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The Book of Acts - Summary

The Book of Acts (in the New Testament of the Bible) is also called 'Acts of the Apostles'. The author of Acts was Luke, who also wrote the Gospel of Luke.

Acts tells the story of the first Christians. After Jesus went up to heaven, they waited in Jerusalem. Then, God sent his Holy Spirit (Acts 2). The Holy Spirit gave power to the first Christians. So, they told the people about Jesus. The Christians explained that the people must confess their evil deeds to God. Then, they must invite God into their lives.

The first Christians did wonderful things by God's power. Peter cured a man who could not walk by God's power (Acts 3:1-10). God even cured ill people when Peter's shadow went over them (Acts 5:15-16).

Many people opposed the first Christians. A Christian called Stephen did many wonderful things (Acts 6:8). But the rulers opposed him. They did not want him to speak about Jesus. So, the rulers killed Stephen. But Stephen was not afraid. He knew that he was going to heaven. Like Jesus, Stephen prayed for the people who were killing him (Acts 7:60).

But the number of Christians continued to increase. And new churches began in many areas, for example Samaria and Antioch. Soon, God taught Peter and the other Christians that God's good news is for everyone, from every nation (Acts 10). So, they began to speak to people who were not from Israel.

Saul was a religious leader who opposed the first Christians. Saul even helped to kill Stephen (Acts 8:1). But God spoke to Saul on the road to Damascus. And Saul became a Christian (Acts 9). He travelled to many places, to tell everyone about Jesus (Acts chapters 13-28). Later, Saul changed his name to Paul. Paul wrote many books in the New Testament of the Bible.

The first Christians had many dangers and many troubles. But they trusted God. And they told people about Jesus in each place where they went. God was with them. God did wonderful things wherever they went. And boldly, they taught the message of the Bible.

Listen Download Acts Ch. 1 The Continuing Ministry of Chirst; The Ascension; The Upper Room; The Selection of Matthias.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 2 The Coming of the Holy Spirit; The Crowd's Response; A vital Church Grows.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 3 A Lame Man Healed; Preaching in Solomon's Portico
Listen Download Acts Ch. 4 Peter and John Arrested; Addressing the Sanhedrin; The Name of Jesus Forbidden; Prayer for Boldness; Sharing in All Things.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 5 Lying to the Holy Spirit; Continuing Power in the church; Imprisoned Apostles Freed; Apostles on Trial Again; Gamaliel's Advice.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 6 Seven Chosen to Serve; Stephen Accused of Blasphemy.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 7 Stephen's Address:The Call of Abraham; The Patriarchs in Egypt; God Delivers Israel by Moses; Israel Rebels Against God; God's True Tabernacle; Israel Resists the Holyh Spirit; Stephen the Martyr.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 8 Saul Persecutes the Church; Christ is Preached in Samaria; The Sorcerer's Sin; Christ is Preached to an Ethiopian.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 9 The Damascus Road: Saul Converted; Ananias Baptizes Saul; Saul Preaches Christ; Saul Escapes Death; Saul at Jerusalem; The Church Prospers; Aeneas Healed; Dorcas Restored to Life.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 10 Cornelius Sends a Delegation; Peter's Vision; Peter Summoned to Caesarea; Peter Meets Cornelius; Peter Preaching to Cornelius' Household; The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 11 Peter Defends God's Grace; Barnabas and Saul at Antioch; Relief to Judea.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 12 Herod's Violence to the Church; Peter Freed from Prison; Herod's Violent Death.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 13 Barnabas and saul Appointed; Preaching in Cyprus; At Antioch in Pisidia; Blessing and Conflict at Antioch.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 14 At Iconium; Idoltary at Lystra; Stoning, Escape to Derbe; Strengthening the Converts.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 15 Conflict over Cirumcision; The Jerusalem Council; The Jerusalem Decree; Continuing Ministry in Syria; Division over John Mark.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 16 Timothy Joins Paul and Silas;The Macedonian Call; Lydia Baptized at Philippi; Paul and Silas Imprisoned; The Philippian Jailer Saved; Paul Refuses to Depart Secretly.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 17 Preaching Christ at Thessalonica; Assault on Jason's House; Ministering at Berea; The Philosophers at Athens; Addressing the Areopagus; To The Unknown God.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 18 Ministering at Cornith; Paul Returns to Antioch; Ministry of Apollos.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 19 Paul at Ephesus; Miracles Glorify Christ; The Riot at Ephesus.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 20 Journeys in Greece; Ministering at Troas; From Troas to Miletus; The Ephesian Elders Exhorted.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 21 Warnings on the Journey to Jerusalem; Paul Urged to Make Peace; Arrested in the Temple; Addressing the Jerusalem Mob.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 22 Paul Tells of His Conversion; Paul's Call to the Gentiles; Paul's Roman Citizenship; Paul Before the Council.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 23 The Sanhedrin Divided; The Plot Against Paul; Sent to Felix.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 24 Paul Accused of Sedition; The Defense Before Felix; Felix Procrastinates.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 25 Paul Appeals to Caesar; Paul Before Agrippa.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 26 Paul's Early Life; Paul Recounts His Conversion; Paul's Post-Conversion Life; Agripa Parries Paul's Challenge.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 27 The Voyage to Rome Begins; Paul's Warning Ignored; In the Tempest - the Storm at Sea; Shipwrecked on Malta.
Listen Download Acts Ch. 28 Paul's Ministry on Malta; Arrival at Rome; Paul's Ministry at Rome

Book of Acts Outlines by J.Vernon McGee PDF format <Link>


This is about the book

Luke wrote this book in the year *AD 63. He was not a *Jew but he was a *disciple of Jesus. He was a doctor. Luke was one of Paul’s friends. Sometimes he went with Paul when Paul travelled from country to country. He went to Rome with Paul and he stayed there with him.

Luke wrote the book to send to Theophilus. Theophilus was an important *Roman man. This is the second book that Luke wrote for him. The first book is called ‘Luke’. In this second book, Luke tells us how God first gave his *Holy Spirit to the *apostles. He writes about the work of the *apostles in Jerusalem and in cities in many other countries. He tells us how more and more people believed in Jesus. He also writes about problems between Christians. Some of these were *Jews and some of them were not.

He also tells us that the leaders of the *Jews did not believe in Jesus. They wanted the *apostles to stop teaching the people about Jesus.

The book is in 5 parts:

A          How more people believed in Jesus in Judea and Jerusalem.

1          How the *apostles took God’s message about Jesus to the cities near Jerusalem.

2          How the *apostles took God’s message about Jesus to the cities in other countries. The other countries were near Judea.

B          How Paul travelled to many countries with the good news about Jesus. He also taught people who were not *Jews about Jesus.

3          Where Paul went on his first journey to teach people about Jesus.

4          Where Paul went on his second journey to teach people about Jesus.

5          Paul’s last big journey, when he went to Rome.

Chapter 1

Jesus tells the *apostles that God will send the *Holy Spirit to them

v1 Jesus began to do many things when he was working on earth. He also began to teach people many things. I told you about all these things in the first book that I wrote for you, Theophilus.

That first book is called ‘Luke’.

v2 I told you about the things that Jesus did until God took Him up into *heaven. Jesus had chosen some men to be his *apostles. He had told them by the *Holy Spirit what they must do. Then God took Jesus back to heaven. v3 Jesus had died and then he became alive again. During the 40 days after that, he showed himself many times to his *apostles. He showed himself in different ways. They could then be sure that Jesus was really alive again. The *apostles often saw Jesus, and he talked to them about the *Kingdom of God.

We can read about this in Luke chapter 24 and John, chapters 20 and 21.

v4 While Jesus was still with his *apostles, he spoke to them. He said, ‘Do not leave Jerusalem yet. You must wait there for my Father’s gift that I told you about. My Father promised to give it to you. v5 John *baptised people with water, but after a few days God will *baptise you with the *Holy Spirit.’

God takes Jesus up to *heaven

v6 Jesus’ *apostles all met together with him. ‘*Lord’, they said, ‘will you at this time give the people of *Israel their *kingdom back? Will they now rule their own country again?’

v7 ‘My Father decides when things will happen in the world’, Jesus replied. ‘He does not want you to know when this will happen. v8 But the *Holy Spirit will come to you, and he will cause you to become powerful. The *Holy Spirit will cause your *spirit to be strong. Then you can tell other people about me. You will tell people about me in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria and in all other countries.’

v9 When Jesus had finished speaking to his *apostles, God took him up into God’s home. The *apostles watched Jesus go. Then a cloud hid him and the *apostles could not see him any longer.

v10 The *apostles were still looking carefully up into the sky when *suddenly two men appeared. The men were wearing white clothes and they stood near the *apostles.

We think that these men were *angels.

v11 Then they spoke to the *apostles. ‘You men from Galilee, you should not still be standing here’, they said. ‘You should not still look up into the sky. God has taken Jesus into *heaven. You saw the way that Jesus went up to *heaven. One day, he will return in the same way.’

All this happened on the east side of the hill called the Mount of Olives. This hill is between Jerusalem and the town called Bethany. *Olive trees grow there.

The *apostles choose Matthias to be an *apostle

v12 Then the *apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of *Olives. The Mount of Olives was about one kilometre from the city. v13 When the *apostles arrived in Jerusalem, they went upstairs. And they went into the room where they were staying. The names of the *apostles were Peter, John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew. The other apostles, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas, the son of James, were also there.

A Zealot or Patriot was someone who fought for his government or against the *Roman government.

v14 The *apostles often met together in a group to pray. They prayed together with Mary, Jesus’ mother, other women and his brothers. v15 A few days after that, about 120 people met together. These people all believed in Jesus. Peter stood up and he spoke to them. v16 ‘My friends’, he said, ‘Long ago, the *Holy Spirit spoke to King David and David wrote down this message. He wrote about the things that Judas would do.’

We can read more about what Judas did in Luke chapter 22.

‘These things had to happen and now they have happened. Judas showed the soldiers how to catch Jesus. Judas helped them to do it. v17 Judas was in our group, because Jesus chose him. He chose Judas to work together with us.’

v18 The *priests gave Judas some money because he had helped them. Judas bought a field with that money. But he then fell down in that field and he died. His body broke open and the inside of his body fell out. v19 All the people who lived in Jerusalem heard about the death of Judas. So the people called that field Akeldama in their own language. Akeldama means ‘The Field of Blood’.

We can read about Judas and the money in Matthew 27:3-7.

v20 Peter continued, ‘King David wrote in the book of Psalms,

            “So the house that he had will be empty.

            Nobody should live in it.” ’

We can read that in Psalm 69:25.

‘King David also wrote in the same book,

            “So, another person must do his work.” ’

We can read that in Psalm 109:8.

v21 ‘Because of this, we need to choose another man’, said Peter. ‘This man must have been together with us from the beginning. He must have been in our group all the time that Jesus was with us. v22 The man must have been with us when John was *baptising people. He must have stayed with us while Jesus was working. He must have been with us when Jesus went up to *heaven. Then he can say to the people, “I know that our master died. I saw him after he became alive again.” ’

v23 So the group said the names of two men. One of these men was Joseph, who had two other names. People also called him Barsabbas and sometimes people called him Justus. The other man was called Matthias. v24 Then the whole group prayed. ‘*Lord, you know what everybody is really thinking’, they said. ‘Please show us which man you have chosen. Which of these two men do you want to be an *apostle? v25 Judas left his work as an *apostle. He has gone to the right place for him.’

v26 Then the group chose which of the men would do the work of an *apostle. It happened that they chose Matthias. So Matthias took the place of Judas and he became the *twelfth *apostle, together with the other 11 men.

They chose Matthias in this way. They wrote the names of Joseph and Matthias on two pieces of stone. Then they put the pieces of stone into a jar. They then poured one stone out of the jar. The stone had Matthias’s name on it. This showed that Matthias was the right man to be an *apostle. In those days, sometimes people did this when they had to choose someone.

Chapter 2

The *Holy Spirit comes

v1 Then the day that the *Jews called ‘The Day of *Pentecost’ came. All the *believers were meeting together in a house in Jerusalem.

The *Jewish Day of *Pentecost was 50 days after they ate the *Passover meal.

v2 Then, *suddenly, as they were sitting together, they heard a noise. The sound came from the sky. It was like the sound of a strong wind. They could hear the noise everywhere in the house. v3 Then they saw something move, like many small separate fires. The small fires moved in the room and they touched every person. v4 God filled each person with the *Holy Spirit. Then the *believers began to speak in foreign languages that they had not learned. They spoke like that because the *Holy Spirit helped them.

v5 At that time, other *Jews, who prayed to God every day, were living in Jerusalem. They came from many different countries in the world. v6 The *believers made a loud noise when they spoke these other languages. When these other *Jews heard this loud noise, they came together in a large crowd. Each person could hear the *disciples speaking in their own language. This confused them. And so they did not know what to think. v7 But they were very surprised. ‘These men who are speaking like this are from Galilee’, they said. v8 ‘We do not know what is happening. We can all hear them speak in the language of our own home country. v9 Some of us are from Parthia, Media and Elam. Some of us are from Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia. Some of us are from Pontus and *Asia. v10 Some of us are from Phrygia and Pamphylia. Some of us are from *Egypt. Some of us are from near the town called Cyrene. Cyrene is in the country called Libya. Some of us are from Rome. v11 Some of us are *Jews. Some of us do not have *Jewish parents, but now we believe in the God of the *Jews. Some of us are from Crete and some of us are from Arabia. But we all hear these people speaking in our own languages. They are speaking about all the great things that God has done.’ v12 All the people were very surprised. They did not understand what was happening. ‘How can we explain all this?’ they asked each other.

v13 Other people *laughed at the *disciples. They said to each other, ‘These people are drunk!’

Peter speaks to the crowd

v14 Peter was with the other 11 *apostles and he stood up. He began to speak to the crowd with a loud voice. He explained to them what was happening.

‘You people, who are also *Jews like us, listen to me. And all you people, who live here in Jerusalem, listen to me. I will explain to you everything that is happening. v15 Some of you think that my friends here are drunk. But they are not drunk, because it is only 9 o’clock in the morning.’

The *Jewish day began at 6 o’clock in the morning. On the Day of *Pentecost, the *Jews prayed at 9 o’clock. Then they ate their first meal of the day at 10 o’clock. So at 9 o’clock they would not yet have had any food or drink that day. So they could not be drunk.

v16 ‘Something different is happening here. Joel was a *prophet and he spoke God’s words about it a long time ago. He said that one day this would happen. This is what Joel said.’

We can read what Joel said in Joel 2:28-32.

v17      ‘ “This is what I will do in the last days”, God says.

            “I will give my *Spirit to all people.

            Your sons and daughters will speak my message to people.

            Your young men will see pictures from me in their minds.

            And your old men will see things in their dreams.

v18      At that time, I will give my *Spirit.

            Yes, I will even give my *Spirit to the men and women who are my servants.

            Then they will speak my message to people.

v19      I will cause special things to appear in the sky.

            I will also cause special things to appear on the earth. They will be powerful things that only I can do.

            There will be blood, fire and thick dark smoke.

v20      And the sun will become dark, and it will not shine any longer.

            The moon will become dark red like the colour of blood.

            These things will happen before the *Lord God’s very important day comes.

            On that day, my light will shine everywhere.

v21      People will ask me to save them and I will give them new life”, God said.’

We do many wrong things. The result is that we are separated from God. God’s message is that only Jesus can save us from the result of these wrong things. Jesus can bring us close to God again. We must say sorry to God for all these wrong things that we have done. We must tell God that now we will obey him. Then God will welcome us into his *kingdom. God will give us a new life.

v22 ‘Now, people of *Israel, listen to what I am saying!’ Peter said. ‘God sent Jesus of Nazareth to the earth to work for him. God worked by Jesus and did many powerful and special things. Because of this, people should know that God had sent Jesus. You know about all this. These things happened here, and you saw them. v23 God knew that the *Romans would give Jesus to you. God had decided that this should happen. So you killed Jesus. You let bad men fix him to the *cross. v24 And so Jesus died. But God caused him to become alive again. God saved Jesus from the power of death. It was impossible for Jesus to stay dead. v25 A long time ago, King David spoke about Jesus.

            “I saw the *Lord in front of me all the time”, he said.

            “He is next to me, so nothing will cause me trouble.

v26      I am very happy because of this,

            so I must talk about it.

            I know that I am a man.

            But I know that you have promised me these things. So they will certainly happen.

v27      So you will not leave my *soul with all the dead people.

            Your servant loves you.

            And so you will not let anything destroy his body when he dies.

v28      You have shown me the good paths that lead me to true life.

            You are next to me, so I am completely happy.” ’

We can read this also in Psalm 16:8-11.

v29 ‘People of *Israel’, Peter then said, ‘I must speak clear words to you about King David. Long ago he was our *ancestor and king. David died and people buried his body in the ground. The place where people buried him is still here today. v30 David spoke words from God. He knew what God had promised him. God promised David that a special man from his *family would be a king. This man would be a king like David. v31 And David understood what God would do in future days. So David spoke about this special man that God would send to the world. When this person died, God would cause him to become alive again. David said that God would not let him remain dead among dead people. He said that nothing would destroy his body. v32 This man that David talked about was Jesus. Jesus died. But God caused him to become alive again. We ourselves saw this. v33 God took him back to his right side in *heaven. So now Jesus is sitting in the most important place, next to his Father.’

An *ancestor is a person who belonged to the same *family. But he lived a long time ago.

‘God is Jesus’ Father, and he gave Jesus the *Holy Spirit. God had promised Jesus that he would do this. Now Jesus has given us the *Holy Spirit today as a gift. You are seeing and hearing the result of this. v34 David did not go up into *heaven like Jesus did. But David said.

            “The *Lord God said to my *Lord:

                        Sit here next to me at my right side.

v35                              While you sit here, I will beat your enemies.

                        They will be under you, like a place to put your feet.” ’

We can read this also in Psalm 110:1.

v36 ‘All you people of *Israel must be sure to know this. You killed Jesus on a *cross. But it is this same Jesus that God chose as that special person. God caused him to be *Lord.’

v37 The people heard what Peter said to them. Then they had much trouble in their minds. So they asked Peter and the other *apostles for help. ‘Friends, what must we do?’ they said.

v38 ‘Each of you has done wrong things’, Peter told them. ‘You must tell God that you are sorry about that. Then you must stop doing those wrong things. You must obey God and you must do right things. Then someone with the authority of Jesus Christ will *baptise you. And God will *forgive you for all the wrong things that you have done. Then God will give you his gift, which is the *Holy Spirit. v39 God has promised to *forgive you and your children. He has also promised to give the *Holy Spirit to you and to your children. He has also promised this to people who live in other countries. God has chosen many people to believe in him. He includes all of them in his promise.’

v40 So Peter told the people what they must do. He also told them many other things. He continued to speak with serious words to them. He said, ‘Save yourselves from the *punishment that God will send. God will send it to bad people who are alive now.’

v41 Many of the people who listened to Peter believed his words. So the *apostles *baptised them. About three thousand joined the group that same day. They all believed in Jesus.

This is how the *believers lived

v42 These new *believers stayed with the *apostles so that they could learn more about Jesus. And they all became good friends with everyone else in the group. They prayed together and they ate meals together.

People who believed in Jesus were called *believers. When they ate together they also remembered his death for them.

v43 The *Holy Spirit worked with the *apostles. He caused them to be powerful, so that they could make sick people well. And they could do many other special things. All the people were very surprised and afraid because of these special things. v44 All the *believers continued to be good friends with each other. They ate meals together, and they learned more about Jesus. They continued to pray together. They gave each other some of the things that they had. v45 They sold some of their own things. Then they gave that money to other *believers who needed it. v46 The whole group of *believers met together every day in the Great House of God. They ate their meals together in each other’s homes and they were all very happy together. They thanked God for everything. v47 The *believers often said how great and important God was. All the other people liked the *believers. And they thought that the *believers were very good people. Every day, more people asked the *Lord to save them. So he was making the group of those who believed in him much bigger.

Chapter 3

This is what happened to the man with weak legs

v1 One day, Peter and John went to the Great House of God in Jerusalem. It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon. This was the time that everyone went there to pray. v2 There was a man who could not walk. He had never been able to walk. Every day, his friends put him at the gate of the Great House of God. It was called the Beautiful Gate. As people were going through the gate into the Great House of God, the man asked them for money. His friends were carrying him to the gate when Peter and John came to the gate. v3 Then the man saw Peter and John come through the gate. So he asked them to give him some money. v4 Peter and John looked at the man’s face. And Peter said to him, ‘Look at us!’ v5 So the man looked at Peter and John. He thought that they would give him some money.

v6 Then Peter said to the man, ‘I do not have any money. But I do have something else that I will give to you. Jesus Christ from Nazareth gave me authority to do this. So I *order you to walk!’ v7 Peter then held the man’s right hand to help him stand up. Immediately the man’s feet and ankles became strong. v8 So the man jumped up and he stood on his feet. Then he began to walk about and he went into the Great House of God with Peter and John. He was walking and jumping. And he was saying to God, ‘You, God, are very powerful and good.’ v9 A large crowd of people were with Peter and John. They saw the man walking. And they heard him saying good things about God. v10 ‘Look!’ they said. ‘We know this man. He usually sits at the Beautiful Gate. He used to have weak legs and he asked people for money. What has happened? He can now walk!’ they said to each other. They were all very surprised.

Peter speaks to the crowd in the Great House of God

v11 The man was still holding Peter and John as they went to *Solomon’s Porch. And the people were very surprised about what they were seeing. So they ran to them there. v12 Peter saw all the people. They were running towards him. So he said to them, ‘People of *Israel, you should not be so surprised about what you have seen. You should not look at us so much. Perhaps you think that we ourselves are powerful. Maybe you think that we are very good people. But we are not so powerful or so good that we could cause this man to walk. v13 Jesus was the special servant of God. Our *ancestors Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other people prayed to this same God long ago. God gave his authority to Jesus and caused him to be powerful. He showed people that Jesus was a very great and important person.’

We can read about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Bible in the book called Genesis.

‘You gave Jesus to the rulers, and you told Pilate bad things about him. You wanted them to kill Jesus even after Pilate had spoken. “I do not believe that Jesus has done anything wrong”, he said. “I have already decided that Jesus should leave the prison.” v14 Jesus was completely good and he obeyed God all the time. But you did not accept him. There was also a bad man in the prison who had killed some people. You said to Pilate, “Please let the other man leave the prison. Do not let Jesus go out.” v15 Then you asked Pilate to kill Jesus. But God caused Jesus to become alive again. He is the person who leads people to true life. We ourselves saw Jesus alive again after he had died. v16 Now, you know that this man here had weak legs. But Jesus is powerful. Jesus’ authority caused this man’s legs to become strong. This really happened because Jesus is powerful. You can see that. This man believed that Jesus could cause his legs to become strong. So Jesus made him well. And you yourselves can see that he is walking.

v17 People, listen to what I say. You wanted Pilate’s soldiers to kill Jesus. At that time, you and your leaders did not know what you were doing. v18 Jesus was the Christ, the special person that God would send to the world. A long time ago, many men spoke words from God about him. They told people what would happen to the Christ. “Bad people will hurt the Christ, and he will have a lot of pain”, they said. God caused this to become true. v19 So you must say sorry to God for all the wrong things that you have done. You must say that you will obey God. Then God will *forgive you for all the wrong things that you have done. v20 Then the *Lord will be near to you and he will cause your *spirit to be strong. God has already chosen Jesus for you. He is the Christ, God’s special servant, and God will send him back to you again. v21 Jesus must stay in *heaven until the day that he will make everything new. Those men who spoke words from God a long time ago told us about this. v22 “God sent me to you”, Moses said to the people a long time ago. “He will also send another man later who will speak his words. This man will be one of your own people. You must listen to everything that he says to you. v23 God will take out from among his people everyone who does not obey this chosen man. God will then kill them.” ’

We can read what Moses said to the people in Deuteronomy 18:14-20.

v24 ‘God gave this same message to Samuel many years ago. God then gave it to many other men who came after Samuel. And they all told us what would happen at this time. v25 The men who spoke God’s words told the people about God’s promises. God promised these things to your *ancestors, but you are also included in his promises. God said to Abraham. “By your *family, I will do a good thing for all the people on the earth.” ’

We can read about God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3.

v26 ‘God chose Jesus to be his special servant. Then God sent him to you first. God wants you to say sorry to him for all the wrong things that you have done. Then you will obey God because he wants to do good things for you.’

Chapter 4

The *priests put Peter and John in prison

v1 Peter was still speaking to the crowd in *Solomon’s Porch and John was standing next to him. Then some *priests, *Sadducees and the leader of the policemen of the Great House of God came towards them. v2 These people were angry because of the things that Peter and John were saying to the crowd. They had said, ‘Jesus became alive again after he had died.’ This showed everyone that dead people could become alive again. v3 So the *priests, *Sadducees and the leader of the policemen took Peter and John away. And they put Peter and John in the prison, because by then it was late. They stayed in the prison all that night. v4 But many of the people in the crowd had believed Peter’s message. Soon there were 5000 men who believed in Jesus.

Peter and John stand in front of the *Sanhedrin

v5 The next day, the leaders of the *Jews met together in Jerusalem. The important *priests and the teachers of the *Law met together with them. v6 They met with Annas and Caiaphas who were the most important *priests. John and Alexander were also there and they were part of their *family. Other men from their *family were with them. v7 The men in the *Sanhedrin said to Peter and John, ‘Stand in front of us!’ They said to Peter and John, ‘How did you cause that man’s legs to become strong? Who gave you the power and the authority to do it?’

v8 Then the *Holy Spirit told Peter what to say to the men in the *Sanhedrin. So Peter answered them. ‘All you men are leaders of the people and you are the most important *Jews. v9 Today you are asking us questions about the good thing that we did for this man. You are asking us how we caused his legs to become strong. v10 Now I need to tell you and all the people of *Israel some things. Then you will all know how this happened. This man is standing with us in front of you. His legs are strong because Jesus Christ of Nazareth is powerful. Jesus has the authority to do this. You killed Jesus; you fixed him to a *cross. He died, but after that, God caused him to become alive again. v11 Men who spoke God’s words wrote this about Jesus a long time ago.

            “The people who built the house did not want to use one special stone.

            That special stone is the most important one.” ’

We can read this in Matthew 21:42. The *prophet was saying that Jesus is like ‘a special stone’.

v12 Then Peter said, ‘Only Jesus can save people from the result of all the wrong things they have done. There has never been another person in the world that could do this. God has not given any other man the authority to save us.’ v13 Then the men of the *Sanhedrin saw that Peter and John were very brave. They also knew that Peter and John were not important people. They had not been to a special school. So the men were very surprised about how Peter and John spoke. They also understood that Peter and John had been with Jesus.

