THE ACTS of the APOSTLES
The former treatise have I composed, O Theophilus, of all things which Jesus began both to do and to teach, until the day he was taken up, after having through the Holy Ghost given commandment to the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he presented himself alive, after his passion, by many infallible proofs, being seen by them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. And having assembled them together, he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard from me. For John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. And when they were come together, they asked him, saying, Lord, dost thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? But he said to them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, the Holy Ghost being come upon you, and shall be witnesses to me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth. And having spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him from their sight. And while they were steadfastly looking up to heaven, as he went up, behold two men, in white apparel, stood by them, who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing into heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall come as ye have seen him going into heaven. Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a Sabbath dayís journey.
And when they were come in, they went up into the upper room, where both Peter and James, and John and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Jude the brother of James, tarried. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brethren.
And in these days, Peter standing up in the midst of the disciples, (the number of persons together was about a hundred and twenty) said, Men, brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spake before, by the mouth of David, concerning Judas, who was guide to them that apprehended Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity, and falling down on his face, he burst asunder in the middle, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was known to all that dwell at Jerusalem, so that that field is called, in their own tongue, Akeldoma, that is, the field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein. and, His bishopric let another take. Wherefore of these men who have been with us all the time that the Lord Jesus was going in and out over us, beginning from the baptism of John, till the day he was taken up from us, one must be a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all, show which of these two thou hast chosen, to take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, to go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
And when the day of Pentecost was come, they there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing violent wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them distinct tongues, as of fire; and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because every man heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed, and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how hear we every one, in our own native language, Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and dwellers in Mesopotamia, and Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Africa about Cyrene, and Roman sojourners, (Jews and proselytes) Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking in our tongues the wonderful works of God? And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What can this mean? But others mocking, said, They are full of sweet wine.
Then Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said to them, Men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known to you, and hearken to my words. These are not drunken as ye suppose: for it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the Prophet Joel, And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And in those days I will pour out of my Spirit upon my servants and upon my handmaids, and they shall prophesy. And I will show prodigies in heaven above, and signs on earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the day of the Lord, the great and illustrious day, come. But it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved. Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man pointed out to you of God, by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God wrought by him in the midst of you, as yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death, as it was not possible that he should be held under it. For David speaketh concerning him, I have seen the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I may not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my tongue exalteth; yea, and my flesh shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in Hades, neither wilt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou wilt fill me with joy by thy countenance. Men and brethren, I may say to you freely of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is among us to this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins one should sit on his throne; He foreseeing this, spake of the resurrection of Christ, That his soul was not left in Hades, neither did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God hath raised up, whereof all we are witnesses. Being therefore exalted by the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens; but he saith himself, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made this Jesus whom ye crucified both Lord and Christ.
And hearing this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? And Peter said, Repent, and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this perverse generation. Then they, gladly receiving his word, were baptized; and there were added to them that day about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfast in the teaching of the apostles, and the fellowship, and the breaking of bread, and the prayers. And fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were wrought by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common. And sold their possessions and goods, and divided them to all, as any one had need. And continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking the bread at home, they partook of their food with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added daily to the Church those who were saved.
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple, at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man, lame from his motherís womb, was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple, called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that are entering into the temple. Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked an alms. And Peter looking steadfastly upon him, with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed to them, expecting to receive something of them. Then said Peter, Silver and gold have I none; but what I have, I give thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. And taking him by the right hand he lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones were strengthened, And leaping up, he stood and walked and went with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. And they knew him, that this was he who had sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple, and were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had befallen him.
And as he held Peter and John, all the people ran together to them, in the portico that is called Solomonís, greatly wondering. And Peter seeing it, answered the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? Or why do ye fix your eyes on us as if by our own power or piety we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus, whom ye delivered up, and renounced him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to release him. But ye renounced the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead, whereof we are witnesses. And his name, through faith in his name, hath strengthened this man, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him, hath given him this perfect soundness, in the presence of you all. And now, brethren, I know that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But God hath thus fulfilled the things which he foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer. Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and he may send to you Jesus Christ, who was before appointed, Whom heaven must receive, till the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets. For Moses truly said to the fathers, The Lord your God shall raise you up a prophet of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things, whatsoever he shall say to you. And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and them that followed, whosoever have spoken, have also foretold these days. Ye are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. God having raised up his Son, hath sent him to you first, to bless you, by turning every one of you from your iniquities.
And as they were speaking to the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold till the next day: for it was now evening. But many of them who had heard the word, believed: and the number of the men was about five thousand. And on the morrow were gathered together at Jerusalem their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest. And having set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost said to them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we are examined this day of the benefit done to the impotent man, by what means he is healed, be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God hath raised from the dead, by him doth this man stand before you whole. This is the stone which was set at naught by you builders, which is become the head of the corner. And there is salvation in no other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
And seeing the boldness of Peter and John, and understanding that they were illiterate and uneducated men, they marveled, and took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say against it. But having ordered them to go out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying, What shall we do to these men? For that indeed a signal miracle hath been wrought by them, is manifest to all that dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. Yet that it spread no farther among the people, let us severely threaten them, that they speak no more to any man in this name. And having called them, they charged them, not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answering, said to them, Whether it be just in the sight of God, to obey you rather than God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. And having threatened them again, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for they all glorified God for that which was done. For the man on whom this miracle of healing had been wrought, was above forty years old.
And being let go, they went to their own company, and related all that the chief priests and elders had said to them, And having heard it, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art the God who madest heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who saidst by the mouth of thy servant David, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth set themselves in array, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ. For of a truth, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed. To do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel before determined to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings, and give thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness, while thou stretchest forth thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders are done through the name of thy holy child Jesus. And while they were praying, the place in which they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and spake the word of God with boldness.
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart, and of one soul: and not so much as one said that ought of the things which he had was his own, but they had all things common. And the apostles gave forth their testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power, and great grace was upon them all. For neither was there any one among them that wanted: for whosoever were possessors of houses or lands sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the feet of the apostles, and distribution was made to every one according as any had need.
And Joses, by the apostles surnamed Barnabas, which is, being interpreted a son of consolation, a Levite, a Cyprian by birth, having an estate, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the feet of the apostles.
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and bringing a certain part, laid it at the feet of the apostles. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thy heart, to lie to the Holy Ghost? And to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, did it not remain thine? And when it was sold was it not in thy power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thy heart? Thou hast not lied to men but to God. And Ananias hearing these words, fell down and expired; and great fear came on all that heard these things. And the young men rising up, wound him up, and carrying him out, buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter said to her, Tell me, if ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. And Peter said to her, Why have ye agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them that have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. And immediately she fell at his feet and expired; and the young men coming in, found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the Church, and upon all that heard these things. And many signs and wonders were wrought among the people by the hands of the apostles: (and they were all with one accord in Solomonís portico: And none of the rest durst join themselves to them; but the people magnified them, and the more were multitudes, both of men and women believing, added to the Lord;) so that they brought out the sick along the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that even the shadow of Peter coming by, might overshadow some of them. And multitudes also of the cities round about came together to Jerusalem, bringing persons sick and troubled by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
But the high priest arising, and all that were with him, which was the sect of the Sadducees, were filled with zeal, and laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in to the common prison. But an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors by night, and leading them out, said, Go, stand and speak in the temple the words of this life. And hearing this, they went into the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest being come and they that were with him, called together the council, even the whole senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the officers came, they found them not in the prison; and returning they said, Truly we found the prison shut with all safety, and the keepers standing before the doors; but having opened them, we found no man within. When the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them, that this should be. Then came one and told them, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people. Then the captain going with the officers brought them, not with violence, for they feared the people lest they should be stoned. And having brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, Did not we strictly command you, not to teach in this name? And lo, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and would bring the blood of this man upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answering said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers hath raised up Jesus, whom ye slew, hanging him on a tree. Him hath God exalted, a Prince and a Savior, with his right hand, to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things, and also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. When they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them. But a certain Pharisee, named Gamaliel a doctor of the law, had in honor by all the people, rising up in the council, ordered to put the men out a little space: And said to them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves, what ye are about to do, touching these men. For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody, to whom was joined a number of men, about four hundred, who was slain, and all who hearkened to him were scattered and came to nothing. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee, in the days of the enrollment, and drew away much people after him; he also perished, and all who had hearkened unto him were dispersed. And now I say to you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone; for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to naught, But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it, and take heed lest ye be found even fighting against God. And to him they agreed. And having called the apostles, and scourged them, they charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ daily, in the temple, and from house to house.
