¶ Acts 1:1 - In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach
Acts 1:2 - until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
Acts 1:3 - After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
Acts 1:4 - On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.
Acts 1:5 - For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
¶ Acts 1:6 - Then they gathered around him and asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
¶ Acts 1:7 - He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
Acts 1:8 - But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
¶ Acts 1:9 - After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
¶ Acts 1:10 - They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.
Acts 1:11 - "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."
¶ Acts 1:12 - Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk from the city.
Acts 1:13 - When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.
Acts 1:14 - They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
¶ Acts 1:15 - In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)
Acts 1:16 - and said, "Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus.
Acts 1:17 - He was one of our number and shared in our ministry."
¶ Acts 1:18 - (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.
Acts 1:19 - Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
¶ Acts 1:20 - "For," said Peter, "it is written in the Book of Psalms: "'May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,' and, "'May another take his place of leadership.'
¶ Acts 1:21 - Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us,
Acts 1:22 - beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection."
¶ Acts 1:23 - So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.
Acts 1:24 - Then they prayed, "Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen
Acts 1:25 - to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs."
Acts 1:26 - Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.
¶ Acts 2:1 - When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
Acts 2:2 - Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
Acts 2:3 - They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
Acts 2:4 - All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
¶ Acts 2:5 - Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.
Acts 2:6 - When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.
Acts 2:7 - Utterly amazed, they asked: "Aren't all these who are speaking Galileans?
Acts 2:8 - Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?
Acts 2:9 - Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
Acts 2:10 - Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome
Acts 2:11 - (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs--we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!"
Acts 2:12 - Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"
¶ Acts 2:13 - Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine."
¶ Acts 2:14 - Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
Acts 2:15 - These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning!
Acts 2:16 - No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
¶ Acts 2:17 - "'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
Acts 2:18 - Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
Acts 2:19 - I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
Acts 2:20 - The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
Acts 2:21 - And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'
¶ Acts 2:22 - "Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.
Acts 2:23 - This man was handed over to you by God's deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
Acts 2:24 - But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
Acts 2:25 - David said about him: "'I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Acts 2:26 - Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope,
Acts 2:27 - because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay.
Acts 2:28 - You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.'
¶ Acts 2:29 - "Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day.
Acts 2:30 - But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.
Acts 2:31 - Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay.
Acts 2:32 - God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.
Acts 2:33 - Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
Acts 2:34 - For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, "'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand
Acts 2:35 - until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."'
¶ Acts 2:36 - "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah."
¶ Acts 2:37 - When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
¶ Acts 2:38 - Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:39 - The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off --for all whom the Lord our God will call."
¶ Acts 2:40 - With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."
Acts 2:41 - Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
¶ Acts 2:42 - They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Acts 2:43 - Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.
Acts 2:44 - All the believers were together and had everything in common.
Acts 2:45 - They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
Acts 2:46 - Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
Acts 2:47 - praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
¶ Acts 3:1 - One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon.
Acts 3:2 - Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.
Acts 3:3 - When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.
Acts 3:4 - Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!"
Acts 3:5 - So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
¶ Acts 3:6 - Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
Acts 3:7 - Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong.
Acts 3:8 - He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
Acts 3:9 - When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
Acts 3:10 - they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
¶ Acts 3:11 - While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon's Colonnade.
Acts 3:12 - When Peter saw this, he said to them: "Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
Acts 3:13 - The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go.
Acts 3:14 - You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you.
Acts 3:15 - You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.
Acts 3:16 - By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
¶ Acts 3:17 - "Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders.
Acts 3:18 - But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer.
Acts 3:19 - Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
Acts 3:20 - and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you--even Jesus.
Acts 3:21 - Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.
Acts 3:22 - For Moses said, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you.
Acts 3:23 - Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.'
¶ Acts 3:24 - "Indeed, beginning with Samuel, all the prophets who have spoken have foretold these days.
Acts 3:25 - And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, 'Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.'
Acts 3:26 - When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways."
