JMNT(i) 1 So Agrippa affirms to Paul, "It is now permitted for you to proceed in speaking concerning [other MSS: over; on behalf of; = for] yourself." At that point Paul, while stretching out [his] hand, began to make a defense: 2 "King Agrippa, I have considered myself fortunate, happy and blessed at now being about to proceed in making a defense before you, today, concerning all [the] things of which I am being repeatedly charged (or: indicted) by [the] Jews, 3 "especially with you being an expert with personal experience and knowledge, being versed both [in] all the customs and also [the] questions (results of seeking [understanding], and, controversial issues) which relate to Jews (= Jewish culture and religion). For this reason, in my need I now beg you to listen and hear me with indulgence (or: being long before rushing into strong emotions; patiently). 4 "So then: all the Jews have seen and are thus acquainted with my kind of life, and its course, springing into being out of my youth with a beginning from within the midst of my nation (or: ethnic group), and more so within Jerusalem, 5 "previously having a personal acquaintance and intimate knowledge about me from that earlier period [so as] to continue testifying, giving witness one after another – if they would continue being willing – that in accord with the strictest sect (or: party) of this ritual and form of worship (or: religious discipline; system of external observances) of ours, I lived (or: I live) a Pharisee. 6 "And yet now I stand being repeatedly (or: constantly) judged (or: put on trial) based upon [the] expectation (or: hope) of the promise having been birthed into our fathers (= ancestors) by God – 7 "unto which [promise] our twelve-tribed [people], constantly rendering sacred service in earnest perseverance night and day, is continuously hoping and expecting to attain. Concerning this expectation I am now being indicted (or: charged) by the Jews, O king. 8 "Why does it continue being judged unbelievable (or: is it repeatedly decided [to be] incredible) among (or: by) you folks – since God periodically (or: habitually; constantly) raises dead people? 9 "Therefore within myself I, for one, used to think it to continue binding (or: had the opinion [that] it was then necessary) to commit (or: perform) many acts in opposition against the Name of Jesus, the Nazarene, 10 "which I did, even in Jerusalem. Furthermore, I myself also locked up many of the set-apart folks (holy ones; saints) in prisons, receiving the authority from the chief (or: ranking) priests, and more than this, I brought down a pebble (= cast my vote) against them – when one after another they were being taken back to be killed. 11 "Then, while continuing in punishing them in vengeance – down through the [various] synagogues – I kept on trying to force (or: compel) [them] to blaspheme (speak abusively about [God]), besides keeping them in the midst of insane rage which completely surrounded them, and continued pressing forward to persecute [them] even into the cities outside [Palestine]. 12 "Within the midst of which [activities], while traveling on my journey unto Damascus with [the] authority, as well as a commission which gave permission, from the chief (or: ranking) priests, 13 " [being] down on the road at midday, I saw, O king, a light from [the] sky (or: from heaven) – more intense than (or: above) the brightness and brilliance of the sun – shining and flashing around me and the folks then traveling with me. 14 "Next, at all of us falling down to the ground, I heard a Voice proceeding in saying to me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, O Saul! Why do you continue pressing forward to persecute Me? To keep on kicking [your heel] toward [the] goads (sharp points; e.g., as with an ox-goad; = futilely resisting or 'flogging a dead horse') [makes it] hard for you (or: = can hurt you)!' 15 "So I myself said, 'Who are you, Sir (or: Master; Lord)?' But the Lord (or: The Owner; [= Christ]) said, 'I Myself am Jesus (or: I exist in Myself being Jesus) – Whom you continue pressing forward to persecute! 16 "'But now, get up and stand upon your feet! You see, into this [situation; commission] and unto this [purpose] I became seen by you (or: was made to appear to you): to take you in hand beforehand (or: to handle you in advance; or: to hand-pick you ahead of time) [to be] a subordinate (one who is a rower of a ship's crew) and a witness (one who testifies and gives evidence) – both of things in which you saw Me, and of things in which I will continue being seen by (or: in; with) you – 17 "'now Myself choosing you from out of the midst of the People (or: repeatedly taking you from out of the midst of, i.e., rescuing you from, the People), as well as from out of the midst of the ethnic multitudes (or: nations; non-Jews) unto whom I Myself am progressively sending you off with a mission: 18 "'to open back up their eyes again; to turn [their eyes; or: them] back: away from