Now in these days, the disciples multiplying, there arose a murmuring of the Hellenists against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve calling the multitude of the disciples together, said, It is not right that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Therefore brethren, look out from among you seven men of good report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we will set over this business. But we will constantly attend to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicholas, a proselyte of Antioch; whom they set before the apostles, and having prayed, they laid their hands upon them. And the word of God grew; and the number of disciples was multiplied in Jerusalem greatly: and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
And Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. But there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called that of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to withstand the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. Then they suborned men who said, We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and against God. And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and coming upon him, dragged him away, and brought him to the council, and set up false witnesses, who said, This man ceaseth not to speak words against this holy place and the law. For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place, and change the rites which Moses delivered us. And all that were sitting in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as the face of an angel.
Then said the high priest, Are these things so? And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, being in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, And said to him, Come out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into a land which I will show thee. And coming out of the land of the Chaldeans, he dwelt in Haran. And from thence, after his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. And he gave him no inheritance in it, no not to set his foot on; yet he promised to give it him for a possession, ever, to his seed after him, when he had no child. And God spake thus: That his seed should sojourn in a strange land and they will enslave them and treat them evil four hundred years. And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God. And after that, they shall come forth, and serve me in this place. And he gave him the covenant of circumcision, and so he begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day, and Isaac Jacob, and Jacob the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt; but God was with him, and delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he appointed him governor over Egypt and all his house. Now there came a famine over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers found no sustenance. But Jacob hearing there was corn in Egypt, sent our fathers first. And the second time, Joseph was made known to his brethren, and Josephís kindred was made known to Pharaoh. Then Joseph sending, called thither his father Jacob and all his kindred, seventy five souls. So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he and our fathers, and were carried over to Shechem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money, of the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. And when the time of the promise which God had sworn to Abraham drew near, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt. Till another king arose, who had not known Joseph. He dealing subtly with our kindred, evil entreated our fathers, by causing their male infants to be exposed, that they might not live. In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding beautiful, who was nursed three months in his fatherís house. And when he was exposed, Pharaohís daughter took him up, and brought him up for her own son. And Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. But when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one wronged, he defended and avenged him that was oppressed, smiting the Egyptian. For he supposed his brethren would have understood, that God would deliver them by his hand; but they understood it not. And the next day he showed himself to them as they were quarreling, and would have persuaded them to peace, saying, Men, ye are brethren: why do ye wrong one another? But he that wronged his neighbor thrust him away, saying, Who appointed thee a prince and a judge over us? Wilt thou kill me, as thou didst the Egyptian yesterday? And Moses fled at that saying, and was a sojourner in the land of Midian, where he begat two sons. And forty years being expired, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the wilderness, in a flame of fire in a bush. And Moses seeing it, wondered at the sight. But as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came to him, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses trembled, and durst not behold. Then said the Lord to him, Loose thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground. I have surely seen the evil treatment of my people which is in Egypt, and have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt. This Moses, whom they refused, saying, Who appointed thee a prince and a judge, the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer, by the hand of the angel, who appeared to him in the bush. He brought them out, doing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years.
This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, The Lord your God will raise you up out of your brethren, a prophet like me: him shall ye hear. This is he that was in the Church in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him in Mount Sinai and with our fathers; who received the living oracles to give to us: Whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back into Egypt, saying to Aaron, Make us gods to go before us; for this Moses, who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their hands. And God turned and gave them up, to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, Have ye offered victims and sacrifices to me for forty years in the wilderness, house of Israel? Yea, ye took up the shrine of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and will carry you away beyond Babylon. Our fathers had the tabernacle of the testimony in the wilderness, as he had appointed who spake to Moses, to make it according to the model which he had seen: Which also our fathers having received, brought in with Joshua into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out from the face of our fathers, till the days of David: Who found favor in the sight of God, and petitioned to find a habitation for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built him a house. Yet the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands, as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth my footstool. What house will ye build me, saith the Lord; or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things? Ye stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them that foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom ye have now been the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the administration of angels, and have not kept it. And hearing these things, they were cut to the heart, and gnashed their teeth upon, him. But he being full of the Holy Ghost, looking steadfastly up to heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God: And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed upon him with one accord; And casting him out of the city, stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And kneeling down he cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And having said this, he fell asleep; and Saul was consenting to his death.
And at that time there arose a great persecution against the Church which was in Jerusalem. And they were all dispersed through the countries of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men buried Stephen, and made lamentation over him. But Saul made havoc of the Church, entering into every house, and hauling men and women, committed them to prison. Therefore they that were dispersed went every where preaching the word.
And Philip coming down to a city of Samaria, preached Christ to them. And the people with one accord gave heed to the things which Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many that had them, and many sick of the palsy and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city. But a certain man, named Simon, had been before in the city, using magic, and astonishing the Samaritans, saying that he was some great one. To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. They gave heed to him, because he had a long time astonished them with witchcraft. But when they believed Philip, preaching the things of the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. And Simon himself believed also: and being baptized, he continued with Philip, and was astonished, beholding the signs and mighty miracles which were done. And the apostles who were at Jerusalem, hearing that Samaria had received the word of God, sent to them Peter and John: Who being come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And Simon seeing that through laying on of the hands of the apostles the Holy Ghost was given, offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said to him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought to purchase the gift of God with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee. For I see thou art in the gall of bitterness, and the bond of iniquity. And Simon answering said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken may come upon me. They then having testified and spoken the word of the Lord, returned toward Jerusalem, and preached the Gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
And an angel of the Lord spake to Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south by the way leading down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went. And lo! an Ethiopian, an eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot, read the Prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, Go near and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip running to him, heard him read the Prophet Isaiah, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, unless some one guide me? And he desired Philip to come up, and sit with him. The portion of Scripture which he was reading was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so he opened not his mouth. In his humiliation his judgment was taken away; and who shall declare his generation? For his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answering Philip, said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? Of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opening his mouth, and beginning from this scripture, preached Jesus to him. And as they went on the way, they came to a certain water. And the eunuch said, Behold water: what hindered me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thy heart thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus; and passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
But Saul, still breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, going to the high priest, desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, he might bring both men and women bound to Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he drew near Damascus; and suddenly there shone about him a light from heaven. And falling to the earth he heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. It is hard for thee to kick against the goads. And he trembling and astonished, said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said to him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men that journeyed with him stood astonished, hearing the noise, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and his eyes being opened, he saw no man; but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias. And the Lord said to him in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said to him, Arise, go into the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one named Saul of Tarsus; for behold, he is praying. And he hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias, coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he may recover his sight. But Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem. And here also he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go: for he is a chosen vessel to me, to bear my name before nations and kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my nameís sake. And Ananias went and entered into the house, and putting his hands on him, said, Brother Saul, the Lord hath sent me, Jesus who appeared to thee in the way thou camest, that thou mayest recover thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately as it were scales fell from his eyes, and he recovered his sight, and arose and was baptized. And having received food he was strengthened.
