Chapter 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
1:1 My former narrative, Theophilus, dealt with all that Jesus did and taught as a beginning, down to the day on which,
1:2 after giving instruction through the Holy Spirit to the Apostles whom He had chosen, He was taken up to Heaven.
1:3 He had also, after He suffered, shown Himself alive to them with many sure proofs, appearing to them at intervals during forty days, and speaking of the Kingdom of God.
1:4 And while in their company He charged them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father's promised gift. "This you have heard of," He said, "from me.
1:5 For John indeed baptized with water, but before many days have passed you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
1:6 Once when they were with Him, they asked Him, "Master, is this the time at which you are about to restore the kingdom of Israel?"
1:7 "It is not for you," He replied, "to know times or epochs which the Father has reserved within His own authority;
1:8 and yet you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and Samaria and to the remotest parts of the earth."
1:9 When He had said this, and while they were looking at Him, He was carried up, and a cloud closing beneath Him hid Him from their sight.
1:10 But, while they stood intently gazing into the sky as He went, suddenly there were two men in white garments standing by them,
1:11 who said, "Galilaeans, why stand looking into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into Heaven will come in just the same way as you have seen Him going into Heaven."
1:12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called the Oliveyard, which is near Jerusalem, about a mile off.
1:13 They entered the city, and they went up to the upper room which was now their fixed place for meeting. Their names were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the brother of James.
1:14 All of these with one mind continued earnest in prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers.
1:15 It was on one of these days that Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren--the entire number of persons present being about 120--and said,
1:16 "Brethren, it was necessary that the Scripture should be fulfilled--the prediction, I mean, which the Holy Spirit uttered by the lips of David, about Judas, who acted as guide to those who arrested Jesus.
1:17 For Judas was reckoned as one of our number, and a share in this ministry was allotted to him."
1:18 (Now having bought a piece of ground with the money paid for his wickedness he fell there with his face downwards, and, his body bursting open, he became disembowelled.
1:19 This fact became widely known to the people of Jerusalem, so that the place received the name, in their language, of Achel-damach, which means `The Field of Blood.')
1:20 "For it is written in the Book of Psalms, <"`Let his encampment be desolate: let there be no one to dwell there';> and <"`His work let another take up.'>
1:21 "It is necessary, therefore, that of the men who have been with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us--
1:22 beginning from His baptism by John down to the day on which He was taken up again from us into Heaven--one should be appointed to become a witness with us as to His resurrection."
1:23 So two names were proposed, Joseph called Bar-sabbas--and surnamed Justus--and Matthias.
1:24 And the brethren prayed, saying, "Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all, show clearly which of these two Thou hast chosen
1:25 to occupy the place in this ministry and Apostleship from which Judas through transgression fell, in order to go to his own place."
1:26 Then they drew lots between them. The lot fell on Matthias, and a place among the eleven Apostles was voted to him.
2:1 At length, on the day of the Harvest Festival, they had all met in one place;
2:2 when suddenly there came from the sky a sound as of a strong rushing blast of wind. This filled the whole house where they were sitting;
2:3 and they saw tongues of what looked like fire distributing themselves over the assembly, and on the head of each person a tongue alighted.
2:4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in foreign languages according as the Spirit gave them words to utter.
2:5 Now there were Jews residing in Jerusalem, devout men from every part of the world.
2:6 So when this noise was heard, they came crowding together, and were amazed because everyone heard his own language spoken.
2:7 They were beside themselves with wonder, and exclaimed, "Are not all these speakers Galilaeans?
2:8 How then does each of us hear his own native language spoken by them?
2:9 Some of us are Parthians, Medes, Elamites. Some are inhabitants of Mesopotamia, of Judaea or Cappadocia, of Pontus or the Asian Province, of Phrygia or Pamphylia,
2:10 of Egypt or of the parts of Africa towards Cyrene. Others are visitors from Rome--being either Jews or converts from heathenism--and others are Cretans or Arabians.
2:11 Yet we all alike hear these Galilaeans speaking in our own language about the wonderful things which God has done."
2:12 They were all astounded and bewildered, and asked one another, "What can this mean?"
2:13 But others, scornfully jeering, said, "They are brim-full of sweet wine."
2:14 Peter however, together with the Eleven, stood up and addressed them in a loud voice. "Men of Judaea, and all you inhabitants of Jerusalem," he said, "be in no uncertainty about this matter but pay attention to what I say.
2:15 For this is not intoxication, as you suppose, it being only the third hour of the day.
2:16 But that which was predicted through the Prophet Joel has happened:
2:17 <"And it shall come to pass in the last days, God says, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall have dreams;
2:18 and even upon My bondservants, both men and women, at that time, I will pour out My Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
2:19 I will display marvels in the sky above, and signs on the earth below, blood and fire, and pillars of smoke.
2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, to usher in the day of the Lord-- that great and illustrious day;
2:21 and every one who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'>
2:22 "Listen, Israelites, to what I say. Jesus, the Nazarene, a man accredited to you from God by miracles and marvels and signs which God did among you through Him, as you yourselves know, Him--
2:23 delivered up through God's settled purpose and foreknowledge--you by the hands of Gentiles have nailed to a cross and have put to death.
2:24 But God has raised Him to life, having terminated the throes of death, for in fact it was not possible for Him to be held fast by death.
2:25 For David says in reference to Him, <"`I constantly fixed my eyes upon the Lord, because He is at my right hand in order that I may continue unshaken.
2:26 For this reason my heart is glad and my tongue exults. My body also shall rest in hope.
2:27 For Thou wilt not leave me in the Unseen World forsaken, nor give up Thy holy One to undergo decay.
2:28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of Life: Thou wilt fill me with gladness in Thy presence.'>
2:29 "As to the patriarch David, I need hardly remind you, brethren, that he died and was buried, and that we still have his tomb among us.
2:30 Being a Prophet, however, and knowing that God had solemnly sworn to him to seat a descendant of his upon his throne,
2:31 with prophetic foresight he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, to the effect that He was not left forsaken in the Unseen World, nor did His body undergo decay.
2:32 This Jesus, God has raised to life-- a fact to which all of us testify.
2:33 "Being therefore lifted high by the mighty hand of God, He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out this which you see and hear.
2:34 For David did not ascend into Heaven, but he says himself, <"`The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand
2:35 until I make thy foes a footstool under thy feet.'>
2:36 "Therefore let the whole House of Israel know beyond all doubt that God has made Him both LORD and CHRIST--this Jesus whom you crucified."
2:37 Stung to the heart by these words, they said to Peter and the rest of the Apostles, "Brethren, what are we to do?"
2:38 "Repent," replied Peter, "and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, with a view to the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
2:39 For to you belongs the promise, and to your children, and to all who are far off, whoever the Lord our God may call."
2:40 And with many more appeals he solemnly warned and entreated them, saying, "Escape from this crooked generation."
2:41 Those, therefore, who joyfully welcomed his Message were baptized; and on that one day about three thousand persons were added to them;
2:42 and they were constant in listening to the teaching of the Apostles and in their attendance at the Communion, that is, the Breaking of the Bread, and at prayer.
2:43 Fear came upon every one, and many marvels and signs were done by the Apostles.
2:44 And all the believers kept together, and had everything in common.
2:45 They sold their lands and other property, and distributed the proceeds among all, according to every one's necessities.
2:46 And, day by day, attending constantly in the Temple with one accord, and breaking bread in private houses, they took their meals with great happiness and single-heartedness,
2:47 praising God and being regarded with favour by all the people. Also, day by day, the Lord added to their number those whom He was saving.
3:1 One day Peter and John were going up to the Temple for the hour of prayer--the ninth hour--and, just then,
3:2 some men were carrying there one who had been lame from birth, whom they were wont to place every day close to the Beautiful Gate (as it was called) of the Temple, for him to beg from the people as they went in.
3:3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the Temple, he asked them for alms.
3:4 Peter fixing his eyes on him, as John did also, said, "Look at us."
3:5 So he looked and waited, expecting to receive something from them.
3:6 "I have no silver or gold," Peter said, "but what I have, I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene-- walk!"
3:7 Then taking his hand Peter lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were strengthened.
3:8 Leaping up, he stood upright and began to walk, and went into the Temple with them, walking, leaping, and praising God.
3:9 All the people saw him walking and praising God;
3:10 and recognizing him as the man who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple asking for alms, they were filled with awe and amazement at what had happened to him.
3:11 While he still clung to Peter and John, the people, awe-struck, ran up crowding round them in what was known as Solomon's Portico.
3:12 Peter, seeing this, spoke to the people. "Israelites," he said, "why do you wonder at this man? Or why gaze at us, as though by any power or piety of our own we had enabled him to walk?
3:13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has conferred this honour on His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to let Him go.
3:14 Yes, you disowned the holy and righteous One, and asked as a favour the release of a murderer.
3:15 The Prince of Life you put to death; but God has raised Him from the dead, and we are witnesses as to that.
3:16 It is His name-- faith in that name being the condition--which has strengthened this man whom you behold and know; and the faith which He has given has made this man sound and strong again, as you can all see.
3:17 "And now, brethren, I know that it was in ignorance that you did it, as was the case with your rulers also.
3:18 But in this way God has fulfilled the declarations He made through all the Prophets, that His Christ would suffer.
3:19 Repent, therefore, and reform your lives, so that the record of your sins may be cancelled, and that there may come seasons of revival from the Lord,
3:20 and that He may send the Christ appointed beforehand for you--even Jesus.
3:21 Heaven must receive Him until those times of which God has spoken from the earliest ages through the lips of His holy Prophets--the times of the reconstitution of all things.
3:22 Moses declared, <"`The Lord your God will raise up a Prophet for you from among your brethren as He has raised me. In all that He says to you, you must listen to Him.
3:23 And every one, without exception, who refuses to listen to that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the People.'>
3:24 Yes, and all the Prophets, from Samuel onwards--all who have spoken--have also announced the coming of this present time.
3:25 "You are the heirs of the Prophets, and of the Covenant which God made with your forefathers when He said to Abraham, <`And through your posterity all the families of the world shall be blessed.'>
3:26 It is to you first that God, after raising His Servant from the grave, has sent Him to bless you, by causing every one of you to turn from your wickedness."
4:1 While they were saying this to the people, the Priests, the Commander of the Temple Guard, and the Sadducees came upon them,
4:2 highly incensed at their teaching the people and proclaiming in the case of Jesus the Resurrection from among the dead.
4:3 They arrested the two Apostles and lodged them in custody till the next day; for it was already evening.
4:4 But many of those who had listened to their preaching believed; and the number of the adult men had now grown to be about 5,000.
4:5 The next day a meeting was held in Jerusalem of their Rulers, Elders, and Scribes,
4:6 with Annas the High Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and the other members of the high-priestly family.
4:7 So they made the Apostles stand in the centre, and demanded of them, "By what power or in what name have you done this?"
4:8 Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he replied, "Rulers and Elders of the people,
4:9 if we to-day are under examination concerning the benefit conferred on a man helplessly lame, as to how this man has been cured;
4:10 be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that through the name of Jesus the Anointed, the Nazarene, whom *you* crucified, but whom *God* has raised from among the dead-- through that name this man stands here before you in perfect health.
4:11 This Jesus is <the Stone treated with contempt by you the builders, but it has been made the Cornerstone.>
4:12 And in no other is the great salvation to be found; for, in fact, there is no second name under Heaven that has been given among men through which we are to be saved."
4:13 As they looked on Peter and John so fearlessly outspoken--and also discovered that they were illiterate persons, untrained in the schools--they were surprised; and now they recognized them as having been with Jesus.
4:14 And seeing the man standing with them--the man who had been cured--they had no reply to make.
4:15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin while they conferred among themselves.
4:16 "What are we to do with these men?" they asked one another; for the fact that a remarkable miracle has been performed by them is well known to every one in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.
4:17 But to prevent the matter spreading any further among the people, let us stop them by threats from speaking in the future in this name to any one whatever."
4:18 So they recalled the Apostles, and ordered them altogether to give up speaking or teaching in the name of Jesus.
4:19 But Peter and John replied, "Judge whether it is right in God's sight to listen to you instead of listening to God.
4:20 As for us, what we have seen and heard we cannot help speaking about."
4:21 The Court added further threats and then let them go, being quite unable to find any way of punishing them on account of the people, because all gave God the glory for the thing that had happened.
4:22 For the man was over forty years of age on whom this miracle of restoration to health had been performed.
4:23 After their release the two Apostles went to their friends, and told them all that the High Priests and Elders had said.
4:24 And they, upon hearing the story, all lifted up their voices to God and said, "O Sovereign Lord, it is Thou who didst make Heaven and earth and sea, and all that is in them,
4:25 and didst say through the Holy Spirit by the lips of our forefather David Thy servant, <"`Why have the nations stamped and raged, and the peoples formed futile plans?
4:26 The kings of the earth came near, and the rulers assembled together against the Lord and against His Anointed.'">
4:27 "They did indeed assemble in this city in hostility to Thy holy Servant Jesus whom Thou hadst anointed--Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and also the tribes of Israel--
4:28 to do all that Thy power and Thy will had predetermined should be done.
4:29 And now, Lord, listen to their threats, and enable Thy servants to proclaim Thy Message with fearless courage,
4:30 whilst Thou stretchest out Thine arm to cure men, and to give signs and marvels through the name of Thy holy Servant Jesus."
4:31 When they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled shook, and they were, one and all, filled with the Holy Spirit, and proceeded to tell God's Message with boldness.
4:32 Among all those who had embraced the faith there was but one heart and soul, so that none of them claimed any of his possessions as his own, but everything they had was common property;
4:33 while the Apostles with great force of conviction delivered their testimony as to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and great grace was upon them all.
4:34 And, in fact, there was not a needy man among them, for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the money which they realised,
4:35 and gave it to the Apostles, and distribution was made to every one according to his wants.
