Amplified Bible

Acts 22

Paul’s Defense before the Jews

1“Brethren and fathers (kinsmen), hear my defense which I now offer to you.”

When they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew dialect, they became even more quiet. And he continued,

“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of [a]Gamaliel according to the strictness of the law of our fathers, being ardent and passionate for God just as all of you are today. I persecuted and pursued the followers of this [b]Way to the death, binding them with chains and putting [followers of Jesus] both men and women into prisons, as the high priest and all the Council of the elders (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court) can testify; because from them I received letters to the brothers, and I was on my way to Damascus in order to bring those [believers] who were there to Jerusalem in chains to be punished.

“But as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a great blaze of light suddenly flashed from heaven and shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And I replied, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’ Now those who were with me [c]saw the light, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me. 10 And I asked, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord answered me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that is appointed and destined for you to do.’ 11 But since I could not see because of the [glorious intensity and dazzling] brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me and came into Damascus.

12 “And one Ananias, a devout man according to [d]the standard of the Law, and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to [see] me, and standing near, he said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I [recovered my sight and] looked up at him. 14 And he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will, [and to progressively understand His plan with clarity and power] and to see the Righteous One [Jesus Christ, the Messiah] and to hear a message from His [own] mouth. 15 For you will be His witness to all men testifying of what you have seen and heard. 16 Now, why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins by calling on His name [for salvation].’

17 “Then it happened when I had returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple [enclosure], that I fell into a trance (vision); 18 and I saw Him saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.’ 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know [without any doubt] that in one synagogue after another I used to imprison and beat those who believed in You [and Your message of salvation]. 20 And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing nearby approving and consenting [to his death], and guarding the coats of those who were killing him.’ 21 And the Lord said to me, ‘Go, I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”

22 They listened to Paul until [he made] this [last] statement, but now they raised their voices and shouted, “Away with such a man from the earth! He is not fit to live!” 23 And as they were shouting and throwing off their coats [getting ready to stone Paul] and tossing dust into the air [expressing their anger], 24 the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, stating that he was to be [e]interrogated with a whip in order to learn why the people were shouting against him that way. 25 But when they had stretched him out [f]with the leather straps [in preparation for the whip], Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it legal for you to whip a man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned [without a trial]?” 26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and said to him, “What are you about to do? This man is a [g]Roman!” 27 So the commander came and asked Paul, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” And he said, “Yes.” 28 The commander replied, “I [h]purchased this citizenship [of mine] for a large sum of money [so how did you acquire yours?].” Paul said, “But I was actually born a citizen.” 29 So those who were about to interrogate him by torture immediately let him go; and the commander was also afraid when he realized that Paul was a Roman and he had put him in chains.

30 But on the next day, wanting to know the real reason why Paul was being accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and the whole Council (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court) to assemble; and brought Paul down and presented him before them.

Notas al pie

  1. Acts 22:3 According to the Talmud, Gamaliel, who was the leading scholar of the Torah from a.d. 20 to 40, taught a school of 1,000 advanced students.
  2. Acts 22:4 See note 9:2. Paul was probably referring to Jesus Himself.
  3. Acts 22:9 At first look, what Paul says here seems to contradict Luke the writer’s own description of what happened in 9:7. However, Luke says there that Paul’s companions saw no one, not that they did not see the light; and this may be an indication that Paul did not just see the light but saw Jesus in the light. As for what was heard, there is a subtle distinction in the Greek between the two accounts. The Greek word for “hear” takes an object in one form for the source of a sound, and in another form for the substance or content of a sound. In 9:7 Luke uses the first form, indicating that Paul’s companions heard the voice as a sound. Here in 22:9, the second form is used, indicating that the others did not hear the substance of the sound—that is, they could not make out what the voice was saying.
  4. Acts 22:12 Or the Law.
  5. Acts 22:24 This was standard practice with slaves or others of no social standing under Roman rule. The thinking was that such people did not have the integrity to tell the truth, and had to be tortured to drag the truth out of them.
  6. Acts 22:25 Or for the whip.
  7. Acts 22:26 Death was the punishment for someone falsely claiming to be a Roman.
  8. Acts 22:28 Messalina (third wife of Emperor Claudius) was said to have illegally “sold” Roman citizenships at high prices; however, there were also legitimate ways to obtain citizenship.