¶ Acts 4:1 - The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people.
Acts 4:2 - They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.
Acts 4:3 - They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.
Acts 4:4 - But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.
¶ Acts 4:5 - The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem.
Acts 4:6 - Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest's family.
Acts 4:7 - They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?"
¶ Acts 4:8 - Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people!
Acts 4:9 - If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed,
Acts 4:10 - then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.
Acts 4:11 - Jesus is "'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.'
¶ Acts 4:12 - Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."
¶ Acts 4:13 - When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
Acts 4:14 - But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.
Acts 4:15 - So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together.
Acts 4:16 - "What are we going to do with these men?" they asked. "Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it.
Acts 4:17 - But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name."
¶ Acts 4:18 - Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
Acts 4:19 - But Peter and John replied, "Which is right in God's eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!
Acts 4:20 - As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."
¶ Acts 4:21 - After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened.
Acts 4:22 - For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.
¶ Acts 4:23 - On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.
Acts 4:24 - When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. "Sovereign Lord," they said, "you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.
Acts 4:25 - You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: "'Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
Acts 4:26 - The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one. '
¶ Acts 4:27 - Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.
Acts 4:28 - They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.
Acts 4:29 - Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.
Acts 4:30 - Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
¶ Acts 4:31 - After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
¶ Acts 4:32 - All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.
Acts 4:33 - With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God's grace was so powerfully at work in them all
Acts 4:34 - that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales
Acts 4:35 - and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
¶ Acts 4:36 - Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means "son of encouragement"),
Acts 4:37 - sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet.
¶ Acts 5:1 - Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property.
Acts 5:2 - With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet.
¶ Acts 5:3 - Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?
Acts 5:4 - Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God."
¶ Acts 5:5 - When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.
Acts 5:6 - Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
¶ Acts 5:7 - About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
Acts 5:8 - Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?" "Yes," she said, "that is the price."
¶ Acts 5:9 - Peter said to her, "How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also."
¶ Acts 5:10 - At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
Acts 5:11 - Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
¶ Acts 5:12 - The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon's Colonnade.
Acts 5:13 - No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.
Acts 5:14 - Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.
Acts 5:15 - As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.
Acts 5:16 - Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.
¶ Acts 5:17 - Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy.
Acts 5:18 - They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.
Acts 5:19 - But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out.
Acts 5:20 - "Go, stand in the temple courts," he said, "and tell the people all about this new life."
¶ Acts 5:21 - At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin --the full assembly of the elders of Israel--and sent to the jail for the apostles.
Acts 5:22 - But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported,
Acts 5:23 - "We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside."
Acts 5:24 - On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were at a loss, wondering what this might lead to.
¶ Acts 5:25 - Then someone came and said, "Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people."
Acts 5:26 - At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.
¶ Acts 5:27 - The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest.
Acts 5:28 - "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood."
¶ Acts 5:29 - Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than human beings!
Acts 5:30 - The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead --whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.
Acts 5:31 - God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.
Acts 5:32 - We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."
¶ Acts 5:33 - When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death.
Acts 5:34 - But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while.
Acts 5:35 - Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: "Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men.
Acts 5:36 - Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing.
Acts 5:37 - After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered.
Acts 5:38 - Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.
Acts 5:39 - But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."
¶ Acts 5:40 - His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
¶ Acts 5:41 - The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
Acts 5:42 - Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
¶ Acts 6:1 - In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.
Acts 6:2 - So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.
Acts 6:3 - Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them
Acts 6:4 - and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."
¶ Acts 6:5 - This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
Acts 6:6 - They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
¶ Acts 6:7 - So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
¶ Acts 6:8 - Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.
Acts 6:9 - Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)--Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia --who began to argue with Stephen.
Acts 6:10 - But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.
¶ Acts 6:11 - Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, "We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God."
¶ Acts 6:12 - So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin.
Acts 6:13 - They produced false witnesses, who testified, "This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law.
Acts 6:14 - For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us."
