Bible: Acts 22-28

Paul’s Defense

22:1Brothers and fathers, listen to my defense 1  that I now 2  make to you.” 22:2 (When they heard 3  that he was addressing 4  them in Aramaic, 5  they became even 6  quieter.) 7  Then 8  Paul said, 22:3 I am a Jew, 9  born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up 10  in this city, educated with strictness 11  under 12  Gamaliel 13  according to the law of our ancestors, 14  and was 15  zealous 16  for God just as all of you are today. 22:4 I 17  persecuted this Way 18  even to the point of death, 19  tying up 20  both men and women and putting 21  them in prison, 22:5 as both the high priest and the whole council of elders 22  can testify about me. From them 23  I also received 24  letters to the brothers in Damascus, and I was on my way 25  to make arrests there and bring 26  the prisoners 27  to Jerusalem 28  to be punished. 22:6 As 29  I was en route and near Damascus, 30  about noon a very bright 31  light from heaven 32  suddenly flashed 33  around me. 22:7 Then I 34  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 35  the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 22:10 So I asked, 36 What should I do, Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Get up 37  and go to Damascus; there you will be told about everything 38  that you have been designated 39  to do.’ 22:11 Since I could not see because of 40  the brilliance 41  of that light, I came to Damascus led by the hand of 42  those who were with me. 22:12 A man named Ananias, 43  a devout man according to the law, 44  well spoken of by all the Jews who live there, 45  22:13 came 46  to me and stood beside me 47  and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight!’ 48  And at that very moment 49  I looked up and saw him. 50  22:14 Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors 51  has already chosen 52  you to know his will, to see 53  the Righteous One, 54  and to hear a command 55  from his mouth, 22:15 because you will be his witness 56  to all people 57  of what you have seen and heard. 22:16 And now what are you waiting for? 58  Get up, 59  be baptized, and have your sins washed away, 60  calling on his name.’ 61  22:17 When 62  I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 63  22:18 and saw the Lord 64  saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 22:19 I replied, 65 Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat those in the various synagogues 66  who believed in you. 22:20 And when the blood of your witness 67  Stephen was shed, 68  I myself was standing nearby, approving, 69  and guarding the cloaks 70  of those who were killing him.’ 71  22:21 Then 72  he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’

The Roman Commander Questions Paul

22:22 The crowd 73  was listening to him until he said this. 74  Then 75  they raised their voices and shouted, 76 Away with this man 77  from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live! 78  22:23 While they were screaming 79  and throwing off their cloaks 80  and tossing dust 81  in the air, 22:24 the commanding officer 82  ordered Paul 83  to be brought back into the barracks. 84  He told them 85  to interrogate Paul 86  by beating him with a lash 87  so that he could find out the reason the crowd 88  was shouting at Paul 89  in this way. 22:25 When they had stretched him out for the lash, 90  Paul said to the centurion 91  standing nearby, “Is it legal for you to lash a man who is a Roman citizen 92  without a proper trial? 93  22:26 When the centurion 94  heard this, 95  he went to the commanding officer 96  and reported it, 97  saying, “What are you about to do? 98  For this man is a Roman citizen.” 99  22:27 So the commanding officer 100  came and asked 101  Paul, 102 Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” 103  He replied, 104 Yes.” 22:28 The commanding officer 105  answered, “I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money.” 106 But I was even 107  born a citizen,” 108  Paul replied. 109  22:29 Then those who were about to interrogate him stayed away 110  from him, and the commanding officer 111  was frightened when he realized that Paul 112  was 113  a Roman citizen 114  and that he had had him tied up. 115 

Paul Before the Sanhedrin

22:30 The next day, because the commanding officer 116  wanted to know the true reason 117  Paul 118  was being accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and the whole council 119  to assemble. He then brought 120  Paul down and had him stand before them.