4:36 In this way Joseph, whom the Apostles gave the name of Bar-nabas--signifying `Son of Encouragement' --a Levite, a native of Cyprus,
4:37 sold a farm which he had, and brought the money and gave it to the Apostles.
5:1 There was a man of the name of Ananias who, with his wife Sapphira, sold some property but,
5:2 with her full knowledge and consent, dishonestly kept back part of the price which he received for it, though he brought the rest and gave it to the Apostles.
5:3 "Ananias," said Peter, "why has Satan taken possession of your heart, that you should try to deceive the Holy Spirit and dishonestly keep back part of the price paid you for this land?
5:4 While it remained unsold, was not the land your own? And when sold, was it not at your own disposal? How is it that you have cherished this design in your heart? It is not to men you have told this lie, but to God."
5:5 Upon hearing these words Ananias fell down dead, and all who heard the words were awe-struck.
5:6 The younger men, however, rose, and wrapping the body up, carried it out and buried it.
5:7 About three hours had passed, when his wife came in, knowing nothing of what had happened.
5:8 Peter at once questioned her. "Tell me," he said, "whether you sold the land for so much." "Yes," she replied, "for so much."
5:9 "How was it," replied Peter, "that you two agreed to try an experiment upon the Spirit of the Lord? The men who have buried your husband are already at the door, and they will carry you out."
5:10 Instantly she fell down dead at his feet, and the young men came in and found her dead. So they carried her out and buried her by her husband's side.
5:11 This incident struck terror into the whole Church, and into the hearts of all who heard of it.
5:12 Many signs and marvels continued to be done among the people by the Apostles; and by common consent they all met in Solomon's Portico.
5:13 But none of the others dared to attach themselves to them. Yet the people held them in high honour--
5:14 and more and more believers in the Lord joined them, including great numbers both of men and women--
5:15 so that they would even bring out their sick friends into the streets and lay them on light couches or mats, in order that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or other of them.
5:16 The inhabitants, too, of the towns in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem came in crowds, bringing sick persons and some who were harassed by foul spirits, and they were cured, one and all.
5:17 This roused the High Priest. He and all his party--the sect of the Sadducees--were filled with angry jealousy
5:18 and laid hands upon the Apostles, and put them into the public jail.
5:19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said,
5:20 "Go and stand in the Temple, and go on proclaiming to the people all this Message of Life."
5:21 Having received that command they went into the Temple, just before daybreak, and began to teach: So when the High Priest and his party came, and had called together the Sanhedrin as well as all the Elders of the descendants of Israel, they sent to the jail to fetch the Apostles.
5:22 But the officers went and could not find them in the prison. So they came back and brought word,
5:23 saying, "The jail we found quite safely locked, and the warders were on guard at the doors, but upon going in we found no one there."
5:24 When the Commander of the Temple Guards and the High Priests heard this statement, they were utterly at a loss with regard to it, wondering what would happen next.
5:25 And some one came and brought them word, saying, "The men you put in prison are actually in the Temple, standing there, teaching the people."
5:26 Upon this the Commander went with the officers, and brought the Apostles; but without using violence; for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
5:27 So they brought them and made them stand in front of the Sanhedrin. And then the High Priest questioned them.
5:28 "We strictly forbad you to teach in that name--did we not?" he said. "And see, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and are trying to make us responsible for that man's death!"
5:29 Peter and the other Apostles replied, "We must obey God rather than man.
5:30 The God of our forefathers has raised Jesus to life, whom you crucified and put to death.
5:31 God has exalted Him to His right hand as Chief Leader and as Saviour, to give Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
5:32 And we--and the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him--are witnesses as to these things."
5:33 Infuriated at getting this answer, they were disposed to kill the Apostles.
5:34 But a Pharisee of the name of Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, held in honour by all the people, rose from his seat and requested that they should be sent outside the court for a few minutes.
5:35 "Israelites," he said, "be careful what you are about to do in dealing with these men.
5:36 Years ago Theudas appeared, professing to be a person of importance, and a body of men, some four hundred in number, joined him. He was killed, and all his followers were dispersed and annihilated.
5:37 After him, at the time of the Census, came Judas, the Galilaean, and was the leader in a revolt. He too perished, and all his followers were scattered.
5:38 And now I tell you to hold aloof from these men and leave them alone--for if this scheme or work is of human origin, it will come to nothing.
5:39 But if it is really from God, you will be powerless to put them down--lest perhaps you find yourselves to be actually fighting against God."
5:40 His advice carried conviction. So they called the Apostles in, and--after flogging them--ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then let them go.
5:41 They, therefore, left the Sanhedrin and went their way, rejoicing that they had been deemed worthy to suffer disgrace on behalf of the NAME.
5:42 But they did not desist from teaching every day, in the Temple or in private houses, and telling the Good News about Jesus, the Christ.
6:1 About this time, as the number of disciples was increasing, complaints were made by the Greek-speaking Jews against the Hebrews because their widows were habitually overlooked in the daily ministration.
6:2 So the Twelve called together the general body of the disciples and said, "It does not seem fitting that we Apostles should neglect the delivery of God's Message and minister at tables.
6:3 Therefore, brethren, pick out from among yourselves seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, and we will appoint them to undertake this duty.
6:4 But, as for us, we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the delivery of the Message."
6:5 The suggestion met with general approval, and they selected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch.
6:6 These men they brought to the Apostles, and, after prayer, they laid their hands upon them.
6:7 Meanwhile God's Message continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem very greatly increased, and very many priests obeyed the faith.
6:8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, performed great marvels and signs among the people.
6:9 But some members of the so-called `Synagogue of the Freed-men,' together with some Cyrenaeans, Alexandrians, Cilicians and men from Roman Asia, were roused to encounter Stephen in debate.
6:10 They were quite unable, however, to resist the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.
6:11 Then they privately put forward men who declared, "We have heard him speak blasphemous things against Moses and against God."
6:12 In this way they excited the people, the Elders, and the Scribes. At length they came upon him, seized him with violence, and took him before the Sanhedrin.
6:13 Here they brought forward false witnesses who declared, "This fellow is incessantly speaking against the Holy Place and the Law.
6:14 For we have heard him say that Jesus, the Nazarene, will pull this place down to the ground and will change the customs which Moses handed down to us."
6:15 At once the eyes of all who were sitting in the Sanhedrin were fastened on him, and they saw his face looking just like the face of an angel.
7:1 Then the High Priest asked him, "Are these statements true?"
7:2 The reply of Stephen was, "Sirs--brethren and fathers--listen to me. God Most Glorious appeared to our forefather Abraham when he was living in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran,
7:3 and said to him, "`Leave your country and your relatives, and go into whatever land I point out to you.'
7:4 "Thereupon he left Chaldaea and settled in Haran till after the death of his father, when God caused him to remove into this country where you now live.
7:5 But he gave him no inheritance in it, no, not a single square yard of ground. And yet He promised to bestow the land as a permanent possession on him and his posterity after him--and promised this at a time when Abraham was childless.
7:6 And God declared that Abraham's posterity should for four hundred years make their home in a country not their own, and be reduced to slavery and be oppressed.
7:7 "`And the nation, whichever it is, that enslaves them, I will judge,' said God; `and afterwards they shall come out, and they shall worship Me in this place.'
7:8 "Then He gave him the Covenant of circumcision, and under this Covenant he became the father of Isaac--whom he circumcised on the eighth day. Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve Patriarchs.
7:9 "The Patriarchs were jealous of Joseph and sold him into slavery in Egypt. But God was with him
7:10 and delivered him from all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom when he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who appointed him governor over Egypt and all the royal household.
7:11 But there came a famine throughout the whole of Egypt and Canaan--and great distress--so that our forefathers could find no food.
7:12 When, however, Jacob heard that there was wheat to be had, he sent our forefathers into Egypt; that was the first time.
7:13 On their second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Pharaoh was informed of Joseph's parentage.
7:14 Then Joseph sent and invited his father Jacob and all his family, numbering seventy-five persons, to come to him,
7:15 and Jacob went down into Egypt. There he died, and so did our forefathers,
7:16 and they were taken to Shechem and were laid in the tomb which Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a sum of money paid in silver.
7:17 "But as the time drew near for the fulfilment of the promise which God had made to Abraham, the people became many times more numerous in Egypt,
7:18 until there arose a foreign king over Egypt who knew nothing of Joseph.
7:19 He adopted a crafty policy towards our race, and oppressed our forefathers, making them cast out their infants so that they might not be permitted to live.
7:20 At this time Moses was born--a wonderfully beautiful child; and for three months he was cared for in his father's house.
7:21 At length he was cast out, but Pharaoh's daughter adopted him, and brought him up as her own son.
7:22 So Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and possessed great influence through his eloquence and his achievements.
7:23 "And when he was just forty years old, it occurred to him to visit his brethren the descendants of Israel.
7:24 Seeing one of them wrongfully treated he took his part, and secured justice for the ill-treated man by striking down the Egyptian.
7:25 He supposed his brethren to be aware that by him God was sending them deliverance; this, however, they did not understand.
7:26 The next day, also, he came and found two of them fighting, and he endeavoured to make peace between them. "`Sirs,' he said, `you are brothers. Why are you wronging one another?'
7:27 "But the man who was doing the wrong resented his interference, and asked, "`Who appointed you magistrate and judge over us?
7:28 Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?'
7:29 "Alarmed at this question, Moses fled from the country and went to live in the land of Midian. There he became the father of two sons.
7:30 "But at the end of forty years there appeared to him in the Desert of Mount Sinai an angel in the middle of a flame of fire in a bush.
7:31 When Moses saw this he wondered at the sight; but on his going up to look further, the voice of the Lord was heard, saying,
7:32 "`I am the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.' "Quaking with fear Moses did not dare gaze.
7:33 "`Take off your shoes,' said the Lord, `for the spot on which you are standing is holy ground.
7:34 I have seen, yes, I have seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt and have heard their groans, and I have come down to deliver them. And now I will send you to Egypt.'
7:35 "The Moses whom they rejected, asking him, `Who appointed you magistrate and judge?' --that same Moses we find God sending as a magistrate and a deliverer by the help of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.
7:36 This was he who brought them out, after performing marvels and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea, and in the Desert for forty years.
7:37 This is the Moses who said to the descendants of Israel, <"`God will raise up a Prophet for you, from among your brethren, just as He raised me up.'>
7:38 `This is he who was among the Congregation in the Desert, together with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai and with our forefathers, who received ever-living utterances to hand on to us.
7:39 "Our forefathers, however, would not submit to him, but spurned his authority and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.
7:40 They said to Aaron, "`Make gods for us, to march in front of us; for as for this Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.'
7:41 "Moreover they made a calf at that time, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and kept rejoicing in the gods which their own hands had made.
7:42 So God turned from them and gave them up to the worship of the Host of Heaven, as it is written in the Book of the Prophets, <"'Were they victims and sacrifices which you offered Me, forty years in the Desert, O House of Israel?
7:43 Yes, you lifted up Moloch's tent and the Star of the God Rephan--the images which you made in order to worship them; and I will remove you beyond Babylon.'>
7:44 "Our forefathers had the Tent of the Testimony in the Desert, built as He who spoke to Moses had instructed him to make it in imitation of the model which he had seen.
7:45 That Tent was bequeathed to the next generation of our forefathers. Under Joshua they brought it with them when they were taking possession of the land of the Gentile nations, whom God drove out before them. So it continued till David's time.
7:46 David obtained favour with God, and asked leave to provide a dwelling-place for the God of Jacob.
7:47 But it was Solomon who built a house for Him.
7:48 Yet the Most High does not dwell in buildings erected by men's hands. But, as the Prophet declares,
7:49 <"`The sky is My throne, and earth is the footstool for My feet. What kind of house will you build for Me, says the Lord, or what resting place shall I have?
7:50 Did not My hand form this universe.'>
7:51 "O stiff-necked men, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you also are continually at strife with the Holy Spirit--just as your forefathers were.
7:52 Which of the Prophets did not your forefathers persecute? Yes, they killed those who announced beforehand the advent of the righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become--
7:53 you who received the Law given through angels, and yet have not obeyed it."
7:54 As they listened to these words, they became infuriated and gnashed their teeth at him.
7:55 But, full of the Holy Spirit and looking up to Heaven, Stephen saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God's right hand.
7:56 "I can see Heaven wide open," he said, "and the Son of Man standing at God's right hand."
7:57 Upon this, with a loud outcry they stopped their ears, rushed upon Stephen in a body,
7:58 dragged him out of the city, and stoned him, the witnesses throwing off their outer garments and giving them into the care of a young man called Saul.
7:59 So they stoned Stephen, while he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
7:60 Then, rising on his knees, he cried aloud, "Lord, do not reckon this sin against them." And with these words he fell asleep.
8:1 And Saul fully approved of his murder. At this time a great persecution broke out against the Church in Jerusalem, and all except the Apostles were scattered throughout Judaea and Samaria.
8:2 A party of devout men, however, buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him.
8:3 But Saul cruelly harassed the Church. He went into house after house, and, dragging off both men and women, threw them into prison.
8:4 Those, however, who were scattered abroad went from place to place spreading the Good News of God's Message;
8:5 while Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed Christ there.
8:6 Crowds of people, with one accord, gave attention to what they heard from him, listening, and witnessing the signs which he did.
8:7 For, with a loud cry, foul spirits came out of many possessed by them, and many paralytics and lame persons were restored to health.
8:8 And there was great joy in that city.
8:9 Now for some time past there had been a man named Simon living there, who had been practising magic and astonishing the Samaritans, pretending that he was more than human.
8:10 To him people of all classes paid attention, declaring, "This man is the Power of God, known as the great Power."
8:11 His influence over them arose from their having been, for a long time, bewildered by his sorceries.
8:12 But when Philip began to tell the Good News about the Kingdom of God and about the Name of Jesus Christ, and they embraced the faith, they were baptized, men and women alike.
8:13 Simon himself also believed, and after being baptized remained in close attendance on Philip, and was full of amazement at seeing such signs and such great miracles performed.
