New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures Reference Bible

Chapters:  1  2  3  4  5  6  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28


1 The first account, O Theophilus,+ I composed about all the things Jesus started both to do and to teach,+ 2 until the day that he was taken up,+ after he had given commandment through holy spirit to the apostles whom he chose.+ 3 To these also by many positive proofs he showed himself alive after he had suffered,+ being seen by them throughout forty days and telling the things about the kingdom of God.+ 4 And while he was meeting with them he gave them the orders: “Do not withdraw from Jerusalem,+ but keep waiting for what the Father has promised,+ about which YOU heard from me; 5 because John, indeed, baptized with water, but YOU will be baptized in holy spirit+ not many days after this.”

6 When, now, they had assembled, they went asking him: “Lord,* are you restoring the kingdom+ to Israel at this time?” 7 He said to them: “It does not belong to YOU to get knowledge of the times or seasons*+ which the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction;*+ Dan.12:4,9    8 but YOU will receive power+ when the holy spirit arrives upon YOU, and YOU will be witnesses*+ of me both in Jerusalem+ and in all Judea and Samaria+ and to the most distant part* of the earth.”+ 9 And after he had said these things, while they were looking on, he was lifted up+ and a cloud caught him up from their vision.+ 10 And as they were gazing into the sky while he was on his way,+ also, look! two men in white*+ garments stood alongside them, 11 and they said: “Men of Galilee, why do YOU stand looking into the sky? This Jesus who was received up from YOU into the sky will come thus in the same manner+ as YOU have beheld him going into the sky.”*

12 Then they returned+ to Jerusalem from a mountain called the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem, being a sabbath day’s journey* away.+ 13 So, when they had entered, they went up into the upper chamber,+ where they were staying, Peter as well as John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James [the son] of Alphaeus and Simon the zealous one,* and Judas [the son] of James.+ MT10:2-4 14 With one accord all these were persisting in prayer,+ together with some women+ and Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brothers.+

15 Now during these days Peter rose up in the midst of the brothers and said (the crowd* of persons was all together about one hundred and twenty): 16 “Men, brothers, it was necessary for the scripture to be fulfilled,+ which the holy spirit+ spoke beforehand by David’s mouth about Judas,+ who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus,+ 17 because he had been numbered among us+ and he obtained a share in this ministry.+ 18 (This very man, therefore, purchased+ a field with the wages for unrighteousness,+ and pitching head foremost*+ he noisily burst in his midst and all his intestines were poured out. 19 It also became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that that field was called in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his lodging place become desolate, and let there be no dweller in it,’+ and, ‘His office of oversight* let someone else take.’+ 21 It is therefore necessary that of the men that assembled with us during all the time in which the Lord Jesus went in and out* among us,+ 22 starting with his baptism by John+ and until the day he was received up from us,+ one of these men should become a witness with us of his resurrection.”+

23 So they put up two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said: “You, O Jehovah,* who know the hearts of all,+ designate which one of these two men you have chosen, 25 to take the place of this ministry and apostleship,+ from which Judas deviated to go to his own place.” 26 So they cast lots+ over them, Prov.16:33 and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was reckoned along with the eleven+ apostles.

2 Now while the day of the [festival of] Pentecost+ was in progress they were all together at the same place, 2 and suddenly there occurred from heaven a noise just like that of a rushing stiff breeze, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting.+ John3:8 3 And tongues as if of fire+ became visible to them and were distributed about, and one sat upon each one of them, 4 and they all became filled with holy spirit+ and started to speak with different tongues,+ just as the spirit was granting them to make utterance.

5 As it was, there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews,+ reverent men,+ from every nation of those under heaven. 6 So, when this sound occurred, the multitude came together and were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Indeed, they were astonished and began to wonder and say: “See here, all these who are speaking are Galileans,+ are they not? 8 And yet how is it we are hearing, each one of us, his own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes+ and Elamites,+ and the inhabitants of Mesopotamia, and Judea+ and Cappadocia,+ Pontus+ and the [district of] Asia,+ 10 and Phrygia+ and Pamphylia,+ Egypt and the parts of Libya, which is toward Cyrene, and sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,*+ 11 Cretans+ and Arabians,+ we hear them speaking in our tongues about the magnificent things of God.” 12 Yes, they were all astonished and were in perplexity, saying one to another: “What does this thing purport to be?” 13 However, different ones mocked at them and began to say: “They are full of sweet wine.”+

14 But Peter stood up with the eleven+ and raised his voice and made this utterance to them: MT16:19 “Men of Judea and all YOU inhabitants of Jerusalem,+ let this be known to YOU and give ear to my sayings. 15 These [people] are, in fact, not drunk,+ as YOU suppose, for it is the third hour* of the day. 16 On the contrary, this is what was said through the prophet Joel, 17 ‘“And in the last days,” God says, “I shall pour out some of my spirit*+ upon every sort of flesh,* and YOUR sons and YOUR daughters will prophesy and YOUR young men will see visions and YOUR old men* will dream dreams;+ 18 and even upon my men slaves and upon my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.+ 19 And I will give portents in heaven above and signs on earth below, blood and fire and smoke mist;+ 20 the sun+ will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and illustrious day of Jehovah* arrives.+ 21 And everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah* will be saved.”’+ Joel2:30-32

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus the Nazarene,+ a man publicly shown by God to YOU through powerful works+ and portents and signs that God did through him in YOUR midst,+ just as YOU yourselves know, 23 this [man], as one delivered up by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God,+ YOU fastened to a stake by the hand of lawless men and did away with.+ 24 But God resurrected+ him by loosing the pangs of death,+ because it was not possible for him to continue to be held fast by it.+ 25 For David says respecting him, ‘I had Jehovah* constantly before my eyes; because he is at my right hand that I may never be shaken.+ 26 On this account my heart became cheerful and my tongue rejoiced greatly. Moreover, even my flesh will reside in hope;+ 27 because you will not leave my soul in Hades,* neither will you allow your loyal one to see corruption.+ 28 You have made life’s ways known to me, you will fill me with good cheer with your face.’+

29 “Men, brothers, it is allowable to speak with freeness of speech to YOU concerning the family head David, that he both deceased+ and was buried and his tomb is among us to this day. 30 Therefore, because he was a prophet and knew that God* had sworn to him with an oath that he would seat one from the fruitage of his loins* upon his throne,+ 31 he saw beforehand and spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he forsaken in Hades nor did his flesh see corruption.+ 32 This Jesus God resurrected, of which fact we are all witnesses.+ 33 Therefore because he was exalted to* the right hand of God+ and received the promised holy spirit from the Father,+ he has poured out this which YOU see and hear. 34 Actually David did not ascend to the heavens,+ John3:13  but he himself says, ‘Jehovah* said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand,+ 35 until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.”’+ Ps.110:1 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for a certainty that God made him both Lord+ and Christ, this Jesus whom YOU impaled.”*+

37 Now when they heard this they were stabbed to the heart,+ and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: “Men, brothers, what shall we do?”+ 38 Peter [said] to them: “Repent,+ and let each one of YOU be baptized+ in the name+ of Jesus Christ for forgiveness+ of YOUR sins, 22:16; Num.8:7; Ezek.36:25  and YOU will receive the free gift+ of the holy spirit. 39 For the promise+ is to YOU and to YOUR children and to all those afar off,+ just as many as Jehovah* our God may call to him.”+ 40 And with many other words he bore thorough witness and kept exhorting them, saying: “Get saved from this crooked generation.”+ 41 Therefore those who embraced his word heartily were baptized,+ and on that day about three thousand souls were added.+ 42 And they continued devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to sharing [with one another],*+ to taking of meals*+ and to prayers.+

43 Indeed, fear began to fall upon every soul, and many portents and signs began to occur through the apostles.+ 44 All those who became believers were together in having all things in common,+ 45 and they went selling their possessions+ and properties and distributing the [proceeds] to all, just as anyone would have the need.+ 46 And day after day they were in constant attendance at the temple with one accord,+ and they took their meals in private homes* and partook of food with great rejoicing+ and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and finding favor with all the people.+ At the same time Jehovah* continued to join+ to them daily those being saved.+

3 Now Peter and John were going up into the temple for the hour of prayer, the ninth hour,*+ 2 and a certain man that was lame from his mother’s womb+ was being carried, and they would daily put him near the temple door that was called Beautiful,+ in order to ask gifts of mercy from those entering into the temple.+ 3 When he caught sight of Peter and John about to go into the temple he began requesting to get gifts of mercy.+ 4 But Peter, together with John, gazed+ at him and said: “Take a look at us.” 5 So he fixed his attention upon them, expecting to get something from them. 6 However, Peter said: “Silver and gold I do not possess, but what I do have is what I give you:+ In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene,+ walk!”+ 7 With that he took hold of him by the right hand+ and raised him up. Instantly the soles of his feet and his anklebones were made firm;+ 8 and, leaping up,+ he stood up and began walking, and he entered with them into the temple,+ walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people+ got sight of him walking and praising God. 10 Moreover, they began to recognize him, that this was the man that used to sit for gifts of mercy at the Beautiful+ Gate of the temple, and they became filled with astonishment and ecstasy+ at what had happened to him.

11 Well, as the man was holding onto Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at what was called Solomon’s colonnade,+ surprised out of their wits. 12 When Peter saw this, he said to the people: “Men of Israel, why are YOU wondering over this, or why are YOU gazing at us as though by personal power or godly devotion we have made him walk?+ 13 The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob,+ the God of our forefathers, has glorified+ his Servant,+ Jesus, whom YOU, for YOUR part, delivered up+ and disowned before Pilate’s face, when he had decided to release him.+ 14 Yes, YOU disowned that holy and righteous one,+ and YOU asked for a man, a murderer,+ to be freely granted to YOU, 15 whereas YOU killed the Chief Agent of life.+ But God raised him up from the dead, of which fact we are witnesses.+ 16 Consequently his name, by [our] faith in his name, has made this man strong whom YOU behold and know, and the faith that is through him has given the man this complete soundness in the sight of all of YOU. 17 And now, brothers, I know that YOU acted in ignorance,+ just as YOUR rulers+ also did. 18 But in this way God has fulfilled the things he announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer.+

19 “Repent,+ therefore, and turn around+ so as to get YOUR sins blotted out,+ that seasons* of refreshing+ may come from the person* of Jehovah* 20 and that he may send forth the Christ appointed for YOU, Jesus, 21 whom heaven, indeed, must hold within itself*+ until the times of restoration+ of all things of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets+ of old time. 22 In fact, Moses said, ‘Jehovah* God will raise up for YOU from among YOUR brothers a prophet like me.+ YOU must listen to him according to all the things he speaks to YOU.+ 23 Indeed, any soul* that does not listen to that Prophet will be completely destroyed from among the people.’+ Deut.18:18 24 And all the prophets, in fact, from Samuel on and those in succession, just as many as have spoken, have also plainly declared these days.+ 25 YOU are the sons+ of the prophets and of the covenant which God covenanted with YOUR forefathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed* all the families of the earth will be blessed.’+ Gen.22:18; Gal.3:8 26 To YOU first+ God, after raising up his Servant, sent him forth to bless YOU by turning each one away from YOUR wicked deeds.” 

4 Now while the [two]* were speaking to the people, the chief priests and the captain of the temple+ and the Sadducees+ came upon them, 2 being annoyed because they were teaching the people and were plainly declaring the resurrection from the dead in the case of Jesus;+ 3 and they laid their hands upon them and put them in custody till the next day,+ for it was already evening. 4 However, many of those who had listened to the speech believed,+ and the number of the men became about five thousand.+

5 The next day there took place in Jerusalem the gathering together of their rulers and older men* and scribes+ 6 (also Annas+ the chief priest and Caiaphas+ and John and Alexander and as many as were of the chief priest’s kinsfolk), 7 and they stood them in their midst and began to inquire: “By what power or in whose name did YOU do this?”+ 8 Then Peter, filled with holy spirit,+ said to them:

“Rulers of the people and older men, 9 if we are this day being examined, on the basis of a good deed to an ailing man,+ as to by whom this man has been made well,* 10 let it be known to all of YOU and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene,+ whom YOU impaled*+ but whom God raised up from the dead,+ by this one* does this man stand here sound in front of YOU. 11 This is ‘the stone that was treated by YOU builders as of no account that has become the head of the corner.’+ 12 Furthermore, there is no salvation in anyone else, for there is not another name+ under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved.”+ John14:6; 1Tim.2:5

13 Now when they beheld the outspokenness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were men unlettered and ordinary,+ they got to wondering. And they began to recognize about them that they used to be with Jesus;+ 14 and as they were looking at the man that had been cured standing with them,+ they had nothing to say in rebuttal.+ 15 So they commanded them to go outside the Sanhedrin hall, and they began consulting with one another, 16 saying: “What shall we do with these men?+ Because, for a fact, a noteworthy sign has occurred through them, one manifest to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem;+ and we cannot deny it. 17 Nevertheless, in order that it may not be spread abroad further among the people, let us tell them with threats not to speak anymore upon the basis of this name to any man at all.”+

18 With that they called them and charged them, nowhere to make any utterance or to teach upon the basis of the name of Jesus. 19 But in reply Peter and John said to them: “Whether it is righteous in the sight of God to listen to YOU rather than to God, judge for yourselves. 5:29  20 But as for us, we cannot stop speaking about the things we have seen and heard.”+ 21 So, when they had further threatened them, they released them, since they did not find any ground on which to punish them and on account of the people,+ because they were all glorifying God over what had occurred; 22 for the man upon whom this sign of healing had occurred was more than forty years old.

23 After being released they went to their own people+ and reported what things the chief priests and the older men had said to them. 24 Upon hearing this they with one accord raised their voices to God+ and said:

“Sovereign+ Lord,* you are the One who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them,+ 25 and who through holy spirit said by the mouth of our forefather David,+ your servant, ‘Why did nations become tumultuous and peoples meditate upon empty things?+ 26 The kings of the earth took their stand and the rulers massed together as one against Jehovah* and against his anointed one.’*+ 27 Even so, both Herod and Pontius Pilate+ with [men of] nations and with peoples of Israel were in actuality gathered together in this city against your holy+ servant Jesus, whom you anointed,*+ 28 in order to do what things your hand and counsel had foreordained to occur.+ 29 And now, Jehovah,* give attention to their threats,+ and grant your slaves to keep speaking your word with all boldness,+ 30 while you stretch out your hand for healing and while signs and portents+ occur through the name+ of your holy servant+ Jesus.”