¶ Acts 6:15 - All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
¶ Acts 7:1 - Then the high priest asked Stephen, "Are these charges true?"
¶ Acts 7:2 - To this he replied: "Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran.
Acts 7:3 - 'Leave your country and your people,' God said, 'and go to the land I will show you.'
¶ Acts 7:4 - "So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living.
Acts 7:5 - He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child.
Acts 7:6 - God spoke to him in this way: 'For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated.
Acts 7:7 - But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,' God said, 'and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.'
Acts 7:8 - Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.
¶ Acts 7:9 - "Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him
Acts 7:10 - and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.
¶ Acts 7:11 - "Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food.
Acts 7:12 - When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit.
Acts 7:13 - On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph's family.
Acts 7:14 - After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all.
Acts 7:15 - Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died.
Acts 7:16 - Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.
¶ Acts 7:17 - "As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased.
Acts 7:18 - Then 'a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.'
Acts 7:19 - He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.
¶ Acts 7:20 - "At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family.
Acts 7:21 - When he was placed outside, Pharaoh's daughter took him and brought him up as her own son.
Acts 7:22 - Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.
¶ Acts 7:23 - "When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites.
Acts 7:24 - He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian.
Acts 7:25 - Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not.
Acts 7:26 - The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, 'Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?'
¶ Acts 7:27 - "But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, 'Who made you ruler and judge over us?
Acts 7:28 - Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?'
Acts 7:29 - When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.
¶ Acts 7:30 - "After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai.
Acts 7:31 - When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say:
Acts 7:32 - 'I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.' Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.
¶ Acts 7:33 - "Then the Lord said to him, 'Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.
Acts 7:34 - I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.'
¶ Acts 7:35 - "This is the same Moses they had rejected with the words, 'Who made you ruler and judge?' He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush.
Acts 7:36 - He led them out of Egypt and performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the wilderness.
¶ Acts 7:37 - "This is the Moses who told the Israelites, 'God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.'
Acts 7:38 - He was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living words to pass on to us.
¶ Acts 7:39 - "But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.
Acts 7:40 - They told Aaron, 'Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt--we don't know what has happened to him!'
Acts 7:41 - That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made.
Acts 7:42 - But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: "'Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
Acts 7:43 - You have taken up the tabernacle of Molek and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile' beyond Babylon.
¶ Acts 7:44 - "Our ancestors had the tabernacle of the covenant law with them in the wilderness. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen.
Acts 7:45 - After receiving the tabernacle, our ancestors under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David,
Acts 7:46 - who enjoyed God's favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.
Acts 7:47 - But it was Solomon who built a house for him.
¶ Acts 7:48 - "However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says:
¶ Acts 7:49 - "'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be?
Acts 7:50 - Has not my hand made all these things?'
¶ Acts 7:51 - "You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!
Acts 7:52 - Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him --
Acts 7:53 - you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it."
¶ Acts 7:54 - When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.
Acts 7:55 - But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
Acts 7:56 - "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
¶ Acts 7:57 - At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him,
Acts 7:58 - dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.
¶ Acts 7:59 - While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
Acts 7:60 - Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.
¶ Acts 8:1 - And Saul approved of their killing him.
¶ Acts 8:2 - Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him.
Acts 8:3 - But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
¶ Acts 8:4 - Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.
Acts 8:5 - Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there.
Acts 8:6 - When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said.
Acts 8:7 - For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.
Acts 8:8 - So there was great joy in that city.
¶ Acts 8:9 - Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great,
Acts 8:10 - and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, "This man is rightly called the Great Power of God."
Acts 8:11 - They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery.
Acts 8:12 - But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Acts 8:13 - Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
¶ Acts 8:14 - When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria.
Acts 8:15 - When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit,
Acts 8:16 - because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Acts 8:17 - Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
¶ Acts 8:18 - When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money
Acts 8:19 - and said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit."
¶ Acts 8:20 - Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!
Acts 8:21 - You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.