23:1 Paul looked directly 121  at the council 122  and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with a clear conscience 123  before God to this day.” 23:2 At that 124  the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near 125  Paul 126  to strike 127  him on the mouth. 23:3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! 128  Do 129  you sit there judging me according to the law, 130  and in violation of the law 131  you order me to be struck?” 23:4 Those standing near him 132  said, “Do you dare insult 133  God’s high priest? 23:5 Paul replied, 134 I did not realize, 135  brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You must not speak evil about a ruler of your people.’ 136 

23:6 Then when Paul noticed 137  that part of them were Sadducees 138  and the others Pharisees, 139  he shouted out in the council, 140 Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection 141  of the dead! 23:7 When he said this, 142  an argument 143  began 144  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.) 145  23:9 There was a great commotion, 146  and some experts in the law 147  from the party of the Pharisees stood up 148  and protested strongly, 149 We find nothing wrong 150  with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him? 23:10 When the argument became 151  so great the commanding officer 152  feared that they would tear Paul to pieces, 153  he ordered the detachment 154  to go down, take him away from them by force, 155  and bring him into the barracks. 156 

23:11 The following night the Lord 157  stood near 158  Paul 159  and said, “Have courage, 160  for just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, 161  so you must also testify in Rome.” 162 

The Plot to Kill Paul

23:12 When morning came, 163  the Jews formed 164  a conspiracy 165  and bound themselves with an oath 166  not to eat or drink anything 167  until they had killed Paul. 23:13 There were more than forty of them who formed this conspiracy. 168  23:14 They 169  went 170  to the chief priests 171  and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves with a solemn oath 172  not to partake 173  of anything until we have killed Paul. 23:15 So now you and the council 174  request the commanding officer 175  to bring him down to you, as if you were going to determine 176  his case 177  by conducting a more thorough inquiry. 178  We are ready to kill him 179  before he comes near this place.” 180 

23:16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, 181  he came and entered 182  the barracks 183  and told Paul. 23:17 Paul called 184  one of the centurions 185  and said, “Take this young man to the commanding officer, 186  for he has something to report to him.” 23:18 So the centurion 187  took him and brought him to the commanding officer 188  and said, “The prisoner Paul called 189  me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” 23:19 The commanding officer 190  took him by the hand, withdrew privately, and asked, “What is it that you want 191  to report to me? 23:20 He replied, 192 The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council 193  tomorrow, as if they were going to inquire more thoroughly about him. 23:21 So do not let them persuade you to do this, 194  because more than forty of them 195  are lying in ambush 196  for him. They 197  have bound themselves with an oath 198  not to eat or drink anything 199  until they have killed him, and now they are ready, waiting for you to agree to their request.” 200  23:22 Then the commanding officer 201  sent the young man away, directing him, 202  “Tell no one that you have reported 203  these things to me.” 23:23 Then 204  he summoned 205  two of the centurions 206  and said, “Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea 207  along with seventy horsemen 208  and two hundred spearmen 209  by 210  nine o’clock tonight, 211  23:24 and provide mounts for Paul to ride 212  so that he may be brought safely to Felix 213  the governor.” 214  23:25 He wrote 215  a letter that went like this: 216 

23:26 Claudius Lysias to His Excellency Governor 217  Felix, 218  greetings. 23:27 This man was seized 219  by the Jews and they were about to kill him, 220  when I came up 221  with the detachment 222  and rescued him, because I had learned that he was 223  a Roman citizen. 224  23:28 Since I wanted to know 225  what charge they were accusing him of, 226  I brought him down to their council. 227  23:29 I found he 228  was accused with reference to controversial questions 229  about their law, but no charge against him deserved death or imprisonment. 230  23:30 When I was informed 231  there would be a plot 232  against this man, I sent him to you at once, also ordering his accusers to state their charges 233  against him before you.

