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Weymouth New Testament in Modern Speech, Acts - Third Edition 1913
by R F Weymouth
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Book 44 Acts 001:001 My former narrative, Theophilus, dealt with all that Jesus did and taught as a beginning, down to the day on which, 001:002 after giving instruction through the Holy Spirit to the Apostles whom He had chosen, He was taken up to Heaven. 001:003 He had also, after He suffered, shown Himself alive to them with many sure proofs, appearing to them at intervals during forty days, and speaking of the Kingdom of God. 001:004 And while in their company He charged them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father's promised gift. "This you have heard of," He said, "from me. 001:005 For John indeed baptized with water, but before many days have passed you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit." 001:006 Once when they were with Him, they asked Him, "Master, is this the time at which you are about to restore the kingdom of Israel?" 001:007 "It is not for you," He replied, "to know times or epochs which the Father has reserved within His own authority; 001:008 and yet you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and Samaria and to the remotest parts of the earth." 001:009 When He had said this, and while they were looking at Him, He was carried up, and a cloud closing beneath Him hid Him from their sight. 001:010 But, while they stood intently gazing into the sky as He went, suddenly there were two men in white garments standing by them, 001:011 who said, "Galilaeans, why stand looking into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into Heaven will come in just the same way as you have seen Him going into Heaven." 001:012 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called the Oliveyard, which is near Jerusalem, about a mile off. 001:013 They entered the city, and they went up to the upper room which was now their fixed place for meeting. Their names were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the brother of James. 001:014 All of these with one mind continued earnest in prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers. 001:015 It was on one of these days that Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren—the entire number of persons present being about 120—and said, 001:016 "Brethren, it was necessary that the Scripture should be fulfilled— the prediction, I mean, which the Holy Spirit uttered by the lips of David, about Judas, who acted as guide to those who arrested Jesus. 001:017 For Judas was reckoned as one of our number, and a share in this ministry was allotted to him." 001:018 (Now having bought a piece of ground with the money paid for his wickedness he fell there with his face downwards, and, his body bursting open, he became disembowelled. 001:019 This fact became widely known to the people of Jerusalem, so that the place received the name, in their language, of Achel-damach, which means 'The Field of Blood.') 001:020 "For it is written in the Book of Psalms, "'Let his encampment be desolate: let there be no one to dwell there'; and "'His work let another take up.' 001:021 "It is necessary, therefore, that of the men who have been with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us— 001:022 beginning from His baptism by John down to the day on which He was taken up again from us into Heaven—one should be appointed to become a witness with us as to His resurrection." 001:023 So two names were proposed, Joseph called Bar-sabbas— and surnamed Justus—and Matthias. 001:024 And the brethren prayed, saying, "Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all, show clearly which of these two Thou hast chosen 001:025 to occupy the place in this ministry and Apostleship from which Judas through transgression fell, in order to go to his own place." 001:026 Then they drew lots between them. The lot fell on Matthias, and a place among the eleven Apostles was voted to him. 002:001 At length, on the day of the Harvest Festival, they had all met in one place; 002:002 when suddenly there came from the sky a sound as of a strong rushing blast of wind. This filled the whole house where they were sitting; 002:003 and they saw tongues of what looked like fire distributing themselves over the assembly, and on the head of each person a tongue alighted. 002:004 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in foreign languages according as the Spirit gave them words to utter. 002:005 Now there were Jews residing in Jerusalem, devout men from every part of the world. 002:006 So when this noise was heard, they came crowding together, and were amazed because everyone heard his own language spoken. 002:007 They were beside themselves with wonder, and exclaimed, "Are not all these speakers Galilaeans? 002:008 How then does each of us hear his own native language spoken by them? 002:009 Some of us are Parthians, Medes, Elamites. Some are inhabitants of Mesopotamia, of Judaea or Cappadocia, of Pontus or the Asian Province, of Phrygia or Pamphylia, 002:010 of Egypt or of the parts of Africa towards Cyrene. Others are visitors from Rome—being either Jews or converts from heathenism—and others are Cretans or Arabians. 