Acts 8:22 - Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.
Acts 8:23 - For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin."
¶ Acts 8:24 - Then Simon answered, "Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me."
¶ Acts 8:25 - After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.
¶ Acts 8:26 - Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza."
Acts 8:27 - So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means "queen of the Ethiopians"). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship,
Acts 8:28 - and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.
Acts 8:29 - The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it."
¶ Acts 8:30 - Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked.
¶ Acts 8:31 - "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
¶ Acts 8:32 - This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: "He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Acts 8:33 - In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth."
¶ Acts 8:34 - The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?"
Acts 8:35 - Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
¶ Acts 8:36 - As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?"
Acts 8:38 - And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
Acts 8:39 - When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.
Acts 8:40 - Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
¶ Acts 9:1 - Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest
Acts 9:2 - and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
Acts 9:3 - As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
Acts 9:4 - He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
¶ Acts 9:5 - "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied.
Acts 9:6 - "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
¶ Acts 9:7 - The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.
Acts 9:8 - Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.
Acts 9:9 - For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
¶ Acts 9:10 - In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!" "Yes, Lord," he answered.
¶ Acts 9:11 - The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.
Acts 9:12 - In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight."
¶ Acts 9:13 - "Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem.
Acts 9:14 - And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."
¶ Acts 9:15 - But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.
Acts 9:16 - I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
¶ Acts 9:17 - Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord--Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here--has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
Acts 9:18 - Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,
Acts 9:19 - and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
¶ Acts 9:20 - At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.
Acts 9:21 - All those who heard him were astonished and asked, "Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?"
Acts 9:22 - Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
¶ Acts 9:23 - After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him,
Acts 9:24 - but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him.
Acts 9:25 - But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.
¶ Acts 9:26 - When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.
Acts 9:27 - But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.
Acts 9:28 - So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.
Acts 9:29 - He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him.
Acts 9:30 - When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
¶ Acts 9:31 - Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
¶ Acts 9:32 - As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord's people who lived in Lydda.
Acts 9:33 - There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years.
Acts 9:34 - "Aeneas," Peter said to him, "Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat." Immediately Aeneas got up.
Acts 9:35 - All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
¶ Acts 9:36 - In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.
Acts 9:37 - About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room.
Acts 9:38 - Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, "Please come at once!"
¶ Acts 9:39 - Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
¶ Acts 9:40 - Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.
Acts 9:41 - He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive.
Acts 9:42 - This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.
Acts 9:43 - Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.
¶ Acts 10:1 - At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment.
Acts 10:2 - He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.
Acts 10:3 - One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, "Cornelius!"
¶ Acts 10:4 - Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked. The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.
Acts 10:5 - Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter.
Acts 10:6 - He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea."
¶ Acts 10:7 - When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants.
Acts 10:8 - He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.
¶ Acts 10:9 - About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray.
Acts 10:10 - He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.
Acts 10:11 - He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners.
Acts 10:12 - It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds.
Acts 10:13 - Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."
¶ Acts 10:14 - "Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."
¶ Acts 10:15 - The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."
¶ Acts 10:16 - This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
¶ Acts 10:17 - While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon's house was and stopped at the gate.
Acts 10:18 - They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.
¶ Acts 10:19 - While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Simon, three men are looking for you.
Acts 10:20 - So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them."
¶ Acts 10:21 - Peter went down and said to the men, "I'm the one you're looking for. Why have you come?"
¶ Acts 10:22 - The men replied, "We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say."
Acts 10:23 - Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.
¶ Acts 10:24 - The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.
Acts 10:25 - As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence.
Acts 10:26 - But Peter made him get up. "Stand up," he said, "I am only a man myself."
¶ Acts 10:27 - While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people.
Acts 10:28 - He said to them: "You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.
Acts 10:29 - So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?"
¶ Acts 10:30 - Cornelius answered: "Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me
Acts 10:31 - and said, 'Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor.
Acts 10:32 - Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.'
Acts 10:33 - So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us."
