Bible: Acts 2-8
The Holy Spirit and the Day of Pentecost
2:1 Now 1 when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2:2 Suddenly 2 a sound 3 like a violent wind blowing 4 came from heaven 5 and filled the entire house where they were sitting. 2:3 And tongues spreading out like a fire 6 appeared to them and came to rest on each one of them. 2:4 All 7 of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other languages 8 as the Spirit enabled them. 9
2:5 Now there were devout Jews 10 from every nation under heaven residing in Jerusalem. 11 2:6 When this sound 12 occurred, a crowd gathered and was in confusion, 13 because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 2:7 Completely baffled, they said, 14 “Aren’t 15 all these who are speaking Galileans? 2:8 And how is it that each one of us hears them 16 in our own native language? 17 2:9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and the province of Asia, 18 2:10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene, 19 and visitors from Rome, 20 2:11 both Jews and proselytes, 21 Cretans and Arabs – we hear them speaking in our own languages about the great deeds God has done!” 22 2:12 All were astounded and greatly confused, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 2:13 But others jeered at the speakers, 23 saying, “They are drunk on new wine!” 24
Peter’s Address on the Day of Pentecost
2:14 But Peter stood up 25 with the eleven, raised his voice, and addressed them: “You men of Judea 26 and all you who live in Jerusalem, 27 know this 28 and listen carefully to what I say. 2:15 In spite of what you think, these men are not drunk, 29 for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 30 2:16 But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel: 31
2:17 ‘And in the last days 32 it will be,’ God says,
‘that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, 33
and your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
and your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
2:18 Even on my servants, 34 both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 35
2:19 And I will perform wonders in the sky 36 above
and miraculous signs 37 on the earth below,
blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
2:20 The sun will be changed to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the great and glorious 38 day of the Lord comes.
2:22 “Men of Israel, 41 listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man clearly attested to you by God with powerful deeds, 42 wonders, and miraculous signs 43 that God performed among you through him, just as you yourselves know – 2:23 this man, who was handed over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you executed 44 by nailing him to a cross at the hands of Gentiles. 45 2:24 But God raised him up, 46 having released 47 him from the pains 48 of death, because it was not possible for him to be held in its power. 49 2:25 For David says about him,
‘I saw the Lord always in front of me, 50
for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken.
2:26 Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced;
my body 51 also will live in hope,
2:27 because you will not leave my soul in Hades, 52
nor permit your Holy One to experience 53 decay.
2:28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will make me full of joy with your presence.’ 54
2:29 “Brothers, 55 I can speak confidently 56 to you about our forefather 57 David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 2:30 So then, because 58 he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants 59 on his throne, 60 2:31 David by foreseeing this 61 spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, 62 that he was neither abandoned to Hades, 63 nor did his body 64 experience 65 decay. 66 2:32 This Jesus God raised up, and we are all witnesses of it. 67 2:33 So then, exalted 68 to the right hand 69 of God, and having received 70 the promise of the Holy Spirit 71 from the Father, he has poured out 72 what you both see and hear. 2:34 For David did not ascend into heaven, but he himself says,
‘The Lord said to my lord,
“Sit 73 at my right hand
The Response to Peter’s Address
2:37 Now when they heard this, 80 they were acutely distressed 81 and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “What should we do, brothers?” 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each one of you be baptized 82 in the name of Jesus Christ 83 for 84 the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 85 2:39 For the promise 86 is for you and your children, and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.” 2:40 With many other words he testified 87 and exhorted them saying, “Save yourselves from this perverse 88 generation!” 2:41 So those who accepted 89 his message 90 were baptized, and that day about three thousand people 91 were added. 92
The Fellowship of the Early Believers
2:42 They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, 93 to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 94 2:43 Reverential awe 95 came over everyone, 96 and many wonders and miraculous signs 97 came about by the apostles. 2:44 All who believed were together and held 98 everything in common, 2:45 and they began selling 99 their property 100 and possessions and distributing the proceeds 101 to everyone, as anyone had need. 2:46 Every day 102 they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, 103 breaking bread from 104 house to house, sharing their food with glad 105 and humble hearts, 106 2:47 praising God and having the good will 107 of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day 108 those who were being saved.
