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Apostlenes Gerninger 22:1-30

Paulus’ forsvarstale

1„Mine ærede landsmænd, hør, hvad jeg har at sige til mit forsvar!” begyndte Paulus. 2Da de hørte, at han talte hebraisk, blev der stille i den store forsamling. Han fortsatte: 3„Jeg er jøde, født i Tarsos i Kilikien, men jeg er opvokset her i byen og uddannet under Gamaliel. Han har lært mig at følge alle de jødiske love og forfædrenes traditioner til punkt og prikke. Jeg var lige så fanatisk i min gudsdyrkelse, som I er her i dag. 4Jeg forfulgte dem, som kalder sig ‚Vejen’, og ville have dem slået ihjel. Jeg fik dem arresteret og smidt i fængsel, både mænd og kvinder. 5Både ypperstepræsten og alle medlemmerne i Det jødiske Råd kan bevidne, at jeg taler sandt. For det var dem, der skrev de breve, som jeg fik med til de jødiske ledere i Damaskus med tilladelse til at arrestere folk også dér og føre dem til Jerusalem, så de kunne blive straffet.

6Men så skete der noget, bedst som jeg var på vej til Damaskus. Jeg var næsten nået frem til byen. Det var midt på dagen. Pludselig kom der et blændende lys fra himlen, og det omsluttede mig. 7Jeg faldt på knæ med ansigtet mod jorden og hørte en stemme sige: ‚Saul, Saul, hvorfor forfølger du mig?’ 8‚Hvem er du, herre?’ spurgte jeg. Stemmen svarede: ‚Jeg er nazaræeren Jesus, ham du forfølger.’ 9De mænd, der var med mig, så lyset, men hørte ikke, hvad der blev sagt. 10Jeg spurgte: ‚Hvad skal jeg gøre, Herre?’ Og Herren svarede: ‚Rejs dig og gå ind til Damaskus. Der vil du få mere at vide om de planer, jeg har for dig.’ 11Jeg var blevet blind på grund af det skarpe lys, så mine ledsagere måtte tage mig ved hånden og føre mig ind til Damaskus.

12I byen boede der en mand, som hed Ananias. Han var en gudfrygtig mand, der efterlevede vores jødiske lov, og han var meget respekteret af alle byens jøder. 13Han kom hen til mig og sagde: ‚Bror Saul, få synet tilbage!’ I det samme kunne jeg se igen. 14Videre sagde han: ‚Gud, vores forfædres Gud, har udvalgt dig til at kende hans vilje. Du skal få lov at se Den Retfærdige og høre ham tale til dig, 15for du skal fortælle hele verden alt, hvad du har set og hørt. 16Hvad er der nu mere at vente på? Rejs dig op, lad dig døbe og få dine synder renset bort ved at tro på og bede om Herrens tilgivelse.’

17Senere var jeg tilbage i Jerusalem. En dag, mens jeg bad i templet, var jeg pludselig som i en anden verden, 18og i et syn så jeg Herren, som sagde til mig: ‚Skynd dig at forlade Jerusalem, for folk her vil ikke tage imod det, du fortæller om mig.’ 19‚Jamen, Herre,’ svarede jeg, ‚de ved jo alle sammen, at det var mig, som fik arresteret alle dem, der troede på dig, og jeg sørgede for, at de blev pisket i synagogerne. 20Dengang Stefanus blev dræbt, stod jeg lige ved siden af og godkendte, hvad de gjorde, ja, det var mig, der passede på tøjet for dem, der slog ham ihjel.’ 21Men Herren sagde til mig: ‚Tag af sted! For jeg vil sende dig til de folkeslag, der er langt borte.’ ”

22Op til det punkt havde folkemængden lyttet opmærksomt til Paulus, men nu begyndte hylekoret igen. „Han skal dø!” råbte de. „Sådan en skal ikke have lov til at leve!” 23De skreg og krængede deres kapper af og kastede støv op i luften. 24Kommandanten gav derfor ordre til, at Paulus skulle føres ind i kasernen, og at han skulle forhøres under piskeslag, for at man kunne finde ud af, hvad han havde gjort, som kunne gøre mængden så rasende. 25Da de var i færd med at spænde ham fast for at piske ham, vendte han sig til den nærmeste officer og spurgte: „Er det tilladt at piske en romersk statsborger, der ikke engang har været for retten?”

