Bible: Acts 20-28
Paul Travels Through Macedonia and Greece
20:1 After the disturbance had ended, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging 1 them and saying farewell, 2 he left to go to Macedonia. 3 20:2 After he had gone through those regions 4 and spoken many words of encouragement 5 to the believers there, 6 he came to Greece, 7 20:3 where he stayed 8 for three months. Because the Jews had made 9 a plot 10 against him as he was intending 11 to sail 12 for Syria, he decided 13 to return through Macedonia. 14 20:4 Paul 15 was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, 16 Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, 17 Gaius 18 from Derbe, 19 and Timothy, as well as Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. 20 20:5 These had gone on ahead 21 and were waiting for us in Troas. 22 20:6 We 23 sailed away from Philippi 24 after the days of Unleavened Bread, 25 and within five days 26 we came to the others 27 in Troas, 28 where we stayed for seven days. 20:7 On the first day 29 of the week, when we met 30 to break bread, Paul began to speak 31 to the people, and because he intended 32 to leave the next day, he extended 33 his message until midnight. 20:8 (Now there were many lamps 34 in the upstairs room where we were meeting.) 35 20:9 A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the window, 36 was sinking 37 into a deep sleep while Paul continued to speak 38 for a long time. Fast asleep, 39 he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead. 20:10 But Paul went down, 40 threw himself 41 on the young man, 42 put his arms around him, 43 and said, “Do not be distressed, for he is still alive!” 44 20:11 Then Paul 45 went back upstairs, 46 and after he had broken bread and eaten, he talked with them 47 a long time, until dawn. Then he left. 20:12 They took the boy home alive and were greatly 48 comforted.
The Voyage to Miletus
20:13 We went on ahead 49 to the ship and put out to sea 50 for Assos, 51 intending 52 to take Paul aboard there, for he had arranged it this way. 53 He 54 himself was intending 55 to go there by land. 56 20:14 When he met us in Assos, 57 we took him aboard 58 and went to Mitylene. 59 20:15 We set sail 60 from there, and on the following day we arrived off Chios. 61 The next day we approached 62 Samos, 63 and the day after that we arrived at Miletus. 64 20:16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus 65 so as not to spend time 66 in the province of Asia, 67 for he was hurrying 68 to arrive in Jerusalem, 69 if possible, 70 by the day of Pentecost. 20:17 From Miletus 71 he sent a message 72 to Ephesus, telling the elders of the church to come to him. 73
20:18 When they arrived, he said to them, “You yourselves know how I lived 74 the whole time I was with you, from the first day I set foot 75 in the province of Asia, 76 20:19 serving the Lord with all humility 77 and with tears, and with the trials that happened to me because of the plots 78 of the Jews. 20:20 You know that I did not hold back from proclaiming 79 to you anything that would be helpful, 80 and from teaching you publicly 81 and from house to house, 20:21 testifying 82 to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus. 83 20:22 And now, 84 compelled 85 by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem 86 without knowing what will happen to me there, 87 20:23 except 88 that the Holy Spirit warns 89 me in town after town 90 that 91 imprisonment 92 and persecutions 93 are waiting for me. 20:24 But I do not consider my life 94 worth anything 95 to myself, so that 96 I may finish my task 97 and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news 98 of God’s grace.
20:25 “And now 99 I know that none 100 of you among whom I went around proclaiming the kingdom 101 will see me 102 again. 20:26 Therefore I declare 103 to you today that I am innocent 104 of the blood of you all. 105 20:27 For I did not hold back from 106 announcing 107 to you the whole purpose 108 of God. 20:28 Watch out for 109 yourselves and for all the flock of which 110 the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, 111 to shepherd the church of God 112 that he obtained 113 with the blood of his own Son. 114 20:29 I know that after I am gone 115 fierce wolves 116 will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 20:30 Even from among your own group 117 men 118 will arise, teaching perversions of the truth 119 to draw the disciples away after them. 20:31 Therefore be alert, 120 remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning 121 each one of you with tears. 20:32 And now I entrust 122 you to God and to the message 123 of his grace. This message 124 is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 20:33 I have desired 125 no one’s silver or gold or clothing. 20:34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine 126 provided for my needs and the needs of those who were with me. 20:35 By all these things, 127 I have shown you that by working in this way we must help 128 the weak, 129 and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” 130
20:36 When 131 he had said these things, he knelt down 132 with them all and prayed. 20:37 They all began to weep loudly, 133 and hugged 134 Paul and kissed him, 135 20:38 especially saddened 136 by what 137 he had said, that they were not going to see him 138 again. Then they accompanied 139 him to the ship.