The teachers of the *Law went to special schools. At these schools, they learned how to teach the people about God. Peter and John had never been to one of these schools. But they knew how to teach the people about God.

v14 The men of the *Sanhedrin could see the man who had had weak legs. And they could see that now his legs were strong. So they could not think of anything to say to Peter and John. v15 They *ordered Peter and John to go out of the room. Then the men of the *Sanhedrin talked to each other. v16 ‘What should we do with these men?’ they said. ‘Everyone who lives in Jerusalem knows about these things. They know that Peter and John did a very special thing for that man. So we cannot say that they did not do it. v17 But we want to stop more people from joining their group. So we must say to these men, “You must stop using the name of Jesus. You must stop speaking to people about Jesus.” ’

The people in Jerusalem knew that Peter and John had done a good thing for the man. The men in the *Sanhedrin had asked Pilate to kill Jesus for them. Now they were afraid of the people. They were afraid that more people would believe in Jesus. Then those people might fight against them.

v18 Then the men of the *Sanhedrin asked Peter and John to come back into the room. They said to Peter and John, ‘You must not speak or teach people again about Jesus. You do not have any authority.’ v19 Then Peter and John replied to them. ‘You must decide yourselves which of these things God wants us to do. Either we should obey you, or we should obey God. v20 We must continue to speak about these things. And we must tell people everything that we have seen and heard.’

v21 The leaders of the *Jews spoke in an angry way to them. ‘Peter and John, you must not speak to the people again about Jesus. If you do not obey us, then we will *punish you.’ Then they let Peter and John go away into the street again. They could not *punish Peter and John because they had helped the man to walk. All the people in Jerusalem were saying to God, ‘You are great and good and powerful.’ v22 The man whom God had caused to become well was more than 40 years old.

All the *believers pray to God

v23 So the leaders of the *priests and the important *Jews let Peter and John go out into the street again. Immediately, Peter and John went back to meet with all the other *believers. They told them what the leaders of the *priests and the important *Jews had said. v24 And the *believers listened to what Peter and John told them. Then they prayed together. ‘You are God and you rule over everything’, they prayed. ‘You made the sky, the earth and the sea. You also made everything that is in them. v25 King David, our *ancestor, was also your servant. You sent your *Holy Spirit to help him. And your Spirit told King David to say,

            “People who were not *Jews were very angry.

            The people made plans that would not happen.

v26      The kings on the earth prepared to fight.

            The rulers of the world met together.

            They wanted to fight against the *Lord.

            They would also fight against the special servant that God chose.” ’

v27 The *believers continued to pray. ‘Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with other people who are not *Jews. They also met with the people of *Israel who were here in Jerusalem. Together they spoke against Jesus. Jesus was your special servant and they all wanted to kill him. You had chosen him to be the *Christ. v28 Yes, God, you are powerful. And you had already decided what these men would do to Jesus. So they met together. And they did what you wanted to happen to Jesus. v29 God, you know how the men of the *Sanhedrin want to hurt Peter and John. You know what they said to your servants. So please help us to speak to the people again about you. And please cause us to become brave. v30 You are strong and you can cause sick people to become well. And you can also do other powerful things. The people will see these things happen when we speak Jesus’ name. You gave your authority to Jesus. He is very good and he is your servant. So please do these things.’

v31 The *believers finished praying. Then, the house where they were meeting together moved about. God filled them all with his *Holy Spirit. And the *Holy Spirit caused them to be very brave and they spoke to the people about Jesus again.

The *believers give their own things to each other

v32 All the *believers thought about everything in the same way. They did not keep any of their own things for themselves. They let all the other *believers use them. v33 The words of the *apostles were powerful and they told people about Jesus. ‘After Jesus died, God caused him to live again’, they said. They told them what they had seen. God helped the *believers in many different ways. v34 They had everything that they needed. Some *believers had land or houses, which they sold. They took the money that they received for these things. They brought it to the *apostles and gave it to them. v35 Then the *apostles gave the money to any of the *believers who needed it.

v36 There was a *believer called Joseph. He was from the *family of Levi. He was from the island called Cyprus. He helped the other *believers to work well. So the *apostles called him Barnabas. v37 Barnabas sold one of his fields. And he brought the money and he gave it all to the *apostles.

The *family of Levi were servants in the Great House of God, where they worked for the *priests. We can read about them in Numbers 3:5-13.

Chapter 5

What happens to Ananias and Sapphira

v1 But there was a man called Ananias and his wife who was called Sapphira. Together they sold one of their fields. v2 Ananias gave part of the money that he received to the *apostles. But he also kept part of the money for himself. Sapphira knew all about what Ananias had done.

Ananias gave his money to the *apostles. And then they would give it to other *believers who needed it. Ananias told the *apostles that he had given them all the money. But this was not true. He had only given them part of it.

v3 ‘Ananias, *Satan wanted you to say something that was not true. And you obeyed him’, Peter said to Ananias. ‘You should not have listened to him. You should not tell the *Holy Spirit something that is not true. You sold your field, but you did not give us all the money. You kept part of it for yourselves.’

The *Holy Spirit had told Peter what Ananias had done. Ananias did not need to tell him.

v4 ‘Before you sold the field, it was yours. And after you sold the field, the money was yours. You should not have decided to say that it was all the money. You did not only tell men something that was not true. You told God something that was not true.’

v5 As soon as he had heard Peter say this, Ananias fell down immediately. And he died. This frightened everyone who heard about it. v6 Some young men came into the room. They put cloths round Ananias’s dead body and they carried it outside. Then they buried it.

v7 About three hours later, Ananias’s wife, Sapphira, came into the room to see Peter. Sapphira did not know that Ananias was dead. v8 Peter asked Sapphira, ‘Tell me about this money that you gave us. Was this all the money that you and your husband received for your field?’ ‘Yes’, Sapphira answered. ‘That was all the money that we received.’

v9 ‘It was wrong for you and your husband to do this’, Peter said to her. ‘You should not have told God’s Spirit something that was not true. You knew that this was wrong. The men who have just buried your husband are at the door again now. And they will also carry you out.’

v10 Immediately, Sapphira fell down in front of Peter and she died. Then the young men came into the room. They saw that Sapphira was dead. So they carried her outside and they buried her next to her husband. v11 All the *believers, and many other people, heard about what had happened to Ananias and Sapphira. They were all very afraid.

The *apostles do some powerful things for the people to see

v12 The *apostles were doing many powerful things in front of the people. All the *believers met together in a group. They met outside the Great House of God in a place called *Solomon’s Porch. v13 Those people who were not *believers did not sit with the group. They were afraid to do that. There were many people who said good things about the *believers. v14 More and more people became *believers and they joined the group. So now many men and women believed in Jesus. v15 People carried their sick friends into the streets and put them on beds and pieces of floor cloth. They did this because of all the special things that the *apostles were doing. Some people only wanted Peter’s shadow to pass over their sick friends.

God’s *Holy Spirit caused the *apostles to be powerful. They could cause sick people to become well again. In those days, people thought that shadows were powerful. And they thought that Peter’s shadow would cause sick people to become well again.

v16 Many people came into Jerusalem from the small towns near the city. They also brought their sick friends with them. They brought other people too. Bad *spirits inside them were giving them trouble. And God caused all these people to become well again.

The most important *priest puts the *apostles in prison

v17 All the people liked the *apostles. And they liked what the apostles did. The most important *priest, his friends, and some of the *Sadducees, were not happy about this. So they decided to do something about the *apostles. v18 These important men took hold of the *apostles and they put them in the prison. v19 But during the night, one of God’s *angels opened the prison gates and he led the *apostles out. The *angel said to them, v20 ‘Go and stand in the Great House of God. Tell the people everything about this new way to live.’

v21 The *apostles heard the *angel and they obeyed him. Early the next morning, the *apostles went into the Great House of God. And then they began to teach the people. The most important *priest and his friends *ordered all the important *Jews to meet with them. He wanted all the men of the *Sanhedrin to meet together. Then the men of the *Sanhedrin sent policemen with a message to the prison. They *ordered the soldiers to bring the *apostles to them. v22 But when the policemen arrived at the prison, they did not find the *apostles there. So then the policemen returned to the men of the *Sanhedrin. And they told them what they had seen at the prison. v23 ‘We arrived at the prison’, they said. ‘We saw that the soldiers had locked the gates. They were standing at the gates and they were *guarding the prison. But when we opened the gates of the prison, we did not find any of the *apostles inside.’

The soldiers at the gates of the prison did not know that the *apostles were not inside.

v24 The leader of the policemen of the Great House of God and the leaders of the *priests heard about this. ‘We cannot understand what has happened to the *apostles’, they said.

v25 Then a man came and he brought them a message. ‘Listen to me!’ he said. ‘Those men that you put in the prison are now standing in the Great House of God. They are teaching the people.’ v26 The leader of the policemen then took his policemen with him to the Great House of God. He said to the *apostles, ‘Come back with us!’ The policemen did not hurt the *apostles or tie their arms and legs. They were afraid of the people. They thought that the people might throw stones at them.

v27 The policemen brought the *apostles into the room. They caused them to stand in front of the men of the *Sanhedrin. The most important *priest spoke to the *apostles. v28 ‘We *ordered that you must not teach the people again with the authority of Jesus. But now look at what you have done! Now people all over Jerusalem have heard you teaching. And you have taught the people that we *ordered the death of Jesus.’

v29 Peter and the other *apostles answered. ‘We must obey God’, they said, ‘rather than obey men. v30 The God of our *ancestors caused Jesus to be alive again. You fixed Jesus to a *cross and killed him. But then, God made him alive again. v31 God put Jesus next to him at his right side. Jesus is now the leader and the person who saves the people of *Israel. Because of this, he helps those who believe in him. He helps them to say, “We are sorry” to God for all the wrong things that they have done. Then God *forgives them and he helps them to do right things. v32 We tell people what we have seen and heard. He gives his *Holy Spirit to people who obey him. And the *Holy Spirit also tells people what God has done.’

v33 The men of the *Sanhedrin heard what the *apostles said to them. They were so angry that they wanted to kill the *apostles. v34 But one man did not agree. He stood up in front of the *Sanhedrin. He was called Gamaliel and he was a *Pharisee, a teacher of the *Law. All the men of the *Sanhedrin liked Gamaliel. And they thought that he was a good man. Gamaliel asked the policemen to take the *apostles out of the room. v35 When they had gone, Gamaliel spoke to the *Sanhedrin. ‘Men of *Israel!’ he said. ‘Be careful about what you want to do. Think again before you kill these men. v36 Remember what happened to Theudas a few years ago. That man told everyone, “I am a very important leader.” Then about 400 men came to join his group. But then somebody killed Theudas, and his men all went away in different directions. Nobody hears about them now. v37 Remember what happened to Judas from Galilee. That man appeared when the *Romans were counting the people. A crowd also came to help Judas, but somebody killed him. The men who followed Judas also went away in different directions. Nobody hears about them now either.’

Judas from Galilee would not pay money to the *Roman government. People joined Judas’s group and they helped him. They fought the *Roman soldiers. These people were called Zealots. This Judas was not the same man that Jesus chose to follow him.

The *Romans were counting the people when Jesus was born.

v38 ‘Now this same thing is happening again with these men. So I say that you must not do anything bad to them. Leave them alone. Perhaps these men are doing what some man told them to do. If that is true, then their work will fail. v39 But perhaps God has said that they must do this work. And if that is true, then you cannot stop them. You might even find that you are fighting against God!’ So the men of the *Sanhedrin did what Gamaliel said.

v40 They *ordered the *apostles to return to the room. Then they said to the policemen, ‘Hit these men with whips!’ Then the men of the *Sanhedrin said to the *apostles, ‘You must not teach the people again. Do not use the authority of Jesus.’ After that, they let the *apostles go out into the street again.

A whip was a stick with long pieces of strong material fastened at one end. Rulers used it to *punish people who did not obey the *law.

v41 So the *apostles walked away from the men of the *Sanhedrin. They were very happy because they thought to themselves, ‘God believes that we are good enough to receive *punishment because of Jesus.’ v42 So they continued to teach the people about Jesus. They spoke every day in people’s homes and in the Great House of God. They told the people that Jesus was the *Christ, the special servant of God. And so the *apostles told people all the good news about Jesus.

Chapter 6

The *believers choose 7 other men to do special work

v1 At that time, more and more people every day became *believers in Jesus. Some *Jews in Jerusalem spoke the Greek language. Other *Jews in Jerusalem spoke the Aramaic language. The *Jews who spoke Greek had a problem with the other *Jews. Those who spoke Greek said to the other *Jews, ‘We have a problem with you. The husbands of some of your own women have died. They receive money from the *apostles every day to buy food. The husbands of some of the women in our group have also died. But the *apostles do not give these women money every day.’

Greek means the language that people spoke in Greece. Or it means someone who comes from that country. The *Jews who were born in *Israel spoke the Aramaic language.

v2 The 12 *apostles heard about the problem. So they asked all those who believed in Jesus to meet together with them. The *apostles said, ‘Our work is to teach people the message from God. It is not right for us to stop doing this work. But we are giving out the money to those people who need things. That is not good.’ v3 So the *apostles said to the *believers, ‘Our friends, please choose 7 men from among you. You must know that the *Holy Spirit is living inside each of them. And they must know the things about God very well. We will ask these 7 men to do this work for us. v4 Then we will have more time to pray. We will also have more time to teach the people the good news about Jesus.’

v5 The whole group was happy with the *apostles’ words. So first they chose a man called Stephen. Stephen believed God really well. The *Holy Spirit lived inside him. The *believers also chose 6 other men. These other men were called Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolaus. Nicolaus was from Antioch. He was not born a *Jew, but he had believed in the God of the *Jews. v6 The group asked these 7 men to stand up in front of the *apostles. Then the *apostles put their hands on each man. They asked God to help the 7 men with their special work.

v7 So more and more people heard the word of God. The number of *believers in Jesus in Jerusalem continued to grow greater and greater. And many of the *priests also believed in Jesus.

A very large number of *priests lived in Jerusalem and they worked in the Great House of God.

The important *Jews take hold of Stephen

v8 God helped Stephen in special ways and caused him to do powerful things. The people saw Stephen do many special things. v9 But some men did not like Stephen. They did not like what Stephen taught about Jesus. These men were from one of the *synagogues in Jerusalem that was called the ‘*Synagogue of the Free Men’. The men from this *synagogue were *Jews from the cities called Cyrene and Alexandria. And some of them were from towns in Cilicia and *Asia. These men began to argue with Stephen.

v10 The *Holy Spirit gave Stephen great *wisdom and caused him to speak in a very powerful way. So Stephen spoke to the men from this *synagogue. And they could not say that he was wrong.

v11 So the men from the *synagogue gave money to some bad men. They paid them to say bad things about Stephen. But those things were not true. So the men who received the money said to the people, ‘We heard this man, Stephen, say bad things about Moses and about God.’

v12 People heard what these men said. And then the people became angry. The important *Jews and the teachers of the *Law also heard what these bad men were saying. They all became very angry. So they went up to Stephen and they took hold of him. Then they took him to stand in front of the men of the *Sanhedrin. v13 The important *Jews and the teachers of the *Law brought in some men to say bad things about Stephen. The things that they said were not true. The men said, ‘This man, Stephen, is always saying bad things about the Great House of God. He also says bad things about the *Law that God gave to Moses. v14 We heard Stephen talk about Jesus, who comes from Nazareth. He said that Jesus will destroy the Great House of God. He said, “Jesus will change all that Moses taught the people.” But Moses explained to us the right way to live.’

v15 All the men of the *Sanhedrin looked at Stephen. They saw that his face was very beautiful. And they thought that he was like an *angel.

Chapter 7

Stephen speaks to the men of the *Sanhedrin

v1 The most important *priest said to Stephen, ‘These men are saying things about what you have taught. Are these things true?’

v2 Stephen said, ‘Men of *Israel, listen to what I say. Our God is completely good and very powerful. He appeared to our *ancestor, Abraham, when Abraham was still living in Mesopotamia. This happened before he went to Haran. v3 God said to Abraham, “Leave your own country and your own *family. Go to a different country that I will show you.” ’

The country that God led Abraham to was called Canaan. This country is now called *Israel. Jerusalem city is also there.

v4 ‘So Abraham left his country where people called Chaldeans also lived. Then he moved to Haran and he stayed there. But when Abraham’s father died, God said to Abraham, “Leave this place.” So God then sent him to live here, in Canaan. This is where we are now.’

Abraham lived with his father in a city called Ur. Ur was in a country called Babylonia, which is now part of Iraq. Abraham moved with his father from Ur to live in Haran.

v5 ‘At that time, God did not give Abraham any part of Canaan for his own *family. He did not even give Abraham a very small piece of ground. But at that time, God gave a promise to Abraham. “This land will become your own country”, he said. “It will also be your children’s country.” When God said this to him, Abraham did not yet have any children. v6 This is what God said to him. “Your *family will live in a country that other people rule. The people in that country will cause your *family to be slaves for 400 years. They will not be kind to them. They will hit your *family to cause them to work more.” v7 Then God said, “I will *punish those people who caused your *family to work so much for them. After I have done that, your *family will leave that country. They will come to this place. And here they will tell me how great and important I am.” ’

We can read about God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis chapter 12. Abraham’s *family worked in *Egypt for 400 years. Then Moses led them out of that country to the country which became *Israel. Moses was standing on a big hill called Mount Sinai when God spoke to him. We can read about this in Exodus chapter 3.

v8 ‘Then God told the people of *Israel that they would be his special people. So that they would remember this special promise, God said, “You must *circumcise all your baby boys.”

Abraham became the father of Isaac. And Abraham *circumcised his son, Isaac, when the child was 8 days old. Isaac became the father of Jacob. Isaac also *circumcised his son. Jacob had 12 sons. These sons were the 12 important *ancestors of *Israel. Jacob *circumcised all of them.’

Jacob is also sometimes called *Israel. We can read the names of Jacob’s 12 sons in Genesis 35:23-26.

v9 ‘One of Jacob’s sons was called Joseph. Jacob loved Joseph more than he loved his other sons. For this reason, some of Jacob’s sons did not like their brother, Joseph. So one day they took Joseph and they sold him as a slave. The men that bought Joseph took him to *Egypt. There they sold him again and Joseph worked in *Egypt as a slave. All this time, God stayed near to Joseph. v10 God helped him with all his troubles and God gave him great *wisdom. At that time, *Pharaoh was the king of *Egypt. God helped Joseph so that Pharaoh liked him. He saw that Joseph was very *wise, so he *ordered Joseph to rule *Egypt and everyone in Pharaoh’s own house.

v11 Then one year there was no rain. The food plants did not grow in *Egypt or Canaan. So many people did not have enough food to eat. Our *ancestors also had no food. v12 Jacob heard that *Pharaoh had put a lot of wheat seeds in big huts. So he sent his sons to *Egypt to buy food from Pharaoh. This was the first time that they went to *Egypt.’

Wheat is a plant. People use wheat to make bread.

v13 ‘Jacob then sent his sons back to *Egypt for a second time. This time, Joseph told them that he was their brother. So then *Pharaoh heard that Joseph’s brothers had arrived. He heard about Joseph’s *family. v14 After this, Joseph gave a message to his brothers. “Tell our father that I am here. Say that I want him to come. Say that he should bring all his *family from Canaan to *Egypt”, he said to them. There were 75 people in Jacob’s *family.

v15 So Jacob went to *Egypt with all his *family. And Jacob and his 12 sons lived there until they died.’

The kings of the country of *Egypt were always called Pharaoh. We can read the story of Joseph in Genesis chapters 37 to 50.

v16 ‘When the people of *Israel left *Egypt, they carried with them the dead bodies of Joseph and his *family. They took them back to Shechem and they buried them in a hole in a rocky hill. Abraham had bought this hole and rock from the *family of a man called Hamor. He had paid money for it.’

Shechem was the place in Canaan where Jacob and his *family had lived. Jacob and Joseph knew that one day their families would return to Shechem. So Jacob asked his *family to take his dead body back to Shechem. We can read about this in Genesis 49:29-33. Much later, Joseph also asked his *family to take his dead body back to Shechem. We can read about this in Genesis 50:25 and Joshua 24:32.

v17 ‘Now there were many people in Jacob’s *family and they all lived in *Egypt. And soon God would cause his promise to Abraham to become true. v18 At this time, a different king ruled *Egypt. This king did not know anything about the things that Joseph had done. v19 He told our *ancestors things that were not true. He also did very bad things to them. He said that they must put their small babies out of their homes. He said that because he wanted the babies to die.

v20 It was at this time that Moses was born. He was a very beautiful baby and his mother kept him safe for three months in her own home. v21 Then Moses’ mother put him out of her home. But *Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses and she took him home with her. And he lived with her as her own son.’

We can read this story about Moses in Exodus 2:1-10. The people of *Egypt were called Egyptians.

v22 ‘The *Egyptians taught Moses all the things that they knew. He knew how to speak well. Moses said and did some very powerful things.

v23 One day, Moses went to see how his own people lived. He was 40 years old when he did this.’

Moses’ own people were the people of *Israel. They were called Israelites.

v24 ‘Moses saw one of the *Egyptians, who was hitting one of the *Israelites. So Moses went to help the *Israelite man and he killed the *Egyptian man. He did this because the *Egyptian had hurt one of Moses’ own people. v25 Moses wanted to help the *Israelites to get away from *Egypt. He thought to himself, “The *Israelites will know what I want to do. They will understand that God will use me to do this.” But the people did not understand. v26 On the next day, Moses saw two *Israelites, who were fighting each other. He wanted them to stop fighting. So he talked to them. “Men”, he said, “please listen to me. You are in the same *family. You should not hurt each other.”

v27 The man who was hurting the other man pushed Moses away. “You have no authority to rule us”, he said to Moses. “You have no authority to be our *judge. v28 Yesterday you killed an *Egyptian man. Do you want to kill me also?” the man asked Moses.

v29 Moses heard what the man said to him. So Moses ran away. He went to the country called Midian and he built a house there. He lived in it, and he and his wife had two sons.

v30 Moses lived in Midian for 40 years. Then, one day, he was in the *desert near the hill called Mount Sinai. He saw a bush there that was burning. An *angel appeared to him in the fire.’

A *desert is a very dry place. There is not much water there and often there is a lot of sand and stones. There are not many plants, and not many people live there.

v31 ‘Moses was very surprised by what he saw. He went near to the bush so that he could see it better. Then he heard God speak to him from the bush. v32 “I am the God of your *ancestors”, God said. “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Moses was very frightened. He was too afraid to look at God, so he turned his face away from the bush.

v33 God said to Moses, “Remove your shoes from your feet, because you are standing in a very special place. This is my own place. v34 I have seen all the bad things that the *Egyptians are doing to my people. I have heard my people. They are crying. And I have come down here to save them. Come here and listen to me. And then I will send you back to *Egypt.” ’

We can read this story about Moses in Exodus chapter 3.

v35 Stephen said, ‘Moses is the man that the people of *Israel would not accept. “You have no authority to rule us”, they had said to him. “You have no authority to *judge us.” But God did send Moses to rule the people of *Israel. And he did send Moses to save them from the *Egyptians. God sent the *angel that appeared to him. The angel spoke to him from a bush that was burning. v36 It was Moses who led the people of *Israel out of *Egypt. The people saw him do many special things. He did some powerful things before the people left *Egypt. He did more special things by the Red Sea. Then he led the people through the *desert for 40 years and he did some more special things there also.’

We can read about this in Exodus chapters 7 to 17.

v37 ‘It was Moses who said to the people of *Israel, “God will send you a *prophet. He will speak words from God. And he will be one of your own *family, the same as I am one of your own *family.” v38 This is the same Moses that was with the people of *Israel in the *desert. They were near the big hill called Mount Sinai. Moses was also there with our *ancestors when the *angel spoke to him on Mount Sinai. He also received the message from God to give to us. God’s message was alive.

v39 But our *ancestors would not listen to Moses or obey him. They did not accept him and they wanted to go back to *Egypt. v40 So the people said to Aaron, “Please make us some gods that we can carry in front of us. Moses brought us out of *Egypt. But now we do not know what has happened to him.” ’

Aaron was the brother of Moses.

v41 ‘It was then that the people made something. It would be their god. It was like a young male cow, and the people made it from gold. They killed some animals and they burned them as a gift for their god. The people then had a big meal together because they were very happy. They thought that they had made something beautiful and strong. And they thought that it was powerful.’

We can read about this in Exodus 32:1-6.

v42 ‘So then God turned away from his people. He let them speak to the stars instead and he let them make gods of them. The people told the stars how great and beautiful they were. The people who spoke words from God wrote this: “God said,

            ‘People of *Israel, listen!

            You did not kill and burn those animals as a gift for me.

            When you were in the *desert for 40 years,

v43      you carried the house of the god called Moloch.

            You also carried something else to put inside this house.

            It was a smaller copy of another god of yours.

            It was like the star of your god, Rephan.

            You made these gods.

            And you told them both how great and important they were.

            So now I will send you away from your own country.

            You will go to live in Babylon.’ ” ’

We can read this in Amos 5:25-27. Amos spoke these words from God.

v44 ‘When our *ancestors were in the *desert, they carried a special tent with them. It contained God’s *Laws. It caused them to remember that God was there with them. God showed Moses how he wanted Moses and the people to make this special tent.’

A tent is a house that someone made out of cloth or animal skins. When people travel, they can carry it from one place to the next. God told Moses how to make this special tent. It was the place where they should meet him. There were two flat stones inside a special box in this tent. God had told Moses about his *Laws when he was on the hill called Mount Sinai. Moses wrote the *Law of God on these two stones. The people of *Israel carried the box with the stones all the time. We can read about this in Exodus chapter 19.

v45 ‘Our *ancestors gave the special *tent, which contained God’s *Law, to their *families. They brought it with them when they came to this country. God gave this country to our people. And he caused the people that were already here to leave. At that time Joshua was their leader. The tent remained in Canaan until David became the king of *Israel.’

Many other people were already living in Canaan. But God had promised to give Canaan to the people of *Israel. Joshua helped the people of *Israel to fight the other people in Canaan. And God helped the people of *Israel to win their fights. So the people who had lived there went away from Canaan.

v46 ‘God helped King David very much, and King David caused God to be happy with him. So David said to God, “You are the God of our *ancestor Jacob. Can I make a special house where you can live?” v47 But David did not build the house for God. Solomon built it.’

Solomon was the son of King David. God did not want David to build the house for him. But David brought together the materials to build it.

v48 ‘But this also is true. Our God is of great importance. He does not live in a house that men have made. Isaiah spoke these words from God:

v49      “The sky is like an important seat. I sit there to rule.

            The earth is like a small seat. It is like a place to put my feet on.

            You could not build a better house for me to live in.

