Bible: Acts 4-17
The Arrest and Trial of Peter and John
4:1 While Peter and John 1 were speaking to the people, the priests and the commander 2 of the temple guard 3 and the Sadducees 4 came up 5 to them, 4:2 angry 6 because they were teaching the people and announcing 7 in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 4:3 So 8 they seized 9 them and put them in jail 10 until the next day (for it was already evening). 4:4 But many of those who had listened to 11 the message 12 believed, and the number of the men 13 came to about five thousand.
4:5 On the next day, 14 their rulers, elders, and experts in the law 15 came together 16 in Jerusalem. 17 4:6 Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and others who were members of the high priest’s family. 18 4:7 After 19 making Peter and John 20 stand in their midst, they began to inquire, “By what power or by what name 21 did you do this?” 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, 22 replied, 23 “Rulers of the people and elders, 24 4:9 if 25 we are being examined 26 today for a good deed 27 done to a sick man – by what means this man was healed 28 – 4:10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ 29 the Nazarene whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, this man stands before you healthy. 4:11 This Jesus 30 is the stone that was rejected by you, 31 the builders, that has become the cornerstone. 32 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people 33 by which we must 34 be saved.”
4:13 When they saw the boldness 35 of Peter and John, and discovered 36 that they were uneducated 37 and ordinary 38 men, they were amazed and recognized these men had been with Jesus. 4:14 And because they saw the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say against this. 39 4:15 But when they had ordered them to go outside the council, 40 they began to confer with one another, 4:16 saying, “What should we do with these men? For it is plain 41 to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable miraculous sign 42 has come about through them, 43 and we cannot deny it. 4:17 But to keep this matter from spreading any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more 44 to anyone in this name.” 4:18 And they called them in and ordered 45 them not to speak or teach at all in the name 46 of Jesus. 4:19 But Peter and John replied, 47 “Whether it is right before God to obey 48 you rather than God, you decide, 4:20 for it is impossible 49 for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” 4:21 After threatening them further, they released them, for they could not find how to punish them on account of the people, because they were all praising 50 God for what had happened. 4:22 For the man, on whom this miraculous sign 51 of healing had been performed, 52 was over forty years old.
The Followers of Jesus Pray for Boldness
4:23 When they were released, Peter and John 53 went to their fellow believers 54 and reported everything the high priests and the elders had said to them. 4:24 When they heard this, they raised their voices to God with one mind 55 and said, “Master of all, 56 you who made the heaven, the earth, 57 the sea, and everything that is in them, 4:25 who said by the Holy Spirit through 58 your servant David our forefather, 59
and the peoples plot foolish 62 things?
4:26 The kings of the earth stood together, 63
and the rulers assembled together,
4:27 “For indeed both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, assembled together in this city against 66 your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, 67 4:28 to do as much as your power 68 and your plan 69 had decided beforehand 70 would happen. 4:29 And now, Lord, pay attention to 71 their threats, and grant 72 to your servants 73 to speak your message 74 with great courage, 75 4:30 while you extend your hand to heal, and to bring about miraculous signs 76 and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 4:31 When 77 they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, 78 and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak 79 the word of God 80 courageously. 81
Conditions Among the Early Believers
4:32 The group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, 82 and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but everything was held in common. 83 4:33 With 84 great power the apostles were giving testimony 85 to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all. 4:34 For there was no one needy 86 among them, because those who were owners of land or houses were selling 87 them 88 and bringing the proceeds from the sales 4:35 and placing them at the apostles’ feet. The proceeds 89 were distributed to each, as anyone had need. 4:36 So Joseph, a Levite who was a native of Cyprus, called by the apostles Barnabas (which is translated “son of encouragement”), 90 4:37 sold 91 a field 92 that belonged to him and brought the money 93 and placed it at the apostles’ feet.
The Judgment on Ananias and Sapphira
5:1 Now a man named Ananias, together with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property. 5:2 He 94 kept back for himself part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge; he brought 95 only part of it and placed it at the apostles’ feet. 5:3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled 96 your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back for yourself part of the proceeds from the sale of 97 the land? 5:4 Before it was sold, 98 did it not 99 belong to you? And when it was sold, was the money 100 not at your disposal? How have you thought up this deed in your heart? 101 You have not lied to people 102 but to God!”
5:5 When Ananias heard these words he collapsed and died, and great fear gripped 103 all who heard about it. 5:6 So the young men came, 104 wrapped him up, 105 carried him out, and buried 106 him. 5:7 After an interval of about three hours, 107 his wife came in, but she did not know 108 what had happened. 5:8 Peter said to her, “Tell me, were the two of you 109 paid this amount 110 for the land?” Sapphira 111 said, “Yes, that much.” 5:9 Peter then told her, “Why have you agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out!” 5:10 At once 112 she collapsed at his feet and died. So when the young men came in, they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 5:11 Great 113 fear gripped 114 the whole church 115 and all who heard about these things.
The Apostles Perform Miraculous Signs and Wonders
5:12 Now many miraculous signs 116 and wonders came about among the people through the hands of the apostles. By 117 common consent 118 they were all meeting together in Solomon’s Portico. 119 5:13 None of the rest dared to join them, 120 but the people held them in high honor. 121 5:14 More and more believers in the Lord were added to their number, 122 crowds of both men and women. 5:15 Thus 123 they even carried the sick out into the streets, and put them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow would fall on some of them. 5:16 A crowd of people from the towns around Jerusalem 124 also came together, bringing the sick and those troubled by unclean spirits. 125 They 126 were all 127 being healed.
Further Trouble for the Apostles
5:17 Now the high priest rose up, and all those with him (that is, the religious party of the Sadducees 128 ), 129 and they were filled with jealousy. 130 5:18 They 131 laid hands on 132 the apostles and put them in a public jail. 5:19 But during the night an angel of the Lord 133 opened 134 the doors of the prison, 135 led them out, 136 and said, 5:20 “Go and stand in the temple courts 137 and proclaim 138 to the people all the words of this life.” 5:21 When they heard this, they entered the temple courts 139 at daybreak and began teaching. 140
Now when the high priest and those who were with him arrived, they summoned the Sanhedrin 141 – that is, the whole high council 142 of the Israelites 143 – and sent to the jail to have the apostles 144 brought before them. 145 5:22 But the officers 146 who came for them 147 did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 148 5:23 “We found the jail locked securely and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, 149 we found no one inside.” 5:24 Now when the commander 150 of the temple guard 151 and the chief priests heard this report, 152 they were greatly puzzled concerning it, 153 wondering what this could 154 be. 5:25 But someone came and reported to them, “Look! The men you put in prison are standing in the temple courts 155 and teaching 156 the people!” 5:26 Then the commander 157 of the temple guard 158 went with the officers 159 and brought the apostles 160 without the use of force 161 (for they were afraid of being stoned by the people). 162
5:27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the council, 163 and the high priest questioned 164 them, 5:28 saying, “We gave 165 you strict orders 166 not to teach in this name. 167 Look, 168 you have filled Jerusalem 169 with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood 170 on us!” 5:29 But Peter and the apostles replied, 171 “We must obey 172 God rather than people. 173 5:30 The God of our forefathers 174 raised up Jesus, whom you seized and killed by hanging him on a tree. 175 5:31 God exalted him 176 to his right hand as Leader 177 and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 178 5:32 And we are witnesses of these events, 179 and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey 180 him.”