8:14 When the Apostles in Jerusalem heard that the Samaritans had accepted God's Message, they sent Peter and John to visit them.
8:15 They, when they came down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit:
8:16 for He had not as yet fallen upon any of them. They had only been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.
8:17 Then the Apostles placed their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
8:18 When, however, Simon saw that it was through the laying on of the Apostles' hands that the Spirit was bestowed, he offered them money.
8:19 "Give me too," he said, "that power, so that every one on whom I place my hands will receive the Holy Spirit."
8:20 "Perish your money and yourself," replied Peter, "because you have imagined that you can obtain God's free gift with money!
8:21 No part or lot have you in this matter, for your heart is not right in God's sight.
8:22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord, in the hope that the purpose which is in your heart may perhaps be forgiven you.
8:23 For I perceive that you have fallen into the bitterest bondage of unrighteousness."
8:24 "Pray, both of you, to the Lord for me," answered Simon, "that nothing of what you have said may come upon me."
8:25 So the Apostles, after giving a solemn charge and delivering the Lord's Message, travelled back to Jerusalem, making known the Good News also in many of the Samaritan villages.
8:26 And an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Rise and proceed south to the road that runs down from Jerusalem to Gaza, crossing the Desert."
8:27 Upon this he rose and went. Now, as it happened, an Ethiopian eunuch who was in a position of high authority with Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, as her treasurer, had visited Jerusalem to worship there,
8:28 and was now on his way home; and as he sat in his chariot he was reading the Prophet Isaiah.
8:29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go and enter that chariot."
8:30 So Philip ran up and heard the eunuch reading the Prophet Isaiah. "Do you understand what you are reading?" he asked.
8:31 "Why, how can I," replied the eunuch, "unless some one explains it to me?" And he earnestly invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
8:32 The passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: <"Like a sheep He was led to slaughter, and just as a lamb before its shearer is dumb so He opened not His mouth.
8:33 In His humiliation justice was denied Him. Who will make known His posterity? For He is destroyed from among men.">
8:34 "Pray, of whom is the Prophet speaking?" inquired the eunuch; "of himself or of some one else?"
8:35 Then Philip began to speak, and, commencing with that same portion of Scripture, told him the Good News about Jesus.
8:36 So they proceeded on their way till they came to some water; and the eunuch exclaimed, "See, here is water; what is there to prevent my being baptized?"
8:38 So he stopped the chariot; and both of them--Philip and the eunuch--went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.
8:39 But no sooner had they come up out of the water than the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again. With a glad heart he resumed his journey;
8:40 but Philip found himself at Ashdod. Then visiting town after town he everywhere made known the Good News until he reached Caesarea.
9:1 Now Saul, whose every breath was a threat of destruction for the disciples of the Lord,
9:2 went to the High Priest and begged from him letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, in order that if he found any believers there, either men or women, he might bring them in chains to Jerusalem.
9:3 But on the journey, as he was getting near Damascus, suddenly there flashed round him a light from Heaven;
9:4 and falling to the ground he heard a voice which said to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
9:5 "Who art thou, Lord?" he asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," was the reply.
9:6 "But rise and go to the city, and you will be told what you are to do.
9:7 Meanwhile the men who travelled with Saul were standing dumb with amazement, hearing a sound, but seeing no one.
9:8 Then he rose from the ground, but when he had opened his eyes, he could not see, and they led him by the arm and brought him to Damascus.
9:9 And for two days he remained without sight, and did not eat or drink anything.
9:10 Now in Damascus there was a disciple of the name of Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, saying, "Ananias!" "I am here, Lord," he answered.
9:11 "Rise," said the Lord, "and go to Straight Street, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man called Saul, from Tarsus, for he is actually praying.
9:12 He has seen a man called Ananias come and lay his hands upon him so that he may recover his sight."
9:13 "Lord," answered Ananias, "I have heard about that man from many, and I have heard of the great mischief he has done to Thy people in Jerusalem;
9:14 and here he is authorized by the High Priests to arrest all who call upon Thy name."
9:15 "Go," replied the Lord; "he is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My name to the Gentiles and to kings and to the descendants of Israel.
9:16 For I will let him know the great sufferings which he must pass through for My sake."
9:17 So Ananias went and entered the house; and, laying his two hands upon Saul, said, "Saul, brother, the Lord--even Jesus who appeared to you on your journey--has sent me, that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
9:18 Instantly there dropped from his eyes what seemed to be scales, and he could see once more. Upon this he rose and received baptism;
9:19 after which he took food and regained his strength. Then he remained some little time with the disciples in Damascus.
9:20 And in the synagogues he began at once to proclaim Jesus as the Son of God;
9:21 and his hearers were all amazed, and began to ask one another, "Is not this the man who in Jerusalem tried to exterminate those who called upon that Name, and came here on purpose to carry them off in chains to the High Priests?"
9:22 Saul, however, gained more and more influence, and as for the Jews living in Damascus, he bewildered them with his proofs that Jesus is the Christ.
9:23 At length the Jews plotted to kill Saul;
9:24 but information of their intention was given to him. They even watched the gates, day and night, in order to murder him;
9:25 but his disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall, lowering him in a hamper.
9:26 So he came to Jerusalem and made several attempts to associate with the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, being in doubt as to whether he himself was a disciple.
9:27 Barnabas, however, came to his assistance. He brought Saul to the Apostles, and related to them how, on his journey, he had seen the Lord, and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had fearlessly taught in the name of Jesus.
9:28 Henceforth Saul was one of them, going in and out of the city,
9:29 and speaking fearlessly in the name of the Lord. And he often talked with the Hellenists and had discussions with them.
9:30 But they kept trying to take his life. On learning this, the brethren brought him down to Caesarea, and then sent him by sea to Tarsus.
9:31 The Church, however, throughout the whole of Judaea, Galilee and Samaria, had peace and was spiritually built up; and grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord and receiving encouragement from the Holy Spirit.
9:32 Now Peter, as he went to town after town, came down also to God's people at Lud.
9:33 There he found a man of the name of Aeneas, who for eight years had kept his bed, through being paralysed.
9:34 Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ cures you. Rise and make your own bed." He at once rose to his feet.
9:35 And all the people of Lud and Sharon saw him; and they turned to the Lord.
9:36 Among the disciples at Jaffa was a woman called Tabitha, or, as the name may be translated, `Dorcas.' Her life was wholly devoted to the good and charitable actions which she was constantly doing.
9:37 But, as it happened, just at that time she was taken ill and died. After washing her body they laid it out in a room upstairs.
9:38 Lud, however, being near Jaffa, the disciples, who had heard that Peter was at Lud, sent two men to him with an urgent request that he would come across to them without delay.
9:39 So Peter rose and went with them. On his arrival they took him upstairs, and the widow women all came and stood by his side, weeping and showing him the underclothing and cloaks and garments of all kinds which Dorcas used to make while she was still with them.
9:40 Peter, however, putting every one out of the room, knelt down and prayed, and then turning to the body, he said, "Tabitha, rise." Dorcas at once opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, sat up.
9:41 Then, giving her his hand, he raised her to her feet and, calling to him God's people and the widows, he gave her back to them alive.
9:42 This incident became known throughout Jaffa, and many believed in the Lord;
9:43 and Peter remained for a considerable time at Jaffa, staying at the house of a man called Simon, a tanner.
10:1 Now a Captain of the Italian Regiment, named Cornelius, was quartered at Caesarea.
10:2 He was religious and God-fearing--and so was every member of his household. He was also liberal in his charities to the people, and continually offered prayer to God.
10:3 About three o'clock one afternoon he had a vision, and distinctly saw an angel of God enter his house, who called him by name, saying, "Cornelius!"
10:4 Looking steadily at him, and being much alarmed, he said, "What do you want, Sir?" "Your prayers and charities," he replied, "have gone up and have been recorded before God.
10:5 And now send to Jaffa and fetch Simon, surnamed Peter.
10:6 He is staying as a guest with Simon, a tanner, who has a house close to the sea."
10:7 So when the angel who had been speaking to him was gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a God-fearing soldier who was in constant attendance on him,
10:8 and, after telling them everything, he sent them to Jaffa.
10:9 The next day, while they were still on their journey and were getting near the town, about noon Peter went up on the house-top to pray.
10:10 He had become unusually hungry and wished for food; but, while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance.
10:11 The sky had opened to his view, and what seemed to be an enormous sail was descending, being let down to the earth by ropes at the four corners.
10:12 In it were all kinds of quadrupeds, reptiles and birds,
10:13 and a voice came to him which said, "Rise, Peter, kill and eat."
10:14 "On no account, Lord," he replied; "for I have never yet eaten anything unholy and impure."
10:15 Again a second time a voice was heard which said, "What God has purified, you must not regard as unholy."
10:16 This was said three times, and immediately the sail was drawn up out of sight.
10:17 While Peter was greatly perplexed as to the meaning of the vision which he had seen, just then the men sent by Cornelius, having by inquiry found out Simon's house,
10:18 had come to the door and had called the servant, and were asking, "Is Simon, surnamed Peter, staying here?"
10:19 And Peter was still earnestly thinking over the vision, when the Spirit said to him, "Three men are now inquiring for you.
10:20 Rise, go down, and go with them without any misgivings; for it is I who have sent them to you."
10:21 So Peter went down and said to the men, "I am the Simon you are inquiring for. What is the reason of your coming?"
10:22 Their reply was, "Cornelius, a Captain, an upright and God-fearing man, of whom the whole Jewish nation speaks well, has been divinely instructed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and listen to what you have to say."
10:23 Upon hearing this, Peter invited them in, and gave them a lodging. The next day he set out with them, some of the brethren from Jaffa going with him,
10:24 and the day after that they reached Caesarea. There Cornelius was awaiting their arrival, and had invited all his relatives and intimate friends to be present.
10:25 When Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him, and threw himself at his feet to do him homage.
10:26 But Peter lifted him up. "Stand up," he said; "I myself also am but a man."
10:27 So Peter went in and conversed with him, and found a large company assembled.
10:28 He said to them, "You know better than most that a Jew is strictly forbidden to associate with a Gentile or visit him; but God has taught me to call no one unholy or unclean.
10:29 So for this reason, when sent for, I came without raising any objection. I therefore ask why you sent for me."
10:30 "Just at this hour, three days ago," replied Cornelius, "I was offering afternoon prayer in my house, when suddenly a man in shining raiment stood in front of me,
10:31 who said, "`Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your charities have been put on record before God.
10:32 Send therefore to Jaffa, and invite Simon, surnamed Peter, to come here. He is staying as a guest in the house of Simon, a tanner, close to the sea.'
10:33 "Immediately, therefore, I sent to you, and I thank you heartily for having come. That is why all of us are now assembled here in God's presence, to listen to what the Lord has commanded you to say."
10:34 Then Peter began to speak. "I clearly see," he said, "that God makes no distinctions between one man and another;
10:35 but that in every nation those who fear Him and live good lives are acceptable to Him.
10:36 The Message which He sent to the descendants of Israel, when He announced the Good News of peace through Jesus Christ--He is Lord of all--that Message you cannot but know;
10:37 the story, I mean, which has spread through the length and breadth of Judaea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism which John proclaimed.
10:38 It tells how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, so that He went about everywhere doing acts of kindness, and curing all who were being continually oppressed by the Devil--for God was with Jesus.
10:39 "And we are witnesses as to all that He did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. But they even put Him to death, by crucifixion.
10:40 That same Jesus God raised to life on the third day, and permitted Him to appear unmistakably,
10:41 not to all the people, but to witnesses--men previously chosen by God--namely, to us, who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead.
10:42 And He has commanded us to preach to the people and solemnly declare that this is He who has been appointed by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead.
10:43 To Him all the Prophets bear witness, and testify that through His name all who believe in Him receive the forgiveness of their sins."
10:44 While Peter was speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening to the Message.
10:45 And all the Jewish believers who had come with Peter were astonished that on the Gentiles also the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out.
10:46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling the majesty of God. Then Peter said,
10:47 "Can any one forbid the use of water, and object to these persons being baptized--men who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?"
10:48 And he directed that they should be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they begged him to remain with them for a time.
11:1 Now the Apostles, and the brethren in various parts of Judaea, heard that the Gentiles also had received God's Message;
11:2 and, when Peter returned to Jerusalem, the champions of circumcision found fault with him.
11:3 "You went into the houses of men who are not Jews," they said, "and you ate with them."
11:4 Peter, however, explained the whole matter to them from the beginning.
11:5 "While I was in the town of Jaffa, offering prayer," he said, "in a trance I saw a vision. There descended what seemed to be an enormous sail, being let down from the sky by ropes at the four corners, and it came close to me.
11:6 Fixing my eyes on it, I examined it closely, and saw various kinds of quadrupeds, wild beasts, reptiles and birds.
11:7 I also heard a voice saying to me, "`Rise, Peter, kill and eat.'
11:8 "`On no account, Lord,' I replied, `for nothing unholy or impure has ever gone into my mouth.'
11:9 "But a voice answered, speaking a second time from the sky, "`What God has purified, you must not regard as unholy.'
11:10 "This was said three times, and then everything was drawn up again out of sight.
11:11 "Now at that very moment three men came to the house where we were, having been sent from Caesarea to find me.
11:12 And the Spirit told me to accompany them without any misgivings. There also went with me these six brethren who are now present, and we reached the Centurion's house.
11:13 Then he described to us how he had seen the angel come and enter his house and say, "`Send to Jaffa and fetch Simon, surnamed Peter.
11:14 He will teach you truths by which you and all your family will be saved.'"
11:15 "And," said Peter, "no sooner had I begun to speak than the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as He fell upon us at the first.
11:16 Then I remembered the Lord's words, how He used to say, "`John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit.'
11:17 "If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we first believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, why, who was I to be able to thwart God?"
11:18 This statement of Peter's silenced his opponents. They extolled the goodness of God, and said, "So, then, to the Gentiles also God has given the repentance which leads to Life."