Japanese Living Bible

使徒の働き 22

1「私の兄弟とも父とも言うべき皆さん。どうか、私の申し上げることを聞いてください。」 パウロがヘブル語で話すのを聞いて、人々はしーんと静まり返りました。 「私はキリキヤの町タルソで生まれたユダヤ人ですが、エルサレムのガマリエル先生のもとで教育を受けました。先生の門下生として、ユダヤの律法には、特にきびしく従うように教えられました。つまり、今の皆さん同様、こと神に関する限り、人並み以上に熱心だったのです。 クリスチャンを迫害し、逃げる者たちを、どこまでも執念深く追い回し、男でも女でも手当たりしだいに縛り上げて投獄したり、殺したり……。 そのことは、大祭司様も、議会の議員の方々も証言してくださるでしょう。この人たちに頼んで、ダマスコに住むユダヤ人の指導者あてに、クリスチャンを見つけしだい縛り上げ、処罰するためにエルサレムへ連行することを認めさせる手紙を、書いてもらったくらいですから。

ところが、旅をして、もうすぐダマスコという時、あれはちょうど正午ごろでしたが、突然まばゆい光が、天からさっと私を照らしたのです。 思わず倒れ伏した私の耳に、『パウロ、パウロ。なぜわたしを迫害するのか』と呼びかける声が聞こえました。 『そう言われるあなたは?』と尋ねると、その声は、『あなたが迫害しているナザレのイエスだ』と言われるではありませんか。 いっしょにいた人たちには、光は見えましたが、ことばはわかりませんでした。

10 『主よ。私はいったい、どうしたらよいのでしょう。』私がこう尋ねると、『立って、ダマスコの町に入りなさい。将来どんなことがあなたの身に起こるかは、そこで教えられるだろう』というお答えです。

11 ところが、あまりのまぶしさに目が見えなくなり、連れの者にダマスコまで手を引いて行ってもらわなければなりませんでした。 12 ダマスコには、律法を忠実に守る、信心深いアナニヤという人がいました。ダマスコのすべてのユダヤ人に、たいそう評判のよい人でした。 13 この人が来て、『兄弟パウロ。見えるようになれ』と言うと、たちまち彼の姿が見えるようになりました。

14 するとアナニヤはこう言ったのです。『先祖たちの神があなたをお選びになったのです。神がそのことをあなたに知らせ、イエス・キリストに会わせ、その御声を聞かせてくださったのです。 15 あなたがこの方の教えを携えて行き、自分で見聞きしたことを、あらゆる所のあらゆる人たちに伝えるためです。 16 さあ、何をためらっているのです。お立ちなさい。主の名を呼んでバプテスマ(洗礼)を受け、罪をすっかり洗いきよめていただくのです。』

17-18 こうしてエルサレムに帰り、ある日、神殿で祈っていると、うつらうつら夢ごこちになり、神の幻を見たのです。神様は、『さあ、急いでエルサレムを離れなさい。ここの人たちは、あなたがわたしの教えを伝えても信じないから』とおっしゃいました。

19 私は答えました。『主よ。人々はかつて私がどこの会堂ででも、あなたを信じる人たちを投獄し、むち打ったことを、いやと言うほど知っているのです。 20 しかも私は、あのステパノが殺された時には、それに賛成して現場に立ち合ったばかりか、石を投げつける者たちの上着の番をしたのです。』 21 しかし神様は、『さあ出発しなさい。あなたを遠く、外国人のところへ派遣します』と言われました。」

22 パウロがここまで話した時、人々はいっせいに叫びだしました。「こんなやつは消しちまえ! 生かしておくな。殺せ、殺せ!」 23 大声でわめく声、声、声……。あたりは興奮のるつぼとなりました。上着は宙に舞い、あちこちで、ちりをつかんでまき散らす者も出るしまつです。

24 どうしてこれほどの怒りを買うのか、その事情を知りたいと思った司令官は、パウロを兵営に引き入れ、むち打って取り調べようと思いました。

25 兵士たちが縛り上げた時、パウロはそばに立っている士官に、「ローマ市民の私を、裁判にもかけずにむち打ってもよいのですか」と言いました。

26 これを聞いて、士官はあわてて司令官のところへ駆けつけ、「いかがいたしましょう。あの男はローマ市民だと言っております」と耳打ちしました。

27 そこで司令官がじきじきに問いただしました。

「はっきり言いなさい。あなたはローマ市民なのか。」

「言われるとおり、ローマ市民です。」

28 「私もローマの市民権を持っているが、ずいぶん金を積んだものだ。」

「私は生まれながらの市民です。」

29 パウロを打とうとそこに立っていた兵士たちは、ローマ市民だとわかったとたん、びっくりして身を引きました。司令官も、知らなかったとはいえ、ローマ市民を縛ってむち打つように命令したので、ひどく不安になりました。

最高議会に立つパウロ

30 翌日、司令官はパウロの鎖を解き、祭司長たちに、最高議会の召集を命じました。その場にパウロを連れ出し、なぜ彼がユダヤ人に告訴されたのか確かめようと思ったのです。