5:33 Now when they heard this, they became furious 181 and wanted to execute them. 182 5:34 But a Pharisee 183 whose name was Gamaliel, 184 a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up 185 in the council 186 and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 5:35 Then he said to the council, 187 “Men of Israel, 188 pay close attention to 189 what you are about to do to these men. 5:36 For some time ago 190 Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. He 191 was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and nothing came of it. 192 5:37 After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census, 193 and incited people to follow him in revolt. 194 He too was killed, and all who followed him were scattered. 5:38 So in this case I say to you, stay away from these men and leave them alone, because if this plan or this undertaking originates with people, 195 it will come to nothing, 196 5:39 but if 197 it is from God, you will not be able to stop them, or you may even be found 198 fighting against God.” He convinced them, 199 5:40 and they summoned the apostles and had them beaten. 200 Then 201 they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. 5:41 So they left the council rejoicing because they had been considered worthy 202 to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 203 5:42 And every day both in the temple courts 204 and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the good news 205 that Jesus was the Christ. 206
The Appointment of the First Seven Deacons
6:1 Now in those 207 days, when the disciples were growing in number, 208 a complaint arose on the part of the Greek-speaking Jews 209 against the native Hebraic Jews, 210 because their widows 211 were being overlooked 212 in the daily distribution of food. 213 6:2 So the twelve 214 called 215 the whole group 216 of the disciples together and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to wait on tables. 217 6:3 But carefully select from among you, brothers, 218 seven 219 men who are well-attested, 220 full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge 221 of this necessary task. 222 6:4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 6:5 The 223 proposal pleased the entire group, so 224 they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, with 225 Philip, 226 Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a Gentile convert to Judaism 227 from Antioch. 228 6:6 They stood these men before the apostles, who prayed 229 and placed 230 their hands on them. 6:7 The word of God continued to spread, 231 the number of disciples in Jerusalem 232 increased greatly, and a large group 233 of priests became obedient to the faith.
Stephen is Arrested
6:8 Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and miraculous signs 234 among the people. 6:9 But some men from the Synagogue 235 of the Freedmen (as it was called), 236 both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, as well as some from Cilicia and the province of Asia, 237 stood up and argued with Stephen. 6:10 Yet 238 they were not able to resist 239 the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. 6:11 Then they secretly instigated 240 some men to say, “We have heard this man 241 speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 6:12 They incited the people, the 242 elders, and the experts in the law; 243 then they approached Stephen, 244 seized him, and brought him before the council. 245 6:13 They brought forward false witnesses who said, “This man does not stop saying things against this holy place 246 and the law. 247 6:14 For we have heard him saying that Jesus the Nazarene will destroy this place and change the customs 248 that Moses handed down to us.” 6:15 All 249 who were sitting in the council 250 looked intently at Stephen 251 and saw his face was like the face of an angel. 252
Stephen’s Defense Before the Council
7:1 Then the high priest said, “Are these things true?” 253 7:2 So he replied, 254 “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. The God of glory appeared to our forefather 255 Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran, 7:3 and said to him, ‘Go out from your country and from your relatives, and come to the land I will show you.’ 256 7:4 Then he went out from the country of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After his father died, God 257 made him move 258 to this country where you now live. 7:5 He 259 did not give any of it to him for an inheritance, 260 not even a foot of ground, 261 yet God 262 promised to give it to him as his possession, and to his descendants after him, 263 even though Abraham 264 as yet had no child. 7:6 But God spoke as follows: ‘Your 265 descendants will be foreigners 266 in a foreign country, whose citizens will enslave them and mistreat them for four hundred years. 267 7:7 But I will punish 268 the nation they serve as slaves,’ said God, ‘and after these things they will come out of there 269 and worship 270 me in this place.’ 271 7:8 Then God 272 gave Abraham 273 the covenant 274 of circumcision, and so he became the father of Isaac and circumcised him when he was eight days old, 275 and Isaac became the father of 276 Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. 277 7:9 The 278 patriarchs, because they were jealous of Joseph, sold 279 him into Egypt. But 280 God was with him, 7:10 and rescued him from all his troubles, and granted him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made 281 him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 7:11 Then a famine occurred throughout 282 Egypt and Canaan, causing 283 great suffering, and our 284 ancestors 285 could not find food. 7:12 So when Jacob heard that there was grain 286 in Egypt, he sent our ancestors 287 there 288 the first time. 7:13 On their second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers again, and Joseph’s family 289 became known to Pharaoh. 7:14 So Joseph sent a message 290 and invited 291 his father Jacob and all his relatives to come, seventy-five people 292 in all. 7:15 So Jacob went down to Egypt and died there, 293 along with our ancestors, 294 7:16 and their bones 295 were later moved to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a certain sum of money 296 from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
7:17 “But as the time drew near for God to fulfill the promise he had declared to Abraham, 297 the people increased greatly in number 298 in Egypt, 7:18 until another king who did not know about 299 Joseph ruled 300 over Egypt. 301 7:19 This was the one who exploited 302 our people 303 and was cruel to our ancestors, 304 forcing them to abandon 305 their infants so they would die. 306 7:20 At that time Moses was born, and he was beautiful 307 to God. For 308 three months he was brought up in his father’s house, 7:21 and when he had been abandoned, 309 Pharaoh’s daughter adopted 310 him and brought him up 311 as her own son. 7:22 So Moses was trained 312 in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful 313 in his words and deeds. 7:23 But when he was about forty years old, it entered his mind 314 to visit his fellow countrymen 315 the Israelites. 316 7:24 When 317 he saw one of them being hurt unfairly, 318 Moses 319 came to his defense 320 and avenged the person who was mistreated by striking down the Egyptian. 7:25 He thought his own people 321 would understand that God was delivering them 322 through him, 323 but they did not understand. 324 7:26 The next day Moses 325 saw two men 326 fighting, and tried to make peace between 327 them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why are you hurting one another?’ 7:27 But the man who was unfairly hurting his neighbor pushed 328 Moses 329 aside, saying, ‘Who made 330 you a ruler and judge over us? 7:28 You don’t want to kill me the way you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’ 331 7:29 When the man said this, 332 Moses fled and became a foreigner 333 in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.
7:30 “After 334 forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the desert 335 of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. 336 7:31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and when he approached to investigate, there came the voice of the Lord, 7:32 ‘I am the God of your forefathers, 337 the God of Abraham, Isaac, 338 and Jacob.’ 339 Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look more closely. 340 7:33 But the Lord said to him, ‘Take the sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 341 7:34 I have certainly seen the suffering 342 of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them. 343 Now 344 come, I will send you to Egypt.’ 345 7:35 This same 346 Moses they had rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge?’ 347 God sent as both ruler and deliverer 348 through the hand of the angel 349 who appeared to him in the bush. 7:36 This man led them out, performing wonders and miraculous signs 350 in the land of Egypt, 351 at 352 the Red Sea, and in the wilderness 353 for forty years. 7:37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, 354 ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers.’ 355 7:38 This is the man who was in the congregation 356 in the wilderness 357 with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors, 358 and he 359 received living oracles 360 to give to you. 361 7:39 Our 362 ancestors 363 were unwilling to obey 364 him, but pushed him aside 365 and turned back to Egypt in their hearts, 7:40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go in front of us, for this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt 366 – we do not know what has happened to him!’ 367 7:41 At 368 that time 369 they made an idol in the form of a calf, 370 brought 371 a sacrifice to the idol, and began rejoicing 372 in the works of their hands. 373 7:42 But God turned away from them and gave them over 374 to worship the host 375 of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: ‘It was not to me that you offered slain animals and sacrifices 376 forty years in the wilderness, was it, 377 house of Israel? 7:43 But you took along the tabernacle 378 of Moloch 379 and the star of the 380 god Rephan, 381 the images you made to worship, but I will deport 382 you beyond Babylon.’ 383 7:44 Our ancestors 384 had the tabernacle 385 of testimony in the wilderness, 386 just as God 387 who spoke to Moses ordered him 388 to make it according to the design he had seen. 7:45 Our 389 ancestors 390 received possession of it and brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors, 391 until the time 392 of David. 7:46 He 393 found favor 394 with 395 God and asked that he could 396 find a dwelling place 397 for the house 398 of Jacob. 7:47 But Solomon built a house 399 for him. 7:48 Yet the Most High 400 does not live in houses made by human hands, 401 as the prophet says,
7:49 ‘Heaven is my throne,
and earth is the footstool for my feet.