23:31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, 234  took 235  Paul and brought him to Antipatris 236  during the night. 23:32 The next day they let 237  the horsemen 238  go on with him, and they returned to the barracks. 239  23:33 When the horsemen 240  came to Caesarea 241  and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented 242  Paul to him. 23:34 When the governor 243  had read 244  the letter, 245  he asked 246  what province he was from. 247  When he learned 248  that he was from Cilicia, 249  23:35 he said, “I will give you a hearing 250  when your accusers arrive too.” Then 251  he ordered that Paul 252  be kept under guard in Herod’s palace. 253 

The Accusations Against Paul

24:1 After five days the high priest Ananias 254  came down with some elders and an attorney 255  named 256  Tertullus, and they 257  brought formal charges 258  against Paul to the governor. 24:2 When Paul 259  had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, 260  saying, “We have experienced a lengthy time 261  of peace through your rule, 262  and reforms 263  are being made in this nation 264  through your foresight. 265  24:3 Most excellent Felix, 266  we acknowledge this everywhere and in every way 267  with all gratitude. 268  24:4 But so that I may not delay 269  you any further, I beg 270  you to hear us briefly 271  with your customary graciousness. 272  24:5 For we have found 273  this man to be a troublemaker, 274  one who stirs up riots 275  among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader 276  of the sect of the Nazarenes. 277  24:6 He 278  even tried to desecrate 279  the temple, so we arrested 280  him. 24:7 [[EMPTY]] 281  24:8 When you examine 282  him yourself, you will be able to learn from him 283  about all these things we are accusing him of doing.” 284  24:9 The Jews also joined in the verbal attack, 285  claiming 286  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 287  that you have been a judge over this nation for many years, I confidently make my defense. 288  24:11 As you can verify 289  for yourself, not more than twelve days ago 290  I went up to Jerusalem 291  to worship. 24:12 They did not find me arguing 292  with anyone or stirring up a crowd 293  in the temple courts 294  or in the synagogues 295  or throughout the city, 296  24:13 nor can they prove 297  to you the things 298  they are accusing me of doing. 299  24:14 But I confess this to you, that I worship 300  the God of our ancestors 301  according to the Way (which they call a sect), believing everything that is according to the law 302  and that is written in the prophets. 24:15 I have 303  a hope in God (a hope 304  that 305  these men 306  themselves accept too) that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. 307  24:16 This is the reason 308  I do my best to always 309  have a clear 310  conscience toward God and toward people. 311  24:17 After several years 312  I came to bring to my people gifts for the poor 313  and to present offerings, 314  24:18 which I was doing when they found me in the temple, ritually purified, 315  without a crowd or a disturbance. 316  24:19 But there are some Jews from the province of Asia 317  who should be here before you and bring charges, 318  if they have anything against me. 24:20 Or these men here 319  should tell what crime 320  they found me guilty of 321  when I stood before the council, 322  24:21 other than 323  this one thing 324  I shouted out while I stood before 325  them: ‘I am on trial before you today concerning the resurrection of the dead.’ 326 

24:22 Then Felix, 327  who understood the facts 328  concerning the Way 329  more accurately, 330  adjourned their hearing, 331  saying, “When Lysias the commanding officer comes down, I will decide your case.” 332  24:23 He ordered the centurion 333  to guard Paul, 334  but to let him have some freedom, 335  and not to prevent any of his friends 336  from meeting his needs. 337 

Paul Speaks Repeatedly to Felix

24:24 Some days later, when Felix 338  arrived with his wife Drusilla, 339  who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him speak 340  about faith in Christ Jesus. 341  24:25 While Paul 342  was discussing 343  righteousness, self-control, 344  and the coming judgment, Felix 345  became 346  frightened and said, “Go away for now, and when I have an opportunity, 347  I will send for you.” 24:26 At the same time he was also hoping that Paul would give him money, 348  and for this reason he sent for Paul 349  as often as possible 350  and talked 351  with him. 24:27 After two years 352  had passed, Porcius Festus 353  succeeded Felix, 354  and because he wanted to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison. 355 

Paul Appeals to Caesar

25:1 Now 356  three days after Festus 357  arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem 358  from Caesarea. 359  25:2 So the chief priests and the most prominent men 360  of the Jews brought formal charges 361  against Paul to him. 25:3 Requesting him to do them a favor against Paul, 362  they urged Festus 363  to summon him to Jerusalem, planning an ambush 364  to kill him along the way. 25:4 Then Festus 365  replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, 366  and he himself intended to go there 367  shortly. 25:5 So,” he said, “let your leaders 368  go down there 369  with me, and if this man has done anything wrong, 370  they may bring charges 371  against him.”