Peter and John Heal a Lame Man at the Temple
3:1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time 109 for prayer, 110 at three o’clock in the afternoon. 111 3:2 And a man lame 112 from birth 113 was being carried up, who was placed at the temple gate called “the Beautiful Gate” every day 114 so he could beg for money 115 from those going into the temple courts. 116 3:3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple courts, 117 he asked them for money. 118 3:4 Peter looked directly 119 at him (as did John) and said, “Look at us!” 3:5 So the lame man 120 paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. 3:6 But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, 121 but what I do have I give you. In the name 122 of Jesus Christ 123 the Nazarene, stand up and 124 walk!” 3:7 Then 125 Peter 126 took hold 127 of him by the right hand and raised him up, and at once the man’s 128 feet and ankles were made strong. 129 3:8 He 130 jumped up, 131 stood and began walking around, and he entered the temple courts 132 with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 3:9 All 133 the people saw him walking and praising God, 3:10 and they recognized him as the man who used to sit and ask for donations 134 at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with astonishment and amazement 135 at what had happened to him.
Peter Addresses the Crowd
3:11 While the man 136 was hanging on to Peter and John, all the people, completely astounded, ran together to them in the covered walkway 137 called Solomon’s Portico. 138 3:12 When Peter saw this, he declared to the people, “Men of Israel, 139 why are you amazed at this? Why 140 do you stare at us as if we had made this man 141 walk by our own power or piety? 3:13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 142 the God of our forefathers, 143 has glorified 144 his servant 145 Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected 146 in the presence of Pilate after he had decided 147 to release him. 3:14 But you rejected 148 the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a man who was a murderer be released to you. 3:15 You killed 149 the Originator 150 of life, whom God raised 151 from the dead. To this fact we are witnesses! 152 3:16 And on the basis of faith in Jesus’ 153 name, 154 his very name has made this man – whom you see and know – strong. The 155 faith that is through Jesus 156 has given him this complete health in the presence 157 of you all. 3:17 And now, brothers, I know you acted in ignorance, 158 as your rulers did too. 3:18 But the things God foretold 159 long ago through 160 all the prophets – that his Christ 161 would suffer – he has fulfilled in this way. 3:19 Therefore repent and turn back so that your sins may be wiped out, 3:20 so that times of refreshing 162 may come from the presence of the Lord, 163 and so that he may send the Messiah 164 appointed 165 for you – that is, Jesus. 3:21 This one 166 heaven must 167 receive until the time all things are restored, 168 which God declared 169 from times long ago 170 through his holy prophets. 3:22 Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must obey 171 him in everything he tells you. 172 3:23 Every person 173 who does not obey that prophet will be destroyed and thus removed 174 from the people.’ 175 3:24 And all the prophets, from Samuel and those who followed him, have spoken about and announced 176 these days. 3:25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors, 177 saying to Abraham, ‘And in your descendants 178 all the nations 179 of the earth will be blessed.’ 180 3:26 God raised up 181 his servant and sent him first to you, to bless you by turning 182 each one of you from your iniquities.” 183
The Arrest and Trial of Peter and John
4:1 While Peter and John 184 were speaking to the people, the priests and the commander 185 of the temple guard 186 and the Sadducees 187 came up 188 to them, 4:2 angry 189 because they were teaching the people and announcing 190 in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 4:3 So 191 they seized 192 them and put them in jail 193 until the next day (for it was already evening). 4:4 But many of those who had listened to 194 the message 195 believed, and the number of the men 196 came to about five thousand.
4:5 On the next day, 197 their rulers, elders, and experts in the law 198 came together 199 in Jerusalem. 200 4:6 Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and others who were members of the high priest’s family. 201 4:7 After 202 making Peter and John 203 stand in their midst, they began to inquire, “By what power or by what name 204 did you do this?” 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, 205 replied, 206 “Rulers of the people and elders, 207 4:9 if 208 we are being examined 209 today for a good deed 210 done to a sick man – by what means this man was healed 211 – 4:10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ 212 the Nazarene whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, this man stands before you healthy. 4:11 This Jesus 213 is the stone that was rejected by you, 214 the builders, that has become the cornerstone. 215 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people 216 by which we must 217 be saved.”
