Reading for Lesson 10:
 Acts
(cir 65-70 CE)
(REVISED STANDARD EDITION, MODERNIZED A LOT)
 
 

 

I. The Promise of Return 

1:1Dear Lover of God, so far I have written to you [in the Gospel of Luke] about everything that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 1:2until the day when he was received up in heaven. After that time, it was through the Holy Spirit that he gave directions to his chosen aspostles.

 1:3He showed them in various ways that he remained alive after his death. He appeared to their assembly after forty days and spoke of the kingdom of God, 1:4and he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the Father, whose coming he had promised:

 1:5"John [the Baptizer] baptized in water; but not many days from now you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit."

1:6The ones assembled there questioned him: "Lord, is that the time when you will restore the kingdom of Israel?"

1:7He answered: "That is not for you to know. The Father alone sets that day and hour. 1:8But when the Holy Spirit is upon you, then you will have power. You will be my witnesses first in Jerusalem, and then in all Judaea and Samaria, and then in distant parts of the world."

1:9And after he had said these things, they saw him taken up into a cloud out of their sight. 1:10And while they were still gazing up after him, there appeared two men dressed in white standing by them; 1:11and they said, "You Galilaeans, why are you standing here, staring into the blue? Jesus is gone, and just as surely as you saw him go, he will come back again."

1:12So from the mount called Olivet, they returned to Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away. 1:13And when they arrived, they went up into the upper chamber, where they had been staying: Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 1:14There they prayed continuously with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with Jesus' brothers. 1:18The other Judas used the reward money from his evil deed to buy a field; and that is where he fell headlong, and his middle split open, and all his guts gushed out. 1:19And this field became known to all who lived in Jerusalem, so famous in fact that in their language it was called Akeldama, meaning the field of blood . . .

II. Pentecost

2:1When the day of Pentecost came, 2:2suddenly a rushing sound came from heaven like a mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where all of them were sitting together. 2:3And what seemed like tongues of flame came to rest on each one of them, 2:4and they were filled with the Holy Spirit, so that they began to speak in foreign languages.

2:5Devout Jews from every nation under heaven were living in Jerusalem at that time. 2:6And they came together, all amazed to hear their own languages being spoken. 2:7And they marvelled, saying, "Look, aren't these Galilaeans? 2:8Why are they speaking the languages of our countries? 2:9Parthians and Medes and Elamites, Mesopotamians, Judaeans and Cappadocians, those from Pontus and Asia, 2:10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and converts, 2:11Cretans and Arabians, all of us hear them in our native tongues telling the miracles of God!"

 2:12Some were puzzled, asking, "What can this mean?" 2:13Others mocked, "They are full of new wine." 2:14But Peter, standing with the eleven, spoke up, and addressed them, "You Judaeans, and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to my words and you will understand. 2:15These men are not drunk, as you imagine--it is only the third hour of the day. 2:16What's happening here was predicted by the prophet Joel:

 2:17And it shall be in the last days, saith God,
 I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh:
 And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
 And your young men shall see visions,
 And your old men shall dream dreams:
 2:18Yea, on boys and maidens also in those days
I will pour my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

 2:19And I will show wonders in the heaven above,
 And signs on the earth beneath;
 Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke:
 2:20The sun shall be turned into darkness,
 And the moon into blood,
 Before the day when the Lord shall come,
 That great and notable day,
 2:21When they that call on the Lord shall be saved.

2:22"You people of Israel, hear these words: You yourselves know the miracles and wonders and signs that God did through Jesus of Nazareth, while he was among you. 2:23You had outlaws crucify him and kill him, 2:24but God had foreknowledge of all this, and a  predetermined plan. He has raised him up, released him from the pain of death, because he was not meant to be held down. 2:25For what David said is true of him,

 I saw the Lord always before my face;
Or on my right hand, that I should not fear:
 2:26So my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
And my flesh also lived in hope.
 2:27Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hades,
 Nor give thy Holy One to decay.
 2:28Thou wilt show me the paths of life
 And fill me with joy at thy sight.

2:29"Brothers, David prophesied this death and burial--and the tomb that is here today. 2:30 He knew God's promise that a descendant of his would sit upon the throne one day, 2:31He foresaw the resurrection of Christ. He foretold that Jesus would not remain in Hades, nor would his flesh decay.

2:32Now God in fact has raised him up, as we are witnesses. 2:33He has been raised by the right hand of God, and he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, and so he now pours out what you are seeing and hearing here . . . 2:36"Let all the house of Israel know that in fact this Jesus that you crucified was made by God both Lord and Christ."

2:37Now when the people heard this, they were sorry at heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles what to do.

2:38Peter responded: "Repent, every one of you! Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven, and then you also may receive the gift of the Holy Spirit! 2:39For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all future generations that the Lord our God shall call unto him." 2:40With these and many other words Peter preached, urging "Save yourselves from crooked ways."

 2:41Those that accepted his words were baptized: about three thousand souls were added to the community on that day. 2:42And they continued always in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and at prayers. 2:43And fear came upon every soul as many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 2:44All that believed stayed together, and had all things common; 2:45for they sold their personal possessions and goods, or gave them away to the needy. 2:46And day after day they kept together in the temple, and when they went home they broke bread with joy and simplicity of heart, 2:47praising God, and finding favor with all the people. And the Lord added to them every day more that were saved.

 [III. By calling on Jesus, Peter and John cure
a lame man and instantly gain a crowd of believers.]