25:6 After Festus 372  had stayed 373  not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea, 374  and the next day he sat 375  on the judgment seat 376  and ordered Paul to be brought. 25:7 When he arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, 377  bringing many serious 378  charges that they were not able to prove. 379  25:8 Paul said in his defense, 380 I have committed no offense 381  against the Jewish law 382  or against the temple or against Caesar.” 383  25:9 But Festus, 384  wanting to do the Jews a favor, asked Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and be tried 385  before me there on these charges? 386  25:10 Paul replied, 387 I am standing before Caesar’s 388  judgment seat, 389  where I should be tried. 390  I have done nothing wrong 391  to the Jews, as you also know very well. 392  25:11 If then I am in the wrong 393  and have done anything that deserves death, I am not trying to escape dying, 394  but if not one of their charges against me is true, 395  no one can hand me over to them. 396  I appeal to Caesar! 397  25:12 Then, after conferring with his council, 398  Festus 399  replied, “You have appealed to Caesar; 400  to Caesar 401  you will go! 402 

Festus Asks King Agrippa for Advice

25:13 After several days had passed, King Agrippa 403  and Bernice arrived at Caesarea 404  to pay their respects 405  to Festus. 406  25:14 While 407  they were staying there many days, Festus 408  explained Paul’s case to the king to get his opinion, 409  saying, “There is a man left here as a prisoner by Felix. 25:15 When I was in Jerusalem, 410  the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed 411  me about him, 412  asking for a sentence of condemnation 413  against him. 25:16 I answered them 414  that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over anyone 415  before the accused had met his accusers face to face 416  and had been given 417  an opportunity to make a defense against the accusation. 418  25:17 So after they came back here with me, 419  I did not postpone the case, 420  but the next day I sat 421  on the judgment seat 422  and ordered the man to be brought. 25:18 When his accusers stood up, they did not charge 423  him with any of the evil deeds I had suspected. 424  25:19 Rather they had several points of disagreement 425  with him about their own religion 426  and about a man named Jesus 427  who was dead, whom Paul claimed 428  to be alive. 25:20 Because I was at a loss 429  how I could investigate these matters, 430  I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried 431  there on these charges. 432  25:21 But when Paul appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of His Majesty the Emperor, 433  I ordered him to be kept under guard until I could send him to Caesar.” 434  25:22 Agrippa 435  said to Festus, 436 I would also like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he replied, 437 you will hear him.”

Paul Before King Agrippa and Bernice

25:23 So the next day Agrippa 438  and Bernice came with great pomp 439  and entered the audience hall, 440  along with the senior military officers 441  and the prominent men of the city. When Festus 442  gave the order, 443  Paul was brought in. 25:24 Then Festus 444  said, “King Agrippa, 445  and all you who are present here with us, you see this man about whom the entire Jewish populace 446  petitioned 447  me both in Jerusalem 448  and here, 449  shouting loudly 450  that he ought not to live any longer. 25:25 But I found that he had done nothing that deserved death, 451  and when he appealed 452  to His Majesty the Emperor, 453  I decided to send him. 454  25:26 But I have nothing definite 455  to write to my lord 456  about him. 457  Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, 458  so that after this preliminary hearing 459  I may have something to write. 25:27 For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner without clearly indicating 460  the charges against him.”