4:13 When they saw the boldness 218 of Peter and John, and discovered 219 that they were uneducated 220 and ordinary 221 men, they were amazed and recognized these men had been with Jesus. 4:14 And because they saw the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say against this. 222 4:15 But when they had ordered them to go outside the council, 223 they began to confer with one another, 4:16 saying, “What should we do with these men? For it is plain 224 to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable miraculous sign 225 has come about through them, 226 and we cannot deny it. 4:17 But to keep this matter from spreading any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more 227 to anyone in this name.” 4:18 And they called them in and ordered 228 them not to speak or teach at all in the name 229 of Jesus. 4:19 But Peter and John replied, 230 “Whether it is right before God to obey 231 you rather than God, you decide, 4:20 for it is impossible 232 for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” 4:21 After threatening them further, they released them, for they could not find how to punish them on account of the people, because they were all praising 233 God for what had happened. 4:22 For the man, on whom this miraculous sign 234 of healing had been performed, 235 was over forty years old.
The Followers of Jesus Pray for Boldness
4:23 When they were released, Peter and John 236 went to their fellow believers 237 and reported everything the high priests and the elders had said to them. 4:24 When they heard this, they raised their voices to God with one mind 238 and said, “Master of all, 239 you who made the heaven, the earth, 240 the sea, and everything that is in them, 4:25 who said by the Holy Spirit through 241 your servant David our forefather, 242
and the peoples plot foolish 245 things?
4:26 The kings of the earth stood together, 246
and the rulers assembled together,
4:27 “For indeed both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, assembled together in this city against 249 your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, 250 4:28 to do as much as your power 251 and your plan 252 had decided beforehand 253 would happen. 4:29 And now, Lord, pay attention to 254 their threats, and grant 255 to your servants 256 to speak your message 257 with great courage, 258 4:30 while you extend your hand to heal, and to bring about miraculous signs 259 and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 4:31 When 260 they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, 261 and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak 262 the word of God 263 courageously. 264
Conditions Among the Early Believers
4:32 The group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, 265 and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but everything was held in common. 266 4:33 With 267 great power the apostles were giving testimony 268 to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all. 4:34 For there was no one needy 269 among them, because those who were owners of land or houses were selling 270 them 271 and bringing the proceeds from the sales 4:35 and placing them at the apostles’ feet. The proceeds 272 were distributed to each, as anyone had need. 4:36 So Joseph, a Levite who was a native of Cyprus, called by the apostles Barnabas (which is translated “son of encouragement”), 273 4:37 sold 274 a field 275 that belonged to him and brought the money 276 and placed it at the apostles’ feet.
The Judgment on Ananias and Sapphira
5:1 Now a man named Ananias, together with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property. 5:2 He 277 kept back for himself part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge; he brought 278 only part of it and placed it at the apostles’ feet. 5:3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled 279 your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back for yourself part of the proceeds from the sale of 280 the land? 5:4 Before it was sold, 281 did it not 282 belong to you? And when it was sold, was the money 283 not at your disposal? How have you thought up this deed in your heart? 284 You have not lied to people 285 but to God!”
5:5 When Ananias heard these words he collapsed and died, and great fear gripped 286 all who heard about it. 5:6 So the young men came, 287 wrapped him up, 288 carried him out, and buried 289 him. 5:7 After an interval of about three hours, 290 his wife came in, but she did not know 291 what had happened. 5:8 Peter said to her, “Tell me, were the two of you 292 paid this amount 293 for the land?” Sapphira 294 said, “Yes, that much.” 5:9 Peter then told her, “Why have you agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out!” 5:10 At once 295 she collapsed at his feet and died. So when the young men came in, they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 5:11 Great 296 fear gripped 297 the whole church 298 and all who heard about these things.