31 And when they had made supplication, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken;+ and they were one and all filled with the holy spirit+ and were speaking the word of God with boldness.+

32 Moreover, the multitude of those who had believed had one heart and soul,+ and not even one would say that any of the things he possessed was his own; but they had all things in common.+ 33 Also, with great power the apostles continued giving forth the witness concerning the resurrection of the Lord Jesus;+ and undeserved kindness in large measure was upon them all. 34 In fact, there was not one in need among them;+ for all those who were possessors of fields or houses would sell them and bring the values of the things sold 35 and they would deposit them at the feet of the apostles.+ In turn distribution+ would be made to each one, just as he would have the need. 36 So Joseph, who was surnamed Barnabas+ by the apostles, which means, when translated, Son of Comfort, a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 possessing a piece of land, sold it and brought the money and deposited it at the feet of the apostles.+

5 However, a certain man, Ananias by name, together with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession 2 and secretly held back some of the price, his wife also knowing about it, and he brought just a part and deposited it at the feet of the apostles.+ 3 But Peter said: “Ananias, why has Satan+ emboldened you* to play false+ to the holy spirit+ and to hold back secretly some of the price of the field? 4 As long as it remained with you did it not remain yours, and after it was sold did it not continue in your control? Why was it that you purposed such a deed as this in your heart? You have played false,+ not to men, but to God.”+ 5 On hearing these words Ananias fell down and expired.+ And great fear+ came over all those hearing of it. 6 But the younger men rose, wrapped him in cloths,+ and carried him out and buried him.

7 Now after an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter said to her: “Tell me, did YOU [two] sell the field for so much?” She said: “Yes, for so much.” 9 So Peter said to her: “Why was it agreed upon between YOU [two] to make a test+ of the spirit of Jehovah?* Look! The feet of those who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Instantly she fell down at his feet and expired.+ When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her alongside her husband. 11 Consequently great fear came over the whole congregation* and over all those hearing about these things.

12 Moreover, through the hands of the apostles many signs and portents continued to occur among the people;+ and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s colonnade.+ 13 True, not a one of the others had the courage to join himself to them;+ nevertheless, the people were extolling them.+ 14 More than that, believers in the Lord kept on being added, multitudes both of men and of women;+ 15 so that they brought the sick out even into the broad ways and laid them there upon little beds and cots, in order that, as Peter would go by, at least his shadow might fall upon some one of them.+ 16 Also, the multitude from the cities around Jerusalem kept coming together, bearing sick people and those troubled with unclean spirits, and they would one and all be cured.

17 But the high priest and all those with him, the then existing sect of the Sadducees, rose and became filled with jealousy,+ 18 and they laid hands upon the apostles and put them in the public place of custody.+ 19 But during the night Jehovah’s* angel+ opened the doors of the prison,+ brought them out and said: 20 “Be on YOUR way, and, having taken a stand in the temple, keep on speaking to the people all the sayings about this life.”+ 21 After hearing this, they entered into the temple at daybreak and began to teach.

Now when the high priest and those with him arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin and all the assembly of older men* of the sons of Israel,+ and they sent out to the jail to have them brought. 22 But when the officers got there they did not find them in the prison. So they returned and made report, 23 saying: “The jail we found locked with all security and the guards standing at the doors, but on opening up we found no one inside.” 24 Well, when both the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they fell into a quandary over these matters as to what this would come to.+ 25 But a certain man arrived and reported to them: “Look! The men YOU put in the prison are in the temple, standing and teaching the people.”+ 26 Then the captain went off with his officers and proceeded to bring them, but without violence, as they were afraid+ of being stoned by the people.

27 So they brought them and stood them in the Sanhedrin hall. And the high priest questioned them 28 and said: “We positively ordered+ YOU not to keep teaching upon the basis of this name, and yet, look! YOU have filled Jerusalem with YOUR teaching,+ and YOU are determined to bring the blood+ of this man upon us.” 29 In answer Peter and the [other] apostles said: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men.+ 4:19   30 The God of our forefathers raised+ up Jesus, whom YOU slew, hanging him upon a stake.*+ 31 God exalted this one as Chief Agent+ and Savior+ to his right hand,+ to give repentance+ to Israel and forgiveness of sins.+ 32 And we are witnesses of these matters,+ and so is the holy spirit,+ which God has given to those obeying him as ruler.”

33 When they heard this, they felt deeply cut and were wanting to do away with them.+ 34 But a certain man rose in the Sanhedrin, a Pharisee named Gamaliel,+ a Law teacher esteemed by all the people, and gave the command to put the men outside for a little while.+ 35 And he said to them: “Men of Israel,+ pay attention to yourselves as to what YOU intend to do respecting these men. 36 For instance, before these days Theudas rose, saying he himself was somebody,+ and a number of men, about four hundred, joined his party.+ But he was done away with, and all those who were obeying him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After him Judas the Galilean rose in the days of the registration,+ and he drew off people after him. And yet that man perished, and all those who were obeying him were scattered abroad. 38 And so, under the present circumstances, I say to YOU, Do not meddle with these men, but let them alone; (because, if this scheme or this work is from men, it will be overthrown;+ 39 but if it is from God,+ YOU will not be able to overthrow them;)+ otherwise, YOU may perhaps be found fighters actually against God.”+ 40 At this they gave heed to him, and they summoned the apostles, flogged them,+ and ordered them to stop speaking upon the basis of Jesus’ name,+ and let them go.

41 These, therefore, went their way from before the Sanhedrin, rejoicing+ because they had been counted worthy to be dishonored in behalf of his name.+ 42 And every day in the temple and from house to house*+ they continued without letup teaching+ and declaring the good news* about the Christ, Jesus.+

6 Now in these days, when the disciples were increasing, a murmuring arose on the part of the Greek-speaking+ Jews* against the Hebrew-speaking Jews,* because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution.*+ 2 So the twelve called the multitude of the disciples to them and said: “It is not pleasing for us to leave the word of God to distribute [food]* to tables.+ 3 So, brothers, search out+ for yourselves seven certified men from among YOU, full of spirit and wisdom,+ that we may appoint them over this necessary business; 4 but we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”+ 5 And the thing spoken was pleasing to the whole multitude, and they selected Stephen, a man full of faith and holy spirit,+ and Philip+ and Prochorus and Nicanor and Timon and Parmenas and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch; 6 and they placed them before the apostles, and, after having prayed, these laid their hands+ upon them.

7 Consequently the word of God went on growing,+ and the number of the disciples kept multiplying in Jerusalem very much;+ and a great crowd of priests+ began to be obedient+ to the faith.

8 Now Stephen, full of graciousness and power, was performing great portents and signs+ among the people. 9 But certain men rose up of those from the so-called Synagogue of the Freedmen,* and of the Cyrenians and Alexandrians+ and of those from Cilicia+ and Asia, to dispute with Stephen; 10 and yet they could not hold their own against the wisdom+ and the spirit with which he was speaking.+ 11 Then they secretly induced men to say:+ “We have heard him speaking blasphemous+ sayings against Moses and God.” 12 And they stirred up the people and the older men* and the scribes, and, coming upon him suddenly, they took him by force and led him to the Sanhedrin.+ 13 And they brought forward false witnesses,+ who said: “This man does not stop speaking things against this holy place and against the Law.+ 14 For instance, we have heard him say that this Jesus the Nazarene will throw down this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.”

15 And as all those sitting in the Sanhedrin gazed at him,+ they saw that his face was as an angel’s face.+

7 But the high priest said: “Are these things so?” 2 He said: “Men, brothers and fathers, hear. The God of glory+ appeared to our forefather Abraham while he was in Mesopotamia, before he took up residence in Haran,+ 3 and he said to him, ‘Go out from your land and from your relatives and come on into the land I shall show you.’+ 4 Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and took up residence in Haran. And from there, after his father died,+ [God]* caused him to change his residence to this land in which YOU now dwell.+ 5 And yet he did not give him any inheritable possession in it, no, not a footbreadth;+ but he promised to give it to him as a possession,+ and after him to his seed,*+ while as yet he had no child.+ 6 Moreover, God spoke to this effect, that his seed would be alien residents+ in a foreign land+ and [the people] would enslave them and afflict [them] for four hundred years.+ 7 ‘And that nation for which they will slave I shall judge,’+ God said, ‘and after these things they will come out and will render sacred service* to me in this place.’+

8 “He also gave him a covenant of circumcision;+ and thus he became the father of Isaac+ and circumcised him on the eighth day,+ and Isaac of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve family heads.+ 9 And the family heads became jealous+ of Joseph and sold him into Egypt.+ But God was with him,+ 10 and he delivered him out of all his tribulations and gave him graciousness and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And he appointed him to govern Egypt and his whole house.+ 11 But a famine came upon the whole of Egypt and Canaan, even a great tribulation; and our forefathers were not finding any provisions.+ 12 But Jacob heard there were foodstuffs in Egypt+ and he sent our forefathers out the first time.+ 13 And during the second time Joseph was made known to his brothers;+ and the family stock of Joseph became manifest to Pharaoh.+ 14 So Joseph sent out and called Jacob his father and all his relatives from that place,+ to the number of seventy-five souls.*+ 15 Jacob went down into Egypt.*+ And he deceased;+ and so did our forefathers,+ 16 and they were transferred to Shechem*+ and were laid in the tomb+ that Abraham had bought for a price with silver money from the sons of Hamor* in Shechem.+

17 “Just as the time was approaching for [fulfillment of] the promise that God had openly declared to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,+ 18 until there rose a different king over Egypt, who did not know of Joseph.+ 19 This one used statecraft against our race*+ and wrongfully forced the fathers to expose their infants, that they might not be preserved alive.+ 20 In that particular time Moses was born,+ and he was divinely beautiful.*+ And he was nursed three months in [his] father’s home. 21 But when he was exposed, the daughter of Pharaoh picked him up and brought him up as her own son.+ 22 Consequently Moses was instructed in all the wisdom+ of the Egyptians. In fact, he was powerful in his words+ and deeds.

23 “Now when the time of his fortieth year was being fulfilled, it came into his heart to make an inspection of his brothers, the sons of Israel.+ 24 And when he caught sight of a certain one being unjustly treated, he defended him and executed vengeance for the one being abused by striking the Egyptian down.+ 25 He was supposing his brothers would grasp that God was giving them salvation by his hand,+ but they did not grasp [it]. 26 And the next day he appeared to them as they were fighting, and he tried to bring them together again in peace,+ saying, ‘Men, YOU are brothers. Why do YOU treat each other unjustly?’+ 27 But the one that was treating his neighbor unjustly thrust him away, saying, ‘Who appointed you ruler and judge over us?+ 28 You do not want to do away with me in the same manner that you did away with the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’+ 29 At this speech Moses took to flight and became an alien resident in the land of Midian,+ where he became the father of two sons.+

30 “And when forty years were fulfilled, there appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai an angel* in the fiery flame of a thornbush.+ 31 Now when Moses saw it he marveled at the sight.+ But as he was approaching to investigate, Jehovah’s* voice came, 32 ‘I am the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.’+ Seized with trembling, Moses did not dare to investigate further. 33 Jehovah* said to him, ‘Take the sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.+ 34 I have certainly seen the wrongful treatment of my people who are in Egypt,+ and I have heard their groaning+ and I have come down to deliver them.+ And now come, I will send you off to Egypt.’+ 35 This Moses, whom they disowned, saying, ‘Who appointed you ruler and judge?’+ this man God sent off+ as both ruler and deliverer* by the hand of the angel that appeared to him in the thornbush. 36 This man led them out+ after doing portents and signs in Egypt+ and in the Red Sea+ and in the wilderness for forty years.+

37 “This is the Moses that said to the sons of Israel, ‘God* will raise up for YOU from among YOUR brothers a prophet like me.’+ 38 This is he+ that came to be among the congregation+ in the wilderness with the angel+ that spoke to him on Mount Sinai and with our forefathers, and he received living sacred pronouncements+ to give YOU. 39 To him our forefathers refused to become obedient, but they thrust him aside+ and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt,+ 40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make gods for us to go ahead of us. For this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.’+ 41 So they made a calf in those days+ and brought up a sacrifice to the idol and began to enjoy themselves in the works of their hands.+ 42 So God turned and handed them over+ to render sacred service to the army of heaven, just as it is written in the book of the prophets,+ ‘It was not to me that YOU offered victims and sacrifices for forty years in the wilderness, was it, O house of Israel?+ 43 But it was the tent of Moloch+ and the star+ of the god Rephan that YOU took up, the figures which YOU made to worship them. Consequently I will deport+ YOU beyond Babylon.’*

44 “Our forefathers had the tent of the witness* in the wilderness, just as he gave orders when speaking to Moses to make it according to the pattern* he had seen.+ 45 And our forefathers who succeeded to it also brought it in with Joshua*+ into the land possessed by the nations,+ whom God thrust out from before our forefathers.+ Here it remained until the days of David. 46 He found favor+ in the sight of God and asked for [the privilege of] providing* a habitation+ for the God of Jacob. 47 However, Solomon built a house for him.+ 48 Nevertheless, the Most High does not dwell in houses* made with hands;+ just as the prophet says, 49 ‘The heaven is my throne,+ and the earth is my footstool.+ What sort of house will YOU build for me? Jehovah* says. Or what is the place for my resting?+ 50 My hand made all these things, did it not?’+

51 “Obstinate* men and uncircumcised in hearts+ and ears, YOU are always resisting the holy spirit; as YOUR forefathers did, so YOU do.+ 52 Which one of the prophets did YOUR forefathers not persecute?+ Yes, they killed+ those who made announcement in advance concerning the coming of the righteous One,+ whose betrayers and murderers YOU have now become,+ 53 YOU who received the Law as transmitted by angels*+ but have not kept it.”

54 Well, at hearing these things they felt cut to their hearts+ and began to gnash*+ their teeth at him. 55 But he, being full of holy spirit, gazed into heaven and caught sight of God’s glory and of Jesus standing at God’s right hand,+ 56 and he said: “Look! I behold the heavens opened+ up and the Son of man+ standing at God’s right hand.”+ 57 At this they cried out at the top of the voice and put their hands over their ears+ and rushed upon him with one accord. 58 And after throwing him outside the city,+ they began casting stones at him.+ And the witnesses+ laid down their outer garments at the feet of a young man called Saul.+ 59 And they went on casting stones at Stephen as he made appeal* and said: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”+ 60 Then, bending his knees, he cried out with a strong voice: “Jehovah,* do not charge this sin against them.”+ And after saying this he fell asleep [in death].