Paul’s Journey to Jerusalem
21:1 After 140 we 141 tore ourselves away 142 from them, we put out to sea, 143 and sailing a straight course, 144 we came to Cos, 145 on the next day to Rhodes, 146 and from there to Patara. 147 21:2 We found 148 a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, 149 went aboard, 150 and put out to sea. 151 21:3 After we sighted Cyprus 152 and left it behind on our port side, 153 we sailed on to Syria and put in 154 at Tyre, 155 because the ship was to unload its cargo there. 21:4 After we located 156 the disciples, we stayed there 157 seven days. They repeatedly told 158 Paul through the Spirit 159 not to set foot 160 in Jerusalem. 161 21:5 When 162 our time was over, 163 we left and went on our way. All of them, with their wives and children, accompanied 164 us outside of the city. After 165 kneeling down on the beach and praying, 166 21:6 we said farewell 167 to one another. 168 Then 169 we went aboard the ship, and they returned to their own homes. 170 21:7 We continued the voyage from Tyre 171 and arrived at Ptolemais, 172 and when we had greeted the brothers, we stayed with them for one day. 21:8 On the next day we left 173 and came to Caesarea, 174 and entered 175 the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, 176 and stayed with him. 21:9 (He had four unmarried 177 daughters who prophesied.) 178
21:10 While we remained there for a number of days, 179 a prophet named Agabus 180 came down from Judea. 21:11 He came 181 to us, took 182 Paul’s belt, 183 tied 184 his own hands and feet with it, 185 and said, “The Holy Spirit says this: ‘This is the way the Jews in Jerusalem will tie up the man whose belt this is, and will hand him over 186 to the Gentiles.’” 21:12 When we heard this, both we and the local people 187 begged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 21:13 Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking 188 my heart? For I am ready not only to be tied up, 189 but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 21:14 Because he could not be persuaded, 190 we said no more except, 191 “The Lord’s will be done.” 192
21:15 After these days we got ready 193 and started up 194 to Jerusalem. 21:16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea 195 came along with us too, and brought us to the house 196 of Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple from the earliest times, 197 with whom we were to stay. 21:17 When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us gladly. 198 21:18 The next day Paul went in with us to see James, and all the elders were there. 199 21:19 When Paul 200 had greeted them, he began to explain 201 in detail 202 what God 203 had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 21:20 When they heard this, they praised 204 God. Then they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews 205 there are who have believed, and they are all ardent observers 206 of the law. 207 21:21 They have been informed about you – that you teach all the Jews now living 208 among the Gentiles to abandon 209 Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children 210 or live 211 according to our customs. 21:22 What then should we do? They will no doubt 212 hear that you have come. 21:23 So do what 213 we tell you: We have four men 214 who have taken 215 a vow; 216 21:24 take them and purify 217 yourself along with them and pay their expenses, 218 so that they may have their heads shaved. 219 Then 220 everyone will know there is nothing in what they have been told 221 about you, but that you yourself live in conformity with 222 the law. 223 21:25 But regarding the Gentiles who have believed, we have written a letter, having decided 224 that they should avoid 225 meat that has been sacrificed to idols 226 and blood and what has been strangled 227 and sexual immorality.” 21:26 Then Paul took the men the next day, 228 and after he had purified himself 229 along with them, he went to the temple and gave notice 230 of the completion of the days of purification, 231 when 232 the sacrifice would be offered for each 233 of them. 21:27 When the seven days were almost over, 234 the Jews from the province of Asia 235 who had seen him in the temple area 236 stirred up the whole crowd 237 and seized 238 him, 21:28 shouting, “Men of Israel, 239 help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people, our law, 240 and this sanctuary! 241 Furthermore 242 he has brought Greeks into the inner courts of the temple 243 and made this holy place ritually unclean!” 244 21:29 (For they had seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him previously, and 245 they assumed Paul had brought him into the inner temple courts.) 246 21:30 The whole city was stirred up, 247 and the people rushed together. 248 They seized 249 Paul and dragged him out of the temple courts, 250 and immediately the doors were shut. 21:31 While they were trying 251 to kill him, a report 252 was sent up 253 to the commanding officer 254 of the cohort 255 that all Jerusalem was in confusion. 256 21:32 He 257 immediately took 258 soldiers and centurions 259 and ran down to the crowd. 260 When they saw 261 the commanding officer 262 and the soldiers, they stopped beating 263 Paul. 21:33 Then the commanding officer 264 came up and arrested 265 him and ordered him to be tied up with two chains; 266 he 267 then asked who he was and what 268 he had done. 21:34 But some in the crowd shouted one thing, and others something else, 269 and when the commanding officer 270 was unable 271 to find out the truth 272 because of the disturbance, 273 he ordered Paul 274 to be brought into the barracks. 