IV. The Lame Man

4:1As Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests arrived with the captain of the temple and the Sadducees, 4:2 angry because they told the people that in Jesus there is resurrection from the dead. 4:3And they laid hands on them, and put them in jail over night, for it was now evening. 4:4But many of them that heard the word believed; and the number now grew to be about five thousand people.

4:5In the morning, the rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem. 4:6Annas the high priest was there, and his family, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander. 4:7And when they had set them in their midst, they asked, "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?"

 4:8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them,  4:9"if you rulers and elders are asking how this lame man was cured, 4:10let it be known to you, as to all the people of Israel, that he stands here before you healed in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the one that you crucified and God raised from the dead. 4:11You builders disregarded him, but he is the cornerstone. 4:12Salvation lies only in him. We can be saved by no other name known in heaven or on earth."

  4:13They saw the boldness of Peter and John, and they marveled that these were uneducated, simple men. They questioned them, and they learned from them that they had been with Jesus. 4:14The lame man that was healed stood there with them, and his cure could not be denied.

 4:15They had ordered them to leave the council, and they conferred among themselves. 4:16"What will we do to these men? A miracle has been done through them, as will be obvious to everybody in Jerusalem, and we can't deny it. 4:17But to keep this matter from spreading further among the people, let us threaten them, so that they never again will say this name to anybody."

4:18And they called them back, and ordered them never to speak the name of Jesus, 4:19but Peter and John answered them, "You be the judge, here in the sight of God, whether it is better for us to listen to you or to God. 4:20We must tell what we saw and heard."

 4:21After further threats, they let them go, unable to decide how to punish them, because all of the people gave glory to God for what had been done. 4:22For the man that was healed had been lame for more than forty years . . .

4:23And being let go, they returned to their own company, and reported everything that the chief priests and the elders had said . . . 4:31And when they had prayed, the place shook where they were gathered; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke God's words with boldness. 4:32And the whole multitude that believed were of one heart and soul: and not one of them called any possession his own; but they shared all things common. 4:33And the apostles powerfully gave their witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all . . .  4:36And Joseph, who by the apostles was called  Barnabas (which means Child of Advice), a Levite, a man of Cyprus by race, 4:37having a field, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.

V. Ananias and Sapphira

5:1But a certain man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of land, 5:2and they did not turn over all of the money. They brought in only some of the money and set it at the apostles' feet. 5:3But Peter said, Ananias, how can Satan have filled your heart with such a lie against the Holy Spirit, that you withhold part of the price of the land? 5:4Wasn't all of the land yours? At the sale, didn't you receive all the money? How is it that you could devise this thing? You have lied not only to men but to God!

5:5And Ananias hearing these words fell down and gave up the ghost, 5:6and the young men wrapped him up, and they carried him out and buried him, and great terror  came upon all that heard about it.

 5:7About three hours later, his wife, not knowing what had happened, came in. 5:8And Peter asked, Tell me whether you sold the land for so much. And she said, yes, for so much.

 5:9But Peter said to her, How can the two of you have agreed to deceive the Spirit of the Lord? Look now, the feet of those that have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out. 5:10And she fell down immediately at his feet, and gave up the ghost. The young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her by her husband . . .

VI. Stephen

6:1Now at that time, the number of disciples was growing, and the Hellenized members began to complain that their widows were not receiving their  daily meal. 6:2And the twelve called all of the disciples together, and said, "It is not right that we should disobey the word of God in our service at dinner tables. 6:3And so, brothers, pick out from among your number seven reputable men, full of the Spirit and wisdom, and we will appoint them to serve. 6:4But we will continue to devote ourselves to prayer and obedience to the word of the Lord.

6:5This plan pleased the whole multitude. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus a proselyte of Antioch, 6:6all of whom they set before the apostles, who prayed and then laid their hands upon them. 6:7And the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and even many of the priests came to be obedient to the faith. 6:8And Stephen, full of grace and power, worked many wonders and signs among the people.

 6:9Some from the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and others from Cilicia and Asia, began disputing with Stephen. 6:10Their arguments could not withstand the wisdom and Spirit by which he spoke,  6:11so they hired men to bear false witness against him. "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God," they said. 6:12And they stirred up the crowd, and elders, and scribes, who rushed upon him, and seized him, and took him into the council, 6:13where they presented false witnesses, who said, "This man never stops speaking against this holy temple and our law: 6:14for we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the commands that Moses gave us." 6:15And all in the council sat with their eyes fastened on his angelic face.

7:1And the high priest said, Are these things true?

[Stephen in a long speech attacks the temple and its priests and scribes.]

. . .  7:48"As the prophet says, the Most High does not dwell in houses made with hands:

 7:49The heavens are my throne,
 And the earth the footstool of my feet:
So what house can you build for me, asks the Lord.
What place can you make for me to rest?
Did I not make everything?

 7:51You are stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears. You always oppose the Holy Spirit, just as your fathers did before you. 7:52Which of the prophets did they not persecute? They killed all of them that came before the Righteous One, the one that you have now betrayed and murdered. 7:53You received the law from angels, but you did not keep it."

7:54Now when they heard these things, they were deeply angered, and they gnashed their teeth. 7:55But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and he saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 7:56and he said, "Look, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God."

 7:57But altogether they shouted loudly to stop  their hearing, and they rushed him; 7:58and they threw him out of the city, where they had thrown down their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 7:59And as they stoned Stephen, he called upon the Lord, saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 7:60And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice: "Lord, forgive them for this sin." And then he fell asleep.