¶ Acts 10:34 - Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism
Acts 10:35 - but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.
Acts 10:36 - You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.
Acts 10:37 - You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached--
Acts 10:38 - how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
¶ Acts 10:39 - "We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross,
Acts 10:40 - but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen.
Acts 10:41 - He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen--by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
Acts 10:42 - He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.
Acts 10:43 - All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
¶ Acts 10:44 - While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.
Acts 10:45 - The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles.
Acts 10:46 - For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said,
Acts 10:47 - "Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have."
Acts 10:48 - So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
¶ Acts 11:1 - The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.
Acts 11:2 - So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him
Acts 11:3 - and said, "You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them."
¶ Acts 11:4 - Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story:
Acts 11:5 - "I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was.
Acts 11:6 - I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds.
Acts 11:7 - Then I heard a voice telling me, 'Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.'
¶ Acts 11:8 - "I replied, 'Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.'
¶ Acts 11:9 - "The voice spoke from heaven a second time, 'Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.'
Acts 11:10 - This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.
¶ Acts 11:11 - "Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying.
Acts 11:12 - The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man's house.
Acts 11:13 - He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, 'Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter.
Acts 11:14 - He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.'
¶ Acts 11:15 - "As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning.
Acts 11:16 - Then I remembered what the Lord had said: 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'
Acts 11:17 - So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God's way?"
¶ Acts 11:18 - When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life."
¶ Acts 11:19 - Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews.
Acts 11:20 - Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus.
Acts 11:21 - The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
¶ Acts 11:22 - News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
Acts 11:23 - When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.
Acts 11:24 - He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.
¶ Acts 11:25 - Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
Acts 11:26 - and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
¶ Acts 11:27 - During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.
Acts 11:28 - One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)
Acts 11:29 - The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea.
Acts 11:30 - This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
¶ Acts 12:1 - It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.
Acts 12:2 - He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.
Acts 12:3 - When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread.
Acts 12:4 - After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.
¶ Acts 12:5 - So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
¶ Acts 12:6 - The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.
Acts 12:7 - Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists.
¶ Acts 12:8 - Then the angel said to him, "Put on your clothes and sandals." And Peter did so. "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me," the angel told him.
Acts 12:9 - Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.
Acts 12:10 - They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
¶ Acts 12:11 - Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen."
¶ Acts 12:12 - When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.
Acts 12:13 - Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door.
Acts 12:14 - When she recognized Peter's voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, "Peter is at the door!"
¶ Acts 12:15 - "You're out of your mind," they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, "It must be his angel."
¶ Acts 12:16 - But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.
Acts 12:17 - Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. "Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this," he said, and then he left for another place.
¶ Acts 12:18 - In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter.
Acts 12:19 - After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed.
¶ Acts 12:20 - He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined together and sought an audience with him. After securing the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king's country for their food supply.
¶ Acts 12:21 - On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people.
Acts 12:22 - They shouted, "This is the voice of a god, not of a man."
Acts 12:23 - Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
¶ Acts 12:24 - But the word of God continued to spread and flourish.
¶ Acts 12:25 - When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.
¶ Acts 13:1 - Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.
Acts 13:2 - While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
Acts 13:3 - So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
¶ Acts 13:4 - The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.
Acts 13:5 - When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.
¶ Acts 13:6 - They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus,
Acts 13:7 - who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God.
Acts 13:8 - But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.
Acts 13:9 - Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said,
Acts 13:10 - "You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?
Acts 13:11 - Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun." Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
Acts 13:12 - When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
¶ Acts 13:13 - From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem.
Acts 13:14 - From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down.
Acts 13:15 - After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, "Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak."
¶ Acts 13:16 - Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: "Fellow Israelites and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!
Acts 13:17 - The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country;
Acts 13:18 - for about forty years he endured their conduct in the wilderness;
Acts 13:19 - and he overthrew seven nations in Canaan, giving their land to his people as their inheritance.