            You could not make a better place for me to sit down.

v50      I have already made all these things myself”, God said to his servant Isaiah.’

v51 Then Stephen said to the people, ‘You people do not want to understand about God. You are the same as the people that do not believe in the true God. And you do not want to listen to God’s true message. So you are the same as your *ancestors. They also did not want to obey the *Holy Spirit. v52 Your *ancestors did bad things to every person who spoke words from God to them. God’s servants spoke about the completely good Man that God would send. But your *ancestors killed those servants. Now you have given to an enemy this true and special servant that God sent. And you have killed him. v53 You received God’s *Law, which *angels gave you. But you have not obeyed it.’

The men of the *Sanhedrin kill Stephen

v54 The men of the *Sanhedrin listened to Stephen and they became more and more angry with him. They bit their teeth together because they were so angry. v55 Then the *Holy Spirit filled Stephen with his authority. Stephen looked up to *heaven and he saw how beautiful God is. God shone like a very bright light. Stephen also saw Jesus, who was standing at the right side of God. v56 ‘Look’, Stephen said. ‘I can see into *heaven. It is open! I can see the Son of Man and he is standing at the right side of God!’

The Son of Man is another name for Jesus. Jesus often called himself the Son of Man when he talked to the people. Jesus was standing up, ready to receive Stephen.

v57 When the men of the *Sanhedrin heard these things, they shouted very loudly at him. They put their hands over their ears. Then together they ran towards him. v58 They took hold of Stephen and they pulled him out of the city. They removed their coats. And they gave them to a young man to keep them safe. This young man was called Saul. Then they began to throw stones at Stephen. v59 While the men were throwing stones at him, Stephen prayed to the *Lord. ‘*Lord Jesus’, he said, ‘please accept my *spirit.’ v60 Then Stephen fell down on his knees. He shouted loudly, ‘*Lord, please *forgive these men because they are doing this to me.’ After Stephen said this, he died.

Chapter 8

v1 Saul was standing there. And he saw everything that happened. Saul said to the men of the *Sanhedrin, ‘It is good that you have killed Stephen.’

Saul puts some of the *believers in prison

On the same day that Stephen died, the *Jews in Jerusalem began to do bad things to the *believers. All those who believed in Jesus left Jerusalem and they went in different directions. Some of them went to Judea and some of them went to Samaria. Only Jesus’ 12 *apostles stayed in Jerusalem.

Some *believers may have remained for a while. Those who were hurting them continued to do so. That is what we think.

v2 Some good men who obeyed God buried Stephen’s dead body. They were very sad that the people had killed him. They cried with loud voices. v3 But Saul brought great troubles to the *believers in Jerusalem. He wanted to stop people believing in Jesus. So Saul went from one house to other houses. He pulled the *believers out of their homes and he put both the men and the women into prison.

*Believers teach the people in Samaria the message about Jesus

v4 The *believers who had left Jerusalem went to many different towns. In each town, they told the people the message about Jesus. v5 Philip went to the city called Samaria. And there he told the people the message about Jesus Christ. He said, ‘Jesus was the special person that God sent.’

v6 Crowds of people came together in the city to hear Philip speak. They listened to him carefully. And they saw him do many special things. v7 Some people had bad *spirits, which were living in them. Philip sent the bad *spirits out of them. And as the bad *spirits left them, they made a loud noise. Some other people had weak legs, and Philip caused their legs to become strong again. Some people could not move their arms and legs, but Philip caused them to become well again. v8 The people in that city were very happy.

The *Holy Spirit lived inside Philip. And he helped Philip to speak in a powerful way. Because of this he could do these special things for the people. People who lived in Samaria were called Samaritans.

v9 A man called Simon lived in Samaria. For a long time, he had used *magic to do many things which surprised the people. The people who lived in Samaria had watched him. And they believed that Simon was a very important person. v10 The important people in the city had watched Simon carefully. And the people who were not important had also watched him carefully. Everyone had said, ‘God has caused Simon to become powerful. He is a god himself.’ v11 Simon had used his *magic for a long time. The people watched him. He often surprised them with the things that he did. So they listened to him carefully. v12 But then Philip told them the message about how God rules as king. He told them all about Jesus. He said that Jesus was the *Christ, God’s special servant. Many men and women believed in Jesus, so Philip *baptised them. v13 Simon also believed the message and so Philip *baptised him. After this, Simon stayed close to Philip. Simon was very surprised at the many powerful and special things that Philip did.

v14 The *apostles were still living in Jerusalem. They heard that people in Samaria had believed God’s word. So the *apostles sent Peter and John to Samaria to talk to the people. v15 Philip had *baptised those who believed. And when the two *apostles arrived in Samaria, they prayed for these people. They asked God to give the new *believers the *Holy Spirit.

v16 Until then, the *Holy Spirit had not yet come down on these people. Philip had only *baptised them. He used the name of the *Lord Jesus when he did this. v17 When Peter and John put their hands on the head of each person, they received the *Holy Spirit.

v18 Simon saw that the *Holy Spirit came when Peter and John put their hands on each person. So he said to Peter and John, ‘Here is some money. I want to give it to you. v19 Please cause me also to be powerful. I want to do the same things as you. I want to put my hands on other people, so that they will receive the *Holy Spirit.’

v20 Peter answered Simon. ‘I hope that you and your money go to the place of *punishment. It is very wrong for you to think, “I can buy with money this gift which God gives.” v21 No, you cannot work with us because you are not thinking the right things. And you are not obeying God. v22 Tell God that you are sorry about these bad thoughts. Stop thinking like that and think right thoughts. Say to God, “Please *forgive me that I am thinking these bad things.” v23 I can see that you think wrong thoughts. You do not have what the *apostles have. And so you are angry. *Satan is ruling you like a slave.’

v24 Then Simon said to Peter and John, ‘Please, will you pray to God for me? Then none of these bad things that you have spoken about will happen to me.’

v25 Peter and John told the people what Jesus had done for them. After Peter and John had told the people a message from the *Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem. And on their way, they talked to people in the villages in Samaria. They taught the people the good news about the *Kingdom of God.

Philip meets a man from Ethiopia

v26 Then God sent an *angel to speak to Philip. He said, ‘Philip, prepare yourself and go south to the road between Jerusalem and Gaza. The road goes through the *desert.’

It was about 70 kilometres (45 miles) from Jerusalem to the town called Gaza.

v27 So Philip went and he was walking along this road. And, while he was walking, he met an important man from Ethiopia. This man kept Candace’s money safe. Candace was the queen of Ethiopia. The man was travelling home. He had been to Jerusalem to visit the Great House of God. He had thanked God that God was so good and great.

Ethiopia is a country in Africa. People who live there are called Ethiopians. Candace was a special name for their queen. We think that the man from Ethiopia was not a *Jew. But now he obeyed the God of the *Jews. The Ethiopian man was riding in a *cart that horses pulled. The *cart would move about as fast as a man can walk.

v28 Now the man was travelling home again in his *cart. And he was reading from the book that Isaiah the *prophet wrote. v29 The *Holy Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go to that *cart and walk at the side of it.’

v30 So Philip ran to the *cart and he walked close to it. He heard the man. He was reading aloud from the book called ‘Isaiah’. So Philip asked the man, ‘Do you understand the things that you are reading about?’

v31 The man answered, ‘I cannot understand it. First, I need someone to explain it to me.’ The man said to Philip, ‘Come up here and ride along in the *cart with me.’

v32 The man was reading this from the book of Isaiah,

            ‘People led him like they lead a sheep. It is a sheep that they are going to kill.

            He did not make a noise.

            He was like a young sheep. It does not make a noise,

            when a man cuts the soft hair on its back.

            He was like that. He did not say anything.

v33      People *laughed at him.

            They said bad things about him. They said things that were not true.

            Nobody can talk about his children, because he did not have any.

            His life on earth has finished.’

We can read this in Isaiah 53:7-8. Isaiah wrote this about Jesus.

v34 The man from Ethiopia said to Philip, ‘Please tell me who the *prophet Isaiah wrote about. Was he writing about himself or about another person?’ v35 Then Philip explained to the man the words that Isaiah had written. He told the man the good news about Jesus. v36 When they were travelling along the road, they came to some water. The man said to Philip, ‘Look, here is a place where there is some water. Please will you *baptise me? Is there anything to stop you?’

v37 Philip said to him, ‘I can *baptise you if you really believe in Jesus.’ The man said to Philip, ‘I really do believe in Jesus. I believe that he is the Son of God.’

Most Bibles do not have 8:37. Perhaps Luke wrote it, but then people lost it. Perhaps Luke did not write it. Then somebody else wrote it after Luke had finished writing the book of Acts.

v38 The man from Ethiopia said to the man who was driving the *cart, ‘Please stop the *cart.’ Then Philip and the man from Ethiopia went down into the water, and Philip *baptised him. v39 They both walked out of the water again, and then the *Holy Spirit quickly took Philip away from that place. The man did not see Philip again and the man continued his journey. He was very happy.

Philip *baptised the man from Ethiopia because the man believed the good news about Jesus.

v40 Philip saw that he was now in Azotus. So he walked towards the town called *Caesarea. As he went through the towns on the way to Caesarea, he spoke to people. He told them the good news about the *Kingdom of God.

Azotus was a town 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of Gaza. *Caesarea was an important city in *Israel. The *Roman ruler sometimes lived there. *Caesarea was at the coast and it was an important port. It was 70 kilometres (about 45 miles) from Jerusalem. We think that Philip lived in *Caesarea for many years. Philip was still living in *Caesarea when Luke wrote about him again in Acts 21:8.

Chapter 9

Saul knows that Jesus is his *Lord

v1 All this time, Saul was saying that he wanted to kill all the *believers. So he went to see the most important *priest. v2 ‘Please will you write some letters for me?’ he said to the most important *priest. ‘I can give one of these letters to each leader of every *synagogue in Damascus. Perhaps some people there believe what Jesus taught. And if I find any people like that, I can take hold of them. I can tie them with *ropes. And I can bring all of them, men and women, back here to Jerusalem.’

Damascus was an important city and it was about 242 kilometres (150 miles) from Jerusalem. It was in Syria and many *Jews lived there. Damascus was one of the ten towns that the *Romans did not rule. These ten towns had their own rulers.

Saul needed letters from the most important *priest. Then he would have authority. He could catch any *believers that he found. People called the early Christians ‘Those who followed the Way of the *Lord’.

v3 Saul travelled towards Damascus. He was almost at the city when a very bright light *suddenly appeared. The light came from the sky, and it shone all round him. v4 Saul fell to the ground. He heard someone say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, you are fighting against me.’

v5 Saul asked, ‘*Lord, who are you?’ The voice said, ‘I am Jesus. And you are fighting against me. v6 Now you should get up and you should go into Damascus. Someone will come to you when you arrive in the city. He will tell you what to do.’

v7 The men who were with Saul stood still. They did not speak. They could hear that someone was talking. But they could not see anyone. v8 Saul stood up and he opened his eyes. But he could not see anything. The men who were with Saul held his hand. And they led him into Damascus. v9 For three days, Saul could not see anything. And for those three days he did not eat or drink anything.

v10 Ananias was a *believer who lived in Damascus. After Saul came to Damascus, Ananias had a dream. But Ananias was not asleep. In the dream, Jesus spoke to him. ‘Ananias’, Jesus said. Ananias answered him. He said, ‘Master, I am here.’

v11 ‘Prepare yourself and go to Straight Street’, said Jesus, ‘A man called Judas lives in that street. Go to his house. And ask for a man from Tarsus called Saul. He is praying to God.

v12 Saul has also had a dream when he was not asleep. In his dream, Saul saw you, Ananias. You came to see him. You put your hands on Saul so that he could see again.’

v13 ‘*Lord, many people have told me about this man’, Ananias said to the *Lord Jesus. ‘They told me about all the very bad things that he has done to your people in Jerusalem. v14 Now he has come to Damascus. And I know that he has brought letters with him from the leaders of the *priests. They have given him authority over everyone who follows you. He will take them away and he will tie them with *ropes.’

v15 But the *Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go and do this for me. I have chosen Saul to work for me. He will tell those who are not *Jews and their rulers about me. He will also tell the people of *Israel about me. v16 Saul will have many troubles because he will work for me. I myself will tell him about these things.’

v17 So Ananias went to Judas’s house. He went into the house, and he put his hands on Saul. Then he said to him, ‘*Brother Saul, the *Lord Jesus himself has sent me here to see you. It was Jesus that you saw on the road to Damascus. You saw him when you were coming here. He sent me to you so that you will be able to see again. God will also give his *Holy Spirit to you.’

Brother is a name that a Christian may call another Christian.

v18 Then immediately something fell from Saul’s eyes. It was like bits of fish skin. Then Saul could see again. So he stood up and Ananias *baptised him. v19 Then Saul ate some food and he felt strong again.

Saul teaches the people in Damascus the good news about Jesus

Saul stayed with the *believers in Damascus for a few days. v20 He immediately went to the *synagogues. There, he taught the people about Jesus. ‘Jesus is the son of God’, he said to them. v21 Many people heard what Saul said. They were all very surprised and they said to each other, ‘This is the same man who was in Jerusalem. We are sure about that. In Jerusalem, he killed people who believed in Jesus. Then he came here to Damascus to take hold of the *believers. He wanted to take them back to Jerusalem. There they would stand in front of the leaders of the *priests.’ v22 But then Saul was even more powerful when he taught the people. He said, ‘Jesus is the *Christ, the special person that God sent to us.’ Saul said all the right things about Jesus. So the *Jews who lived in Damascus could not answer him. v23 After many days, the *Jews met together. And they decided to kill Saul.

v24 But someone told Saul about this. The *Jews *guarded the gates of the city all day and all night. They wanted to catch Saul and to kill him. v25 But one night, Saul’s friends helped him to leave the city. They put Saul in a basket, and then they put the basket through a hole in the city wall. Then they let the basket go slowly down to the ground.

Paul’s friends tied a *rope to the basket and they held the *rope. Then they let the basket go down to the ground.

Saul returns to Jerusalem

v26 When Saul returned to Jerusalem, he wanted to join the *believers there. But they were afraid of him. They did not believe that he was now a *disciple of Jesus. v27 A *believer called Barnabas helped Saul. He took Saul to talk to the *apostles. And Barnabas then explained to the *apostles what had happened to Saul. Barnabas said to them, ‘Saul saw the *Lord when he was on the road to Damascus. And the *Lord spoke to him. While Saul was in Damascus, he bravely spoke to the people with the authority of Jesus.’ v28 So, after that, Saul stayed with the *apostles. He went round all Jerusalem and taught the people in clear words, with the authority of Jesus. v29 Saul also talked with the *Jews who spoke the Greek language. He argued with them about Jesus. So they tried to kill him.

Greek means the language that people spoke in Greece. Or it means someone who comes from that country. Saul could speak the Greek language. Most people in that part of the world spoke Greek.

v30 The other *believers heard about this. So they took Saul to *Caesarea, and from there, Saul went away to Tarsus.

v31 Now there were *believers in Judea, Galilee and Samaria, and for some time they had no troubles. The *Holy Spirit helped them to become strong. More people became *believers. And they obeyed God in everything that they did.

Peter travels to Lydda and Joppa

Joppa was a town 45 kilometres (28 miles) from Jerusalem. At that time, it was an important sea port in Judea. Joppa was about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Lydda.

v32 Now Peter often travelled to different places and one day he travelled to Lydda. Some *believers lived there, and Peter went to see them. v33 In Lydda, Peter met a man called Aeneas. Aeneas could not move his arms and legs, and so he lay on his bed all the time. He had done this for 8 years.

v34 Peter said to Aeneas, ‘Jesus will cause you to become well again. So stand up and pick up your things.’ Immediately Aeneas stood up. v35 Many people who were living in Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas. And they began to obey the *Lord.

v36 A woman called Tabitha lived in Joppa. She was a *believer. Tabitha is a name in the *Aramaic language. In Greek, her name was Dorcas. Dorcas is the word for a deer. Dorcas did good things and she helped poor people all the time.

A deer is an animal that eats grass. It is like a goat. It can run very fast. Greek means the language that people spoke in Greece. The *Jews spoke the Hebrew and Aramaic languages.

v37 Dorcas became very ill and then she died. Women washed her dead body and they put it in the room upstairs. v38 Joppa was not very far from Lydda. And the *believers in Joppa heard that Peter was in Lydda. So they sent two men to him with a message. ‘Please hurry and come to Joppa’, they wrote in the message.

v39 Peter prepared himself and he returned to Joppa with the two men. When he arrived at Dorcas’s house, the women took him upstairs. Many other women were there. Their husbands had died. They were crying and they all came close to Peter. They showed him the shirts and coats that Dorcas had made. She made them while she was still with them.

v40 Peter put all these women out of the room. He went down on his knees and he prayed to God. Then he turned his head towards the dead body. ‘Tabitha’, he said. ‘Stand up!’ She opened her eyes. And when she saw Peter, she sat up. v41 Peter took her by the hand and he helped her to stand up. Then he asked all the *believers and the other women to come into the room. And he showed them that she was alive again. v42 The *believers told other people what had happened. So then people all over Joppa heard what had happened. And many more people believed in the *Lord Jesus. v43 Peter stayed in Joppa for many days. He stayed with a man called Simon. Simon was a tanner.

A tanner is a man who works with animal skins. He makes leather from the skins. And people make things from the leather.

Chapter 10

Cornelius asks Peter to come to him

v1 There was a man who lived in *Caesarea. His name was Cornelius, and he was an officer and a leader of 100 men in the *Roman army. His group in the army was called ‘the group from Italy’. v2 Cornelius was a good man. He and all his *family believed in God and they obeyed him. Cornelius prayed to God every day. And he gave a lot of money to help the poor *Jews in *Caesarea.

Cornelius was a not a *Jew. But he believed in the God of the *Jewish people and he obeyed the *Law. His *family and all his servants also prayed to God and obeyed him.

v3 One afternoon, at about 3 o’clock, Cornelius had a special dream. But he was not really asleep. One of God’s *angels came in and spoke to him. ‘Cornelius!’ the *angel said.

It was about 3 o’clock in the afternoon. That was a time when the *Jews prayed to God. Cornelius was not sleeping when he had his special dream. He was praying when he saw the *angel.

v4 Cornelius looked at the *angel and he was afraid. ‘Master, what is it?’ said Cornelius.

The *angel said to Cornelius, ‘God heard you when you prayed to him. And he has seen all the money that you give to the poor people. You make God very happy, and now he is answering you. v5 Send some men to Joppa. These men will find a man that is staying there. He is called Simon Peter. Your men must ask him to come here to *Caesarea. v6 He is staying at the house of Simon the *tanner. Simon’s house is at the edge of the sea.’

v7 Then the *angel that spoke to Cornelius went away. Cornelius *ordered two of his own servants, and one of his own soldiers, to come to him. The soldier was a good man who obeyed God. He helped Cornelius and he worked close to him. v8 Cornelius told these three men what had happened. And he told them what the *angel had said to him. Then he sent them to Joppa.

Joppa was about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from *Caesarea.

v9 The next day, at about noon, Cornelius’s men were almost at *Caesarea. At this same time, Peter went up on the roof of the house. He went there to pray to God.

In those days, in *Israel, all the houses had flat roofs. People sat up there after they had finished working. It was quiet there.

v10 Peter felt hungry, and he wanted to eat some food. While someone was preparing a meal for him, Peter had a special dream. But he was not really asleep.

v11 Peter saw *heaven open. He saw something like a large piece of cloth with 4 corners. An *angel held it at each corner. Then they let the large piece of cloth come down to the ground next to Peter. v12 On the cloth there were many different animals. Some of these were farm animals, and some of them were wild animals. There were also some wild birds and things like snakes on the cloth. v13 Then Peter heard a voice that spoke to him. ‘Peter, stand up and kill an animal. Then you can cook it and eat it.’

v14 ‘No, *Lord, I would certainly never do something like that’, Peter answered. ‘I have never eaten an animal that your *law does not let me eat.’

We can read about these *laws in Leviticus chapter 11. The animals on the cloth were only ones that the *Law would not let a *Jew eat.

v15 Then the voice said to Peter, ‘God has made these animals good to eat. You must not say that God will not accept you if you eat any of them.’

v16 All this happened three times. And then immediately the cloth went back up into *heaven.

v17 Then Cornelius’s men arrived from Joppa. They had found Simon’s house. Peter was still thinking about his dream when the men stopped at the gate of the house. v18 The men shouted out, ‘Is a man called Simon Peter staying here?’

v19 Peter was still thinking about his dream. Then the *Holy Spirit said to him, ‘Simon Peter, there are three men downstairs. They are looking for you. v20 Get up and go downstairs to them. I have sent these men to see you. And it will be right for you to go with them.’

v21 Peter went downstairs and said to the men, ‘I am the person that you are looking for. Why have you come here?’

v22 ‘We have come from the officer who is called Cornelius’, the men answered. ‘He is a good man. He prays to God and obeys him. And the *Jews think good things about him. An *angel from God said that he should send us here. The *angel wanted you to return with us to Joppa. Cornelius wants to hear what you have to say.’ v23 Then Peter said to the men, ‘Please come into the house and stay here with us tonight.’

Peter goes to Cornelius’s house

The next day, Peter travelled to Joppa with Cornelius’s men. And some *believers who lived in Joppa travelled with them. v24 Peter arrived in *Caesarea the next day. Cornelius knew that they would be arriving. So he was waiting for Peter. The *family and friends of Cornelius were also waiting with him. He had asked them to come to his house. v25 When Peter arrived, Cornelius went to the door to meet him. Then Cornelius went down on his knees in front of Peter. v26 But Peter said to him, ‘Stand up. I also am only a man.’

v27 Peter went into the house with Cornelius and he continued to talk to him. He then saw that many people were meeting together in the house. v28 He said to them, ‘You people know that *Jews do not usually come into the home of *Gentiles. God’s *Law does not let a *Jew have someone who is not a *Jew as a friend. But God has now shown me something different. God has shown me that he accepts all men. And so I must accept everyone.’

Peter now understood more about his own dream. He knew that God was teaching him something. The dream was a message from God about all people. All people can be *believers. People can be either *Jews or *Gentiles. God will accept everyone.

v29 Then Peter said, ‘So when you asked me to come here, I was happy to come. I knew that it was right. But why did you ask me to come?’

v30 Then Cornelius said, ‘Three days ago, I was in my house. It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and I was praying to God. *Suddenly, a man appeared in front of me. He was wearing white clothes that shone. v31 “Cornelius”, the man said to me. “You have prayed to God. You have done many good things for poor people. Now God wants to answer you. v32 So send some men to Joppa. These men will find a man called Simon Peter. He is staying there. Your men must ask him to come here to *Caesarea. Simon Peter is staying at the house of Simon the *tanner. His house is at the edge of the sea.” v33 I sent the men immediately and they asked you to come. Thank you that you came. Now we are all here together, and God is here with us. We are waiting to hear what you have to say. Do you have a message from the *Lord for us?’

Peter speaks to Cornelius and to his *family and friends

v34 Then Peter spoke to all the people in the room. ‘Now I understand that God accepts all people in the same way’, he said. ‘And I now know that this is true. v35 God accepts all people who obey him. He accepts all people who do the right things. It is not important to God which country a person comes from. He accepts them all. v36 God sent this message to the people of *Israel. He told them the good news about Jesus Christ. Jesus is the *Lord of everything. Because of Jesus, we can be close to God again. v37 You know about the important things that have happened in Judea. These things began in Galilee after John talked to the people. And he *baptised them. v38 You know about Jesus. He came from the town called Nazareth. God chose Jesus to do special work for him. He gave Jesus his *Holy Spirit and helped him to do powerful things. Then Jesus went to many places. And he helped many people that the *devil was holding. But Jesus did good things and caused all those people to become well again. He could do that because God was with him.

v39 We all saw everything that Jesus did in *Israel and in Jerusalem. Then the *Jews fixed Jesus to a *cross and they killed him. v40 But then, three days after that, God caused Jesus to become alive again. He caused him to appear to us. v41 Not everyone saw him. He appeared only to us because God has chosen us to work for him. So we are telling people about everything that we saw. We ate with him after he became alive again. And we drank with him, too. v42 Jesus said to us, “Go and tell people the good news about me. Tell them that God has given me authority to *judge all people. I will *judge those who are now alive. And I will *judge those who have died.” ’ v43 Then Peter said, ‘The *prophets who spoke words from God a long time ago, spoke about Jesus. They said, “Everybody has done wrong things. But Jesus will *forgive everyone who believes in him. He will do this by his powerful authority.” ’

Those who are not *Jews receive the *Holy Spirit

v44 While Peter was still speaking, the *Holy Spirit came down on all the people in the room. They were all listening to the message about Jesus. v45 The *Jewish *believers who had come from Joppa with Peter were very surprised. They saw that God had also given his *Holy Spirit to *Gentiles. v46 And the *Jewish *believers in the room heard them speaking in other languages. They were also saying, ‘God, you are very great and powerful.’

Then Peter spoke. v47 ‘God has given his *Holy Spirit to these people in the same way that he gave him to us’, he said. ‘So we should *baptise them with water. That is the right thing to do.’ v48 So Peter asked those who came with him to *baptise the new *believers. They spoke the name of Jesus Christ when they *baptised them. And then Cornelius asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

Chapter 11

Peter returns to Jerusalem

v1 The *apostles and the other *believers in Judea heard about what had happened in *Caesarea. They heard that *Gentiles had also believed the message from God. v2 Peter then returned to Jerusalem. Some *Jews there asked him questions to show that he had done something wrong. These *Jews thought that the *Gentiles must be *circumcised. v3 So they said to Peter, ‘You stayed in the house of men who were not *circumcised. You even ate meals with them!’

