Bible: Acts 21-28
Paul’s Journey to Jerusalem
21:1 After 1 we 2 tore ourselves away 3 from them, we put out to sea, 4 and sailing a straight course, 5 we came to Cos, 6 on the next day to Rhodes, 7 and from there to Patara. 8 21:2 We found 9 a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, 10 went aboard, 11 and put out to sea. 12 21:3 After we sighted Cyprus 13 and left it behind on our port side, 14 we sailed on to Syria and put in 15 at Tyre, 16 because the ship was to unload its cargo there. 21:4 After we located 17 the disciples, we stayed there 18 seven days. They repeatedly told 19 Paul through the Spirit 20 not to set foot 21 in Jerusalem. 22 21:5 When 23 our time was over, 24 we left and went on our way. All of them, with their wives and children, accompanied 25 us outside of the city. After 26 kneeling down on the beach and praying, 27 21:6 we said farewell 28 to one another. 29 Then 30 we went aboard the ship, and they returned to their own homes. 31 21:7 We continued the voyage from Tyre 32 and arrived at Ptolemais, 33 and when we had greeted the brothers, we stayed with them for one day. 21:8 On the next day we left 34 and came to Caesarea, 35 and entered 36 the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, 37 and stayed with him. 21:9 (He had four unmarried 38 daughters who prophesied.) 39
21:10 While we remained there for a number of days, 40 a prophet named Agabus 41 came down from Judea. 21:11 He came 42 to us, took 43 Paul’s belt, 44 tied 45 his own hands and feet with it, 46 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 47 to the Gentiles.’” 21:12 When we heard this, both we and the local people 48 begged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 21:13 Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking 49 my heart? For I am ready not only to be tied up, 50 but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 21:14 Because he could not be persuaded, 51 we said no more except, 52 “The Lord’s will be done.” 53
21:15 After these days we got ready 54 and started up 55 to Jerusalem. 21:16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea 56 came along with us too, and brought us to the house 57 of Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple from the earliest times, 58 with whom we were to stay. 21:17 When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us gladly. 59 21:18 The next day Paul went in with us to see James, and all the elders were there. 60 21:19 When Paul 61 had greeted them, he began to explain 62 in detail 63 what God 64 had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 21:20 When they heard this, they praised 65 God. Then they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews 66 there are who have believed, and they are all ardent observers 67 of the law. 68 21:21 They have been informed about you – that you teach all the Jews now living 69 among the Gentiles to abandon 70 Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children 71 or live 72 according to our customs. 21:22 What then should we do? They will no doubt 73 hear that you have come. 21:23 So do what 74 we tell you: We have four men 75 who have taken 76 a vow; 77 21:24 take them and purify 78 yourself along with them and pay their expenses, 79 so that they may have their heads shaved. 80 Then 81 everyone will know there is nothing in what they have been told 82 about you, but that you yourself live in conformity with 83 the law. 84 21:25 But regarding the Gentiles who have believed, we have written a letter, having decided 85 that they should avoid 86 meat that has been sacrificed to idols 87 and blood and what has been strangled 88 and sexual immorality.” 21:26 Then Paul took the men the next day, 89 and after he had purified himself 90 along with them, he went to the temple and gave notice 91 of the completion of the days of purification, 92 when 93 the sacrifice would be offered for each 94 of them. 21:27 When the seven days were almost over, 95 the Jews from the province of Asia 96 who had seen him in the temple area 97 stirred up the whole crowd 98 and seized 99 him, 21:28 shouting, “Men of Israel, 100 help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people, our law, 101 and this sanctuary! 102 Furthermore 103 he has brought Greeks into the inner courts of the temple 104 and made this holy place ritually unclean!” 105 21:29 (For they had seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him previously, and 106 they assumed Paul had brought him into the inner temple courts.) 107 21:30 The whole city was stirred up, 108 and the people rushed together. 109 They seized 110 Paul and dragged him out of the temple courts, 111 and immediately the doors were shut. 21:31 While they were trying 112 to kill him, a report 113 was sent up 114 to the commanding officer 115 of the cohort 116 that all Jerusalem was in confusion. 117 21:32 He 118 immediately took 119 soldiers and centurions 120 and ran down to the crowd. 121 When they saw 122 the commanding officer 123 and the soldiers, they stopped beating 124 Paul. 21:33 Then the commanding officer 125 came up and arrested 126 him and ordered him to be tied up with two chains; 127 he 128 then asked who he was and what 129 he had done. 21:34 But some in the crowd shouted one thing, and others something else, 130 and when the commanding officer 131 was unable 132 to find out the truth 133 because of the disturbance, 134 he ordered Paul 135 to be brought into the barracks. 