275 21:35 When he came to the steps, Paul 276 had to be carried 277 by the soldiers because of the violence 278 of the mob, 21:36 for a crowd of people 279 followed them, 280 screaming, “Away with him!” 21:37 As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, 281 he said 282 to the commanding officer, 283 “May I say 284 something to you?” The officer 285 replied, 286 “Do you know Greek? 287 21:38 Then you’re not that Egyptian who started a rebellion 288 and led the four thousand men of the ‘Assassins’ 289 into the wilderness 290 some time ago?” 291 21:39 Paul answered, 292 “I am a Jew 293 from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city. 294 Please 295 allow me to speak to the people.” 21:40 When the commanding officer 296 had given him permission, 297 Paul stood 298 on the steps and gestured 299 to the people with his hand. When they had become silent, 300 he addressed 301 them in Aramaic, 302
22:1 “Brothers and fathers, listen to my defense 303 that I now 304 make to you.” 22:2 (When they heard 305 that he was addressing 306 them in Aramaic, 307 they became even 308 quieter.) 309 Then 310 Paul said, 22:3 “I am a Jew, 311 born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up 312 in this city, educated with strictness 313 under 314 Gamaliel 315 according to the law of our ancestors, 316 and was 317 zealous 318 for God just as all of you are today. 22:4 I 319 persecuted this Way 320 even to the point of death, 321 tying up 322 both men and women and putting 323 them in prison, 22:5 as both the high priest and the whole council of elders 324 can testify about me. From them 325 I also received 326 letters to the brothers in Damascus, and I was on my way 327 to make arrests there and bring 328 the prisoners 329 to Jerusalem 330 to be punished. 22:6 As 331 I was en route and near Damascus, 332 about noon a very bright 333 light from heaven 334 suddenly flashed 335 around me. 22:7 Then I 336 fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 22:8 I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’ 22:9 Those who were with me saw the light, but did not understand 337 the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 22:10 So I asked, 338 ‘What should I do, Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Get up 339 and go to Damascus; there you will be told about everything 340 that you have been designated 341 to do.’ 22:11 Since I could not see because of 342 the brilliance 343 of that light, I came to Damascus led by the hand of 344 those who were with me. 22:12 A man named Ananias, 345 a devout man according to the law, 346 well spoken of by all the Jews who live there, 347 22:13 came 348 to me and stood beside me 349 and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight!’ 350 And at that very moment 351 I looked up and saw him. 352 22:14 Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors 353 has already chosen 354 you to know his will, to see 355 the Righteous One, 356 and to hear a command 357 from his mouth, 22:15 because you will be his witness 358 to all people 359 of what you have seen and heard. 22:16 And now what are you waiting for? 360 Get up, 361 be baptized, and have your sins washed away, 362 calling on his name.’ 363 22:17 When 364 I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 365 22:18 and saw the Lord 366 saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 22:19 I replied, 367 ‘Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat those in the various synagogues 368 who believed in you. 22:20 And when the blood of your witness 369 Stephen was shed, 370 I myself was standing nearby, approving, 371 and guarding the cloaks 372 of those who were killing him.’ 373 22:21 Then 374 he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”
The Roman Commander Questions Paul
22:22 The crowd 375 was listening to him until he said this. 376 Then 377 they raised their voices and shouted, 378 “Away with this man 379 from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live!” 380 22:23 While they were screaming 381 and throwing off their cloaks 382 and tossing dust 383 in the air, 22:24 the commanding officer 384 ordered Paul 385 to be brought back into the barracks. 386 He told them 387 to interrogate Paul 388 by beating him with a lash 389 so that he could find out the reason the crowd 390 was shouting at Paul 391 in this way. 22:25 When they had stretched him out for the lash, 392 Paul said to the centurion 393 standing nearby, “Is it legal for you to lash a man who is a Roman citizen 394 without a proper trial?” 395 22:26 When the centurion 396 heard this, 397 he went to the commanding officer 398 and reported it, 399 saying, “What are you about to do? 400 For this man is a Roman citizen.” 401 22:27 So the commanding officer 402 came and asked 403 Paul, 404 “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” 405 He replied, 406 “Yes.” 22:28 The commanding officer 407 answered, “I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money.” 408 “But I was even 409 born a citizen,” 410 Paul replied. 411 22:29 Then those who were about to interrogate him stayed away 412 from him, and the commanding officer 413 was frightened when he realized that Paul 414 was 415 a Roman citizen 416 and that he had had him tied up. 417
Paul Before the Sanhedrin
22:30 The next day, because the commanding officer 418 wanted to know the true reason 419 Paul 420 was being accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and the whole council 421 to assemble. He then brought 422 Paul down and had him stand before them.