The *Jews that spoke to Peter believed in Jesus. They thought that Peter had done a wrong thing. He had stayed with people who were not *Jews. And he had even eaten meals with them. They did not understand all that Jesus had done.

v4 Peter told these *Jewish *believers everything that had happened from the beginning. He explained to them, v5 ‘I was staying in a house in the city called Joppa’, he said. ‘One day, when I was praying, I had a special dream. I saw something that came down from *heaven. It was like a large piece of cloth with 4 corners. An *angel was holding it at each corner. The cloth came down to the ground next to me. v6 And I looked carefully at it. And I saw that there were farm animals, wild animals, things like snakes, and birds on it. v7 Then I heard the *Lord speak to me. The voice said, “Peter, stand up and kill an animal. Then you can cook it and eat it.”

v8 I answered, “No, *Lord, I would certainly never do something like that. I have never eaten an animal that your *law does not let us eat.”

v9 Then the *Lord said to me, “God has made these animals good to eat. So you must not say that God will not accept you if you eat any of them.” v10 All this happened three times. Then immediately the cloth went back up into *heaven.

v11 At that moment, three men from *Caesarea arrived at the house where I was staying. Someone had sent these men to find me. v12 The *Holy Spirit said to me, “Get up and go downstairs. I have sent these men to see you. It is right for you to go with them.” These 6 *believers from Joppa also went with me to *Caesarea. We all went into Cornelius’s house. v13 Then Cornelius told us what had happened to him. He had seen an *angel. The *angel was standing in his house. And he had said to Cornelius, “Send someone to Joppa. They must find a man who is staying there. His name is Simon Peter. v14 He will come and speak to you. And his message will show you how God can save you. The message is for you and for your family and for your servants.”

v15 While I was telling Cornelius and his family the message, God gave them all his *Holy Spirit. The *Holy Spirit came to them in the same way as he first came to us. v16 Then I remembered what the *Lord Jesus had said to us. “John *baptised people with water, but God will *baptise you with his *Holy Spirit.” v17 So we are sure about this. God gave those who are not *Jews his gift of the *Holy Spirit. He sent him to them in the same way that he gave him to us. He gave the *Holy Spirit to us when we believed in the *Lord Jesus Christ. And God also wanted to do this for those who are not *Jews. I do not have the authority to be against God.’

v18 The *Jews heard what Peter said. And they told him that he had done the right things. So they said to God, ‘You are very great and important. You helped those who are not *Jews. So now they also can tell you that they are sorry. They also can stop doing bad things and they can start to obey you. They also can have true life.’

The *believers go to Antioch

v19 After the men of the *Sanhedrin had killed Stephen, the *believers went away to many different places. Some of them went away as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch. They told people in those places God’s message. But they only told the message to the *Jews.

v20 Some of the *believers were from Cyprus and Cyrene. These men went to Antioch. There they told God’s message to the *Jews. But they also told it to those who were not *Jews. They told everyone the good news about the *Lord Jesus. v21 God helped these men and he caused them to become powerful. And many people believed the good news about Jesus. They asked Jesus to become their *Lord.

v22 The *believers in Jerusalem heard about what had happened in Antioch. So they decided to send Barnabas there. v23 Barnabas arrived in Antioch. Then, he saw that God had done good things for the people. Barnabas was happy about this. So he said to the new *believers, ‘Continue to obey the *Lord as you are doing. Obey him in everything that you do and say.’ v24 Barnabas was a good man and God’s *Holy Spirit was living inside him. He believed God about everything all the time. Many people became *believers.

v25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul. v26 And when Barnabas found him, Saul returned to Antioch with Barnabas. For one year, Barnabas and Saul met together with the *believers at Antioch. And they taught a large group of *believers all about Jesus. Antioch was the first place where the *believers were called Christians.

v27 At this time, some *prophets travelled from Jerusalem to Antioch.

v28 One of these men was called Agabus. He stood up and he told the people a message from God. The *Holy Spirit told him what to say. ‘Soon the food plants will not grow for a time all over the world’, he said. And that happened when *Caesar Claudius ruled the *Roman world.

*Caesar Claudius ruled the *Roman world from *AD 41 - 54. The food plants did not grow well in many parts of the *Roman world at that time. In Judea, this happened to the food plants in *AD 46.

v29 All those who believed in Jesus wanted to help the other *believers in Judea. So they decided to send them some of their own money. v30 The *believers in Antioch gave the money to Barnabas and Saul. So Barnabas and Saul took it and they gave it to the leaders of the *believers in Judea.

Chapter 12

King Herod does bad things to the *believers

v1 At that time, King Herod began to do bad things to some of those who believed in Jesus. v2 Herod sent his soldiers to kill James with a big sharp knife. James was John’s brother.

This was the James who was the son of Zebedee. This happened about 10 years after Jesus became alive again.

v3 The *Jews were happy because Herod’s soldiers had killed James. Because the *Jews were happy about it, Herod sent his soldiers to catch Peter. This happened during the week when the *Jews made their bread without *yeast.

This was the week before the *Passover meal. They usually made bread with *yeast, flour and water, but not during that week.

v4 After the soldiers caught Peter, they put him in prison. While he was in prison, 4 different groups of soldiers *guarded him. There were 4 men in each group. Herod wanted Peter to stand in front of a *judge. He could not do this until after this special *Passover week had finished.

Each group of soldiers *guarded the prison for 4 hours. When one group stopped the next group started. They did this day and night.

v5 So Herod kept Peter in prison. But while he was in prison, the *believers prayed to God about him.

Peter walks out of the prison

v6 It was night and Peter was in the prison. Herod wanted him to stand in front of the *judge the next morning. The soldiers had tied Peter with *chains. And then they tied these *chains to two other soldiers. So there was one soldier on each side of Peter while he was sleeping. Some soldiers were *guarding the gate of the prison. v7 An *angel from God *suddenly appeared in the prison. He stood near to the place where Peter was sleeping. A bright light also shone in the prison. The *angel touched Peter’s shoulder. He caused Peter to wake up. ‘Hurry, Peter! Stand up!’ the *angel said. And immediately the *chains fell off Peter’s hands.

v8 Then the *angel said, ‘Tie your belt round your clothes and put on your shoes.’ So Peter did what the *angel asked him to do. Then the *angel said, ‘Put your coat on and follow after me.’ v9 So Peter followed the *angel out of the prison. Peter was not sure that all these things were really happening to him. He did not know if he was dreaming. v10 Peter and the *angel walked past the first group of soldiers in the prison. Then they walked past the second group of soldiers. After that, they came to the big metal gate in the wall of the prison. The city was outside this gate. The gate opened by itself in front of them. So Peter and the *angel walked out of the prison into the city. They walked together along one street and *suddenly the *angel went away.

v11 Then Peter understood what had happened to him. ‘Now I know that these things really have happened to me’, he said to himself. ‘The *Lord sent one of his *angels to me. The *Jews wanted Herod to do bad things to me. And they thought that he would. But the *angel saved me so that Herod could not hurt me.’ v12 When Peter understood all these things, he went to Mary’s house. She was the mother of John Mark. Many people were meeting together in her house. They were praying.

It is possible that John Mark wrote Mark’s book about Jesus. Mary was the aunt of Barnabas.

v13 Peter knocked on the outside door of the house. A servant girl called Rhoda came to the door. v14 She recognised Peter’s voice and she was very happy. But she did not open the door. Instead, she ran back into the house and she spoke to all the people there. ‘Peter is standing outside the door’, she told them.

v15 The people in the house said, ‘You are crazy.’ But she told them again that Peter really was there. So then they said, ‘It is his *angel.’

At that time, some people believed that everyone had an *angel. These *angels kept them safe.

v16 While all this was happening, Peter was still knocking at the door. Then someone opened the door. And they were all very surprised when they saw him there. v17 Peter put out his hand so that they would all be quiet. Then he explained to them how the *Lord had brought him out of the prison. ‘Tell James and all the other *believers what has happened to me’, he said. Then he left the house and he went away to another place.

v18 When it was morning, there was a lot of trouble at the prison. The soldiers at the prison did not understand what had happened to Peter. v19 Herod said to the soldiers, ‘Go and look for Peter!’ But they could not find him. Herod asked the soldiers some questions about what they had done. And then he *ordered other soldiers, ‘Kill these men who let Peter go.’

After this happened, Herod went away from Judea. Then he stayed in *Caesarea for some time.

King Herod dies

v20 At that time, Herod was very angry with the people who lived in Tyre and Sidon. A group of men from these cities went together to speak to Herod about the problem. A man called Blastus was an important servant in King Herod’s house. The group spoke to Blastus and they said, ‘Please help us when we speak to Herod.’ Then the group went to speak to Herod. ‘Please stop being angry with our people. We want to have you as a friend’, they said to him. ‘We must come to your country to buy our food.’

The *Romans ruled Tyre and Sidon. These were not *Jewish cities. And the people did not want Herod to rule them. But they bought their food from Galilee. And the problem was that Herod ruled in Galilee.

v21 Herod decided on which day he would speak to the people. He put on his beautiful clothes and he sat in his special seat. And then he spoke to all the people. v22 They shouted, ‘This is not a man who is speaking to us. He is a god!’

v23 Herod liked what they said. He did not say that only God is very great and powerful. So immediately the *angel of the *Lord caused Herod to become ill. *Worms ate Herod’s body and he died.

Barnabas and Saul return to Antioch

v24 Everywhere that the *believers went, they told people the message from God about Jesus. So people in more and more places heard the message and they believed in Jesus.

v25 Barnabas and Saul finished their work and they returned from Jerusalem. And John Mark came from Jerusalem with them.

Chapter 13

The *believers in Antioch send Saul and Barnabas to Cyprus

v1 There were some *prophets among the *believers in Antioch. And there were also teachers who taught the other *believers more about Jesus. These men were called Barnabas and Simeon. People also called Simeon ‘the Black’. There was also Lucius who had lived in Cyrene. Manaen and Saul were also among them. Manaen had lived together with Governor Herod when they were children.

A governor is a very important ruler.

v2 One day, the *believers were meeting together. They were praying. And they were saying how very great and powerful God is. They were also *fasting. While they were together that day, the *Holy Spirit spoke to them. ‘I have chosen Barnabas and Saul to do a special work’, he said. ‘Let them go now for me.’

v3 The men finished talking to God and *fasting. And then, they each put their hands on Barnabas and Saul. Then they sent them to start this new work.

We do not know if only 5 *believers were meeting together. Perhaps all the *believers in Antioch were together at that meeting.

What happened when Barnabas and Saul were in Cyprus

v4 The *Holy Spirit sent Barnabas and Saul away from Antioch. They travelled to the coast, to the town called Seleucia. Then they sailed on a boat from there to an island called Cyprus. v5 They arrived at a town called Salamis. Then they went into the *Jewish *synagogues and they told the people God’s message about Jesus. John Mark went with Barnabas and Saul to help them with their work.

v6 They travelled across the island to a town called Paphos. There they met a man called Bar-Jesus. He was a *Jew and he did things by *magic. He said that he spoke messages from God. But that was not true.

In the Hebrew language ‘Bar-’ means ‘the son of’ and ‘Jesus’ is the word for Joshua. So the name Bar-Jesus means ‘son of Joshua’. Most *Jews spoke the Hebrew language. Those who were not *Jews usually spoke Greek. Greek means the language that people spoke in Greece.

v7 The ruler of Cyprus was called Sergius Paulus, and Bar-Jesus was his friend. Sergius Paulus understood things well. So he asked Barnabas and Saul to come to him. He wanted them to tell him the message about Jesus. v8 In the *Greek language, Bar-Jesus was called Elymas. He did not like what Barnabas and Saul were saying. He did not want Sergius Paulus to believe in Jesus. So he tried to stop him. v9 Then God filled Saul again completely with his *Holy Spirit. Saul was also called Paul. He looked straight at Elymas and he said, v10 ‘You are like a son of *Satan. You do not like anything that is right. Your mind is full of all the bad things that you do. You are always trying to change the good things that the *Lord says. You say that these things are not true. v11 The *Lord will now touch your eyes and you will not see the light of day for some time.’

Immediately, something like a black cloud covered Elymas’s eyes. When he walked about, he needed someone to lead him by the hand. v12 Then Sergius Paulus saw what had happened to Elymas. He was very surprised about all the things that Barnabas and Saul taught him about the *Lord. And so he believed in Jesus.

Paul and Barnabas go to Antioch in Pisidia

v13 Paul and Barnabas and John Mark sailed from Paphos. They came to the coast at the town called Perga. John left them there and he returned to Jerusalem. Perga was a town in the part of the country called Pamphylia. v14 Paul and Barnabas left there. And they went on to a town called Antioch in Pisidia. On the *Sabbath day, they went into the *synagogue and they sat down. v15 First someone read some of the words from the *Law that God had given to Moses. And he also read some of the words that the *prophets had written down. After this, the leaders of the *synagogue sent a message to Paul and Barnabas. ‘Friends’, these men said to them, ‘we want you to speak to the people. Do you have a message that will help them?’

v16 So Paul stood up and he moved his hand towards them. Then he began to speak to them.

From Acts 13:13, Luke begins to call Saul by his new name, Paul. Paul moved his hand towards them so that the people would be quiet. He wanted them to listen carefully to him.

He said, ‘Listen to me, you who, like us, are *Jews. You *Gentiles who pray to our God, listen carefully to me.

v17 The God of the people of *Israel chose our *ancestors. While they were in *Egypt, God caused *Israel to become a large group of people. They were foreign people in *Egypt. But because God was so powerful, he brought *Israel out of *Egypt.’

We can read about *Israel when they left *Egypt in Exodus chapter 12.

v18 ‘They did not show God that they loved him. But God remained with the people of *Israel in the *desert for 40 years. v19 God destroyed 7 groups of people in the country called Canaan. And God gave Canaan to his people so that they could live there. v20 The people of *Israel lived there for about 450 years.

After this time, God caused *Israel to have leaders called *judges. They ruled *Israel until the time when Samuel was alive. Samuel was a *prophet. v21 Then the people of *Israel asked Samuel to choose a king for them. So God caused them to have Saul as their king. Saul was the son of Kish and he was from the *family of Benjamin. And he ruled *Israel for 40 years.’

We can read about Samuel, Saul and David in 1 Samuel chapters 8 to 31.

v22 ‘Then God caused Saul to stop ruling *Israel. And God caused *Israel to have David as their king instead. God said this about David: “I have watched David, the son of Jesse. He thinks like I think. So I know that he is the right kind of man. And he will do everything that I want.”

v23 Jesus was from the *family of David. It is Jesus who saves the people of *Israel. God had promised this to the *ancestors of *Israel. v24 Before Jesus began his work, John spoke to many of the people of *Israel. He said, “You should stop doing wrong things. You should say sorry to God and then you should obey him. If you do that, I will *baptise you then.” ’

We can read about John the *Baptist and his work in Luke chapter 3.

v25 ‘When John had almost finished his work, he said to the people, “Perhaps you think that I am God’s special man. I am not that man. But listen! He is coming after me. And I am not good enough to remove his shoes.” ’

It was the job of servants to remove their master’s shoes.

v26 ‘I speak to you people here, who, like us, have Abraham as your *ancestor. I also speak to you, who are not *Jews. You also know that God is powerful and important. God gave us this message for all of you. He tells us how he will save us. v27 The people who live in Jerusalem, and their leaders, did not understand about Jesus. He came to save us. But the people in Jerusalem said that Jesus had done wrong things. And they said that he should die. So they caused the words of the *prophets to become true. And someone reads these same words to you every *Sabbath day. v28 They could not find any reason to kill Jesus. But they said to Pilate, “Your soldiers must kill him.” v29 So the soldiers did everything that the *prophets wrote about. Then some of Jesus’ *disciples took him down from the *cross and they buried him. v30 But then God caused Jesus to live again. v31 So for many days after this, he appeared to his *disciples. He showed himself to those people who had earlier travelled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They saw everything and now they can tell the people of *Israel about it.’

We can read about what happened to Jesus in Jerusalem in Luke chapters 22 to 24.

v32 ‘We have come here to tell you this good news. God promised our *ancestors that he would do these things for us. v33 And now he has also done these things for everyone. He has caused Jesus to live again. We can read about this in the second Psalm. God says,

            “You are my son.

            Today, I have become your Father.”

v34 God caused Jesus to live again so that *worms did not destroy his body. And he will not die again. This is what God said about it.

            “I will also do the good things for you

            that I promised to David.”

v35 God also says this in another Psalm.

            “Your servant who loves you will not remain dead.

            You will not let *worms eat his body.”

v36 While David was king, he worked well for God. Then David died and men buried him next to his *ancestors. *Worms ate his body. v37 But God caused Jesus to become alive again. He did not die again and *worms did not eat his body.

v38 My friends, I want all of you to know this. We have all done many bad things. I am telling you this message about how God *forgives us. God *forgives us because of what Jesus did. v39 God can cause everyone to be right with him. Believe in Jesus. And then God will *forgive all the bad things that you have done. The *Law that God gave to Moses cannot do this for you. It cannot make you free. v40 Be careful then! The *prophets spoke about what would happen. So do what I am saying. And then these things will not happen to you. This is what the *prophets said:

v41      “Listen to me! Many of you speak bad things about what God has said.

            Be surprised at what I do. And then die.

            I am working now, while you are still alive.

            But still you will not believe what I am doing.

            Even if someone explains everything to you, you will not believe.” ’

v42 The people spoke to Paul and Barnabas while they were leaving the *synagogue. ‘Please return on the next *Sabbath day’, they said. ‘Then you can tell us more about what you have already told us.’ v43 When the meeting in the *synagogue finished, many people followed Paul and Barnabas. These people were *Jews and also some who believed in the God of the *Jews. Paul and Barnabas spoke to them. ‘You believe that God has done good things to help you’, they said. ‘You should continue to believe that God will help you.’

v44 On the next *Sabbath day, almost everyone in the town came to hear God’s Message. v45 But there were some *Jews who saw the crowd. All the people wanted to listen to Paul and Barnabas more than they listened to those *Jews. So those *Jews were angry with the people. And they said bad things about what Paul said. They also said bad things about Paul.

v46 But Paul and Barnabas were not afraid of them. They said to the *Jews, ‘It was right, that we first tell you the message from God. But you say that the message is not true. You did not believe God’s word. And you did not believe that God would give you true life. So we will leave you now. And we will give the message to those who are not *Jews.

v47 We will do that because the *Lord has given us this message for you. He said to us,

            “I have sent you out to be like a light to those who are not *Jews.

            You must tell people everywhere in the world how God saves people.” ’

v48 The *Gentiles were very happy when they heard this. And they thanked the *Lord for the message about Jesus. The *Lord had chosen some people to have true life. And those people believed his message.

v49 Many people in that part of the country told each other the message about Jesus. v50 But the *Jews spoke to the important men in the city. They also spoke to many rich women who were not *Jewish. These women believed in the God of the *Jews. But the *Jews caused all these people to think bad thoughts against Paul. So these rulers started to say bad things about Paul and Barnabas. They caused Paul and Barnabas to leave that part of the country. v51 Paul and Barnabas cleaned the dirt off their feet. This showed to the people in that town that they had refused the message from God. And then they travelled to the town called Iconium. v52 Those who believed in Jesus in Antioch in Pisidia were very happy. The *Holy Spirit completely filled them.

Chapter 14

Paul and Barnabas tell the good news about Jesus to the people in Iconium

v1 Paul and Barnabas did the same in Iconium as they had done in Antioch in Pisidia. Paul and Barnabas went to the *synagogue. They told the people their message about Jesus and many *Jews and *Gentiles believed it. And these people became *disciples of Jesus. v2 But some of the *Jews refused to believe their message. These *Jews caused some of those who were not *Jews to think bad thoughts against the *believers. So they began to say bad things about them. v3 So Paul and Barnabas stayed in Iconium for a long time and they did many powerful things. They were not afraid to tell the people everything about Jesus. And the *Lord showed the people that the message was true. He helped Paul and Barnabas to do powerful things. v4 The people in the city were in two groups. Some of them believed the message from Paul and Barnabas. But some of them joined the *Jews who did not believe. v5 Then both the *Jews and the *Gentiles and all their leaders wanted to hurt Paul and Barnabas. They wanted to throw stones at them until they died. v6 Paul and Barnabas heard about what these people wanted to do to them. So they went away quickly to Lystra and Derbe, where they were safe. These places were cities in the part of the country called Lycaonia. They also went to other places near Lycaonia. v7 In all these places, they told people the good news about Jesus.

This is what happened in Lystra and in Derbe

v8 There was a man who lived in Lystra. He could not walk because his feet were not strong. His feet had been weak since he was born. So he had never walked. v9 He was sitting near to Paul and he was listening to Paul’s words. Paul could see that the man believed his message. Also the man believed that he could become well. And Paul knew that. v10 So Paul looked at the man and Paul said loudly, ‘Stand up on your feet!’ So the man jumped up and he began to walk about.

v11 The crowd saw what Paul had done. So they began to shout in the language of the people who lived in Lycaonia. ‘The gods have become like men and they have come down from the sky to us’, they said. v12 They called Barnabas by the name of their god Zeus. They called Paul by the name of their god Hermes because he usually spoke to the people.

Zeus and Hermes were the names of two Greek gods. Zeus was the leader of the Greek gods. And Hermes was the god who gave messages from Zeus to the people. Greek means that they came from the country called Greece.

v13 The house where people prayed to Zeus was very near to the town. The *priest who worked for Zeus brought animals to the gate of the house. He also brought some flowers. The *priest and the crowd thought that Paul and Barnabas were their gods. And so they wanted to kill these animals as gifts to Paul and Barnabas.

v14 Then Paul and Barnabas heard what the people were doing. They tore their own clothes and they ran into the middle of the crowd.

Paul and Barnabas tore their own clothes. Paul and Barnabas were showing the people that they were doing the wrong thing.

v15 ‘Stop! You people should not do this’, they shouted. ‘We are only men like you. We are human; we are not gods. We came here to tell you the good news about Jesus. God wants you to stop doing this. Your gods have no value. Our God is alive. And he wants you to obey him. He made the sky, the earth and the sea, and everything else that is in them.

v16 Before this time, God let all people do what they wanted to do. v17 But even then, God showed everybody that he was there. He has shown this by all the good things that he does for people. He causes the rain to fall from the sky. He causes the food plants to make their fruit and seeds at the right time. He gives you food and he causes you to be happy.’ v18 Paul and Barnabas said this to stop the people. But they still wanted to kill the animals as gifts for Paul and Barnabas.

v19 Some *Jews had travelled from Antioch in Pisidia and from Iconium. And they caused the people to believe them instead of Paul. Then those *Jews threw stones at Paul and they pulled him out of the town. They thought that he was dead. v20 But the *believers came and they stood round him. Then Paul stood up and he went back into the town. The next day, he and Barnabas went to Derbe.

Paul and Barnabas return to Antioch in Syria.

v21 Paul and Barnabas told the people in Derbe the good news about Jesus. Many people there believed what they taught. Then Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra and from there they went back to Iconium. They also returned to Antioch in Pisidia. v22 They taught the *believers in these towns more about Jesus. They said to them, ‘Continue to believe in Jesus! All people who do believe will have difficult times in their lives. That will happen until God rules the earth.’ v23 Paul and Barnabas chose leaders from each group of *believers. Paul and Barnabas prayed and they *fasted. And then they chose them. So, Paul and Barnabas asked Jesus to help these leaders and to keep them safe. That was because these leaders believed in him. v24 After Paul and Barnabas travelled through Pisidia, they arrived in Pamphylia. v25 There they taught the people in Perga the message about Jesus. Then they went down to the town called Attalia.

v26 From there they sailed back to Antioch. It was in Antioch where they had begun their work. The *believers in Antioch had asked God to keep Paul and Barnabas safe as they travelled. And now Paul and Barnabas had finished their work. v27 When they arrived, they sent a message to all the *believers in Antioch. ‘Come and meet together with us!’ they said. So the *believers all met together with them. Then Paul and Barnabas told them about their journey. They told the *believers what God had done by them. They said, ‘God has made it possible for people who are not *Jews to believe in Jesus.’ v28 Paul and Barnabas stayed with the *believers in Antioch for a long time.

Chapter 15

Paul and Barnabas go to Jerusalem

v1 Some men came from Judea to Antioch. And they began to teach the *believers there. ‘God cannot save you unless someone *circumcises you’, they said. ‘This is in the *Law that God gave to Moses.’ v2 Paul and Barnabas argued with these men for a long time about this. So the *believers in Antioch said, ‘Let Paul, Barnabas and some of the other *believers go to Jerusalem. They should meet with the *apostles and leaders of the *believers there. Then they can talk to them about *circumcising new *believers who are not *Jews.’ v3 The Christians at Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem. They travelled through Phoenicia and Samaria. And they spoke to the *believers in that part of the country. They said, ‘People who are not *Jews are also obeying God.’ They were all very happy to hear this news. v4 When Paul and Barnabas arrived in Jerusalem they met with the Christians. And the *apostles, all the *believers and their leaders were happy to see them. Paul and Barnabas told them all about how God had worked by them.

v5 Some of those who believed in Jesus were also part of a group of *Pharisees. They stood up and spoke. They said, ‘We must *circumcise *Gentiles when they become *believers. They must also obey the *Law that God gave to Moses.’

v6 So the *apostles and the leaders of the *believers met to talk about this problem.

Peter talks to the *apostles and the leaders of the *believers in Jerusalem.

v7 After they had all talked about this problem for a long time, Peter stood up. He said, ‘My friends, you know that a long time ago, God chose me from among this group. He wanted me to teach those who are not *Jews the good news about Jesus. God wanted them to hear the message and to believe in Jesus. v8 God knows what people believe. He gave his *Holy Spirit to those who are not *Jews. He sent him to them in the same way as he sent him to us. So he accepted those who are not *Jews. And he was showing that to us. v9 He saw no difference between them and us. He caused them to become right with himself because they believed in him.

v10 God has shown us what to do. Let us not make God angry with us. We do not understand why you now want us to do something different. You will be causing problems for the *Gentiles who believe God’s message. All these same *laws were too difficult for us and for our *ancestors to obey. v11 It should not be like that for those who are not *Jews. We are *Jews. And we believed God’s message and Jesus saved us. Jesus did this because he was kind to us. And he saves those who are not *Jews in the same way.’

v12 Now everybody in the group was quiet while Barnabas and Paul talked to them. They said, ‘God worked by us. And he did many powerful things for those who are not *Jews.’ Then they told the group all about these powerful things. v13 When they had finished speaking, James spoke to the group. ‘Listen to me, my friends!’ he said. v14 ‘Simon Peter has just explained to us what happened first. He showed how God loved the *Gentiles. God chose a group of people from among the *Gentiles for himself.

v15 These words that the *prophets wrote agree completely with this. The *Lord said,

v16      “Later I will return.

            People have destroyed the *kingdom of David, but I will raise it up again.

            I will make it strong again.

v17     The other people in the world will then look for the *Lord.

            Also the *Gentiles that are called by my name will look for me.

v18      The *Lord, who is doing all these things, says that.” ’

In verse 16, the ‘*kingdom of David’ means the ‘*family of David’. Jesus was also in the *family of David.

v19 James then spoke again. ‘This is what I think’, he said. ‘I think that we should do this: Many who are not *Jews are now obeying God. We should not cause troubles for them and we should not make it difficult. v20 Instead of that, we should write a letter to them. We should say to them, “Someone may kill an animal and give it to his god. Then, do not eat the meat. The *Lord says that it is not right for you to eat it. Also, do not have sex with anyone that is not your wife or husband. Someone may tie a *rope round the neck of an animal to kill it. Do not eat that meat. The blood of the animal has remained in the meat. Do not eat blood.” v21 I say this because, for many years, someone has read God’s *Law in the *synagogues. On every *Sabbath day, in every town, someone teaches the people the message from Moses.’

We can read about all this in Leviticus 18:6-23 and 17:10-12.