136 21:35 When he came to the steps, Paul 137 had to be carried 138 by the soldiers because of the violence 139 of the mob, 21:36 for a crowd of people 140 followed them, 141 screaming, “Away with him!” 21:37 As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, 142 he said 143 to the commanding officer, 144 “May I say 145 something to you?” The officer 146 replied, 147 “Do you know Greek? 148 21:38 Then you’re not that Egyptian who started a rebellion 149 and led the four thousand men of the ‘Assassins’ 150 into the wilderness 151 some time ago?” 152 21:39 Paul answered, 153 “I am a Jew 154 from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city. 155 Please 156 allow me to speak to the people.” 21:40 When the commanding officer 157 had given him permission, 158 Paul stood 159 on the steps and gestured 160 to the people with his hand. When they had become silent, 161 he addressed 162 them in Aramaic, 163
22:1 “Brothers and fathers, listen to my defense 164 that I now 165 make to you.” 22:2 (When they heard 166 that he was addressing 167 them in Aramaic, 168 they became even 169 quieter.) 170 Then 171 Paul said, 22:3 “I am a Jew, 172 born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up 173 in this city, educated with strictness 174 under 175 Gamaliel 176 according to the law of our ancestors, 177 and was 178 zealous 179 for God just as all of you are today. 22:4 I 180 persecuted this Way 181 even to the point of death, 182 tying up 183 both men and women and putting 184 them in prison, 22:5 as both the high priest and the whole council of elders 185 can testify about me. From them 186 I also received 187 letters to the brothers in Damascus, and I was on my way 188 to make arrests there and bring 189 the prisoners 190 to Jerusalem 191 to be punished. 22:6 As 192 I was en route and near Damascus, 193 about noon a very bright 194 light from heaven 195 suddenly flashed 196 around me. 22:7 Then I 197 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 198 the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 22:10 So I asked, 199 ‘What should I do, Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Get up 200 and go to Damascus; there you will be told about everything 201 that you have been designated 202 to do.’ 22:11 Since I could not see because of 203 the brilliance 204 of that light, I came to Damascus led by the hand of 205 those who were with me. 22:12 A man named Ananias, 206 a devout man according to the law, 207 well spoken of by all the Jews who live there, 208 22:13 came 209 to me and stood beside me 210 and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight!’ 211 And at that very moment 212 I looked up and saw him. 213 22:14 Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors 214 has already chosen 215 you to know his will, to see 216 the Righteous One, 217 and to hear a command 218 from his mouth, 22:15 because you will be his witness 219 to all people 220 of what you have seen and heard. 22:16 And now what are you waiting for? 221 Get up, 222 be baptized, and have your sins washed away, 223 calling on his name.’ 224 22:17 When 225 I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 226 22:18 and saw the Lord 227 saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 22:19 I replied, 228 ‘Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat those in the various synagogues 229 who believed in you. 22:20 And when the blood of your witness 230 Stephen was shed, 231 I myself was standing nearby, approving, 232 and guarding the cloaks 233 of those who were killing him.’ 234 22:21 Then 235 he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”
The Roman Commander Questions Paul
22:22 The crowd 236 was listening to him until he said this. 237 Then 238 they raised their voices and shouted, 239 “Away with this man 240 from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live!” 241 22:23 While they were screaming 242 and throwing off their cloaks 243 and tossing dust 244 in the air, 22:24 the commanding officer 245 ordered Paul 246 to be brought back into the barracks. 247 He told them 248 to interrogate Paul 249 by beating him with a lash 250 so that he could find out the reason the crowd 251 was shouting at Paul 252 in this way. 22:25 When they had stretched him out for the lash, 253 Paul said to the centurion 254 standing nearby, “Is it legal for you to lash a man who is a Roman citizen 255 without a proper trial?” 256 22:26 When the centurion 257 heard this, 258 he went to the commanding officer 259 and reported it, 260 saying, “What are you about to do? 261 For this man is a Roman citizen.” 262 22:27 So the commanding officer 263 came and asked 264 Paul, 265 “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” 266 He replied, 267 “Yes.” 22:28 The commanding officer 268 answered, “I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money.” 269 “But I was even 270 born a citizen,” 271 Paul replied. 272 22:29 Then those who were about to interrogate him stayed away 273 from him, and the commanding officer 274 was frightened when he realized that Paul 275 was 276 a Roman citizen 277 and that he had had him tied up. 278
Paul Before the Sanhedrin
22:30 The next day, because the commanding officer 279 wanted to know the true reason 280 Paul 281 was being accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and the whole council 282 to assemble. He then brought 283 Paul down and had him stand before them.
