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 

Why do the nations 60  rage, 61 

and the peoples plot foolish 62  things?

4:26 The kings of the earth stood together, 63 

and the rulers assembled together,

against the Lord and against his 64  Christ.’ 65 

4:27For 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 apostlesfeet. 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 apostlesfeet.

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 apostlesfeet. 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.

7:17But 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.

7:30After 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,

7:49Heaven 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 

7:50 Did my hand 403  not make all these things? 404 

7:51You 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 apostleshands, 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.

8:33 In humiliation 514  justice was taken from him. 515 

Who can describe his posterity? 516 

For his life was taken away 517  from the earth.” 518 

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 Judashouse 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.

12:25 So Barnabas and Saul returned to 960  Jerusalem 961  when they had completed 962  their mission, 963  bringing along with them John Mark. 964 

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:

13:41Look, 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,

15:16After this 1290  I 1291  will return,

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,

namely, 1295  all the Gentiles 1296  I have called to be my own,’ 1297  says the Lord, 1298  who makes these things 15:18 known 1299  from long ago. 1300 

15:19Therefore 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.

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