The *believers in Jerusalem write a letter to the *Gentiles

v22 So then the *apostles, the whole *church and their leaders decided to choose some men. They chose them from their group. These men would go to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Silas and Judas, who was also called Barsabbas. Everyone thought good things about both these men. v23 They sent this letter to Antioch with Judas, Silas, Barnabas and Paul.

‘We, the *apostles, all the other *believers and their leaders say hello to you. We say hello to all of you who live in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. We have written this letter to all our *Gentile friends there who believe God’s message about Jesus.’

Antioch was a city, but Syria and Cilicia were large parts of the country.

v24 ‘We have heard that some men from our group have confused your thoughts. The things that they said were not right. So you were not happy about it. But they did not have our authority to say those things to you. v25 So we all met together and we agreed about these things. We have chosen some men to bring this message to you. And they will travel with our good friends Barnabas and Paul. v26 These two men, Barnabas and Paul, have worked for the *Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that, other people have nearly killed them. v27 So we are sending Judas and Silas to you. And they will tell you the same things that we have written in this letter. v28 We have agreed with the *Holy Spirit about these rules. We do not want to cause problems for you. So these are the only things that we want you to do. v29 You should not eat any of the meat from animals that people killed as gifts to their gods. And you should not eat any blood. People sometimes tie a *rope round the neck of an animal to kill it. You should not eat the meat from an animal like that. And you must not have sex with anyone that you are not married to. If you do not do any of these things, you will do well. Goodbye.’

v30 So the *apostles and other *believers sent these 4 men to Antioch. When they arrived there, they said to the *believers, ‘Please come and meet together with us.’ And when they all met together, Silas and Judas gave them the letter. v31 The *believers in Antioch were very happy when they read the letter. They said, ‘This message helps us to obey God.’ v32 Judas and Silas were both *prophets. They spoke a message from God to the *believers in Antioch. They spoke to them for a long time. Their words helped them to obey God and not to be afraid. v33 They remained in Antioch for some time. Then the whole group of *believers in Antioch sent Judas and Silas back to Jerusalem. The *believers spoke kind words to them as they left. v34 [But Silas decided to stay there.]

Many Bibles leave out Acts 15:34.

v35 Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch for a longer time. And, together with many other *believers, they told people the message about Jesus. They also taught the people more about Jesus.

v36 After some time, Paul spoke to Barnabas. ‘Let us go back and visit the *believers in all those different cities. We can go to all the places where we taught people about Jesus. We can see how they are.’ v37 Barnabas wanted to take John Mark with them. v38 But Paul said to Barnabas, ‘John Mark did not remain with us until we had finished our work. So it is not a good thing to take him with us now.’ John Mark had turned back and he had left Paul and Barnabas in Pamphylia. v39 Paul and Barnabas argued about whether they should take John Mark with them. They could not agree, so they went in different directions. Barnabas took John Mark with him and he sailed to Cyprus. v40 And Paul chose Silas to go with him. The *believers in Antioch asked God to keep Paul and Silas safe. v41 They travelled together through Syria and Cilicia. And Paul taught the *believers in those parts of the country. Then they would be strong in what they believed about Jesus.

Chapter 16

Timothy travels with Paul and Silas

v1 So Paul travelled on to Derbe and Lystra. A man called Timothy lived in Lystra. He was a *believer and Timothy’s mother was also a *believer. She was a *Jew, but Timothy’s father was a Greek. v2 All those who believed in Jesus in Lystra and Iconium said good things about Timothy. v3 Paul wanted Timothy to travel with him. All the *Jews in Lystra and Iconium knew that Timothy’s father was a Greek. So Paul *circumcised Timothy.

Timothy’s father was not a *Jew. So nobody had *circumcised Timothy when he was a baby. Paul wanted Timothy to go with him to help him with his work. Paul wanted to tell *Jews the good news about Jesus. These *Jews knew Timothy. They knew that his father was not a *Jew. This is why Paul *circumcised Timothy. If he had not done this, the *Jews would not have accepted him. A person from the country called Greece is called a Greek.

v4 Paul, Silas and Timothy travelled through many towns. And they read to the *believers the letter from the *apostles and other *believers in Jesus in Jerusalem. They said, ‘This letter tells you what you must not do. The *apostles and leaders of the *believers in Jerusalem agreed about these rules. You should obey these rules.’ v5 So Paul helped the groups of *believers in these towns to believe and to obey Jesus. More and more people began to believe in Jesus every day.

Paul has a dream

v6 The *Holy Spirit did not let Paul and his friends teach the people in *Asia. So Paul, Silas and Timothy travelled through the country between the *regions called Phrygia and Galatia. v7 They arrived at the *region called Mysia. Then they wanted to go into the *region called Bithynia. But the *Holy Spirit did not let them go there. v8 So they did not stop travelling and they went through Mysia. They went down to the city called Troas. v9 Paul had a dream during the night when they arrived in Troas. In the dream, he saw a man from the country called Macedonia. The man was standing next to him. This man said, ‘Please, please come across to Macedonia and help us.’ v10 After Paul had dreamed this we prepared ourselves for the journey. We decided that God wanted us to go to Macedonia. He wanted us to tell the people there the good news about Jesus.

Luke met Paul, Silas and Timothy in Troas.

Lydia becomes a *believer

v11 We sailed from Troas. The boat took us across the sea to a town called Samothrace. And then, the next day, we went to a port called Neapolis. v12 We then walked away from the coast to Philippi. This city is the most important city in the country called Macedonia. The *Romans ruled the people who lived in Philippi. And we stayed a few days in that city.

Macedonia was in 4 parts. Philippi was in one of these parts.

v13 On the *Sabbath day, we went out of the city gate and we walked at the side of the river. We thought that the *Jews would have a special place there. We thought that they would meet there to pray. We did see a group of women. So we sat down and we talked to them.

Not many *Jews were living in Philippi, so they did not have a *synagogue. Instead, they met at the side of the river to pray together.

v14 One of the women was called Lydia and she listened to us. She was from the city called Thyatira. And she sold expensive dark red cloth. Lydia knew that God was very powerful and important. The *Lord helped her to understand Paul’s message. So she believed the things that he said.

Lydia’s parents were not *Jews.

v15 Then Paul and his friends *baptised Lydia and all the people who lived in her house. After this, Lydia spoke to us. ‘If you think’, she said, ‘that I really believe in the *Lord, then please stay in my house.’ And so we went and we stayed there with her.

The *Roman rulers put Paul and Silas in prison in Philippi

v16 One day, we were going to the place where the *Jews prayed to God. On the way there, a slave girl saw us. A bad *spirit was living inside her. This bad *spirit told her what would happen soon. People gave her masters a lot of money when she told them these future things. v17 She followed Paul and us, and she was shouting, ‘These men are servants of the most important God! They are telling you how God can save you!’ v18 The slave girl followed us and she shouted this for many days. But Paul was not happy about it. So he turned round and he spoke to the bad *spirit. ‘I am using the authority of Jesus to *order you. Leave this woman.’ The *spirit left her immediately.

v19 Her masters understood that the girl could not get money for them now. So they took hold of Paul and Silas and they pulled them to the centre of the city. They brought them in front of the men with authority in the city. v20 The masters brought them so that the *Roman rulers would *judge them. They said, ‘These men are *Jews and they are causing problems in our city. v21 They are teaching us to do wrong things. These things are against the rules of our city. We are *Romans and so we cannot do them. And we cannot agree that these things are right.’

v22 A crowd there also said bad things about Paul and Silas. So the men with authority said to their soldiers, ‘Tear the clothes off Paul and Silas. Then hit them with sticks!’ v23 The soldiers hit them many times and then they pushed them into the prison. The men with authority *ordered the prison *guard. ‘Lock the door carefully’, they said, ‘so that these men cannot leave.’

The prison *guard should not let those in the prison run away. If they did run away, the leader of the soldiers would kill the *guard.

v24 The prison *guard heard this. So he put Paul and Silas in a room deep inside the prison. And he put their feet between big heavy pieces of wood so that they could not move their legs.

v25 In the middle of the night, Paul and Silas were praying and they were singing songs to God. The other people in the prison were listening to them. v26 The ground *suddenly moved under them. The ground moved about under the prison. Immediately, all the prison doors opened and the *chains fell off all the people in the prison. v27 The prison *guard woke up. He saw that the prison doors were open. So he thought that all the people from the prison had gone outside. He decided that he should kill himself. So he pulled out his long sharp knife.

The *guard thought that the people in the prison had run away. He knew that this would be a very bad thing for him. If this had happened, the men with authority would kill him. So he decided to kill himself.

v28 Paul shouted to him as loudly as he could. ‘Do not hurt yourself! We are all still in here!’

v29 The *guard said, ‘Bring me a light.’ Then he ran into the room where Paul and Silas were. He was very frightened and he went down on his knees in front of them. v30 Then the *guard led Paul and Silas out of the room. He said to them, ‘What must I do so that God will save me?’

v31 Paul and Silas said, ‘Believe in the *Lord Jesus and then God will save you. He will save you and your *family.’ v32 Then Paul and Silas spoke to the man and to all the people in his house. They told them all the good news about Jesus. v33 So that same hour of the night, the man took them. He led them into another room and he was kind to them. He washed the parts of their bodies that the soldiers had hurt. Then immediately after this, Paul and Silas *baptised the man and his *family. v34 The man took Paul and Silas into his house. Then he gave them some food. The man and his *family were very happy because now they all believed in God.

v35 The next morning, the men with authority sent their officers to the prison with a message. These officers said to the prison *guard, ‘Let those men go.’ v36 The *guard told Paul, ‘The men with authority sent a message to me. They said, “Let Paul and Silas go out of the prison.” So now you can leave the prison. Nobody will hurt you any more.’

v37 But Paul spoke to the officers who had brought the message. He said, ‘The men with authority did not say that we had done anything wrong. But they *ordered their soldiers to hit us with sticks. All the people were watching them when they did that to us. We are special people of Rome but they pushed us into prison. Now they want us to leave the prison. They want this to be a secret. But we will not let that happen. The *Roman officers have authority. They must come here to the prison themselves and they must let us out.’

v38 So the officers returned to their masters with the message from Paul and Silas. The *Roman officers heard that Paul and Silas were special people of Rome. And then they were afraid. v39 So they went to see Paul and Silas in the prison. ‘We are sorry about what we did to you’, they said to them. Then they led Paul and Silas out of the prison. The men with authority then said to them, ‘Please leave the city now.’ v40 Paul and Silas walked away from the prison and they went to Lydia’s house. There they met many *believers. Paul and Silas said good words to them. Then Paul and Silas left the city.

Luke did not go with Paul and Silas when they left Philippi.

Chapter 17

What happened to Paul in Thessalonica

v1 Paul, Silas and Timothy continued their journey. They went through the two cities called Amphipolis and Apollonia in the country called Greece. Then they arrived in a city called Thessalonica. There was a *synagogue for the *Jews in that city. v2 Paul went to this *synagogue, as he usually did. On three *Sabbath days, he talked to the people in the *synagogue. He talked with them about all the things that the *prophets had written down. v3 He explained to the people about all these things. ‘I can show you that all these things are true’, he said. ‘God decided to send the *Christ to you. And the *prophets wrote that he would die. After that, God would cause him to live again. I have now told you all about Jesus Christ. He is the man whom God sent to you.’ v4 Some people believed the message and they joined with Paul and Silas. A large number of Greeks also joined this group. These Greeks were not *Jews. But they already knew that God was powerful and important. Many important women in the city also joined the group.

A person was called Greek if he or his *family had been born in Greece. Or perhaps they came from Greece.

v5 The *Jews in the city were angry because many people joined the group with Paul and Silas. So the *Jews found some people who often caused trouble in the city. They asked these bad people to come together in an angry crowd. The *Jews and the crowd made a lot of noise in the streets of the city. They broke down the door of Jason’s house because they wanted to find Paul and Silas. They wanted to bring them outside to the crowd. v6 But the *Jews and the crowd did not find Paul and Silas. So they pulled Jason and some other *believers to the men with authority in the city. The *Jews shouted, ‘These men have caused troubles everywhere. And now they have come to our city. v7 Jason has let them stay in his house. They speak against the *laws that *Caesar has given to us. And they say that there is another king. This other king is called Jesus.’

At that time, *Caesar was called Claudius. Claudius ruled the *Roman world from *AD 41 to AD 54.

Most of the people that lived in Thessalonica were Greek. They were not *Jews. But some of them had heard about the God of the *Jews and they believed in him. Greek means someone who comes from Greece.

v8 When the *Jews shouted all this, the crowd shouted loudly. The men with authority in the city also became very angry. v9 The men with authority in the city said that Jason and the other *believers must give them some money. And then they could all go. The men with authority let them go after they had paid the money.

Many people in Berea believe Paul’s message

v10 As soon as it was dark, the *believers in Thessalonica sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived in that town, they went to the *synagogue of the *Jews. v11 The people at the *synagogue were better people than those in Thessalonica. They were quick to listen to Paul’s message. They wanted to understand the message more than the people in Thessalonica. They wanted to hear the message very much. Every day the people read the words in God’s book. They wanted to see if Paul’s message was really true. v12 Many of the people in the *synagogue believed the good news about Jesus. Many *Greek men and important *Greek women also believed the message.

v13 But then the *Jews in Thessalonica heard that Paul was in Berea. And they heard that he was teaching the people about Jesus. So they came to Berea. They talked to some of the people there and they caused the people to become an angry crowd. v14 Immediately, the *believers in Berea sent Paul with some other men to the coast. But Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea. v15 When Paul left Berea, some men went by boat with him. They went with him as far as the city called Athens. Before these men returned to Berea, Paul gave them a message for Silas and Timothy. He said, ‘Please come quickly and meet me here in Athens.’

Paul visits Athens

v16 While Paul was waiting in Athens for Silas and Timothy, he was sad and angry. He saw that the people in the city had many gods. v17 So Paul went to the *synagogue every day and he talked together with the *Jews there. And he also talked with those *Gentiles who prayed to God. He also went to the market place in the city and he talked with the people there. v18 There were also some Epicurean and Stoic teachers in Athens who talked with Paul. ‘Who is this man? He knows nothing’, some of these teachers said. ‘He thinks that he knows everything.’ But some of these teachers said, ‘We think that he is talking about the gods of foreign people.’ They said this because Paul was talking about Jesus. He had also talked about the time when God will cause dead people to live again.

The Epicureans were *disciples of Epicurus. He taught that there were no gods. Or that the gods were not near to the people.

The Stoics were *disciples of Zeno. He taught that everyone should be good to themselves. They should also do the right things for other people. He taught that God was the *soul of the world.

v19 So these men asked Paul to go with them. They asked him to stand in front of the city’s important men on the hill called Areopagus.

These important men were the rulers of Athens and they met together on the Areopagus hill. They decided what should happen in the city.

v20 The important men said, ‘We have never heard until now about the things that you are teaching us. Please explain them to us. Then we will understand them.’ v21 (People who lived in Athens talked about many different things. They talked with people who visited the city. They were all telling and listening to the new ideas. They seemed to have time for nothing else.)

v22 So Paul stood up in front of the important men of Athens. He said to them, ‘I see that you have many gods. v23 I have walked through your city. And I have seen that you have built many special places out of stone for your gods. I saw one place where you had cut some words into the stone. These words were, “To the god that we do not know.” So you already know that there is another god. You know that he is powerful and important. He is the true God, but you did not know this. So I am now teaching you about him.

v24 The true God made the earth and all the plants and animals on it. He rules the earth and the sky. He does not live in the houses that men have built for him. v25 Men make things for God. But God does not need anything that men have made. God himself causes everything to live. He gives to living things everything that they need. v26 He made everybody in the world from one man. Then he caused people to live in different places on the earth. He decided all these things before he made the people. He decided where the people should live. And he also decided how long they should live. v27 God did all this so that people would look for him. They would try very hard to find him and then they would find him. God is close to all of us.’

People who cannot see use their hands to find things. They find things that are close to them. Paul said that we should also look for God. Then we will find him because he is close to us.

v28 ‘Someone said, “Because God is powerful, we are alive. We can move about. And we can be what we are.” One of your writers has also said, “All of us are God’s children.”

v29 And because we are God’s children, we should also know this. Men are clever and they can cut stones. They can make valuable metals into different shapes. But God is not like these shapes. v30 At one time, men thought that God was in these stones and valuable metals. But God has decided to forget what men thought in the past. At that time people did not know the true things about God. But now, God says to people everywhere, “Stop doing bad things!” v31 God has decided on which day he will be the *judge for everyone on the earth. He will *judge so that nobody can say, “God is wrong.” He will do this by a certain man that he has chosen. He has shown clearly to everyone that all this is true. He showed it like this: People killed that man. But God caused him to live again.’

v32 Paul had said, ‘God caused that man to live again.’ When the people heard this, some of them *laughed at him. But other people said to Paul, ‘We want you to tell us more about this on another day.’ v33 So Paul left the meeting of the important men of Athens. v34 And some people joined his group when he left. They believed the good news and they became *believers. One of these people was a man called Dionysius. He was one of the important men of Athens. A woman called Damaris also became a *believer. And some other people also believed Paul’s message about Jesus.

Chapter 18

Paul visits Corinth

v1 After Paul had spoken to the important men in Athens, he left the city. And from there, he then travelled to the city called Corinth.

Corinth is a city in Greece, about 75 kilometres (50 miles) from Athens.

v2 In Corinth, he met a man called Aquila. Aquila was a *Jew. And he had been born in the *region called Pontus. He had just arrived in Corinth with his wife Priscilla. They had travelled from Italy to live in Corinth. At that time, *Caesar Claudius had said that all *Jews must leave Rome. Paul went to visit Aquila and Priscilla. v3 They knew how to make tents. They sold them so that they could use the money to buy food. Paul could do the same work. So he stayed with them and he worked with them.

A tent was a house that people used when they travelled. People made it out of cloth or animal skins.

v4 Every *Sabbath day, Paul taught both *Jews and *Greeks in the *synagogue. He wanted them all to believe the good news about Jesus.

v5 Then Silas and Timothy arrived from the country called Macedonia. After that, the only work that Paul did was to teach the people. He told the *Jews the message about Jesus and he explained everything carefully to them. He said, ‘God sent Jesus to be the *Christ.’ v6 The *Jews did not agree with Paul and they said bad things about him. So he cleaned the dirt off his clothes and he said to them, ‘If you are lost from God then it will not be because of me. It will be because of you. So I will now go to those who are not *Jews.’

Paul cleaned the dirt off his clothes. This meant that Paul did not want to speak to those *Jews again. Paul continued to teach in Corinth. But now he usually taught those who were not *Jews. Most people who lived in Corinth were Greek. Greek means the language that people spoke in Greece. Or it means someone who comes from that country.

v7 So Paul left the *Jews and he went to stay in the house of Justus. He was not a *Jew. But he was a man who prayed to the God of the *Jews. His house was next to the *synagogue. v8 A man called Crispus was the leader of the *synagogue. He, and everyone else who lived in his house, believed in Jesus. Many other people heard Paul’s message about Jesus. They also believed the message and someone *baptised them.

v9 One night, when Paul was staying in Corinth, the *Lord appeared to him in a dream. ‘Do not be afraid’, he said. ‘Continue to speak to the people here. Do not stop speaking to them. v10 I am here with you, so nobody will hurt you. There are many people in this city who will believe in me.’

v11 So Paul stayed in Corinth for 18 months and he taught the people God’s message about Jesus.

v12 When Gallio became the leader of the government in Greece, the *Jews met together. They held Paul and they brought him in front of Gallio. He would *judge Paul.

The men with authority in Rome caused Gallio to rule Greece in *AD 51.

v13 The *Jews said to Gallio, ‘This man is teaching people things that are against our *law. He is asking us to believe some different things about God. But if we did these things we would go against our *law.’

v14 Paul was ready to speak, but Gallio spoke first to the *Jews. ‘If this man had done a very bad thing’, he said, ‘then I would do something about it. v15 But you are arguing about words and names in your own *Law. So you yourselves must decide what to do about it. I will not be a *judge for these things.’ v16 Then Gallio said to his soldiers, ‘Cause these men to go out of this room.’ v17 Sosthenes was the leader of the *synagogue. The *Jews held him and they hit him with sticks in front of Gallio. But Gallio did nothing to stop them.

Paul travels from Corinth to Antioch

v18 Paul remained in Corinth with the *believers for many days. Then he said goodbye to them. And he sailed by boat to the country called Syria. Priscilla and Aquila also went with him. Before Paul sailed, he promised something to God. Because of this promise, he asked someone to cut off all the hair from his head.

God had helped Paul to do many things in Corinth. Maybe he was saying thank you because God had helped him.

v19 Paul, Priscilla and Aquila arrived in the city called Ephesus. Paul left them there, and he went into the *synagogue. And he talked with the *Jews. v20 Some of them asked Paul to remain in Ephesus with them for a long time. But he did not agree to stay. v21 Paul said to them, ‘If God wants me to come back, I will return to you.’ So then Paul sailed from Ephesus to *Caesarea. v22 When Paul arrived in *Caesarea, he went on to Jerusalem. He said hello to all the *believers there and then he travelled to Antioch in Syria.

v23 He stayed in Antioch for some time. Then, after that, he left Antioch and he travelled through Galatia and Phrygia. He said to all the *believers in these places, ‘Continue to love and to obey God more strongly.’

These are some of the things that Apollos did

v24 In Ephesus, there was a *Jew called Apollos. He was born in Alexandria in Egypt. Now he had travelled from Alexandria to live in Ephesus. He could speak well. He knew all the words very well that were written in God’s book.

Alexandria was an important city in *Egypt and in the world. And people went there to learn many different things.

v25 Someone had taught him very well the message of the good news about Jesus. He was happy when he was speaking to people about Jesus. Everything that he said was true. But he only knew part of the message. He knew what John said. And he knew about how John *baptised people. v26 Apollos was not afraid, so he began to teach the people in the *synagogue. Priscilla and Aquila heard Apollos teach the people. So they said to him, ‘Please come with us to our home. We can explain to you everything about Jesus. We can tell you all about how God wants us to live.’ And so they did that.

v27 After that, Apollos decided to go to Greece. So the *believers in Ephesus helped him. They wrote a letter for him to give to the *believers in Greece. They wrote, ‘When Apollos arrives, please accept him.’ When he did arrive in Greece, he helped the *believers there very much. They had started to believe in Jesus because God helped them. v28 Apollos argued strongly with the *Jews in front of the people. And he showed them from God’s word that the *Jews were wrong. He explained clearly. And he used the words of the *prophets, to show that Jesus is the *Christ.

Chapter 19

Paul speaks in Ephesus about Jesus

v1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul travelled through Phrygia and Galatia. He then arrived in Ephesus and he found some *believers there. v2 Paul asked them, ‘When you believed the message about Jesus, did God give you his *Holy Spirit?’

‘We did not even know that there is a *Holy Spirit’, the *believers answered.

v3 So Paul asked them, ‘When someone *baptised you, what did you understand?’

‘We received the *baptism that John spoke about’, they answered.

v4 Then Paul said, ‘John *baptised people who listened to his message. These people knew that they had done wrong things. They wanted to stop doing these things and they wanted to obey God. John also said to the people of *Israel, “You must believe in the person who will come soon.” This person is Jesus.’ v5 When these *believers in Ephesus heard this, they said to Paul, ‘Please *baptise us, and use the name of the *Lord Jesus.’ v6 Then Paul touched each person with his hand. Then God gave them his *Holy Spirit and they spoke in different languages. They also spoke messages from God. v7 There were 12 men there.

v8 For three months, Paul often went to the *synagogue in Ephesus. He was not afraid to speak to the people there. He argued with them. He wanted them to believe the true things about the *Kingdom of God. v9 But some of them did not want to understand what Paul said. They would not believe in Jesus. Some of them said bad things about the way of the *Lord in front of the whole group. So Paul stopped speaking to these people. He took the other *believers away from that group. And every day he talked with people in another place. It was in a large room, where a man with the name Tyrannus usually taught the people. v10 Paul taught the people in Ephesus for two years. In that time, all the people who lived in *Asia heard the message about Jesus. Paul was teaching *Jews and those who were not *Jews.

The sons of Sceva *order bad *spirits to leave people

v11 God was working by Paul and God was doing many powerful things. These were things that nobody had done before. v12 People took pieces of cloth and clothes that Paul gave to them. Paul had used these things. People took the cloths to those who were ill. After they received them, the sick people became well again. And bad *spirits also left them.

v13 There were some *Jews who travelled about. They also caused bad *spirits to leave people. Now they wanted to use the name of the *Lord Jesus when they did this. These *Jews said to the bad *spirits, ‘Paul has taught people about Jesus. So, we use the authority of Jesus to say to you, “Bad *spirits, come out of these people.” ’ v14 Sceva was a most important *Jewish *priest in Ephesus. He had 7 sons who were *ordering the bad *spirit to come out of someone in this way. v15 But the bad *spirit said to Sceva’s sons, ‘I know who Jesus is. And I also know about Paul. But I do not know who you are.’ v16 A man had the bad *spirit and it was living inside him. He fought strongly with the 7 sons and he won the fight. He had hurt the sons and he had torn their clothes off. So the sons ran away from the man’s house.

v17 All the *Jews and *Gentiles who lived in Ephesus heard about this. They were afraid and they said, ‘This person called the *Lord Jesus is very powerful. He is very much more powerful than we thought. He is a very important person.’ v18 Many of the *believers then told everyone about all the bad things that they had also done. v19 Those who had used powerful bad *spirits brought all their books about *magic. Then they burned the books so that everyone could see. They counted that these books had cost 50 000 valuable metal coins. v20 When these powerful things happened, more and more people heard the good news about Jesus. And they believed strongly everything about him.

Bad troubles happen in Ephesus.

v21 After these things happened, Paul decided to travel through Macedonia and Greece. From there, he decided to travel to Jerusalem. He said, ‘After I go there, I must go to see Rome.’ v22 Timothy and Erastus were helping Paul with his work. Paul sent them to Macedonia while he stayed longer in the towns in *Asia.

v23 It was at this time that there were bad troubles in Ephesus. These troubles happened because of the things that Paul taught the people. He taught them how to follow Jesus. v24 In Ephesus there was a man called Demetrius. He made very small things. Those things looked like the house of the female god called Artemis. He made them out of valuable metal and he paid a lot of money to his workers. v25 So he asked all his workers to meet with him. And he also asked other men to come. These men all did the same kind of work that Demetrius did. He said to all these men, ‘You know that our work has caused us to become rich. v26 And you can see what this man Paul is doing. You yourselves can also hear what he is saying. Paul says, “Gods that men have made are not really gods.” Here in Ephesus, and in all *Asia, many people believe what he says. v27 It might happen that people will say bad things about our work. It might also happen that the house of Artemis will not continue to be important to people. And people will think that Artemis herself is not important. At this time, everyone in *Asia and the *Roman world thinks that Artemis is very great and important.’

v28 When the crowd heard Demetrius, they became very angry. ‘Artemis of Ephesus is really very great’, they shouted. v29 More and more people through the whole city began to shout. Gaius and Aristarchus were from Macedonia and they were travelling with Paul. Some people from the crowd held these two men. They took the men quickly to the open place in the middle of the city where everyone met together.