8 Saul, for his part, was approving of the murder of him.+

On that day great persecution+ arose against the congregation that was in Jerusalem; all except the apostles were scattered+ throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria. 2 But reverent men carried Stephen to the burial,+ and they made a great lamentation+ over him. 3 Saul, though, began to deal outrageously with the congregation. Invading one house after another and, dragging out both men and women, he would turn them over to prison.+

4 However, those who had been scattered went through the land declaring the good news of the word.+ 5 Philip, for one, went down to the city of Samaria+ and began to preach the Christ to them. 6 With one accord the crowds were paying attention to the things said by Philip while they listened and looked at the signs he was performing. 7 For there were many that had unclean spirits,+ and these would cry out with a loud voice and come out. Moreover, many that were paralyzed+ and lame were cured. 8 So there came to be a great deal of joy in that city.+

9 Now in the city there was a certain man named Simon, who, prior to this, had been practicing magical arts+ and amazing the nation of Samaria, saying he himself was somebody great.+ 10 And all of them, from the least to the greatest, would pay attention to him and say: “This man is the Power of God, which can be called Great.” 11 So they would pay attention to him because of his having amazed them for quite a while by his magical arts. 12 But when they believed Philip, who was declaring the good news of the kingdom of God+ and of the name of Jesus Christ, they proceeded to be baptized, both men and women.+ 13 Simon himself also became a believer, and, after being baptized, he was in constant attendance upon Philip;+ and he was amazed at beholding signs and great powerful works taking place.

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God,+ they dispatched Peter and John to them; 15 and these went down and prayed for them to get holy spirit.+ 16 For it had not yet fallen upon any one of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.+ 17 Then they went laying their hands upon them,+ and they began to receive holy spirit.

18 Now when Simon saw that through the laying on of the hands of the apostles the spirit was given, he offered them money,+ 19 saying: “Give me also this authority, that anyone upon whom I lay my hands may receive holy spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him: “May your silver perish with you, because you thought through money to get possession of the free gift of God.+ 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not straight in the sight of God.+ 22 Repent, therefore, of this badness of yours, and supplicate Jehovah*+ that, if possible, the device of your heart may be forgiven you; 23 for I see you are a* poisonous gall+ and a bond of unrighteousness.”+ 24 In answer Simon said: “YOU men, make supplication for me+ to Jehovah* that none of the things YOU have said may come upon me.”

25 Therefore, when they had given the witness thoroughly and had spoken the word of Jehovah,* they turned back to Jerusalem, and they went declaring the good news to many villages of the Samaritans.+

26 However, Jehovah’s* angel+ spoke to Philip, saying: “Rise and go to the south to the road that runs down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.) 27 With that he rose and went, and, look! an Ethiopian+ eunuch,+ a man in power under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, and who was over all her treasure. He had gone to Jerusalem to worship,+ 28 but he was returning and was sitting in his chariot and reading aloud the prophet Isaiah.+ 29 So the spirit said+ to Philip: “Approach and join yourself to this chariot.” 30 Philip ran alongside and heard him reading aloud Isaiah the prophet, and he said: “Do you actually know what you are reading?” 31 He said: “Really, how could I ever do so, unless someone guided me?” And he entreated Philip to get on and sit down with him. 32 Now the passage of Scripture that he was reading aloud was this: “As a sheep he was brought to the slaughter, and as a lamb that is voiceless before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth.+ 33 During his humiliation the judgment was taken away from him.+ Who will tell the details of his generation?* Because his life is taken away from the earth.”+

34 In answer the eunuch said to Philip: “I beg you, About whom does the prophet say this? About himself or about some other man?” 35 Philip opened his mouth+ and, starting with this Scripture,+ he declared to him the good news about Jesus. 36 Now as they were going over the road, they came to a certain body of water, and the eunuch said: “Look! A body of water; what prevents me from getting baptized?”+ 37* —— 38 With that he commanded the chariot to halt, and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 When they had come up out of the water, Jehovah’s* spirit quickly led Philip away,+ and the eunuch did not see him anymore, for he kept going on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found to be in Ashdod,* and he went through the territory and kept on declaring+ the good news to all the cities until he got to Caesarea.+ 

9 But Saul, still breathing threat and murder+ against the disciples+ of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, in order that he might bring bound to Jerusalem any whom he found who belonged to The Way,*+ both men and women.

3 Now as he was traveling he approached Damascus, when suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him,+ 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”+ 5 He said: “Who are you, Lord?” He said: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.+ 6 Nevertheless, rise+ and enter into the city, and what you must do will be told you.” 7 Now the men that were journeying with him+ were standing speechless,+ hearing, indeed, the sound of a voice,+ but not beholding any man. 8 But Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were opened he was seeing nothing.+ So they led him by the hand and conducted him into Damascus. 9 And for three days he did not see anything,+ and he neither ate nor drank.

10 There was in Damascus a certain disciple named Ananias,+ and the Lord said to him in a vision: “Ananias!” He said: “Here I am, Lord.” 11 The Lord said to him: “Rise, go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man named Saul, from Tarsus.+ For, look! he is praying, 12 and in a vision* he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands upon him that he might recover sight.”+ 13 But Ananias answered: “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how many injurious things he did to your holy ones* in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to put in bonds all those calling upon your name.”+ 15 But the Lord said to him: “Be on your way, because this man is a chosen vessel+ to me to bear my name to the nations+ as well as to kings+ and the sons of Israel. 16 For I shall show him plainly how many things he must suffer for my name.”+

17 So Ananias went off and entered into the house, and he laid his hands upon him and said: “Saul, brother, the Lord, the Jesus that appeared to you on the road over which you were coming, has sent me forth, in order that you may recover sight and be filled with holy spirit.”+ 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes what looked like scales, and he recovered sight; and he rose and was baptized, 19 and he took food and gained strength.+

He got to be for some days with the disciples in Damascus,+ 20 and immediately in the synagogues he began to preach Jesus,+ that this One is the Son of God. 21 But all those hearing him gave way to astonishment and would say: “Is this not the man that ravaged+ those in Jerusalem who call upon this name, and that had come here for this very purpose, that he might lead them bound to the chief priests?”+ 22 But Saul kept on acquiring power all the more and was confounding the Jews that dwelt in Damascus as he proved logically that this is the Christ.+

23 Now when a good many days were coming to a close, the Jews took counsel together to do away with him.+ 24 However, their plot against him became known to Saul. But they were closely watching also the gates both day and night in order to do away with him.+ 25 So his disciples took him and let him down by night through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.+

26 On arriving in Jerusalem+ he made efforts to join himself to the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe he was a disciple. 27 So Barnabas came to his aid+ and led him to the apostles, and he told them in detail how on the road he had seen the Lord+ and that he had spoken to him,+ and how in Damascus+ he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 And he continued with them, walking in and out* at Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord;+ 29 and he was talking and disputing with the Greek-speaking Jews.* But these made attempts to do away with him.+ 30 When the brothers detected this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.+

31 Then, indeed, the congregation+ throughout the whole of Judea and Galilee and Samaria entered into a period of peace, being built up; and as it walked in the fear of Jehovah*+ and in the comfort of the holy spirit+ it kept on multiplying.

32 Now as Peter was going through all [parts] he came down also to the holy ones* that dwelt in Lydda.+ 33 There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been lying flat on his cot for eight years, as he was paralyzed. 34 And Peter said to him:+ “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you.+ Rise and make up your bed.” And he rose immediately. 35 And all those who inhabited Lydda and the [plain of] Sharon*+ saw him, and these turned to the Lord.+

36 But in Joppa+ there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which, when translated, means Dorcas.* She abounded in good deeds+ and gifts of mercy that she was rendering. 37 But in those days she happened to fall sick and die. So they bathed her and laid her in an upper chamber. 38 Now as Lydda was near Joppa,+ when the disciples heard that Peter was in this city they dispatched two men to him to entreat [him]: “Please do not hesitate* to come on as far as us.” 39 At that Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they led him up into the upper chamber; and all the widows presented themselves to him weeping and exhibiting many inner garments and outer garments+ that Dorcas used to make while she was with them.+ 40 But Peter put everybody outside+ and, bending his knees, he prayed, and, turning to the body, he said: “Tabitha,* rise!” She opened her eyes and, as she caught sight of Peter, she sat up.+ 41 Giving her his hand, he raised her up,+ and he called the holy ones and the widows and presented her alive.+ 42 This became known throughout all Joppa, and many became believers on the Lord.+ 43 For quite a few days he remained in Joppa+ with a certain Simon, a tanner.+

10 Now in Caesarea there was a certain man named Cornelius, an army officer*+ of the Italian band,+ as it was called, 2 a devout man+ and one fearing+ God together with all his household, and he made many gifts of mercy to the people+ and made supplication to God continually.+ 3 Just about the ninth hour*+ of the day he saw plainly in a vision+ an angel+ of God come in to him and say to him: “Cornelius!” 4 The man gazed at him and, becoming frightened, said: “What is it, Lord?” He said to him: “Your prayers+ and gifts of mercy have ascended as a remembrance before God.+ 5 So now send men to Joppa and summon a certain Simon who is surnamed Peter. 6 This man is being entertained by a certain Simon, a tanner, who has a house by the sea.”+ 7 As soon as the angel that spoke to him had left, he called two of his house servants and a devout soldier from among those who were in constant attendance upon him,+ 8 and he related everything to them and dispatched them to Joppa.+

9 The next day as they were pursuing their journey and were approaching the city, Peter went up to the housetop+ about the sixth hour* to pray.+ 10 But he became very hungry and wanted to eat. While they were preparing, he fell into a trance+ 11 and beheld heaven opened+ and some sort of vessel descending like a great linen sheet being let down by its four extremities upon the earth; 12 and in it there were all sorts of four-footed creatures and creeping things of the earth and birds of heaven.+ 13 And a voice came to him: “Rise, Peter, slaughter* and eat!”+ 14 But Peter said: “Not at all, Lord, because never have I eaten anything defiled and unclean.”+ 15 And the voice [spoke] again to him, the second time: “You stop calling defiled+ the things God has cleansed.” 16 This occurred a third time, and immediately the vessel was taken up into heaven.+

17 Now while Peter was in great perplexity inwardly over what the vision he had seen might mean, look! the men dispatched by Cornelius had made inquiries for Simon’s house and stood there at the gate.+ 18 And they called out and inquired whether Simon who was surnamed Peter was being entertained there. 19 As Peter was going over in his mind about the vision, the spirit+ said: “Look! Three* men are seeking you. 20 However, rise, go downstairs and be on your way with them, not doubting at all, because I have dispatched them.”+ 21 So Peter went downstairs to the men and said: “Look! I am the one YOU are seeking. What is the cause for which YOU are present?” 22 They said: “Cornelius, an army officer, a man righteous and fearing God+ and well reported+ by the whole nation of the Jews, was given divine instructions* by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear the things you have to say.” 23 Therefore he invited them in and entertained them.

The next day he rose and went off with them, and some of the brothers that were from Joppa went with him. 24 On the day after that he entered into Caesarea. Cornelius, of course, was expecting them and had called together his relatives and intimate friends. 25 As Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell down at his feet and did obeisance to him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying: “Rise; I myself am also a man.”+ 27 And as he conversed with him he went in and found many people assembled, 28 and he said to them: “YOU well know how unlawful it is for a Jew to join himself to or approach a man of another race;+ and yet God has shown me I should call no man defiled or unclean.+ 29 Hence I came, really without objection, when I was sent for. Therefore I inquire the reason that YOU have sent for me.”

30 Accordingly Cornelius said: “Four days ago counting from this hour I was praying in my house at the ninth hour,*+ when, look! a man in bright raiment+ stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been favorably heard and your gifts of mercy have been remembered before God.+ 32 Send, therefore, to Joppa and call for Simon, who is surnamed Peter.+ This man is being entertained in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’+ 33 Therefore I at once sent to you, and you did well in coming here. And so at this time we are all present before God to hear all the things you have been commanded by Jehovah* to say.”+

34 At this Peter opened his mouth and said: “For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial,+ 35 but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.+ 36 He sent out the word+ to the sons of Israel to declare to them the good news of peace+ through Jesus Christ: this One is Lord of all [others].+ 37 YOU know the subject that was talked about throughout the whole of Judea, starting from Galilee after the baptism that John preached,+ 38 namely, Jesus who was from Nazareth, how God anointed him with holy spirit+ and power, and he went through the land doing good and healing all those oppressed by the Devil;+ because God was with him.+ 39 And we are witnesses of all the things he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem; but they also did away with him by hanging him on a stake.*+ 40 God raised this One up on the third day and granted him to become manifest,+ 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses appointed beforehand by God,+ to us, who ate and drank with him+ after his rising from the dead. 42 Also, he ordered us to preach+ to the people and to give a thorough witness that this is the One decreed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.+ 43 To him all the prophets bear witness,+ that everyone putting faith in him gets forgiveness of sins through his name.”+ 22:16;

44 While Peter was yet speaking about these matters the holy spirit fell upon all those hearing the word.+ 45 And the faithful ones that had come with Peter who were of those circumcised were amazed, because the free gift of the holy spirit was being poured out also upon people of the nations.+ 46 For they heard them speaking with tongues and magnifying God.+ Then Peter responded: 47 “Can anyone forbid water so that these might not be baptized+ who have received the holy spirit even as we have?” 48 With that he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.+ Then they requested him to remain for some days. v.1;  JOHN10:16;

11 Now the apostles and the brothers that were in Judea heard that people of the nations+ had also received the word of God. 2 So when Peter came up to Jerusalem, the [supporters] of circumcision+ began to contend with him, 3 saying he had gone into the house of men that were not circumcised and had eaten with them. 4 At this Peter commenced and went on to explain the particulars to them, saying:

5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, some sort of vessel descending like a great linen sheet being let down by its four extremities from heaven, and it came clear to me. 6 Gazing into it, I made observations and saw four-footed creatures of the earth and wild beasts and creeping things and birds of heaven.+ 7 I also heard a voice say to me, ‘Rise, Peter, slaughter and eat!’+ 8 But I said, ‘Not at all, Lord, because a defiled or unclean thing has never entered into my mouth.’+ 9 The second time the voice from heaven answered, ‘You stop calling defiled the things God has cleansed.’+ 10 This occurred for a third time, and everything was pulled up again into heaven.+ 11 Also, look! at that instant there were three men standing at the house in which we were, they having been dispatched from Caesarea to me.+ 12 So the spirit+ told me to go with them, not doubting at all. But these six brothers also went with me, and we entered into the house of the man.+