And he was certain days with the disciples in Damascus: And straightway he preached Jesus in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard were amazed, and said, Is not this he who destroyed those that call on this name in Jerusalem? And came hither for this intent, that he might bring them bound to the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is the Christ. And when many days were fulfilled, the Jews consulted together to kill him. But their lying in wait was known by Saul: and they guarded the gates day and night to kill him. Then the disciples taking him by night, let him down the wall in a basket. And coming to Jerusalem, he endeavored to join himself to the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. But Barnabas taking him, brought him to the apostles, and declared to them, how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus: And he was with them, coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And preaching boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, he spake and disputed with the Hellenists; but they attempted to kill him: Which the brethren knowing, brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus. Then the Church through all Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria had peace: and being built up, and walking in the fear of God, and the comfort of the Holy Ghost, was multiplied.
And as Peter passed through all parts, he came down also to the saints that dwelt at Lydda. And he found there a certain man named Eneas, who had kept his bed eight years, being ill of a palsy. And Peter said to him, Eneas, Jesus Christ healeth thee. Arise and make thy bed. And he arose immediately: And all that dwelt in Lydda and Sharon saw him, and turned to the Lord.
Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is by interpretation Dorcas; this woman was full of good works and alms deeds which she did. And in those days she was sick and died; whom having washed, they laid in an upper chamber. And Lydda being near Joppa, the disciples hearing Peter was there, sent to him two men, desiring that he would not delay to come to them. Then Peter arose and went with them; whom being come, they brought into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas had made, while she was with them. But Peter having put them all out, kneeled down and prayed; and turning to the body, said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, sat up. And giving her his hand, he lifted her up, and having called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it was known through all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord. And he tarried many days in Joppa, with one Simon, a tanner.
And there was a certain man in Caesarea, named Cornelius, a centurion of that called the Italian band, a devout man, and fearing God with all his house, who gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. He saw plainly in a vision, about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of God coming in to him, and saying to him, Cornelius. And looking steadfastly on him, and being affrighted, he said, What is it, sir? And he said to him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call hither Simon, who is surnamed Peter. He lodgeth with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. And when the angel who spake to him was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually: And having declared all things to them, he sent them to Joppa. On the morrow, as they journeyed and drew nigh to the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. And he became very hungry, and would have eaten; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel like a great sheet, tied at the four corners, descending and let down on the earth: Wherein were all fourfooted creatures, and creeping things of the earth, and fowls of the air. And a voice came to him, Rise Peter, kill and eat. But Peter said, In nowise, Lord: for I have never eaten any thing common or unclean. And the voice came to him again, the second time, What God hath purified, call not thou common. This was done thrice, and the vessel was taken up again to heaven. Now while Peter doubted in himself what the vision he had seen should mean, behold the men sent by Cornelius, having inquired out Simonís house, stood at the gate, and calling asked, whether Simon, surnamed Peter, lodged there? While Peter was musing on the vision, the Spirit said to him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore and go down, and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them. Then Peter going down to the men, said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: for what cause are ye come? And they said, Cornelius, a centurion, a just man, and fearing God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned of God by a holy angel, to send for thee to his house, and to hear words from thee. And he invited them in and lodged them. And the next day, rising up, he went away with them; and certain brethren from Joppa went with him. And the day following they entered into Caesarea: and Cornelius was waiting for them, having called together his kinsmen and near friends: And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and falling down at his feet, worshipped him: But Peter raised him up, saying, Arise: I myself also am a man: And as he talked with him, he went in and found many come together: And be said to them, Ye know it is unlawful for a Jew to join with or come to one of another nation; but God hath showed me to call no man common or unclean: therefore being sent for, I came without gainsaying: I ask, therefore, for what intent ye have sent for me? And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting till this hour, and at the ninth hour I was praying in my house, and behold a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, who is surnamed Peter; he lodgeth in the house of Simon a tanner by the sea, who being come shall speak to thee. Immediately therefore I sent to thee, and thou hast done well in coming: now therefore we are all present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee by God.
Then Peter opening his mouth, said, I perceive of a truth that God is not a respecter of persons: But in every nation, he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted by him. This is the word which he sent to the children of Israel, preaching the glad tidings of peace through Jesus Christ: he is Lord of all. Ye know the word which was published through all Judea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached: How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed by the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did, both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem: whom yet they slew, having hanged him on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly; (Not to all the people, but to witnesses, chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him) after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to proclaim to the people, and to testify, that it is he who is ordained by God the Judge of the living, and the dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that every one who believeth in him, receiveth forgiveness of sins through his name.
While Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all that were hearing the word. And the believers of the circumcision, as many as came with Peter, were amazed, that the gift of the Holy Ghost was poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speaking with tongues and magnifying God. Then Peter answered, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost, even as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they prayed him to tarry certain days.
Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they. of the circumcision debated with him, saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. Then Peter beginning, laid all things before them in order, saying, I was praying in the city of Joppa, and being in a trance, I saw a vision, a certain vessel descending, as it were a great sheet, let down from heaven by the four corners, and it came even to me: On which looking steadfastly, I observed and saw fourfooted creatures of the earth, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, Rise, Peter, kill and eat. But I said, In nowise Lord; for nothing common or unclean hath ever entered into my mouth. And the voice from heaven answered me again, What God hath purified, call not thou common. This was done thrice, and all were drawn up again into heaven. And behold immediately three men stood at the house where I was, sent from Caesarea to me. And the Spirit bade me go with them, doubting nothing: these six brethren also went with me, and we entered into the manís house. And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, and saying to him, Send men to Joppa, and call hither Simon, surnamed Peter, who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy family may be saved. And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, even as on us at the beginning. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, John indeed baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. If then God gave to them the same gift as even to us, when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that could withstand God? When they heard these things, they were quiet, and glorified God, saying, Then God hath given to the Gentiles also repentance unto life.
Now they who had been dispersed by the distress which arose about Stephen, traveled as far as Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to none but Jews only. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who coming into Antioch, spake to the Greeks, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them; and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. And tidings of these things came to the ears of the Church that was in Jerusalem, and they sent forth Barnabas to go as far as Antioch: Who coming and seeing the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all to cleave unto the Lord with full purpose of heart. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and faith. And a considerable multitude was added to the Lord. Then went he to Tarsus to seek Saul, and having found him, he brought him to Antioch. And a whole year they assembled themselves with the Church, and taught a considerable multitude: and the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.
In those days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them, named Agabus, rising up, signified by the Spirit that there would be a great famine through all the world; which also came to pass under Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples determined to send relief, every one according to his ability, to the brethren who dwelt in Judea: Which also they did, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
About that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to afflict certain of the church. And he slew James the brother of John with the sword. And perceiving it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take Peter also: (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) Whom having apprehended, he put him in prison, delivering him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him forth to the people after the Passover. So Peter was kept in the prison; but continual prayer was made to God by the Church for him.
And when Herod was about to bring him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood over him, and light shined in the house: and smiting Peter on the side he waked him, saying, rise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals; and he did so. And he said to him, Throw thy garment about thee, and follow me. And going out, he followed him. And he knew not that it was real which was done by the angel, but thought he saw a vision. When they had passed through the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leadeth to the city, which opened to them of its own accord: and going out, they went on through one street; and immediately the angel departed from him. And Peter coming to himself, said, Now I know of a truth, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And having considered, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John, surnamed Mark, where many were gathered together praying. And as he knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And knowing Peterís voice, she opened not the gate for joy, but running in, told them that Peter stood before the gate. And they said to her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed it was so. Then they said, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking. And opening the door they saw him, and were astonished. But he beckoning to them with his hand to be silent, declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Show these things to James and to the brethren. And going out he went to another place. Now when it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter. And Herod having sought for him, and not found him, examined the keepers, and commanded them to be put to death. And going down from Judea to Caesarea, he abode there. And he was highly incensed against them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and having gained Blastus, the kingís chamberlain, sued for peace; because their country was nourished by the kingís country.