In this place, the *Roman people met together to watch many different things. It was called a theatre.

v30 Paul himself wanted to stand in front of the crowd. But the other *believers would not let him. v31 Some important *Roman men in Ephesus were Paul’s friends and they sent a message to him. ‘Do not stand in front of the crowd’, they said.

v32 The crowd was making even more noise. Some people were shouting one thing and other people were shouting something else. Not many of the people knew why they had all met together. v33 There was a man called Alexander in the crowd. The *Jews caused him to stand in front of the crowd. Some of the people thought that he was the reason for all the noise. He raised his hands in front of him so that they would be quiet. He wanted to explain to the crowd that he and his friends had not caused this trouble. v34 But the crowd knew that Alexander was a *Jew. So they continued to shout the same words for two hours. ‘Artemis of Ephesus is really very great!’ they shouted.

v35 At the end of the two hours, an important man from the city caused the crowd to listen to him. ‘People of Ephesus!’ he said. ‘The house of Artemis is here in Ephesus. The special stone that fell from the sky is also here in Ephesus. The people know about both these things and they keep them safely. v36 Nobody can say that this is not true. So you must not do anything without first thinking about it carefully. v37 Gaius and Aristarchus did not take anything from the house of Artemis. They did not say anything bad about Artemis. But still you brought them here. v38 Perhaps Demetrius and his workers think that someone did a wrong thing. If they do, let them speak to a man with authority. The court is open on certain days for this. A *Roman ruler will *judge what he says. The ruler will say if it is correct or not correct. Demetrius and his workers can argue in front of him about what Paul is saying.’

A court is a place where a *judge says what is right or wrong.

v39 ‘If you want to argue these problems more, go to the meeting of the important people of the city. These people rule in our city. v40 Today, the people here are shouting and fighting. Maybe the *Roman rulers will hear about this. They will say that we have done wrong things. The people should not shout and fight each other. We could not explain it to them. There is no good reason for all this noise.’ v41 When he had said those things, he said, ‘All of you should go home now.’

Chapter 20

Paul visits Macedonia and Greece again

v1 After that, the crowd went home. Then Paul asked all the *believers to meet together with him. He said to them, ‘Be strong! Continue to believe in Jesus. I am going away now.’ Then Paul travelled on to Macedonia. v2 He travelled through Macedonia and he talked to the people in different places again. He talked to them about Jesus. Then he came to Greece.

We think that Paul visited Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea among other places.

v3 When Paul arrived in Greece, he stayed there for three months. One day, he was preparing to travel on to Syria. But then he heard news that the *Jews wanted to kill him. So he decided to return to Jerusalem through Macedonia.

Many *Jews travelled by boat from cities in Macedonia to Jerusalem for the *Passover meal. Paul decided not to sail because of the *Jews. Instead, he travelled to Jerusalem by land and some other people went with him.

v4 Sopater, the son of Pyrrhus, from Berea, went with Paul. Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica also went with him. Gaius from Derbe and Timothy, Tychicus and Trophimus from *Asia also all went with him. v5 They all travelled in front of us and they waited for us in Troas.

We know that Luke was with Paul and the other *believers on this journey.

v6 We sailed by boat from Philippi after the special meal of bread without *yeast.

This was the week before the *Passover meal. During the week of *Passover *Jews did not eat any food that contained *yeast. We think that they stayed in Philippi for the *Passover. At this time they remembered the time when God caused Jesus to live again. We call it Easter.

Five days after that, we met them all in Troas, where we stayed together for 7 days.

Paul visits the *believers in Troas for the last time

v7 On the Saturday evening, we all met to break bread together. Paul was teaching the people. He was leaving Troas the next day and so he taught them until midnight.

v8 Many lights were burning in the upstairs room where we met together. v9 A young man called Eutychus was at the meeting. He was sitting next to the window. Paul talked for a long time and Eutychus wanted to sleep. Then Eutychus really went to sleep. He fell out of the window past three rooms to the ground. The other *believers lifted him up off the ground, but he was dead. v10 So Paul went down the stairs to them all. He lay on top of the young man and held him for a moment. Then Paul said, ‘Do not be afraid. He is still alive.’ v11 Then Paul went back upstairs and he ate with the *believers. Paul talked to them until the sun rose. Then he left Troas.

v12 The other *believers led Eutychus to his home. He was alive and they were happy.

Paul travels from Troas to Miletus

v13 We went on in front of Paul to the boat. And we sailed on it to Assos. Paul decided to meet us on the boat at Assos. He was travelling to Assos across the land. He had told us that we should wait for him there. v14 When he met us at Assos, he came on the boat with us. Then we all sailed to Mitylene. v15 We sailed from there and we arrived the next day at the coast near Chios. The day after that, we came to Samos and, the next day, we arrived at Miletus. v16 Paul had decided to sail from there past Ephesus. He did not want to remain in *Asia any longer. He wanted to travel to Jerusalem quickly, because he wanted to arrive there before the day called *Pentecost.

Paul sends a message to the leaders of the *believers in Ephesus

v17 When Paul was in Miletus, he sent someone to Ephesus with a message. This message was for the leaders of the *believers in Ephesus. Paul wrote, ‘Please come to Miletus and meet together with me.’ v18 Paul spoke to the *believers from Ephesus when they arrived in Miletus. ‘You know about everything that I did in *Asia’, he said. ‘You saw me from the first day that I arrived in Asia. I was with you for the whole time. You knew all that I did. And you knew all that I said. v19 I did not say to people that I was an important man. I worked as a servant of God. And I often cried. My life was difficult because the *Jews wanted to kill me. v20 I taught you in the streets and in your homes. You know that I told you all the important things. I told you everything that would help you. v21 I taught the same things both to the *Jews and to the *Gentiles. I was serious when I taught everybody. I said to them all, “You must stop doing wrong things. You must also say sorry to God because you have done those wrong things. Then you must obey God and you must believe in our *Lord Jesus.”

v22 Now I am going to Jerusalem because the *Holy Spirit is taking me there. I do not know what people will do to me there. v23 The *Holy Spirit told me in every city about the dangers. He said to me, “People will put you in prison and they will cause many troubles for you.” v24 I may live or I may die. But this is not important to me. The *Lord Jesus gave me some work to do. So it is important that I finish this work. I must tell people the good news about how kind and good God is to them.

v25 I have lived among you all and I have taught you all about the *Kingdom of God. Now I know that none of you will see me again. v26 So I am being serious with you today. I say this to you. If any of you are lost to God, then it is not because of me. v27 I have told you everything that God wants you to know. v28 You should be careful about yourselves, and about what you are doing. Keep safe the people that the *Holy Spirit has asked you to help. Lead all the groups of *believers. Some men have their own sheep. They feed the sheep and they keep them safe. Be like that kind of man. All the *believers belong to God because Jesus died for them. He gave his life blood for them. v29 I know what will happen. After I leave you, other people will come among you. They will be like dangerous wild animals that attack sheep. These men will cause trouble for the *believers. v30 Men from your own group of *believers will also teach you things that are not true. These men will want other *believers to follow them. So the *believers will no longer follow Jesus. So they will say things that are not true. v31 Be very careful! I often cried about my work when I stayed with you. I want you to remember this. I taught all of you for three years, in the day and in the night.

v32 And now I ask God to keep you safe. He has been kind to us. I brought the message about this to you. You will be safe if you remember this message. God will cause your *spirits to be strong. And at the end, he will give to you all the good things that he has for his special people. v33 I did not want to take money or clothes from people when I stayed with you. v34 You yourselves know that I worked a lot. Then my friends and I could have everything that we needed. v35 I have shown you how to live. And I have shown you how to work. Now you know how to be kind to sick or weak people. You should remember what Jesus himself said: “It may make you happy when you receive things. But it makes you more happy when you give things to someone.” ’

v36 Then Paul finished speaking. He went down on his knees together with all the leaders of the *believers from Ephesus. And they all prayed. v37 Then they each showed him great love. All the leaders were crying when they said goodbye to Paul. v38 Paul had said, ‘I will never see you again.’ And this made them sadder than anything else did. So then they walked with Paul to the ship.

Chapter 21

Paul goes to Jerusalem

v1 We said goodbye to the leaders of the *believers from Ephesus. Then we sailed straight across the sea, and we arrived at Cos. The next day, we arrived at Rhodes, and from there we went on to Patara.

Cos, Rhodes and Patara are small islands.

v2 At Patara, we found a boat that was going to Phoenicia. So we climbed on to the boat and we sailed on it.

v3 We arrived at a place on the sea from where we could see Cyprus. We sailed south of Cyprus, and we arrived in Syria. We left the boat at Tyre and we went on to the land. The boat was carrying many things and, at Tyre, people took all these things off the ship. v4 We found some *believers at Tyre and we stayed with them for a week. The *Holy Spirit said by these *believers, ‘Paul, you should not to go to Jerusalem.’ v5 We had stayed with them for a week. And then it was time for us to leave them. All the *believers, together with their wives and children, went with us out of the city. At the beach, we all went down on our knees and we prayed together. v6 Then we said goodbye to each other and we went back on the boat. The *believers and their families returned to their homes.

v7 We continued our journey on the ship. We sailed from Tyre to Ptolemais. Here, we met some *believers and we stayed with them for one day. v8 The next day, we left Ptolemais and we sailed to *Caesarea. We visited Philip in *Caesarea and we stayed with him. Philip taught people in *Caesarea the good news about Jesus. Philip was one of the 7 men that the *believers had chosen in Jerusalem.

We can read about this in Acts 6:1-6.

v9 Philip had 4 daughters and none of them was married. His daughters spoke messages from God.

v10 We stayed with Philip for a few days. Then a man called Agabus came to the city from Judea. He was a *prophet and he spoke messages from God. v11 Agabus visited us. He took Paul’s belt and he tied it round his own feet and hands. He said, ‘Listen to this message from the *Holy Spirit. “The *Jews in Jerusalem will tie the man who has this belt. They will tie him in the same way. And then they will give this man to those who are not *Jews.” ’

v12 When we heard this, we all said many times to Paul, ‘Please do not go to Jerusalem.’ v13 But Paul answered, ‘Stop crying like this! You are making me very sad! I am ready for men in Jerusalem to tie me up. And I am also ready to die there. I am ready to do all this because I believe in the *Lord Jesus.’ v14 But we could not cause Paul to think in a different way. So we stopped saying to him, ‘You should not go to Jerusalem.’ And we said to him instead, ‘We want what God wants to happen.’

v15 We stayed in *Caesarea for some time. Then we prepared ourselves and we travelled to Jerusalem. v16 Some of the *believers from *Caesarea also went with us. They took us to the house of a man called Mnason. We had decided to stay with him. His home town was on the island called Cyprus. He had been a *believer for a long time.

Paul visits James in Jerusalem

v17 Then we arrived in Jerusalem, where the *believers were very happy to see us. v18 The next day, Paul went with us to see James. The leaders of the *believers were also there. v19 Paul said hello to them and then he told them everything about his work. God had worked by him and God had done many good things for the *Gentiles.

v20 After they had heard Paul speak, they said, ‘God is very good and powerful.’ Then the leaders said, ‘*Brother Paul, you can see what has happened. There are now many thousands of *Jews who have believed in Jesus. But they also really want to obey the *Law of Moses.’

Brother is a name that a Christian may call another Christian.

v21 ‘These *Jews have told us what you have taught people in other countries. They said that you teach the *Jews, “You do not need to obey the *Law of Moses any longer. You do not need to *circumcise your children. *Jews usually do certain things. But now you do not need to do all those things.” v22 Those people will certainly hear that you are in Jerusalem. v23 You must do what we say. In the city, there are 4 men who have promised something to God. v24 Now they will go. And they will wash to make themselves clean in front of God. Go with them. And join with them when they do that. You pay the *priest the money for them. Then the men can cut all the hair off their heads. When you do that, everyone will understand about you. People have said that you do not obey the *Law of Moses. But they will see you do this. And then, they will know that it is not true. They will know that you yourself obey the *Law of Moses. v25 But it is different for the *Gentiles who believe in Jesus. We have sent a letter to them. We wrote, “You must not eat meat from animals that people have killed as a gift to their own gods. People tie a *rope round the neck of some animals to kill them. You must not eat the meat from those animals because the blood did not run out of them. Also, you must not eat blood. And you must not have sex with someone who is not your husband or wife.” ’

v26 So Paul went with the 4 men. He joined with them when they washed. They washed to make themselves clean in front of God. Then he went into the Great House of God. He told the *priest for how long the 4 men must wait. And after that, each man would kill an animal as a gift for God.

These men had promised something to God. It was time now to cut their hair. This showed that they had finished the time. They had finished what they had said to God. The men had to wait for 7 days, before they went to the Great House of God. The *priests there killed the animal that each man brought as a gift to God.

v27 After 7 days, some *Jews from *Asia saw Paul in the Great House of God. They said some things against Paul to the crowd. So the people became angry and they caught hold of Paul. v28 ‘People of *Israel, come and help us!’ the *Jews from *Asia shouted. ‘This is the man who travels everywhere. He teaches everyone against the people of *Israel. He also speaks against the *Law of Moses and this Great House of God. Now he has even led some men who are not *Jews into this Great House of God. So now this Great House of God is not clean in front of God any longer.’ v29 (The men said this because they had seen Paul with a man in the city. This man was called Trophimus and he came from Ephesus. He was not a *Jew. And they thought that Paul had led Trophimus into the Great House of God.)

Trophimus was a not a *Jew so he could not go into the Great House of God.

v30 Many other people in the city heard what had happened. They also began to shout about these things. They all ran together and they held Paul. Then they pulled him out of the Great House of God and they closed the doors immediately.

The crowd wanted to kill Paul, but they could not kill him in the Great House of God. That also would have caused the House of God not to be clean in front of God.

v31 The angry crowd was trying to kill Paul. Then someone sent a message to the leader of the *Roman soldiers. The message was, ‘People are fighting in the streets all over the city.’

v32 Immediately, the leader of these soldiers went with an officer and some soldiers. And they ran down to the angry crowd. The people saw the leader with his soldiers. So then they stopped hitting Paul.

v33 The leader of the *Roman soldiers went to Paul and held him. Then the leader of the soldiers said, ‘Tie two *chains round the arms of this man.’ Then he asked the people in the crowd, ‘Who is this man and what has he done?’

v34 Some people in the crowd shouted one thing and other people shouted something different. There was so much noise that the leader of the soldiers was not sure about the facts. He did not understand what had happened. So he said to his soldiers, ‘Take this man up into the strong building!’ v35 The soldiers then led Paul as far as the steps of the strong building. Then they carried him because the crowd was so angry. v36 The crowd ran after Paul and they were shouting, ‘Kill him!’

v37 While the soldiers were leading Paul into the strong building, he spoke to their leader. ‘Please can I say something to you?’ he said.

The leader of the soldiers answered, ‘I understand now that you speak the *Greek language. v38 Are you not the man who came from *Egypt some time ago? This man caused the people to fight against the government. He led 4000 of his own soldiers, with arms, out into the *desert. They wanted to kill the *Roman soldiers.’

v39 Paul answered, ‘I am a *Jew and I was born in Tarsus in Cilicia. I am a man from an important city. Please let me speak to this crowd.’

v40 The leader of the soldiers said to Paul, ‘Yes, you can speak to the people.’ So Paul stood still on the steps of the strong building. He raised his hands so that the people became quiet. When the people were quiet, he spoke to them. He spoke in the language that the *Jews used.

Chapter 22

Paul speaks to the crowd in Jerusalem

v1 ‘Listen to me, you men who are also *Jews. You, our leaders, listen to me! I want to explain to you all that I have done. I have not done anything wrong.’

v2 The crowd heard Paul speaking to them in the *Hebrew language. So they became even quieter.

Paul continued to speak. He said, v3 ‘I am a *Jew. I was born in Tarsus in Cilicia. I lived here in Jerusalem when I was a boy. Gamaliel was my teacher. I learned how to obey the *Laws of our *ancestors. I tried as carefully as you do to obey God. I was like you who are here today.’

Gamaliel was a *Pharisee. He taught boys and young men in the *synagogue.

v4 ‘I caused great trouble to the *disciples of Jesus. I caused the death of some of them. And I held men and women and I put them in prison. v5 The most important *priest and all the men in the *Sanhedrin can tell you that this is true. The men in the *Sanhedrin gave me letters for the *Jews in Damascus. So I started my journey to Damascus to catch the *believers in that city. I wanted to put *chains on them and I wanted to bring them back to Jerusalem. The officers here in the city wanted to *punish them.’

Paul tells the crowd how he began to believe in Jesus

v6 ‘But as I was travelling along the road, I came near to Damascus. About midday, a bright light from the sky *suddenly appeared round me. v7 I fell to the ground. Then I heard a voice that spoke to me. “Saul, Saul, why are you hurting me?” he said.

v8 “*Lord, who are you?” I asked.

“I am Jesus from Nazareth”, he said to me. “You are hurting me.” v9 The men with me saw the light, but they did not hear the voice. They did not hear what it said to me.

v10 “*Lord, what must I do?” I asked. He said to me, “Now you should get up and you should go into Damascus. When you arrive in the city, someone will come to you. He will tell you what God wants you to do.” v11 The bright light hurt my eyes so that I could not see. So the men who were with me held my hand. Then they led me into Damascus.

v12 In Damascus, there was a man called Ananias. He knew God and he obeyed God and our *Law. All the *Jews in Damascus said good things about him. v13 Ananias came to see me. He stood close to me and he said, “See again, Saul my friend!” And immediately I could see again, so I looked at him.

v14 Then Ananias said to me, “The God that our *ancestors obeyed has chosen you. He will tell you what he wants you to do. He wanted you to see God’s special servant, who is completely good. And God wanted you to hear this servant’s own voice. v15 You will work for Jesus. You will tell everybody everything that you have seen and heard. v16 And now you do not need to wait any longer. Stand up and I will *baptise you. Believe in Jesus. Ask God. And he will remove from you the bad things that you have done.” ’

The people in the crowd become very angry with Paul

v17 ‘So, after I returned to Jerusalem, I went into the Great House of God. I was praying. I was awake but I had a dream. v18 In the dream, I saw the *Lord and he spoke to me. He said, “Hurry. Leave Jerusalem quickly. The people here will not believe what you say to them about me.”

v19 “*Lord”, I said, “The people here know me very well. They know that I went to the *synagogues. And I caught people there who believed in you. I also hit them. v20 Stephen told people about you. I myself was there when the people killed him. I told the people that they were doing a good thing. And I held the coats of the people while they killed him.”

v21 “Go!” the *Lord said to me. “I am sending you a long way away to the *Gentiles.” ’

v22 The people listened to Paul until he spoke about the *Gentiles. But then they began to shout loudly, ‘Take him away! Kill him! It is not right that he should live any longer!’

v23 They were shouting. They were taking off their coats and they were throwing them about. They also threw dirt from the ground into the air.

The *Jews did this when someone had said bad things about God. They thought that Paul had done that.

v24 The leader of the soldiers said to his men, ‘Take this man into the strong building. Then hit him with a whip. We will then know what he has done. He will tell us why the *Jews are shouting so loudly about him.’

The soldiers would hit a person so that he would give them a true answer. A whip was stick with long pieces of strong material fastened at one end.

v25 So the soldiers tied *ropes round Paul and they were ready to hit him. But Paul spoke to the officer who stood close to him. ‘You will not be obeying your *laws if you hit me’, he said. ‘I am a *citizen of Rome. I have not yet stood in front of a *judge. So no *judge has said that I have done anything wrong.’

v26 The officer heard what Paul said. So he went to the leader of the soldiers and he said, ‘Do not do what you want to do! That man is a *citizen of Rome!’

v27 So the leader of the soldiers went to speak to Paul. ‘Is this true that you are a *citizen of Rome?’ he asked Paul. ‘Yes’, he answered.

v28 The leader of the soldiers said, ‘I paid a lot of money to the government so that I could become a *citizen of Rome.’

‘But I am a *citizen of Rome because my parents were’, answered Paul.

v29 Immediately, the men who would have asked Paul questions moved away from him. The leader of the soldiers was afraid because he had put *chains on Paul’s arms and legs. And he knew that he should not do that to a *citizen of Rome.

The leader of the soldiers could hold a *citizen of Rome in prison. But he should not put *chains on the arms and legs of the *citizen.

v30 The leader of the soldiers wanted to find the reason why the *Jews had said bad things about Paul. He wanted to be sure about it. So the next day, he asked his soldiers to remove the *chains from Paul. And he sent a message to the most important *priest and to all the men of the *Sanhedrin. ‘Please come and meet together with me today’, he said. Then he took Paul to them and he caused Paul to stand in front of them.

Chapter 23

Paul speaks to the men of the *Sanhedrin

v1 Paul looked at the men of the *Sanhedrin and he spoke to them. ‘My friends, who are also *Israelites’, he said. ‘Today I have nothing to be ashamed about before God. I have always lived in a way that makes God happy with me.’ v2 The most important *priest was called Ananias. He said to the men who were near Paul, ‘Hit that man on his mouth!’ v3 Paul said to Ananias, ‘It is certain that God will hit you. You are like a wall that someone has painted white.’

Paul said this to Ananias, because Ananias was doing one thing. But he was saying something else. Ananias wanted people to think that he was good. White paint would have covered dirt.

‘You are sitting there and you are *judging me. You are asking if I obey the *Law of God. But you yourself are not obeying the *Law because you said, “Hit that man!” ’ v4 The men who were standing close to Paul answered him. ‘You are saying bad things to the most important *priest.’

v5 ‘My *brothers, I did not know that he was the most important *priest.’ Paul continued. ‘I know that the *prophets wrote, “Do not say bad things about the man who is ruling your people.” ’

Brother is a name that a *Jew sometimes called another *Jew.

v6 Then Paul saw that there were some *Sadducees and some *Pharisees in the group. So he shouted out to all the men of the *Sanhedrin, ‘Men, I am a *Pharisee and my father was a *Pharisee. I believe that dead people will live again. God will cause this to happen. And you are *judging me today because I believe that.’ v7 As soon as Paul said that, the *Pharisees and *Sadducees began to argue with each other. v8 (The *Sadducees do not believe that dead people will live again. They do not believe that there are *angels or *spirits. But the *Pharisees believe in all these things.)

v9 The *Sadducees and the *Pharisees began to shout louder and louder. There were some teachers of the *Law who were in the group of *Pharisees. These teachers of the *Law stood up. They were very angry about what was happening. ‘We do not believe that this man has done anything wrong’, they said. ‘What he says may be true. A *spirit or an *angel may have spoken to him.’ v10 The two groups argued more and more strongly. And the leader of the soldiers thought that someone might hurt Paul. They were pulling him in different directions. So he said to his soldiers, ‘Go down into the group and take Paul away from them. Take him back into the strong building.’

v11 That night, the *Lord came and he stood close to Paul. He said to Paul, ‘Continue to be brave! You have told people here in Jerusalem the true things about me. You must do the same thing in Rome.’

The *Jews in Jerusalem decide to kill Paul

v12 The next morning, some *Jews talked together in a group about what they should do. And they decided to promise something to God. They would not eat or drink anything until they had killed Paul. v13 More than 40 *Jews were in the group that decided this. v14 Then this group went to the leaders of the *priests and the leaders of the *Jews. They said, ‘We have decided together to say a serious promise to God. We will not eat anything until after we have killed Paul. v15 Now we want you to send this message to the leader of the soldiers. “Please bring Paul down to the men of the *Sanhedrin. We want to know more about what he has done.” That is the message. We do not really want to ask him questions. We will wait for Paul and we will be ready to kill him. We will do this before he arrives in front of the *Sanhedrin.’

v16 But the son of Paul’s sister heard what the *Jews wanted to do. So he went into the strong building and he told Paul about it.

v17 So Paul spoke to one of the officers who came to him. ‘Please take this young man to the leader of the soldiers. He has something to tell him.’ v18 Then the officer led the young man to the leader of the soldiers and said to him, ‘Paul, who is in the prison, spoke to me. He asked me to bring this young man to you. He has something to tell you.’

v19 The leader of the soldiers held the young man’s hand. Then he led the young man to a room where there were no other people. Then he said to the young man, ‘What do you want to tell me?’

v20 The young man said, ‘All the *Jews with authority have agreed together to ask you to do something. They want you to take Paul down to the men of the *Sanhedrin. They will say that they want to ask him more questions. But that is not true. v21 So do not listen to them. There are more than 40 men who will be hiding somewhere. They are waiting for Paul. They have said a serious promise to God. And they will not eat or drink anything until they have killed Paul. They are now ready to do this. And they are waiting to hear your answer.’

v22 The leader of the soldiers said, ‘Do not tell anybody that you told me about this.’ Then he sent the young man away.

The leader of the soldiers sends Paul to Felix, the ruler

v23 Then the leader of the soldiers asked two of his officers to come to him. He said to them, ‘I want 200 soldiers to prepare themselves. I want them to go to *Caesarea. I also want 70 men to ride on horses. Send with them 200 men. They should each carry a long piece of wood with a sharp point at the end. They should all be ready to leave at 9 o’clock tonight.

v24 Have some horses ready for Paul to ride on. Keep him safely and lead him to Felix the ruler.’

v25 Then the leader of the soldiers wrote a letter to Felix the ruler. In the letter he wrote,

v26 ‘This letter is to Felix, our very important ruler. I, Claudius Lysias, am sending you this letter. Hello.

v27 The *Jews caught this man and they wanted to kill him. I learned that he is a *citizen of Rome. So I went, together with my soldiers, and I saved him from them. v28 The *Jews said that he had done some wrong things. I wanted to know more about him, so I took him to stand in front of their *Sanhedrin. v29 I found out what he had done. But we could not put him in prison or kill him because of these things. The *Jews said that he had not obeyed their own *Law. v30 A group of *Jews then decided to kill him. Someone told me about this, so I decided to send him to you. I have said to the *Jews who say bad things about him, “You say that Paul has done something wrong. So, go and tell Felix the ruler about this.” ’

v31 Then the soldiers did what their leader had asked them to do. They took Paul from the prison. That night, they took him as far as Antipatris. v32 The next day, the 200 soldiers who had walked with Paul returned to the strong building in Jerusalem. But the soldiers who rode horses travelled on with Paul.