Paul Offers His Defense

26:1 So Agrippa 461  said to Paul, “You have permission 462  to speak for yourself.” Then Paul held out his hand 463  and began his defense: 464 

26:2Regarding all the things I have been accused of by the Jews, King Agrippa, 465  I consider myself fortunate that I am about to make my defense before you today, 26:3 because you are especially 466  familiar with all the customs and controversial issues 467  of the Jews. Therefore I ask 468  you to listen to me patiently. 26:4 Now all the Jews know the way I lived 469  from my youth, spending my life from the beginning among my own people 470  and in Jerusalem. 471  26:5 They know, 472  because they have known 473  me from time past, 474  if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party 475  of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee. 476  26:6 And now I stand here on trial 477  because of my hope in the promise made by God to our ancestors, 478  26:7 a promise 479  that our twelve tribes hope to attain as they earnestly serve God 480  night and day. Concerning this hope the Jews are accusing me, 481  Your Majesty! 482  26:8 Why do you people 483  think 484  it is unbelievable 485  that 486  God raises the dead? 26:9 Of course, 487  I myself was convinced 488  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 489  from the chief priests, but I also cast my vote 490  against them when they were sentenced to death. 491  26:11 I punished 492  them often in all the synagogues 493  and tried to force 494  them to blaspheme. Because I was so furiously enraged 495  at them, I went to persecute 496  them even in foreign cities.

26:12While doing this very thing, 497  as I was going 498  to Damascus with authority and complete power 499  from the chief priests, 26:13 about noon along the road, Your Majesty, 500  I saw a light from heaven, 501  brighter than the sun, shining everywhere around 502  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, 503 Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are hurting yourself 504  by kicking against the goads.’ 505  26:15 So I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord replied, 506 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 507  as a servant and witness 508  to the things 509  you have seen 510  and to the things in which I will appear to you. 26:17 I will rescue 511  you from your own people 512  and from the Gentiles, to whom 513  I am sending you 26:18 to open their eyes so that they turn 514  from darkness to light and from the power 515  of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share 516  among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

26:19Therefore, King Agrippa, 517  I was not disobedient 518  to the heavenly 519  vision, 26:20 but I declared to those in Damascus first, and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, 520  and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, 521  performing deeds consistent with 522  repentance. 26:21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple courts 523  and were trying to kill me. 26:22 I have experienced 524  help from God to this day, and so I stand testifying to both small and great, saying nothing except 525  what the prophets and Moses said 526  was going to happen: 26:23 that 527  the Christ 528  was to suffer and be the first to rise from the dead, to proclaim light both to our people 529  and to the Gentiles.” 530 

26:24 As Paul 531  was saying these things in his defense, Festus 532  exclaimed loudly, “You have lost your mind, 533  Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane! 26:25 But Paul replied, 534 I have not lost my mind, most excellent Festus, 535  but am speaking 536  true and rational 537  words. 26:26 For the king knows about these things, and I am speaking freely 538  to him, 539  because I cannot believe 540  that any of these things has escaped his notice, 541  for this was not done in a corner. 542  26:27 Do you believe the prophets, 543  King Agrippa? 544  I know that you believe.” 26:28 Agrippa 545  said to Paul, “In such a short time are you persuading me to become a Christian? 546  26:29 Paul replied, “I pray to God that whether in a short or a long time 547  not only you but also all those who are listening to me today could become such as I am, except for these chains.” 548 

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, 549 This man is not doing anything deserving 550  death or imprisonment.” 26:32 Agrippa 551  said to Festus, 552 This man could have been released 553  if he had not appealed to Caesar.” 554 

Paul and Company Sail for Rome

27:1 When it was decided we 555  would sail to Italy, 556  they handed over Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion 557  of the Augustan Cohort 558  named Julius. 27:2 We went on board 559  a ship from Adramyttium 560  that was about to sail to various ports 561  along the coast of the province of Asia 562  and put out to sea, 563  accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian 564  from Thessalonica. 565  27:3 The next day we put in 566  at Sidon, 567  and Julius, treating Paul kindly, 568  allowed him to go to his friends so they could provide him with what he needed. 569  27:4 From there we put out to sea 570  and sailed under the lee 571  of Cyprus because the winds were against us. 27:5 After we had sailed across the open sea 572  off Cilicia and Pamphylia, 573  we put in 574  at Myra 575  in Lycia. 576  27:6 There the centurion 577  found 578  a ship from Alexandria 579  sailing for Italy, and he put us aboard it. 27:7 We sailed slowly 580  for many days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus. 581  Because the wind prevented us from going any farther, 582  we sailed under the lee 583  of Crete off Salmone. 584  27:8 With difficulty we sailed along the coast 585  of Crete 586  and came to a place called Fair Havens that was near the town of Lasea. 587 