VIII. Saul

8:1Saul consented to this death, and a great persecution against the community in Jerusalem began that day. Many fled abroad through Judaea and Samaria, all except the apostles. 8:2Devout men buried Stephen, and mourned over him, 8:3but Saul destroyed the community, entering into every house, and dragging men and women to prison.

8:4The scattered ones went around preaching the word . . .  9:1but Saul, still threatening to slaughter the disciples of the Lord, approached the high priest, 9:2and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, that if he found there any people of the Way, whether men or women, he could bring them back to Jerusalem bound.

 9:3And as he traveled, drawing near to Damascus,  suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. 9:4He fell to the ground, and a voice spoke to him: "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

9:5And he answered, "Who are you, Lord?"

And the voice said, "I am Jesus that you persecute. 9:6 Get up, and go into the city, and there it shall be told to you what you must do."

 9:7Saul's companions stood speechless. They heard the voice but saw nobody. 9:8Saul got up off the ground with his eyes open, but he could not see anything. They led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9:9And there he remained sightless for three days, and he did not eat or drink.

9:10Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord called to him in a vision. 9:11And the Lord said unto him, "Get up and go to the street that  is called Straight, and ask at the house of Judas for a person named Saul, a man of Tarsus: for he prays, 9:12and he has seen a man named Ananias coming to him, and laying his hands on him, to restore his eye sight."

9:13But Ananias answered, "Lord, many have told me about this man, and how much evil he did to your saints at Jerusalem: 9:14and how he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all that call on your name."

9:15But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument to bring my name to the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel. 9:16I will show him how many things he must do for my name's sake."

9:17So Ananias departed, and entered the house, and laid his hands on him, and said, "Brother Saul, the Lord  Jesus, who appeared to you on the way here, has sent me so that you may receive your sight, and the Holy Spirit." 9:18And immediately as if scales had fallen from his eyes, he could see, and he arose and was baptized, 9:19and he ate and was strengthened.

He stayed for some days with the disciples that were at Damascus. 9:20And in the synagogues he preached that Jesus is the Son of God. 9:21And all that heard him were amazed, and said, Is this the same man that in Jerusalem made so much trouble for them that called on this name? Did he not come here to bring them as prisoners to the chief priests?  9:22But Saul's strength grew, and he refuted the Jews at Damascus by proving to them that Jesus is the Christ . . .

9:23When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, 9:24but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night, to kill him; 9:25but his disciples took him by night and let him down over the wall, lowering him in a basket.

[Saul escapes to Jerusalem where Hellenists threaten to kill him so he hits the road again.]

XIII. Saul's Mission to the Greeks

13:1Now there were in the community at Antioch prophets and teachers such as Symeon Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen the foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, as well as Barabas and Saul. 13:2And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Give me Barnabas and Saul, for the work that I have called them to do." 13:3So they fasted and prayed, and they laid their hands on them, and they sent them off.

13:4They went by the Holy Spirit down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 13:5And when they were at Salamis, John attended them, and they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish temples. 13:6And when they had passed across to the island unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus; 13:7who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of understanding.

The proconsul called Barnabas and Saul,so that he could hear the word of God, 13:8but the sorcerer stood in their way, trying to keep the proconsul from the faith. 13:9Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his eyes on the villain, 13:10and said, "O full of all deceit, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 13:11Look, the Lord's hand now touches you, and you shall be blind. You shall not see the sun again for some time!"

And immediately there fell on him a mist and darkness; and he went around trying to find someone to lead him away. 13:12The proconsul, seeing all of this, was astonished and believed in the teaching of the Lord.

 13:13Now Paul and his company set sail from Paphos, and came to Perga in Pamphylia, but John left them and and returned to Jerusalem. 13:14They went on from Perga to Antioch of Pisidia, where they went to the synagogue on the sabbath. 13:15And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the leaders of the temple asked them, "Brothers, if you have any urgent words for the people, say them."

 13:16Paul stood up from his seat and addressed them:

"Listen, you people of Israel, and all of you that fear God! 13:17The God of Israel chose our fathers, and blessed the people, by leading them out of Egypt where they had lived. 13:18And for about forty years he brought them up in the wilderness, as if he were their father. 13:19And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them that land for an inheritance, for about four hundred and fifty years. 13:20He also gave them judges to rule them, up to the time of Samuel the prophet, 13:21when they asked for a king, and God gave them a king in Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled them for about forty years. 13:22And when he had removed Saul, God raised up David to be the king; to whom God also spoke, saying, 'I have found in Jesse's son David, a man after My heart, who shall do all My will.' 13:23From this king's descendants God according to his promise brought Israel's aaviour, Jesus. 13:24His coming was foretold by John [the baptizer] who preached the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel, 13:25for as John concluded his teachings he would say, 'Who do you think that I am? No, I am not he. But look, one comes after me, the shoes of whose feet I am not worthy to remove.'"

 13:26"Brethren, descendants of Abraham, all that fear God, the word of salvation has been sent to every one of us. 13:27Those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, did not recognize him. They did not understand the meaning of the prophets, which they had read every sabbath, and yet they fulfilled the words of the prophets by condemning him. 13:28They found no reason that he should be put to death, yet they demanded that Pilate execute him. 13:29And when everything had happened that had been predicted about him, they took him down from the tree, and put him in a tomb. 13:30But God raised him from the dead: 13:31and he was seen for many days by them that traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people."