23:1 Paul looked directly 284 at the council 285 and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with a clear conscience 286 before God to this day.” 23:2 At that 287 the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near 288 Paul 289 to strike 290 him on the mouth. 23:3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! 291 Do 292 you sit there judging me according to the law, 293 and in violation of the law 294 you order me to be struck?” 23:4 Those standing near him 295 said, “Do you dare insult 296 God’s high priest?” 23:5 Paul replied, 297 “I did not realize, 298 brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You must not speak evil about a ruler of your people.’” 299
23:6 Then when Paul noticed 300 that part of them were Sadducees 301 and the others Pharisees, 302 he shouted out in the council, 303 “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection 304 of the dead!” 23:7 When he said this, 305 an argument 306 began 307 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.) 308 23:9 There was a great commotion, 309 and some experts in the law 310 from the party of the Pharisees stood up 311 and protested strongly, 312 “We find nothing wrong 313 with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 23:10 When the argument became 314 so great the commanding officer 315 feared that they would tear Paul to pieces, 316 he ordered the detachment 317 to go down, take him away from them by force, 318 and bring him into the barracks. 319
The Plot to Kill Paul
23:12 When morning came, 326 the Jews formed 327 a conspiracy 328 and bound themselves with an oath 329 not to eat or drink anything 330 until they had killed Paul. 23:13 There were more than forty of them who formed this conspiracy. 331 23:14 They 332 went 333 to the chief priests 334 and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves with a solemn oath 335 not to partake 336 of anything until we have killed Paul. 23:15 So now you and the council 337 request the commanding officer 338 to bring him down to you, as if you were going to determine 339 his case 340 by conducting a more thorough inquiry. 341 We are ready to kill him 342 before he comes near this place.” 343
23:16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, 344 he came and entered 345 the barracks 346 and told Paul. 23:17 Paul called 347 one of the centurions 348 and said, “Take this young man to the commanding officer, 349 for he has something to report to him.” 23:18 So the centurion 350 took him and brought him to the commanding officer 351 and said, “The prisoner Paul called 352 me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” 23:19 The commanding officer 353 took him by the hand, withdrew privately, and asked, “What is it that you want 354 to report to me?” 23:20 He replied, 355 “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council 356 tomorrow, as if they were going to inquire more thoroughly about him. 23:21 So do not let them persuade you to do this, 357 because more than forty of them 358 are lying in ambush 359 for him. They 360 have bound themselves with an oath 361 not to eat or drink anything 362 until they have killed him, and now they are ready, waiting for you to agree to their request.” 363 23:22 Then the commanding officer 364 sent the young man away, directing him, 365 “Tell no one that you have reported 366 these things to me.” 23:23 Then 367 he summoned 368 two of the centurions 369 and said, “Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea 370 along with seventy horsemen 371 and two hundred spearmen 372 by 373 nine o’clock tonight, 374 23:24 and provide mounts for Paul to ride 375 so that he may be brought safely to Felix 376 the governor.” 377 23:25 He wrote 378 a letter that went like this: 379
23:26 Claudius Lysias to His Excellency Governor 380 Felix, 381 greetings. 23:27 This man was seized 382 by the Jews and they were about to kill him, 383 when I came up 384 with the detachment 385 and rescued him, because I had learned that he was 386 a Roman citizen. 387 23:28 Since I wanted to know 388 what charge they were accusing him of, 389 I brought him down to their council. 390 23:29 I found he 391 was accused with reference to controversial questions 392 about their law, but no charge against him deserved death or imprisonment. 393 23:30 When I was informed 394 there would be a plot 395 against this man, I sent him to you at once, also ordering his accusers to state their charges 396 against him before you.