The Apostles Perform Miraculous Signs and Wonders
5:12 Now many miraculous signs 299 and wonders came about among the people through the hands of the apostles. By 300 common consent 301 they were all meeting together in Solomon’s Portico. 302 5:13 None of the rest dared to join them, 303 but the people held them in high honor. 304 5:14 More and more believers in the Lord were added to their number, 305 crowds of both men and women. 5:15 Thus 306 they even carried the sick out into the streets, and put them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow would fall on some of them. 5:16 A crowd of people from the towns around Jerusalem 307 also came together, bringing the sick and those troubled by unclean spirits. 308 They 309 were all 310 being healed.
Further Trouble for the Apostles
5:17 Now the high priest rose up, and all those with him (that is, the religious party of the Sadducees 311 ), 312 and they were filled with jealousy. 313 5:18 They 314 laid hands on 315 the apostles and put them in a public jail. 5:19 But during the night an angel of the Lord 316 opened 317 the doors of the prison, 318 led them out, 319 and said, 5:20 “Go and stand in the temple courts 320 and proclaim 321 to the people all the words of this life.” 5:21 When they heard this, they entered the temple courts 322 at daybreak and began teaching. 323
Now when the high priest and those who were with him arrived, they summoned the Sanhedrin 324 – that is, the whole high council 325 of the Israelites 326 – and sent to the jail to have the apostles 327 brought before them. 328 5:22 But the officers 329 who came for them 330 did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 331 5:23 “We found the jail locked securely and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, 332 we found no one inside.” 5:24 Now when the commander 333 of the temple guard 334 and the chief priests heard this report, 335 they were greatly puzzled concerning it, 336 wondering what this could 337 be. 5:25 But someone came and reported to them, “Look! The men you put in prison are standing in the temple courts 338 and teaching 339 the people!” 5:26 Then the commander 340 of the temple guard 341 went with the officers 342 and brought the apostles 343 without the use of force 344 (for they were afraid of being stoned by the people). 345
5:27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the council, 346 and the high priest questioned 347 them, 5:28 saying, “We gave 348 you strict orders 349 not to teach in this name. 350 Look, 351 you have filled Jerusalem 352 with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood 353 on us!” 5:29 But Peter and the apostles replied, 354 “We must obey 355 God rather than people. 356 5:30 The God of our forefathers 357 raised up Jesus, whom you seized and killed by hanging him on a tree. 358 5:31 God exalted him 359 to his right hand as Leader 360 and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 361 5:32 And we are witnesses of these events, 362 and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey 363 him.”
5:33 Now when they heard this, they became furious 364 and wanted to execute them. 365 5:34 But a Pharisee 366 whose name was Gamaliel, 367 a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up 368 in the council 369 and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 5:35 Then he said to the council, 370 “Men of Israel, 371 pay close attention to 372 what you are about to do to these men. 5:36 For some time ago 373 Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. He 374 was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and nothing came of it. 375 5:37 After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census, 376 and incited people to follow him in revolt. 377 He too was killed, and all who followed him were scattered. 5:38 So in this case I say to you, stay away from these men and leave them alone, because if this plan or this undertaking originates with people, 378 it will come to nothing, 379 5:39 but if 380 it is from God, you will not be able to stop them, or you may even be found 381 fighting against God.” He convinced them, 382 5:40 and they summoned the apostles and had them beaten. 383 Then 384 they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. 5:41 So they left the council rejoicing because they had been considered worthy 385 to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 386 5:42 And every day both in the temple courts 387 and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the good news 388 that Jesus was the Christ. 389
The Appointment of the First Seven Deacons
6:1 Now in those 390 days, when the disciples were growing in number, 391 a complaint arose on the part of the Greek-speaking Jews 392 against the native Hebraic Jews, 393 because their widows 394 were being overlooked 395 in the daily distribution of food. 396 6:2 So the twelve 397 called 398 the whole group 399 of the disciples together and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to wait on tables. 400 6:3 But carefully select from among you, brothers, 401 seven 402 men who are well-attested, 403 full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge 404 of this necessary task. 405 6:4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 6:5 The 406 proposal pleased the entire group, so 407 they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, with 408 Philip, 409 Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a Gentile convert to Judaism 410 from Antioch. 411 6:6 They stood these men before the apostles, who prayed 412 and placed 413 their hands on them. 6:7 The word of God continued to spread, 414 the number of disciples in Jerusalem 415 increased greatly, and a large group 416 of priests became obedient to the faith.