13 “He reported to us how he saw the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Dispatch men to Joppa and send for Simon who is surnamed Peter,+ 14 and he will speak those things to you by which you and all your household may get saved.’+ 15 But when I started to speak, the holy spirit fell upon them just as it did also upon us in [the] beginning.+ 16 At this I called to mind the saying of the Lord, how he used to say, ‘John, for his part, baptized with water,+ but YOU will be baptized in holy spirit.’+ 17 If, therefore, God gave the same free gift to them as he also did to us who have believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ,+ who was I that I should be able to hinder God?”+

18 Now when they heard these things, they acquiesced,+ and they glorified God,+ saying: “Well, then, God has granted repentance for the purpose of life to people of the nations also.”+

19 Consequently those who had been scattered+ by the tribulation that arose over Stephen went through as far as Phoenicia+ and Cyprus+ and Antioch, but speaking the word to no one except to Jews only.+ 20 However, out of them there were some men of Cyprus and Cyrene that came to Antioch and began talking to the Greek-speaking people,*+ declaring the good news of the Lord Jesus.+ 21 Furthermore, the hand of Jehovah*+ was with them, and a great number that became believers turned to the Lord.+

22 The account about them got to the ears of the congregation that was in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas+ as far as Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the undeserved kindness+ of God, he rejoiced+ and began to encourage them all to continue in the Lord with hearty purpose;+ 24 for he was a good man and full of holy spirit and of faith. And a considerable crowd was added to the Lord.+ 25 So he went off to Tarsus+ to make a thorough search for Saul+ 26 and, after he found him, he brought him to Antioch. It thus came about that for a whole year they gathered together with them in the congregation and taught quite a crowd, and it was first in Antioch that the disciples were by divine providence called* Christians.*+

27 Now in these days prophets+ came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them named Agabus+ rose and proceeded to indicate through the spirit that a great famine was about to come upon the entire inhabited earth;+ which, for that matter, did take place in the time of Claudius. 29 So those of the disciples determined, each of them according as anyone could afford it,+ to send a relief+ ministration to the brothers dwelling in Judea; 30 and this they did, dispatching it to the older men* by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.+

12 About that particular time Herod* the king applied his hands to mistreating+ some of those of the congregation. 2 He did away with James the brother of John+ by the sword.+ 3 As he saw it was pleasing to the Jews,+ he went on to arrest Peter also. (As it was, those were days of the unfermented cakes.)+ 4 And laying hold of him, he put him in prison,+ turning him over to four shifts of four soldiers each to guard him, as he intended to produce him for the people after the passover.+ 5 Consequently Peter was being kept in the prison; but prayer+ to God for him was being carried on intensely by the congregation.

6 Now when Herod was about to produce him, that night Peter was sleeping bound with two chains between two soldiers, and guards before the door were keeping the prison. 7 But, look! Jehovah’s* angel stood+ by, and a light shone in the prison cell. Striking Peter on the side, he roused him,+ saying: “Rise quickly!” And his chains fell+ off his hands. 8 The angel+ said to him: “Gird yourself and bind your sandals on.” He did so. Finally he said to him: “Put your outer garment+ on and keep following me.” 9 And he went out and kept following him, but he did not know that what was happening through the angel was real. In fact, he supposed he was seeing a vision.+ 10 Going through the first sentinel guard and the second they got to the iron gate leading into the city, and this opened to them of its own accord.+ And after they went out they advanced down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. 11 And Peter, coming to himself, said: “Now I actually know that Jehovah* sent his angel forth+ and delivered+ me out of Herod’s hand and from all that the people of the Jews were expecting.”

12 And after he considered it, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John who was surnamed Mark,+ where quite a few were gathered together and praying. 13 When he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to attend to the call, 14 and, upon recognizing the voice of Peter, out of joy she did not open the gate, but ran inside and reported that Peter was standing before the gateway. 15 They said to her: “You are mad.” But she kept on strongly asserting it was so. They began to say: “It is his angel.”+ 16 But Peter remained there knocking. When they opened, they saw him and were astonished. 17 But he motioned+ to them with his hand to be silent and told them in detail how Jehovah* brought him out of the prison, and he said: “Report these things to James+ and the brothers.” With that he went out and journeyed to another place.

18 Well, when it became day,+ there was no little stir among the soldiers over what really had become of Peter. 19 Herod+ made diligent search for him and, when not finding him, he examined the guards and commanded them to be led off [to punishment];+ and he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent some time there.

20 Now he was in a fighting mood against the people of Tyre and of Sidon. So with one accord they came* to him and, after persuading Blastus, who was in charge of the bedchamber of the king, they began suing for peace, because their country was supplied with food+ from that of the king. 21 But on a set day Herod clothed himself with royal raiment and sat down upon the judgment seat and began giving them a public address. 22 In turn the assembled people began shouting: “A god’s voice, and not a man’s!”+ 23 Instantly the angel of Jehovah* struck him,+ because he did not give the glory to God;+ and he became eaten up with worms and expired.

24 But the word+ of Jehovah* went on growing and spreading.+

25 As for Barnabas+ and Saul, after having fully carried out the relief+ ministration in Jerusalem, they returned and took along with them John,+ the one surnamed Mark.

13 Now in Antioch there were prophets+ and teachers in the local congregation, Barnabas as well as Symeon who was called Niger, and Lucius+ of Cyrene, and Manaen who was educated with Herod the district ruler,* and Saul. 2 As they were publicly ministering+ to Jehovah* and fasting, the holy spirit said: “Of all persons set Barnabas and Saul+ apart for me for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then they fasted and prayed and laid their hands+ upon them and let them go.

4 Accordingly these men, sent out by the holy spirit, went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed away to Cyprus. 5 And when they got to be in Salamis they began publishing the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They had John+ also as an attendant.

6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met up with a certain man, a sorcerer, a false prophet,+ a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, 7 and he was with the proconsul* Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. Calling Barnabas and Saul to him, this man earnestly sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (that, in fact, is the way his name is translated) began opposing them,+ seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Saul, who is also Paul,* becoming filled with holy spirit, looked at him intently 10 and said: “O man full of every sort of fraud and every sort of villainy, you son of the Devil,+ you enemy of everything righteous, will you not quit distorting the right ways of Jehovah?* 11 Well, then, look! Jehovah’s* hand is upon you, and you will be blind, not seeing the sunlight for a period of time.” Instantly a thick mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went around seeking men to lead him by the hand.+ 12 Then the proconsul,+ upon seeing what had happened, became a believer, as he was astounded at the teaching of Jehovah.*

13 The men, together with Paul, now put out to sea from Paphos and arrived at Perga in Pamphylia.+ But John+ withdrew from them and returned+ to Jerusalem. 14 They, however, went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia and, going into the synagogue+ on the sabbath day, they took a seat. 15 After the public reading of the Law+ and of the Prophets the presiding officers+ of the synagogue sent out to them, saying: “Men, brothers, if there is any word of encouragement for the people that YOU have, tell it.” 16 So Paul rose, and motioning+ with his hand, he said:

“Men, Israelites and YOU [others] that fear God, hear.+ 17 The God of this people Israel chose our forefathers, and he exalted the people during their alien residence in the land of Egypt and brought them out of it with an uplifted arm.+ 18 And for a period of about forty years+ he put up with their manner of action in the wilderness. 19 After destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he distributed the land of them by lot:+ 20 all that during about four hundred and fifty years.

“And after these things* he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet.+ 21 But from then on they demanded a king,+ and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin,+ for forty years. 22 And after removing him,+ he raised up for them David as king,+ respecting whom he bore witness and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse,+ a man agreeable to my heart,+ who will do all the things I desire.’+ 23 From the offspring+ of this [man] according to his promise God has brought to Israel a savior,+ Jesus, 24 after John,+ in advance of the entry of that One,+ had preached publicly to all the people of Israel baptism [in symbol] of repentance. 25 But as John was fulfilling his course, he would say, ‘What do YOU suppose I am? I am not he.* But, look! one is coming after me the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’+

26 “Men, brothers, YOU sons of the stock of Abraham and those [others] among YOU who fear God, the word of this salvation has been sent forth to us.+ 27 For the inhabitants of Jerusalem and their rulers did not know this One,+ but, when acting as judges, they fulfilled the things voiced by the Prophets,+ which things are read aloud every Sabbath, 28 and, although they found no cause for death,+ they demanded of Pilate that he be executed.+ 29 When, now, they had accomplished all the things written about him,+ they took him down from the stake*+ and laid him in a memorial tomb.+ 30 But God raised him up from the dead;+ 31 and for many days he became visible to those who had gone up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people.+

32 “And so we are declaring to YOU the good news about the promise made to the forefathers,+ 33 that God has entirely fulfilled it to us their* children in that he resurrected Jesus;+ even as it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my son, I have become your Father this day.’+ 34 And that fact that he resurrected him from the dead destined no more to return to corruption, he has stated in this way, ‘I will give YOU people the loving-kindnesses to David that are faithful.’+ 35 Hence he also says in another psalm, ‘You will not allow your loyal one to see corruption.’+ 36 For David,+ on the one hand, served the express will of God in his own generation and fell asleep [in death] and was laid with his forefathers and did see corruption.+ 37 On the other hand, he whom God raised up did not see corruption.+

38 “Let it therefore be known to YOU, brothers, that through this One a forgiveness of sins is being published to YOU;+ 39 and that from all the things from which YOU could not be declared guiltless by means of the law of Moses,+ everyone who believes is declared guiltless by means of this One.+ 40 Therefore see to it that what is said in the Prophets does not come upon YOU, 41 ‘Behold it, YOU scorners, and wonder at it, and vanish away, because I am working a work in YOUR days, a work that YOU will by no means believe even if anyone relates it to YOU in detail.’”+

42 Now when they were going out, the people began entreating for these matters to be spoken to them on the following sabbath.+ 43 So after the synagogue assembly was dissolved, many of the Jews and of the proselytes who worshiped [God]* followed Paul and Barnabas,+ who in speaking to them began urging+ them to continue in the undeserved kindness of God.+

44 The next sabbath nearly all the city gathered together to hear the word of Jehovah.*+ 45 When the Jews got sight of the crowds, they were filled with jealousy+ and began blasphemously contradicting the things being spoken by Paul.+ 46 And so, talking with boldness, Paul and Barnabas said: “It was necessary for the word of God to be spoken first to YOU.+ Since YOU are thrusting it away+ from YOU and do not judge yourselves worthy of everlasting life, look! we turn to the nations.+ 47 In fact, Jehovah* has laid commandment upon us in these words, ‘I have appointed you as a light of nations,+ for you to be a salvation to the extremity* of the earth.’”+

48 When those of the nations heard this, they began to rejoice and to glorify the word of Jehovah,*+ and all those who were rightly disposed for everlasting life became believers.+ JOHN10:16 49 Furthermore, the word of Jehovah* went on being carried throughout the whole country.+ 50 But the Jews+ stirred up the reputable women who worshiped [God]* and the principal men of the city, and they raised up a persecution+ against Paul and Barnabas and threw them outside their boundaries. 51 These shook the dust off their feet against them+ and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples continued to be filled with joy+ and holy spirit.

14 Now in Iconium+ they entered together into the synagogue+ of the Jews and spoke in such a manner that a great multitude of both Jews and Greeks+ became believers. 2 But the Jews that did not believe stirred up+ and wrongly influenced the souls of people of the nations against the brothers.+ 3 Therefore they spent considerable time speaking with boldness by the authority of Jehovah,* who bore witness to the word of his undeserved kindness by granting signs and portents to occur through their hands.+ 4 However, the multitude of the city was split, and some were for the Jews but others for the apostles. 5 Now when a violent attempt took place on the part of both people of the nations and Jews with their rulers, to treat them insolently and pelt them with stones,+ 6 they, on being informed of it, fled+ to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe and the country round about; 7 and there they went on declaring the good news.+

8 Now in Lystra there was sitting a certain man disabled in his feet, lame from his mother’s womb,+ and he had never walked at all. 9 This man was listening to Paul speak, who, on looking at him intently and seeing he had faith+ to be made well,* 10 said with a loud voice: “Stand up erect on your feet.” And he leaped up and began walking.+ 11 And the crowds, seeing what Paul had done, raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian tongue: “The gods+ have become like humans and have come down to us!” 12 And they went calling Barnabas Zeus,* but Paul Hermes,* since he was the one taking the lead in speaking. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose [temple] was before the city,* brought bulls and garlands to the gates and was desiring to offer sacrifices+ with the crowds.

14 However, when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they ripped their outer garments and leaped out into the crowd, crying out 15 and saying: “Men, why are YOU doing these things? We also are humans+ having the same infirmities+ as YOU do, and are declaring the good news to YOU, for YOU to turn from these vain+ things to the living God,+ who made the heaven+ and the earth and the sea and all the things in them. 16 In the past generations he permitted all the nations to go on in their ways,+ 17 although, indeed, he did not leave himself without witness in that he did good,+ giving YOU rains+ from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling YOUR hearts to the full with food and good cheer.”+ 18 And yet by saying these things they scarcely restrained the crowds from sacrificing to them.

19 But Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and persuaded the crowds,+ and they stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, imagining he was dead.+ 20 However, when the disciples surrounded him, he rose up and entered into the city. And on the next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.+ 21 And after declaring the good news to that city and making quite a few disciples,+ they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples,+ encouraging them to remain in the faith and [saying]: “We must enter into the kingdom of God through many tribulations.”+ 23 Moreover, they appointed* older men+ for them in each congregation and, offering prayer with fastings,+ they committed them to Jehovah*+ in whom they had become believers.

24 And they went through Pisidia and came into Pamphylia,+ 25 and, after speaking the word* in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 And from there they sailed off for Antioch,+ where they had been entrusted to the undeserved kindness of God for the work they had fully performed.+

27 When they had arrived and had gathered the congregation together, they proceeded to relate+ the many things God had done by means of them, and that he had opened to the nations the door to* faith.+ 28 So they spent not a little time with the disciples.