23:31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, 397 took 398 Paul and brought him to Antipatris 399 during the night. 23:32 The next day they let 400 the horsemen 401 go on with him, and they returned to the barracks. 402 23:33 When the horsemen 403 came to Caesarea 404 and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented 405 Paul to him. 23:34 When the governor 406 had read 407 the letter, 408 he asked 409 what province he was from. 410 When he learned 411 that he was from Cilicia, 412 23:35 he said, “I will give you a hearing 413 when your accusers arrive too.” Then 414 he ordered that Paul 415 be kept under guard in Herod’s palace. 416
The Accusations Against Paul
24:1 After five days the high priest Ananias 417 came down with some elders and an attorney 418 named 419 Tertullus, and they 420 brought formal charges 421 against Paul to the governor. 24:2 When Paul 422 had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, 423 saying, “We have experienced a lengthy time 424 of peace through your rule, 425 and reforms 426 are being made in this nation 427 through your foresight. 428 24:3 Most excellent Felix, 429 we acknowledge this everywhere and in every way 430 with all gratitude. 431 24:4 But so that I may not delay 432 you any further, I beg 433 you to hear us briefly 434 with your customary graciousness. 435 24:5 For we have found 436 this man to be a troublemaker, 437 one who stirs up riots 438 among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader 439 of the sect of the Nazarenes. 440 24:6 He 441 even tried to desecrate 442 the temple, so we arrested 443 him. 24:7 [[EMPTY]] 444 24:8 When you examine 445 him yourself, you will be able to learn from him 446 about all these things we are accusing him of doing.” 447 24:9 The Jews also joined in the verbal attack, 448 claiming 449 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 450 that you have been a judge over this nation for many years, I confidently make my defense. 451 24:11 As you can verify 452 for yourself, not more than twelve days ago 453 I went up to Jerusalem 454 to worship. 24:12 They did not find me arguing 455 with anyone or stirring up a crowd 456 in the temple courts 457 or in the synagogues 458 or throughout the city, 459 24:13 nor can they prove 460 to you the things 461 they are accusing me of doing. 462 24:14 But I confess this to you, that I worship 463 the God of our ancestors 464 according to the Way (which they call a sect), believing everything that is according to the law 465 and that is written in the prophets. 24:15 I have 466 a hope in God (a hope 467 that 468 these men 469 themselves accept too) that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. 470 24:16 This is the reason 471 I do my best to always 472 have a clear 473 conscience toward God and toward people. 474 24:17 After several years 475 I came to bring to my people gifts for the poor 476 and to present offerings, 477 24:18 which I was doing when they found me in the temple, ritually purified, 478 without a crowd or a disturbance. 479 24:19 But there are some Jews from the province of Asia 480 who should be here before you and bring charges, 481 if they have anything against me. 24:20 Or these men here 482 should tell what crime 483 they found me guilty of 484 when I stood before the council, 485 24:21 other than 486 this one thing 487 I shouted out while I stood before 488 them: ‘I am on trial before you today concerning the resurrection of the dead.’” 489
24:22 Then Felix, 490 who understood the facts 491 concerning the Way 492 more accurately, 493 adjourned their hearing, 494 saying, “When Lysias the commanding officer comes down, I will decide your case.” 495 24:23 He ordered the centurion 496 to guard Paul, 497 but to let him have some freedom, 498 and not to prevent any of his friends 499 from meeting his needs. 500
Paul Speaks Repeatedly to Felix
24:24 Some days later, when Felix 501 arrived with his wife Drusilla, 502 who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him speak 503 about faith in Christ Jesus. 504 24:25 While Paul 505 was discussing 506 righteousness, self-control, 507 and the coming judgment, Felix 508 became 509 frightened and said, “Go away for now, and when I have an opportunity, 510 I will send for you.” 24:26 At the same time he was also hoping that Paul would give him money, 511 and for this reason he sent for Paul 512 as often as possible 513 and talked 514 with him. 24:27 After two years 515 had passed, Porcius Festus 516 succeeded Felix, 517 and because he wanted to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison. 518
Paul Appeals to Caesar
25:1 Now 519 three days after Festus 520 arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem 521 from Caesarea. 522 25:2 So the chief priests and the most prominent men 523 of the Jews brought formal charges 524 against Paul to him. 25:3 Requesting him to do them a favor against Paul, 525 they urged Festus 526 to summon him to Jerusalem, planning an ambush 527 to kill him along the way. 25:4 Then Festus 528 replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, 529 and he himself intended to go there 530 shortly. 25:5 “So,” he said, “let your leaders 531 go down there 532 with me, and if this man has done anything wrong, 533 they may bring charges 534 against him.”