And on a set day, Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, and sitting on his throne, made an oration to them. And the people shouted, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately an angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not glory to God; and being eaten by worms, he expired. But the word of God grew and multiplied. And Barnabas and Saul, having fulfilled their service, returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, surnamed Mark. Now there were in the Church that was at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, and Simeon had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
And as they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. Then having fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, they went down to Seleucia, and from thence sailed to Cyprus. And being at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; and they had also John for their attendant. And having gone through the whole isle as far as Paphos, they found a certain magician, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man. He calling to him Barnabas and Saul, desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, (who is also called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, fixing his eyes upon him, said, Full of all guile and of all mischief, thou son of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now behold the hand of the Lord is upon thee; and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately a mist and darkness fell upon him, and going about, he sought some to lead him. Then the proconsul, seeing what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.
And Paul and those with him loosing from Paphos, came to Perga in Pamphylia; but John withdrawing from them, returned to Jerusalem. And departing from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia; and going into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, they sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the chief of the synagogue sent to them, saying, Brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation to the people, speak. Then Paul standing, and waving his hand, said, Ye men of Israel, and ye that fear God, hearken. The God of this people chose our fathers, and raised the people, while sojourning in the land of Egypt, and brought them out of it with an uplifted arm. And he suffered their manners in the wilderness about the space of forty years. And having destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he divided their land to them by lot, about four hundred and fifty years. And after that, he gave them judges; until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they desired a king: and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, forty years. And having removed him, he raised up to them David for their king, to whom also bearing witness he said, I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all my will.
Of this manís seed hath God, according to his promise, raised unto Israel a Savior, Jesus; John having first preached before his coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was fulfilling his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But behold one cometh after me, the shoes of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.
Men, brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, neither knowing him, nor the sayings of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath day, have fulfilled them, in condemning him. And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate, that he might be put to death. And when they had fulfilled all things that were written of him, taking him down from the tree they laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead. And he was seen many days by them who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses to the people.
And we declare to you glad tidings, that the promise which was made to the fathers, God hath fulfilled this to us their children, in raising up Jesus: as it was written also in the second Psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And because he raised him up from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he spake thus, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore he saith also in another Psalm, Thou wilt not suffer thy Holy One to see corruption. Now David having served the will of God in his generation, fell asleep, and was added to his fathers, and saw corruption. But he whom God raised did not see corruption. Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins. And by him every one that believeth is justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken in the prophets, Behold, ye despisers, and wonder and perish, for I work a work in your days, a work which ye will in nowise believe, though a man declare it unto you.
And when the Jews were going out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought them, that these words might be spoken on the Sabbath between. And when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
And the next Sabbath almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the word of God. But the Jews seeing the multitudes, were filled with zeal, and spake against the things spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas speaking boldly, said, It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but seeing ye thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold! we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee for a light of the Gentiles, so that thou mightest be for salvation to the ends of the earth. And the Gentiles hearing it were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published through all that country. But the Jews stirred up the devout honorable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and cast them out of their coasts. And they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost.
And in Iconium they went together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake that a great multitude both of the Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren. Yet they abode a long time seeking boldly in the Lord, who bare witness to the work of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles. And when there was an assault both of the Gentiles and Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them, being aware of it, they fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and the country round about, and preached the Gospel there.
And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, having been a cripple from his motherís womb, who had never walked. This man heard Paul speaking; who fixing his eyes upon him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. But the multitude, seeing what Paul had done, lifted up their voices, saying, in the Lycaonion language, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas Jupiter, and Paul Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city brought bulls and garlands to the gates, and with the multitude would have sacrificed. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard it, they rent their clothes, and sprang in among the people, crying out, and saying, Men, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach to you, to turn from these vanities unto the living God, who made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways: Yet he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, giving rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. And with these sayings scarce restrained they the multitude from sacrificing to them.
But there came thither Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the multitude, and having stoned Paul, dragged him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. But as the disciples stood round about him, he rose and went into the city; and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. And having preached the Gospel to that city, and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, and Iconium, and Antioch: Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith; and that we must through many tribulations enter into the kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them presbyters in every Church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed. And having passed through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia, And having spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, and thence sailed back to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God, for the work which they had fulfilled. And being come, and having gathered the Church together, they related all that God had done with them and that he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. And they abode there a long time with the disciples.
But certain men coming down from Judea taught the brethren, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had had no small contention and debate with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain others of them, should go up to the apostles and elders at Jerusalem about this question. And being brought on their way by the Church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren. And being come to Jerusalem, they were received by the Church, and the apostles and elders; and they declared all things which God had done with them. But there rose up, said they, certain of the sect of the Pharisees, who believed, saying, That we ought to circumcise them, and command them to keep the Law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together to consider of this matter.
And after much debate, Peter rose up and said to them, Brethren, ye know that God long ago made choice among us, that the Gentiles should by my mouth hear the word of the Gospel and believe. And God who knoweth the heart bare them witness, giving the Holy Ghost to them also, even as to us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God to put a yoke on the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe, that through the grace of the Lord Jesus, we shall be saved even as they.
Then all the multitude kept silence, and hearkened to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought by them among the Gentiles. And when they held their peace, James answered, saying, Brethren, hearken to me. Simon hath declared, how God at first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets, as it is written, After this I will return and build again the fallen tabernacle of David; I will build again the ruins thereof, and will set it up, that the residue of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles on whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doth these things. Known unto God are all his works from eternity. Wherefore I judge, that we trouble not them who from among the Gentiles turn to God. But that we write to them, to abstain from things offered to idols, and fornication, and things strangled, and blood. For Moses hath of old time them that preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.
Then it seemed good to the apostles and elders with the whole Church, to send chosen men from among them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, Judas, surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren, writing thus by their hand: The apostles, and elders, and the brethren, salute the brethren who are of the Gentiles, in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia. Forasmuch as we have heard that some who came from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law, whom we commanded not; It seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send to you chosen men, with our beloved Barnabas and Paul; Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who will also tell you the same things by mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, that no farther burden be laid upon you than these necessary things, to abstain from meats offered to idols, and blood, and things strangled, and fornication; from which keeping yourselves ye will do well. Fare ye well.
So being dismissed, they came to Antioch, and having assembled the multitude, they delivered the epistle: Which having read, they rejoiced for the consolation. And Judas and Silas, being themselves also prophets, exhorted and confirmed the brethren with many words. And after they had tarried a space, they were dismissed with peace by the brethren to the apostles. But it seemed good to Silas to remain there. Paul also and Barnabas abode in Antioch, teaching and preaching with many others also the word of the Lord.
And after certain days Paul said to Barnabas, Let us go again and visit the brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. And Barnabas counseled to take with them John, surnamed Mark. But Paul thought it not right to take with them him who had departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And there was a sharp contention, so that they parted from each other; and Barnabas taking Mark with him, sailed away to Cyprus; But Paul having chosen Silas, departed; being recommended by the brethren to the grace of God. And he went through Syria and Cilicia confirming the Churches.
And he came down to Derbe and Lystra. And behold a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain Jewess that believed; but his father was a Greek: Who was well reported of by the brethren in Lystra and Iconium. Him Paul would have go forth with him; and he took and circumcised him, because of the Jews who were in those places; for they all knew his father that he was a Greek. And as they went through the cities they gave them the decrees which were made by the apostles and elders that were at Jerusalem, to keep. And the Churches were established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
And having gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, being forbid by the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, coming to Mysia, they attempted to go to Bithynia; but the Spirit suffered them not. And passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul by night: a man of Macedonia stood and entreated him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And as soon as he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, assuredly inferring that the Lord called us to preach the Gospel to them. Sailing therefore from Troas, we ran with a straight course to Samoturacia, and the next day to Neapolis: And from thence to Philippi, which is the first city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony.