What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,
or what is my resting place? 402
7:51 “You stubborn 405 people, with uncircumcised 406 hearts and ears! 407 You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, like your ancestors 408 did! 7:52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors 409 not persecute? 410 They 411 killed those who foretold long ago the coming of the Righteous One, 412 whose betrayers and murderers you have now become! 413 7:53 You 414 received the law by decrees given by angels, 415 but you did not obey 416 it.” 417
Stephen is Killed
7:54 When they heard these things, they became furious 418 and ground their teeth 419 at him. 7:55 But Stephen, 420 full 421 of the Holy Spirit, looked intently 422 toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing 423 at the right hand of God. 7:56 “Look!” he said. 424 “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 7:57 But they covered their ears, 425 shouting out with a loud voice, and rushed at him with one intent. 7:58 When 426 they had driven him out of the city, they began to stone him, 427 and the witnesses laid their cloaks 428 at the feet of a young man named Saul. 7:59 They 429 continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 7:60 Then he fell 430 to his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” 431 When 432 he had said this, he died. 433 8:1 And Saul agreed completely with killing 434 him.
Saul Begins to Persecute the Church
Now on that day a great 435 persecution began 436 against the church in Jerusalem, 437 and all 438 except the apostles were forced to scatter throughout the regions 439 of Judea and Samaria. 8:2 Some 440 devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation 441 over him. 442 8:3 But Saul was trying to destroy 443 the church; entering one house after another, he dragged off 444 both men and women and put them in prison. 445
Philip Preaches in Samaria
8:4 Now those who had been forced to scatter went around proclaiming the good news of the word. 8:5 Philip went down to the main city of Samaria 446 and began proclaiming 447 the Christ 448 to them. 8:6 The crowds were paying attention with one mind to what Philip said, 449 as they heard and saw the miraculous signs 450 he was performing. 8:7 For unclean spirits, 451 crying with loud shrieks, were coming out of many who were possessed, 452 and many paralyzed and lame people were healed. 8:8 So there was 453 great joy 454 in that city.
8:9 Now in that city was a man named Simon, who had been practicing magic 455 and amazing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great. 8:10 All the people, 456 from the least to the greatest, paid close attention to him, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called ‘Great.’” 457 8:11 And they paid close attention to him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God 458 and the name of Jesus Christ, 459 they began to be baptized, 460 both men and women. 8:13 Even Simon himself believed, and after he was baptized, he stayed close to 461 Philip constantly, and when he saw the signs and great miracles that were occurring, he was amazed. 462
8:14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem 463 heard that Samaria had accepted the word 464 of God, they sent 465 Peter and John to them. 8:15 These two 466 went down and prayed for them so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. 8:16 (For the Spirit 467 had not yet come upon 468 any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 469 8:17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on the Samaritans, 470 and they received the Holy Spirit. 471
8:18 Now Simon, when he saw that the Spirit 472 was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, offered them money, 8:19 saying, “Give me this power 473 too, so that everyone I place my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.” 8:20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, 474 because you thought you could acquire 475 God’s gift with money! 8:21 You have no share or part 476 in this matter 477 because your heart is not right before God! 8:22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord 478 that he may perhaps forgive you for the intent of your heart. 479 8:23 For I see that you are bitterly envious 480 and in bondage to sin.” 8:24 But Simon replied, 481 “You pray to the Lord for me so that nothing of what you have said may happen to 482 me.”
8:25 So after Peter and John 483 had solemnly testified 484 and spoken the word of the Lord, 485 they started back to Jerusalem, proclaiming 486 the good news to many Samaritan villages 487 as they went. 488
Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
8:26 Then an angel of the Lord 489 said to Philip, 490 “Get up and go south 491 on the road that goes down from Jerusalem 492 to Gaza.” (This is a desert 493 road.) 494 8:27 So 495 he got up 496 and went. There 497 he met 498 an Ethiopian eunuch, 499 a court official of Candace, 500 queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasury. He 501 had come to Jerusalem to worship, 502 8:28 and was returning home, sitting 503 in his chariot, reading 504 the prophet Isaiah. 8:29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 8:30 So Philip ran up 505 to it 506 and heard the man 507 reading Isaiah the prophet. He 508 asked him, 509 “Do you understand what you’re reading?” 8:31 The man 510 replied, “How in the world can I, 511 unless someone guides me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 8:32 Now the passage of scripture the man 512 was reading was this:
“He was led like a sheep to slaughter,
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did 513 not open his mouth.
Who can describe his posterity? 516
8:34 Then the eunuch said 519 to Philip, “Please tell me, 520 who is the prophet saying this about – himself or someone else?” 521 8:35 So Philip started speaking, 522 and beginning with this scripture 523 proclaimed the good news about Jesus to him. 8:36 Now as they were going along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water! What is to stop me 524 from being baptized?” 8:37 [[EMPTY]] 525 8:38 So he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, 526 and Philip baptized 527 him. 8:39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any more, but 528 went on his way rejoicing. 529 8:40 Philip, however, found himself 530 at Azotus, 531 and as he passed through the area, 532 he proclaimed the good news 533 to all the towns 534 until he came to Caesarea. 535
The Conversion of Saul
9:1 Meanwhile Saul, still breathing out threats 536 to murder 537 the Lord’s disciples, went to the high priest 9:2 and requested letters from him to the synagogues 538 in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, 539 either men or women, he could bring them as prisoners 540 to Jerusalem. 541 9:3 As he was going along, approaching 542 Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed 543 around him. 9:4 He 544 fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, 545 why are you persecuting me?” 546 9:5 So he said, “Who are you, Lord?” He replied, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting! 9:6 But stand up 547 and enter the city and you will be told 548 what you must do.” 9:7 (Now the men 549 who were traveling with him stood there speechless, 550 because they heard the voice but saw no one.) 551 9:8 So Saul got up from the ground, but although his eyes were open, 552 he could see nothing. 553 Leading him by the hand, his companions 554 brought him into Damascus. 9:9 For 555 three days he could not see, and he neither ate nor drank anything. 556
9:10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The 557 Lord 558 said to him in a vision, “Ananias,” and he replied, “Here I am, 559 Lord.” 9:11 Then the Lord told him, “Get up and go to the street called ‘Straight,’ 560 and at Judas’ house look for a man from Tarsus named Saul. For he is praying, 9:12 and he has seen in a vision 561 a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him so that he may see again.” 9:13 But Ananias replied, 562 “Lord, I have heard from many people 563 about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem, 9:14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison 564 all who call on your name!” 565 9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, because this man is my chosen instrument 566 to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. 567 9:16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 568 9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, placed 569 his hands on Saul 570 and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came here, 571 has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 572 9:18 Immediately 573 something like scales 574 fell from his eyes, and he could see again. He 575 got up and was baptized, 9:19 and after taking some food, his strength returned.
For several days 576 he was with the disciples in Damascus, 9:20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, 577 saying, “This man is the Son of God.” 578 9:21 All 579 who heard him were amazed and were saying, “Is this not 580 the man who in Jerusalem was ravaging 581 those who call on this name, and who had come here to bring them as prisoners 582 to the chief priests?” 9:22 But Saul became more and more capable, 583 and was causing consternation 584 among the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving 585 that Jesus 586 is the Christ. 587
Saul’s Escape from Damascus
9:23 Now after some days had passed, the Jews plotted 588 together to kill him, 9:24 but Saul learned of their plot against him. 589 They were also watching 590 the city gates 591 day and night so that they could kill him. 9:25 But his disciples took him at night and let him down through an opening 592 in the wall by lowering him in a basket. 593
Saul Returns to Jerusalem
9:26 When he arrived in Jerusalem, 594 he attempted to associate 595 with the disciples, and they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe 596 that he was a disciple. 9:27 But Barnabas took 597 Saul, 598 brought 599 him to the apostles, and related to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, that 600 the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly 601 in the name of Jesus. 9:28 So he was staying with them, associating openly with them 602 in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. 9:29 He was speaking and debating 603 with the Greek-speaking Jews, 604 but they were trying to kill him. 9:30 When the brothers found out about this, they brought him down to Caesarea 605 and sent him away to Tarsus.