15 And certain men came down from Judea+ and began to teach the brothers: “Unless YOU get circumcised+ according to the custom of Moses,+ YOU cannot be saved.” 2 But when there had occurred no little dissension and disputing by Paul and Barnabas with them, they arranged for Paul and Barnabas and some others of them to go up to the apostles and older men* in Jerusalem+ regarding this dispute.

3 Accordingly, after being conducted partway by the congregation,+ these men continued on their way through both Phoenicia and Samaria, relating in detail the conversion* of people of the nations,+ and they were causing great joy to all the brothers.+ 4 On arriving in Jerusalem they were kindly received+ by the congregation and the apostles and the older men, and they recounted the many things God had done by means of them.+ 5 Yet, some of those of the sect of the Pharisees that had believed rose up from their seats and said: “It is necessary to circumcise them+ and charge them to observe the law of Moses.”+

6 And the apostles and the older men gathered together to see about this affair.+ 7 Now when much disputing+ had taken place, Peter rose and said to them: “Men, brothers, YOU well know that from early days God made the choice among YOU that through my mouth people of the nations should hear the word of the good news and believe;+ 8 and God, who knows the heart,+ bore witness by giving them the holy spirit,+ just as he did to us also. 9 And he made no distinction at all between us and them,+ but purified their hearts by faith.+ 10 Now, therefore, why are YOU making a test of God by imposing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke+ that neither our forefathers nor we were capable of bearing?+ 11 On the contrary, we trust to get saved through the undeserved kindness+ of the Lord Jesus in the same way as those people also.”+

12 At that the entire multitude became silent, and they began to listen to Barnabas and Paul relate the many signs and portents that God did through them among the nations.+ 13 After they quit speaking, James answered, saying: “Men, brothers, hear me.+ 14 Symeon*+ has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.+ 15 And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 ‘After these things I shall return and rebuild the booth* of David that is fallen down; and I shall rebuild its ruins and erect it again,+ 17 in order that those who remain of the men may earnestly seek Jehovah,* together with people of all the nations, people who are called by my name,* Deut.28:10 says Jehovah,* who is doing these things,+ 18 known from of old.’*+ 19 Hence my decision is not to trouble those from the nations who are turning to God,+ 20 but to write them to abstain* from things polluted by idols+ and from fornication*+ and from what is strangled*+ and from blood.*+ v.29; 21:25; Lev.17:10; Deut.12:16 21 For from ancient times* Moses has had in city after city those who preach him, because he is read aloud in the synagogues on every sabbath.”+

22 Then the apostles and the older men* together with the whole congregation favored sending chosen men from among them to Antioch along with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was called Barsabbas+ and Silas, leading men among the brothers; 23 and by their hand they wrote:

“The apostles and the older men, brothers, to those brothers in Antioch+ and Syria and Cilicia+ who are from the nations: Greetings! 24 Since we have heard that some from among us have caused YOU trouble with speeches,+ trying to subvert YOUR souls, although we did not give them any instructions,+ 25 we have come to a unanimous accord*+ and have favored choosing men to send to YOU together with our loved ones, Barnabas and Paul,+ 26 men that have delivered up their souls* for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.+ 27 We are therefore dispatching Judas and Silas,+ that they also may report the same things by word.+ 28 For the holy spirit+ and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden+ to YOU, except these necessary things, 29 to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols+ and from blood+ and from things strangled*+ and from fornication.*+ If YOU carefully keep yourselves from these things,+ YOU will prosper. Good health to YOU!”*

30 Accordingly, when these men were let go, they went down to Antioch, and they gathered the multitude together and handed them the letter.+ 31 After reading it, they rejoiced over the encouragement.+ 32 And Judas and Silas, since they themselves were also prophets,+ encouraged the brothers with many a discourse and strengthened them.+ 33 So, when they had passed some time, they were let go in peace+ by the brothers to those who had sent them out. 34* —— 35 However, Paul and Barnabas continued spending time in Antioch+ teaching and declaring, with many others also, the good news of the word of Jehovah.*+

36 Now after some days Paul said to Barnabas: “Above all things, let us return and visit the brothers in every one of the cities in which we published the word of Jehovah* to see how they are.”+ 37 For his part, Barnabas was determined to take along also John, who was called Mark.+ 38 But Paul did not think it proper to be taking this one along with them, seeing that he had departed from them from Pamphylia+ and had not gone with them to the work. 39 At this there occurred a sharp burst of anger, so that they separated from each other; and Barnabas+ took Mark along and sailed away to Cyprus.+ 40 Paul selected Silas+ and went off after he had been entrusted by the brothers to the undeserved kindness of Jehovah.*+ 41 But he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the congregations.+ 

16 So he arrived at Derbe and also at Lystra.+ And, look! a certain disciple was there by the name of Timothy,+ the son of a believing Jewish woman but of a Greek father, 2 and he was well reported on by the brothers in Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul expressed the desire for this man to go out with him, and he took him and circumcised+ him because of the Jews that were in those places, for one and all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 Now as they traveled on through the cities they would deliver to those there for observance the decrees that had been decided upon by the apostles and older men* who were in Jerusalem.+ 5 Therefore, indeed, the congregations continued to be made firm in the faith+ and to increase in number from day to day.

6 Moreover, they went through Phrygia and the country of Galatia,+ because* they were forbidden by the holy spirit to speak the word in the [district of] Asia. 7 Further, when getting down to Mysia they made efforts to go into Bithynia,+ but the spirit of Jesus did not permit them. 8 So they passed Mysia by and came down to Troas.+ 9 And during the night a vision+ appeared to Paul: a certain Macedonian man was standing and entreating him and saying: “Step over into Macedonia and help us.” 10 Now as soon as he had seen the vision, we sought to go forth into Macedonia,+ drawing the conclusion that God had summoned us to declare the good news* to them.

11 Therefore we put out to sea from Troas and came with a straight run to Samothrace, but on the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi,+ a colony, which is the principal city of the district of Macedonia.+ We continued in this city, spending some days. 13 And on the sabbath day we went forth outside the gate beside a river, where we were thinking there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women that had assembled. 14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira+ and a worshiper of God, was listening, and Jehovah* opened her heart+ wide to pay attention to the things being spoken by Paul. 15 Now when she and her household got baptized,+ she said with entreaty: “If YOU men have judged me to be faithful to Jehovah,* enter into my house and stay.”+ And she just made us come.+

16 And it happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a certain servant girl with a spirit,+ a demon of divination,*+ met us. She used to furnish her masters with much gain+ by practicing the art of prediction. 17 This [girl] kept following Paul and us and crying out+ with the words: “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who are publishing to YOU the way of salvation.” 18 This she kept doing for many days. Finally Paul got tired of it+ and turned and said to the spirit: “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.”+ And it came out that very hour.+

19 Well, when her masters saw that their hope of gain had left,+ they laid hold of Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace* to the rulers,+ 20 and, leading them up to the civil magistrates, they said: “These men are disturbing+ our city very much, they being Jews, 21 and they are publishing customs+ that it is not lawful for us to take up or practice, seeing we are Romans.” 22 And the crowd rose up together against them; and the civil magistrates, after tearing the outer garments off them, gave the command to beat them with rods.+ 23 After they had inflicted many blows upon them,+ they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them securely.+ 24 Because he got such an order, he threw them into the inner prison+ and made their feet fast in the stocks.+

25 But about the middle of the night+ Paul and Silas were praying and praising God with song;+ yes, the prisoners were hearing them. 26 Suddenly a great earthquake occurred, so that the foundations of the jail were shaken. Moreover, all the doors were instantly opened, and the bonds of all were loosened.+ 27 The jailer, being awakened out of sleep and seeing the prison doors were open, drew his sword and was about to do away with himself,+ imagining that the prisoners had escaped.+ 28 But Paul called out with a loud voice, saying: “Do not hurt yourself,+ for we are all here!” 29 So he asked for lights and leaped in and, seized with trembling, he fell down+ before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them outside and said: “Sirs, what must I do+ to get saved? 31 They said: “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will get saved,+ you and your household.”+ 32 And they spoke the word of Jehovah* to him together with all those in his house.+ 33 And he took them along in that hour of the night and bathed their stripes; and, one and all, he and his were baptized+ without delay. 34 And he brought them into his house and set a table before them, and he rejoiced greatly with all his household now that he had believed God.

35 When it became day, the civil magistrates+ dispatched the constables to say: “Release those men.” 36 So the jailer reported their words to Paul: “The civil magistrates have dispatched men that YOU [two] might be released. Now, therefore, come out and go YOUR way in peace.” 37 But Paul said to them: “They flogged us publicly uncondemned, men who are Romans,+ and threw us into prison; and are they now throwing us out secretly? No, indeed! but let them come themselves and bring us out.” 38 So the constables reported these sayings to the civil magistrates. These grew fearful when they heard that the men were Romans.+ 39 Consequently they came and entreated them and, after bringing them out, they requested them to depart from the city. 40 But they came out of the prison and went to the home of Lydia, and when they saw the brothers they encouraged+ them and departed.

17 They now journeyed through Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica,+ where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 So according to Paul’s custom+ he went inside to them, and for three sabbaths he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,+ 3 explaining and proving by references that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer+ and to rise from the dead,+ and [saying]: “This is the Christ,+ this Jesus whom I am publishing to YOU.” 4 As a result some of them became believers+ and associated themselves with Paul and Silas,+ and a great multitude of the Greeks who worshiped [God] and not a few of the principal women did so.

5 But the Jews, getting jealous,+ took into their company certain wicked men of the marketplace idlers and formed a mob and proceeded to throw the city into an uproar.+ And they assaulted the house of Jason+ and went seeking to have them brought forth to the rabble. 6 When they did not find them they dragged Jason and certain brothers to the city rulers,* crying out: “These men that have overturned+ the inhabited earth are present here also, 7 and Jason has received them with hospitality. And all these [men] act in opposition to the decrees+ of Caesar,* saying there is another king,+ Jesus.” 8 They indeed agitated the crowd and the city rulers when they heard these things; 9 and first after taking sufficient security* from Jason and the others they let them go.

10 Immediately by night+ the brothers sent both Paul and Silas out to Beroea, and these, upon arriving, went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now the latter were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining+ the Scriptures+ daily as to whether these things were so.+ 12 Therefore many of them became believers, and so did not a few of the reputable+ Greek women and of the men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was published also in Beroea by Paul, they came there also to incite+ and agitate+ the masses. 14 Then the brothers immediately sent Paul off to go as far as the sea;+ but both Silas and Timothy remained behind there. 15 However, those conducting Paul brought him as far as Athens and, after receiving a command for Silas and Timothy+ to come to him as quickly as possible, they departed.

16 Now while Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit within him came to be irritated+ at beholding that the city was full of idols. 17 Consequently he began to reason in the synagogue with the Jews+ and the other people who worshiped [God] and every day in the marketplace+ with those who happened to be on hand. 18 But certain ones of both the Epicurean and the Stoic philosophers+ took to conversing with him controversially, and some would say: “What is it this chatterer* would like to tell?”+ Others: “He seems to be a publisher of foreign deities.”* This was because he was declaring the good news of Jesus and the resurrection.+ 19 So they laid hold of him and led him to the Areopagus,* saying: “Can we get to know what this new teaching+ is which is spoken by you? 20 For you are introducing some things that are strange to our ears. Therefore we desire to get to know what these things purport to be.”+ 21 In fact, all Athenians and the foreigners sojourning there would spend their leisure time at nothing but telling something or listening to something new. 22 Paul now stood in the midst of the Areopagus+ and said:

“Men of Athens, I behold that in all things YOU seem to be more given to the fear of the deities*+ than others are. 23 For instance, while passing along and carefully observing YOUR objects of veneration I also found an altar on which had been inscribed ‘To an Unknown God.’ Therefore what YOU are unknowingly giving godly devotion to, this I am publishing to YOU. 24 The God that made the world and all the things in it, being, as this One is, Lord of heaven and earth,+ does not dwell in handmade temples,*+ 25 neither is he attended to by human hands as if he needed anything,+ because he himself gives to all [persons] life+ and breath+ and all things. 26 And he made out of one [man]+ every nation+ of men, to dwell upon the entire surface of the earth,+ and he decreed the appointed times+ and the set limits of the dwelling of [men],+ 27 for them to seek God,+ if they might grope for him and really find him,+ although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us. 28 For by* him we have life and move and exist,+ even as certain ones* of the poets+ among YOU have said, ‘For we are also his progeny.’

29 “Seeing, therefore, that we are the progeny of God,+ we ought not to imagine that the Divine Being*+ is like gold or silver or stone, like something sculptured by the art and contrivance of man.+ 30 True, God has overlooked the times of such ignorance,+ yet now he is telling mankind that they should all everywhere repent.+ 31 Because he has set a day in which he purposes to judge+ the inhabited earth* in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and he has furnished a guarantee* to all men in that he has resurrected+ him from the dead.”

32 Well, when they heard of a resurrection of the dead, some began to mock,+ while others said: “We will hear you about this even another time.” 33 Thus Paul went out from their midst, 34 but some men joined themselves to him and became believers, among whom also were Dionysius, a judge of the court of the Areopagus,*+ and a woman named Damaris, and others besides them.

18 After these things he departed from Athens and came to Corinth. 2 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila,+ a native of Pontus who had recently come from Italy,+ and Priscilla his wife, because of the fact that Claudius+ had ordered all the Jews to depart from Rome. So he went to them 3 and on account of being of the same trade he stayed at their home, and they worked,+ for they were tentmakers by trade. 4 However, he would give a talk in the synagogue+ every sabbath and would persuade Jews and Greeks.*

5 When, now, both Silas+ and Timothy+ came down from Macedonia, Paul began to be intensely occupied with the word, witnessing to the Jews to prove that Jesus is the Christ.+ 6 But after they kept on opposing and speaking abusively,+ he shook out his garments+ and said to them: “Let YOUR blood+ be upon YOUR own heads. I am clean.+ From now on I will go to people of the nations.”+ 7 Accordingly he transferred from there and went into the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God, whose house was adjoining the synagogue. 8 But Crispus+ the presiding officer of the synagogue became a believer in the Lord, and so did all his household. And many of the Corinthians that heard began to believe and be baptized. 9 Moreover, by night the Lord said to Paul+ through a vision: “Have no fear, but keep on speaking and do not keep silent, 10 because I am with you+ and no man will assault you so as to do you injury; for I have many people in this city.” 11 So he stayed set there a year and six months, teaching among them the word of God.