darkness (a realm of the shadow; dimness and obscurity) into Light, even from the authority and privilege of the adversary (or: that is, from the right which comes from out being the opponent), and upon God; to receive a flowing away of deviations and a release from failures, mistakes and occasions of missing the goal (or: a forgiveness of sins) and an allotted inheritance among and in union with the folks having been – and now remaining – set apart in, with and for faith which [leads] into Me (or: centered within the people now made holy by trust [which is] by the One [having come] into the midst of Me; or: within those having been consecrated for loyalty, sanctified with faith and now set apart to trusting conviction [that has brought them] unto Me).' 19 "Wherefore, O King Agrippa, I did not come to be unpersuaded in (or: become disobedient to) the heavenly sight (or: the vision from the atmosphere,) which was seen, 20 "but to the contrary, both to the folks in Damascus, first, and then in Jerusalem – besides all the country of Judea – and later to the ethnic multitudes (the nations; the non-Jews) I kept on reporting the message to be progressively changing one's way of thinking and perspective, as well as to be turning back upon (= oriented to) God, while habitually performing works (or: constantly committing deeds and practicing acts) worthy of that change of mind and that embody the value equal to [a return to Yahweh]. 21 "On account of these things, a group of Jews – upon seizing me within the Temple complex – on their own began attempting at once to thoroughly manhandle [me], and probably kill [me]. 22 "But then, all of a sudden obtaining the help and assistance from God which was right on target, I have taken a stand – and still stand until this day – repeatedly testifying (attesting and giving evidence) to both small and great, continuously saying nothing outside of those things which both the Prophets and Moses spoke (or: speak) of progressively being about to be birthed (or: to continue happening) – 23 "since the Christ (the Anointed One) [is] a suffering [Messiah] (or: [is] subject to suffering) – since He, [the] first one forth from a resurrection of dead people, is presently about to, as a herald, be repeatedly and progressively announcing Light to the public – both to and for the People [= the Jews and Israel] as well as to, for and among the ethnic multitudes (the nations; the non-Jews; the Goyim; the Gentiles)." 24 Now with his progressively making [his] defense [in] these [statements], Festus then affirms in (or: with) a loud voice, "You are progressively going insane (stark raving mad), Paul! The many writings (or: = the effects of much learning) progressively spin you around into madness (mania and insanity)!" 25 But Paul is then affirming, "I am not going insane (proceeding into mania or madness), O most mighty Festus, but to the contrary I have been presently uttering an elevated and weighty discourse of declarations and gush-effects about reality (or: truth) and a sound, healthy frame of mind which has been restored to its original perspectives with saved and healed thought patterns (= true sanity)! 26 "You see, the king – to whom I am now speaking, continuing in the outspoken freedom with the rights of a bold citizen who has no fear of retribution – continues being adept and well versed concerning these [matters], for I continue persuaded and convinced that not one of these things continues to elude him or escape [his] notice. You see, this is not a thing having been committed in a corner (= obscurely, as in some back alley). 27 "Do you continue faithful and loyal to the Prophets (or: Are you presently trusting and believing in the Prophets), King Agrippa? I have seen and so know that you continue faithful and loyal [to] (or: presently trust and believe) [the Prophets]." 28 Yet Agrippa [said] to Paul, "In a little [time] and within a few [words] are you now proceeding in persuading me – to make [me] a Christian? (or: You continue convincing, in a small [way], to make me a Christian!)" 29 So Paul [responds], "I would ever claim it for the goodness in God (or: speak in boast to the well-being [that is] by God) [for] both in a little [time] as well as even in a great (= long) [space of time] not only you, but further also all those presently hearing me today, to at some point come to be folks of such a sort as I myself presently am – with the exception (or: yet at the outside) of these bonds!" 30 [As a group] both the king and the governor, along with Bernice and the folks that had continued sitting together with them, arose, 31 and as they were withdrawing they kept on speaking to one another, [each one] in turn saying that this person continues committing (or: practicing; performing) nothing warranting (or: deserving; worthy of) death or even bonds (= imprisonment). 32 So Agrippa affirmed to Festus, "This man was able to have been released, if he had not called upon (or: appealed to) Caesar."