Acts 13:20 - All this took about 450 years. "After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet.
Acts 13:21 - Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years.
Acts 13:22 - After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'
¶ Acts 13:23 - "From this man's descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.
Acts 13:24 - Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel.
Acts 13:25 - As John was completing his work, he said: 'Who do you suppose I am? I am not the one you are looking for. But there is one coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.'
¶ Acts 13:26 - "Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.
Acts 13:27 - The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.
Acts 13:28 - Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed.
Acts 13:29 - When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb.
Acts 13:30 - But God raised him from the dead,
Acts 13:31 - and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.
¶ Acts 13:32 - "We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors
Acts 13:33 - he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: "'You are my son; today I have become your father.'
¶ Acts 13:34 - God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God has said, "'I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.'
¶ Acts 13:35 - So it is also stated elsewhere: "'You will not let your holy one see decay.'
¶ Acts 13:36 - "Now when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed.
Acts 13:37 - But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.
¶ Acts 13:38 - "Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.
Acts 13:39 - Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.
Acts 13:40 - Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:
¶ Acts 13:41 - "'Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.' "
¶ Acts 13:42 - As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath.
Acts 13:43 - When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.
¶ Acts 13:44 - On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
Acts 13:45 - When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him.
¶ Acts 13:46 - Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.
Acts 13:47 - For this is what the Lord has commanded us: "'I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.' "
¶ Acts 13:48 - When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.
¶ Acts 13:49 - The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.
Acts 13:50 - But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.
Acts 13:51 - So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium.
Acts 13:52 - And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
¶ Acts 14:1 - At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed.
Acts 14:2 - But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.
Acts 14:3 - So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.
Acts 14:4 - The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles.
Acts 14:5 - There was a plot afoot among both Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them.
Acts 14:6 - But they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country,
Acts 14:7 - where they continued to preach the gospel.
¶ Acts 14:8 - In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked.
Acts 14:9 - He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed
Acts 14:10 - and called out, "Stand up on your feet!" At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
¶ Acts 14:11 - When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!"
Acts 14:12 - Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.
Acts 14:13 - The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
¶ Acts 14:14 - But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting:
Acts 14:15 - "Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.
Acts 14:16 - In the past, he let all nations go their own way.
Acts 14:17 - Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."
Acts 14:18 - Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
¶ Acts 14:19 - Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.
Acts 14:20 - But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.
¶ Acts 14:21 - They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch,
Acts 14:22 - strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. "We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God," they said.
Acts 14:23 - Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
Acts 14:24 - After going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia,
Acts 14:25 - and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
¶ Acts 14:26 - From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.
Acts 14:27 - On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.
Acts 14:28 - And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.
¶ Acts 15:1 - Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved."
Acts 15:2 - This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.
Acts 15:3 - The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad.
Acts 15:4 - When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.
¶ Acts 15:5 - Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses."
¶ Acts 15:6 - The apostles and elders met to consider this question.
Acts 15:7 - After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.
Acts 15:8 - God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us.
Acts 15:9 - He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.
Acts 15:10 - Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?
Acts 15:11 - No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
¶ Acts 15:12 - The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.
Acts 15:13 - When they finished, James spoke up. "Brothers," he said, "listen to me.
Acts 15:14 - Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles.
Acts 15:15 - The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:
¶ Acts 15:16 - "'After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it,
Acts 15:17 - that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things' --
Acts 15:18 - things known from long ago.
¶ Acts 15:19 - "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.
Acts 15:20 - Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.
Acts 15:21 - For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."
¶ Acts 15:22 - Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers.
Acts 15:23 - With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings.
¶ Acts 15:24 - We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.
Acts 15:25 - So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul--
Acts 15:26 - men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 15:27 - Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing.
Acts 15:28 - It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:
Acts 15:29 - You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.
¶ Acts 15:30 - So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter.
Acts 15:31 - The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message.
Acts 15:32 - Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers.
Acts 15:33 - After spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them.