25:6 After Festus 535 had stayed 536 not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea, 537 and the next day he sat 538 on the judgment seat 539 and ordered Paul to be brought. 25:7 When he arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, 540 bringing many serious 541 charges that they were not able to prove. 542 25:8 Paul said in his defense, 543 “I have committed no offense 544 against the Jewish law 545 or against the temple or against Caesar.” 546 25:9 But Festus, 547 wanting to do the Jews a favor, asked Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and be tried 548 before me there on these charges?” 549 25:10 Paul replied, 550 “I am standing before Caesar’s 551 judgment seat, 552 where I should be tried. 553 I have done nothing wrong 554 to the Jews, as you also know very well. 555 25:11 If then I am in the wrong 556 and have done anything that deserves death, I am not trying to escape dying, 557 but if not one of their charges against me is true, 558 no one can hand me over to them. 559 I appeal to Caesar!” 560 25:12 Then, after conferring with his council, 561 Festus 562 replied, “You have appealed to Caesar; 563 to Caesar 564 you will go!” 565
Festus Asks King Agrippa for Advice
25:13 After several days had passed, King Agrippa 566 and Bernice arrived at Caesarea 567 to pay their respects 568 to Festus. 569 25:14 While 570 they were staying there many days, Festus 571 explained Paul’s case to the king to get his opinion, 572 saying, “There is a man left here as a prisoner by Felix. 25:15 When I was in Jerusalem, 573 the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed 574 me about him, 575 asking for a sentence of condemnation 576 against him. 25:16 I answered them 577 that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over anyone 578 before the accused had met his accusers face to face 579 and had been given 580 an opportunity to make a defense against the accusation. 581 25:17 So after they came back here with me, 582 I did not postpone the case, 583 but the next day I sat 584 on the judgment seat 585 and ordered the man to be brought. 25:18 When his accusers stood up, they did not charge 586 him with any of the evil deeds I had suspected. 587 25:19 Rather they had several points of disagreement 588 with him about their own religion 589 and about a man named Jesus 590 who was dead, whom Paul claimed 591 to be alive. 25:20 Because I was at a loss 592 how I could investigate these matters, 593 I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried 594 there on these charges. 595 25:21 But when Paul appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of His Majesty the Emperor, 596 I ordered him to be kept under guard until I could send him to Caesar.” 597 25:22 Agrippa 598 said to Festus, 599 “I would also like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he replied, 600 “you will hear him.”
Paul Before King Agrippa and Bernice
25:23 So the next day Agrippa 601 and Bernice came with great pomp 602 and entered the audience hall, 603 along with the senior military officers 604 and the prominent men of the city. When Festus 605 gave the order, 606 Paul was brought in. 25:24 Then Festus 607 said, “King Agrippa, 608 and all you who are present here with us, you see this man about whom the entire Jewish populace 609 petitioned 610 me both in Jerusalem 611 and here, 612 shouting loudly 613 that he ought not to live any longer. 25:25 But I found that he had done nothing that deserved death, 614 and when he appealed 615 to His Majesty the Emperor, 616 I decided to send him. 617 25:26 But I have nothing definite 618 to write to my lord 619 about him. 620 Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, 621 so that after this preliminary hearing 622 I may have something to write. 25:27 For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner without clearly indicating 623 the charges against him.”