Stephen is Arrested
6:8 Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and miraculous signs 417 among the people. 6:9 But some men from the Synagogue 418 of the Freedmen (as it was called), 419 both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, as well as some from Cilicia and the province of Asia, 420 stood up and argued with Stephen. 6:10 Yet 421 they were not able to resist 422 the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. 6:11 Then they secretly instigated 423 some men to say, “We have heard this man 424 speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 6:12 They incited the people, the 425 elders, and the experts in the law; 426 then they approached Stephen, 427 seized him, and brought him before the council. 428 6:13 They brought forward false witnesses who said, “This man does not stop saying things against this holy place 429 and the law. 430 6:14 For we have heard him saying that Jesus the Nazarene will destroy this place and change the customs 431 that Moses handed down to us.” 6:15 All 432 who were sitting in the council 433 looked intently at Stephen 434 and saw his face was like the face of an angel. 435
Stephen’s Defense Before the Council
7:1 Then the high priest said, “Are these things true?” 436 7:2 So he replied, 437 “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. The God of glory appeared to our forefather 438 Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran, 7:3 and said to him, ‘Go out from your country and from your relatives, and come to the land I will show you.’ 439 7:4 Then he went out from the country of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After his father died, God 440 made him move 441 to this country where you now live. 7:5 He 442 did not give any of it to him for an inheritance, 443 not even a foot of ground, 444 yet God 445 promised to give it to him as his possession, and to his descendants after him, 446 even though Abraham 447 as yet had no child. 7:6 But God spoke as follows: ‘Your 448 descendants will be foreigners 449 in a foreign country, whose citizens will enslave them and mistreat them for four hundred years. 450 7:7 But I will punish 451 the nation they serve as slaves,’ said God, ‘and after these things they will come out of there 452 and worship 453 me in this place.’ 454 7:8 Then God 455 gave Abraham 456 the covenant 457 of circumcision, and so he became the father of Isaac and circumcised him when he was eight days old, 458 and Isaac became the father of 459 Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. 460 7:9 The 461 patriarchs, because they were jealous of Joseph, sold 462 him into Egypt. But 463 God was with him, 7:10 and rescued him from all his troubles, and granted him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made 464 him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 7:11 Then a famine occurred throughout 465 Egypt and Canaan, causing 466 great suffering, and our 467 ancestors 468 could not find food. 7:12 So when Jacob heard that there was grain 469 in Egypt, he sent our ancestors 470 there 471 the first time. 7:13 On their second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers again, and Joseph’s family 472 became known to Pharaoh. 7:14 So Joseph sent a message 473 and invited 474 his father Jacob and all his relatives to come, seventy-five people 475 in all. 7:15 So Jacob went down to Egypt and died there, 476 along with our ancestors, 477 7:16 and their bones 478 were later moved to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a certain sum of money 479 from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
7:17 “But as the time drew near for God to fulfill the promise he had declared to Abraham, 480 the people increased greatly in number 481 in Egypt, 7:18 until another king who did not know about 482 Joseph ruled 483 over Egypt. 484 7:19 This was the one who exploited 485 our people 486 and was cruel to our ancestors, 487 forcing them to abandon 488 their infants so they would die. 489 7:20 At that time Moses was born, and he was beautiful 490 to God. For 491 three months he was brought up in his father’s house, 7:21 and when he had been abandoned, 492 Pharaoh’s daughter adopted 493 him and brought him up 494 as her own son. 7:22 So Moses was trained 495 in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful 496 in his words and deeds. 7:23 But when he was about forty years old, it entered his mind 497 to visit his fellow countrymen 498 the Israelites. 499 7:24 When 500 he saw one of them being hurt unfairly, 501 Moses 502 came to his defense 503 and avenged the person who was mistreated by striking down the Egyptian. 7:25 He thought his own people 504 would understand that God was delivering them 505 through him, 506 but they did not understand. 507 7:26 The next day Moses 508 saw two men 509 fighting, and tried to make peace between 510 them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why are you hurting one another?’ 7:27 But the man who was unfairly hurting his neighbor pushed 511 Moses 512 aside, saying, ‘Who made 513 you a ruler and judge over us? 7:28 You don’t want to kill me the way you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’ 514 7:29 When the man said this, 515 Moses fled and became a foreigner 516 in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.