11:19 Those, however, who had been driven in various directions by the persecution which broke out on account of Stephen made their way to Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, delivering the Message to none but Jews.
11:20 But some of them were Cyprians and Cyrenaeans, who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Greeks also and told them the Good News concerning the Lord Jesus.
11:21 The power of the Lord was with them, and there were a vast number who believed and turned to the Lord.
11:22 When tidings of this reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, they sent Barnabas as far as Antioch.
11:23 On getting there he was delighted to see the grace which God had bestowed; and he encouraged them all to remain, with fixed resolve, faithful to the Lord.
11:24 For he was a good man, and was full of the Holy Spirit and of faith; and the number of believers in the Lord greatly increased.
11:25 Then Barnabas paid a visit to Tarsus to try to find Saul.
11:26 He succeeded, and brought him to Antioch; and for a whole year they attended the meetings of the Church, and taught a large number of people. And it was in Antioch that the disciples first received the name of `Christians.'
11:27 At that time certain Prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch,
11:28 one of whom, named Agabus, being instructed by the Spirit, publicly predicted the speedy coming of a great famine throughout the world. (It came in the reign of Claudius.)
11:29 So the disciples decided to send relief, every one in proportion to his means, to the brethren living in Judaea.
11:30 This they did, forwarding their contributions to the Elders by Barnabas and Saul.
12:1 Now, about that time, King Herod arrested certain members of the Church, in order to ill-treat them;
12:2 and James, John's brother, he beheaded.
12:3 Finding that this gratified the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also; these being the days of Unleavened Bread.
12:4 He had him arrested and lodged in jail, handing him over to the care of sixteen soldiers; and intended after the Passover to bring him out again to the people.
12:5 So Peter was kept in prison; but long and fervent prayer was offered to God by the Church on his behalf.
12:6 Now when Herod was on the point of taking him out of prison, that very night Peter was asleep between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards were on duty outside the door.
12:7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the cell; and, striking Peter on the side, he woke him and said, "Rise quickly." Instantly the chains dropped off his wrists.
12:8 "Fasten your girdle," said the angel, "and tie on your sandals." He did so. Then the angel said, "Throw your cloak round you, and follow me."
12:9 So Peter went out, following him, yet could not believe that what the angel was doing was real, but supposed that he saw a vision.
12:10 And passing through the first ward and the second, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. This opened to them of itself; and, going out, they passed on through one of the streets, and then suddenly the angel left him.
12:11 Peter coming to himself said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel and has rescued me from the power of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were anticipating."
12:12 So, after thinking things over, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John surnamed Mark, where a large number of people were assembled, praying.
12:13 When he knocked at the wicket in the door, a maidservant named Rhoda came to answer the knock;
12:14 and recognizing Peter's voice, for very joy she did not open the door, but ran in and told them that Peter was standing there.
12:15 "You are mad," they said. But she strenuously maintained that it was true. "It is his guardian angel," they said.
12:16 Meanwhile Peter went on knocking, until at last they opened the door and saw that it was really he, and were filled with amazement.
12:17 But he motioned with his hand for silence, and then described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. "Tell all this to James and the brethren," he added. Then he left them, and went to another place.
12:18 When morning came, there was no little commotion among the soldiers, as to what could possibly have become of Peter.
12:19 And when Herod had had him searched for and could not find him, after sharply questioning the guards he ordered them away to execution. He then went down from Judaea to Caesarea and remained there.
12:20 Now the people of Tyre and Sidon had incurred Herod's violent displeasure. So they sent a large deputation to wait on him; and having secured the good will of Blastus, his treasurer, they begged the king to be friendly with them again, because their country was dependent on his for its food supply.
12:21 So, on an appointed day, Herod, having arrayed himself in royal robes, took his seat on the tribunal, and was haranguing them;
12:22 and the assembled people kept shouting, "It is the voice of a god, and not of a man!"
12:23 Instantly an angel of the Lord struck him, because he had not given the glory to God, and being eaten up by worms, he died.
12:24 But God's Message prospered, and converts were multiplied.
12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, having discharged their mission, and they brought with them John, surnamed Mark.
13:1 Now there were in Antioch, in the Church there--as Prophets and teachers--barnabas, Symeon surnamed `the black,' Lucius the Cyrenaean, Manaen (who was Herod the Tetrarch's foster-brother), and Saul.
13:2 While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me, now at once, Barnabas and Saul, for the work to which I have called them."
13:3 So, after fasting and prayer and the laying on of hands, they let them go.
13:4 They therefore, being thus sent out by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleuceia, and from there sailed to Cyprus.
13:5 Having reached Salamis, they began to announce God's Message in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John as their assistant.
13:6 When they had gone through the whole length of the island as far as Paphos, they there met with a Jewish magician and false prophet, Bar-Jesus by name,
13:7 who was a friend of the Proconsul Sergius Paulus. The Proconsul was a man of keen intelligence. He sent for Barnabas and Saul, and asked to be told God's Message.
13:8 But Elymas (or `the Magician,' for such is the meaning of the name) opposed them, and tried to prevent the Proconsul from accepting the faith.
13:9 Then Saul, who is also called Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and, fixing his eyes on Elymas,
13:10 said, "You who are full of every kind of craftiness and unscrupulous cunning--you son of the Devil and foe to all that is right--will you never cease to misrepresent the straight paths of the Lord?
13:11 The Lord's hand is now upon you, and you will be blind for a time and unable to see the light of day." Instantly there fell upon him a mist and a darkness, and, as he walked about, he begged people to lead him by the hand.
13:12 Then the Proconsul, seeing what had happened, believed, being struck with amazement at the teaching of the Lord.
13:13 From Paphos, Paul and his party put out to sea and sailed to Perga in Pamphylia. John, however, left them and returned to Jerusalem.
13:14 But they themselves, passing through from Perga, came to Antioch in Pisidia. Here, on the Sabbath day, they went into the synagogue and sat down.
13:15 After the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the Wardens of the synagogue sent word to them. "Brethren," they said, "if you have anything encouraging to say to the people, speak."
13:16 So Paul rose, and motioning with his hand for silence, said, "Israelites, and you others who fear God, pay attention to me.
13:17 The God of this people of Israel chose our forefathers, and made the people great during their stay in Egypt, until with wondrous power He brought them out from that land.
13:18 For a period of about forty years, He fed them, like a nurse, in the Desert.
13:19 Then, after overthrowing seven nations in the land of Canaan, He divided that country among them as their inheritance for about four hundred and fifty years;
13:20 and afterwards He gave them judges down to the time of the Prophet Samuel.
13:21 Next they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a Benjamite, who reigned forty years.
13:22 After removing him, He raised up David to be their king, to whom He also bore witness when He said, "`I have found David the son of Jesse, a man I love, who will obey all My commands.'
13:23 "It is from among David's descendants that God, in fulfilment of His promise, has raised up a Saviour for Israel, even Jesus.
13:24 Before the coming of Jesus, John had proclaimed to all the people of Israel a baptism of repentance.
13:25 But John, towards the end of his career, repeatedly asked the people, "`What do you suppose me to be? I am not the Christ. But there is One coming after me whose sandal I am not worthy to unfasten.'
13:26 "Brethren, descendants of the family of Abraham, and all among you who fear God, to us has this Message of salvation been sent.
13:27 For the people of Jerusalem and their rulers, by the judgement they pronounced on Jesus, have actually fulfilled the predictions of the Prophets which are read Sabbath after Sabbath, through ignorance of those predictions and of Him.
13:28 Without having found Him guilty of any capital offence they urged Pilate to have Him put to death;
13:29 and when they had carried out everything which had been written about Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb.
13:30 "But God raised Him from the dead.
13:31 And, after a few days, He appeared to the people who had gone up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem and are now witnesses concerning Him to the Jews.
13:32 And we bring you the Good News about the promise made to our forefathers,
13:33 that God has amply fulfilled it to our children in raising up Jesus; as it is also written in the second Psalm, <`Thou art My Son: to-day I have become Thy Father.'>
13:34 And as to His having raised Him from among the dead, never again to be in the position of one soon to return to decay, He speaks thus: <`I will give you the holy and trustworthy promises made to David.'>
13:35 Because in another Psalm also He says, <`Thou wilt not give up Thy Holy One to undergo decay.'>
13:36 For David, after having been useful to his own generation in accordance with God's purpose, did fall asleep, was gathered to his forefathers, and did undergo decay.
13:37 But He whom God raised to life underwent no decay.
13:38 "Understand therefore, brethren, that through this Jesus forgiveness of sins is announced to you;
13:39 and in Him every believer is absolved from all offences, from which you could not be absolved under the Law of Moses.
13:40 Beware, then, lest what is spoken in the Prophets should come true of you:
13:41 <`Behold, you despisers, be astonished and perish, because I am carrying on a work in your time--a work which you will utterly refuse to believe, though it be fully declared to you.'">
13:42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people earnestly begged to have all this repeated to them on the following Sabbath.
13:43 And, when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and of the devout converts from heathenism continued with Paul and Barnabas, who talked to them and urged them to hold fast to the grace of God.
13:44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole population of the city came together to hear the Lord's Message.
13:45 Seeing the crowds, the Jews, filled with angry jealousy, opposed Paul's statements and abused him.
13:46 Then, throwing off all reserve, Paul and Barnabas said, "We were bound to proclaim God's Message to you first. But since you spurn it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of the Life of the Ages--well, we turn to the Gentiles.
13:47 For such is the Lord's command to us. <"`I have placed Thee,'> He says of Christ, <`as a light to the Gentiles, in order that Thou mayest be a Saviour as far as the remotest parts of the earth.'">
13:48 The Gentiles listened with delight and extolled the Lord's Message; and all who were pre-destined to the Life of the Ages believed.
13:49 So the Lord's Message spread through the whole district.
13:50 But the Jews influenced the gentlewomen of rank who worshipped with them, and also the leading men in the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and drove them out of the district.
13:51 But they shook off the dust from their feet as a protest against them and came to Iconium;
13:52 and as for the disciples, they were more and more filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
14:1 At Iconium the Apostles went together to the Jewish synagogue and preached, with the result that a great number both of Jews and Greeks believed.
14:2 But the Jews who had refused obedience stirred up the Gentiles and embittered their minds against the brethren.
14:3 Yet Paul and Barnabas remained there for a considerable time, speaking freely and relying on the Lord, while He bore witness to the Message of His grace by permitting signs and marvels to be done by them.
14:4 At length the people of the city split into parties, some siding with the Jews and some with the Apostles.
14:5 And when a hostile movement was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with the sanction of their magistrates, to maltreat and stone them,
14:6 the Apostles, having become aware of it, made their escape into the Lycaonian towns of Lystra and Derbe, and the neighbouring country.
14:7 And there they continued to tell the Good News.
14:8 Now a man who had no power in his feet used to sit in the streets of Lystra. He had been lame from his birth and had never walked.
14:9 After this man had listened to one of Paul's sermons, the Apostle, looking steadily at him and perceiving that he had faith to be cured,
14:10 said in a loud voice, "Stand upright upon your feet!"
14:11 So he sprang up and began to walk about. Then the crowds, seeing what Paul had done, rent the air with their shouts in the Lycaonian language, saying, "The gods have assumed human form and have come down to us."
14:12 They called Barnabas `Zeus,' and Paul, as being the principal speaker, `Hermes.'
14:13 And the priest of Zeus--the temple of Zeus being at the entrance to the city--brought bullocks and garlands to the gates, and in company with the crowd was intending to offer sacrifices to them.
14:14 But the Apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it; and tearing their clothes they rushed out into the middle of the crowd, exclaiming, "Sirs, why are you doing all this?
14:15 We also are but men, with natures kindred to your own; and we bring you the Good News that you are to turn from these unreal things, to worship the ever-living God, the Creator of earth and sky and sea and of everything that is in them.
14:16 In times gone by He allowed all the nations to go their own ways;
14:17 and yet by His beneficence He has not left His existence unattested--His beneficence, I mean, in sending you rain from Heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and joyfulness."
14:18 Even with words like these they had difficulty in preventing the thronging crowd from offering sacrifices to them.
14:19 But now a party of Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and, having won over the crowd, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the town, believing him to be dead.
14:20 When, however, the disciples had collected round him, he rose and went back into the town. The next day he went with Barnabas to Derbe;
14:21 and, after proclaiming the Good News to the people there and gaining a large number of converts, they retraced their steps to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch.
14:22 Everywhere they strengthened the disciples by encouraging them to hold fast to the faith, and warned them saying, "It is through many afflictions that we must make our way into the Kingdom of God."
14:23 And in every Church, after prayer and fasting, they selected Elders by show of hands, and commended them to the Lord on whom their faith rested.
14:24 Then passing through Pisidia they came into Pamphylia;
14:25 and after telling the Message at Perga they came down to Attaleia.
14:26 Thence they sailed to Antioch, where they had previously been commended to the grace of God in connexion with the work which they had now completed.
14:27 Upon their arrival they called the Church together and proceeded to report in detail all that God, working with them, had done, and how He had opened for the Gentiles the door of faith.
14:28 And they remained a considerable time in Antioch with the disciples.
15:1 But certain persons who had come down from Judaea tried to convince the brethren, saying, "Unless you are circumcised in accordance with the Mosaic custom, you cannot be saved."
15:2 Between these new comers and Paul and Barnabas there was no little disagreement and controversy, until at last it was decided that Paul and Barnabas and some other brethren should go up to consult the Apostles and Elders in Jerusalem on this matter.
15:3 So they set out, being accompanied for a short distance by some other members of the Church; and as they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told the whole story of the conversion of the Gentiles and inspired all the brethren with great joy.
15:4 Upon their arrival in Jerusalem they were cordially received by the Church, the Apostles, and the Elders; and they reported in detail all that God, working with them, had done.
15:5 But certain men who had belonged to the sect of the Pharisees but were now believers, stood up in the assembly, and said, "Yes, Gentile believers ought to be circumcised and be ordered to keep the Law of Moses."