Paul Offers His Defense
26:2 “Regarding all the things I have been accused of by the Jews, King Agrippa, 628 I consider myself fortunate that I am about to make my defense before you today, 26:3 because you are especially 629 familiar with all the customs and controversial issues 630 of the Jews. Therefore I ask 631 you to listen to me patiently. 26:4 Now all the Jews know the way I lived 632 from my youth, spending my life from the beginning among my own people 633 and in Jerusalem. 634 26:5 They know, 635 because they have known 636 me from time past, 637 if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party 638 of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee. 639 26:6 And now I stand here on trial 640 because of my hope in the promise made by God to our ancestors, 641 26:7 a promise 642 that our twelve tribes hope to attain as they earnestly serve God 643 night and day. Concerning this hope the Jews are accusing me, 644 Your Majesty! 645 26:8 Why do you people 646 think 647 it is unbelievable 648 that 649 God raises the dead? 26:9 Of course, 650 I myself was convinced 651 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 652 from the chief priests, but I also cast my vote 653 against them when they were sentenced to death. 654 26:11 I punished 655 them often in all the synagogues 656 and tried to force 657 them to blaspheme. Because I was so furiously enraged 658 at them, I went to persecute 659 them even in foreign cities.
26:12 “While doing this very thing, 660 as I was going 661 to Damascus with authority and complete power 662 from the chief priests, 26:13 about noon along the road, Your Majesty, 663 I saw a light from heaven, 664 brighter than the sun, shining everywhere around 665 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, 666 ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are hurting yourself 667 by kicking against the goads.’ 668 26:15 So I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord replied, 669 ‘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 670 as a servant and witness 671 to the things 672 you have seen 673 and to the things in which I will appear to you. 26:17 I will rescue 674 you from your own people 675 and from the Gentiles, to whom 676 I am sending you 26:18 to open their eyes so that they turn 677 from darkness to light and from the power 678 of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share 679 among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
26:19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, 680 I was not disobedient 681 to the heavenly 682 vision, 26:20 but I declared to those in Damascus first, and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, 683 and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, 684 performing deeds consistent with 685 repentance. 26:21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple courts 686 and were trying to kill me. 26:22 I have experienced 687 help from God to this day, and so I stand testifying to both small and great, saying nothing except 688 what the prophets and Moses said 689 was going to happen: 26:23 that 690 the Christ 691 was to suffer and be the first to rise from the dead, to proclaim light both to our people 692 and to the Gentiles.” 693
26:24 As Paul 694 was saying these things in his defense, Festus 695 exclaimed loudly, “You have lost your mind, 696 Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane!” 26:25 But Paul replied, 697 “I have not lost my mind, most excellent Festus, 698 but am speaking 699 true and rational 700 words. 26:26 For the king knows about these things, and I am speaking freely 701 to him, 702 because I cannot believe 703 that any of these things has escaped his notice, 704 for this was not done in a corner. 705 26:27 Do you believe the prophets, 706 King Agrippa? 707 I know that you believe.” 26:28 Agrippa 708 said to Paul, “In such a short time are you persuading me to become a Christian?” 709 26:29 Paul replied, “I pray to God that whether in a short or a long time 710 not only you but also all those who are listening to me today could become such as I am, except for these chains.” 711
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, 712 “This man is not doing anything deserving 713 death or imprisonment.” 26:32 Agrippa 714 said to Festus, 715 “This man could have been released 716 if he had not appealed to Caesar.” 717
Paul and Company Sail for Rome