23:1 Paul looked directly 423 at the council 424 and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with a clear conscience 425 before God to this day.” 23:2 At that 426 the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near 427 Paul 428 to strike 429 him on the mouth. 23:3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! 430 Do 431 you sit there judging me according to the law, 432 and in violation of the law 433 you order me to be struck?” 23:4 Those standing near him 434 said, “Do you dare insult 435 God’s high priest?” 23:5 Paul replied, 436 “I did not realize, 437 brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You must not speak evil about a ruler of your people.’” 438
23:6 Then when Paul noticed 439 that part of them were Sadducees 440 and the others Pharisees, 441 he shouted out in the council, 442 “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection 443 of the dead!” 23:7 When he said this, 444 an argument 445 began 446 between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 23:8 (For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.) 447 23:9 There was a great commotion, 448 and some experts in the law 449 from the party of the Pharisees stood up 450 and protested strongly, 451 “We find nothing wrong 452 with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 23:10 When the argument became 453 so great the commanding officer 454 feared that they would tear Paul to pieces, 455 he ordered the detachment 456 to go down, take him away from them by force, 457 and bring him into the barracks. 458
The Plot to Kill Paul
23:12 When morning came, 465 the Jews formed 466 a conspiracy 467 and bound themselves with an oath 468 not to eat or drink anything 469 until they had killed Paul. 23:13 There were more than forty of them who formed this conspiracy. 470 23:14 They 471 went 472 to the chief priests 473 and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves with a solemn oath 474 not to partake 475 of anything until we have killed Paul. 23:15 So now you and the council 476 request the commanding officer 477 to bring him down to you, as if you were going to determine 478 his case 479 by conducting a more thorough inquiry. 480 We are ready to kill him 481 before he comes near this place.” 482
23:16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, 483 he came and entered 484 the barracks 485 and told Paul. 23:17 Paul called 486 one of the centurions 487 and said, “Take this young man to the commanding officer, 488 for he has something to report to him.” 23:18 So the centurion 489 took him and brought him to the commanding officer 490 and said, “The prisoner Paul called 491 me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” 23:19 The commanding officer 492 took him by the hand, withdrew privately, and asked, “What is it that you want 493 to report to me?” 23:20 He replied, 494 “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council 495 tomorrow, as if they were going to inquire more thoroughly about him. 23:21 So do not let them persuade you to do this, 496 because more than forty of them 497 are lying in ambush 498 for him. They 499 have bound themselves with an oath 500 not to eat or drink anything 501 until they have killed him, and now they are ready, waiting for you to agree to their request.” 502 23:22 Then the commanding officer 503 sent the young man away, directing him, 504 “Tell no one that you have reported 505 these things to me.” 23:23 Then 506 he summoned 507 two of the centurions 508 and said, “Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea 509 along with seventy horsemen 510 and two hundred spearmen 511 by 512 nine o’clock tonight, 513 23:24 and provide mounts for Paul to ride 514 so that he may be brought safely to Felix 515 the governor.” 516 23:25 He wrote 517 a letter that went like this: 518
23:26 Claudius Lysias to His Excellency Governor 519 Felix, 520 greetings. 23:27 This man was seized 521 by the Jews and they were about to kill him, 522 when I came up 523 with the detachment 524 and rescued him, because I had learned that he was 525 a Roman citizen. 526 23:28 Since I wanted to know 527 what charge they were accusing him of, 528 I brought him down to their council. 529 23:29 I found he 530 was accused with reference to controversial questions 531 about their law, but no charge against him deserved death or imprisonment. 532 23:30 When I was informed 533 there would be a plot 534 against this man, I sent him to you at once, also ordering his accusers to state their charges 535 against him before you.
23:31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, 536 took 537 Paul and brought him to Antipatris 538 during the night. 23:32 The next day they let 539 the horsemen 540 go on with him, and they returned to the barracks. 541 23:33 When the horsemen 542 came to Caesarea 543 and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented 544 Paul to him. 23:34 When the governor 545 had read 546 the letter, 547 he asked 548 what province he was from. 549 When he learned 550 that he was from Cilicia, 551 23:35 he said, “I will give you a hearing 552 when your accusers arrive too.” Then 553 he ordered that Paul 554 be kept under guard in Herod’s palace. 555
The Accusations Against Paul
24:1 After five days the high priest Ananias 556 came down with some elders and an attorney 557 named 558 Tertullus, and they 559 brought formal charges 560 against Paul to the governor. 24:2 When Paul 561 had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, 562 saying, “We have experienced a lengthy time 563 of peace through your rule, 564 and reforms 565 are being made in this nation 566 through your foresight. 567 24:3 Most excellent Felix, 568 we acknowledge this everywhere and in every way 569 with all gratitude. 570 24:4 But so that I may not delay 571 you any further, I beg 572 you to hear us briefly 573 with your customary graciousness. 574 24:5 For we have found 575 this man to be a troublemaker, 576 one who stirs up riots 577 among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader 578 of the sect of the Nazarenes. 579 24:6 He 580 even tried to desecrate 581 the temple, so we arrested 582 him. 24:7 [[EMPTY]] 583 24:8 When you examine 584 him yourself, you will be able to learn from him 585 about all these things we are accusing him of doing.” 586 24:9 The Jews also joined in the verbal attack, 587 claiming 588 that these things were true.