12 Now while Gallio was proconsul*+ of Achaia,* the Jews rose up with one accord against Paul and led him to the judgment seat,+ 13 saying: “Contrary to the law this person leads+ men to another persuasion in worshiping God.” 14 But as Paul was going to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews: “If it were, indeed, some wrong or a wicked act of villainy, O Jews, I would with reason put up patiently with YOU. 15 But if it is controversies over speech and names+ and the law+ among YOU, YOU yourselves must see to it. I do not wish to be a judge of these things.” 16 With that he drove them away from the judgment seat. 17 So they all laid hold of Sosthenes+ the presiding officer of the synagogue and went to beating him in front of the judgment seat. But Gallio would not concern himself at all with these things.

18 However, after staying quite some days longer, Paul said good-bye to the brothers and proceeded to sail away for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila, as he had the hair of his head clipped short+ in Cenchreae,*+ for he had a vow. 19 So they arrived at Ephesus, and he left them there; but he himself entered into the synagogue+ and reasoned with the Jews. 20 Although they kept requesting him to remain for a longer time, he would not consent 21 but said good-bye+ and told them: “I will return to YOU again, if Jehovah* is willing.”+ And he put out to sea from Ephesus 22 and came down to Caesarea. And he went up* and greeted the congregation, and went down to Antioch.

23 And when he had passed some time there he departed and went from place to place through the country of Galatia+ and Phrygia,+ strengthening+ all the disciples.

24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos,+ a native of Alexandria, an eloquent man, arrived in Ephesus; and he was well versed in the Scriptures.+ 25 This [man] had been orally instructed in the way of Jehovah* and, as he was aglow with the spirit,+ he went speaking and teaching with correctness the things about Jesus, but being acquainted with only the baptism+ of John. 26 And this [man] started to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila+ heard him, they took him into their company and expounded the way of God more correctly to him. 27 Further, because he was desiring to go across into Achaia, the brothers wrote the disciples, exhorting them to receive him kindly. So when he got there, he greatly helped+ those who had believed on account of [God’s]* undeserved kindness;+ 28 for with intensity he thoroughly proved the Jews to be wrong publicly, while he demonstrated by the Scriptures+ that Jesus was the Christ.+

19 In the course of events, while Apollos+ was in Corinth, Paul went through the inland parts and came down to Ephesus,+ and found some disciples; 2 and he said to them: “Did you receive holy spirit+ when YOU became believers?” They said to him: “Why, we have never heard whether there is a holy spirit.”+ 3 And he said: “In what, then, were YOU baptized?” They said: “In John’s baptism.”+ 4 Paul said: “John baptized with the baptism [in symbol] of repentance,+ telling the people to believe in the one coming after him,+ that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they got baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.+ 6 And when Paul laid his hands+ upon them, the holy spirit came upon them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.+ 7 All together, there were about twelve men.

8 Entering into the synagogue,+ he spoke with boldness for three months, giving talks and using persuasion concerning the kingdom+ of God. 9 But when some went on hardening themselves and not believing,+ speaking injuriously about The Way+ before the multitude, he withdrew from them+ and separated the disciples from them,+ daily giving talks in the school [auditorium] of Tyrannus.* 10 This took place for two years,+ so that all those inhabiting the [district of] Asia+ heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

11 And God kept performing extraordinary works of power through the hands of Paul,+ 12 so that even cloths and aprons were borne from his body to the ailing people,+ and the diseases left them, and the wicked spirits came out.+ 13 But certain ones of the roving Jews who practiced the casting out of demons+ also undertook to name the name of the Lord Jesus+ over those having the wicked spirits, saying: “I solemnly charge+ YOU by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Now there were seven sons of a certain Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, doing this. 15 But in answer the wicked spirit said to them: “I know Jesus+ and I am acquainted with Paul;+ but who are YOU?” 16 With that the man in whom the wicked spirit was leaped upon them,+ got the mastery of one after the other,* and prevailed against them, so that they fled naked and wounded out of that house. 17 This became known to all, both the Jews and the Greeks that dwelt in Ephesus; and a fear+ fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus went on being magnified.+ 18 And many of those who had become believers would come and confess+ and report their practices openly. 19 Indeed, quite a number of those who practiced magical+ arts brought their books together and burned them up before everybody. And they calculated together the prices of them and found them worth fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 Thus in a mighty way the word of Jehovah* kept growing and prevailing.+

21 Now when these things had been completed, Paul purposed in his spirit that, after going through Macedonia+ and Achaia, he would journey to Jerusalem,+ saying: “After I get there I must also see Rome.”+ 22 So he dispatched to Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy+ and Erastus,+ but he himself delayed for some time in the [district of] Asia.

23 At that particular time there arose no little disturbance+ concerning The Way.*+ 24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, by making silver shrines* of Artemis* furnished the craftsmen no little gain;+ 25 and he gathered them and those who worked at such things+ and said: “Men, YOU well know that from this business we have our prosperity.+ 26 Also, YOU behold and hear how not only in Ephesus+ but in nearly all the [district of] Asia this Paul has persuaded a considerable crowd and turned them to another opinion, saying that the ones that are made by hands+ are not gods. 27 Moreover, the danger exists not only that this occupation of ours will come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis+ will be esteemed as nothing and even her magnificence which the whole [district of] Asia and the inhabited earth worships is about to be brought down to nothing.” 28 Hearing this and becoming full of anger, the men began crying out, saying: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

29 So the city became filled with confusion, and with one accord they rushed into the theater, taking forcibly along with them Gaius and Aristarchus,+ Macedonians, traveling companions of Paul. 30 For his part, Paul was willing to go inside to the people, but the disciples would not permit him. 31 Even some of the commissioners of festivals and games,* who were friendly to him, sent to him and began pleading for him not to risk himself in the theater. 32 The fact is, some were crying out one thing and others another;+ for the assembly was in confusion, and the majority of them did not know the reason why they had come together. 33 So together they brought Alexander out of the crowd, the Jews thrusting him up front; and Alexander motioned with his hand and was wanting to make his defense to the people. 34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, one cry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours: “Great+ is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

35 When, finally, the city recorder had quieted+ the crowd, he said: “Men of Ephesus, who really is there of mankind that does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the temple keeper of the great Artemis and of the image that fell from heaven?* 36 Therefore since these things are indisputable, it is becoming for YOU to keep calm and not act rashly.+ 37 For YOU have brought these men who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of our goddess. 38 Therefore if Demetrius+ and the craftsmen with him do have a case against someone, court+ days are held and there are proconsuls;+ let them bring charges against one another. 39 If, though, YOU are searching for anything beyond that, it must* be decided in a regular assembly. 40 For we are really in danger of being charged with sedition over today’s affair, no single cause existing that will permit us to render a reason for this disorderly mob.” 41 And when he had said these things,+ he dismissed the assembly.+

20 Now after the uproar had subsided, Paul sent for the disciples, and when he had encouraged them and bidden them farewell,+ he went forth to journey into Macedonia.+ 2 After going through those parts and encouraging the ones there with many a word,+ he came into Greece. 3 And when he had spent three months there, because a plot+ was hatched against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he made up his mind to return through Macedonia. 4 There were accompanying him Sopater+ the son of Pyrrhus of Beroea, Aristarchus+ and Secundus of the Thessalonians, and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy,+ and from the [district of] Asia Tychicus+ and Trophimus.+ 5 These went on and were waiting for us in Troas;+ 6 but we put out to sea from Philippi after the days of the unfermented cakes,+ and we came to them in Troas+ within five days; and there we spent seven days.

7 On the first day+ of the week, when we were gathered together to have a meal,* Paul began discoursing to them, as he was going to depart the next day; and he prolonged his speech until midnight. 8 So there were quite a few lamps in the upper chamber+ where we were gathered together. 9 Seated at the window, a certain young man named Eutychus fell into a deep sleep while Paul kept talking on, and, collapsing in sleep, he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 But Paul went downstairs, threw himself upon him+ and embraced him and said: “STOP raising a clamor, for his soul* is in him.”+ 11 He now went upstairs and began the meal* and took food, and after conversing for quite a while, until daybreak, he at length departed. 12 So they took the boy away alive and were comforted beyond measure.

13 We now went ahead to the boat and set sail to Assos, where we were intending to take Paul aboard, for, after giving instructions to this effect, he himself was intending to go on foot. 14 So when he caught up with us in Assos, we took him aboard and went to Mitylene; 15 and, sailing away from there the succeeding day, we arrived opposite Chios, but the next day we touched at Samos, and on the following day we arrived at Miletus. 16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus,+ in order that he might not spend any time in the [district of] Asia; for he was hastening to get to Jerusalem+ on the day of the [festival of] Pentecost if he possibly could.

17 However, from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the older men*+ of the congregation. 18 When they got to him he said to them: “YOU well know how from the first day that I stepped into the [district of] Asia+ I was with you the whole time,+ 19 slaving+ for the Lord with the greatest lowliness of mind+ and tears and trials that befell me by the plots+ of the Jews; 20 while I did not hold back from telling YOU any of the things that were profitable nor from teaching+ YOU publicly and from house+ to house.* 21 But I thoroughly bore witness+ both to Jews and to Greeks about repentance+ toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus. 22 And now, look! bound in the spirit,+ I am journeying to Jerusalem, although not knowing the things that will happen to me in it, 23 except that from city to city the holy spirit+ repeatedly bears witness to me as it says that bonds and tribulations are waiting for me.+ 24 Nevertheless, I do not make my soul* of any account as dear to me,+ if only I may finish my course+ and the ministry+ that I received+ of the Lord Jesus, to bear thorough witness to the good news of the undeserved kindness of God.+

25 “And now, look! I know that all of YOU among whom I went preaching* the kingdom* will see my face no more. 26 Hence I call YOU to witness this very day that I am clean from the blood+ of all men, 27 for I have not held back from telling YOU all the counsel+ of God. 28 Pay attention+ to yourselves+ and to all the flock,+ among which the holy spirit has appointed YOU overseers,*+ to shepherd the congregation of God,*+ which he purchased with the blood+ of his own [Son].* 29 I know that after my going away oppressive wolves+ will enter in among YOU and will not treat the flock with tenderness, 30 and from among YOU yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things+ to draw away the disciples after themselves.+

31 “Therefore keep awake, and bear in mind that for three years,+ night and day, I did not quit admonishing+ each one with tears. 32 And now I commit YOU to God*+ and to the word of his undeserved kindness, which [word] can build YOU up+ and give YOU the inheritance among all the sanctified ones.+ 33 I have coveted no man’s silver or gold or apparel.+ 34 YOU yourselves know that these hands have attended to the needs of me+ and of those with me. 35 I have exhibited to YOU in all things that by thus laboring+ YOU must assist those who are weak,+ and must bear in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, when he himself said, ‘There is more happiness in giving+ than there is in receiving.’”

36 And when he had said these things, he kneeled+ down with all of them and prayed. 37 Indeed, quite a bit of weeping broke out among them all, and they fell upon Paul’s neck+ and tenderly kissed+ him, 38 because they were especially pained at the word he had spoken that they were going to behold his face+ no more. So they proceeded to conduct+ him to the boat.

21 Now when we had torn ourselves away from them and put out to sea, we ran with a straight course and came to Cos, but on the next [day] to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. 2 And when we had found a boat that was crossing to Phoenicia, we went aboard and sailed away. 3 After coming in sight of the island of Cyprus+ we left it behind on the left side and sailed on to Syria,+ and landed at Tyre, for there the boat was to unload [its] cargo.+ 4 By a search we found the disciples and remained here seven days. But through the spirit+ they repeatedly told Paul not to set foot in Jerusalem. 5 So when we had completed the days, we went forth and started on our way; but they all, together with the women and children, conducted us as far as outside the city. And kneeling+ down on the beach we had prayer 6 and said good-bye+ to one another, and we went up into the boat but they returned to their homes.

7 We then completed the voyage from Tyre and arrived at Ptolemais, and we greeted the brothers and stayed one day with them. 8 The next day we set out and arrived in Caesarea,+ and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelizer,* who was one of the seven men,+ and we stayed with him. 9 This man had four daughters, virgins, that prophesied.+ 10 But while we were remaining quite a number of days, a certain prophet named Agabus+ came down from Judea, 11 and he came to us and took up the girdle of Paul, bound his own feet and hands and said: “Thus says the holy spirit, ‘The man to whom this girdle belongs the Jews will bind+ in this manner in Jerusalem and deliver+ into the hands of people of the nations.’” 12 Now when we heard this, both we and those of that place began entreating him not to go+ up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered: “What are YOU doing by weeping+ and making me weak at heart?+ Rest assured, I am ready not only to be bound but also to die+ at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we acquiesced with the words: “Let the will+ of Jehovah* take place.”

15 Now after these days we prepared for the journey and began going up to Jerusalem.+ 16 But some of the disciples from Caesarea+ also went with us, to bring us to the man at whose home we were to be entertained, a certain Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple. 17 When we got into Jerusalem,+ the brothers received us gladly.+ 18 But on the following [day] Paul went in with us to James;+ and all the older men* were present.* 19 And he greeted them and began giving in detail an account+ of the things God did among the nations through his ministry.+

20 After hearing this they began to glorify God, and they said to him: “You behold, brother, how many thousands* of believers there are among the Jews; and they are all zealous for the Law.+ 21 But they have heard it rumored about you that you have been teaching all the Jews among the nations an apostasy* from Moses,+ telling them neither to circumcise+ their children nor to walk in the [solemn] customs. 22 What, then, is to be done about it? In any case they are going to hear you have arrived. 23 Therefore do this which we tell you: We have four men with a vow upon themselves. 24 Take these men along+ and cleanse yourself ceremonially with them and take care of their expenses,+ that they may have their heads shaved.+ And so everybody will know that there is nothing to the rumors they were told about you, but that you are walking orderly, you yourself also keeping the Law.+ 25 As for the believers from among the nations, we have sent out,* rendering our decision that they should keep themselves from what is sacrificed to idols+ as well as from blood+ and what is strangled*+ and from fornication.+ 15:20

26 Then Paul took the men along the next day and cleansed himself ceremonially with them+ and went into the temple, to give notice of the days to be fulfilled+ for the ceremonial cleansing, until the offering+ should be presented for each one of them.+

27 Now when the seven+ days were about to be concluded, the Jews from Asia on beholding him in the temple began to throw all the crowd into confusion,+ and they laid their hands upon him, 28 crying out: “Men of Israel, help! This is the man that teaches everybody everywhere against the people+ and the Law and this place and, what is more, he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.”+ 29 For they had previously seen Trophimus+ the Ephesian in the city with him, but they were imagining Paul had brought him into the temple. 30 And the whole city was set in an uproar,+ and a running together of the people occurred; and they laid hold of Paul and dragged him outside the temple.+ And immediately the doors were closed. 31 And while they were seeking to kill him, information came up to the commander* of the band that all Jerusalem was in confusion;+ 32 and he at once took soldiers and army officers* and ran down to them.+ When they caught sight of the military commander+ and the soldiers, they quit beating Paul.