002:011 Yet we all alike hear these Galilaeans speaking in our own language about the wonderful things which God has done." 002:012 They were all astounded and bewildered, and asked one another, "What can this mean?" 002:013 But others, scornfully jeering, said, "They are brim-full of sweet wine." 002:014 Peter however, together with the Eleven, stood up and addressed them in a loud voice. "Men of Judaea, and all you inhabitants of Jerusalem," he said, "be in no uncertainty about this matter but pay attention to what I say. 002:015 For this is not intoxication, as you suppose, it being only the third hour of the day. 002:016 But that which was predicted through the Prophet Joel has happened: 002:017 "And it shall come to pass in the last days, God says, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall have dreams; 002:018 and even upon My bondservants, both men and women, at that time, I will pour out My Spirit, and they shall prophesy. 002:019 I will display marvels in the sky above, and signs on the earth below, blood and fire, and pillars of smoke. 002:020 The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, to usher in the day of the Lord—that great and illustrious day; 002:021 and every one who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' 002:022 "Listen, Israelites, to what I say. Jesus, the Nazarene, a man accredited to you from God by miracles and marvels and signs which God did among you through Him, as you yourselves know, Him— 002:023 delivered up through God's settled purpose and foreknowledge— you by the hands of Gentiles have nailed to a cross and have put to death. 002:024 But God has raised Him to life, having terminated the throes of death, for in fact it was not possible for Him to be held fast by death. 002:025 For David says in reference to Him, "'I constantly fixed my eyes upon the Lord, because He is at my right hand in order that I may continue unshaken. 002:026 For this reason my heart is glad and my tongue exults. My body also shall rest in hope. 002:027 For Thou wilt not leave me in the Unseen World forsaken, nor give up Thy holy One to undergo decay. 002:028 Thou hast made known to me the ways of Life: Thou wilt fill me with gladness in Thy presence.' 002:029 "As to the patriarch David, I need hardly remind you, brethren, that he died and was buried, and that we still have his tomb among us. 002:030 Being a Prophet, however, and knowing that God had solemnly sworn to him to seat a descendant of his upon his throne, 002:031 with prophetic foresight he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, to the effect that He was not left forsaken in the Unseen World, nor did His body undergo decay. 002:032 This Jesus, God has raised to life—a fact to which all of us testify. 002:033 "Being therefore lifted high by the mighty hand of God, He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out this which you see and hear. 002:034 For David did not ascend into Heaven, but he says himself, "'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand 002:035 until I make thy foes a footstool under thy feet.' 002:036 "Therefore let the whole House of Israel know beyond all doubt that God has made Him both LORD and CHRIST— this Jesus whom you crucified." 002:037 Stung to the heart by these words, they said to Peter and the rest of the Apostles, "Brethren, what are we to do?" 002:038 "Repent," replied Peter, "and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, with a view to the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 002:039 For to you belongs the promise, and to your children, and to all who are far off, whoever the Lord our God may call." 002:040 And with many more appeals he solemnly warned and entreated them, saying, "Escape from this crooked generation." 002:041 Those, therefore, who joyfully welcomed his Message were baptized; and on that one day about three thousand persons were added to them; 002:042 and they were constant in listening to the teaching of the Apostles and in their attendance at the Communion, that is, the Breaking of the Bread, and at prayer. 002:043 Fear came upon every one, and many marvels and signs were done by the Apostles. 002:044 And all the believers kept together, and had everything in common. 002:045 They sold their lands and other property, and distributed the proceeds among all, according to every one's necessities. 002:046 And, day by day, attending constantly in the Temple with one accord, and breaking bread in private houses, they took their meals with great happiness and single-heartedness, 002:047 praising God and being regarded with favour by all the people. Also, day by day, the Lord added to their number those whom He was saving. 003:001 One day Peter and John were going up to the Temple for the hour of prayer—the ninth hour—and, just then, 003:002 some men were carrying there one who had been lame from birth, whom they were wont to place every day close to the Beautiful Gate (as it was called) of the Temple, for him to beg from the people as they went in. 003:003 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the Temple, he asked them for alms. 003:004 Peter fixing his eyes on him, as John did also, said, "Look at us." 003:005 So he looked and waited, expecting to receive something from them. 003:006 "I have no silver or gold," Peter said, "but what I have, I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene—walk!" 003:007 Then taking his hand Peter lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were strengthened. 003:008 Leaping up, he stood upright and began to walk, and went into the Temple with them, walking, leaping, and praising God. 003:009 All the people saw him walking and praising God; 003:010 and recognizing him as the man who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple asking for alms, they were filled with awe and amazement at what had happened to him. 003:011 While he still clung to Peter and John, the people, awe-struck, ran up crowding round them in what was known as Solomon's Portico. 