9:31 Then 606 the church throughout Judea, Galilee, 607 and Samaria experienced 608 peace and thus was strengthened. 609 Living 610 in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, the church 611 increased in numbers.
Peter Heals Aeneas
9:32 Now 612 as Peter was traveling around from place to place, 613 he also came down to the saints who lived in Lydda. 614 9:33 He found there a man named Aeneas who had been confined to a mattress for eight years because 615 he was paralyzed. 9:34 Peter 616 said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ 617 heals you. Get up and make your own bed!” 618 And immediately he got up. 9:35 All 619 those who lived in Lydda 620 and Sharon 621 saw him, and they 622 turned 623 to the Lord.
Peter Raises Dorcas
9:36 Now in Joppa 624 there was a disciple named Tabitha (which in translation means 625 Dorcas). 626 She was continually doing good deeds and acts of charity. 627 9:37 At that time 628 she became sick 629 and died. When they had washed 630 her body, 631 they placed it in an upstairs room. 9:38 Because Lydda 632 was near Joppa, when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Come to us without delay.” 633 9:39 So Peter got up and went with them, and 634 when he arrived 635 they brought him to the upper room. All 636 the widows stood beside him, crying and showing him 637 the tunics 638 and other clothing 639 Dorcas used to make 640 while she was with them. 9:40 But Peter sent them all outside, 641 knelt down, 642 and prayed. Turning 643 to the body, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 644 9:41 He gave 645 her his hand and helped her get up. Then he called 646 the saints and widows and presented her alive. 9:42 This became known throughout all 647 Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 648 9:43 So 649 Peter 650 stayed many days in Joppa with a man named 651 Simon, a tanner. 652
Peter Visits Cornelius
10:1 Now there was a man in Caesarea 653 named Cornelius, a centurion 654 of what was known as the Italian Cohort. 655 10:2 He 656 was a devout, God-fearing man, 657 as was all his household; he did many acts of charity for the people 658 and prayed to God regularly. 10:3 About three o’clock one afternoon 659 he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God 660 who came in 661 and said to him, “Cornelius.” 10:4 Staring at him and becoming greatly afraid, Cornelius 662 replied, 663 “What is it, Lord?” The angel 664 said to him, “Your prayers and your acts of charity 665 have gone up as a memorial 666 before God. 10:5 Now 667 send men to Joppa 668 and summon a man named Simon, 669 who is called Peter. 10:6 This man is staying as a guest with a man named Simon, a tanner, 670 whose house is by the sea.” 10:7 When the angel who had spoken to him departed, Cornelius 671 called two of his personal servants 672 and a devout soldier from among those who served him, 673 10:8 and when he had explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
10:9 About noon 674 the next day, while they were on their way and approaching 675 the city, Peter went up on the roof 676 to pray. 10:10 He became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing the meal, a trance came over him. 677 10:11 He 678 saw heaven 679 opened 680 and an object something like a large sheet 681 descending, 682 being let down to earth 683 by its four corners. 10:12 In it 684 were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles 685 of the earth and wild birds. 686 10:13 Then 687 a voice said 688 to him, “Get up, Peter; slaughter 689 and eat!” 10:14 But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything defiled and ritually unclean!” 690 10:15 The voice 691 spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not consider 692 ritually unclean!” 693 10:16 This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into heaven. 694
10:17 Now while Peter was puzzling over 695 what the vision he had seen could signify, the men sent by Cornelius had learned where Simon’s house was 696 and approached 697 the gate. 10:18 They 698 called out to ask if Simon, known as Peter, 699 was staying there as a guest. 10:19 While Peter was still thinking seriously about 700 the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Look! Three men are looking for you. 10:20 But get up, 701 go down, and accompany them without hesitation, 702 because I have sent them.” 10:21 So Peter went down 703 to the men and said, “Here I am, 704 the person you’re looking for. Why have you come?” 10:22 They said, “Cornelius the centurion, 705 a righteous 706 and God-fearing man, well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, 707 was directed by a holy angel to summon you to his house and to hear a message 708 from you.” 10:23 So Peter 709 invited them in and entertained them as guests.
On the next day he got up and set out 710 with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa 711 accompanied him. 10:24 The following day 712 he entered Caesarea. 713 Now Cornelius was waiting anxiously 714 for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 10:25 So when 715 Peter came in, Cornelius met 716 him, fell 717 at his feet, and worshiped 718 him. 10:26 But Peter helped him up, 719 saying, “Stand up. I too am a mere mortal.” 720 10:27 Peter 721 continued talking with him as he went in, and he found many people gathered together. 722 10:28 He said to them, “You know that 723 it is unlawful 724 for a Jew 725 to associate with or visit a Gentile, 726 yet God has shown me that I should call no person 727 defiled or ritually unclean. 728 10:29 Therefore when you sent for me, 729 I came without any objection. Now may I ask why 730 you sent for me?” 10:30 Cornelius 731 replied, 732 “Four days ago at this very hour, at three o’clock in the afternoon, 733 I was praying in my house, and suddenly 734 a man in shining clothing stood before me 10:31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your acts of charity 735 have been remembered before God. 736 10:32 Therefore send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter. This man is staying as a guest in the house of Simon the tanner, 737 by the sea.’ 10:33 Therefore I sent for you at once, and you were kind enough to come. 738 So now we are all here in the presence of God 739 to listen 740 to everything the Lord has commanded you to say to us.” 741
10:34 Then Peter started speaking: 742 “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, 743 10:35 but in every nation 744 the person who fears him 745 and does what is right 746 is welcomed before him. 10:36 You know 747 the message 748 he sent to the people 749 of Israel, proclaiming the good news of peace 750 through 751 Jesus Christ 752 (he is Lord 753 of all) – 10:37 you know what happened throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 754 10:38 with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, 755 that 756 God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He 757 went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, 758 because God was with him. 759 10:39 We 760 are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea 761 and in Jerusalem. 762 They 763 killed him by hanging him on a tree, 764 10:40 but 765 God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 766 10:41 not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, 767 who ate and drank 768 with him after he rose from the dead. 10:42 He 769 commanded us to preach to the people and to warn 770 them 771 that he is the one 772 appointed 773 by God as judge 774 of the living and the dead. 10:43 About him all the prophets testify, 775 that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins 776 through his name.”
The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit
10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on 777 all those who heard the message. 778 10:45 The 779 circumcised believers 780 who had accompanied Peter were greatly astonished 781 that 782 the gift of the Holy Spirit 783 had been poured out 784 even on the Gentiles, 10:46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising 785 God. Then Peter said, 10:47 “No one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, 786 can he?” 787 10:48 So he gave orders to have them baptized 788 in the name of Jesus Christ. 789 Then they asked him to stay for several days.