 13:32"We bring good news to the generations to come, that God has fulfilled the promise made to our fathers, 13:33in that he raised up Jesus, as it is written in the second psalm, 'Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten thee.' 13:34He raised him up from the dead, never to return to corruption, and this fulfilled the verse: 'I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.' 13:35This is expressed also in another psalm, 'Thou wilt not allow Thy Holy One to suffer corruption.' 13:36David himself, after he had served God in his time, died and was laid to rest with his fathers, and he saw corruption: 13:37but the One whom God raised up saw no corruption.

13:38"So, brothers, it is through this man that sins are forgiven: 13:39it is through him, and not through the law of Moses, that all believers are saved. 13:40Don't deny it, or the prophet's warning may come true for you:

 13:41Watch, wonder and die, you despisers;
 For I will perform an act in your time,
 A deed that you would not believe,
Even if I told you about it."

13:42After the synagogue broke up, many asked for these words to be repeated to them again on the next sabbath. 13:43Some, including many Jews and devout proselytes, followed Paul and Barnabas who kept preaching to them and urging them to stay in the good grace of God.

 13:44At the next sabbath almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the word of God, 13:45but when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and they contradicted the things that Paul said, and they blasphemed.

 13:46Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should first be spoken to you, but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we will turn to the Gentiles [i.e., non-Jews]. 13:47For so the Lord has commanded us:

 I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,
 That you should bring salvation
To the farthest part of the earth."

13:48And as the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of God: and as many as were destined for eternal life believed. 13:49And the word of the Lord spread throughout the region.

13:50But the Jews urged on the devout women of means, and the chief men of the city, and they stirred up hatred against Paul and Barnabas, and threw them out of town. 13:51But they dusted themselves off, and went to Iconium. 13:52And the disciples were filled with joy with the Holy Spirit.

XIV. Conversion of the Greeks

14:1In Iconium they entered the Jewish temple, and spoke so well that many Jews and Greeks believed. 14:2But Jews that were disobedient stirred up the Gentiles, and set their souls against the brethren.

 14:3They stayed there for a long time and spoke boldly in the Lord, who made signs and wonders to be done by their hands as witnesses to the word of his grace. 14:4But the city was divided: some were with the Jews, and some were with the apostles. 14:5And when a plot was made by the Gentiles and the Jews and their rulers, to abuse them and to stone them, 14:6they became aware of the threat, and they fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding regions, 14:7and there they preached the good news.

 14:8At Lystra there was a cripple from birth who never had walked. 14:9When he Paul speaking, and Paul fastened eyes upon him and saw that the man had faith to be made whole. 14:10So Paul said with a loud voice, "Stand up on your feet.' And he stood up and walked. 14:11And when the multitude saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, 'The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. 14:12And because he was the chief speaker they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercury.

14:13A priest of Jupiter whose temple was outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and would have performed a sacrifice there with the crowd. 14:14But when Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they were angered, and ran out among the crowd, shouting, 14:15 "People, why do you do these things? We are men the same as you, and we bring you news, that you should turn away from these vain things to a real God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them: 14:16who in the generations gone by allowed all nations to follow different ways. 14:17He reveals  himself in all the good he does, giving you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, feeding you, and filling your hearts with gladness."

 14:18Hearing these statements the people nearly offered the apostles in sacrifice.  14:19For Jews who had followed them from Antioch and Iconium stirred up the crowd, and they stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, and left him there for dead. 14:20But as the disciples stood around about him, Paul stood up, and entered back into the city: and on the next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe . . . 14:27And when they returned to Antioch, and gathered together with the community, they told all that God had done with them, and that he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles . . .

XV. Paul's First Return to Jerusalem,
meeting with James (brother of Jesus)

15:1Some men from Judaea came and spoke to the brothers, saying, Unless you are circumcised and follow the customs of Moses, you cannot be saved. 15:2Paul and Barnabas had no small disagreements with these men, so the brothers appointed Paul, Barnabas, and others to take these questions to the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. 15:3They went on their way through Phoenicia and Samaria, announcing the conversion of the Gentiles, which caused great joy to all the believers. 15:4And when they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received into the community by the apostles and the elders, and they told all the things that God had done with them.

 15:5But some Pharisees who believed, objected that the Gentiles must be circumcised, and that they must obey the laws of Moses. 15:6The apostles and elders gathered together to consider these issues, 15:7and after much discussion, Peter stood up and spoke to them. "Brothers, you know that a good while ago the word of the Lord was spoken, even also from my own mouth, saying that the Gentiles should hear the good news and believe. 15:8And God, who knows the heart, made them witnesses, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as he did to us. 15:9God made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.

15:10So why would you make a further trial of God, by putting burdens on these disciples that sometimes even our own fathers were unable to carry? 15:11We believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just in the same way that they believe."

15:12All the multitude listened quietly as they heard Barnabas and Pauk tell of the signs and wonders that God had wrought through them among the Gentiles. 15:13And after they had spoken, James answered, saying, "Brothers, listen to me: 15:14Symeon has told us how God first visited the Gentiles, to make from them a people for his name. 15:15And this agrees with the words of the prophets, as it is written,

15:16I will rebuild the fallen tabernacle of David,
I will build again on the ruins and set it up:
15:17That any survivors may seek after the Lord,
And Gentiles also may call upon my name,
15:18Thus says the Lord from times of old.

15:19So this is my decision: that we should not burden those Gentiles that turn to God; 15:20but that we should write to them and urge them to abstain from idolatry, and from fornication, and from eating that which has been strangled, and from blood. 15:21For rabbis have been preaching for many generations in every city where Moses is read in the synagogues every sabbath."