Acts 15:35 - But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.
¶ Acts 15:36 - Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing."
Acts 15:37 - Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them,
Acts 15:38 - but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.
Acts 15:39 - They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,
Acts 15:40 - but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord.
Acts 15:41 - He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
¶ Acts 16:1 - Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek.
Acts 16:2 - The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him.
Acts 16:3 - Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
Acts 16:4 - As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey.
Acts 16:5 - So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.
¶ Acts 16:6 - Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.
Acts 16:7 - When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.
Acts 16:8 - So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.
Acts 16:9 - During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
Acts 16:10 - After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
¶ Acts 16:11 - From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis.
Acts 16:12 - From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.
¶ Acts 16:13 - On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.
Acts 16:14 - One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message.
Acts 16:15 - When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us.
¶ Acts 16:16 - Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.
Acts 16:17 - She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved."
Acts 16:18 - She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her.
¶ Acts 16:19 - When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.
Acts 16:20 - They brought them before the magistrates and said, "These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar
Acts 16:21 - by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice."
¶ Acts 16:22 - The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods.
Acts 16:23 - After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.
Acts 16:24 - When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
¶ Acts 16:25 - About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
Acts 16:26 - Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone's chains came loose.
Acts 16:27 - The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.
Acts 16:28 - But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"
¶ Acts 16:29 - The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.
Acts 16:30 - He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
¶ Acts 16:31 - They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved --you and your household."
Acts 16:32 - Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.
Acts 16:33 - At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.
Acts 16:34 - The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God--he and his whole household.
¶ Acts 16:35 - When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: "Release those men."
Acts 16:36 - The jailer told Paul, "The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace."
¶ Acts 16:37 - But Paul said to the officers: "They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out."
¶ Acts 16:38 - The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed.
Acts 16:39 - They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city.
Acts 16:40 - After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and sisters and encouraged them. Then they left.
¶ Acts 17:1 - When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
Acts 17:2 - As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
Acts 17:3 - explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah," he said.
Acts 17:4 - Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.
¶ Acts 17:5 - But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason's house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.
Acts 17:6 - But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: "These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here,
Acts 17:7 - and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar's decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus."
Acts 17:8 - When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil.
Acts 17:9 - Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.
¶ Acts 17:10 - As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.
Acts 17:11 - Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
Acts 17:12 - As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
¶ Acts 17:13 - But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up.
Acts 17:14 - The believers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea.
Acts 17:15 - Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.
¶ Acts 17:16 - While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.
Acts 17:17 - So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.
Acts 17:18 - A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, "What is this babbler trying to say?" Others remarked, "He seems to be advocating foreign gods." They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.
Acts 17:19 - Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?
Acts 17:20 - You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean."
Acts 17:21 - (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
¶ Acts 17:22 - Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.
Acts 17:23 - For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship --and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
¶ Acts 17:24 - "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.
Acts 17:25 - And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.
Acts 17:26 - From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
Acts 17:27 - God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.
Acts 17:28 - 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
¶ Acts 17:29 - "Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone--an image made by human design and skill.
Acts 17:30 - In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.
Acts 17:31 - For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead."
¶ Acts 17:32 - When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject."
Acts 17:33 - At that, Paul left the Council.
Acts 17:34 - Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
¶ Acts 18:1 - After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.
Acts 18:2 - There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,
Acts 18:3 - and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.
Acts 18:4 - Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
¶ Acts 18:5 - When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah.
Acts 18:6 - But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."
¶ Acts 18:7 - Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God.
Acts 18:8 - Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized.
¶ Acts 18:9 - One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision:"Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.
Acts 18:10 - For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city."
Acts 18:11 - So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.
¶ Acts 18:12 - While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth made a united attack on Paul and brought him to the place of judgment.
Acts 18:13 - "This man," they charged, "is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law."
¶ Acts 18:14 - Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to them, "If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you.