7:30 “After 517 forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the desert 518 of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. 519 7:31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and when he approached to investigate, there came the voice of the Lord, 7:32 ‘I am the God of your forefathers, 520 the God of Abraham, Isaac, 521 and Jacob.’ 522 Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look more closely. 523 7:33 But the Lord said to him, ‘Take the sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 524 7:34 I have certainly seen the suffering 525 of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them. 526 Now 527 come, I will send you to Egypt.’ 528 7:35 This same 529 Moses they had rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge?’ 530 God sent as both ruler and deliverer 531 through the hand of the angel 532 who appeared to him in the bush. 7:36 This man led them out, performing wonders and miraculous signs 533 in the land of Egypt, 534 at 535 the Red Sea, and in the wilderness 536 for forty years. 7:37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, 537 ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers.’ 538 7:38 This is the man who was in the congregation 539 in the wilderness 540 with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors, 541 and he 542 received living oracles 543 to give to you. 544 7:39 Our 545 ancestors 546 were unwilling to obey 547 him, but pushed him aside 548 and turned back to Egypt in their hearts, 7:40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go in front of us, for this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt 549 – we do not know what has happened to him!’ 550 7:41 At 551 that time 552 they made an idol in the form of a calf, 553 brought 554 a sacrifice to the idol, and began rejoicing 555 in the works of their hands. 556 7:42 But God turned away from them and gave them over 557 to worship the host 558 of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: ‘It was not to me that you offered slain animals and sacrifices 559 forty years in the wilderness, was it, 560 house of Israel? 7:43 But you took along the tabernacle 561 of Moloch 562 and the star of the 563 god Rephan, 564 the images you made to worship, but I will deport 565 you beyond Babylon.’ 566 7:44 Our ancestors 567 had the tabernacle 568 of testimony in the wilderness, 569 just as God 570 who spoke to Moses ordered him 571 to make it according to the design he had seen. 7:45 Our 572 ancestors 573 received possession of it and brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors, 574 until the time 575 of David. 7:46 He 576 found favor 577 with 578 God and asked that he could 579 find a dwelling place 580 for the house 581 of Jacob. 7:47 But Solomon built a house 582 for him. 7:48 Yet the Most High 583 does not live in houses made by human hands, 584 as the prophet says,
7:49 ‘Heaven 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 is my resting place? 585
7:51 “You stubborn 588 people, with uncircumcised 589 hearts and ears! 590 You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, like your ancestors 591 did! 7:52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors 592 not persecute? 593 They 594 killed those who foretold long ago the coming of the Righteous One, 595 whose betrayers and murderers you have now become! 596 7:53 You 597 received the law by decrees given by angels, 598 but you did not obey 599 it.” 600
Stephen is Killed
7:54 When they heard these things, they became furious 601 and ground their teeth 602 at him. 7:55 But Stephen, 603 full 604 of the Holy Spirit, looked intently 605 toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing 606 at the right hand of God. 7:56 “Look!” he said. 607 “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 7:57 But they covered their ears, 608 shouting out with a loud voice, and rushed at him with one intent. 7:58 When 609 they had driven him out of the city, they began to stone him, 610 and the witnesses laid their cloaks 611 at the feet of a young man named Saul. 7:59 They 612 continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 7:60 Then he fell 613 to his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” 614 When 615 he had said this, he died. 616 8:1 And Saul agreed completely with killing 617 him.