Paul’s Defense Before Felix
24:10 When the governor gestured for him to speak, Paul replied, “Because I know 589 that you have been a judge over this nation for many years, I confidently make my defense. 590 24:11 As you can verify 591 for yourself, not more than twelve days ago 592 I went up to Jerusalem 593 to worship. 24:12 They did not find me arguing 594 with anyone or stirring up a crowd 595 in the temple courts 596 or in the synagogues 597 or throughout the city, 598 24:13 nor can they prove 599 to you the things 600 they are accusing me of doing. 601 24:14 But I confess this to you, that I worship 602 the God of our ancestors 603 according to the Way (which they call a sect), believing everything that is according to the law 604 and that is written in the prophets. 24:15 I have 605 a hope in God (a hope 606 that 607 these men 608 themselves accept too) that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. 609 24:16 This is the reason 610 I do my best to always 611 have a clear 612 conscience toward God and toward people. 613 24:17 After several years 614 I came to bring to my people gifts for the poor 615 and to present offerings, 616 24:18 which I was doing when they found me in the temple, ritually purified, 617 without a crowd or a disturbance. 618 24:19 But there are some Jews from the province of Asia 619 who should be here before you and bring charges, 620 if they have anything against me. 24:20 Or these men here 621 should tell what crime 622 they found me guilty of 623 when I stood before the council, 624 24:21 other than 625 this one thing 626 I shouted out while I stood before 627 them: ‘I am on trial before you today concerning the resurrection of the dead.’” 628
24:22 Then Felix, 629 who understood the facts 630 concerning the Way 631 more accurately, 632 adjourned their hearing, 633 saying, “When Lysias the commanding officer comes down, I will decide your case.” 634 24:23 He ordered the centurion 635 to guard Paul, 636 but to let him have some freedom, 637 and not to prevent any of his friends 638 from meeting his needs. 639
Paul Speaks Repeatedly to Felix
24:24 Some days later, when Felix 640 arrived with his wife Drusilla, 641 who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him speak 642 about faith in Christ Jesus. 643 24:25 While Paul 644 was discussing 645 righteousness, self-control, 646 and the coming judgment, Felix 647 became 648 frightened and said, “Go away for now, and when I have an opportunity, 649 I will send for you.” 24:26 At the same time he was also hoping that Paul would give him money, 650 and for this reason he sent for Paul 651 as often as possible 652 and talked 653 with him. 24:27 After two years 654 had passed, Porcius Festus 655 succeeded Felix, 656 and because he wanted to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison. 657
Paul Appeals to Caesar
25:1 Now 658 three days after Festus 659 arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem 660 from Caesarea. 661 25:2 So the chief priests and the most prominent men 662 of the Jews brought formal charges 663 against Paul to him. 25:3 Requesting him to do them a favor against Paul, 664 they urged Festus 665 to summon him to Jerusalem, planning an ambush 666 to kill him along the way. 25:4 Then Festus 667 replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, 668 and he himself intended to go there 669 shortly. 25:5 “So,” he said, “let your leaders 670 go down there 671 with me, and if this man has done anything wrong, 672 they may bring charges 673 against him.”
25:6 After Festus 674 had stayed 675 not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea, 676 and the next day he sat 677 on the judgment seat 678 and ordered Paul to be brought. 25:7 When he arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, 679 bringing many serious 680 charges that they were not able to prove. 681 25:8 Paul said in his defense, 682 “I have committed no offense 683 against the Jewish law 684 or against the temple or against Caesar.” 685 25:9 But Festus, 686 wanting to do the Jews a favor, asked Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and be tried 687 before me there on these charges?” 688 25:10 Paul replied, 689 “I am standing before Caesar’s 690 judgment seat, 691 where I should be tried. 692 I have done nothing wrong 693 to the Jews, as you also know very well. 694 25:11 If then I am in the wrong 695 and have done anything that deserves death, I am not trying to escape dying, 696 but if not one of their charges against me is true, 697 no one can hand me over to them. 698 I appeal to Caesar!” 699 25:12 Then, after conferring with his council, 700 Festus 701 replied, “You have appealed to Caesar; 702 to Caesar 703 you will go!” 704
Festus Asks King Agrippa for Advice
25:13 After several days had passed, King Agrippa 705 and Bernice arrived at Caesarea 706 to pay their respects 707 to Festus. 708 25:14 While 709 they were staying there many days, Festus 710 explained Paul’s case to the king to get his opinion, 711 saying, “There is a man left here as a prisoner by Felix. 25:15 When I was in Jerusalem, 712 the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed 713 me about him, 714 asking for a sentence of condemnation 715 against him. 25:16 I answered them 716 that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over anyone 717 before the accused had met his accusers face to face 718 and had been given 719 an opportunity to make a defense against the accusation. 720 25:17 So after they came back here with me, 721 I did not postpone the case, 722 but the next day I sat 723 on the judgment seat 724 and ordered the man to be brought. 25:18 When his accusers stood up, they did not charge 725 him with any of the evil deeds I had suspected. 726 25:19 Rather they had several points of disagreement 727 with him about their own religion 728 and about a man named Jesus 729 who was dead, whom Paul claimed 730 to be alive. 25:20 Because I was at a loss 731 how I could investigate these matters, 732 I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried 733 there on these charges. 734 25:21 But when Paul appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of His Majesty the Emperor, 735 I ordered him to be kept under guard until I could send him to Caesar.” 736 25:22 Agrippa 737 said to Festus, 738 “I would also like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he replied, 739 “you will hear him.”