Peter Defends His Actions to the Jerusalem Church
11:1 Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles too had accepted 790 the word of God. 791 11:2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, 792 the circumcised believers 793 took issue with 794 him, 11:3 saying, “You went to 795 uncircumcised men and shared a meal with 796 them.” 11:4 But Peter began and explained it to them point by point, 797 saying, 11:5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, 798 an object something like a large sheet descending, 799 being let down from heaven 800 by its four corners, and it came to me. 11:6 As I stared 801 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, 802 and wild birds. 803 11:7 I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; slaughter 804 and eat!’ 11:8 But I said, ‘Certainly not, Lord, for nothing defiled or ritually unclean 805 has ever entered my mouth!’ 11:9 But the voice replied a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not consider 806 ritually unclean!’ 11:10 This happened three times, and then everything was pulled up to heaven again. 11:11 At that very moment, 807 three men sent to me from Caesarea 808 approached 809 the house where we were staying. 810 11:12 The Spirit told me to accompany them without hesitation. These six brothers 811 also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 11:13 He informed us how he had seen an angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter, 11:14 who will speak a message 812 to you by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ 11:15 Then as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on 813 them just as he did 814 on us at the beginning. 815 11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, 816 as he used to say, 817 ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 818 11:17 Therefore if God 819 gave them the same gift 820 as he also gave us after believing 821 in the Lord Jesus Christ, 822 who was I to hinder 823 God?” 11:18 When they heard this, 824 they ceased their objections 825 and praised 826 God, saying, “So then, God has granted the repentance 827 that leads to life even to the Gentiles.” 828
Activity in the Church at Antioch
11:19 Now those who had been scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen 829 went as far as 830 Phoenicia, 831 Cyprus, 832 and Antioch, 833 speaking the message 834 to no one but Jews. 11:20 But there were some men from Cyprus 835 and Cyrene 836 among them who came 837 to Antioch 838 and began to speak to the Greeks 839 too, proclaiming the good news of the Lord Jesus. 11:21 The 840 hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed 841 turned 842 to the Lord. 11:22 A report 843 about them came to the attention 844 of the church in Jerusalem, 845 and they sent Barnabas 846 to Antioch. 847 11:23 When 848 he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain true 849 to the Lord with devoted hearts, 850 11:24 because he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, and a significant number of people 851 were brought to the Lord. 11:25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to look for Saul, 11:26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. 852 So 853 for a whole year Barnabas and Saul 854 met with the church and taught a significant number of people. 855 Now it was in Antioch 856 that the disciples were first called Christians. 857
Famine Relief for Judea
11:27 At that time 858 some 859 prophets 860 came down 861 from Jerusalem 862 to Antioch. 863 11:28 One of them, named Agabus, got up 864 and predicted 865 by the Spirit that a severe 866 famine 867 was about to come over the whole inhabited world. 868 (This 869 took place during the reign of Claudius.) 870 11:29 So the disciples, each in accordance with his financial ability, 871 decided 872 to send relief 873 to the brothers living in Judea. 11:30 They did so, 874 sending their financial aid 875 to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
James is Killed and Peter Imprisoned
12:1 About that time King Herod 876 laid hands on 877 some from the church to harm them. 878 12:2 He had James, the brother of John, executed with a sword. 879 12:3 When he saw that this pleased the Jews, 880 he proceeded to arrest Peter too. (This took place during the feast of Unleavened Bread.) 881 12:4 When he had seized him, he put him in prison, handing him over to four squads 882 of soldiers to guard him. Herod 883 planned 884 to bring him out for public trial 885 after the Passover. 12:5 So Peter was kept in prison, but those in the church were earnestly 886 praying to God for him. 887 12:6 On that very night before Herod was going to bring him out for trial, 888 Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, while 889 guards in front of the door were keeping watch 890 over the prison. 12:7 Suddenly 891 an angel of the Lord 892 appeared, and a light shone in the prison cell. He struck 893 Peter on the side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly!” And the chains fell off Peter’s 894 wrists. 895 12:8 The angel said to him, “Fasten your belt 896 and put on your sandals.” Peter 897 did so. Then the angel 898 said to him, “Put on your cloak 899 and follow me.” 12:9 Peter 900 went out 901 and followed him; 902 he did not realize that what was happening through the angel was real, 903 but thought he was seeing a vision. 12:10 After they had passed the first and second guards, 904 they came to the iron 905 gate leading into the city. It 906 opened for them by itself, 907 and they went outside and walked down one narrow street, 908 when at once the angel left him. 12:11 When 909 Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued 910 me from the hand 911 of Herod 912 and from everything the Jewish people 913 were expecting to happen.”
12:12 When Peter 914 realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, 915 where many people had gathered together and were praying. 12:13 When he knocked at the door of the outer gate, a slave girl named Rhoda answered. 916 12:14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she did not open the gate, but ran back in and told 917 them 918 that Peter was standing at the gate. 12:15 But they said to her, “You’ve lost your mind!” 919 But she kept insisting that it was Peter, 920 and they kept saying, 921 “It is his angel!” 922 12:16 Now Peter continued knocking, and when they opened the door 923 and saw him, they were greatly astonished. 924 12:17 He motioned to them 925 with his hand to be quiet and then related 926 how the Lord had brought 927 him out of the prison. He said, “Tell James and the brothers these things,” and then he left and went to another place. 928
12:18 At daybreak 929 there was great consternation 930 among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 12:19 When Herod 931 had searched 932 for him and did not find him, he questioned 933 the guards and commanded that they be led away to execution. 934 Then 935 Herod 936 went down from Judea to Caesarea 937 and stayed there.
12:20 Now Herod 938 was having an angry quarrel 939 with the people of Tyre 940 and Sidon. 941 So they joined together 942 and presented themselves before him. And after convincing 943 Blastus, the king’s personal assistant, 944 to help them, 945 they asked for peace, 946 because their country’s food supply was provided by the king’s country. 12:21 On a day determined in advance, Herod 947 put on his royal robes, 948 sat down on the judgment seat, 949 and made a speech 950 to them. 12:22 But the crowd 951 began to shout, 952 “The voice of a god, 953 and not of a man!” 12:23 Immediately an angel of the Lord 954 struck 955 Herod 956 down because he did not give the glory to God, and he was eaten by worms and died. 957 12:24 But the word of God 958 kept on increasing 959 and multiplying.
The Church at Antioch Commissions Barnabas and Saul
13:1 Now there were these prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch: 965 Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, 966 Lucius the Cyrenian, 967 Manaen (a close friend of Herod 968 the tetrarch 969 from childhood 970 ) and Saul. 13:2 While they were serving 971 the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart 972 for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 13:3 Then, after they had fasted 973 and 974 prayed and placed their hands 975 on them, they sent them off.
Paul and Barnabas Preach in Cyprus
13:4 So Barnabas and Saul, 976 sent out by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia, 977 and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 978 13:5 When 979 they arrived 980 in Salamis, 981 they began to proclaim 982 the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. 983 (Now they also had John 984 as their assistant.) 985 13:6 When they had crossed over 986 the whole island as far as Paphos, 987 they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 988 13:7 who was with the proconsul 989 Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. The proconsul 990 summoned 991 Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear 992 the word of God. 13:8 But the magician Elymas 993 (for that is the way his name is translated) 994 opposed them, trying to turn the proconsul 995 away from the faith. 13:9 But Saul (also known as Paul), 996 filled with the Holy Spirit, 997 stared straight 998 at him 13:10 and said, “You who are full of all deceit and all wrongdoing, 999 you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness – will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 1000 13:11 Now 1001 look, the hand of the Lord is against 1002 you, and you will be blind, unable to see the sun for a time!” Immediately mistiness 1003 and darkness came over 1004 him, and he went around seeking people 1005 to lead him by the hand. 13:12 Then when the proconsul 1006 saw what had happened, he believed, 1007 because he was greatly astounded 1008 at the teaching about 1009 the Lord.