 15:22Then it seemed right to the apostles and the elders, with the whole community, to choose men among the brothers to carry and deliver letters to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas: 15:23and they wrote the following,

"Brothers, the apostles and the elders send greetings to  you who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: 15:24We have heard that some who went out from us, but had no instructions from us, have disturbed  you with their words, troubling your souls. 15:25So it seemed good to us to agree and choose out men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 15:26men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15:27We therefore send Judas and Silas, who will carry our words to you also by word of mouth.

15:28"In brief, it seems good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to put upon you no greater requirements than those that are essential. 15:29You should abstain from eating things sacrificed to idols, and from bloody meat, and from animals that have been strangled, and from fornication. If you keep these pracices it shall be well with you. Farewell."

 15:30So they went down to Antioch and gathered the multitude together and delivered the letter. 15:31And when they had read it, they rejoiced for the consolation.

[Paul continues his travels among the Greeks, despite the hostility of Jews.]

XVII. Athens

 17:16Now while Paul was staying at Athens, his spirit was provoked as he saw that the city was full of idols. 17:17So he reasoned in the synagogue with Jews and the devout persons, and he spoke with them in the marketplace every day. 17:18Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him, and some said, What would this babbler say? Others, He seems to be a promoter of strange gods, as he preaches Jesus and the resurrection.

17:19They led him unto the Areopagus [public  assembly], saying, May we know what this new teaching is, which is spoken by you? 17:20For you bring some strange news to our ears: we want to know what these things mean. 17:21(Now all the Athenians and the strangers traveling there spent their time in nothing else, except to tell or to hear some new thing.)

 17:22Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus, and addressed them: "People of Athens, for all that I can see you are very religious. 17:23For as I looked at the objects of your worship, I found even an altar inscribed "TO AN UNKNOWN GOD." You worship in ignorance, so let me say this to you. 17:24The God that made the world and all things in it, is the Lord of heaven and earth. He does not live in temples made with hands, 17:25neither is he served by men's hands at all, for he needs nothing.

"He is the origin of life, and breath, and everything else. 17:26He made all the nations that dwell on the face of the earth, and he determines their appointed seasons, and the scope of their boundaries. 17:27And all of them should seek him and try to find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 17:28For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as some of your own poets have said, we are his offspring.

 17:29"Being then the children of God, we should not presume that he can be sculpted in gold, or silver, or stone by any human art. 17:30The former times of ignorance God overlooked; but now he commands that people everywhere should repent. 17:31He has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained; in whom he has  given assurance to all people, by raising him from the dead."

 17:32Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, We will hear you concerning this yet again. 17:33Thus Paul went out from among them. 17:34Some were drawn to him, and believed: among whom was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

XVIII Corinth

18:1After these things he departed from Athens, and came to Corinth . . . 18:5But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was constrained by the word, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 18:6And when they opposed themselves and blasphemed, he changed his clothing and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles. 18:7And he departed thence, and went into the house of a certain man named Titus Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined next to the synagogue. 18:8And Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

18:9And the Lord said unto Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak out: 18:10for I am with thee, and no man shall attack you or harm you: for I have many  people in this city. 18:11And so Paul lived there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them . . .

XIX Ephesis

 19:1And it came to pass, that  Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples: 19:2and he said unto them, Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? And they said unto him, No, we did not so much as hear whether the Holy Spirit was given. 19:3And he said, how then were you baptized? And they said, by John's baptism. 19:4And Paul said, John baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe in one that should come after him, that is, they should believe in Jesus.

19:5And when they heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 19:6And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied . . .

   19:18Many also of them that had believed came, confessing, and declaring their deeds. 19:19And not a few of them that practised magical arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all; and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 19:20So the word of the Lord grew mighty and prevailed. 19:21Now after these things were ended, Paul decided to pass through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem and thereafter Rome.

 XX Eutychus
[Acts slips into a first person narrative in its later chapters, apparent evidence of manuscript revision.]

 20:7And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together at Troas to break bread, Paul intended to depart the next day, and so he talked for a long time, until midnight. 20:8And there were many lights in the upper chamber where we were gathered together. 20:9And there sat in the window a young man named Eutychus, who fell into a deep sleep as Paul kept talking on and on. Being asleep, he fell out the window, and down the three stories, and he was taken up dead.

 20:10And Paul went down, and bent over him, and embraced him, saying, Do not worry, for his life is in him. 20:11And he went back up, and broke bread, and ate, and he kept talking with them for a long while, even till break of day, when he departed. 20:12And the lad was alive, and everyone was more that a little comforted . . .

XXI Return to Jerusalem II

21:1We had set sail, and we came with a straight course unto Cos, and the next day unto Rhodes, and from there to Patara. 21:2There we found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, and we went aboard, and set sail again. 21:3And when we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left hand, we sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre, for that was the ship's destination. 21:4And having found the disciples, we stayed there seven days: and they through the Spirit warned Paul that he should not set foot in Jerusalem.

21:5And when those days has passed, we departed and went on with our journey; and all of them, with wives and children, brought us on our way till we were out of the city. We kneeled down on the beach, and we prayed, and we said farewell; 21:6and we went on board the ship, and they returned home again.

21:7And when we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais; and we saluted the brethren, and stayed with them one day. 21:8And on the next day we left, and came to Caesarea: and entering into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him. 21:9Now this man had four virgin daughters, who prophesied. 21:10And as we stayed there some days, there came down from Judaea a prophet named Agabus. 21:11And coming to us, and taking Paul's belt, he wrapped his own feet and hands in it, and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owns this belt, and they shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

 21:12And when we heard these things, both we and they of that place begged Paul not to go up to Jerusalem, 21:13but Paul answered, "What do you mean by crying and breaking my heart? I am ready to be bound at Jerusalem, and also to die for the name of the Lord Jesus." 21:14And when he would not be persuaded, we gave up and said, The will of the Lord be done.