33 Then the military commander came near and took hold of him and gave command for him to be bound with two chains;+ and he proceeded to inquire who he might be and what he had done. 34 But some in the crowd began shouting out one thing, and others another.+ So, being unable himself to learn anything certain because of the tumult, he commanded him to be brought to the soldiers’ quarters.+ 35 But when he got upon the stairs, the situation became such that he was being carried along by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd; 36 for the multitude of the people kept following, crying out: “Take him away!”*+

37 And as he was about to be led into the soldiers’ quarters, Paul said to the military commander: “Am I allowed to say something to you?” He said: “Can you speak Greek? 38 Are you not really the Egyptian who before these days stirred up a sedition+ and led the four thousand dagger* men out into the wilderness?” 39 Then Paul said: “I am, in fact, a Jew,+ of Tarsus+ in Cilicia, a citizen of no obscure city. So I beg you, permit me to speak to the people.” 40 After he gave permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, motioned+ with his hand to the people. When a great silence fell, he addressed them in the Hebrew+ language, saying: 

22 “Men, brothers+ and fathers, hear my defense+ to YOU now.” 2 (Well, when they heard he was addressing them in the Hebrew language,+ they kept all the more silent, and he said:) 3 “I am a Jew,+ born in Tarsus of Cilicia,+ but educated in this city at the feet of Gamaliel,+ instructed according to the strictness+ of the ancestral Law, being zealous+ for God just as all of YOU are this day. 4 And I persecuted this Way to the death,+ binding and handing over to prisons+ both men and women, 5 as both the high priest and all the assembly of older men*+ can bear me witness. From them I also procured letters+ to the brothers in Damascus, and I was on my way to bring also those who were there bound to Jerusalem to be punished.

6 “But as I was journeying and drawing close to Damascus, about midday, suddenly out of heaven a great light flashed all around me,+ 7 and I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’+ 8 I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’+ 9 Now the men that were with me+ beheld, indeed, the light but did not hear* the voice of the one speaking to me.+ 10 At that I said, ‘What shall* I do,+ Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Rise, go your way into Damascus, and there you will be told about everything it is appointed for you to do.’+ 11 But as I could not see anything for the glory of that light, I arrived in Damascus, being led by the hand of those who were with me.+

12 “Now Ananias, a certain man reverent according to the Law, well reported+ on by all the Jews dwelling there, 13 came to me and, standing by me, he said to me, ‘Saul, brother, have your sight again!’*+ And I looked up at him that very hour. 14 He said, ‘The God of our forefathers+ has chosen you+ to come to know his will and to see+ the righteous One+ and to hear the voice of his mouth,+ 15 because you are to be a witness for him to all men of things you have seen and heard.+ 16 And now why are you delaying? 8:36; 16:33 Rise, get baptized+ and wash+ your sins away Heb.10:22; Ps.51:7; Isai.1:16,18; Ezek.36:25 by your calling* upon his name.+ 4:12; 10:43

17 “But when I had returned to Jerusalem+ and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance*+ 18 and saw him saying to me, ‘Hurry up and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not agree+ to your witness concerning me.’ 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves well know that I used to imprison+ and flog in one synagogue after another those believing upon you;+ 20 and when the blood of Stephen+ your witness was being spilled, I myself was also standing by and approving+ and guarding the outer garments of those doing away with him.’ 21 And yet he said to me, ‘Get on your way, because I shall send you out to nations far off.’”+

22 Now they kept listening to him down to this word, and they raised their voices, saying: “Take such a [man] away from the earth, for he was not fit to live!”+ 23 And because they were crying out and throwing their outer garments about and tossing dust into the air,+ 24 the military commander* ordered him to be brought into the soldiers’ quarters and said he should be examined under scourging, that he might know fully for what cause they were shouting+ against him this way. 25 But when they had stretched him out for the whipping,* Paul said to the army officer* standing there: “Is it lawful for YOU men to scourge a man that is a Roman+ and uncondemned?” 26 Well, when the army officer heard this, he went to the military commander and made report, saying: “What are you intending to do? Why, this man is a Roman.” 27 So the military commander approached and said to him: “Tell me, Are you a Roman?”+ He said: “Yes.” 28 The military commander responded: “I purchased these rights as a citizen* for a large sum [of money].” Paul said: “But I was even born+ [in them].”*

29 Immediately, therefore, the men that were about to examine him with torture withdrew from him; and the military commander became afraid on ascertaining that he was a Roman+ and that he had bound him.

30 So, the next day, as he desired to know for sure just why he was being accused by the Jews, he let him loose and commanded the chief priests and all the Sanhedrin to assemble. And he brought Paul down and stood him among them.+

23 Looking intently at the Sanhedrin Paul said: “Men, brothers, I have behaved before God with a perfectly clear conscience+ down to this day.” 2 At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing by him to strike+ him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him: “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed+ wall. Do you at one and the same time sit to judge me in accord with the Law+ and, transgressing the Law,+ command me to be struck?” 4 Those standing by said: “Are you reviling the high priest of God?” 5 And Paul said: “Brothers, I did not know he was high priest. For it is written, ‘You must not speak injuriously of a ruler of your people.’”+

6 Now when Paul took note that the one part was of Sadducees+ but the other of Pharisees, he proceeded to cry out in the Sanhedrin: “Men, brothers, I am a Pharisee,+ a son of Pharisees. Over the hope of resurrection+ of the dead I am being judged.”+ 7 Because he said this, a dissension+ arose between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the multitude was split. 8 For Sadducees+ say there is neither resurrection+ nor angel nor spirit, but the Pharisees publicly declare them all.* 9 So there broke out a loud screaming,+ and some of the scribes of the party of the Pharisees rose and began contending fiercely, saying: “We find nothing wrong in this man;+ but if a spirit or an angel spoke to him,+ —.” 10 Now when the dissension grew great, the military commander became afraid that Paul would be pulled to pieces by them, and he commanded the force of soldiers+ to go down and snatch him from their midst and bring him into the soldiers’ quarters.+

11 But the following night the Lord stood by him+ and said: “Be of good courage!+ For as you have been giving a thorough witness+ on the things about me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome.”+

12 Now when it became day, the Jews formed a conspiracy+ and bound themselves with a curse,+ saying they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul.+ 13 There were more than forty men that formed this oath-bound conspiracy; 14 and they went to the chief+ priests and the older men* and said: “We have solemnly bound ourselves with a curse not to take a bite of food until we have killed Paul. 15 Now, therefore, YOU together with the Sanhedrin make it clear to the military commander why he should bring him down to YOU as though YOU intended to determine more accurately the matters involving him.+ But before he gets near we will be ready to do away with him.”+

16 However, the son of Paul’s sister heard of their lying in wait,+ and he came and entered into the soldiers’ quarters and reported it to Paul. 17 So Paul called one of the army officers to him and said: “Lead this young man off to the military commander, for he has something to report to him.” 18 Therefore this man took him and led him to the military commander and said: “The prisoner Paul called me to him and requested me to lead this young man to you, as he has something to tell you.” 19 The military commander took him+ by the hand and withdrew and began inquiring privately: “What is it you have to report to me?” 20 He said: “The Jews have agreed to request you to bring Paul down to the Sanhedrin tomorrow as though intending to learn something more accurate about him.+ 21 Above all things, do not let them persuade you, for more than forty men of theirs are lying in wait+ for him, and they have bound themselves with a curse neither to eat nor to drink until they have done away with him;+ and they are now ready, waiting for the promise from you.” 22 Therefore the military commander let the young man go after ordering him: “Do not blab to anyone that you have made these things clear to me.”

23 And he summoned a certain two of the army officers and said: “Get two hundred soldiers ready to march clear to Caesarea, also seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen, at the third hour* of the night. 24 Also, provide beasts of burden that they may have Paul ride and convey him safely to Felix the governor.” 25 And he wrote a letter having this form:

26 “Claudius Lysias to his excellency, Governor Felix:+ Greetings! 27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be done away with by them, but I came suddenly with a force of soldiers and rescued him,+ because I learned he was a Roman.+ 28 And wishing to ascertain the cause for which they were accusing him, I brought him down into their Sanhedrin.*+ 29 I found him to be accused about questions of their Law,+ but not charged with a single thing deserving of death or bonds.+ 30 But because a plot+ that is to be laid against the man has been disclosed to me, I am at once sending him to you, and commanding the accusers to speak against him before you.”+

31 Therefore these soldiers+ took Paul according to their orders and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 The next day they permitted the horsemen to go on with him, and they returned to the soldiers’ quarters. 33 The [horsemen] entered into Caesarea+ and delivered the letter to the governor and also presented Paul to him. 34 So he read it and inquired from what province he was, and ascertained+ that he was from Cilicia.+ 35 “I shall give you a thorough hearing,” he said, “when your accusers arrive also.”+ And he commanded that he be kept under guard in the praetorian palace of Herod.

24 Five days later the high priest Ananias+ came down with some older men* and a public speaker, a certain Tertullus, and they gave information+ to the governor+ against Paul. 2 When he was called, Tertullus started accusing him, saying:

“Seeing that we enjoy great peace+ through you and that reforms are taking place in this nation through your forethought, 3 at all times and also in all places we receive it, Your Excellency+ Felix, with the greatest thankfulness. 4 But that I may not hinder you any further, I beseech you to hear us briefly in your kindliness. 5 For we have found this man a pestilent+ fellow and stirring up seditions+ among all the Jews throughout the inhabited earth and a spearhead* of the sect* of the Nazarenes,+ 6 one who also tried to profane the temple+ and whom we seized. 7* —— 8 From him you yourself can by examination find out about all these things of which we are accusing him.”

9 With that the Jews also joined in the attack, asserting that these things were so. 10 And Paul, when the governor nodded to him to speak, answered:

“Knowing well that this nation has had you as judge for many years, I readily speak in my defense+ the things about myself, 11 as you are in a position to find out that for me it has not been more than twelve days since I went up to worship+ in Jerusalem; 12 and they found me neither in the temple+ arguing with anyone nor causing a mob+ to rush together, either in the synagogues or throughout the city. 13 Nor can they prove+ to you the things of which they are accusing me right now. 14 But I do admit this to you, that, according to the way that they call a ‘sect,’ in this manner I am rendering sacred service* to the God of my forefathers,+ as I believe all the things set forth in the Law+ and written in the Prophets; 15 and I have hope+ toward God, which hope these [men] themselves also entertain, that there is going to be a resurrection*+ of both the righteous+ and the unrighteous.+ 16 In this respect, indeed, I am exercising myself continually to have a consciousness+ of committing no offense against God and men. 17 So after quite a number of years I arrived to bring gifts of mercy to my nation, and offerings.+ 18 While I was at these matters they found me ceremonially cleansed in the temple,+ but not with a crowd or with a tumult. But there were certain Jews from the [district of] Asia, 19 who ought to be present before you and to accuse me if they might have anything against me.+ 20 Or, let the [men] here say for themselves what wrong they found as I stood before the Sanhedrin, 21 except with respect to this one utterance which I cried out while standing among them, ‘Over the resurrection of the dead I am today being judged before YOU!’”+

22 However, Felix,+ knowing quite accurately the matters concerning this Way,+ began to put the [men] off and said: “Whenever Lysias+ the military commander* comes down, I shall decide upon these matters involving YOU.” 23 And he ordered the army officer* that the man be kept and have some relaxation [of custody], and that he forbid no one of his people to wait upon him.+

24 Some days later Felix+ arrived with Drusilla his wife, who was a Jewess,+ and he sent for Paul and listened to him on the belief in Christ Jesus.+ 25 But as he talked about righteousness+ and self-control+ and the judgment+ to come, Felix became frightened and answered: “For the present go your way, but when I get an opportune time I shall send for you again.” 26 At the same time, though, he was hoping for money+ to be given him by Paul. On that account he sent for him even more frequently and would converse with him.+ 27 But, when two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and because Felix desired to gain favor+ with the Jews, he left Paul bound. 

25 Therefore Festus, after entering+ upon the [government of the] province,* went up three days later to Jerusalem from Caesarea;+ 2 and the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews gave him information+ against Paul. So they began to entreat him, 3 asking for themselves as a favor against the [man] that he would send for him to come to Jerusalem, as they were laying an ambush+ to do away with him along the road. 4 However, Festus answered that Paul was to be kept in Caesarea and that he himself was about to depart shortly for there. 5 “Hence let those who are in power among YOU,” he said, “come down with me and accuse him,+ if there is anything out of the way about the man.”

6 So when he had spent not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea, and the next day he sat down on the judgment seat+ and commanded Paul to be brought in. 7 When he arrived, the Jews that had come down from Jerusalem stood round about him, leveling against him many and serious charges+ for which they were unable to show evidence.

8 But Paul said in defense: “Neither against the Law of the Jews nor against the temple+ nor against Caesar* have I committed any sin.”+ 9 Festus, desiring to gain favor+ with the Jews, said in reply to Paul: “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and be judged there before me concerning these things?”+ 10 But Paul said: “I am standing before the judgment seat of Caesar,+ where I ought to be judged. I have done no wrong to the Jews,+ as you also are finding out quite well. 11 If, on the one hand, I am really a wrongdoer+ and have committed anything deserving of death,+ I do not beg off from dying; if, on the other hand, none of those things exists of which these [men] accuse me, no man can hand me over to them as a favor. I appeal to Caesar!”+ 12 Then Festus, after speaking with the assembly of counselors, replied: “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.”