Paul and Barnabas at Pisidian Antioch
13:13 Then Paul and his companions put out to sea 1010 from Paphos 1011 and came to Perga 1012 in Pamphylia, 1013 but John 1014 left them and returned to Jerusalem. 1015 13:14 Moving on from 1016 Perga, 1017 they arrived at Pisidian Antioch, 1018 and on the Sabbath day they went into 1019 the synagogue 1020 and sat down. 13:15 After the reading from the law and the prophets, 1021 the leaders of the synagogue 1022 sent them a message, 1023 saying, “Brothers, 1024 if you have any message 1025 of exhortation 1026 for the people, speak it.” 1027 13:16 So Paul stood up, 1028 gestured 1029 with his hand and said,
“Men of Israel, 1030 and you Gentiles who fear God, 1031 listen: 13:17 The God of this people Israel 1032 chose our ancestors 1033 and made the people great 1034 during their stay as foreigners 1035 in the country 1036 of Egypt, and with uplifted arm 1037 he led them out of it. 13:18 For 1038 a period of about forty years he put up with 1039 them in the wilderness. 1040 13:19 After 1041 he had destroyed 1042 seven nations 1043 in the land of Canaan, he gave his people their land as an inheritance. 1044 13:20 All this took 1045 about four hundred fifty years. After this 1046 he gave them judges until the time of 1047 Samuel the prophet. 13:21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man from the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled 1048 forty years. 13:22 After removing him, God 1049 raised up 1050 David their king. He testified about him: 1051 ‘I have found David 1052 the son of Jesse to be a man after my heart, 1053 who will accomplish everything I want him to do.’ 1054 13:23 From the descendants 1055 of this man 1056 God brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, just as he promised. 1057 13:24 Before 1058 Jesus 1059 arrived, John 1060 had proclaimed a baptism for repentance 1061 to all the people of Israel. 13:25 But while John was completing his mission, 1062 he said repeatedly, 1063 ‘What do you think I am? I am not he. But look, one is coming after me. I am not worthy to untie the sandals on his feet!’ 1064 13:26 Brothers, 1065 descendants 1066 of Abraham’s family, 1067 and those Gentiles among you who fear God, 1068 the message 1069 of this salvation has been sent to us. 13:27 For the people who live in Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize 1070 him, 1071 and they fulfilled the sayings 1072 of the prophets that are read every Sabbath by condemning 1073 him. 1074 13:28 Though 1075 they found 1076 no basis 1077 for a death sentence, 1078 they asked Pilate to have him executed. 13:29 When they had accomplished 1079 everything that was written 1080 about him, they took him down 1081 from the cross 1082 and placed him 1083 in a tomb. 13:30 But God raised 1084 him from the dead, 13:31 and 1085 for many days he appeared to those who had accompanied 1086 him from Galilee to Jerusalem. These 1087 are now his witnesses to the people. 13:32 And we proclaim to you the good news about the promise to our ancestors, 1088 13:33 that this promise 1089 God has fulfilled to us, their children, by raising 1090 Jesus, as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son; 1091 today I have fathered you.’ 1092 13:34 But regarding the fact that he has raised Jesus 1093 from the dead, never 1094 again to be 1095 in a state of decay, God 1096 has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you 1097 the holy and trustworthy promises 1098 made to David.’ 1099 13:35 Therefore he also says in another psalm, 1100 ‘You will not permit your Holy One 1101 to experience 1102 decay.’ 1103 13:36 For David, after he had served 1104 God’s purpose in his own generation, died, 1105 was buried with his ancestors, 1106 and experienced 1107 decay, 13:37 but the one 1108 whom God raised up did not experience 1109 decay. 13:38 Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through this one 1110 forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 13:39 and by this one 1111 everyone who believes is justified 1112 from everything from which the law of Moses could not justify 1113 you. 1114 13:40 Watch out, 1115 then, that what is spoken about by 1116 the prophets does not happen to you:
13:41 ‘Look, you scoffers; be amazed and perish! 1117
For I am doing a work in your days,
a work you would never believe, even if someone tells you.’” 1118
13:42 As Paul and Barnabas 1119 were going out, 1120 the people 1121 were urging 1122 them to speak about these things 1123 on the next Sabbath. 13:43 When the meeting of the synagogue 1124 had broken up, 1125 many of the Jews and God-fearing proselytes 1126 followed Paul and Barnabas, who were speaking with them and were persuading 1127 them 1128 to continue 1129 in the grace of God.
13:44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city assembled together to hear the word of the Lord. 1130 13:45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy, 1131 and they began to contradict 1132 what Paul was saying 1133 by reviling him. 1134 13:46 Both Paul and Barnabas replied courageously, 1135 “It was necessary to speak the word of God 1136 to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy 1137 of eternal life, we 1138 are turning to the Gentiles. 1139 13:47 For this 1140 is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have appointed 1141 you to be a light 1142 for the Gentiles, to bring salvation 1143 to the ends of the earth.’” 1144 13:48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began to rejoice 1145 and praise 1146 the word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed for eternal life 1147 believed. 13:49 So the word of the Lord was spreading 1148 through the entire region. 13:50 But the Jews incited 1149 the God-fearing women of high social standing and the prominent men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and threw them out 1150 of their region. 13:51 So after they shook 1151 the dust off their feet 1152 in protest against them, they went to Iconium. 1153 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy 1154 and with the Holy Spirit.
Paul and Barnabas at Iconium
14:1 The same thing happened in Iconium 1155 when Paul and Barnabas 1156 went into the Jewish synagogue 1157 and spoke in such a way that a large group 1158 of both Jews and Greeks believed. 14:2 But the Jews who refused to believe 1159 stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds 1160 against the brothers. 14:3 So they stayed there 1161 for a considerable time, speaking out courageously for the Lord, who testified 1162 to the message 1163 of his grace, granting miraculous signs 1164 and wonders to be performed through their hands. 14:4 But the population 1165 of the city was divided; some 1166 sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles. 14:5 When both the Gentiles and the Jews (together with their rulers) made 1167 an attempt to mistreat 1168 them and stone them, 1169 14:6 Paul and Barnabas 1170 learned about it 1171 and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra 1172 and Derbe 1173 and the surrounding region. 14:7 There 1174 they continued to proclaim 1175 the good news.
Paul and Barnabas at Lystra
14:8 In 1176 Lystra 1177 sat a man who could not use his feet, 1178 lame from birth, 1179 who had never walked. 14:9 This man was listening to Paul as he was speaking. When Paul 1180 stared 1181 intently at him and saw he had faith to be healed, 14:10 he said with a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” 1182 And the man 1183 leaped up and began walking. 1184 14:11 So when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted 1185 in the Lycaonian language, 1186 “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 1187 14:12 They began to call 1188 Barnabas Zeus 1189 and Paul Hermes, 1190 because he was the chief speaker. 14:13 The priest of the temple 1191 of Zeus, 1192 located just outside the city, brought bulls 1193 and garlands 1194 to the city gates; he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifices to them. 1195 14:14 But when the apostles 1196 Barnabas and Paul heard about 1197 it, they tore 1198 their clothes and rushed out 1199 into the crowd, shouting, 1200 14:15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We too are men, with human natures 1201 just like you! We are proclaiming the good news to you, so that you should turn 1202 from these worthless 1203 things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, 1204 the sea, and everything that is in them. 14:16 In 1205 past 1206 generations he allowed all the nations 1207 to go their own ways, 14:17 yet he did not leave himself without a witness by doing good, 1208 by giving you rain from heaven 1209 and fruitful seasons, satisfying you 1210 with food and your hearts with joy.” 1211 14:18 Even by saying 1212 these things, they scarcely persuaded 1213 the crowds not to offer sacrifice to them.
14:19 But Jews came from Antioch 1214 and Iconium, 1215 and after winning 1216 the crowds over, they stoned 1217 Paul and dragged him out of the city, presuming him to be dead. 14:20 But after the disciples had surrounded him, he got up and went back 1218 into the city. On 1219 the next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe. 1220
Paul and Barnabas Return to Antioch in Syria
14:21 After they had proclaimed the good news in that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, 1221 to Iconium, 1222 and to Antioch. 1223 14:22 They strengthened 1224 the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue 1225 in the faith, saying, “We must enter the kingdom 1226 of God through many persecutions.” 1227 14:23 When they had appointed elders 1228 for them in the various churches, 1229 with prayer and fasting 1230 they entrusted them to the protection 1231 of the Lord in whom they had believed. 14:24 Then they passed through 1232 Pisidia and came into Pamphylia, 1233 14:25 and when they had spoken the word 1234 in Perga, 1235 they went down to Attalia. 1236 14:26 From there they sailed back to Antioch, 1237 where they had been commended 1238 to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. 1239 14:27 When they arrived and gathered the church together, they reported 1240 all the things God 1241 had done with them, and that he had opened a door 1242 of faith for the Gentiles. 14:28 So they spent 1243 considerable 1244 time with the disciples.