21:15And after these days we took up our baggage and went up to Jerusalem. 21:16And there went with us also certain of the disciples from Caesarea, bringing with them Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we should lodge. 21:17And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. 21:18And the day following Paul went in with us to James; and all the elders were present. 21:19And when he had saluted them, he rehearsed one by one the things which God had wrought among the Gentiles through his ministry.

21:20And they, when they heard it, praised God, but they said to Paul, "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews believe and they are all zealous for the law, 21:21and they have been informed about you, that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, that you tell them not to circumcise their children and not to follow their dining customs.

21:22"So what is going to happen? They will certainly hear that you have come. 21:23So do what we tell you to  do.  We have four men that will testify for you; 21:24take them and purify yourself by them, and make your offering for each of them. They will shave their heads: and everyone will believe that there is no truth in the things that have been said about you, but that you walk straight, strictly keeping the law.

 21:25"As for the Gentiles that have believed, we wrote, giving judgment that they should keep themselves from eating meat sacrificed to idols, and from bloody meat, and from what is strangled, and from fornication."

 21:26Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them went into the temple, declaring the fulfilment of the days of purification, until the offering was offered for every one of them. 21:27And when the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the multitude and laid hands on him, 21:28crying out, "Men of Israel, help: This is the man that teaches all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place; and moreover he brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath defiled this holy place." 21:29For they had before seen with him in the city Trophimus the Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.

 21:30And all the city was moved, and the people ran together; and they laid hold on Paul, and dragged him out of the temple: and straightway the doors were shut. 21:31And as they were seeking to kill him, tidings came up to the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in confusion. 21:32And forthwith he took soldiers and centurions, and ran down upon them: and they, when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, left off beating Paul.

21:33Then the chief captain came near, and laid hold on him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and inquired who he was, and what he had done. 21:34And some shouted one thing, some another, among the crowd: and when he could not know the certainty for the uproar, he commanded him to be brought into the castle. 21:35And when he came upon the stairs, so it was that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the crowd; 21:36for the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, Away with him.

21:37And as Paul was about to be brought into the castle, he asked the chief captain, May I say something? And he said, Do you know Greek? 21:38Art thou not then the Egyptian, who before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?

21:39"No," Paul said, "I am a Jew, of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city, and I ask you to permit me to speak to the people." 21:40And when he was given leave, Paul stood on the stairs, beckoned with his hands to the people, and when there was silence, he spoke to them in Hebrew.

XXII Paul's Defence before the People

22:1"Brethren and fathers, hear the defence which I now make to you." 22:2And when they heard that he spoke to them in Hebrew, they were the more quiet, and he continued. 22:3"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as you all are this day. 22:4And I persecuted this Way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. 22:5As also, as the high priest can bear witness, and all the estate of the elders, I received letters concerning these brothers, and I traveled to Damascus to bring those that were there back to Jerusalem in chains to be punished.

22:6"But it happened, as I made my journey, and came  near to Damascus, that about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light all around me. 22:7And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?

22:8"And I answered, Who art you, Lord?

"And he said to me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, that you persecute. 22:9And they that were with me beheld indeed the light, but they did not hear the voice of him that spake to me.

22:10"And I said, What shall I do, Lord?

"And the Lord said to me, Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told about everything that is appointed for you to do.

 22:11"And I could not see for the glory of that light, so I was led by the hand of them that were with me, and I came to Damascus. 22:12And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well reported of by all Jews living there, 22:13came to me, and standing by me said to me, Brother Saul, receive your sight. And in that very hour I looked up on him. 22:14And he said, The God of our fathers has appointed you to know his will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth. 22:15For to all people you will be a witness for him of what you have seen and heard. 22:16And now why remain here? Get up, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.

22:17"And it came to pass, that, when I had returned to Jerusalem, and while I prayed in the temple, I fell into a trance, 22:18and I saw him saying unto me, Hurry! Get out of Jerusalem quickly! They will not accept of your testimony about me.

22:19"And I said, Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat all that believed in you, 22:20and when the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I was standing by, an accomplice holding the coats of them that murdered him.

22:21"And he said unto me, Leave: for I will send you far away to the Gentiles."

 22:22As the crowd listened to this word, they lifted up their voices, and shouted, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live. 22:23And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air, 22:24the chief captain commanded that Paul be brought into the castle and examined by torture, so that he could find out why they shouted so against him.

 22:25And when they had tied him up, Paul said to the centurion that stood by, "Is it lawful for you to whip a man that is a Roman, and not convicted of any crime?"

 22:26And when the centurion heard it, he went to the chief captain and told him, saying, "What art you doing? This man is a Roman.

22:27And the chief captain came and asked him, "Tell me, are you a Roman?"

 And he said, "Yes."

22:28And the chief captain answered, "Well, I'm a Roman, too. I bought citizenship with a big pile of money."

 But Paul said, "I am a Roman by birth."

22:29They then that were about to examine him straightway departed from him, and the chief captain also was afraid when he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him. 22:30But on the next morning, wanting to know with certainty why Paul was accused by the Jews, he freed him, and commanded the chief priests and all the council to come together, and he brought Paul down and set him before them.