15:6 Then the Apostles and Elders met to consider the matter;
15:7 and after there had been a long discussion Peter rose to his feet. "It is within your own knowledge," he said, "that God originally made choice among you that from my lips the Gentiles were to hear the Message of the Good News, and believe.
15:8 And God, who knows all hearts, gave His testimony in their favour by bestowing the Holy Spirit on them just as He did on us;
15:9 and He made no difference between us and them, in that He cleansed their hearts by their faith.
15:10 Now, therefore, why try an experiment upon God, by laying on the necks of these disciples a yoke which neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear?
15:11 On the contrary, we believe that it is by the grace of the Lord Jesus that we, as well as they, shall be saved."
15:12 Then the whole assembly remained silent while they listened to the statement made by Paul and Barnabas as to all the signs and marvels that God had done among the Gentiles through their instrumentality.
15:13 When they had finished speaking, James said, "Brethren, listen to me.
15:14 Symeon has related how God first looked graciously on the Gentiles to take from among them a People to be called by His name.
15:15 And this is in harmony with the language of the Prophets, which says:
15:16 <"`"Afterwards I will return, and will rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will set it up again;
15:17 In order that the rest of mankind may earnestly seek the Lord--even all the nations which are called by My name,"
15:18 Says the Lord, who has been making these things known from ages long past.'>
15:19 "My judgement, therefore, is against inflicting unexpected annoyance on those of the Gentiles who are turning to God.
15:20 Yet let us send them written instructions to abstain from things polluted by connexion with idolatry, from fornication, from meat killed by strangling, and from blood.
15:21 For Moses from the earliest times has had his preachers in every town, being read, as he is, Sabbath after Sabbath, in the various synagogues."
15:22 Thereupon it was decided by the Apostles and Elders, with the approval of the whole Church, to choose suitable persons from among themselves and send them to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas. Judas, called Bar-sabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, were selected,
15:23 and they took with them the following letter: "The Apostles and the elder brethren send greeting to the Gentile brethren throughout Antioch, Syria and Cilicia.
15:24 As we have been informed that certain persons who have gone out from among us have disturbed you by their teaching and have unsettled your minds, without having received any such instructions from us;
15:25 we have unanimously decided to select certain men and send them to you in company with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul,
15:26 who have endangered their very lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15:27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who are themselves bringing you the same message by word of mouth.
15:28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no burden heavier than these necessary requirements--
15:29 You must abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication. Keep yourselves clear of these things, and it will be well with you. Farewell."
15:30 They, therefore, having been solemnly sent, came down to Antioch, where they called together the whole assembly and delivered the letter.
15:31 The people read it, and were delighted with the comfort it brought them.
15:32 And Judas and Silas, being themselves also Prophets, gave them a long and encouraging talk, and strengthened them in the faith.
15:33 After spending some time there they received an affectionate farewell from the brethren to return to those who had sent them.
15:35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and, in company with many others, telling the Good News of the Lord's Message.
15:36 After a while Paul said to Barnabas, "Suppose we now revisit the brethren in the various towns in which we have made known the Lord's Message--to see whether they are prospering!"
15:37 Barnabas, however, was bent on taking with them John, whose other name was Mark,
15:38 while Paul deemed it undesirable to have as their companion one who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone on with them to the work.
15:39 So there arose a serious disagreement between them, which resulted in their parting from one another, Barnabas taking Mark and setting sail for Cyprus.
15:40 But Paul chose Silas as his travelling companion; and set out, after being commended by the brethren to the grace of the Lord;
15:41 and he passed through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the Churches.
16:1 He also came to Derbe and to Lystra. At Lystra he found a disciple, Timothy by name--the son of a Christian Jewess, though he had a Greek father.
16:2 Timothy was well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Iconium,
16:3 and Paul desiring that he should accompany him on his journey, took him and circumcised him on account of the Jews in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
16:4 As they journeyed on from town to town, they handed to the brethren for their observance the decisions which had been arrived at by the Apostles and Elders in Jerusalem.
16:5 So the Churches went on gaining a stronger faith and growing in numbers from day to day.
16:6 Then Paul and his companions passed through Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Message in the province of Asia.
16:7 When they reached the frontier of Mysia, they were about to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not permit this.
16:8 So, passing along Mysia, they came to Troas.
16:9 Here, one night, Paul saw a vision. There was a Macedonian who was standing, entreating him and saying, "Come over into Macedonia and help us."
16:10 So when he had seen the vision, we immediately looked out for an opportunity of passing on into Macedonia, confidently inferring that God had called us to proclaim the Good News to the people there.
16:11 Accordingly we put out to sea from Troas, and ran a straight course to Samothrace. The next day we came to Neapolis,
16:12 and thence to Philippi, which is a city in Macedonia, the first in its district, a Roman colony. And there we stayed some little time.
16:13 On the Sabbath we went beyond the city gate to the riverside, where we had reason to believe that there was a place for prayer; and sitting down we talked with the women who had come together.
16:14 Among our hearers was one named Lydia, a dealer in purple goods. She belonged to the city of Thyateira, and was a worshipper of the true God. The Lord opened her heart, so that she gave attention to what Paul was saying.
16:15 When she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, "If in your judgement I am a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house." And she made us go there.
16:16 One day, as we were on our way to the place of prayer, a slave girl met us who claimed to be inspired and was accustomed to bring her owners large profits by telling fortunes.
16:17 She kept following close behind Paul and the rest of us, crying aloud, "These men are the bondservants of the Most High God, and are proclaiming to you the way of salvation."
16:18 This she persisted in for a considerable time, until Paul, wearied out, turned round and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out immediately.
16:19 But when her owners saw that their hopes of gain were gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them off to the magistrates in the public square.
16:20 Then they brought them before the praetors. "These men," they said, "are creating a great disturbance in our city.
16:21 They are Jews, and are teaching customs which we, as Romans, are not permitted to adopt or practise."
16:22 The crowd, too, joined in the outcry against them, till at length the praetors ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods;
16:23 and, after severely flogging them, they threw them into jail and bade the jailer keep them safely.
16:24 He, having received an order like that, lodged them in the inner prison, and secured their feet in the stocks.
16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,
16:26 when suddenly there was such a violent shock of earthquake that the prison shook to its foundations. Instantly the doors all flew open, and the chains fell off from every prisoner.
16:27 Starting up from sleep and seeing the doors of the jail wide open, the jailer drew his sword and was on the point of killing himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.
16:28 But Paul shouted loudly to him, saying, "Do yourself no injury: we are all here.
16:29 Then, calling for lights, he sprang in and fell trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas;
16:30 and, bringing them out of the prison, he exclaimed, "O sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
16:31 "Believe on the Lord Jesus," they replied, "and both you and your household will be saved."
16:32 And they told the Lord's Message to him as well as to all who were in his house.
16:33 Then he took them, even at that time of night, washed their wounds, and he and all his household were immediately baptized;
16:34 and bringing the Apostles up into his house, he spread a meal for them, and was filled with gladness, with his whole household, his faith resting on God.
16:35 In the morning the praetors sent their lictors with the order, "Release those men."
16:36 So the jailer brought Paul word, saying, "The praetors have sent orders for you to be released. Now therefore you can go, and proceed on your way in peace."
16:37 But Paul said to them, "After cruelly beating us in public, without trial, Roman citizens though we are, they have thrown us into prison, and are they now going to send us away privately? No, indeed! Let them come in person and fetch us out."
16:38 This answer the lictors took back to the praetors, who were alarmed when they were told that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens.
16:39 Accordingly they came and apologized to them; and, bringing them out, asked them to leave the city.
16:40 Then Paul and Silas, having come out of the prison, went to Lydia's house; and, after seeing the brethren and encouraging them, they left Philippi.
17:1 Then, passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they went to Thessalonica. Here there was a synagogue of the Jews.
17:2 Paul--following his usual custom--betook himself to it, and for three successive Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
17:3 which he clearly explained, pointing out that it had been necessary for the Christ to suffer and rise again from the dead, and insisting, "The Jesus whom I am announcing to you is the Christ."
17:4 Some of the people were won over, and attached themselves to Paul and Silas, including many God-fearing Greeks and not a few gentlewomen of high rank.
17:5 But the jealousy of the Jews was aroused, and, calling to their aid some ill-conditioned and idle fellows, they got together a riotous mob and filled the city with uproar. They then attacked the house of Jason and searched for Paul and Silas, to bring them out before the assembly of people.
17:6 But, failing to find them, they dragged Jason and some of the other brethren before the magistrates of the city, loudly accusing them. "These men," they said, "who have raised a tumult throughout the Empire, have come here also.
17:7 Jason has received them into his house; and they all set Caesar's authority at defiance, declaring that there is another Emperor-- one called Jesus."
17:8 Great was the excitement among the crowd, and among the magistrates of the city, when they heard these charges.
17:9 They required Jason and the rest to find substantial bail, and after that they let them go.
17:10 The brethren at once sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroea, and they, on their arrival, went to the synagogue of the Jews.
17:11 The Jews at Beroea were of a nobler disposition than those in Thessalonica, for they very readily received the Message, and day after day searched the Scriptures to see whether it was as Paul stated.
17:12 As the result many of them became believers, and so did not a few of the Greeks--gentlewomen of good position, and men.
17:13 As soon, however, as the Jews of Thessalonica learnt that God's Message had been proclaimed by Paul at Beroea, they came there also, and incited the mob to a riot.
17:14 Then the brethren promptly sent Paul down to the sea-coast, but Silas and Timothy remained behind.
17:15 Those who were caring for Paul's safety went with him as far as Athens, and then left him, taking a message from him to Silas and Timothy, asking them to join him as speedily as possible.
17:16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was stirred within him when he noticed that the city was full of idols.
17:17 So he had discussions in the synagogue with the Jews and the other worshippers, and in the market place, day after day, with those whom he happened to meet.
17:18 A few of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also encountered him. Some of them asked, "What has this beggarly babbler to say?" "His business," said others, "seems to be to cry up some foreign gods." This was because he had been telling the Good News of Jesus and the Resurrection.
17:19 Then they took him and brought him up to the Areopagus, asking him, "May we be told what this new teaching of yours is?
17:20 For the things you are saying sound strange to us. We should therefore like to be told exactly what they mean."
17:21 (For all the Athenians and their foreign visitors used to devote their whole leisure to telling or hearing about something new.)
17:22 So Paul, taking his stand in the centre of the Areopagus, spoke as follows: "Men of Athens, I perceive that you are in every respect remarkably religious.
17:23 For as I passed along and observed the things you worship, I found also an altar bearing the inscription, `TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.' "The Being, therefore, whom you, without knowing Him, revere, Him I now proclaim to you.
17:24 GOD who made the universe and everything in it--He, being Lord of Heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries built by men.
17:25 Nor is He ministered to by human hands, as though He needed anything--but He Himself gives to all men life and breath and all things.
17:26 He caused to spring from one forefather people of every race, for them to live on the whole surface of the earth, and marked out for them an appointed span of life and the boundaries of their homes;
17:27 that they might seek God, if perhaps they could grope for Him and find Him. Yes, though He is not far from any one of us.
17:28 For it is in closest union with Him that we live and move and have our being; as in fact some of the poets in repute among yourselves have said, `For we are also His offspring.'
17:29 Since then we are God's offspring, we ought not to imagine that His nature resembles gold or silver or marble, or anything sculptured by the art and inventive faculty of man.
17:30 Those times of ignorance God viewed with indulgence. But now He commands all men everywhere to repent,
17:31 seeing that He has appointed a day on which, before long, He will judge the world in righteousness, through the instrumentality of a man whom He has pre-destined to this work, and has made the fact certain to every one by raising Him from the dead."
17:32 When they heard Paul speak of a resurrection of dead men, some began to scoff. But others said, "We will hear you again on that subject."
17:33 So Paul went away from them.
17:34 A few, however, attached themselves to him and believed, among them being Dionysius a member of the Council, a gentlewoman named Damaris, and some others.
18:1 After this he left Athens and came to Corinth.
18:2 Here he found a Jew, a native of Pontus, of the name of Aquila. He and his wife Priscilla had recently come from Italy because of Claudius's edict expelling all the Jews from Rome. So Paul paid them a visit;
18:3 and because he was of the same trade--that of tent-maker--he lodged with them and worked with them.
18:4 But, Sabbath after Sabbath, he preached in the synagogue and tried to win over both Jews and Greeks.
18:5 Now at the time when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was preaching fervently and was solemnly telling the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.
18:6 But upon their opposing him with abusive language, he shook his clothes by way of protest, and said to them, "Your ruin will be upon your own heads. I am not responsible: in future I will go among the Gentiles."
18:7 So he left the place and went to the house of a person called Titius Justus, a worshipper of the true God. His house was next door to the synagogue.
18:8 And Crispus, the Warden of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, and so did all his household; and from time to time many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and received baptism.
18:9 And, in a vision by night, the Lord said to Paul, "Dismiss your fears: go on speaking, and do not give up.
18:10 I am with you, and no one shall attack you to injure you; for I have very many people in this city."
18:11 So Paul remained in Corinth for a year and six months, teaching among them the Message of God.
18:12 But when Gallio became Proconsul of Greece, the Jews with one accord made a dead set at Paul, and brought him before the court.
18:13 "This man," they said, "is inducing people to offer unlawful worship to God."
18:14 But, when Paul was about to begin his defence, Gallio said to the Jews, "If it had been some wrongful act or piece of cunning knavery I might reasonably have listened to you Jews.
18:15 But since these are questions about words and names and your Law, you yourselves must see to them. I refuse to be a judge in such matters."
18:16 So he ordered them out of court.
18:17 Then the people all set upon Sosthenes, the Warden of the synagogue, and beat him severely in front of the court. Gallio did not concern himself in the least about this.
18:18 After remaining a considerable time longer in Corinth, Paul took leave of the brethren and set sail for Syria; and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had shaved his head at Cenchreae, because he was bound by a vow.