And we abode in that city certain days. And on the Sabbath we went out of the gate, by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and sitting down, we spake to the women who were come together. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, a worshipper of God, heard; whose heart the Lord opened to attend to the things which were spoken by Paul. And when she was baptized and her family, she entreated us, saying, Since ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide there. And she constrained us. And as we were going to prayer, a certain damsel possessed by a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by divining. She following after Paul and us, cried out, saying, These men are servants of the most high God, who declare to you the way of salvation. And this she did for many days. But Paul being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ, to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. But when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone, laying hold of Paul and Silas, they dragged them into the market place to the magistrates. And having brought them to the pretors, they said, These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city, And teach customs, which it is not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive, neither to observe. And the multitude rose up together against them; and the pretors tearing off their garments, commanded to beat them with rods. And when they had laid many stripes upon them they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely; Who having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and secured their feet in the stocks. But at midnight Paul and Silas having prayed, sung a hymn to God and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every oneís bands were loosed. And the jailer awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the doors of the prison opened, drew his sword, and was going to kill himself, supposing the prisoners were fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm; for we are all here. Then he called for lights, and sprang in, and trembling, fell down before Paul and Silas. And having brought them out he said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy household. And they spake the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house. And taking them that very hour of the night, he washed their stripes, and was immediately baptized, he and all his household. And having brought them up into his house, he set a table before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with his whole family.
And when it was day, the pretors sent the sergeant, saying, Let those men go. And the jailer told Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace. But Paul said to them, They have beaten us publicly uncondemned, and have cast us into prison, who are Romans: and do they now thrust us out privately? Nay verily: but let them come themselves and conduct us out. And the sergeants reported these words to the pretors: and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans. And they came and comforted them: and conducting them out, requested that they would depart from the city. And coming out of the prison, they entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them and departed.
And having journeyed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul, according to his custom, went in to them, and three Sabbath days discoursed with them from the Scriptures; opening them and evincing, that Christ ought to suffer, and to rise from the dead, and that this is the Christ, even Jesus, whom I declare unto you. And some of them believed, and were joined to Paul and Silas, and a great number of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the principal women. But the Jews who believed not, filled with zeal, taking to them some of the mean and profligate fellows, and making a mob, set all the city in an uproar; and assaulting the house of Jason, sought to bring them out to the people. But not finding them, they dragged Jason and certain brethren to the rulers of the city, crying aloud, These men, that have turned the world upside down, are come hither also: Whom Jason hath privately received: and all these men act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying, That there is another king, one Jesus. And they alarmed the multitude and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things. However, having taken security of Jason, and of the rest, they let them go.
But the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night to Berea, who coming thither, went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more ingenuous than those of Thessalonica, receiving the word with all readiness of mind, and daily searching the Scriptures, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and of the Grecian women of considerable rank, and of the men not a few. But when the Jews of Thessalonica knew that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea also, they came thither likewise, and stirred up the multitude. Then the brethren sent away Paul immediately, to go as it were to the sea; but Silas and Timothy continued there. And they that conducted Paul, brought him as far as Athens, and having received an order to Silas and Timothy, to come to him with all speed, they departed.
Now, while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him, seeing the city wholly given to idolatry. He therefore discoursed in the synagogue to the Jews and the devout persons, and in the market place daily to those whom he met with. Then some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him: and some said, What would this babbler say? Others, He seemeth to be a proclaimer of strange gods; because he preached to them Jesus, and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine is, which is spoken by thee? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears; we would therefore know what these things mean: (For all the Athenians, and the strangers sojourning there, spent their time in nothing else but telling or hearing some new thing.)
Then Paul standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that ye are greatly addicted to the worship of invisible powers. For as I passed along and beheld the objects of your worship, I found an altar, on which was inscribed, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD: him therefore whom ye worship without knowing him, I proclaim unto you. God who made the world and all things therein, being the Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands: Neither is he served by menís hands, as though he needed any thing, he himself giving to all life, and breath, and all things. And he hath made of one blood the whole nation of men, to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation: That they might seek God, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he be not far from every one of us. For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain likewise of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think the Godhead is like gold or silver, or stone graven by art and contrivance of man. The times of ignorance, indeed, God overlooked; but he now commandeth all men every where to repent. Because he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world righteously, by the man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath given assurance to all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection from the dead, some mocked; but others said, We will hear thee again concerning this. So Paul departed from among them. Howbeit some clave to him and believed; among whom was even Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
After these things, Paul departing from Athens, came to Corinth. And finding a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy with Priscilla his wife, (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome,) he went to them. And as he was of the same trade, he abode with them and wrought, for they were tent makers by trade. And he discoursed in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and Greeks.
And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when they set themselves in opposition and blasphemed, he shook his raiment and said to them, Your blood upon your own head; I am pure: from henceforth I will go to the Gentiles. And going thence he went into the house of one named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house was adjoining to the synagogue. And Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house, and many of the Corinthians hearing, believed and were baptized. Then the Lord said to Paul by a vision, in the night, Fear not, but speak and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee; for I have much people in this city. And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made an assault with one consent upon Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat, saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law. And when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, If it were an act of injustice, or wicked licentiousness, ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you. But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of these matters. And he drove them away from the judgment seat. Then they all took Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of these things.
And Paul still continued many days; and then taking leave of the brethren, sailed thence for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila, having shaved his head at Cenchrea; for he had a vow. And he came to Ephesus and left them there; but he himself going into the synagogue, reasoned with the Jews. But though they entreated him to tarry longer with them, he consented not. But took his leave of them, saying, I must by all means keep the approaching feast at Jerusalem, but I will return to you again, if God will. And he set sail from Ephesus. And landing at Caesarea, he went up and saluted the Church, and went down to Antioch. And having spent some time there, he departed and went through the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, confirming all the disciples.
Now a certain Jew, Apollos by name, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and being fervent in spirit he spake and taught diligently the things of Jesus, knowing only the baptism of John. And he spake boldly in the synagogue. And Aquila and Priscilla hearing him, took him to their house, and explained to him the way of God more perfectly. And when he was desirous to go over to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; who being come thither, greatly helped through grace them that had believed. For he earnestly debated with the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
Now while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper parts, came to Ephesus; and finding certain disciples, He said to them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said to him, Nay, we have not so much as heard, whether there be any Holy Ghost. He said to them, Into what then were ye baptized? And they said, Into Johnís baptism. And Paul said, John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe on him that was to come after him, that is, on Jesus. And hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And Paul laying his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they spake with tongues and prophesied. And they were in all about twelve men. And going into the synagogue, he spake boldly, for three months discoursing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and believed not, but spake reproachfully of the way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, discoursing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. And this was done for the space of two years, so that all the inhabitants of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.
And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits came out of them. And some of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, undertook to name the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, We adjure you by Jesus, whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva a Jewish chief priest, who did this. But the evil spirit answering said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was, leaping upon them, and getting the mastery of them, prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all, both Jews and Greeks, dwelling at Ephesus, and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many of those who believed came confessing and openly declaring their deeds. Many also of those who had practiced curious arts, bringing their books together, burned them before all men, and they computed the value of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So powerfully did the word of God grow and prevail.