Paul Before King Agrippa and Bernice
25:23 So the next day Agrippa 740 and Bernice came with great pomp 741 and entered the audience hall, 742 along with the senior military officers 743 and the prominent men of the city. When Festus 744 gave the order, 745 Paul was brought in. 25:24 Then Festus 746 said, “King Agrippa, 747 and all you who are present here with us, you see this man about whom the entire Jewish populace 748 petitioned 749 me both in Jerusalem 750 and here, 751 shouting loudly 752 that he ought not to live any longer. 25:25 But I found that he had done nothing that deserved death, 753 and when he appealed 754 to His Majesty the Emperor, 755 I decided to send him. 756 25:26 But I have nothing definite 757 to write to my lord 758 about him. 759 Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, 760 so that after this preliminary hearing 761 I may have something to write. 25:27 For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner without clearly indicating 762 the charges against him.”
Paul Offers His Defense
26:2 “Regarding all the things I have been accused of by the Jews, King Agrippa, 767 I consider myself fortunate that I am about to make my defense before you today, 26:3 because you are especially 768 familiar with all the customs and controversial issues 769 of the Jews. Therefore I ask 770 you to listen to me patiently. 26:4 Now all the Jews know the way I lived 771 from my youth, spending my life from the beginning among my own people 772 and in Jerusalem. 773 26:5 They know, 774 because they have known 775 me from time past, 776 if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party 777 of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee. 778 26:6 And now I stand here on trial 779 because of my hope in the promise made by God to our ancestors, 780 26:7 a promise 781 that our twelve tribes hope to attain as they earnestly serve God 782 night and day. Concerning this hope the Jews are accusing me, 783 Your Majesty! 784 26:8 Why do you people 785 think 786 it is unbelievable 787 that 788 God raises the dead? 26:9 Of course, 789 I myself was convinced 790 that it was necessary to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus the Nazarene. 26:10 And that is what I did in Jerusalem: Not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons by the authority I received 791 from the chief priests, but I also cast my vote 792 against them when they were sentenced to death. 793 26:11 I punished 794 them often in all the synagogues 795 and tried to force 796 them to blaspheme. Because I was so furiously enraged 797 at them, I went to persecute 798 them even in foreign cities.
26:12 “While doing this very thing, 799 as I was going 800 to Damascus with authority and complete power 801 from the chief priests, 26:13 about noon along the road, Your Majesty, 802 I saw a light from heaven, 803 brighter than the sun, shining everywhere around 804 me and those traveling with me. 26:14 When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, 805 ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are hurting yourself 806 by kicking against the goads.’ 807 26:15 So I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord replied, 808 ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 26:16 But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance 809 as a servant and witness 810 to the things 811 you have seen 812 and to the things in which I will appear to you. 26:17 I will rescue 813 you from your own people 814 and from the Gentiles, to whom 815 I am sending you 26:18 to open their eyes so that they turn 816 from darkness to light and from the power 817 of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share 818 among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
26:19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, 819 I was not disobedient 820 to the heavenly 821 vision, 26:20 but I declared to those in Damascus first, and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, 822 and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, 823 performing deeds consistent with 824 repentance. 26:21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple courts 825 and were trying to kill me. 26:22 I have experienced 826 help from God to this day, and so I stand testifying to both small and great, saying nothing except 827 what the prophets and Moses said 828 was going to happen: 26:23 that 829 the Christ 830 was to suffer and be the first to rise from the dead, to proclaim light both to our people 831 and to the Gentiles.” 832
26:24 As Paul 833 was saying these things in his defense, Festus 834 exclaimed loudly, “You have lost your mind, 835 Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane!” 26:25 But Paul replied, 836 “I have not lost my mind, most excellent Festus, 837 but am speaking 838 true and rational 839 words. 26:26 For the king knows about these things, and I am speaking freely 840 to him, 841 because I cannot believe 842 that any of these things has escaped his notice, 843 for this was not done in a corner. 844 26:27 Do you believe the prophets, 845 King Agrippa? 846 I know that you believe.” 26:28 Agrippa 847 said to Paul, “In such a short time are you persuading me to become a Christian?” 848 26:29 Paul replied, “I pray to God that whether in a short or a long time 849 not only you but also all those who are listening to me today could become such as I am, except for these chains.” 850
26:30 So the king got up, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them, 26:31 and as they were leaving they said to one another, 851 “This man is not doing anything deserving 852 death or imprisonment.” 26:32 Agrippa 853 said to Festus, 854 “This man could have been released 855 if he had not appealed to Caesar.” 856