18:19 They put in at Ephesus, and there Paul left his companions behind. As for himself, he went to the synagogue and had a discussion with the Jews.
18:20 When they asked him to remain longer he did not consent,
18:21 but took leave of them with the promise, "I will return to you, God willing." So he set sail from Ephesus.
18:22 Landing at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and inquired after the welfare of the Church, and then went down to Antioch.
18:23 After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out on a tour, visiting the whole of Galatia and Phrygia in order, and strengthening all the disciples.
18:24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos came to Ephesus. He was a native of Alexandria, a man of great learning and well versed in the Scriptures.
18:25 He had been instructed by word of mouth in the way of the Lord, and, being full of burning zeal, he used to speak and teach accurately the facts about Jesus, though he knew of no baptism but John's.
18:26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, and Priscilla and Aquila, after hearing him, took him home and explained God's way to him more accurately.
18:27 Then, as he had made up his mind to cross over into Greece, the brethren wrote to the disciples in Corinth begging them to give him a kindly welcome. Upon his arrival he rendered valuable help to those who through grace had believed;
18:28 for he powerfully and in public overcame the Jews in argument, proving to them from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
19:1 During the stay of Apollos in Corinth, Paul, after passing through the inland districts, came to Ephesus, where he found a few disciples.
19:2 "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you first believed?" he asked them. "No," they replied, "we did not even hear that there is a Holy Spirit."
19:3 "Into what then were you baptized?" he asked. "Into John's baptism," they replied.
19:4 "John," he said, "administered a baptism of repentance, bidding the people believe on One who was to come after him; namely, on Jesus."
19:5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus;
19:6 and when Paul laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began to speak in tongues and to prophesy.
19:7 They numbered in all about twelve men.
19:8 Afterwards he went into the synagogue. There for three months he continued to preach fearlessly, explaining in words which carried conviction the truths which concern the Kingdom of God.
19:9 But some grew obstinate in unbelief and spoke evil of the new faith before all the congregation. So Paul left them, and, taking with him those who were disciples, held discussions daily in Tyrannus's lecture-hall.
19:10 This went on for two years, so that all the inhabitants of the province of Asia, Jews as well as Greeks, heard the Lord's Message.
19:11 God also brought about extraordinary miracles through Paul's instrumentality.
19:12 Towels or aprons, for instance, which Paul had handled used to be carried to the sick, and they recovered from their ailments, or the evil spirits left them.
19:13 But there were also some wandering Jewish exorcists who undertook to invoke the name of Jesus over those who had the evil spirits, saying, "I command you by that Jesus whom Paul preaches."
19:14 There were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew of high-priestly family, who were doing this.
19:15 "Jesus I know," the evil spirit answered, "and Paul I have heard of, but who are you?"
19:16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was sprang on two of them, over-mastered them both, and treated them with such violence, that they fled from the house stripped of their clothes and wounded.
19:17 All the people of Ephesus, Jews as well as Greeks, came to know of this. There was widespread terror, and they began to hold the name of the Lord Jesus in high honour.
19:18 Many also of those who believed came confessing without reserve what their conduct had been,
19:19 and not a few of those who had practised magical arts brought their books together and burnt them in the presence of all. The total value was reckoned and found to be 50,000 silver coins.
19:20 Thus mightily did the Lord's Message spread and triumph!
19:21 When matters had reached this point, Paul decided in his own mind to travel through Macedonia and Greece, and go to Jerusalem. "After that," he said, "I must also see Rome."
19:22 But he sent two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he himself remained for a while in Roman Asia.
19:23 Now just at that time there arose no small commotion about the new faith.
19:24 There was a certain Demetrius, a silversmith, who made miniature silver sanctuaries of Diana, a business which brought great gain to the mechanics in his employ.
19:25 He called his workmen together, and others who were engaged in similar trades, and said to them, "You men well know that our prosperity depends on this business of ours;
19:26 and you see and hear that, not in Ephesus only but throughout almost the whole province of Asia, this fellow Paul has led away a vast number of people by inducing them to believe that they are not gods at all that are made by men's hands.
19:27 There is danger, therefore, not only that this our trade will become of no account, but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana will fall into utter disrepute, and that before long she will be actually deposed from her majestic rank--she who is now worshipped by the whole province of Asia; nay, by the whole world."
19:28 After listening to this harangue, they became furiously angry and kept calling out, "Great is the Ephesian Diana!"
19:29 The riot and uproar spread through the whole city, till at last with one accord they rushed into the Theatre, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, two Macedonians who were fellow travellers with Paul.
19:30 Then Paul would have liked to go in and address the people, but the disciples would not let him do so.
19:31 A few of the public officials, too, who were friendly to him, sent repeated messages entreating him not to venture into the Theatre.
19:32 The people, meanwhile, kept shouting, some one thing and some another; for the assembly was all uproar and confusion, and the greater part had no idea why they had come together.
19:33 Then some of the people crowded round Alexander, whom the Jews had pushed forward; and Alexander, motioning with his hand to get silence, was prepared to make a defence to the people.
19:34 No sooner, however, did they see that he was a Jew, than there arose from them all one roar of shouting, lasting about two hours. "Great is the Ephesian Diana," they said.
19:35 At length the Recorder quieted them down. "Men of Ephesus," he said, "who is there of all mankind that needs to be told that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Diana and of the image which fell down from Zeus?
19:36 These facts, then, being unquestioned, it becomes you to maintain your self-control and not act recklessly.
19:37 For you have brought these men here, who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of our goddess.
19:38 If, however, Demetrius and the mechanics who support his contention have a grievance against any one, there are Assize-days and there are Proconsuls: let the persons interested accuse one another.
19:39 But if you desire anything further, it will have to be settled in the regular assembly.
19:40 For in connexion with to-day's proceedings there is danger of our being charged with attempted insurrection, there having been no real reason for this riot; nor shall we be able to justify the behaviour of this disorderly mob."
19:41 With these words he dismissed the assembly.
20:1 When the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples; and, after speaking words of encouragement to them, he took his leave, and started for Macedonia.
20:2 Passing through those districts he encouraged the disciples in frequent addresses, and then came into Greece, and spent three months there.
20:3 The Jews having planned to waylay him whenever he might be on the point of taking ship for Syria, he decided to travel back by way of Macedonia.
20:4 He was accompanied as far as the province of Asia by Sopater the Beroean, the son of Pyrrhus; by the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; by Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and by the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus.
20:5 These brethren had gone on and were waiting for us in the Troad.
20:6 But we ourselves sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined them in the Troad, where we remained for a week.
20:7 On the first day of the week, when we had met to break bread, Paul, who was going away the next morning, was preaching to them, and prolonged his discourse till midnight.
20:8 Now there were a good many lamps in the room upstairs where we all were,
20:9 and a youth of the name of Eutychus was sitting at the window. This lad, gradually sinking into deep sleep while Paul preached at unusual length, overcome at last by sleep, fell from the second floor and was taken up dead.
20:10 Paul, however, went down, threw himself upon him, and folding him in his arms said, "Do not be alarmed; his life is still in him."
20:11 Then he went upstairs again, broke bread, and took some food; and after a long conversation which was continued till daybreak, at last he parted from them.
20:12 They had taken the lad home alive, and were greatly comforted.
20:13 The rest of us had already gone on board a ship, and now we set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul on board there; for so he had arranged, he himself intending to go by land.
20:14 Accordingly, when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene.
20:15 Sailing from there, we arrived the next day off Chios. On the next we touched at Samos; and on the day following reached Miletus.
20:16 For Paul's plan was to sail past Ephesus, so as not to spend much time in the province of Asia; since he was very desirous of being in Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of the Harvest Festival.
20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus for the Elders of the Church to come to him.
20:18 Upon their arrival he said to them, "You Elders well know, from the first day of my setting foot in the province of Asia, the kind of life I lived among you the whole time,
20:19 serving the Lord in all humility, and with tears, and amid trials which came upon me through the plotting of the Jews--
20:20 and that I never shrank from declaring to you anything that was profitable, or from teaching you in public and in your homes,
20:21 and urging upon both Jews and Greeks the necessity of turning to God and of believing in Jesus our Lord.
20:22 "And now, impelled by a sense of duty, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there,
20:23 except that the Holy Spirit, at town after town, testifies to me that imprisonment and suffering are awaiting me.
20:24 But even the sacrifice of my life I count as nothing, if only I may perfect my earthly course, and be faithful to the duty which the Lord Jesus has entrusted to me of proclaiming, as of supreme importance, the Good News of God's grace.
20:25 "And now, I know that none of you among whom I have gone in and out proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom will any longer see my face.
20:26 Therefore I protest to you to-day that I am not responsible for the ruin of any one of you.
20:27 For I have not shrunk from declaring to you God's whole truth.
20:28 "Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock among which the Holy Spirit has placed you to take the oversight for Him and act as shepherds to the Church of God, which He has bought with His own blood.
20:29 I know that, when I am gone, cruel wolves will come among you and will not spare the flock;
20:30 and that from among your own selves men will rise up who will seek with their perverse talk to draw away the disciples after them.
20:31 Therefore be on the alert; and remember that, night and day, for three years, I never ceased admonishing every one, even with tears.
20:32 "And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace. He is able to build you up and to give you your inheritance among His people.
20:33 No one's silver or gold or clothing have I coveted.
20:34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have provided for my own necessities and for the people with me.
20:35 In all things I have set you an example, showing you that, by working as I do, you ought to help the weak, and to bear in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, "`It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
20:36 Having spoken thus, Paul knelt down and prayed with them all;
20:37 and with loud lamentation they all threw their arms round his neck, and kissed him lovingly,
20:38 grieved above all things at his having told them that after that day they were no longer to see his face. And they went with him to the ship.
21:1 When, at last, we had torn ourselves away and had set sail, we ran in a straight course to Cos; the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara.
21:2 Finding a ship bound for Phoenicia, we went on board and put to sea.
21:3 After sighting Cyprus and leaving that island on our left, we continued our voyage to Syria and put in at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload her cargo.
21:4 Having searched for the disciples and found them, we stayed at Tyre for seven days; and, taught by the Spirit, they repeatedly urged Paul not to proceed to Jerusalem.
21:5 When, however, our time was up, we left and went on our way, all the disciples and their wives and children coming to see us off. Then, after kneeling down on the beach and praying,
21:6 we took leave of one another; and we went on board, while they returned home.
21:7 As for us, our voyage was over when having sailed from Tyre we reached Ptolemais. here we inquired after the welfare of the brethren, and remained a day with them.
21:8 On the morrow we left Ptolemais and went on to Caesarea, where we came to the house of Philip the Evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him.
21:9 Now Philip had four unmarried daughters who were prophetesses;
21:10 and during our somewhat lengthy stay a Prophet of the name of Agabus came down from Judaea.
21:11 When he arrived he took Paul's loincloth, and bound his own feet and arms with it, and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit, `So will the Jews in Jerusalem bind the owner of this loincloth, and will hand him over to the Gentiles.'"
21:12 As soon as we heard these words, both we and the brethren at Caesarea entreated Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.
21:13 His reply was, "What can you mean by thus breaking my heart with your grief? Why, as for me, I am ready not only to go to Jerusalem and be put in chains, but even to die there for the sake of the Lord Jesus."
21:14 So when he was not to be dissuaded, we ceased remonstrating with him and said, "The Lord's will be done!"
21:15 A few days afterwards we loaded our baggage-cattle and continued our journey to Jerusalem.
21:16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea also joined our party, and brought with them Mnason, a Cyprian, one of the early disciples, at whose house we were to lodge.
21:17 At length we reached Jerusalem, and there the brethren gave us a hearty welcome.
21:18 On the following day we went with Paul to call on James, and all the Elders of the Church came also.
21:19 After exchanging friendly greetings, Paul told in detail all that God had done among the Gentiles through his instrumentality.
21:20 And they, when they had heard his statement, gave the glory to God. Then they said, "You see, brother, how many tens of thousands of Jews there are among those who have accepted the faith, and they are all zealous upholders of the Law.
21:21 Now what they have been repeatedly told about you is that you teach all the Jews among the Gentiles to abandon Moses, and that you forbid them to circumcise their children or observe old-established customs.
21:22 What then ought you to do? They are sure to hear that you have come to Jerusalem;
21:23 so do this which we now tell you. We have four men here who have a vow resting on them.
21:24 Associate with these men and purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses so that they can shave their heads. Then everybody will know that there is no truth in these stories about you, but that in your own actions you yourself scrupulously obey the Law.
21:25 But as for the Gentiles who have accepted the faith, we have communicated to them our decision that they are carefully to abstain from anything sacrificed to an idol, from blood, from what is strangled, and from fornication."
21:26 So Paul associated with the men; and the next day, having purified himself with them, he went into the Temple, giving every one to understand that the days of their purification were finished, and there he remained until the sacrifice for each of them was offered.
21:27 But, when the seven days were nearly over, the Jews from the province of Asia, having seen Paul in the Temple, set about rousing the fury of all the people against him.
21:28 They laid hands on him, crying out, "Men of Israel, help! help! This is the man who goes everywhere preaching to everybody against the Jewish people and the Law and this place. And besides, he has even brought Gentiles into the Temple and has desecrated this holy place."
21:29 (For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and imagined that Paul had brought him into the Temple.)
21:30 The excitement spread through the whole city, and the people rushed in crowds to the Temple, and there laid hold of Paul and began to drag him out; and the Temple gates were immediately closed.
21:31 But while they were trying to kill Paul, word was taken up to the Tribune in command of the battalion, that all Jerusalem was in a ferment.
21:32 He instantly sent for a few soldiers and their officers, and came down among the people with all speed. At the sight of the Tribune and the troops they ceased beating Paul.
21:33 Then the Tribune, making his way to him, arrested him, and, having ordered him to be secured with two chains, proceeded to ask who he was and what he had been doing.