After these things were ended, Paul purposed in spirit, having passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must see Rome also. And having sent two of those who ministered to him, Timotheus and Erastus to Macedonia, he himself stayed in Asia for a season. And about that time there arose no small tumult concerning the way. For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines for Diana, procured no small gain to the artificers: Whom having gathered together with the workmen employed in such things, he said, Sirs, ye know that our maintenance arises from this occupation. But ye see and hear, that not at Ephesus only, but almost through all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned aside much people: saying, that they are not gods which are made with hands: So that there is danger not only that this our craft should come into disgrace, but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her majesty destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. And hearing this, they were filled with rage, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians, and the whole city was filled with confusion: and they rushed with one accord into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paulís fellow travelers. And when Paul would have gone in to the people, the disciples would not suffer him. And some also of the principal officers of Asia, being his friends, sent to him, and desired that he would not venture himself into the theater. Some therefore cried one thing, and some another; for the assembly was confused, and the greater part did not know for what they were come together. And they thrust Alexander forward from among the multitude, the Jews pushing him on; and Alexander waving with his hand, would have made a defense to the people: But when they knew that he was a Jew, one voice arose from them all, crying out for about two hours, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. But the register, having pacified the people, said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there who knoweth not, that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter? Seeing then these things cannot be denied, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly. For ye have brought these men, who are neither robbers of temples, nor blasphemers of your goddess. If then Demetrius and the artificers that are with him have a charge against any one, the courts are held, and there are proconsul; let them implead one another. But if ye inquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly. And indeed we are in danger to be questioned for sedition concerning this day; there being no cause, whereby we can account for this concourse. And having said these things, he dismissed the assembly.
And after the tumult was ceased, Paul having called to go into Macedonia. And having gone through those parts, and exhorted them with much discourse, he came into Greece. And having abode there three months, an ambush being laid for him by the Jews, as he was about to sail into Syria, he determined to return through Macedonia. And there accompanied him to Asia, Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus. These going before, stayed for us at Troas. And we set sail for Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came to them at Troas in five days, where we abode seven days. And on the first day of the week, when we were met together to break bread, Paul being to depart on the morrow, preached to them, and continued his discourse till midnight. And there were many lamps in the upper room where they were assembled. And a certain young man named Eutychus, sitting in the window fell into a deep sleep: and as Paul still continued his discourse, being overpowered with sleep, he fell down from the third story, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down and fell on him; and taking him in his arms, said, Be not troubled; for his life is in him. And going up again, and having broken bread, he conversed long with them, even till break of day, and so departed. And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted. But we going before into the ship sailed to Assos, where we were to take up Paul; for so he had appointed, being himself to go on foot. And when he met us at Assos, we took him up and came to Mitylene. And sailing thence, we came the following day over against Chios, and the next day we touched at Samos, and having tarried at Trogyllium the day after came to Miletus. For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, that he might not spend any time in Asia; for he hasted if it were possible, to be at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.
And sending to Ephesus from Miletus, he called thither the elders of the Church. And when they were come to him, he said to them, Ye know in what manner I have conversed among you all the time from the first day I came into Asia, serving the Lord with all humility, and with tears, and trials, which befell me through the ambushes of the Jews: And that I have withheld nothing which was profitable, but have preached to you, and taught you, publicly and from house to house: Testifying both to Jews and Greeks repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
And now being bound by the Spirit, I go to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost testifieth to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life precious to myself, so I may finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God. And now I know that ye all among whom I have conversed, proclaiming the kingdom of God shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men: For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to the whole flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departure, grievous wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Yea, from among yourselves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, remembering that for three years I ceased not to warn every one, night and day, with tears.
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, who is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified. I have coveted no manís silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, you yourselves know that these hands have ministered to my necessities and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, that thus laboring ye ought to help the weak, and to remember the word of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, It is happier to give than to receive. And having said these things, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and falling on Paulís neck, kissed him; Sorrowing most for that word which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they conducted him to the ship.
And when we were torn away from them, and had next day to Rhodes, and from thence to Patara. And finding a ship passing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. And coming within sight of Cyprus, and leaving it on the left hand, we set sail to Syria, and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload her burden. And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days, who told Paul by the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem. But when we had finished these days, we departed and went our way; and they all attended us out of the city, with their wives and children: and kneeling down on the sea shore we prayed. And having embraced each other, we took ship, and they returned home. And having finished our voyage, we came from Tyre to Ptolemais, and saluting the brethren, we abode with them one day. And the next day we departed and came to Caesarea; and entering into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we abode with him. And he had four daughters, virgins, who were prophetesses. And as we tarried many days a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took up Paulís girdle, and binding his own feet and hands, said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man whose girdle this is, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. And when we heard these things, both we, and they of the place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. But Paul answered, What mean ye, weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord Jesus. And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
And after these days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem, and some of the disciples also from Caesarea went with us, and brought us to one Mnason, a Cyprian, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.
And when we were come up to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. And the next day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. And having saluted them, he gave them a particular account of those things which God had done among the Gentiles by his ministry. And having heard it, they glorified God, and said to him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of believing Jews there are, and they are all zealous for the law. But they have been informed concerning thee, that thou teachest the Jews who are among the Gentiles, to apostatize from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children, nor to walk after the customs. What is it therefore? The multitude must needs come together; for they will hear that thou art come. Therefore do this that we say to thee: there are with us four men, who have a vow on them: Take them and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all will know, that there is nothing of those things which they have heard of thee; but that thou thyself walkest orderly, keeping the law. As touching the Gentiles that believe, we have written and determined, that they should observe no such thing; save only that they keep themselves from what is offered to idols, and from blood, and from what is strangled, and from fornication. Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them, entered into the temple, declaring the accomplishment of the days of purification, till the offering should be offered for every one of them. And when the seven days were about to be accomplished, the Jews that were from Asia seeing him in the temple, stirred up all the multitude; and laid hands on him, crying out, Men of Israel, help! This is the man that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: yea, and hath even brought Greeks into the temple, and polluted this holy place. For they had before seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, whom they supposed Paul had brought into the temple. And the whole city was moved, and the people ran together: and laying hold on Paul, they dragged him out of the temple: and immediately the gates were shut.
And as they went about to kill him, word came to the tribune of the cohort, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to him; and when they saw the tribune and soldiers, they ceased from beating Paul. Then the tribune came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains, and inquired who he was, and what he had done? But some among the multitude cried out one thing, some another; and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle. But when he came upon the stairs, he was borne of the soldiers, through the violence of the multitude. For the throng of people followed after, crying, Away with him. And as Paul was about to be brought into the castle, he said to the tribune, May I speak to thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek? Art not thou that Egyptian, who before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out four thousand murderers into the wilderness? But Paul said, I am a man who am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and I beseech thee give me leave to speak to the people. And when he had given him leave, Paul standing on the stairs waved his hand to the people: and a great silence being made, he spake to them in the Hebrew tongue, saying,
Brethren, fathers, hear ye now my defense unto you in the Hebrew tongue, they kept the more silence: and he saith, I am verily a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, accurately instructed in the law of our fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye are all this day. And I persecuted this way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women: As likewise the high priest is my witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus; to bring them who were there bound to Jerusalem to be punished. But as I journeyed and drew near to Damascus, about noon suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said to me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me saw the light, and were terrified; but they did not hear the voice of him that spake to me. And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me, Rise and go into Damascus, and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed thee to do. And as I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand by them that were with me, I came into Damascus. And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well reported of by all the Jews that dwelt there, coming to me, stood and said to me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him: And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, to know his will, and see that Just One, and hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness to all men, of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. And when I was returned to Jerusalem, and was praying in the temple, I was in a trance; and saw him saying to me, Make haste, and depart quickly out of Jerusalem; for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned, and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee. And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting, and kept the garments of them that slew him. But he said to me, Depart: for I will send thee far off to the Gentiles.
And they heard him to this word, and then lifted up their voice and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth; for it is not fit that he should live. And as they cried out, and rent their garments, and cast dust into the air, the tribune commanded him to be brought into the castle, and ordered him to be examined by scourging, that he might know for what cause they cried so against him. And as they were binding him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a Roman even uncondemned? The centurion hearing it, went and told the tribune, saying, Consider what thou art about to do; for this man is a Roman. Then the tribune came and said to him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea. And the tribune answered, I purchased this freedom with a great sum of money. And Paul said, But I was free born. Then they who were going to examine him, immediately departed from him: and the tribune was afraid, after he knew he was a Roman, because he had bound him.