Caught in a Violent Storm

27:9 Since considerable time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous 588  because the fast 589  was already over, 590  Paul advised them, 591  27:10 Men, I can see the voyage is going to end 592  in disaster 593  and great loss not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” 594  27:11 But the centurion 595  was more convinced 596  by the captain 597  and the ship’s owner than by what Paul said. 598  27:12 Because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided 599  to put out to sea 600  from there. They hoped that 601  somehow they could reach 602  Phoenix, 603  a harbor of Crete facing 604  southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there. 27:13 When a gentle south wind sprang up, they thought 605  they could carry out 606  their purpose, so they weighed anchor 607  and sailed close along the coast 608  of Crete. 27:14 Not long after this, a hurricane-force 609  wind called the northeaster 610  blew down from the island. 611  27:15 When the ship was caught in it 612  and could not head into 613  the wind, we gave way to it and were driven 614  along. 27:16 As we ran under the lee of 615  a small island called Cauda, 616  we were able with difficulty to get the ship’s boat 617  under control. 27:17 After the crew 618  had hoisted it aboard, 619  they used supports 620  to undergird the ship. Fearing they would run aground 621  on the Syrtis, 622  they lowered the sea anchor, 623  thus letting themselves be driven along. 27:18 The next day, because we were violently battered by the storm, 624  they began throwing the cargo overboard, 625  27:19 and on the third day they threw the ship’s gear 626  overboard with their own hands. 27:20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and a violent 627  storm continued to batter us, 628  we finally abandoned all hope of being saved. 629 

27:21 Since many of them had no desire to eat, 630  Paul 631  stood up 632  among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me 633  and not put out to sea 634  from Crete, thus avoiding 635  this damage and loss. 27:22 And now I advise 636  you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only the ship will be lost. 637  27:23 For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong 638  and whom I serve 639  came to me 640  27:24 and said, 641 Do not be afraid, Paul! You must stand before 642  Caesar, 643  and God has graciously granted you the safety 644  of all who are sailing with you.’ 27:25 Therefore keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God 645  that it will be just as I have been told. 27:26 But we must 646  run aground on some island.”

27:27 When the fourteenth night had come, while we were being driven 647  across the Adriatic Sea, 648  about midnight the sailors suspected they were approaching some land. 649  27:28 They took soundings 650  and found the water was twenty fathoms 651  deep; when they had sailed a little farther 652  they took soundings again and found it was fifteen fathoms 653  deep. 27:29 Because they were afraid 654  that we would run aground on the rocky coast, 655  they threw out 656  four anchors from the stern and wished 657  for day to appear. 658  27:30 Then when the sailors tried to escape from the ship and were lowering the ship’s boat into the sea, pretending 659  that they were going to put out anchors from the bow, 27:31 Paul said to the centurion 660  and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you 661  cannot be saved.” 27:32 Then the soldiers cut the ropes 662  of the ship’s boat and let it drift away. 663 

27:33 As day was about to dawn, 664  Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have been in suspense 665  and have gone 666  without food; you have eaten nothing. 667  27:34 Therefore I urge you to take some food, for this is important 668  for your survival. 669  For not one of you will lose a hair from his head.” 27:35 After he said this, Paul 670  took bread 671  and gave thanks to God in front of them all, 672  broke 673  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 674  persons on the ship.) 675  27:38 When they had eaten enough to be satisfied, 676  they lightened the ship by throwing the wheat 677  into the sea.

Paul is Shipwrecked

27:39 When day came, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed 678  a bay 679  with a beach, 680  where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. 27:40 So they slipped 681  the anchors 682  and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the linkage 683  that bound the steering oars 684  together. Then they hoisted 685  the foresail 686  to the wind and steered toward 687  the beach. 27:41 But they encountered a patch of crosscurrents 688  and ran the ship aground; the bow stuck fast and could not be moved, but the stern was being broken up by the force 689  of the waves. 27:42 Now the soldiersplan was to kill the prisoners 690  so that none of them would escape by swimming away. 691  27:43 But the centurion, 692  wanting to save Paul’s life, 693  prevented them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land, 694  27:44 and the rest were to follow, 695  some on planks 696  and some on pieces of the ship. 697  And in this way 698  all were brought safely to land.

