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.

20:25And 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 

Paul’s Defense

22:1Brothers 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 

23:11 The following night the Lord 459  stood near 460  Paul 461  and said, “Have courage, 462  for just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, 463  so you must also testify in Rome.” 464 

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

26:1 So Agrippa 763  said to Paul, “You have permission 764  to speak for yourself.” Then Paul held out his hand 765  and began his defense: 766 

26:2Regarding 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.

26:12While 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.’

26:19Therefore, 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 soldiersplan 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 heart

and turn, 1090  and I would heal them.”’ 1091 

28:28Therefore be advised 1092  that this salvation from God 1093  has been sent to the Gentiles; 1094  they 1095  will listen!

28:29 [[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 

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