Antipatris was 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Jerusalem. This was a long way for the soldiers to walk in one night. Not many *Jews lived between Antipatris and *Caesarea. So, after that night, the 200 soldiers could return to Jerusalem. They did not need many soldiers to keep Paul safe after this.

v33 They took Paul to *Caesarea and they gave the letter to Felix, the ruler. Then they gave Paul to him. v34 Felix the ruler read the letter and he asked Paul, ‘Which country are you from?’ ‘I am from Cilicia’, Paul answered. v35 Felix said, ‘When the *Jews arrive, they will tell me everything about you. Then I will also listen to you and I will *judge you.’ Felix then said to his soldiers, ‘Put this man in Herod’s house and *guard him carefully!’

Chapter 24

The *Jews say bad things about Paul

v1 Five days after that, Ananias, the most important *priest, went to *Caesarea. Some leaders of the *Jews went with him. A man called Tertullus also went with them. Tertullus knew all about the *law. All these people went to see Felix the ruler. Felix would *judge Paul. So they told Felix what Paul had done. v2 Felix asked a soldier to fetch Paul. So Tertullus began first to speak against Paul. He said, ‘Most important ruler, we know that you are a good leader. Because of you, our country has had no wars for a long time. You have also made new *laws for us. These are all good for our country. v3 Everywhere, the people are happy about what you have done. And all the time they want to thank you very much for these things. v4 I do not want you to sit here for a long time. Please be kind to us and listen to me. I will speak for a short time, for all of us.

v5 We know that this man is dangerous to the government. He causes bad problems among people everywhere. He causes *Jews in every part of the world to fight each other. He is the leader of a group called the Nazarenes.’

Tertullus wanted Felix to think that Paul was a problem to the *Roman authorities.

v6 ‘He also did things in the Great House of God that are against our *Law. So we held him. We wanted to *judge him by what is in our own *Law. v7 But Lysias, the leader of the soldiers, came to us. He attacked us and he took Paul away from us. v8 Then Lysias said to us, “Go to Felix. Some people think that this man has done wrong things. They should speak to Felix about it.” You, Felix, can ask this man some questions. Then you will learn from him what wrong things he has done. And he will tell you about all the things that we are talking about.’ v9 The *Jews that were with Tertullus then said together, ‘All these things that Tertullus has said are true.’

Paul tells Felix his own story

v10 Then Felix the ruler raised his hands towards Paul. This showed Paul that he should speak. So he said to Felix, ‘I know that you have *judged the people in this country for many years. So now I am happy to tell you everything. v11 I went to Jerusalem about 12 days ago. You can check that that is true. I went there to thank God because he has helped me with my work. v12 And when the *Jews saw me, I was not arguing with anybody in the Great House of God. I was not causing problems among the people in the *synagogues. Nor did I cause problems in other places in the city. v13 So they cannot say that they have said true things about me. v14 I do agree that the next thing about me is true. I do obey the God of our *ancestors, but I live in a different way. But these men say that this is not the right way. I also believe in all the *Law of Moses. And I believe also in all the words in the books that the *prophets wrote. v15 I also believe this. God will cause all men, both good and bad, to become alive again after they have died. These men here also believe this. v16 I always try not to cause trouble among people. And I always try to be right with God.

v17 I had not been to Jerusalem for several years. And I went there this time to take some money as a gift for my own people. I also wanted to give some animals to the *priest to kill. These were gifts to God. v18 I was giving these gifts to God in his house when these men found me. I had finished making myself clean in front of God. There was no crowd with me. Nobody was arguing or fighting. v19 But there were some *Jews there who had come from *Asia. They themselves should come here. They thought that I had done wrong things. So they should come and speak to you about it. v20 Or these men here should tell you what I have done wrong. Because of them, I stood in front of the men of the *Sanhedrin. v21 But when I stood there, I did one thing. I shouted, “I believe this. God will cause people to become alive again after they have died.” Because of that, you are *judging me today.’

v22 Felix knew all about God’s new way that people should live. He told everyone that the meeting had finished. Then he said to Paul, ‘Soon Lysias, the leader of the soldiers, will arrive here. And then I will decide what to do with you.’ v23 Felix said to the officer who was *guarding Paul, ‘Put this man back into the prison, but continue to *guard him. His friends can come and see him. They can help him and they can bring things for him.’

Felix and Drusilla listen to Paul

v24 After some days, Felix came with Drusilla, his *Jewish wife. He asked his soldiers to bring Paul to them. Paul talked to them. And they listened to everything that he said. Paul spoke about how people believed in Jesus Christ. v25 Paul continued to speak. He talked about how people could be right with God. He also talked about people who did not stop themselves doing wrong things. And, he said, ‘One day, God will *judge all the good and bad things that people have done.’ While Paul talked about these things, Felix became afraid. He said to Paul, ‘You can leave us now. I will perhaps have some more time to listen to you. Then I will ask you to come here again.’ v26 At the same time, Felix also hoped that Paul would give him some money. That was the reason that he met with Paul again. They often talked together.

Some rulers wanted people in prison to give them money. Then the rulers would let them go. If the rulers did this, they would not be obeying the *law. So Felix often listened to Paul.

v27 This happened for two years. Then Porcius Festus became the ruler and Felix did not rule any longer. Felix wanted the *Jews to say, ‘Felix was a good ruler.’ So he left Paul in the prison.

Chapter 25

Festus travels to Jerusalem to speak to the leaders of the *Jews

v1 Festus began to rule. Three days after that, he travelled from *Caesarea to Jerusalem. v2 In Jerusalem, the leaders of the *priests and the leaders of the *Jews told him what Paul had done. v3 They said to Festus, ‘Please hear us. We really want you to bring Paul to Jerusalem. Then we would be very happy.’ They wanted to kill Paul while he was travelling to Jerusalem. v4 ‘Paul will remain in prison in *Caesarea’, Festus answered. ‘I myself will return there soon. v5 Your leaders should go to *Caesarea with me. Then if this man has done anything wrong, they can say that to him in front of me.’

v6 Festus stayed for another 8 or 10 days with the leaders of the *priests and the leaders of the *Jews. Then he returned to *Caesarea. On the next day, he sat down in the large room to *judge people. He said to his soldiers, ‘Bring Paul in here!’ v7 When Paul arrived in the room, all the *Jews from Jerusalem stood close to him. And they began to speak against Paul. They said that he had done very many bad things. But they could not show Festus that this was true.

v8 Then Paul spoke about himself. ‘I have obeyed the *Law of the *Jews’, he said. ‘I have not caused trouble in the Great House of God and I have not said anything bad about *Caesar.’

v9 Festus wanted the *Jews to say, ‘Festus is a good ruler.’ So he asked Paul, ‘The *Jews here say that you have done bad things. Would you be happy to go to Jerusalem? I can decide there if this is true.’

v10 ‘I am in the place where the officers of *Caesar *judge people’, Paul answered. ‘This is the correct place to decide if these things about me are true. I have never done any wrong thing against the *Jews. And you yourself know that. v11 If I have not obeyed the *Roman *law, then I do not refuse to die. Have I done something bad that you can kill me for? If that is true, then I also agree to it. I should die. But the *Jews are not speaking true words against me. You should not give me to them. So I ask you to send me to *Caesar. I want him to listen to our words.’

v12 Then Festus talked to his friends in the government about what Paul had said. And after that, Festus answered Paul. ‘You have asked to go and talk to *Caesar about yourself’, he said. ‘And it is right for you to go.’

King Agrippa and Bernice visit Festus

v13 Several weeks after this, King Agrippa and Bernice came to *Caesarea to visit Festus. They wanted to give him a welcome now that he had become the ruler.

This king was Agrippa the second. He was the son of Agrippa the first. He ruled over a part of Galilee, but he did have some authority over the *Jews. He could decide who would be their most important *priest. Bernice was the oldest daughter of Agrippa the first and she was the younger sister of Agrippa the second.

v14 After they had been in *Caesarea for many days, Festus explained to Agrippa the problem about Paul. Festus said, ‘There is a man here that Felix left in prison. v15 When I went to Jerusalem, the *Jewish leaders and the leaders of their *priests talked to me about him. “That man”, they said, “has done some very bad things and you should kill him.”

v16 So I said to them, “*Roman rulers do not usually give a man from prison to other people. Some of you are saying that this man has done wrong things. So he must first stand in front of the people who are speaking against him. Then he can answer them himself.” v17 So the *Jewish leaders and the leaders of their *priests came here. I did not wait. On the next day I sat in the room to *judge people. And I asked my soldiers to bring this man to me. v18 The men who had said bad things about him stood up. But they did not say what I had thought. They did not talk about any very bad things that he had done. v19 They were arguing with this man about what they believe about God. They were also arguing about a man called Jesus. They said that Jesus was dead. But Paul says that he is alive. v20 I could not decide how I could learn more about all these things. So I asked Paul, “Can I take you to Jerusalem? There you can answer these men before me. You can explain what they are saying against you.” v21 But Paul did not want to go to Jerusalem. He said to me, “Please keep me here. I want the soldiers to continue to *guard me. I want to go to *Caesar. He can decide what to do with me.” So I said to my soldiers, “*Guard Paul until I send him to *Caesar!” ’

v22 Agrippa said to Festus, ‘I would like to hear this man myself.’

‘You will hear him tomorrow’, Festus answered.

v23 The next day, Agrippa and Bernice came to the large room where Festus talked to people. They wore beautiful clothes and they had many servants with them. *Roman officers and the important men in the city also went into the room with them. Festus said to his soldiers, ‘Bring Paul here to us!’ So they brought Paul into the room. v24 Festus said, ‘King Agrippa, and everyone here now, listen. You see the man who is standing in front of you. Many *Jews here have spoken to me about him. Also the *Jews who are in Jerusalem have told me about him. They shout loudly, “This man has done wrong things. This man should not continue to live!” v25 But I could not find a reason to kill him. He has not done anything against our *law. He himself has asked to speak to *Caesar. So I have decided to send him to *Caesar. v26 But I do not know what to write to *Caesar about him. So I have brought him here to stand in front of you. King Agrippa, it is really for this reason that I have brought him here. Listen to what Paul says. Then I can write something about him for *Caesar. v27 I can send a person from the prison to *Caesar. But I must tell him what wrong things that person has done.’

Chapter 26

Paul speaks to Agrippa

v1 Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You can now speak about yourself.’

Paul raised his hand as he spoke. v2 ‘King Agrippa, please listen to me’, he said. ‘I am happy because I can speak to you today. The *Jews say that I have done some wrong things. So I will explain to you all about the things that they say against me. v3 I can do this because you know all about the *Jews. You know how we live. You also know very well what we argue about with each other. So please be patient and listen to me.

v4 I have lived among the *Jews and at Jerusalem since I was young. So all the *Jews know how I have lived.

v5 They have known me for a long time. And so they know that I was a *Pharisee. I lived as a *Pharisee. I was very careful to obey God’s *Law, in the same way that they do. They could tell you that this is true. They could, if they wanted to tell you. v6 Now I stand here for men to *judge me. I do this because I believe in God’s promise to our *ancestors. v7 He promised it to the 12 families of *Israel. They speak to God by day and by night. And they say that he is very powerful and important. And so they hope to receive what he promised. I also hope to receive it. Powerful king, this is the reason that the *Jews themselves say all these things about me. v8 God causes people to become alive again after they have died. You who hear me think that this is not possible. But I do not see why you should think that.

v9 I myself thought that I should do many things against the authority of Jesus of Nazareth. v10 So that is what I did in Jerusalem. The leaders of the *priests gave me authority to put many of God’s people in prison. And I agreed with our leaders when they said, “These people must die.” v11 Often, I said that my men should *punish these people in the *synagogues. I tried to cause them to say bad things about God. Because I was very angry with them, I travelled to other cities in other countries. Then I could also hurt those who believed in Jesus there.’

Paul tells Agrippa and Bernice about when he first believed in Jesus

v12 ‘For that reason, I was travelling to Damascus. The leaders of the *priests had given me a letter. They had written, “There are people in Damascus who believe in Jesus. And we have given Paul authority to catch them.” v13 Powerful king, I was travelling along the road at midday. And I saw a light that was much brighter than the light from the sun. This very bright light shone all round me and round all the men who were with me. v14 All of us fell down to the ground. I heard a voice that spoke to me in the Hebrew language. “Saul, Saul, you are hurting me”, he said. “You are like an ox that kicks against a sharp stick. And so you are hurting yourself.” ’

Hebrew was the language of the *Jews.

Jesus used a picture to show Saul what was happening. An ox is a large animal like a cow. A farmer made his ox pull a *cart for him. He used a sharp stick. It made the ox walk where he wanted it to go. The sharp stick hurt the ox if it went the wrong way. The stick also hurt the ox if it tried to kick it.

v15 ‘ “*Lord, who are you?” I asked.

“I am Jesus”, he said. “And you are hurting me. v16 Now you should get up. Stand on your feet. I have appeared to you because I have chosen you. I want you to work for me. You have seen me today. I want you to tell other people about this. After that, I will show you other things about me that you should tell people. v17 I will send you to speak to *Jews and to those who are not *Jews. Some of them will want to hurt you. But I will save you from them. v18 You will help them to understand who I am. They are like people who live in the dark. And so they cannot see. Teach them about me. Then they will be like people who live in the light. Now they are in *Satan’s *kingdom and he has power over them. Take them out and put them in God’s *kingdom. Because they believe in me, I will *forgive them. I will *forgive them for all the wrong things that they have done. I will give them a place among all the people that God has chosen.” ’

Paul tells Agrippa and Bernice about his work for God

v19 ‘And so, King Agrippa, I obeyed the things that I heard from *heaven that day. v20 First, I taught the people in Damascus and in Jerusalem what they should do. I said to them, “You have done wrong things. You must tell God that you are sorry. And then you must obey God. You must show God that you are obeying him.” I also taught this to both *Jews and *Gentiles in many different countries. v21 This is the reason that the *Jews held me in the Great House of God. This is also the reason that they wanted to kill me. v22 But God has helped me every day. So now I can stand here. I can tell you what is true. I can speak to people who are very important. And I can also speak to people who are not important. Moses and God’s other *prophets told us that all these things would happen. And I am telling you these same things. v23 People would kill the *Christ that God chose. The *Christ would then first become alive again after death. In that way, he would show everyone that God saves *Jews and *Gentiles from death. That is what the *prophets and Moses said.’

v24 While Paul was telling Agrippa all these things, Festus shouted at Paul, ‘Your mind is confused. You have learned many things. But all these things have caused your mind to be confused.’

v25 ‘Important ruler, my mind is not confused’, said Paul. ‘Everything that I have said is true. And I am completely clear in my mind. v26 King Agrippa, I am not afraid to speak to you. I am sure that you already know about these things. I am sure that you have already heard everything. Nobody has hidden these things. v27 King Agrippa, do you believe what the *prophets said? I am sure that you do believe them.’

v28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘What do you think? Can you cause me to become a Christian in this short time?’

v29 ‘It is not important if it takes a long time or a short time’, Paul answered. ‘I pray to God about you and about everyone who is listening to me today. I pray that you will all become like me. But I would not want you to wear these same *chains!’

v30 Then King Agrippa, Festus and Bernice and everyone else stood up. v31 After they left the room, they said to each other, ‘This man has not done anything wrong. We should not kill him, or put him in prison.’

v32 Agrippa said to Festus, ‘We could let this man leave the prison. But he has asked to go to *Caesar. So we cannot let him leave the prison.’

Chapter 27

Soldiers take Paul to Rome

v1 Festus decided that we should sail to Italy. So he *ordered a soldier called Julius to *guard Paul. He also gave Julius authority over some other men who had been in the prison. Julius was an officer in the *Roman army. He ruled a large group of soldiers that belonged to *Caesar.

Luke was with Paul on this journey.

v2 We went on to a boat that had come from Adramyttium. This ship was ready to leave. It would sail to the towns on the coast of *Asia. We all sailed on this ship and Aristarchus also sailed with us. He was a man from Macedonia who had lived in Thessalonica.

v3 The next day we arrived at Sidon. Julius was kind to Paul. He said, ‘Paul, you can go and visit your friends here. They can give you anything that you need.’ v4 Then we all sailed again from there. But the wind was blowing against the front of our ship. So we sailed round the island called Cyprus. We stayed on the side of the island where the wind was not strong. v5 When we were near to Cilicia and Pamphylia, we then sailed straight across the sea. We arrived at Myra, in the part of the country called Lycia. v6 The *Roman officer found another ship there that had sailed from Alexandria. It would sail to Italy. So the officer took us off one ship and he put us on the other ship. v7 The ship sailed slowly for several days. It was difficult to sail. But in the end we arrived near the town called Cnidus. Because of the strong wind, we could not continue to sail in that direction. So we sailed down the side of the island called Crete. And the wind there was not strong. We passed the point of land called Salmone. v8 It was difficult to sail, so we stayed close to the coast. Then we came to another place called ‘Safe Port’. Ships could stop here and be safe. This port was not far from the town called Lasea.

v9 We remained there for many days. So then it had become dangerous to continue the journey. By then it was already after the Day of Atonement.

If all this happened in the year *AD 59, the Day of Atonement was on 5 October that year. It was dangerous to go by boat after the beginning of October. The winds were very strong. The Day of Atonement was a special day when the *Jews asked God to *forgive them.

So Paul spoke to the army officer and to the men who sailed the boat. v10 ‘I understand that now our journey will be dangerous. The ship may break in pieces and you will lose the things in it. And all the people may also die in the water.’ v11 But the army officer did not believe what Paul said. Instead, he believed what the owner of the ship and the captain said.

The owner was the man who bought the ship. The captain had authority on the ship to sail it and to *order the sailors.

v12 This port was not a good place for a ship to remain during the winter. Most of the men on the ship wanted to continue the journey. They wanted to sail as far as Phoenix, if they could get there. Phoenix was a better port to stay in for the winter. Phoenix was in Crete and it was open to the sea both to the southwest and to the northwest.

Southwest means in a direction between south and west. Northwest means in a direction between north and west.

The ship is in a storm

v13 The wind began to blow from the south, but it was not strong. So the men thought, ‘We can do what we wanted to do. We can sail to Phoenix.’ So they pulled up the anchor. Then they sailed as close as they could to the coast. They went along the coast of Crete.

An anchor is a heavy, metal weight. People used it to stop a ship moving in the water.

v14 But soon a very strong wind began to blow. This wind was from the northeast (between north and east) and it blew down strongly across the island. v15 The wind blew against the ship. It was not possible for the men to sail the ship straight into the wind. So they did not try any longer. They let the wind blow the ship along. v16 We passed the south end of a small island called Cauda. Here we found a place where the strong wind did not blow as much. It was difficult, but we kept the ship’s little boat safe. v17 They lifted it out of the water. Then they put it on the ship and they tied it there with *ropes. Then they tied some more *ropes under and round the ship so that it would not break. The men were afraid of what could happen. There were some places along the coast of Libya where the water was not very deep. The ship might sail on to one of these places and then it might break. So they took the ship’s *sails down. And they let the wind blow the ship along. v18 The big strong storm continued. The ship was carrying many things. So the next day, the men threw some of these things off the ship into the sea. v19 The day after that, the men themselves threw some of the *sails and *ropes off the ship into the sea. v20 For many days, we could not see the sun or the stars. The strong wind continued to blow. So then we thought, ‘It is not possible for us to remain alive.’

At that time, sailors looked at the sun and the stars. Then they knew where they were.

v21 The men had not eaten any food for a long time. Then Paul stood in front of them. ‘Men, you should have listened to me!’ he said. ‘You should not have sailed from Crete. If we had not sailed, we would not have lost all these things from the ship. v22 Now I ask you, please be brave. The storm will completely destroy the ship, but not one of you will die. v23 I know this because last night one of God’s *angels came to me. He came from my God who is very great and powerful. v24 The *angel said, “Paul, do not be afraid. You will stand in front of *Caesar. God will be kind to you because he is good. So none of the men in the ship with you will die.” v25 And so I say to you, “Men, be brave!” I believe in God. So everything will happen in the way that the *angel told me. v26 But the wind will blow the ship on to an island.’

v27 The storm had continued for 14 days and nights. The strong wind was blowing the ship across the Mediterranean Sea. About midnight, the sailors thought that we were close to the land. v28 So they tied a piece of metal to a thin *rope. They held one end and they let the metal drop into the sea. They saw from the *rope that the water was nearly 40 metres (120 feet) deep. A short time later they did this again. This time it was only 30 metres (90 feet) deep. v29 The sailors were afraid that the ship would hit some rocks. So from the back of the ship, they put 4 anchors on *ropes into the sea.

An anchor is a heavy, metal weight that stops a ship moving in the water. They did this to keep the ship in one place.

After that, they wanted the morning to come soon. v30 Then the sailors tried to leave the ship. They put the little boat into the sea. ‘We are going to the front of the ship’, they said. ‘We will put some more *anchors on *ropes down into the sea.’ But that was not true. v31 Paul said to the army officer and soldiers, ‘These sailors must stay on the ship. If they do not stay, you will not be safe.’ v32 So the soldiers cut the *ropes that held the small boat to the ship. The little boat fell into the water and the wind blew it away without the sailors.

v33 Now it was almost morning and Paul said to everyone, ‘Please come and eat some food. You have now waited for 14 days for the storm to stop. And you have not eaten anything during all that time. v34 You must eat some food. Then you will be strong enough to get to the shore. You will be safe. You will not even lose one hair from your head.’ v35 After Paul said this, he took some bread. He prayed in front of them all and he thanked God for the bread. Then he broke the bread into small pieces and he began to eat it. v36 Everyone became less afraid and they all ate some of the bread. v37 There were 276 people on the ship. v38 After everyone had eaten enough, the sailors threw the wheat into the sea. Then the ship was not so heavy.

Wheat is a plant. People use wheat to make bread. But this wheat was not food for the sailors. The ship was carrying the wheat to Rome.

The sea completely destroys the ship

v39 In the morning, the ship was close to some land. But the sailors did not know which island it was. But they saw a place on the shore with some sand on it. They wanted to put the ship on the sand. v40 So the sailors cut all the *ropes with anchors on them. The anchors went down through the water to the ground. They also removed the *ropes from the oars. Then they raised the *sail at the front of the ship so that the wind would blow the ship along. Then the ship sailed straight towards the shore.

An anchor is a heavy, metal weight that stops a ship moving. Oars were long pieces of wood. The sailors used them to make the boat go where they wanted.

v41 But there was a place where the water was not very deep. The ship sailed on to the sand and it stayed there. The front of the ship stayed on the sand and it could not move. The sea was very strong and it broke the back of the ship.

v42 The soldiers wanted to kill the men who had been in the prison. They did not want these men to swim to the land and then to run away. v43 But the army officer wanted to save Paul. So he *ordered the soldiers not to kill the men. Instead he said, ‘Everyone who can swim, jump into the water first. Then swim to the shore. v44 You men, who cannot swim, follow them. Hold on to pieces of wood, or pieces of the ship.’ This was the way that all of us arrived safely on the shore.

Chapter 28

What happened to Paul on the island called Malta

v1 Then we were on the shore and we were all safe. The people there told us that the island was called Malta. v2 The people who lived on the island were very kind to us. Rain was falling and the weather was now cold. So the people who lived on the island lit a fire for us. And they welcomed us to their island. v3 Paul picked up some sticks to put on the fire. A dangerous snake came out from among the sticks. It had felt the heat from the fire. The snake bit Paul’s hand and it remained fixed to his hand. v4 The people who lived on the island saw the snake. It was hanging from Paul’s hand. So they said to each other, ‘We know now that this man killed someone. He did not die in the sea but it is not right for him to live. The snake will kill him.’ v5 Then Paul caused the snake to fall off his hand. It fell into the fire and it had not hurt Paul. v6 The people watched Paul carefully. They waited for his hand to become bigger. They thought that perhaps he would die immediately. They waited for a long time. But they did not see anything bad happen to Paul. So then they thought about this in a different way. They said, ‘This man is a god.’

v7 The leader of the people who lived on the island was called Publius. There were some of his fields not far from the shore. Publius said hello to us and he was kind to us. We stayed in his house for three days. v8 Publius’s father was lying in bed because he was ill. He was sick and his body was hot. Paul went into his room and prayed for him. He put his hands on the head of Publius’s father and he caused him to become well again. v9 After Paul did this, all the other sick people on the island came to him. And he caused them to become well again. v10 The people gave us many gifts. Later, they put everything that we needed on another ship for us. And then we left the island.

v11 We had remained on Malta for three months. We then left the island on another ship. This ship was called ‘The Twin Gods’ and it had come from Alexandria. It had stayed in Malta during the winter.

The ‘Twin Gods’ were two *Greek gods called Castor and Pollux. Twins are two children with the same mother who are born at about the same time. The people from Greece thought that these gods were very powerful.

v12 We arrived at the port of the city called Syracuse. We stayed there for three days.

Syracuse was a port on the south east coast of the island called Sicily.

v13 From Syracuse we sailed on. And we arrived at the city called Rhegium. The next day, the wind began to blow from the south. Two days after that, we arrived at the town called Puteoli. This was another port.

Puteoli was a port near Naples in Italy. People who wanted to go to Rome sailed here on ships.

v14 We found some people there who believed in Jesus. They asked us to stay with them for one week. After this we travelled on to Rome. v15 The *believers in Rome had heard about us. So they came as far as the market of Appius and the Three Hotels to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God for them. Paul was very happy that they had come to meet him.

The market of Appius was 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Rome. The Three Hotels was 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Rome.

v16 When we arrived in Rome, the authorities said to Paul, ‘You can live by yourself in your own house. But a soldier will *guard you so that you cannot run away.’

v17 After three days, Paul asked the leaders of the *Jews in Rome to meet with him. When they met together, Paul said to them, ‘Friends, you are *Jews like I am. I want you to know that I have never done anything bad to our people. Our *ancestors told us many things about how we should live. I always obeyed these rules. But the *Jews put me in the prison in Jerusalem and then they gave me to the *Roman rulers. v18 The *Roman rulers asked me questions about what I had done. They found that I had not done anything wrong. There was no reason for which they could say, “He must die.” So they did not want to keep me any longer. v19 But the *Jews did not agree with the *Roman rulers. So then I asked the *Roman rulers if I could speak to *Caesar. I had nothing bad to say about my own people. v20 Because of all that happened, I wanted to talk with you. I believe in the same promise that all the *Jews believe in. And that is why I am in prison here.’

v21 The leaders of the *Jews in Rome said, ‘We have not received any letters about you from Judea. No *Jews have come here from Judea and told us news. And no *Jews have said anything bad about you. v22 We do know that people everywhere say bad things about your group. So we would like you to tell us your ideas.’

v23 So the *Jews decided on a day on which they would meet again with Paul. And on that day, a large number of *Jews arrived. They came to the house where Paul was staying. Paul talked to them about the *Kingdom of God. He spoke from the morning until night and he explained his message to them. He spoke about everything written in the *Law of Moses and the books of the *prophets. And he showed the *Jews that his message about Jesus was true. v24 Some of them believed that his message was true. But other *Jews who were there would not believe him. v25 At the end of the day, all the *Jews left his house. But they did not agree with each other about Paul’s words. Before they left the house, Paul had said, ‘The *Holy Spirit spoke correctly by the *prophet Isaiah. He spoke to your *ancestors. The *Holy Spirit said to Isaiah,

v26 “Go and say to this people,

            ‘You will listen and listen. But you will never understand anything.