And on the morrow, desiring to know the certainty, what he was accused of by the Jews, he loosed him from his bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all the council to come; and bringing Paul down, set him before them.
And Paul earnestly beholding the council, said, Brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God till this day. And Ananias the high priest commanded them that stood by to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul to him, God is about to smite thee, thou whited wall. For sittest thou to judge me according to the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? But they that stood by, said, Revilest thou Godís high priest? Then said Paul, I was not aware, brethren, that it was the high priest, for it is written, Thou shalt not revile the ruler of thy people. But Paul perceiving that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, cried out in the council, Brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; for the hope of the resurrection of the dead am I called in question. And when he had said this, there arose a contention between the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the multitude was divided. For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, neither angel nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both. And there was a great clamor: and the scribes of the Phariseesí side arising, contended, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God. And as a great disturbance arose, the tribune fearing lest Paul should be torn in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and pluck him from among them, and bring him into the castle.
And the night following, the Lord standing by him, said, Be of good courage, Paul: for as thou hast testified the things concerning me at Jerusalem, so thou must testify at Rome also. And when it was day, some of the Jews entering into a conspiracy bound themselves by a curse, saying, that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. And they were more than forty who had made this confederacy. And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves by a solemn curse, not to taste any thing till we have killed Paul. Now therefore ye with the council signify to the tribune, that he bring him down to you tomorrow, as though ye would more accurately know the things concerning him: and we, before he come near, are ready to kill him. But Paulís sisterís son, hearing of their lying in wait, came, and entering into the castle, told Paul. And Paul calling to him one of the centurions, said, Conduct this young man to the tribune; for he hath something to tell him. So he took and brought him to the tribune, and said, Paul the prisoner calling me to him, desired me to bring this young man to thee, who hath something to tell thee. And the tribune taking him by the hand, and going aside privately, asked, What is it that thou hast to tell me? And he said, The Jews have agreed to ask thee to bring down Paul tomorrow to the council, as if they would inquire something concerning him more accurately. But do not yield to them; for there are more than forty of them lie in wait, who have bound themselves with a curse, neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, expecting a promise from thee. So the tribune dismissed the young man, having charged him, Tell no man that thou hast discovered these things to me. And having called to him two of the centurions, he said, Prepare two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen, by the third hour of the night. And provide beasts, to set Paul upon, and conduct him safe to Felix the governor. And he wrote a letter after this manner, Claudius Lysias to the most excellent Governor Felix, greeting. As this man was seized by the Jews, and about to be killed by them, I came with the soldiery and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman. And desiring to know the crime of which they accused him, I brought him before their council: Whom I found to be accused concerning questions of their law, but to be charged with nothing worthy of death or of bonds. And when it was shown me, that an ambush was about to be laid for the man by the Jews, I immediately sent him to thee, commanding his accusers also to say before thee what they have against him. Farewell.
The soldiers therefore taking Paul, as it was commanded them, brought him by night to Antipatris. On the morrow they returned to the castle, leaving the horsemen to go with him: Who entering into Caesarea, and deliver the letter to the governor, presented Paul also before him, and having read it, he asked of what province he was? And being informed that he was of Cilicia, I will give thee, said he, a thorough hearing, when thy accusers also are come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herodís palace.
And after five days Ananias the high priest came down with the elders, and a certain orator named Tertullus; who appeared before the governor against Paul. And he being called, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing we enjoy great peace through thee, and that very worthy deeds are done to this nation by thy prudence always, and in all places, we accept it, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness. But that I may not trouble thee farther, I beseech thee of thy clemency to hear us a few words. For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ring leader of the sect of the Nazarenes: Who hath also attempted to profane the temple; whom we seized and would have judged according to our law. But Lysias the tribune coming upon us, with great violence took him away out of our hands, commanding his accusers to come to thee, whereby thou mayest thyself, on examination, take knowledge of all these things, of which we accuse him. And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were.
Then Paul, after the governor had made a sign to him to speak, answered, Knowing thou hast been for several years a judge to this nation, I cheerfully answer for myself: As thou mayest know that it is but twelve days since I went up to worship at Jerusalem. And they neither found me disputing with any man in the temple, nor making any insurrection among the multitude either in the synagogues or in the city. Nor can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: Having hope in God that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust, which they themselves also expect. And for this cause do I also exercise myself to have always a conscience void of offense toward God and toward men. Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and offerings. Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purifying in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult: Who ought to have been present before thee, and to accuse me, if they had any thing against me. Or let these themselves say what crime they found in me when I stood before the council. Unless it be concerning this one word, that I cried, standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead, I am called in question by you this day.
And when Felix heard these things, he put them off, saying, After I have been more accurately informed concerning this way, when Lysias the tribune cometh down, I will take full cognizance of your affair. And he commanded the centurion to keep him, and let him have liberty, and to hinder none of his friends from ministering to him.
And after some days, Felix coming with Drusilla, his wife, who was a Jewess, sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned concerning justice, temperance, and the judgment to come, Felix being terrified, answered, Go thy way for this time: when I have a convenient season I will afterward call for thee. And he hoped also that money would have been given him by Paul: therefore he sent for him the oftener, and discoursed with him. And after two years Felix was succeeded by Portius Festus: and Felix desiring to gratify the Jews, left Paul bound.
Now when Festus was come up into the province, after three days he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem. Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews appeared before him against Paul, and besought him, begging favor against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, lying in wait to kill him by the way. But Festus answered, That Paul was kept at Caesarea, and that he himself would depart thither shortly. Therefore let those of you, said he, who are able, go down with me and accuse the man, if there be any wickedness in him. And having tarried among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea; and the next day, sitting on the judgment seat, he commanded Paul to be brought. And when he was come, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood round about him, bringing many and heavy accusations against Paul, which they were not able to prove: While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar, have I offended at all. But Festus, desiring to gratify the Jews, answered Paul, and said, Art thou willing to go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged before me concerning these things? Then said Paul, I am standing at Caesarís judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: I have done no wrong to the Jews, as thou also very well knowest. For if indeed I have done wrong, and have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die; but if there is nothing of the things whereof these accuse me, no man can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar. Then Festus, having conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed to Caesar? To Caesar shalt thou go.
And after certain days, King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea, to salute Festus. And when they had been there many days, Festus declared the cause of Paul to the king, saying, There is a certain man left prisoner by Felix: About whom when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and elders of the Jews appeared before me, desiring judgment against him. To whom I answered, It is not the custom of the Romans to give up any man, till he that is accused have the accusers face to face, and liberty to make his defense touching the crime laid to his charge. When therefore they were come hither, I without any delay sat on the judgment seat the next day, and commanded the man to be brought forth. Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought no accusation of such things as I supposed; But had certain questions against him, relating to their own religious worship, and about one Jesus that was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. And as I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked if he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged concerning these matters. But Paul appealing to be kept for the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I could send him to Caesar. Then Agrippa said to Festus, I would also hear the man myself. And he said, Tomorrow thou shalt hear him.
And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come and Bernice with great pomp, and were entered into the place of audience with the tribunes and principal men of the city, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought forth. And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all ye who are present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have pleaded with me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying out, that he ought not to live any longer. But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and he had himself appealed to the emperor, I determined to send him: Of whom I have nothing certain to write to my lord: therefore I have brought him before you, and especially before thee, King Agrippa, that after examination taken, I may have somewhat to write. For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not to signify also the crimes alleged against him.