XXIII Paul and the High Priest

23:1And Paul, looking straight at the council, said, "Brothers, I have lived before God in all good conscience until this day."

 23:2And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.

23:3But Paul said to him, "God shall strike you, you pissing wall! Do you sit there to judge me according to the law, and yet order me to be struck, contrary to the law?"

23:4And they that stood by said, "Do you lecture God's high priest?"

23:5And Paul said, "Brothers, is he only high priest? It is written, Of a ruler of your people you shall speak no evil."

 23:6But when Paul realized that the one part of the council were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out, "Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees: I am being called into question here about the hope and resurrection of the dead."

23:7With these words, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 23:8For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither body or soul; but the Pharisees believe in both. 23:9And there arose a great clamor: and some of the scribes of the Pharisees stood up, and argued, "We find no evil in this man: and what if a spirit has spoken to him, or an angel?"

23:10See so much dissension, the chief captain feared that Paul might be torn in pieces by them, and he oredered the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the castle. 23:11And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, "Be of good cheer: for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so also you must bear witness at Rome."

23:12And when it was day, the Jews banded together, and swore an oath that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 23:13And they were more than forty that joined this conspiracy. 23:14And they came to the chief priests and the elders, and said, "We have sworn to eat nothing until we have killed Paul. 23:15So tell the chief captain that he must bring him down to you, so that you can judge his case, and we will be ready to kill him before he gets here."

23:16But Paul's sister's son heard about this plot, and he came and entered into the castle and told Paul. 23:17And Paul called unto him one of the centurions, and said, "Bring this young man to the chief captain, for he has something to tell him."

23:18So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, "Paul the prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, for he has something to say to you."

23:19And the chief captain took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, "What is it that you have to tell me?"

 23:20And he said, "Some Jews have agreed to ask you  to bring down Paul to the council tomorrow, as though they would examine him. 23:21Don't yield to them: for they have more than forty men who will lie in wait for him. They have sworn neither to eat nor to drink till they have killed him: and now they are coming to get the order from you."

23:22So the chief captain let the young man go, charging him, "Tell nobody what you have said to me." 23:23And he called unto him two of the centurions, and said, "Make ready two hundred soldiers to go as far as Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night." 23:24And he bade them provide beasts, that they might set Paul thereon, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.

23:25And he wrote a letter in this form: 23:26Claudius Lysias to the most excellent governor Felix, greeting. 23:27This man was seized by the Jews, and was about to be killed by them, and when I learned he was a Roman, I brought in my soldiers and rescued him. 23:28 I wanted  to know why they accused him, so I brought him down to their council: 23:29where I found that they disputed his beliefs but accused him of nothing worthy of death or imprisonment. 23:30And when I found out that they were plotting against him, I sent him to you immediately and chatged  his accusers to address themselves to you."

 23:31So the soldiers, as commanded, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 23:32But on the next day they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle: 23:33and they, when they came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, presented Paul also before him. 23:34And when he had read it, he asked of what province he was; and when he understood that he was of Cilicia, 23:35he said, "I will hear you fully when your accusers have arrived." And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's palace.

XXIV. The Trial before Felix

24:1And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and an orator, one Tertullus, and they gave information against Paul to the governor. 24:2And when he was called to speak, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, "Because of you we enjoy much peace, and by your wisdom evils are corrected for this nation, 24:3so we thank you in all ways and in all places, most excellent Felix. 24:4But, not further to be tedious to you, I plead with you to hear us in only a few words. 24:5We have found this man to be a pestilent fellow, and a mover of rebellions among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: 24:6who moreover tried to profane our temple: and when we laid hold of him, and would have judged him according to our law, 24:7the chief captain Lysias came, and with great force took him away out of our hands, 24:8commanding us to come here before you. By examining him yourself, you will discover all of the things that we accuse him of. "

24:9And the Jews also joined in the charge, affirming that these things were so.

24:10And when the governor had beckoned to him to speak, Paul answered, "You have been a judge to this nation for many years, so I make my defense confidently. 24:11 It is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship at Jerusalem: 24:12and these accusers did not find me disputing with anybody or stirring up a crowd in the temple, nor in the synagogues, nor anywhere else in the city. 24:13 They cannot prove to you any of the accusations that they now make against me. 24:14But this I confess, that I follow after the Way which they call a sect, and I serve the God of our fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets.24:15 I have faith in God, which these also themselves look for, that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and unjust. 24:16 My conscience is clear of offence toward God and men always. 24:17Now after some years away I returned to bring alms to my nation, and offerings: 24:18amidst which they found me purified in the temple, with no crowd, and no disturbance. There were some Jews from Asia there-- 24:19who ought to have been here before you, to witness their accusations, if they had any complaint against me. 24:20Or let these men here say what evils they found in me when I stood before the council. 24:21No, they have only one complaint against me, that I said in their council:  Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question before you today!"

 24:22Felix, wanting more exact knowledge about the Way, stopped the proceedings, saying, "When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will decide this matter." 24:23And he gave order to the centurion that Paul should be kept in custody but he should ge allowed to have his friends visit him. 24:24And after a few days, Felix with Drusilla, his wife, who was a Jewess, sent for Paul, and they heard him speak of the faith in Christ Jesus. 24:25When Paul spoke of righteousness, and self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was terrified, but he answered, "Wait for now, and when I have a convenient time, I will call you to me." 24:26He did send for him, and speak with him often, for he hoped  that Paul would give him money.

24:27Two years later, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and desiring to gain favor with the Jews, Felix put Paul in chains.