27:1 When it was decided we 718 would sail to Italy, 719 they handed over Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion 720 of the Augustan Cohort 721 named Julius. 27:2 We went on board 722 a ship from Adramyttium 723 that was about to sail to various ports 724 along the coast of the province of Asia 725 and put out to sea, 726 accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian 727 from Thessalonica. 728 27:3 The next day we put in 729 at Sidon, 730 and Julius, treating Paul kindly, 731 allowed him to go to his friends so they could provide him with what he needed. 732 27:4 From there we put out to sea 733 and sailed under the lee 734 of Cyprus because the winds were against us. 27:5 After we had sailed across the open sea 735 off Cilicia and Pamphylia, 736 we put in 737 at Myra 738 in Lycia. 739 27:6 There the centurion 740 found 741 a ship from Alexandria 742 sailing for Italy, and he put us aboard it. 27:7 We sailed slowly 743 for many days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus. 744 Because the wind prevented us from going any farther, 745 we sailed under the lee 746 of Crete off Salmone. 747 27:8 With difficulty we sailed along the coast 748 of Crete 749 and came to a place called Fair Havens that was near the town of Lasea. 750
Caught in a Violent Storm
27:9 Since considerable time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous 751 because the fast 752 was already over, 753 Paul advised them, 754 27:10 “Men, I can see the voyage is going to end 755 in disaster 756 and great loss not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” 757 27:11 But the centurion 758 was more convinced 759 by the captain 760 and the ship’s owner than by what Paul said. 761 27:12 Because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided 762 to put out to sea 763 from there. They hoped that 764 somehow they could reach 765 Phoenix, 766 a harbor of Crete facing 767 southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there. 27:13 When a gentle south wind sprang up, they thought 768 they could carry out 769 their purpose, so they weighed anchor 770 and sailed close along the coast 771 of Crete. 27:14 Not long after this, a hurricane-force 772 wind called the northeaster 773 blew down from the island. 774 27:15 When the ship was caught in it 775 and could not head into 776 the wind, we gave way to it and were driven 777 along. 27:16 As we ran under the lee of 778 a small island called Cauda, 779 we were able with difficulty to get the ship’s boat 780 under control. 27:17 After the crew 781 had hoisted it aboard, 782 they used supports 783 to undergird the ship. Fearing they would run aground 784 on the Syrtis, 785 they lowered the sea anchor, 786 thus letting themselves be driven along. 27:18 The next day, because we were violently battered by the storm, 787 they began throwing the cargo overboard, 788 27:19 and on the third day they threw the ship’s gear 789 overboard with their own hands. 27:20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and a violent 790 storm continued to batter us, 791 we finally abandoned all hope of being saved. 792
27:21 Since many of them had no desire to eat, 793 Paul 794 stood up 795 among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me 796 and not put out to sea 797 from Crete, thus avoiding 798 this damage and loss. 27:22 And now I advise 799 you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only the ship will be lost. 800 27:23 For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong 801 and whom I serve 802 came to me 803 27:24 and said, 804 ‘Do not be afraid, Paul! You must stand before 805 Caesar, 806 and God has graciously granted you the safety 807 of all who are sailing with you.’ 27:25 Therefore keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God 808 that it will be just as I have been told. 27:26 But we must 809 run aground on some island.”
27:27 When the fourteenth night had come, while we were being driven 810 across the Adriatic Sea, 811 about midnight the sailors suspected they were approaching some land. 812 27:28 They took soundings 813 and found the water was twenty fathoms 814 deep; when they had sailed a little farther 815 they took soundings again and found it was fifteen fathoms 816 deep. 27:29 Because they were afraid 817 that we would run aground on the rocky coast, 818 they threw out 819 four anchors from the stern and wished 820 for day to appear. 821 27:30 Then when the sailors tried to escape from the ship and were lowering the ship’s boat into the sea, pretending 822 that they were going to put out anchors from the bow, 27:31 Paul said to the centurion 823 and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you 824 cannot be saved.” 27:32 Then the soldiers cut the ropes 825 of the ship’s boat and let it drift away. 826
27:33 As day was about to dawn, 827 Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have been in suspense 828 and have gone 829 without food; you have eaten nothing. 830 27:34 Therefore I urge you to take some food, for this is important 831 for your survival. 832 For not one of you will lose a hair from his head.” 27:35 After he said this, Paul 833 took bread 834 and gave thanks to God in front of them all, 835 broke 836 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 837 persons on the ship.) 838 27:38 When they had eaten enough to be satisfied, 839 they lightened the ship by throwing the wheat 840 into the sea.