Paul and Company Sail for Rome
27:1 When it was decided we 857 would sail to Italy, 858 they handed over Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion 859 of the Augustan Cohort 860 named Julius. 27:2 We went on board 861 a ship from Adramyttium 862 that was about to sail to various ports 863 along the coast of the province of Asia 864 and put out to sea, 865 accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian 866 from Thessalonica. 867 27:3 The next day we put in 868 at Sidon, 869 and Julius, treating Paul kindly, 870 allowed him to go to his friends so they could provide him with what he needed. 871 27:4 From there we put out to sea 872 and sailed under the lee 873 of Cyprus because the winds were against us. 27:5 After we had sailed across the open sea 874 off Cilicia and Pamphylia, 875 we put in 876 at Myra 877 in Lycia. 878 27:6 There the centurion 879 found 880 a ship from Alexandria 881 sailing for Italy, and he put us aboard it. 27:7 We sailed slowly 882 for many days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus. 883 Because the wind prevented us from going any farther, 884 we sailed under the lee 885 of Crete off Salmone. 886 27:8 With difficulty we sailed along the coast 887 of Crete 888 and came to a place called Fair Havens that was near the town of Lasea. 889
Caught in a Violent Storm
27:9 Since considerable time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous 890 because the fast 891 was already over, 892 Paul advised them, 893 27:10 “Men, I can see the voyage is going to end 894 in disaster 895 and great loss not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” 896 27:11 But the centurion 897 was more convinced 898 by the captain 899 and the ship’s owner than by what Paul said. 900 27:12 Because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided 901 to put out to sea 902 from there. They hoped that 903 somehow they could reach 904 Phoenix, 905 a harbor of Crete facing 906 southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there. 27:13 When a gentle south wind sprang up, they thought 907 they could carry out 908 their purpose, so they weighed anchor 909 and sailed close along the coast 910 of Crete. 27:14 Not long after this, a hurricane-force 911 wind called the northeaster 912 blew down from the island. 913 27:15 When the ship was caught in it 914 and could not head into 915 the wind, we gave way to it and were driven 916 along. 27:16 As we ran under the lee of 917 a small island called Cauda, 918 we were able with difficulty to get the ship’s boat 919 under control. 27:17 After the crew 920 had hoisted it aboard, 921 they used supports 922 to undergird the ship. Fearing they would run aground 923 on the Syrtis, 924 they lowered the sea anchor, 925 thus letting themselves be driven along. 27:18 The next day, because we were violently battered by the storm, 926 they began throwing the cargo overboard, 927 27:19 and on the third day they threw the ship’s gear 928 overboard with their own hands. 27:20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and a violent 929 storm continued to batter us, 930 we finally abandoned all hope of being saved. 931
27:21 Since many of them had no desire to eat, 932 Paul 933 stood up 934 among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me 935 and not put out to sea 936 from Crete, thus avoiding 937 this damage and loss. 27:22 And now I advise 938 you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only the ship will be lost. 939 27:23 For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong 940 and whom I serve 941 came to me 942 27:24 and said, 943 ‘Do not be afraid, Paul! You must stand before 944 Caesar, 945 and God has graciously granted you the safety 946 of all who are sailing with you.’ 27:25 Therefore keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God 947 that it will be just as I have been told. 27:26 But we must 948 run aground on some island.”
27:27 When the fourteenth night had come, while we were being driven 949 across the Adriatic Sea, 950 about midnight the sailors suspected they were approaching some land. 951 27:28 They took soundings 952 and found the water was twenty fathoms 953 deep; when they had sailed a little farther 954 they took soundings again and found it was fifteen fathoms 955 deep. 27:29 Because they were afraid 956 that we would run aground on the rocky coast, 957 they threw out 958 four anchors from the stern and wished 959 for day to appear. 960 27:30 Then when the sailors tried to escape from the ship and were lowering the ship’s boat into the sea, pretending 961 that they were going to put out anchors from the bow, 27:31 Paul said to the centurion 962 and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you 963 cannot be saved.” 27:32 Then the soldiers cut the ropes 964 of the ship’s boat and let it drift away. 965
27:33 As day was about to dawn, 966 Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have been in suspense 967 and have gone 968 without food; you have eaten nothing. 969 27:34 Therefore I urge you to take some food, for this is important 970 for your survival. 971 For not one of you will lose a hair from his head.” 27:35 After he said this, Paul 972 took bread 973 and gave thanks to God in front of them all, 974 broke 975 it, and began to eat. 27:36 So all of them were encouraged and took food themselves. 27:37 (We were in all two hundred seventy-six 976 persons on the ship.) 977 27:38 When they had eaten enough to be satisfied, 978 they lightened the ship by throwing the wheat 979 into the sea.