Paul on Malta

28:1 After we had safely reached shore, 699  we learned that the island was called Malta. 700  28:2 The local inhabitants 701  showed us extraordinary 702  kindness, for they built a fire and welcomed us all because it had started to rain 703  and was cold. 28:3 When Paul had gathered a bundle of brushwood 704  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 705  saw the creature hanging from Paul’s 706  hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer! Although he has escaped from the sea, Justice herself 707  has not allowed him to live! 708  28:5 However, 709  Paul 710  shook 711  the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm. 28:6 But they were expecting that he was going to swell up 712  or suddenly drop dead. So after they had waited 713  a long time and had seen 714  nothing unusual happen 715  to him, they changed their minds 716  and said he was a god. 717 

28:7 Now in the region around that place 718  were fields belonging to the chief official 719  of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us hospitably as guests for three days. 28:8 The father 720  of Publius lay sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him 721  and after praying, placed 722  his hands on him and healed 723  him. 28:9 After this had happened, many of the people on the island who were sick 724  also came and were healed. 725  28:10 They also bestowed many honors, 726  and when we were preparing to sail, 727  they gave 728  us all the supplies we needed. 729 

Paul Finally Reaches Rome

28:11 After three months we put out to sea 730  in an Alexandrian ship that had wintered at the island and had the “Heavenly Twins 731  as its figurehead. 732  28:12 We put in 733  at Syracuse 734  and stayed there three days. 28:13 From there we cast off 735  and arrived at Rhegium, 736  and after one day a south wind sprang up 737  and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 738  28:14 There 739  we found 740  some brothers 741  and were invited to stay with them seven days. And in this way we came to Rome. 742  28:15 The brothers from there, 743  when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius 744  and Three Taverns 745  to meet us. When he saw them, 746  Paul thanked God and took courage. 28:16 When we entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live 747  by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.

Paul Addresses the Jewish Community in Rome

28:17 After three days 748  Paul 749  called the local Jewish leaders 750  together. When they had assembled, he said to them, “Brothers, 751  although I had done 752  nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, 753  from Jerusalem 754  I was handed over as a prisoner to the Romans. 755  28:18 When 756  they had heard my case, 757  they wanted to release me, 758  because there was no basis for a death sentence 759  against me. 28:19 But when the Jews objected, 760  I was forced to appeal to Caesar 761 not that I had some charge to bring 762  against my own people. 763  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.” 764  28:21 They replied, 765 We have received no letters from Judea about you, nor have any of the brothers come from there 766  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 767  that people 768  everywhere speak against 769  it.”

28:23 They set 770  a day to meet with him, 771  and they came to him where he was staying 772  in even greater numbers. 773  From morning until evening he explained things 774  to them, 775  testifying 776  about the kingdom of God 777  and trying to convince 778  them about Jesus from both the law of Moses and the prophets. 28:24 Some were convinced 779  by what he said, 780  but others refused 781  to believe. 28:25 So they began to leave, 782  unable to agree among themselves, after Paul made one last statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly to your ancestors 783  through the prophet Isaiah 28:26 when he said,

Go to this people and say,

You will keep on hearing, 784  but will never understand,

and you will keep on looking, 785  but will never perceive.

28:27 For the heart of this people has become dull, 786 

and their ears are hard of hearing, 787 

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, 788  and I would heal them.”’ 789 

28:28Therefore be advised 790  that this salvation from God 791  has been sent to the Gentiles; 792  they 793  will listen!

28:29 [[EMPTY]] 794 

28:30 Paul 795  lived 796  there two whole years in his own rented quarters 797  and welcomed 798  all who came to him, 28:31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ 799  with complete boldness 800  and without restriction. 801 

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