The Jerusalem Council
15:1 Now some men came down from Judea 1245 and began to teach the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised 1246 according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 15:2 When Paul and Barnabas had a major argument and debate 1247 with them, the church 1248 appointed Paul and Barnabas and some others from among them to go up to meet with 1249 the apostles and elders in Jerusalem 1250 about this point of disagreement. 1251 15:3 So they were sent on their way by the church, and as they passed through both Phoenicia 1252 and Samaria, they were relating at length 1253 the conversion of the Gentiles and bringing great joy 1254 to all the brothers. 15:4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were received 1255 by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported 1256 all the things God had done with them. 1257 15:5 But some from the religious party of the Pharisees 1258 who had believed stood up and said, “It is necessary 1259 to circumcise the Gentiles 1260 and to order them to observe 1261 the law of Moses.”
15:6 Both the apostles and the elders met together to deliberate 1262 about this matter. 15:7 After there had been much debate, 1263 Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that some time ago 1264 God chose 1265 me to preach to the Gentiles so they would hear the message 1266 of the gospel 1267 and believe. 1268 15:8 And God, who knows the heart, 1269 has testified 1270 to them by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, 1271 15:9 and he made no distinction 1272 between them and us, cleansing 1273 their hearts by faith. 15:10 So now why are you putting God to the test 1274 by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke 1275 that neither our ancestors 1276 nor we have been able to bear? 15:11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through 1277 the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they are.” 1278
15:12 The whole group kept quiet 1279 and listened to Barnabas and Paul while they explained all the miraculous signs 1280 and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 15:13 After they stopped speaking, 1281 James replied, 1282 “Brothers, listen to me. 15:14 Simeon 1283 has explained 1284 how God first concerned himself 1285 to select 1286 from among the Gentiles 1287 a people for his name. 15:15 The 1288 words of the prophets agree 1289 with this, as it is written,
and I will rebuild the fallen tent 1292 of David;
I will rebuild its ruins and restore 1293 it,
15:17 so that the rest of humanity 1294 may seek the Lord,
15:19 “Therefore I conclude 1301 that we should not cause extra difficulty 1302 for those among the Gentiles 1303 who are turning to God, 15:20 but that we should write them a letter 1304 telling them to abstain 1305 from things defiled 1306 by idols and from sexual immorality and from what has been strangled 1307 and from blood. 15:21 For Moses has had those who proclaim him in every town from ancient times, 1308 because he is read aloud 1309 in the synagogues 1310 every Sabbath.”
15:22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided 1311 to send men chosen from among them, Judas called Barsabbas and Silas, 1312 leaders among the brothers, to Antioch 1313 with Paul and Barnabas. 15:23 They sent this letter with them: 1314
From the apostles 1315 and elders, your brothers, 1316 to the Gentile brothers and sisters 1317 in Antioch, 1318 Syria, 1319 and Cilicia, greetings! 15:24 Since we have heard that some have gone out from among us with no orders from us and have confused 1320 you, upsetting 1321 your minds 1322 by what they said, 1323 15:25 we have unanimously 1324 decided 1325 to choose men to send to you along with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul, 15:26 who 1326 have risked their lives 1327 for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1328 15:27 Therefore we are sending 1329 Judas and Silas 1330 who will tell you these things themselves in person. 1331 15:28 For it seemed best to the Holy Spirit and to us 1332 not to place any greater burden on you than these necessary rules: 1333 15:29 that you abstain from meat that has been sacrificed to idols 1334 and from blood and from what has been strangled 1335 and from sexual immorality. 1336 If you keep yourselves from doing these things, 1337 you will do well. Farewell. 1338
15:30 So when they were dismissed, 1339 they went down to Antioch, 1340 and after gathering the entire group 1341 together, they delivered the letter. 15:31 When they read it aloud, 1342 the people 1343 rejoiced at its encouragement. 1344 15:32 Both Judas and Silas, who were prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with a long speech. 1345 15:33 After 1346 they had spent some time there, 1347 they were sent off in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them. 15:34 [[EMPTY]] 1348 15:35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, 1349 teaching and proclaiming (along with many others) 1350 the word of the Lord. 1351
Paul and Barnabas Part Company
15:36 After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s return 1352 and visit the brothers in every town where we proclaimed the word of the Lord 1353 to see how they are doing.” 1354 15:37 Barnabas wanted to bring John called Mark along with them too, 15:38 but Paul insisted 1355 that they should not take along this one who had left them in Pamphylia 1356 and had not accompanied them in the work. 15:39 They had 1357 a sharp disagreement, 1358 so that they parted company. Barnabas took along 1359 Mark and sailed away to Cyprus, 1360 15:40 but Paul chose Silas and set out, commended 1361 to the grace of the Lord by the brothers and sisters. 1362 15:41 He passed through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening 1363 the churches.
Timothy Joins Paul and Silas
16:1 He also came to Derbe 1364 and to Lystra. 1365 A disciple 1366 named Timothy was there, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, 1367 but whose father was a Greek. 1368 16:2 The brothers in Lystra 1369 and Iconium 1370 spoke well 1371 of him. 1372 16:3 Paul wanted Timothy 1373 to accompany him, and he took 1374 him and circumcised 1375 him because of the Jews who were in those places, 1376 for they all knew that his father was Greek. 1377 16:4 As they went through the towns, 1378 they passed on 1379 the decrees that had been decided on by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem 1380 for the Gentile believers 1381 to obey. 1382 16:5 So the churches were being strengthened in the faith and were increasing in number every day. 1383
Paul’s Vision of the Macedonian Man
16:6 They went through the region of Phrygia 1384 and Galatia, 1385 having been prevented 1386 by the Holy Spirit from speaking the message 1387 in the province of Asia. 1388 16:7 When they came to 1389 Mysia, 1390 they attempted to go into Bithynia, 1391 but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow 1392 them to do this, 1393 16:8 so they passed through 1394 Mysia 1395 and went down to Troas. 1396 16:9 A 1397 vision appeared to Paul during the night: A Macedonian man was standing there 1398 urging him, 1399 “Come over 1400 to Macedonia 1401 and help us!” 16:10 After Paul 1402 saw the vision, we attempted 1403 immediately to go over to Macedonia, 1404 concluding that God had called 1405 us to proclaim the good news to them.
Arrival at Philippi
16:11 We put out to sea 1406 from Troas 1407 and sailed a straight course 1408 to Samothrace, 1409 the next day to Neapolis, 1410 16:12 and from there to Philippi, 1411 which is a leading city of that district 1412 of Macedonia, 1413 a Roman colony. 1414 We stayed in this city for some days. 16:13 On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate to the side of the river, where we thought there would be a place of prayer, and we sat down 1415 and began to speak 1416 to the women 1417 who had assembled there. 1418 16:14 A 1419 woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth 1420 from the city of Thyatira, 1421 a God-fearing woman, listened to us. 1422 The Lord opened her heart to respond 1423 to what Paul was saying. 16:15 After she and her household were baptized, she urged us, 1424 “If 1425 you consider me to be a believer in the Lord, 1426 come and stay in my house.” And she persuaded 1427 us.
