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 

2:17And 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.

2:21 And then 39  everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ 40 

2:22Men 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 

2:29Brothers, 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

2:35 until I make your enemies a footstool 74  for your feet.”’ 75 

2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know beyond a doubt 76  that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified 77  both Lord 78  and Christ.” 79 

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 apostlesteaching 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 

Why do the nations 243  rage, 244 

and the peoples plot foolish 245  things?

4:26 The kings of the earth stood together, 246 

and the rulers assembled together,

against the Lord and against his 247  Christ.’ 248 

4:27For 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 apostlesfeet. 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 apostlesfeet.

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 apostlesfeet. 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.

7:17But 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.

7:30After 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,

7:49Heaven 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 

7:50 Did my hand 586  not make all these things? 587 

7:51You 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 apostleshands, 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.

8:33 In humiliation 697  justice was taken from him. 698 

Who can describe his posterity? 699 

For his life was taken away 700  from the earth.” 701 

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 

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