Paul is Shipwrecked
27:39 When day came, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed 841 a bay 842 with a beach, 843 where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. 27:40 So they slipped 844 the anchors 845 and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the linkage 846 that bound the steering oars 847 together. Then they hoisted 848 the foresail 849 to the wind and steered toward 850 the beach. 27:41 But they encountered a patch of crosscurrents 851 and ran the ship aground; the bow stuck fast and could not be moved, but the stern was being broken up by the force 852 of the waves. 27:42 Now the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners 853 so that none of them would escape by swimming away. 854 27:43 But the centurion, 855 wanting to save Paul’s life, 856 prevented them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land, 857 27:44 and the rest were to follow, 858 some on planks 859 and some on pieces of the ship. 860 And in this way 861 all were brought safely to land.
Paul on Malta
28:1 After we had safely reached shore, 862 we learned that the island was called Malta. 863 28:2 The local inhabitants 864 showed us extraordinary 865 kindness, for they built a fire and welcomed us all because it had started to rain 866 and was cold. 28:3 When Paul had gathered a bundle of brushwood 867 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 868 saw the creature hanging from Paul’s 869 hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer! Although he has escaped from the sea, Justice herself 870 has not allowed him to live!” 871 28:5 However, 872 Paul 873 shook 874 the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm. 28:6 But they were expecting that he was going to swell up 875 or suddenly drop dead. So after they had waited 876 a long time and had seen 877 nothing unusual happen 878 to him, they changed their minds 879 and said he was a god. 880
28:7 Now in the region around that place 881 were fields belonging to the chief official 882 of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us hospitably as guests for three days. 28:8 The father 883 of Publius lay sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him 884 and after praying, placed 885 his hands on him and healed 886 him. 28:9 After this had happened, many of the people on the island who were sick 887 also came and were healed. 888 28:10 They also bestowed many honors, 889 and when we were preparing to sail, 890 they gave 891 us all the supplies we needed. 892
Paul Finally Reaches Rome
28:11 After three months we put out to sea 893 in an Alexandrian ship that had wintered at the island and had the “Heavenly Twins” 894 as its figurehead. 895 28:12 We put in 896 at Syracuse 897 and stayed there three days. 28:13 From there we cast off 898 and arrived at Rhegium, 899 and after one day a south wind sprang up 900 and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 901 28:14 There 902 we found 903 some brothers 904 and were invited to stay with them seven days. And in this way we came to Rome. 905 28:15 The brothers from there, 906 when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius 907 and Three Taverns 908 to meet us. When he saw them, 909 Paul thanked God and took courage. 28:16 When we entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live 910 by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.
Paul Addresses the Jewish Community in Rome
28:17 After three days 911 Paul 912 called the local Jewish leaders 913 together. When they had assembled, he said to them, “Brothers, 914 although I had done 915 nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, 916 from Jerusalem 917 I was handed over as a prisoner to the Romans. 918 28:18 When 919 they had heard my case, 920 they wanted to release me, 921 because there was no basis for a death sentence 922 against me. 28:19 But when the Jews objected, 923 I was forced to appeal to Caesar 924 – not that I had some charge to bring 925 against my own people. 926 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.” 927 28:21 They replied, 928 “We have received no letters from Judea about you, nor have any of the brothers come from there 929 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 930 that people 931 everywhere speak against 932 it.”
28:23 They set 933 a day to meet with him, 934 and they came to him where he was staying 935 in even greater numbers. 936 From morning until evening he explained things 937 to them, 938 testifying 939 about the kingdom of God 940 and trying to convince 941 them about Jesus from both the law of Moses and the prophets. 28:24 Some were convinced 942 by what he said, 943 but others refused 944 to believe. 28:25 So they began to leave, 945 unable to agree among themselves, after Paul made one last statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly to your ancestors 946 through the prophet Isaiah 28:26 when he said,
‘Go to this people and say,
“You will keep on hearing, 947 but will never understand,
and you will keep on looking, 948 but will never perceive.
28:27 For the heart of this people has become dull, 949
and their ears are hard of hearing, 950
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]] 957
28:30 Paul 958 lived 959 there two whole years in his own rented quarters 960 and welcomed 961 all who came to him, 28:31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ 962 with complete boldness 963 and without restriction. 964