            You will look and look. But you will never see anything.’

v27      This people do not want to understand anything with their minds.

            They still do not want to listen to anybody.

            If they wanted to look, they could see.

            If they wanted to listen, they could hear.

            Then they would also understand.

            And then they would obey me.

            And I would *forgive them and I would make them well.” ’

v28 Paul then said, ‘I want you to know that God has sent his message about Jesus to the *Gentiles. And they will listen!’ v29 After Paul had said these things, the *Jews left. They were arguing with each other.

Many Bibles leave out Acts 28:29.

v30 Paul lived for two years in Rome in his own house. He paid money to live in the house. Many people came to visit him and he was kind to them all. v31 He taught people about the *Kingdom of God and about the *Lord Jesus Christ. Paul spoke his message strongly. He could speak to everyone who visited him. Nobody tried to stop him.

Word List

AD ~ AD 50 means 50 years after Jesus was born.

ancestors ~ the people in a *family who lived a long time ago.

anchor ~ a heavy, metal weight. People used it to stop a ship moving in the water.

angel ~ a servant from God who brings his messages.

apostle ~ a *disciple of Jesus that Jesus chose to do a special job. Their job was to teach other people about Jesus.

Aramaic ~ the language that people in *Israel spoke at that time.

Asia~ at that time, people used the name ‘Asia’ for the west part of the country that we now call Turkey.

baptise, baptism ~ to put a person into water, or to put water on a person; the person is sorry for all the wrong things that he has done. This shows other people that now he wants to obey God.

Baptist ~ a man who *baptises people.

believer ~ a person who knows and accepts Christ.

brother ~ a name that a *Jew sometimes called another *Jew; or, a name that a Christian may call another Christian.

Caesar ~ the most important *Roman ruler was always called Caesar. He lived in the city called Rome.

Caesarea ~ Caesarea was one of the most important cities in *Israel.

cart ~ a big box with *wheels that animals pull along. People can ride in it. Farmers can move heavy things in it.

chain ~ many metal rings that join to make something like a *rope. People use it to stop a thing or person leaving.

Christ ~ the special person that God chose. God sent him to this world. He sent him to save people from the result of the things that they do against God.

church ~ a group of Christians who meet together. A church is not only the building that they meet in. It can also mean all the Christians in the world.

circumcise ~ to cut the skin from the end of the sex part of a boy or man. For *Jews, this was a special mark. It showed that they belonged to God.

citizen ~ a citizen of Rome was a person with special benefits and help from *Caesar and his officers.

cross ~ two pieces of wood that someone has fixed together. The *Romans fixed people to a cross to kill them. Jesus died on a cross.

desert ~ a desert is a very dry place. Often there is a lot of sand and stones. There are not many plants and not many people live there.

devil ~ the worst enemy of God. God sent him away from *heaven a long time ago.

disciple ~ a disciple wants to do the same things as another person and to learn from them.

Egypt/Egyptians ~ Egypt is a country in Africa. Their king was called *Pharaoh. People who live in Egypt are called Egyptians.

family ~ family included father, mother and children; also grandfathers and those who had been born before.

fast/fasting ~ not to eat any food.

forgive ~ to choose not to remember wrong things that a person has done. To choose not to *punish for a wrong thing. God forgives us for the wrong things that we have done.

Gentiles ~ people that are not *Jews; people that do not know God; people in all countries.

Greek ~ someone who comes from Greece; or, the language that people spoke in Greece. Many people spoke the Greek language at that time, not only in Greece. Greek sometimes meant any person who was not a *Jew.

guard ~ watch carefully so that a person does not run away; or, keep someone safe. A guard is a person with authority to guard another person.

heaven ~ the place where God and Christ are; the future home of the people who know God.

Hebrew ~ the language that the *Jews spoke.

Holy Spirit ~ one of the three persons who are God. He helps *believers to become more like God. We cannot see him. He causes people to be strong in their *spirits.

Israel/Israelites ~ Israel, or the Israelites, are all the people in the *families of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God chose Israel to be his special people. The word can also mean the country that God gave to these people. It is also another name for Jacob.

Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children. Some people who were not Jews had decided to obey the *Jewish *Law.

Jewish ~ a word that describes a *Jew or anything that is a *Jew’s.

judge ~ to say if people are right or wrong; or, a person with authority to say if another person is right or wrong.

kingdom ~ the people and places where a king rules is his kingdom. The Kingdom of God means the people that God rules; or it means the places where he is king.

laugh at ~ laugh against someone.

law ~ the rules in a country.

Law ~ this is the Law of the *Jewish people, which God gave to Moses.

Lord ~ a name for God or for Jesus.

magic ~ to cause strange things to happen that surprise people. Magic is very bad and it is not from God. A person who uses magic uses *Satan’s power.

Old Testament ~ first part of God’s book, which the writers wrote before Jesus was born.

olive ~ a tree with small fruits (or the fruits themselves) that people use to make oil. They burned the oil to give them light. They used it in other ways too.

order ~ to tell someone what they must do.

Passover ~ an important day when the *Jews have a holiday. They eat a special meal on this day every year. They remember that God took them away from *Egypt. They were slaves in *Egypt and Moses led them away.

Pentecost ~ an important day when the *Jews have a holiday. It comes 50 days after *Passover. The *Jews thank God for the food that they have brought in from their fields. At Pentecost, Christians remember when God first sent his *Holy Spirit to them.

Pharaoh ~ the king of *Egypt was always called Pharaoh.

Pharisees ~ a group of *Jews. Many of them thought that they were obeying all God’s rules. But they were also obeying many rules that men had made. Those Pharisees did not like the things that Jesus taught. They did not like him because he did not obey all their rules.

priest ~ a man who gave gifts to God for the *Jews. He also burned animals to give to God. Priests worked in the Great House of God. The most important priest was their leader.

prophet ~ a person who tells people messages from God.

punish/punishment ~ to hurt someone because they have not obeyed the rules; to cause trouble for someone because they have done bad things.

region ~ a part of a country.

Roman ~ a Roman was a person who came from Rome. Roman was something that came from Rome. Rome was a very important city; it had a strong army. *Caesar lived in Rome and he ruled from Rome.

rope ~ long, thin piece of strong material. People use rope to tie things together.

Sabbath ~ the day when the *Jews rested. They did no work on the Sabbath.

Sadducees ~ a group of *Jewish men. They did not believe that a dead person could become alive again. They only used the first 5 books of the *Old Testament.

sail ~ a large piece of cloth on a boat. The wind pushes against the sail and the boat moves.

Sanhedrin ~ 71 men worked in the Sanhedrin. They were the leaders of the *priests, the important *Jews and the teachers of the *Law. The most important *priest was their leader. They met together and they *judged people. The men in the Sanhedrin had great power.

Satan ~ the worst enemy of God. God sent him away from *heaven a long time ago.

Solomon’s Porch ~ a part outside the Great House of God. People often met together there to listen while someone taught them. Only the *priests could go into the Great House of God. Other people remained outside.

soul ~ the soul is a part of a person that we cannot see. Our soul is in us while we are alive. It continues to live after we die.

spirit ~ the spirit is another part of a person that we cannot see. This part can speak to other spirits and to the *soul. See *Holy Spirit. *Satan rules bad spirits.

suddenly ~ when something happens quickly and it surprises us.

synagogue ~ a place or building where the *Jews meet together to pray to God. They also learn about God’s *Law there.

tanner ~ a man who works with animal skins. He makes leather from the skins. And people make things from the leather.

tent ~ a house that someone made out of cloth or animal skins. When people travel, they can carry it from one place to the next.

twelfth ~ when we count 12 things, the last thing is the twelfth thing.

wheels ~ round things that help things like cars to move.

wise/wisdom ~ a wise person understands most things well; a wise person knows what to do.

worm ~ an animal that lives under the ground. Some worms eat dead things.

yeast ~ people put yeast into flour and water to make bread. The yeast grows in the bread and it causes the bread to rise.

Book List

Barclay M. Newman and Eugene A. Nida ~ A Handbook on the Acts of the Apostles ~ United Bible Societies

I. Howard Marshall ~ The Acts of the Apostles ~ Tyndale Bible Commentaries

E. M. Blaiklock ~ The Acts of the Apostles ~ Tyndale Bible Commentaries

J. D. Douglas (Editor) ~ The Illustrated Bible Dictionary ~ Inter-Varsity Press

Bibles ~ NIV, RSV, GNV, CEV, TEV, NRSV, Greek NT


Book 44 Acts
King James Version
001:001 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
001:002 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
001:003 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
001:004 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
001:005 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
001:006 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
001:007 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
001:008 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
001:009 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
001:010 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
001:011 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
001:012 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.
001:013 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
001:014 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
001:015 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
001:016 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
001:017 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
001:018 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
001:019 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
001:020 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
001:021 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
001:022 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
001:023 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
001:024 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
001:025 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
001:026 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

002:001 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
002:002 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
002:003 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
002:004 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
002:005 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
002:006 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
002:007 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
002:008 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
002:009 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
002:010 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
002:011 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
002:012 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
002:013 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
002:014 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
002:015 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
002:016 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
002:017 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out 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:
002:018 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
002:019 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
002:020 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:
002:021 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
002:022 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
002:023 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
002:024 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
002:025 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
002:026 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
002:027 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
002:028 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
002:029 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
002:030 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
002:031 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
002:032 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
002:033 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
002:034 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
002:035 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
002:036 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
002:037 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
002:038 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
002:039 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
002:040 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
002:041 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
002:042 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
002:043 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
002:044 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
002:045 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
002:046 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
002:047 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

003:001 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
003:002 And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
003:003 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
003:004 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
003:005 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
003:006 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
003:007 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
003:008 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
003:009 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
003:010 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
003:011 And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.
003:012 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?
003:013 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.
003:014 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
003:015 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
003:016 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
003:017 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
003:018 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
003:019 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
003:020 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
003:021 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
003:022 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
003:023 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
003:024 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
003:025 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
003:026 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

004:001 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
004:002 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
004:003 And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.
004:004 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
004:005 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,
004:006 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
004:007 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
004:008 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
004:009 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
004:010 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
004:011 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
004:012 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
004:013 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
004:014 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
004:015 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
004:016 Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.
004:017 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.
004:018 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
004:019 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
004:020 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
004:021 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.
004:022 For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.
004:023 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
004:024 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
004:025 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
004:026 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
004:027 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
004:028 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
004:029 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
004:030 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
004:031 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
004:032 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
004:033 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
004:034 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
004:035 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
004:036 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
004:037 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

005:001 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
005:002 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
005:003 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
005:004 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
005:005 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
005:006 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
005:007 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
005:008 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
005:009 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
005:010 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
005:011 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
005:012 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
005:013 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
005:014 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
005:015 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
005:016 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
005:017 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,
005:018 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
005:019 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
005:020 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.
005:021 And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
005:022 But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned and told,
005:023 Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within.
005:024 Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow.
005:025 Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.
005:026 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
005:027 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
005:028 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.
005:029 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
005:030 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
005:031 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
005:032 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
005:033 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.
005:034 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;
005:035 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.
005:036 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
005:037 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
005:038 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
005:039 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
005:040 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
005:041 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
005:042 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

006:001 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
006:002 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
006:003 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
006:004 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
006:005 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
006:006 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
006:007 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
006:008 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
006:009 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.
006:010 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.
006:011 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.
006:012 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,
006:013 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:
006:014 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.
006:015 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

007:001 Then said the high priest, Are these things so?
007:002 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,
007:003 And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.
007:004 Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.
007:005 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.
007:006 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.
007:007 And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place.
007:008 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.
007:009 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him,
007:010 And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.
007:011 Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance.
007:012 But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first.
007:013 And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph's kindred was made known unto Pharaoh.
007:014 Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls.
007:015 So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers,
007:016 And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.
007:017 But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,
007:018 Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph.
007:019 The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live.
007:020 In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months:
007:021 And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son.
007:022 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.
007:023 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.
007:024 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:
007:025 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.
007:026 And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?
007:027 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?
007:028 Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday?
007:029 Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.
007:030 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.
007:031 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the LORD came unto him,
007:032 Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold.
007:033 Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground.
007:034 I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt.
007:035 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.
007:036 He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.
007:037 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.
007:038 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
007:039 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,
007:040 Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
007:041 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
007:042 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?
007:043 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.
007:044 Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.
007:045 Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;
007:046 Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.
007:047 But Solomon built him an house.
007:048 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
007:049 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?
007:050 Hath not my hand made all these things?
007:051 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
007:052 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
007:053 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
007:054 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
007:055 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
007:056 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
007:057 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
007:058 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
007:059 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
007:060 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

008:001 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
008:002 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
008:003 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
008:004 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
008:005 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
008:006 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
008:007 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
008:008 And there was great joy in that city.
008:009 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
008:010 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
008:011 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
008:012 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
008:013 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
008:014 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
008:015 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
008:016 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
008:017 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
008:018 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
008:019 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
008:020 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
008:021 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
008:022 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
008:023 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
008:024 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the LORD for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.
008:025 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
008:026 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
008:027 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
008:028 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
008:029 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
008:030 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
008:031 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
008:032 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
008:033 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
008:034 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
008:035 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
008:036 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
008:037 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
008:038 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
008:039 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
008:040 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

009:001 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
009:002 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
009:003 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
009:004 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
009:005 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
009:006 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
009:007 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
009:008 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
009:009 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
009:010 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
009:011 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
009:012 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
009:013 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
009:014 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
009:015 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
009:016 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
009:017 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
009:018 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
009:019 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
009:020 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
009:021 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?
009:022 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
009:023 And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:
009:024 But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.
009:025 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.
009:026 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
009:027 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
009:028 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.
009:029 And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.
009:030 Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.
009:031 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
009:032 And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.
009:033 And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy.
009:034 And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately.
009:035 And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.
009:036 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
009:037 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
009:038 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.
009:039 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
009:040 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
009:041 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.
009:042 And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.
009:043 And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.

010:001 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
010:002 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
010:003 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
010:004 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
010:005 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
010:006 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
010:007 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;
010:008 And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
010:009 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
010:010 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
010:011 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
010:012 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
010:013 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
010:014 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
010:015 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
010:016 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
010:017 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,
010:018 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
010:019 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
010:020 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
010:021 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?
010:022 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
010:023 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
010:024 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends.
010:025 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
010:026 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
010:027 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
010:028 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
010:029 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?
010:030 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
010:031 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
010:032 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
010:033 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
010:034 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
010:035 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
010:036 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
010:037 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
010:038 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
010:039 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
010:040 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
010:041 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
010:042 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
010:043 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
010:044 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
010:045 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
010:046 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
010:047 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
010:048 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

011:001 And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
011:002 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,
011:003 Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
011:004 But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,
011:005 I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:
011:006 Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
011:007 And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.
011:008 But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.
011:009 But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
011:010 And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.
011:011 And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.
011:012 And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man's house:
011:013 And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter;
011:014 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.
011:015 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
011:016 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
011:017 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
011:018 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
011:019 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
011:020 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the LORD Jesus.
011:021 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
011:022 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
011:023 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
011:024 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
011:025 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:
011:026 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
011:027 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.
011:028 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.
011:029 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:
011:030 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

012:001 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
012:002 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
012:003 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
012:004 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
012:005 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
012:006 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.
012:007 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
012:008 And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
012:009 And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
012:010 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.
012:011 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the LORD hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
012:012 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.
012:013 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.
012:014 And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.
012:015 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.
012:016 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.
012:017 But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.
012:018 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter.
012:019 And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there abode.
012:020 And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's country.
012:021 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.
012:022 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.
012:023 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
012:024 But the word of God grew and multiplied.
012:025 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

013:001 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
013:002 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
013:003 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
013:004 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
013:005 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.
013:006 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:
013:007 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.
013:008 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
013:009 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.
013:010 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
013:011 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
013:012 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.
013:013 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.
013:014 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.
013:015 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.
013:016 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.
013:017 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.
013:018 And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness.
013:019 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot.
013:020 And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.
013:021 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.
013:022 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
013:023 Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:
013:024 When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
013:025 And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.
013:026 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
013:027 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.
013:028 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.
013:029 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
013:030 But God raised him from the dead:
013:031 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.
013:032 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,
013:033 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
013:034 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.
013:035 Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
013:036 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:
013:037 But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.
013:038 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
013:039 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
013:040 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;
013:041 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.
013:042 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
013:043 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
013:044 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
013:045 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
013:046 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
013:047 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
013:048 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
013:049 And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
013:050 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
013:051 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.
013:052 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.

014:001 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
014:002 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
014:003 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
014:004 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
014:005 And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,
014:006 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
014:007 And there they preached the gospel.
014:008 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked:
014:009 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,
014:010 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.
014:011 And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.
014:012 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.
014:013 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.
014:014 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,
014:015 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
014:016 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.
014:017 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
014:018 And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.
014:019 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
014:020 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
014:021 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
014:022 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
014:023 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
014:024 And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.
014:025 And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:
014:026 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.
014:027 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.
014:028 And there they abode long time with the disciples.

015:001 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
015:002 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
015:003 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
015:004 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
015:005 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
015:006 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
015:007 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
015:008 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
015:009 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
015:010 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
015:011 But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
015:012 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
015:013 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
015:014 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
015:015 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
015:016 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
015:017 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
015:018 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
015:019 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
015:020 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
015:021 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
015:022 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
015:023 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.
015:024 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
015:025 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
015:026 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
015:027 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
015:028 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
015:029 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
015:030 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:
015:031 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.
015:032 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.
015:033 And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the apostles.
015:034 Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still.
015:035 Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
015:036 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the LORD, and see how they do.
015:037 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.
015:038 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
015:039 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;
015:040 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
015:041 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

016:001 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
016:002 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
016:003 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
016:004 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.
016:005 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
016:006 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
016:007 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
016:008 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
016:009 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
016:010 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
016:011 Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;
016:012 And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.
016:013 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.
016:014 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
016:015 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.
016:016 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
016:017 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
016:018 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
016:019 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
016:020 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
016:021 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
016:022 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
016:023 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
016:024 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
016:025 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
016:026 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.
016:027 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
016:028 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
016:029 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
016:030 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
016:031 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
016:032 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
016:033 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
016:034 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
016:035 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.
016:036 And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace.
016:037 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.
016:038 And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans.
016:039 And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city.
016:040 And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

017:001 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
017:002 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
017:003 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
017:004 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
017:005 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
017:006 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
017:007 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.
017:008 And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.
017:009 And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.
017:010 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
017:011 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
017:012 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
017:013 But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.
017:014 And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.
017:015 And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.
017:016 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.
017:017 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.
017:018 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.
017:019 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?
017:020 For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean.
017:021 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)
017:022 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
017:023 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
017:024 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
017:025 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
017:026 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
017:027 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
017:028 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
017:029 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
017:030 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
017:031 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
017:032 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.
017:033 So Paul departed from among them.
017:034 Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

018:001 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;
018:002 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.
018:003 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
018:004 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
018:005 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.
018:006 And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
018:007 And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.
018:008 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.
018:009 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:
018:010 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
018:011 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
018:012 And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat,
018:013 Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.
018:014 And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you:
018:015 But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters.
018:016 And he drave them from the judgment seat.
018:017 Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.
018:018 And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.
018:019 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.
018:020 When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not;
018:021 But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.
018:022 And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.
018:023 And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.
018:024 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
018:025 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
018:026 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
018:027 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:
018:028 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.

019:001 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
019:002 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
019:003 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
019:004 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
019:005 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
019:006 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
019:007 And all the men were about twelve.
019:008 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
019:009 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
019:010 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
019:011 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
019:012 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
019:013 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the LORD Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
019:014 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
019:015 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
019:016 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
019:017 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
019:018 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
019:019 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
019:020 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
019:021 After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.
019:022 So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.
019:023 And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.
019:024 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;
019:025 Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.
019:026 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:
019:027 So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.
019:028 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
019:029 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.
019:030 And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.
019:031 And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.
019:032 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused: and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.
019:033 And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people.
019:034 But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
019:035 And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?
019:036 Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly.
019:037 For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.
019:038 Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another.
019:039 But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly.
019:040 For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse.
019:041 And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.

020:001 And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia.
020:002 And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece,
020:003 And there abode three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia.
020:004 And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.
020:005 These going before tarried for us at Troas.
020:006 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days.
020:007 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
020:008 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.
020:009 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
020:010 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.
020:011 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.
020:012 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.
020:013 And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot.
020:014 And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene.
020:015 And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus.
020:016 For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.
020:017 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
020:018 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,
020:019 Serving the LORD with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
020:020 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
020:021 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
020:022 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
020:023 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
020:024 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
020:025 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
020:026 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
020:027 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
020:028 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
020:029 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
020:030 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
020:031 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
020:032 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
020:033 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
020:034 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
020:035 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
020:036 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
020:037 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him,
020:038 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.

021:001 And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara:
021:002 And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth.
021:003 Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden.
021:004 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.
021:005 And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.
021:006 And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again.
021:007 And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day.
021:008 And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.
021:009 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
021:010 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
021:011 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
021:012 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.
021:013 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
021:014 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
021:015 And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem.
021:016 There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.
021:017 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
021:018 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
021:019 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
021:020 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
021:021 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
021:022 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
021:023 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
021:024 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
021:025 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.
021:026 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.
021:027 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,
021:028 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.
021:029 (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
021:030 And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.
021:031 And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
021:032 Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul.
021:033 Then the chief captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done.
021:034 And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle.
021:035 And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people.
021:036 For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him.
021:037 And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek?
021:038 Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?
021:039 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.
021:040 And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying,

022:001 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
022:002 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)
022:003 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
022:004 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
022:005 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
022:006 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
022:007 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
022:008 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
022:009 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
022:010 And I said, What shall I do, LORD? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.
022:011 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
022:012 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,
022:013 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
022:014 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
022:015 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
022:016 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
022:017 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;
022:018 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.
022:019 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:
022:020 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.
022:021 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.
022:022 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.
022:023 And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air,
022:024 The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.
022:025 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?
022:026 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.
022:027 Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea.
022:028 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.
022:029 Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
022:030 On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them.

023:001 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
023:002 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.
023:003 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
023:004 And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest?
023:005 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
023:006 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
023:007 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
023:008 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
023:009 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.
023:010 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
023:011 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
023:012 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.
023:013 And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy.
023:014 And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul.
023:015 Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.
023:016 And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.
023:017 Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him.
023:018 So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee.
023:019 Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me?
023:020 And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly.
023:021 But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.
023:022 So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me.
023:023 And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night;
023:024 And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.
023:025 And he wrote a letter after this manner:
023:026 Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix sendeth greeting.
023:027 This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.
023:028 And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council:
023:029 Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds.
023:030 And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell.
023:031 Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris.
023:032 On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle:
023:033 Who, when they came to Caesarea and delivered the epistle to the governor, presented Paul also before him.
023:034 And when the governor had read the letter, he asked of what province he was. And when he understood that he was of Cilicia;
023:035 I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall.

024:001 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.
024:002 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence,
024:003 We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
024:004 Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.
024:005 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:
024:006 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.
024:007 But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,
024:008 Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him.
024:009 And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so.
024:010 Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself:
024:011 Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship.
024:012 And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:
024:013 Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.
024:014 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
024:015 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
024:016 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.
024:017 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.
024:018 Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.
024:019 Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me.
024:020 Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council,
024:021 Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.
024:022 And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.
024:023 And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him.
024:024 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
024:025 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
024:026 He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.
024:027 But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.

025:001 Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem.
025:002 Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him,
025:003 And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him.
025:004 But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself would depart shortly thither.
025:005 Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him.
025:006 And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought.
025:007 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove.
025:008 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.
025:009 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me?
025:010 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.
025:011 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.
025:012 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.
025:013 And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus.
025:014 And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix:
025:015 About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him.
025:016 To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.
025:017 Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth.
025:018 Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed:
025:019 But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.
025:020 And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters.
025:021 But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.
025:022 Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.
025:023 And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus' commandment Paul was brought forth.
025:024 And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer.
025:025 But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him.
025:026 Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write.
025:027 For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him.

026:001 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:
026:002 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:
026:003 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
026:004 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;
026:005 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
026:006 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, unto our fathers:
026:007 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
026:008 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
026:009 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
026:010 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.
026:011 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
026:012 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
026:013 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
026:014 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
026:015 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
026:016 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
026:017 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
026:018 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
026:019 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
026:020 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
026:021 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.
026:022 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
026:023 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
026:024 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
026:025 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
026:026 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
026:027 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
026:028 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
026:029 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
026:030 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:
026:031 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.
026:032 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.

027:001 And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band.
027:002 And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us.
027:003 And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.
027:004 And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.
027:005 And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia.
027:006 And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein.
027:007 And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone;
027:008 And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea.
027:009 Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,
027:010 And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.
027:011 Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.
027:012 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.
027:013 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.
027:014 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.
027:015 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.
027:016 And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat:
027:017 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven.
027:018 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship;
027:019 And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.
027:020 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
027:021 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.
027:022 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship.
027:023 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
027:024 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
027:025 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
027:026 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.
027:027 But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country;
027:028 And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms.
027:029 Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.
027:030 And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship,
027:031 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.
027:032 Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.
027:033 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing.
027:034 Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.
027:035 And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.
027:036 Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat.
027:037 And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.
027:038 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea.
027:039 And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship.
027:040 And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore.
027:041 And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.
027:042 And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.
027:043 But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land:
027:044 And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

028:001 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.
028:002 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.
028:003 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
028:004 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.
028:005 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
028:006 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.
028:007 In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously.
028:008 And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him.
028:009 So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:
028:010 Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary.
028:011 And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.
028:012 And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days.
028:013 And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli:
028:014 Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.
028:015 And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.
028:016 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.
028:017 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.
028:018 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me.
028:019 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.
028:020 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.
028:021 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee.
028:022 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.
028:023 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
028:024 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
028:025 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
028:026 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
028:027 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
028:028 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.
028:029 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.
028:030 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,
028:031 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.



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U.S. Address: Box 7100, Pasadena, California 91109-7100
Phone: (800) 65-BIBLE Fax: (626) 449-4430

Note: Chapter topic headings from "The Inspirational Study Bible" by Max Lucado, General Editor; Word Bibles, 1991; Thomas Nelson, Inc., ISBN 0-8499-5123-2 (Hardback edition) & TheLiberty Annotated Study Bible; 1988 Liberty University & Thomas Nelson, Inc. Publishers
Provided by Grace Baptist Church, Madisonville, KY 42431