themselves saying: This man doth nothing worthy of death, nor of bonds. Then said Agrippa unto Festus: This man might have been lowsed if he had not appealed unto Cesar.
© Faith of God
William Tyndale 1526