21:34 Some of the crowd shouted one accusation against Paul and some another, until, as the uproar made it impossible for the truth to be ascertained with certainty, the Tribune ordered him to be brought into the barracks.
21:35 When Paul was going up the steps, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob;
21:36 for the whole mass of the people pressed on in the rear, shouting, "Away with him!"
21:37 When he was about to be taken into the barracks, Paul said to the Tribune, "May I speak to you?" "Do you know Greek?" the Tribune asked.
21:38 "Are you not the Egyptian who some years ago excited the riot of the 4,000 cut-throats, and led them out into the Desert?"
21:39 "I am a Jew," replied Paul, "belonging to Tarsus in Cilicia, and am a citizen of no unimportant city. Give me leave, I pray you, to speak to the people."
21:40 So with his permission Paul stood on the steps and motioned with his hand to the people to be quiet; and when there was perfect silence he addressed them in Hebrew.
22:1 "Brethren and fathers," he said, "listen to my defence which I now make before you."
22:2 And on hearing him address them in Hebrew, they kept all the more quiet; and he said,
22:3 "I am a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I was carefully trained at the feet of Gamaliel in the Law of our forefathers, and, like all of you to-day, was zealous for God.
22:4 I persecuted to death this new faith, continually binding both men and women and throwing them into prison;
22:5 as the High Priest also and all the Elders can bear me witness. It was, too, from them that I received letters to the brethren in Damascus, and I was already on my way to Damascus, intending to bring those also who had fled there, in chains to Jerusalem, to be punished.
22:6 "But on my way, when I was now not far from Damascus, about noon a sudden blaze of light from Heaven shone round me.
22:7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, "`Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?'
22:8 "`Who art thou, Lord?' I asked. "`I am Jesus, the Nazarene,' He replied, `whom you are persecuting.'
22:9 "Now the men who were with me, though they saw the light, did not hear the words of Him who spoke to me.
22:10 And I asked, "`What am I to do, Lord?' "And the Lord said to me, "`Rise, and go into Damascus. There you shall be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.'
22:11 "And as I could not see because the light had been so dazzling, those who were with me had to lead me by the arm, and so I came to Damascus.
22:12 "And a certain Ananias, a pious man who obeyed the Law and bore a good character with all the Jews of the city,
22:13 came to me and standing at my side said, "`Brother Saul, recover your sight.' "I instantly regained my sight and looked up at him.
22:14 Then he said, `The God of our forefathers has appointed you to know His will, and to see the righteous One and hear Him speak.
22:15 For you shall be a witness for Him, to all men, of what you have seen and heard.
22:16 And now why delay? Rise, get yourself baptized, and wash off your sins, calling upon His name.'
22:17 "After my return to Jerusalem, and while praying in the Temple, I fell into a trance.
22:18 I saw Jesus, and He said to me, "`Make haste and leave Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.'
22:19 "`Lord,' I replied, `they themselves well know how active I was in imprisoning, and in flogging in synagogue after synagogue those who believe in Thee;
22:20 and when they were shedding the blood of Stephen, Thy witness, I was standing by, fully approving of it, and I held the clothes of those who were killing him.'
22:21 "`Go,' He replied; `I will send you as an Apostle to nations far away.'"
22:22 Until they heard this last statement the people listened to Paul, but now with a roar of disapproval they cried out, "Away with such a fellow from the earth! He ought not to be allowed to live."
22:23 And when they continued their furious shouts, throwing their clothes into the air and flinging dust about,
22:24 the Tribune ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and be examined by flogging, in order to ascertain the reason why they thus cried out against him.
22:25 But, when they had tied him up with the straps, Paul said to the Captain who stood by, "Does the Law permit you to flog a Roman citizen--and one too who is uncondemned?"
22:26 On hearing this question, the Captain went to report the matter to the Tribune. "What are you intending to do?" he said. "This man is a Roman citizen."
22:27 So the Tribune came to Paul and asked him, "Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?" "Yes," he said.
22:28 "I paid a large sum for my citizenship," said the Tribune. "But I was born free," said Paul.
22:29 So the men who had been on the point of putting him under torture immediately left him. And the Tribune, too, was frightened when he learnt that Paul was a Roman citizen, for he had had him bound.
22:30 The next day, wishing to know exactly what charge was being brought against him by the Jews, the Tribune ordered his chains to be removed; and, having sent word to the High Priests and all the Sanhedrin to assemble, he brought Paul down and made him stand before them.
23:1 Then Paul, fixing a steady gaze on the Sanhedrin, said, "Brethren, it is with a perfectly clear conscience that I have discharged my duties before God up to this day."
23:2 On hearing this the High Priest Ananias ordered those who were standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth.
23:3 "Before long," exclaimed Paul, "God will strike you, you white-washed wall! Are you sitting there to judge me in accordance with the Law, and do you yourself actually break the Law by ordering me to be struck?"
23:4 "Do you rail at God's High Priest?" cried the men who stood by him.
23:5 "I did not know, brethren," replied Paul, "that he was the High Priest; for it is written, <`Thou shalt not speak evil of a ruler of Thy people.'">
23:6 Noticing, however, that the Sanhedrin consisted partly of Sadducees and partly of Pharisees, he called out loudly among them, "Brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees. It is because of my hope of a resurrection of the dead that I am on my trial."
23:7 These words of his caused an angry dispute between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly took different sides.
23:8 For the Sadducees maintain that there is no resurrection, and neither angel nor spirit; but the Pharisees acknowledge the existence of both.
23:9 So there arose a great uproar; and some of the Scribes belonging to the sect of the Pharisees sprang to their feet and fiercely contended, saying, "We find no harm in the man. What if a spirit has spoken to him, or an angel----!"
23:10 But when the struggle was becoming violent, the Tribune, fearing that Paul would be torn to pieces by the people, ordered the troops to go down and take him from among them by force and bring him into the barracks.
23:11 The following night the Lord came and stood at Paul's side, and said, "Be of good courage, for as you have borne faithful witness about me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome."
23:12 Now, when daylight came, the Jews formed a conspiracy and solemnly swore not to eat or drink till they had killed Paul.
23:13 There were more than forty of them who bound themselves by this oath.
23:14 They went to the High Priests and Elders and said to them, "We have bound ourselves under a heavy curse to take no food till we have killed Paul.
23:15 Now therefore you and the Sanhedrin should make representations to the Tribune for him to bring him down to you, under the impression that you intend to inquire more minutely about him; and we are prepared to assassinate him before he comes near the place."
23:16 But Paul's sister's son heard of the intended attack upon him. So he came and went into the barracks and told Paul about it;
23:17 and Paul called one of the Captains and said, "Take this young man to the Tribune, for he has information to give him."
23:18 So he took him and brought him to the Tribune, and said, "Paul, the prisoner, called me to him and begged me to bring this youth to you, because he has something to say to you."
23:19 Then the Tribune, taking him by the arm, withdrew out of the hearing of others and asked him, "What have you to tell me?"
23:20 "The Jews," he replied, "have agreed to request you to bring Paul down to the Sanhedrin to-morrow for the purpose of making yourself more accurately acquainted with the case.
23:21 I beg you not to comply; for more than forty men among them are lying in wait for him, who have solemnly vowed that they will neither eat nor drink till they have assassinated him; and even now they are ready, in anticipation of receiving that promise of you."
23:22 So the Tribune sent the youth home, cautioning him. "Do not let any one know that you have given me this information," he said.
23:23 Then, calling to him two of the Captains, he gave his orders. "Get ready two hundred men," he said, "to march to Caesarea, with seventy cavalry and two hundred light infantry, starting at nine o'clock to-night."
23:24 He further told them to provide horses to mount Paul on, so as to bring him safely to Felix the Governor.
23:25 He also wrote a letter of which these were the contents:
23:26 "Claudius Lysias to his Excellency, Felix the Governor: all good wishes.
23:27 This man Paul had been seized by the Jews, and they were on the point of killing him, when I came upon them with the troops and rescued him, for I had been informed that he was a Roman citizen.
23:28 And, wishing to know with certainty the offense of which they were accusing him, I brought him down into their Sanhedrin,
23:29 and I discovered that the charge had to do with questions of their Law, but that he was accused of nothing for which he deserves death or imprisonment.
23:30 But now that I have received information of an intended attack upon him, I immediately send him to you, directing his accusers also to state before you the case they have against him."
23:31 So, in obedience to their orders, the soldiers took Paul and brought him by night as far as Antipatris.
23:32 The next day the infantry returned to the barracks, leaving the cavalry to proceed with him;
23:33 and, the cavalry having reached Caesarea and delivered the letter to the Governor, they brought Paul also to him.
23:34 Felix, after reading the letter, inquired from what province he was; and being told "from Cilicia,"
23:35 he said, "I will hear all you have to say, when your accusers also have come." And he ordered him to be detained in custody in Herod's Palace.
24:1 Five days after this, Ananias the High Priest came down to Caesarea with a number of Elders and a pleader called Tertullus. They stated to the Governor the case against Paul.
24:2 So Paul was sent for, and Tertullus began to impeach him as follows: "Indebted as we are," he said, "to you, most noble Felix, for the perfect peace which we enjoy, and for reforms which your wisdom has introduced to this nation,
24:3 in every instance and in every place we accept them with profound gratitude.
24:4 But--not to detain you too long--I beg you in your forbearance to listen to a brief statement from us.
24:5 For we have found this man Paul a source of mischief and a disturber of the peace among all the Jews throughout the Empire, and a ringleader in the heresy of the Nazarenes.
24:6 He even attempted to profane the Temple, but we arrested him.
24:8 You, however, by examining him, will yourself be able to learn the truth as to all this which we allege against him."
24:9 The Jews also joined in the charge, maintaining that these were facts.
24:10 Then, at a sign from the Governor, Paul answered, "Knowing, Sir, that for many years you have administered justice to this nation, I cheerfully make my defence.
24:11 For you have it in your power to ascertain that it is not more than twelve days ago that I went up to worship in Jerusalem;
24:12 and that neither in the Temple nor in the synagogues, nor anywhere in the city, did they find me disputing with any opponent or collecting a crowd about me.
24:13 Nor can they prove the charges which they are now bringing against me.
24:14 But this I confess to you--that in the way which they style a heresy, I worship the God of our forefathers, believing everything that is taught in the Law or is written in the Prophets,
24:15 and having a hope directed towards God, which my accusers themselves also entertain, that before long there will be a resurrection both of the righteous and the unrighteous.
24:16 This too is my own earnest endeavour--always to have a clear conscience in relation to God and man.
24:17 "Now after an interval of several years I came to bring alms to my nation, and to offer sacrifices.
24:18 While I was busy about these, they found me in the Temple purified, with no crowd around me and no uproar; but there were certain Jews from the province of Asia.
24:19 They ought to have been here before you, and to have been my prosecutors, if they have any charge to bring against me.
24:20 Or let these men themselves say what misdemeanour they found me guilty of when I stood before the Sanhedrin,
24:21 unless it was in that one expression which I made use of when I shouted out as I stood among them, "`The resurrection of the dead is the thing about which I am on my trial before you to-day.'"
24:22 At this point Felix, who was fairly well informed about the new faith, adjourned the trial, saying to the Jews, "When the Tribune Lysias comes down, I will enter carefully into the matter."
24:23 And he gave orders to the Captain that Paul was to be kept in custody, but be treated with indulgence, and that his personal friends were not to be prevented from showing him kindness.
24:24 Not long after this, Felix came with Drusilla his wife, a Jewess, and sending for Paul, listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus.
24:25 But when he dealt with the subjects of justice, self-control, and the judgement which was soon to come, Felix became alarmed and said, "For the present leave me, and when I can find a convenient opportunity I will send for you."
24:26 At the same time he hoped that Paul would give him money; and for this reason he sent for him the oftener to converse with him.
24:27 But after the lapse of fully two years Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and being desirous of gratifying the Jews, Felix left Paul still in prison.
25:1 Festus, having entered on his duties as governor of the province, two days later went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem.
25:2 The High Priests and the leading men among the Jews immediately made representations to him against Paul, and begged him--
25:3 asking it as a favour, to Paul's prejudice--to have him brought to Jerusalem. They were planning an ambush to kill him on the way.
25:4 Festus, however, replied that Paul was in custody in Caesarea, and that he was himself going there very soon.
25:5 "Therefore let those of you," he said, "who can come, go down with me, and impeach the man, if there is anything amiss in him."
25:6 After a stay of eight or ten days in Jerusalem--not more--he went down to Caesarea; and the next day, taking his seat on the tribunal, he ordered Paul to be brought in.
25:7 Upon Paul's arrival, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood round him, and brought many grave charges against him which they were unable to substantiate.
25:8 But, in reply, Paul said, "Neither against the Jewish Law, nor against the Temple, nor against Caesar, have I committed any offence whatever."
25:9 Then Festus, being anxious to gratify the Jews, asked Paul, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem, and there stand your trial before me on these charges?"
25:10 "I am standing before Caesar's tribunal," replied Paul, "where alone I ought to be tried. The Jews have no real ground of complaint against me, as in fact you yourself are beginning to see more clearly.
25:11 If, however, I have done wrong and have committed any offence for which I deserve to die, I do not ask to be excused that penalty. But if there is no truth in what these men allege against me, no one has the right to give me up to them as a favour. I appeal to Caesar."
25:12 Then, after conferring with the Council, Festus replied, "To Caesar you have appealed: to Caesar you shall go."
25:13 A short time after this, Agrippa the king and Bernice came to Caesarea to pay a complimentary visit to Festus;
25:14 and, during their rather long stay, Festus laid Paul's case before the king. "There is a man here," he said, "whom Felix left a prisoner,
25:15 about whom, when I went to Jerusalem, the High Priests and the Elders of the Jews made representations to me, begging that sentence might be pronounced against him.
25:16 My reply was that it is not the custom among the Romans to give up any one for punishment before the accused has had his accusers face to face, and has had an opportunity of defending himself against the charge which has been brought against him.