003:012 Peter, seeing this, spoke to the people. "Israelites," he said, "why do you wonder at this man? Or why gaze at us, as though by any power or piety of our own we had enabled him to walk? 003:013 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has conferred this honour on His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to let Him go. 003:014 Yes, you disowned the holy and righteous One, and asked as a favour the release of a murderer. 003:015 The Prince of Life you put to death; but God has raised Him from the dead, and we are witnesses as to that. 003:016 It is His name—faith in that name being the condition— which has strengthened this man whom you behold and know; and the faith which He has given has made this man sound and strong again, as you can all see. 003:017 "And now, brethren, I know that it was in ignorance that you did it, as was the case with your rulers also. 003:018 But in this way God has fulfilled the declarations He made through all the Prophets, that His Christ would suffer. 003:019 Repent, therefore, and reform your lives, so that the record of your sins may be cancelled, and that there may come seasons of revival from the Lord, 003:020 and that He may send the Christ appointed beforehand for you—even Jesus. 003:021 Heaven must receive Him until those times of which God has spoken from the earliest ages through the lips of His holy Prophets— the times of the reconstitution of all things. 003:022 Moses declared, "'The Lord your God will raise up a Prophet for you from among your brethren as He has raised me. In all that He says to you, you must listen to Him. 003:023 And every one, without exception, who refuses to listen to that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the People.' 003:024 Yes, and all the Prophets, from Samuel onwards—all who have spoken— have also announced the coming of this present time. 003:025 "You are the heirs of the Prophets, and of the Covenant which God made with your forefathers when He said to Abraham, 'And through your posterity all the families of the world shall be blessed.' 003:026 It is to you first that God, after raising His Servant from the grave, has sent Him to bless you, by causing every one of you to turn from your wickedness." 004:001 While they were saying this to the people, the Priests, the Commander of the Temple Guard, and the Sadducees came upon them, 004:002 highly incensed at their teaching the people and proclaiming in the case of Jesus the Resurrection from among the dead. 004:003 They arrested the two Apostles and lodged them in custody till the next day; for it was already evening. 004:004 But many of those who had listened to their preaching believed; and the number of the adult men had now grown to be about 5,000. 004:005 The next day a meeting was held in Jerusalem of their Rulers, Elders, and Scribes, 004:006 with Annas the High Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and the other members of the high-priestly family. 004:007 So they made the Apostles stand in the centre, and demanded of them, "By what power or in what name have you done this?" 004:008 Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he replied, "Rulers and Elders of the people, 004:009 if we to-day are under examination concerning the benefit conferred on a man helplessly lame, as to how this man has been cured; 004:010 be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that through the name of Jesus the Anointed, the Nazarene, whom *you* crucified, but whom *God* has raised from among the dead—through that name this man stands here before you in perfect health. 004:011 This Jesus is the Stone treated with contempt by you the builders, but it has been made the Cornerstone. 004:012 And in no other is the great salvation to be found; for, in fact, there is no second name under Heaven that has been given among men through which we are to be saved." 004:013 As they looked on Peter and John so fearlessly outspoken— and also discovered that they were illiterate persons, untrained in the schools—they were surprised; and now they recognized them as having been with Jesus. 004:014 And seeing the man standing with them—the man who had been cured— they had no reply to make. 004:015 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin while they conferred among themselves. 004:016 "What are we to do with these men?" they asked one another; for the fact that a remarkable miracle has been performed by them is well known to every one in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 004:017 But to prevent the matter spreading any further among the people, let us stop them by threats from speaking in the future in this name to any one whatever." 004:018 So they recalled the Apostles, and ordered them altogether to give up speaking or teaching in the name of Jesus. 004:019 But Peter and John replied, "Judge whether it is right in God's sight to listen to you instead of listening to God. 004:020 As for us, what we have seen and heard we cannot help speaking about." 004:021 The Court added further threats and then let them go, being quite unable to find any way of punishing them on account of the people, because all gave God the glory for the thing that had happened. 004:022 For the man was over forty years of age on whom this miracle of restoration to health had been performed. 