26Officeren gik til kommandanten og sagde: „Er du klar over, hvad du er ved at gøre? Manden er romersk statsborger!” 27Kommandanten kom hen til Paulus og spurgte: „Sig mig, er du romersk statsborger?” „Ja, det er jeg,” svarede han. 28„Det er jeg også,” udbrød kommandanten, „men det har kostet mig en formue at blive det.” „Jeg er født romersk statsborger,” sagde Paulus.

29Da de soldater, der stod parate til at piske ham, hørte det, trak de sig hurtigt tilbage. Kommandanten blev også bange, da det gik op for ham, at han havde ladet en romersk statsborger lægge i lænker. 30Men han ville gerne finde ud af, hvad det var, jøderne anklagede Paulus for. Næste dag lod han derfor lænkerne blive taget af Paulus og befalede, at han skulle fremstilles for ypperstepræsterne og Det jødiske Råd. Derpå blev Paulus ført frem for Rådet.

New International Reader's Version

Acts 22:1-30

1“Brothers and fathers,” Paul began, “listen to me now. I want to give you reasons for my actions.”

2When they heard that he was speaking to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet.

Then Paul said, 3“I am a Jew. I was born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but I grew up here in Jerusalem. I studied with Gamaliel. I was well trained by him in the law given to our people long ago. I wanted to serve God as much as any of you do today. 4I hurt the followers of the Way of Jesus. I sent many of them to their death. I arrested men and women. I threw them into prison. 5The high priest and the whole Council can be witnesses of this themselves. I even had some official letters they had written to their friends in Damascus. So I went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.

6“I had almost reached Damascus. About noon a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around me. 7I fell to the ground and heard a voice speak to me. ‘Saul! Saul!’ it said. ‘Why are you opposing me?’

8“ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.

“ ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth,’ he replied. ‘I am the one you are opposing.’ 9The light was seen by my companions. But they didn’t understand the voice of the one speaking to me.

10“ ‘What should I do, Lord?’ I asked.

“ ‘Get up,’ the Lord said. ‘Go into Damascus. There you will be told everything you have been given to do.’ 11The brightness of the light had blinded me. So my companions led me by the hand into Damascus.

12“A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a godly Jew who obeyed the law. All the Jews living there respected him very much. 13He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ At that very moment I was able to see him.

14“Then he said, ‘The God of our people has chosen you. He wanted to tell you his plans for you. You have seen the Blameless One. You have heard words from his mouth. 15Now you will tell everyone about what you have seen and heard. 16So what are you waiting for? Get up and call on his name. Be baptized. Have your sins washed away.’

17“I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple. Then it seemed to me that I was dreaming. 18I saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem at once. The people here will not accept what you tell them about me.’

19“ ‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know what I used to do. I went from one synagogue to another and put believers in prison. I also beat them. 20Stephen was a man who told other people about you. I stood there when he was killed. I had agreed that he should die. I even guarded the coats of those who were killing him.’

21“Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go. I will send you far away to people who are not Jews.’ ”

Paul the Roman Citizen

22The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they shouted, “Kill him! He isn’t fit to live!”

23They shouted and threw off their coats. They threw dust into the air. 24So the commanding officer ordered that Paul be taken into the fort. He gave orders for Paul to be whipped and questioned. He wanted to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. 25A commander was standing there as they stretched Paul out to be whipped. Paul said to him, “Does the law allow you to whip a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”

26When the commander heard this, he went to the commanding officer and reported it. “What are you going to do?” the commander asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.”

27So the commanding officer went to Paul. “Tell me,” he asked. “Are you a Roman citizen?”

“Yes, I am,” Paul answered.

28Then the officer said, “I had to pay a lot of money to become a citizen.”

“But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.

29Right away those who were about to question him left. Even the officer was alarmed. He realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.

Paul Is Taken to the Sanhedrin

30The commanding officer wanted to find out exactly what the Jews had against Paul. So the next day he let Paul out of prison. He ordered a meeting of the chief priests and all the members of the Sanhedrin. Then he brought Paul and had him stand in front of them.