Saul Begins to Persecute the Church
Now on that day a great 618 persecution began 619 against the church in Jerusalem, 620 and all 621 except the apostles were forced to scatter throughout the regions 622 of Judea and Samaria. 8:2 Some 623 devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation 624 over him. 625 8:3 But Saul was trying to destroy 626 the church; entering one house after another, he dragged off 627 both men and women and put them in prison. 628
Philip Preaches in Samaria
8:4 Now those who had been forced to scatter went around proclaiming the good news of the word. 8:5 Philip went down to the main city of Samaria 629 and began proclaiming 630 the Christ 631 to them. 8:6 The crowds were paying attention with one mind to what Philip said, 632 as they heard and saw the miraculous signs 633 he was performing. 8:7 For unclean spirits, 634 crying with loud shrieks, were coming out of many who were possessed, 635 and many paralyzed and lame people were healed. 8:8 So there was 636 great joy 637 in that city.
8:9 Now in that city was a man named Simon, who had been practicing magic 638 and amazing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great. 8:10 All the people, 639 from the least to the greatest, paid close attention to him, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called ‘Great.’” 640 8:11 And they paid close attention to him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God 641 and the name of Jesus Christ, 642 they began to be baptized, 643 both men and women. 8:13 Even Simon himself believed, and after he was baptized, he stayed close to 644 Philip constantly, and when he saw the signs and great miracles that were occurring, he was amazed. 645
8:14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem 646 heard that Samaria had accepted the word 647 of God, they sent 648 Peter and John to them. 8:15 These two 649 went down and prayed for them so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. 8:16 (For the Spirit 650 had not yet come upon 651 any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 652 8:17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on the Samaritans, 653 and they received the Holy Spirit. 654
8:18 Now Simon, when he saw that the Spirit 655 was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, offered them money, 8:19 saying, “Give me this power 656 too, so that everyone I place my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.” 8:20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, 657 because you thought you could acquire 658 God’s gift with money! 8:21 You have no share or part 659 in this matter 660 because your heart is not right before God! 8:22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord 661 that he may perhaps forgive you for the intent of your heart. 662 8:23 For I see that you are bitterly envious 663 and in bondage to sin.” 8:24 But Simon replied, 664 “You pray to the Lord for me so that nothing of what you have said may happen to 665 me.”
8:25 So after Peter and John 666 had solemnly testified 667 and spoken the word of the Lord, 668 they started back to Jerusalem, proclaiming 669 the good news to many Samaritan villages 670 as they went. 671
Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
8:26 Then an angel of the Lord 672 said to Philip, 673 “Get up and go south 674 on the road that goes down from Jerusalem 675 to Gaza.” (This is a desert 676 road.) 677 8:27 So 678 he got up 679 and went. There 680 he met 681 an Ethiopian eunuch, 682 a court official of Candace, 683 queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasury. He 684 had come to Jerusalem to worship, 685 8:28 and was returning home, sitting 686 in his chariot, reading 687 the prophet Isaiah. 8:29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 8:30 So Philip ran up 688 to it 689 and heard the man 690 reading Isaiah the prophet. He 691 asked him, 692 “Do you understand what you’re reading?” 8:31 The man 693 replied, “How in the world can I, 694 unless someone guides me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 8:32 Now the passage of scripture the man 695 was reading was this:
“He was led like a sheep to slaughter,
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did 696 not open his mouth.
Who can describe his posterity? 699
8:34 Then the eunuch said 702 to Philip, “Please tell me, 703 who is the prophet saying this about – himself or someone else?” 704 8:35 So Philip started speaking, 705 and beginning with this scripture 706 proclaimed the good news about Jesus to him. 8:36 Now as they were going along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water! What is to stop me 707 from being baptized?” 8:37 [[EMPTY]] 708 8:38 So he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, 709 and Philip baptized 710 him. 8:39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any more, but 711 went on his way rejoicing. 712 8:40 Philip, however, found himself 713 at Azotus, 714 and as he passed through the area, 715 he proclaimed the good news 716 to all the towns 717 until he came to Caesarea. 718