XXV Trial before Festus and Agrippa

25:1Festus therefore, having come into the province, after three days went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. 25:2And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they besought him, 25:3asking a favor against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem; laying a plot to kill him on the way.

 25:4Festus, however, answered, that Paul was kept in custody at Caesarea, and that he himself was about to go there shortly. 25:5Go with me, he said, those of you that are in power among you, and if there is anything wrong in the man, you can bring charges against him. 25:6And when he had stayed among them for eight or ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and on the next day he sat on the judgment-seat, and commanded Paul to be brought.

25:7And when he was come, the Jews that had come down from Jerusalem stood round about him, bringing against him many and grievous charges which they could not prove; 25:8while Paul said in his defense, Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar, have I sinned at all.

25:9But Festus, desiring to gain favor with the Jews, answered Paul and said, Will you go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me?

25:10But Paul answered, I am standing before Caesar's judgment-seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou also very well knowest. 25:11If then I am a wrong-doer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I refuse not to die; but if none of those things is true whereof these accuse me, no man can give me up unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

 25:12Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, You have appealed unto Caesar: and to Caesar you shall go.

25:13Now when certain days were passed, Agrippa the King and Bernice arrived at Caesarea, and saluted Festus. 25:14And as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul's case before the King, saying, There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix; 25:15about whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, asking for sentence against him. 25:16To whom I answered, that it is not the custom of the Romans to give up any man, before that the accused have the accusers face to face, and have had opportunity to make his defense concerning the matter laid against him. 25:17When therefore they were come together here, I made no delay, but on the next day sat on the judgment-seat, and commanded the man to be brought. 25:18Concerning whom, when the accusers stood up, they brought no charge of such evil things as I supposed; 25:19but had certain questions against him of their own religion, and of one Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. 25:20And I, being perplexed how to inquire concerning these things, asked whether he would go to Jerusalem and there be judged of these matters. 25:21But when Paul had appealed to be kept for the decision of the emperor, I commanded him to be kept till I should send him to Caesar.

 25:22And Agrippa said unto Festus, I also could wish to hear the man myself. To-morrow, saith he, thou shalt hear him. 25:23So on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and they were entered into the place of hearing with the chief captains and principal men of the city, at the command of Festus Paul was brought in. 25:24And Festus saith, King Agrippa, and all men who are here present with us, ye behold this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews made suit to me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. 25:25But I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death: and as he himself appealed to the emperor I determined to send him. 25:26Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I may have somewhat to write. 25:27For it seemeth to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not withal to signify the charges against him.

26:1And Agrippa said to Paul, You may speak for yourself.

Then Paul stretched forth his hand, and made his defence: 26:2I think myself happy, king Agrippa, that I am to make my defense before you this day touching all the accusations made against me by the Jews. You are an expert in all customs and questions of  the Jews: so I ask your patience to hear me out. 26:4My manner of life then from my youth up, which was from the beginning among mine own nation and at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; 26:5having knowledge of me from the first, if they be willing to testify, that after the straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. 26:6And now I stand here to be judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers; 26:7unto which promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. And concerning this hope I am accused by the Jews, O king! 26:8Why is it judged incredible with you, if God doth raise the dead? 26:9I verily thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 26:10And this I also did in Jerusalem: and I both shut up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, and when they were put to death I gave my vote against them. 26:11And punishing them oftentimes in all the synagogues, I strove to make them blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto foreign cities. 26:12Whereupon as I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, 26:13at midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them that journeyed with me. 26:14And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice saying unto me in the Hebrew language, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the goad. 26:15And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. 26:16But arise, and stand upon thy feet: for to this end have I appeared unto thee, to appoint thee a minister and a witness both of the things wherein thou hast seen me, and of the things wherein I will appear unto thee; 26:17delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom I send thee, 26:18to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith in me. 26:19Wherefore, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 26:20but declared both to them of Damascus first and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judaea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance. 26:21For this cause the Jews seized me in the temple, and assayed to kill me. 26:22Having therefore obtained the help that is from God, I stand unto this day testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses did say should come; 26:23how that the Christ must suffer, and how that he first by the resurrection of the dead should proclaim light both to the people and to the Gentiles. 26:24And as he thus made his defense,

Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, you are mad; your great learning is turning you mad.

26:25But Paul said, I am not mad, most excellent Festus; but I speak sober words of  truth. 26:26The king knows of these things. I speak freely about them: for I am persuaded that none of these things is hidden from him;. 26:27King Agrippa, do you believe in the prophets? I know that you believe.

26:28And Agrippa said unto Paul, With only a few moore arguments you would make me a Christian.

 26:29And Paul said, I would to God, that with few arguments or many I could make not only you but everyone here this day become the same as me, except for these chains.

26:30And the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them: 26:31and when they had withdrawn, they spake one to another, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds. 26:32And Agrippa said unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.

27:1And when it was determined that we should sail for Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners to a centurion named Julius, of the Augustan band. 27:2And embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail unto the places on the coast of Asia, we put to sea . . .

 Go thou unto this people, and say,

 By hearing ye shall hear, and shall in no wise understand;

 And seeing ye shall see, and shall in no wise perceive:

 28:27For this people's heart is waxed gross,

 And their ears are dull of hearing,

 And their eyes they have closed;

 Lest, haply they should perceive with their eyes,

 And hear with their ears,

 And understand with their heart,

 And should turn again,

 And I should heal them.


Instructor: gutchess@englishare.net
Copyright  2008, 2011