Then Agrippa said to Paul, It is permitted thee to speak for thyself. And Paul stretching out his hand, made his defense. I think myself happy, King Agrippa, that I am this day to make my defense before thee, concerning all those things whereof I am accused by the Jews, who art accurately acquainted with all the customs and questions which are among the Jews; wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
The manner of my life from my youth, which was from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem all the Jews know. Who knew me from the first, (if they would testify,) that I lived a Pharisee, after the strictest sect of our religion. And now I stand in judgment for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers: To which our twelve tribes, worshipping continually night and day, hope to attain: concerning which hope, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. What! Is it judged by you an incredible thing, that God should raise the dead? I indeed thought myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth: Which also I did in Jerusalem; and having received authority from the chief priests, I shut up many of the saints in prisons, and when they were killed, I gave my vote against them. And frequently punishing them in all the synagogues, I compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities. Whereupon as I was going to Damascus, with authority and commission from the chief priests. At mid day, king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun shining round me and them that journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen down to the earth, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the goads. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise and stand upon thy feet; for I have appeared to thee for this purpose, to ordain thee a minister and a witness, both of the things which thou hast seen, and of those in which I will appear to thee, delivering thee from the people, and the Gentiles to whom I now send thee, to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God; that they may receive through faith which is in me, forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified. From that time, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but first to them at Damascus and at Jerusalem, and through all the country of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I declared, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance. For these things the Jews seizing me in the temple, attempted to kill me with their own hands. But having obtained help from God, I continue till this day, testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what both the prophets and Moses have declared should be, that Christ having suffered, and being the first who rose from the dead, should show light to the people and to the Gentiles. And as he was thus making his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself, much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most excellent Festus, but utter the words of truth and sobriety. For the king knoweth of these things; to whom also I speak with freedom; for I am persuaded none of these things are hidden from him, for this was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but likewise all that hear me, were this day both almost and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
And as he said this, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them. And as they were going away, they spake one to another, saying, This man doth nothing worthy of death, or of bonds. And Agrippa said unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty if he had not appealed unto Caesar.
And when it was determined to sail into Italy, they delivered Paul, and certain other prisoners, to a centurion named Julius of the Augustan cohort. And going aboard a ship of Adramyttium, that was to sail by the coasts of Asia, we set sail, Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us. And the next day we reached Sidon. And Julius treating Paul courteously, permitted him to go to his friends to take refreshment. And setting sail from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. And having sailed through the sea of Cilicia, and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. And the centurion finding a ship of Alexandria there, bound for Italy, put us on board of it. And when we had sailed slowly many days, and were scarce come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone. And passing it with difficulty, we came to a certain place called the Fair Havens, near which was the city Lasea. And as much time was spent, and sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was already past, Paul exhorted them, saying to them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with injury and much damage, not only to the lading and the ship, but also to our lives. But the centurion regarded the master and the owner of the vessel more than the things which were spoken by Paul. And as the haven was not convenient to winter in, the greater part advised to set sail from thence also, if by any means they might reach Phoenix, to winter there, which is a haven of Crete looking to the southwest and northwest.
And as the south wind blew gently, supposing they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor, and sailed on close by Crete. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind named Euroclydon. And the ship being caught, and not able to bear up against the wind, we let her drive. And running under a certain island called Clauda, we were hardly able to get master of the boat: Which having taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship, and fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, they struck sail, and so were driven. And as we were in an exceeding great storm, the next day they lightened the ship. And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And as neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was now taken away.
But after long abstinence, Paul standing in the midst of them, said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened to me, and not have loosed from Crete, and so have avoided this injury and loss. Yet now I exhort you to be of good courage; for there shall be no loss of any life among you, but of the ship only. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be presented before Caesar: and lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, take courage: for I trust in God, that it shall be even as it hath been spoken to me. But we must be cast on a certain island. And when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in the Adriatic sea, about midnight the sailors suspected that they drew nigh some land. And sounding, they found twenty fathoms; and having gone a little farther, sounding again, they found fifteen fathoms. And fearing lest we should fall upon rough places, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. But when the sailors were attempting to flee out of the ship, and had let down the boat into the sea, under pretense that they were going to carry out anchors out of the foreship, Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, Unless these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let it fall off. And while the day was coming on, Paul exhorted them all to take food, saying, This day is the fourteenth that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. Therefore I exhort you to take food: for this is for your preservation; for there shall not a hair fall from the head of any of you. And having spoken thus, he took bread, and gave thanks to God before them all; and having broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all encouraged, and they also took meat. And we were in the ship, in all two hundred and seventy-six souls. And when they were satisfied with food, they lightened the ship, casting out the wheat into the sea. And when it was day, they did not know the land: but they observed a certain creek having a shore, into which they were minded if possible to thrust the ship: And having taken up the anchors, they committed it to the sea, at the same time loosing the rudder bands, and hoisting up the stay sail to the wind, they made for the shore. But falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the fore part sticking fast, remained immovable, but the hinder part was broken by the force of the waves. And the counsel of the soldiers was to kill the prisoners, lest any one should swim away and escape. But the centurion, being desirous to save Paul, hindered them from their purpose, and commanded those that could swim, throwing themselves into the sea, first to get away to land. And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship; and so it came to pass, that they all escaped safe to land.
And being escaped, we then knew, that the island was called Melita. And the barbarians showed us uncommon kindness; for having kindled a fire, they brought us all to it, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. Now as Paul was gathering a bundle of sticks, and laying them on the fire, a viper coming from the heat fastened upon his hand. And when the barbarians saw the venomous animal hanging on his hand, they said one to another, Doubtless this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, vengeance hath not suffered to live. But having shaken off the venomous animal into the fire, he suffered no harm. However, they expected that he would have swollen, or suddenly fallen down dead: but after having waited a considerable time, seeing no mischief befall him, they changed their minds, and said he was a god. And near that place was the estate of a chief man of the island, named Publius, who receiving us into his house, entertained us courteously three days. Now the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and bloody flux; to whom Paul went in, and having prayed laid his hands on him and healed him. And when this was done, the rest also in the island, who had disorders, came and were healed, who likewise honored us with many honors, and when we departed, put on board such things as were necessary.
And after three months we sailed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the island, whose sign was Castor and Pollux. And arriving at Syracuse, we tarried there three days, Whence coasting round, we came to Rhegium, and the south wind rising after one day, we came the next to Puteoli: Where finding brethren, we were entreated to tarry with them seven days, and so we went toward Rome. And the brethren having heard of us, came out thence to meet us, some as far as Appii Forum, and others to the Three Taverns, whom, when Paul saw, he thanked God and took courage.
And when we were come to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself, with the soldier that kept him. And after three days he called the chief of the Jews together. And when they were come together, he said to them, Brethren, though I have done nothing against the people, or the customs of our fathers, yet have I been delivered a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans: Who having examined me, were willing to have released me, because there was no cause of death in me. But when the Jews opposed it, I was constrained to appeal to Caesar; not that I had any thing to accuse my nation of. For this cause therefore have I entreated to see and speak with you: for it is on account of the hope of Israel, that I am bound with this chain. And they said to him, We have neither received letters from Judea concerning thee, nor hath any of the brethren coming hither, related or spoken any evil of thee. But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest; for concerning this sect, we know that it is everywhere spoken against.
And having appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging; to whom he expounded, testifying the kingdom of God, and persuading them concerning Jesus, both from the law of Moses and the prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed the things that were spoken, and some believed not. And not agreeing with each other, they brake up the assembly, after Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by the Prophet Isaiah to your fathers, saying, Go to this people and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand, and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive. For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and with their ears they hear heavily, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear. And when he had said these things, the Jews departed, having great debating with each other.
And he continued two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came to him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching the things that relate to the Lord Jesus Christ, with all freedom of speech, no man forbidding him.