Paul is Shipwrecked
27:39 When day came, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed 980 a bay 981 with a beach, 982 where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. 27:40 So they slipped 983 the anchors 984 and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the linkage 985 that bound the steering oars 986 together. Then they hoisted 987 the foresail 988 to the wind and steered toward 989 the beach. 27:41 But they encountered a patch of crosscurrents 990 and ran the ship aground; the bow stuck fast and could not be moved, but the stern was being broken up by the force 991 of the waves. 27:42 Now the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners 992 so that none of them would escape by swimming away. 993 27:43 But the centurion, 994 wanting to save Paul’s life, 995 prevented them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land, 996 27:44 and the rest were to follow, 997 some on planks 998 and some on pieces of the ship. 999 And in this way 1000 all were brought safely to land.
Paul on Malta
28:1 After we had safely reached shore, 1001 we learned that the island was called Malta. 1002 28:2 The local inhabitants 1003 showed us extraordinary 1004 kindness, for they built a fire and welcomed us all because it had started to rain 1005 and was cold. 28:3 When Paul had gathered a bundle of brushwood 1006 and was putting it on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand. 28:4 When the local people 1007 saw the creature hanging from Paul’s 1008 hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer! Although he has escaped from the sea, Justice herself 1009 has not allowed him to live!” 1010 28:5 However, 1011 Paul 1012 shook 1013 the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm. 28:6 But they were expecting that he was going to swell up 1014 or suddenly drop dead. So after they had waited 1015 a long time and had seen 1016 nothing unusual happen 1017 to him, they changed their minds 1018 and said he was a god. 1019
28:7 Now in the region around that place 1020 were fields belonging to the chief official 1021 of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us hospitably as guests for three days. 28:8 The father 1022 of Publius lay sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him 1023 and after praying, placed 1024 his hands on him and healed 1025 him. 28:9 After this had happened, many of the people on the island who were sick 1026 also came and were healed. 1027 28:10 They also bestowed many honors, 1028 and when we were preparing to sail, 1029 they gave 1030 us all the supplies we needed. 1031
Paul Finally Reaches Rome
28:11 After three months we put out to sea 1032 in an Alexandrian ship that had wintered at the island and had the “Heavenly Twins” 1033 as its figurehead. 1034 28:12 We put in 1035 at Syracuse 1036 and stayed there three days. 28:13 From there we cast off 1037 and arrived at Rhegium, 1038 and after one day a south wind sprang up 1039 and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 1040 28:14 There 1041 we found 1042 some brothers 1043 and were invited to stay with them seven days. And in this way we came to Rome. 1044 28:15 The brothers from there, 1045 when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius 1046 and Three Taverns 1047 to meet us. When he saw them, 1048 Paul thanked God and took courage. 28:16 When we entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live 1049 by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.
Paul Addresses the Jewish Community in Rome
28:17 After three days 1050 Paul 1051 called the local Jewish leaders 1052 together. When they had assembled, he said to them, “Brothers, 1053 although I had done 1054 nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, 1055 from Jerusalem 1056 I was handed over as a prisoner to the Romans. 1057 28:18 When 1058 they had heard my case, 1059 they wanted to release me, 1060 because there was no basis for a death sentence 1061 against me. 28:19 But when the Jews objected, 1062 I was forced to appeal to Caesar 1063 – not that I had some charge to bring 1064 against my own people. 1065 28:20 So for this reason I have asked to see you and speak with you, for I am bound with this chain because of the hope of Israel.” 1066 28:21 They replied, 1067 “We have received no letters from Judea about you, nor have any of the brothers come from there 1068 and reported or said anything bad about you. 28:22 But we would like to hear from you what you think, for regarding this sect we know 1069 that people 1070 everywhere speak against 1071 it.”
28:23 They set 1072 a day to meet with him, 1073 and they came to him where he was staying 1074 in even greater numbers. 1075 From morning until evening he explained things 1076 to them, 1077 testifying 1078 about the kingdom of God 1079 and trying to convince 1080 them about Jesus from both the law of Moses and the prophets. 28:24 Some were convinced 1081 by what he said, 1082 but others refused 1083 to believe. 28:25 So they began to leave, 1084 unable to agree among themselves, after Paul made one last statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly to your ancestors 1085 through the prophet Isaiah 28:26 when he said,
‘Go to this people and say,
“You will keep on hearing, 1086 but will never understand,
and you will keep on looking, 1087 but will never perceive.
28:27 For the heart of this people has become dull, 1088
and their ears are hard of hearing, 1089
and they have closed their eyes,
so that they would not see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart28:29 [[EMPTY]] 1096
28:30 Paul 1097 lived 1098 there two whole years in his own rented quarters 1099 and welcomed 1100 all who came to him, 28:31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ 1101 with complete boldness 1102 and without restriction. 1103