25:17 "When, therefore, a number of them came here, the next day I took my seat on the tribunal, without any loss of time, and ordered the man to be brought in.
25:18 But, when his accusers stood up, they did not charge him with the misdemeanours of which I had been suspecting him.
25:19 But they quarrelled with him about certain matters connected with their own religion, and about one Jesus who had died, but--so Paul persistently maintained--is now alive.
25:20 I was at a loss how to investigate such questions, and asked Paul whether he would care to go to Jerusalem and there stand his trial on these matters.
25:21 But when Paul appealed to have his case kept for the Emperor's decision, I ordered him to be kept in prison until I could send him up to Caesar."
25:22 "I should like to hear the man myself," said Agrippa. "to-morrow," replied Festus, "you shall." Accordingly, the next day, Agrippa and Bernice came in state
25:23 and took their seats in the Judgement Hall, attended by the Tribunes and the men of high rank in the city; and, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in.
25:24 Then Festus said, "King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see here the man about whom the whole nation of the Jews made suit to me, both in Jerusalem and here, crying out that he ought not to live any longer.
25:25 I could not discover that he had done anything for which he deserved to die; but as he has himself appealed to the Emperor, I have decided to send him to Rome.
25:26 I have nothing very definite, however, to tell our Sovereign about him. So I have brought the man before you all--and especially before you, King Agrippa--that after he has been examined I may find something which I can put into writing.
25:27 For, when sending a prisoner to Rome, it seems to me to be absurd not to state the charges against him."
26:1 Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You have permission to speak about yourself." So Paul, with outstretched arm, proceeded to make his defence.
26:2 "As regards all the accusations brought against me by the Jews," he said, "I think myself fortunate, King Agrippa, in being about to defend myself to-day before you,
26:3 who are so familiar with all the customs and speculations that prevail among the Jews; and for this reason, I pray you, give me a patient hearing.
26:4 "The kind of life I have lived from my youth upwards, as exemplified in my early days among my nation and in Jerusalem, is known to all the Jews.
26:5 For they all know me of old--if they would but testify to the fact--how, being an adherent of the strictest sect of our religion, my life was that of a Pharisee.
26:6 And now I stand here impeached because of my hope in the fulfilment of the promise made by God to our forefathers--
26:7 the promise which our twelve tribes, worshipping day and night with intense devotedness, hope to have made good to them. It is on the subject of this hope, Sir, that I am accused by the Jews.
26:8 Why is it deemed with all of you a thing past belief if God raises the dead to life?
26:9 "I myself, however, thought it a duty to do many things in hostility to the name of Jesus, the Nazarene.
26:10 And that was how I acted in Jerusalem. Armed with authority received from the High Priests I shut up many of God's people in various prisons, and when they were about to be put to death I gave my vote against them.
26:11 In all the synagogues also I punished them many a time, and tried to make them blaspheme; and in my wild fury I chased them even to foreign towns.
26:12 "While thus engaged, I was travelling one day to Damascus armed with authority and a commission from the High Priests,
26:13 and on the journey, at noon, Sir, I saw a light from Heaven--brighter than the brightness of the sun--shining around me and around those who were travelling with me.
26:14 We all fell to the ground; and I heard a voice which said to me in Hebrew, "`Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? You are finding it painful to kick against the ox-goad.'
26:15 "`Who art Thou, Lord?' I asked. "`I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,' the Lord replied.
26:16 `But rise, and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for the very purpose of appointing you My servant and My witness both as to the things you have already seen and as to those in which I will appear to you.
26:17 I will save you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I send you to open their eyes,
26:18 that they may turn from darkness to light and from the obedience to Satan to God, in order to receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified through faith in Me.'
26:19 "Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision;
26:20 but I proceeded to preach first to the people in Damascus, and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and to the Gentiles, that they must repent and turn to God, and live lives consistent with such repentance.
26:21 "It was on this account that the Jews seized me in the Temple and tried to kill me.
26:22 Having, however, obtained the help which is from God, I have stood firm until now, and have solemnly exhorted rich and poor alike, saying nothing except what the Prophets and Moses predicted as soon to happen,
26:23 since the Christ was to be a suffering Christ, and by coming back from the dead was then to be the first to proclaim a message of light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles."
26:24 As Paul thus made his defence, Festus exclaimed in a loud voice, "You are raving mad, Paul; and great learning is driving you mad."
26:25 "I am not mad, most noble Festus," replied Paul; "I am speaking words of sober truth.
26:26 For the King, to whom I speak freely, knows about these matters. I am not to be persuaded that any detail of them has escaped his notice; for these things have not been done in a corner.
26:27 King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you believe them."
26:28 Agrippa answered, "In brief, you are doing your best to persuade me to become a Christian."
26:29 "My prayer to God, whether briefly or at length," replied Paul, "would be that not only you but all who are my hearers to-day, might become such as I am--except these chains."
26:30 So the King rose, and the Governor, and Bernice, and those who were sitting with them;
26:31 and, having withdrawn, they talked to one another and said, "This man is doing nothing for which he deserves death or imprisonment."
26:32 And Agrippa said to Festus, "He might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed to Caesar."
27:1 Now when it was decided that we should sail for Italy, they handed over Paul and a few other prisoners into the custody of Julius, a Captain of the Augustan battalion;
27:2 and going on board a ship of Adramyttium which was about to sail to the ports of the province of Asia, we put to sea; Aristarchus, the Macedonian, from Thessalonica, forming one of our party.
27:3 The next day we put in at Sidon. There Julius treated Paul with thoughtful kindness and allowed him to visit his friends and profit by their generous care.
27:4 Putting to sea again, we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us;
27:5 and, sailing the whole length of the sea that lies off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we reached Myra in Lycia.
27:6 There Julius found an Alexandrian ship bound for Italy, and put us on board of her.
27:7 It took several days of slow sailing for us to come with difficulty off Cnidus; from which point, as the wind did not allow us to get on in the direct course, we ran under the lee of Crete by Salmone.
27:8 Then, coasting along with difficulty, we reached a place called `Fair Havens,' near the town of Lasea.
27:9 Our voyage thus far had occupied a considerable time, and the navigation being now unsafe and the Fast also already over, Paul warned them.
27:10 "Sirs," he said, "I perceive that before long the voyage will be attended with danger and heavy loss, not only to the cargo and the ship but to our own lives also."
27:11 But Julius let himself be persuaded by the pilot and by the owner rather than by Paul's arguments;
27:12 and as the harbour was inconvenient for wintering in, the majority were in favour of putting out to sea, to try whether they could get to Phoenix--a harbour on the coast of Crete facing north-east and south-east--to winter there.
27:13 And a light breeze from the south sprang up, so that they supposed they were now sure of their purpose. So weighing anchor they ran along the coast of Crete, hugging the shore.
27:14 But it was not long before a furious north-east wind, coming down from the mountains, burst upon us and carried the ship out of her course.
27:15 She was unable to make headway against the gale; so we gave up and let her drive.
27:16 Then we ran under the lee of a little island called Cauda, where we managed with great difficulty to secure the boat;
27:17 and, after hoisting it on board, they used frapping-cables to undergird the ship, and, as they were afraid of being driven on the Syrtis quicksands, they lowered the gear and lay to.
27:18 But, as the storm was still violent, the next day they began to lighten the ship;
27:19 and, on the third day, with their own hands they threw the ship's spare gear overboard.
27:20 Then, when for several days neither sun nor stars were seen and the terrific gale still harassed us, the last ray of hope was now vanishing.
27:21 When for a long time they had taken but little food, Paul, standing up among them, said, "Sirs, you ought to have listened to me and not have sailed from Crete. You would then have escaped this suffering and loss.
27:22 But now take courage, for there will be no destruction of life among you, but of the ship only.
27:23 For there stood by my side, last night, an angel of the God to whom I belong, and whom also I worship,
27:24 and he said, "`Dismiss all fear, Paul, for you must stand before Caesar; and God has granted you the lives of all who are sailing with you.'
27:25 "Therefore, Sirs, take courage; for I believe God, and am convinced that things will happen exactly as I have been told.
27:26 But we are to be stranded on a certain island."
27:27 It was now the fourteenth night, and we were drifting through the Sea of Adria, when, about midnight, the sailors suspected that land was close at hand.
27:28 So they hove the lead and found twenty fathoms of water; and after a short time they hove again and found fifteen fathoms.
27:29 Then for fear of possibly running on rocks, they threw out four anchors from the stern and waited impatiently for daylight.
27:30 The sailors, however, wanted to make their escape from the ship, and had lowered the boat into the sea, pretending that they were going to lay out anchors from the bow.
27:31 But Paul, addressing Julius and the soldiers, said, "Your lives will be sacrificed, unless these men remain on board."
27:32 Then the soldiers cut the ropes of the ship's boat and let her fall off.
27:33 And continually, up till daybreak, Paul kept urging all on board to take some food. "This is the fourteenth day," he said, "that you have been anxiously waiting for the storm to cease, and have fasted, eating little or nothing.
27:34 I therefore strongly advise you to take some food. This is essential for your safety. For not a hair will perish from the head of any one of you."
27:35 Having said this he took some bread, and, after giving thanks to God for it before them all, he broke it in pieces and began to eat it.
27:36 This raised the spirits of all, and they too took food.
27:37 There were 276 of us, crew and passengers, all told.
27:38 After eating a hearty meal they lightened the ship by throwing the wheat overboard.
27:39 When daylight came, they tried in vain to recognise the coast. But an inlet with a sandy beach attracted their attention, and now their object was, if possible, to run the ship aground in this inlet.
27:40 So they cut away the anchors and left them in the sea, unloosing at the same time the bands which secured the paddle-rudders. Then, hoisting the foresail to the wind, they made for the beach.
27:41 But coming to a place where two seas met, they stranded the ship, and her bow sticking fast remained immovable, while the stern began to go to pieces under the heavy hammering of the sea.
27:42 Now the soldiers recommended that the prisoners should be killed, for fear some one of them might swim ashore and effect his escape.
27:43 But their Captain, bent on securing Paul's safety, kept them from their purpose and gave orders that those who could swim should first jump overboard and get to land;
27:44 and that the rest should follow, some on planks, and others on various things from the ship. In this way they all got safely to land.
28:1 Our lives having been thus preserved, we discovered that the island was called Malta.
28:2 The strange-speaking natives showed us remarkable kindness, for they lighted a fire and made us all welcome because of the pelting rain and the cold.
28:3 Now, when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and had thrown them on the fire, a viper, driven by the heat, came out and fastened itself on his hand.
28:4 When the natives saw the creature hanging to his hand, they said to one another, "Beyond doubt this man is a murderer, for, though saved from the sea, unerring Justice does not permit him to live."
28:5 He, however, shook the reptile off into the fire and was unhurt.
28:6 They expected him soon to swell with inflammation or suddenly fall down dead; but, after waiting a long time and seeing no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.
28:7 Now in the same part of the island there were estates belonging to the Governor, whose name was Publius. He welcomed us to his house, and for three days generously made us his guests.
28:8 It happened, however, that his father was lying ill of dysentery aggravated by attacks of fever; so Paul went to see him, and, after praying, laid his hands on him and cured him.
28:9 After this, all the other sick people in the island came and were cured.
28:10 They also loaded us with honours, and when at last we sailed they put supplies on board for us.
28:11 Three months passed before we set sail in an Alexandrian vessel, called the `Twin Brothers,' which had wintered at the island.
28:12 At Syracuse we put in and stayed for two days.
28:13 From there we came round and reached Rhegium; and a day later, a south wind sprang up which brought us by the evening of the next day to Puteoli.
28:14 Here we found brethren, who invited us to remain with them for a week; and so we reached Rome.
28:15 Meanwhile the brethren there, hearing of our movements, came as far as the Market of Appius and the Three Huts to meet us; and when Paul saw them he thanked God and felt encouraged.
28:16 Upon our arrival in Rome, Paul received permission to live by himself, guarded by a soldier.
28:17 After one complete day he invited the leading men among the Jews to meet him; and, when they were come together, he said to them, "As for me, brethren, although I had done nothing prejudicial to our people or contrary to the customs of our forefathers, I was handed over as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the power of the Romans.
28:18 They, after they had sharply questioned me, were willing to set me at liberty, because they found no offence in me for which I deserve to die.
28:19 But, at last, the opposition of the Jews compelled me to appeal to Caesar; not however that I had any charge to bring against my nation.
28:20 For these reasons, then, I have invited you here, that I might see you and speak to you; for it is for the sake of Him who is the hope of Israel that this chain hangs upon me."
28:21 "For our part," they replied, "we have not received any letters from Judaea about you, nor have any of our countrymen come here and reported or stated anything to your disadvantage.
28:22 But we should be glad to hear from you what it is that you believe; for as for this sect all we know is that it is everywhere spoken against."
28:23 So they arranged a day with him and came to him in considerable numbers at the house of the friends who were entertaining him. And then, with solemn earnestness, he explained to them the subject of the Kingdom of God, endeavouring from morning till evening to convince them about Jesus, both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.
28:24 Some were convinced; others refused to believe.
28:25 Unable to agree among themselves, they at last left him, but not before Paul had spoken a parting word to them, saying, "Right well did the Holy Spirit say to your forefathers through the Prophet Isaiah:
28:26 <"`Go to this people and tell them, you will hear and hear, and by no means understand; and will look and look, and by no means see.
28:27 For this people's mind has grown callous, their hearing has become dull, and their eyes they have closed; to prevent their ever seeing with their eyes, or hearing with their ears, or understanding with their minds, and turning back, so that I might cure them.'>
28:28 "Be fully assured, therefore, that this salvation--God's salvation--has now been sent to the Gentiles, and that they, at any rate, will give heed."
28:30 After this Paul lived for fully two years in a hired house of his own, receiving all who came to see him.
28:31 He announced the coming of the Kingdom of God, and taught concerning the Lord Jesus Christ without let or hindrance.