13 Now when some days had passed, Agrippa* the king and Bernice* arrived in Caesarea for a visit of courtesy to Festus. 14 So, as they were spending a number of days there, Festus laid before the king the matters respecting Paul, saying:

“There is a certain man left prisoner by Felix, 15 and when I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the older men* of the Jews brought information+ about him, asking a judgment of condemnation against him. 16 But I replied to them that it is not Roman procedure to hand any man over as a favor before the accused man meets his accusers+ face to face and gets a chance to speak in his defense concerning the complaint. 17 Therefore when they got together here, I made no delay, but the next day I sat down on the judgment seat and commanded the man to be brought in. 18 Taking the stand, the accusers produced no charge+ of the wicked things I had supposed concerning him. 19 They simply had certain disputes with him concerning their own worship+ of the deity* and concerning a certain Jesus who was dead but who Paul kept asserting was alive.+ 20 So, being perplexed as to the dispute over these matters, I proceeded to ask if he would like to go to Jerusalem and there be judged concerning these matters.+ 21 But when Paul appealed+ to be kept for the decision by the August One,* I commanded him to be kept until I should send him on up to Caesar.”

22 Here Agrippa [said] to Festus: “I myself would also like to hear the man.”+ “Tomorrow,” he said, “you shall hear him.” 23 Therefore, on the next day, Agrippa and Bernice came with much pompous+ show and entered into the audience chamber together with military commanders* as well as men of eminence in the city, and when Festus gave the command, Paul was brought in. 24 And Festus said: “King Agrippa and all YOU men who are present with us, YOU are beholding this man concerning whom all the multitude of the Jews together have applied to me both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer.+ 25 But I perceived he had committed nothing deserving of death.+ So when this [man] himself appealed+ to the August One, I decided to send him. 26 But concerning him I have nothing certain to write to [my] Lord.* Therefore I brought him forth before YOU, and especially before you, King Agrippa, in order that, after the judicial examination has taken place,+ I might get something to write. 27 For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner and not also to signify the charges against him.”

26 Agrippa+ said to Paul: “You are permitted to speak in behalf of yourself.” Then Paul stretched his hand out+ and proceeded to say in his defense:+

2 “Concerning all the things of which I am accused+ by Jews, King Agrippa, I count myself happy that it is before you I am to make my defense this day, 3 especially as you are expert on all the customs+ as well as the controversies among Jews. Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently.

4 “Indeed, as to the manner of life+ from youth up that I led from [the] beginning among my nation and in Jerusalem, all the Jews 5 that have been previously acquainted with me from the first know, if they but wish to bear witness, that according to the strictest sect+ of our form of worship* I lived a Pharisee.+ 6 And yet now for the hope+ of the promise+ that was made by God to our forefathers I stand called to judgment; 7 whereas our twelve tribes are hoping to attain to the fulfillment of this promise by intensely rendering him sacred service* night and day.+ Concerning this hope I am accused+ by Jews, O king.

8 “Why is it judged unbelievable among YOU men that God raises up the dead?+ 9 I, for one, really thought within myself I ought to commit many acts of opposition against the name of Jesus the Nazarene; 10 which, in fact, I did in Jerusalem, and many of the holy ones I locked up in prisons,+ as I had received authority from the chief priests;+ and when they were to be executed, I cast my vote* against them. 11 And by punishing them many times in all the synagogues+ I tried to force them to make a recantation; and since I was extremely mad against them, I went so far as to persecuting them even in outside cities.

12 “Amid these efforts as I was journeying to Damascus+ with authority and a commission from the chief priests, 13 I saw at midday on the road, O king, a light beyond the brilliance of the sun flash from heaven about me and about those journeying with me.+ 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground I heard a voice say to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? To keep kicking against the goads makes it hard for you.’+ 15 But I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.+ 16 Nevertheless, rise and stand on your feet.+ For to this end I have made myself visible to you, in order to choose you as an attendant and a witness+ both of things you have seen and things I shall make you see respecting me; 17 while I deliver you from [this] people and from the nations, to whom I am sending you,+ 18 to open their eyes,+ to turn them from darkness+ to light+ and from the authority of Satan+ to God, in order for them to receive forgiveness of sins+ and an inheritance+ among those sanctified+ by [their] faith in me.’

19 “Wherefore, King Agrippa, I did not become disobedient to the heavenly sight,+ 20 but both to those in Damascus+ first and to those in Jerusalem,+ and over all the country of Judea, and to the nations+ I went bringing the message that they should repent and turn to God by doing works that befit repentance.*+ 21 On account of these things Jews seized me in the temple and attempted to slay me.+ 22 However, because I have obtained the help+ that is from God I continue to this day bearing witness to both small and great, but saying nothing except things the Prophets+ as well as Moses+ stated were going to take place, 23 that the Christ was to suffer+ and, as the first to be resurrected*+ from the dead, he was going to publish light+ both to this people and to the nations.”+

24 Now as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said in a loud voice: “You are going mad,+ Paul! Great learning is driving you into madness!” 25 But Paul said: “I am not going mad, Your Excellency Festus, but I am uttering sayings of truth and of soundness of mind. 26 In reality, the king to whom I am speaking with freeness of speech well knows about these things; for I am persuaded that not one of these things escapes his notice, for this thing has not been done in a corner.+ 27 Do you, King Agrippa, believe the Prophets? I know you believe.”+ 28 But Agrippa said to Paul: “In a short time you would persuade me to become a Christian.”* 29 At this Paul said: “I could wish to God that whether in a short time or in a long time not only you but also all those who hear me today would become men such as I also am, with the exception of these bonds.”

30 And the king rose and so did the governor and Bernice and the men seated with them. 31 But as they withdrew they began talking with one another, saying: “This man practices nothing deserving death+ or bonds.” 32 Moreover, Agrippa said to Festus: “This man could have been released if he had not appealed+ to Caesar.”*

27 Now as it was decided for us to sail away to Italy,+ they proceeded to hand both Paul and certain other prisoners over to an army officer* named Julius of the band of Augustus. 2 Going aboard a boat from Adramyttium that was about to sail to places along the coast of the [district of] Asia, we set sail, there being with us Aristarchus+ a Macedonian from Thessalonica. 3 And the next day we landed at Sidon, and Julius treated Paul with human kindness*+ and permitted him to go to his friends and enjoy [their] care.+

4 And putting out to sea from there we sailed under the [shelter of] Cyprus, because the winds were contrary; 5 and we navigated through the open sea along Cilicia and Pamphylia and put into port at Myra in Lycia. 6 But there the army officer found a boat* from Alexandria+ that was sailing for Italy, and he made us board it. 7 Then, after sailing on slowly quite a number of days and coming to Cnidus with difficulty, because the wind did not let us get on, we sailed under the [shelter of] Crete at Salmone, 8 and coasting along it with difficulty we came to a certain place called Fair Havens, near which was the city Lasea.

9 As considerable time had passed and by now it was hazardous to navigate because even the fast [of atonement+ day]* had already passed by, Paul made a recommendation, 10 saying to them: “Men, I perceive that navigation is going to be with damage and great loss not only of the cargo and the boat but also of our souls.”*+ 11 However, the army officer went heeding the pilot and the shipowner rather than the things said by Paul. 12 Now as the harbor was inconvenient for wintering, the majority advised setting sail from there, to see if they could somehow make it to Phoenix to winter, a harbor of Crete that opens toward the northeast and toward the southeast.*

13 Moreover, when the south wind blew softly, they thought they had as good as realized their purpose, and they lifted anchor and began coasting inshore along Crete. 14 After no great while, however, a tempestuous wind+ called Euroaquilo* rushed down upon it. 15 As the boat was violently seized and was not able to keep its head against the wind, we gave way and were borne along. 16 Now we ran under [the shelter of] a certain small island called Cauda, and yet we were hardly able to get possession of the skiff+ at the stern. 17 But after hoisting it aboard they began using helps to undergird the boat; and being in fear of running aground on the Syrtis,* they lowered the gear and thus were driven along. 18 Yet because we were being violently tossed with the tempest, the following [day] they began to lighten+ the ship; 19 and the third [day], with their own hands, they threw away the tackling of the boat.

20 When, now, neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no little tempest+ was lying upon us, all hope of our being saved finally began to be cut off. 21 And when there had been a long abstinence from food, then Paul stood up in the midst of them+ and said: “Men, YOU certainly ought to have taken my advice and not have put out to sea from Crete and have sustained this damage and loss.+ 22 Still, now I recommend to YOU to be of good cheer, for not a soul* of YOU will be lost, only the boat will. 23 For this night there stood near me an angel+ of the God to whom I belong and to whom I render sacred service,*+ 24 saying, ‘Have no fear, Paul. You must stand before Caesar,+ and, look! God has freely given you all those sailing with you.’ 25 Therefore be of good cheer, men; for I believe God+ that it will be exactly as it has been told me. 26 However, we must be cast ashore on a certain island.”+

27 Now as the fourteenth night fell and we were being tossed to and fro on the [sea of] Adria,* at midnight the sailors began to suspect they were drawing near to some land. 28 And they sounded the depth and found it twenty fathoms;* so they proceeded a short distance and again made a sounding and found it fifteen fathoms. 29 And because of fearing we might be cast somewhere upon the rocks, they cast out four anchors from the stern and began wishing for it to become day. 30 But when the sailors began seeking to escape from the boat and lowered the skiff into the sea under the pretense of intending to let down anchors from the prow, 31 Paul said to the army officer and the soldiers: “Unless these men remain in the boat, YOU cannot be saved.”+ 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the skiff+ and let it fall off.

33 Now close to the approach of day Paul began to encourage one and all to take some food, saying: “Today is the fourteenth day YOU have been on the watch and YOU are continuing without food, having taken nothing for yourselves. 34 Therefore I encourage YOU to take some food, for this is in the interest of YOUR safety; for not a hair+ of the head of one of YOU will perish.” 35 After he said this, he also took a loaf, gave thanks+ to God before them all and broke it and started eating. 36 So they all became cheerful and themselves began taking some food. 37 Now, all together, we souls* in the boat were two hundred and seventy-six.* 38 When they had been satisfied with food, they proceeded to lighten+ the boat by throwing the wheat overboard into the sea.

39 Finally when it became day, they could not recognize the land but they were observing a certain bay with a beach, and on this they were determined, if they could, to beach+ the boat. 40 So, cutting away the anchors, they let them fall into the sea, at the same time loosing the lashings of the rudder oars and, after hoisting the foresail to the wind, they made for the beach. 41 When they lighted upon a shoal washed on each side by the sea, they ran the ship aground and the prow got stuck and stayed immovable, but the stern began to be violently broken to pieces.+ 42 At this it became the determination of the soldiers to kill the prisoners, that no one might swim away and escape. 43 But the army officer desired to bring Paul safely through and restrained them from their purpose. And he commanded those able to swim to cast themselves into the sea and make it to land first, 44 and the rest to do so, some upon planks and some upon certain things from the boat. And thus it came about that all were brought safely to land.+ 

28 And when we had made it to safety, then we learned that the island was called Malta.*+ 2 And the foreign-speaking people* showed us extraordinary human kindness,*+ for they kindled a fire and received all of us helpfully because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold.+ 3 But when Paul collected a certain bundle of sticks and laid it upon the fire, a viper came out due to the heat and fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the foreign-speaking people caught sight of the venomous creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another: “Surely this man is a murderer, and although he made it to safety from the sea, vindictive justice did not permit him to keep on living.” 5 However, he shook the venomous creature off into the fire and suffered no harm.+ 6 But they were expecting he was going to swell up with inflammation or suddenly drop dead. After they waited for a long while and beheld nothing hurtful happen to him, they changed their mind and began saying he was a god.+

7 Now in the neighborhood of that place the principal man of the island, named Publius, had lands; and he received us hospitably and entertained us benevolently three days. 8 But it happened that the father of Publius was lying down distressed with fever and dysentery, and Paul went in to him and prayed, laid his hands+ upon him and healed him.+ 9 After this occurred, the rest of the people on the island who had sicknesses also began to come to him and be cured.+ 10 And they also honored us with many gifts and, when we were setting sail, they loaded us with things for our needs.

11 Three months later we set sail in a boat from Alexandria+ that had wintered in the island and with the figurehead “Sons of Zeus.”* 12 And putting into port at Syracuse we remained three days, 13 from which place we went around and arrived at Rhegium. And a day later a south wind sprang up and we made it into Puteoli* on the second day. 14 Here we found brothers and were entreated to remain with them seven days; and in this way we came toward Rome. 15 And from there the brothers, when they heard the news about us, came to meet us as far as the Marketplace of Appius* and Three Taverns* and, upon catching sight of them, Paul thanked God and took courage.+ 16 When, finally, we entered into Rome, Paul was permitted+ to stay by himself with the soldier guarding him.

17 However, three days later he called together those who were the principal men of the Jews. When they had assembled, he proceeded to say to them: “Men, brothers, although I had done nothing contrary to the people or the customs of our forefathers,+ I was delivered over as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.+ 18 And these, after making an examination,+ were desirous of releasing me,+ as there was no cause for death+ in me. 19 But when the Jews kept speaking against it, I was compelled to appeal+ to Caesar,* but not as though I had anything of which to accuse my nation. 20 Really on this account I entreated to see and speak to YOU, for because of the hope+ of Israel this chain I have around me.”+ 21 They said to him: “Neither have we received letters concerning you from Judea, nor has anyone of the brothers that has arrived reported or spoken anything wicked about you. 22 But we think it proper to hear from you what your thoughts are, for truly as regards this sect+ it is known to us that everywhere it is spoken against.”+

23 They now arranged for a day with him, and they came in greater numbers to him in his lodging place. And he explained the matter to them by bearing thorough witness concerning the kingdom of God+ and by using persuasion with them concerning Jesus from both the law of Moses+ and the Prophets,+ from morning till evening. 24 And some began to believe+ the things said; others would not believe.+ 25 So, because they were at disagreement with one another, they began to depart, while Paul made this one comment:

“The holy spirit aptly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to YOUR forefathers, 26 saying, ‘Go to this people and say: “By hearing, YOU will hear but by no means understand; and, looking, YOU will look but by no means see.+ 27 For the heart of this people has grown unreceptive,* and with their ears they have heard without response, and they have shut their eyes; that they should never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn back, and I should heal them.”’+ Matt.13:13-15; John10:26  28 Therefore let it be known to YOU that this, the means by which God saves,* has been sent out to the nations;+ they will certainly listen to it.”+ 13:48; JOHN10:16  29* ——

30 So he remained for an entire two years in his own hired house,+ and he would kindly receive all those who came in to him, 31 preaching* the kingdom of God to them and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with the greatest freeness of speech,+ without hindrance.