Acts 18:15 - But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law --settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things."
Acts 18:16 - So he drove them off.
Acts 18:17 - Then the crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul; and Gallio showed no concern whatever.
¶ Acts 18:18 - Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sisters and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken.
Acts 18:19 - They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.
Acts 18:20 - When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined.
Acts 18:21 - But as he left, he promised, "I will come back if it is God's will." Then he set sail from Ephesus.
Acts 18:22 - When he landed at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch.
¶ Acts 18:23 - After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
¶ Acts 18:24 - Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.
Acts 18:25 - He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.
Acts 18:26 - He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
¶ Acts 18:27 - When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.
Acts 18:28 - For he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.
¶ Acts 19:1 - While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples
Acts 19:2 - and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
¶ Acts 19:3 - So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied.
¶ Acts 19:4 - Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus."
Acts 19:5 - On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Acts 19:6 - When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Acts 19:7 - There were about twelve men in all.
¶ Acts 19:8 - Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.
Acts 19:9 - But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.
Acts 19:10 - This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
¶ Acts 19:11 - God did extraordinary miracles through Paul,
Acts 19:12 - so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
¶ Acts 19:13 - Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, "In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out."
Acts 19:14 - Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.
Acts 19:15 - One day the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?"
Acts 19:16 - Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
¶ Acts 19:17 - When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.
Acts 19:18 - Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done.
Acts 19:19 - A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.
Acts 19:20 - In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.
¶ Acts 19:21 - After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. "After I have been there," he said, "I must visit Rome also."
Acts 19:22 - He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.
¶ Acts 19:23 - About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way.
Acts 19:24 - A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there.
Acts 19:25 - He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: "You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business.
Acts 19:26 - And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all.
Acts 19:27 - There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty."
¶ Acts 19:28 - When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
Acts 19:29 - Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theater together.
Acts 19:30 - Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him.
Acts 19:31 - Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.
¶ Acts 19:32 - The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there.
Acts 19:33 - The Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander to the front, and they shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people.
Acts 19:34 - But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
¶ Acts 19:35 - The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: "Fellow Ephesians, doesn't all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven?
Acts 19:36 - Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to calm down and not do anything rash.
Acts 19:37 - You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess.
Acts 19:38 - If, then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges.
Acts 19:39 - If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly.
Acts 19:40 - As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of what happened today. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it."
Acts 19:41 - After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.
¶ Acts 20:1 - When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out for Macedonia.
Acts 20:2 - He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece,
Acts 20:3 - where he stayed three months. Because some Jews had plotted against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia.
Acts 20:4 - He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia.
Acts 20:5 - These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas.
Acts 20:6 - But we sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days.
¶ Acts 20:7 - On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.
Acts 20:8 - There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting.
Acts 20:9 - Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.
Acts 20:10 - Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. "Don't be alarmed," he said. "He's alive!"
Acts 20:11 - Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left.
Acts 20:12 - The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.
¶ Acts 20:13 - We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had made this arrangement because he was going there on foot.
Acts 20:14 - When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene.
Acts 20:15 - The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Chios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus.
Acts 20:16 - Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost.
¶ Acts 20:17 - From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church.
Acts 20:18 - When they arrived, he said to them: "You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia.
Acts 20:19 - I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents.
Acts 20:20 - You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.
Acts 20:21 - I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
¶ Acts 20:22 - "And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.
Acts 20:23 - I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.
Acts 20:24 - However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me --the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace.
¶ Acts 20:25 - "Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.
Acts 20:26 - Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you.
Acts 20:27 - For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.
Acts 20:28 - Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
Acts 20:29 - I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.
Acts 20:30 - Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
Acts 20:31 - So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
¶ Acts 20:32 - "Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Acts 20:33 - I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing.
Acts 20:34 - You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions.
Acts 20:35 - In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "
¶ Acts 20:36 - When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed.
Acts 20:37 - They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him.
Acts 20:38 - What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.