2117When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly. 18The day following, Paul went in with us to James; and all the elders were present. 19When he had greeted them, he reported one by one the things which God had worked among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20They, when they heard it, glorified God. They said to him,
JAMES BROTHER OF JESUS & THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH
You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law. 21They have been informed about you, that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children neither to walk after the customs. 22What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come. 23Therefore do what we tell you. We have four men who have taken a vow. 24Take them, and purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses for them, that they may shave their heads. Then all will know that there is no truth in the things that they have been informed about you, but that you yourself also walk keeping the law. 25But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written our decision that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from food offered to idols, from blood, from strangled things, and from sexual immorality.
26Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purified himself and went with them into the temple, declaring the fulfillment of the days of purification, until the offering was offered for every one of them. 27When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the multitude and laid hands on him, 28crying out,
JEWS FROM ASIA
Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place. Moreover, he also brought Greeks into the temple, and has defiled this holy place!
29For they had seen Trophimus, the Ephesian, with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.
30All the city was moved, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple. Immediately the doors were shut. 31As they were trying to kill him, news came up to the commanding officer of the regiment that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32Immediately he took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. They, when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, stopped beating Paul. 33Then the commanding officer came near, arrested him, commanded him to be bound with two chains, and inquired who he was and what he had done. 34Some shouted one thing, and some another, among the crowd. When he couldn’t find out the truth because of the noise, he commanded him to be brought into the barracks.
35When he came to the stairs, he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd; 36for the multitude of the people followed after, crying out,
A MOB IN JERUSALEM
Away with him!
37As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he asked the commanding officer,
May I speak to you?
Do you know Greek? 38Aren’t you then the Egyptian, who before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?
39But Paul said,
I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.
40When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, beckoned with his hand to the people. When there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying,
221Brothers and fathers, listen to the defense which I now make to you.
2When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they were even more quiet. He said,
3I 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 tradition of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as you all are today. 4I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. 5As also the high priest and all the council of the elders testify, from whom also I received letters to the brothers, and traveled to Damascus to bring them also who were there to Jerusalem in bonds to be punished. 6As I made my journey, and came close to Damascus, about noon, suddenly a great light shone around me from the sky. 7I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 8I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.’
9Those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they didn’t understand the voice of him who spoke to me. 10I 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.’ 11When 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. 12One Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well reported of by all the Jews who lived in Damascus, 13came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ In that very hour I looked up at him. 14He 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. 15For you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16Now why do you wait? Arise, be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’
17When I had returned to Jerusalem, and while I prayed in the temple, I fell into a trance, 18and saw him saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not receive testimony concerning me from you.’ 19I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those who believed in you. 20When 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.’
21He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you out far from here to the Gentiles.’
22They listened to him until he said that; then they lifted up their voice, and said,
A MOB IN JERUSALEM
Rid the earth of this fellow, for he isn’t fit to live!
23As they cried out, and threw off their cloaks, and threw dust into the air, 24the commanding officer commanded him to be brought into the barracks, ordering him to be examined by scourging, that he might know for what crime they shouted against him like that. 25When they had tied him up with thongs, Paul asked the centurion who stood by,
Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and not found guilty?
26When the centurion heard it, he went to the commanding officer and told him,
A ROMAN OFFICER
Watch what you are about to do, for this man is a Roman!
27The commanding officer came and asked him,
Tell me, are you a Roman?
28The commanding officer answered,
I bought my citizenship for a great price.
But I was born a Roman.
29Immediately those who were about to examine him departed from him, and the commanding officer also was afraid when he realized that he was a Roman, because he had bound him. 30But on the next day, desiring to know the truth about why he was accused by the Jews, he freed him from the bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all the council to come together, and brought Paul down and set him before them.
231Paul, looking steadfastly at the council, said,
Brothers, I have lived before God in all good conscience until today.
2The high priest, Ananias, commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.
3Then Paul said to him,
God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to judge me according to the law, and command me to be struck contrary to the law?
4Those who stood by said,
Do you malign God’s high priest?
I didn’t know, brothers, that he was high priest. For it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’*
6But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council,
Men and brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. Concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!
7When he had said this, an argument arose between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess all of these. 9A great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees part stood up, and contended, saying,
We find no evil in this man. But if a spirit or angel has spoken to him, let’s not fight against God!
10When a great argument arose, the commanding officer, fearing that Paul would be torn in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the barracks.
11The following night, the Lord stood by him, and said,
Cheer up, Paul, for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so you must testify also at Rome.
*Acts 23:5 Exodus 22:28