Paul and Silas Are Thrown Into Prison
16:16 Now 1428 as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave girl met us who had a spirit that enabled her to foretell the future by supernatural means. 1429 She 1430 brought her owners 1431 a great profit by fortune-telling. 1432 16:17 She followed behind Paul and us and kept crying out, 1433 “These men are servants 1434 of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way 1435 of salvation.” 1436 16:18 She continued to do this for many days. But Paul became greatly annoyed, 1437 and turned 1438 and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ 1439 to come out of her!” And it came out of her at once. 1440 16:19 But when her owners 1441 saw their hope of profit 1442 was gone, they seized 1443 Paul and Silas and dragged 1444 them into the marketplace before the authorities. 16:20 When 1445 they had brought them 1446 before the magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion. 1447 They are 1448 Jews 16:21 and are advocating 1449 customs that are not lawful for us to accept 1450 or practice, 1451 since we are 1452 Romans.”
16:22 The crowd joined the attack 1453 against them, and the magistrates tore the clothes 1454 off Paul and Silas 1455 and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 1456 16:23 After they had beaten them severely, 1457 they threw them into prison and commanded 1458 the jailer to guard them securely. 16:24 Receiving such orders, he threw them in the inner cell 1459 and fastened their feet in the stocks. 1460
16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying 1461 and singing hymns to God, 1462 and the rest of 1463 the prisoners were listening to them. 16:26 Suddenly a great earthquake occurred, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. Immediately all the doors flew open, and the bonds 1464 of all the prisoners came loose. 16:27 When the jailer woke up 1465 and saw the doors of the prison standing open, 1466 he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, 1467 because he assumed 1468 the prisoners had escaped. 16:28 But Paul called out loudly, 1469 “Do not harm yourself, 1470 for we are all here!” 16:29 Calling for lights, the jailer 1471 rushed in and fell down 1472 trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. 16:30 Then he brought them outside 1473 and asked, “Sirs, what must 1474 I do to be saved?” 16:31 They replied, 1475 “Believe 1476 in the Lord Jesus 1477 and you will be saved, you and your household.” 16:32 Then 1478 they spoke the word of the Lord 1479 to him, along with all those who were in his house. 16:33 At 1480 that hour of the night he took them 1481 and washed their wounds; 1482 then 1483 he and all his family 1484 were baptized right away. 1485 16:34 The jailer 1486 brought them into his house and set food 1487 before them, and he rejoiced greatly 1488 that he had come to believe 1489 in God, together with his entire household. 1490 16:35 At daybreak 1491 the magistrates 1492 sent their police officers, 1493 saying, “Release those men.” 16:36 The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, 1494 “The magistrates have sent orders 1495 to release you. So come out now and go in peace.” 1496 16:37 But Paul said to the police officers, 1497 “They had us beaten in public 1498 without a proper trial 1499 – even though we are Roman citizens 1500 – and they threw us 1501 in prison. And now they want to send us away 1502 secretly? Absolutely not! They 1503 themselves must come and escort us out!” 1504 16:38 The police officers reported these words to the magistrates. They were frightened when they heard Paul and Silas 1505 were Roman citizens 1506 16:39 and came 1507 and apologized to them. After 1508 they brought them out, they asked them repeatedly 1509 to leave the city. 16:40 When they came out of the prison, they entered Lydia’s house, and when they saw the brothers, they encouraged them and then 1510 departed.
Paul and Silas at Thessalonica
17:1 After they traveled through 1511 Amphipolis 1512 and Apollonia, 1513 they came to Thessalonica, 1514 where there was a Jewish synagogue. 1515 17:2 Paul went to the Jews in the synagogue, 1516 as he customarily did, and on three Sabbath days he addressed 1517 them from the scriptures, 17:3 explaining and demonstrating 1518 that the Christ 1519 had to suffer and to rise from the dead, 1520 saying, 1521 “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” 1522 17:4 Some of them were persuaded 1523 and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large group 1524 of God-fearing Greeks 1525 and quite a few 1526 prominent women. 17:5 But the Jews became jealous, 1527 and gathering together some worthless men from the rabble in the marketplace, 1528 they formed a mob 1529 and set the city in an uproar. 1530 They attacked Jason’s house, 1531 trying to find Paul and Silas 1532 to bring them out to the assembly. 1533 17:6 When they did not find them, they dragged 1534 Jason and some of the brothers before the city officials, 1535 screaming, “These people who have stirred up trouble 1536 throughout the world 1537 have come here too, 17:7 and 1538 Jason has welcomed them as guests! They 1539 are all acting against Caesar’s 1540 decrees, saying there is another king named 1541 Jesus!” 1542 17:8 They caused confusion among 1543 the crowd and the city officials 1544 who heard these things. 17:9 After 1545 the city officials 1546 had received bail 1547 from Jason and the others, they released them.
Paul and Silas at Berea
17:10 The brothers sent Paul and Silas off to Berea 1548 at once, during the night. When they arrived, 1549 they went to the Jewish synagogue. 1550 17:11 These Jews 1551 were more open-minded 1552 than those in Thessalonica, 1553 for they eagerly 1554 received 1555 the message, examining 1556 the scriptures carefully every day 1557 to see if these things were so. 17:12 Therefore many of them believed, along with quite a few 1558 prominent 1559 Greek women and men. 17:13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica 1560 heard that Paul had also proclaimed the word of God 1561 in Berea, 1562 they came there too, inciting 1563 and disturbing 1564 the crowds. 17:14 Then the brothers sent Paul away to the coast 1565 at once, but Silas and Timothy remained in Berea. 1566 17:15 Those who accompanied Paul escorted him as far as Athens, 1567 and after receiving an order for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left. 1568
Paul at Athens
17:16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, 1569 his spirit was greatly upset 1570 because he saw 1571 the city was full of idols. 17:17 So he was addressing 1572 the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles 1573 in the synagogue, 1574 and in the marketplace every day 1575 those who happened to be there. 17:18 Also some of the Epicurean 1576 and Stoic 1577 philosophers were conversing 1578 with him, and some were asking, 1579 “What does this foolish babbler 1580 want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods.” 1581 (They said this because he was proclaiming the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) 1582 17:19 So they took Paul and 1583 brought him to the Areopagus, 1584 saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are proclaiming? 17:20 For you are bringing some surprising things 1585 to our ears, so we want to know what they 1586 mean.” 17:21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there used to spend their time 1587 in nothing else than telling 1588 or listening to something new.) 1589
17:22 So Paul stood 1590 before the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I see that you are very religious 1591 in all respects. 1592 17:23 For as I went around and observed closely your objects of worship, 1593 I even found an altar with this inscription: 1594 ‘To an unknown god.’ Therefore what you worship without knowing it, 1595 this I proclaim to you. 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, 1596 who is 1597 Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by human hands, 1598 17:25 nor is he served by human hands, as if he needed anything, 1599 because he himself gives life and breath and everything to everyone. 1600 17:26 From one man 1601 he made every nation of the human race 1602 to inhabit the entire earth, 1603 determining their set times 1604 and the fixed limits of the places where they would live, 1605 17:27 so that they would search for God and perhaps grope around 1606 for him and find him, 1607 though he is 1608 not far from each one of us. 17:28 For in him we live and move about 1609 and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ 1610 17:29 So since we are God’s offspring, we should not think the deity 1611 is like gold or silver or stone, an image 1612 made by human 1613 skill 1614 and imagination. 1615 17:30 Therefore, although God has overlooked 1616 such times of ignorance, 1617 he now commands all people 1618 everywhere to repent, 1619 17:31 because he has set 1620 a day on which he is going to judge the world 1621 in righteousness, by a man whom he designated, 1622 having provided proof to everyone by raising 1623 him from the dead.”
17:32 Now when they heard about 1624 the resurrection from the dead, some began to scoff, 1625 but others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 17:33 So Paul left the Areopagus. 1626 17:34 But some people 1627 joined him 1628 and believed. Among them 1629 were Dionysius, who was a member of the Areopagus, 1630 a woman 1631 named Damaris, and others with them.