004:023 After their release the two Apostles went to their friends, and told them all that the High Priests and Elders had said. 004:024 And they, upon hearing the story, all lifted up their voices to God and said, "O Sovereign Lord, it is Thou who didst make Heaven and earth and sea, and all that is in them, 004:025 and didst say through the Holy Spirit by the lips of our forefather David Thy servant, "'Why have the nations stamped and raged, and the peoples formed futile plans? 004:026 The kings of the earth came near, and the rulers assembled together against the Lord and against His Anointed.'" 004:027 "They did indeed assemble in this city in hostility to Thy holy Servant Jesus whom Thou hadst anointed—Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and also the tribes of Israel— 004:028 to do all that Thy power and Thy will had predetermined should be done. 004:029 And now, Lord, listen to their threats, and enable Thy servants to proclaim Thy Message with fearless courage, 004:030 whilst Thou stretchest out Thine arm to cure men, and to give signs and marvels through the name of Thy holy Servant Jesus." 004:031 When they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled shook, and they were, one and all, filled with the Holy Spirit, and proceeded to tell God's Message with boldness. 004:032 Among all those who had embraced the faith there was but one heart and soul, so that none of them claimed any of his possessions as his own, but everything they had was common property; 004:033 while the Apostles with great force of conviction delivered their testimony as to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and great grace was upon them all. 004:034 And, in fact, there was not a needy man among them, for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the money which they realised, 004:035 and gave it to the Apostles, and distribution was made to every one according to his wants. 004:036 In this way Joseph, whom the Apostles gave the name of Bar-nabas— signifying 'Son of Encouragement'—a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 004:037 sold a farm which he had, and brought the money and gave it to the Apostles. 005:001 There was a man of the name of Ananias who, with his wife Sapphira, sold some property but, 005:002 with her full knowledge and consent, dishonestly kept back part of the price which he received for it, though he brought the rest and gave it to the Apostles. 005:003 "Ananias," said Peter, "why has Satan taken possession of your heart, that you should try to deceive the Holy Spirit and dishonestly keep back part of the price paid you for this land? 005:004 While it remained unsold, was not the land your own? And when sold, was it not at your own disposal? How is it that you have cherished this design in your heart? It is not to men you have told this lie, but to God." 005:005 Upon hearing these words Ananias fell down dead, and all who heard the words were awe-struck. 005:006 The younger men, however, rose, and wrapping the body up, carried it out and buried it. 005:007 About three hours had passed, when his wife came in, knowing nothing of what had happened. 005:008 Peter at once questioned her. "Tell me," he said, "whether you sold the land for so much." "Yes," she replied, "for so much." 005:009 "How was it," replied Peter, "that you two agreed to try an experiment upon the Spirit of the Lord? The men who have buried your husband are already at the door, and they will carry you out." 005:010 Instantly she fell down dead at his feet, and the young men came in and found her dead. So they carried her out and buried her by her husband's side. 005:011 This incident struck terror into the whole Church, and into the hearts of all who heard of it. 005:012 Many signs and marvels continued to be done among the people by the Apostles; and by common consent they all met in Solomon's Portico. 005:013 But none of the others dared to attach themselves to them. Yet the people held them in high honour— 005:014 and more and more believers in the Lord joined them, including great numbers both of men and women— 005:015 so that they would even bring out their sick friends into the streets and lay them on light couches or mats, in order that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or other of them. 005:016 The inhabitants, too, of the towns in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem came in crowds, bringing sick persons and some who were harassed by foul spirits, and they were cured, one and all. 005:017 This roused the High Priest. He and all his party—the sect of the Sadducees—were filled with angry jealousy 005:018 and laid hands upon the Apostles, and put them into the public jail. 005:019 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 005:020 "Go and stand in the Temple, and go on proclaiming to the people all this Message of Life." 005:021 Having received that command they went into the Temple, just before daybreak, and began to teach: So when the High Priest and his party came, and had called together the Sanhedrin as well as all the Elders of the descendants of Israel, they sent to the jail to fetch the Apostles. 005:022 But the officers went and could not find them in the prison. So they came back and brought word, 005:023 saying, "The jail we found quite safely locked, and the warders were on guard at the doors, but upon going in we found no one there." 005:024 When the Commander of the Temple Guards and the High Priests heard this statement, they were utterly at a loss with regard to it, wondering what would happen next. 005:025 And some one came and brought them word, saying, "The men you put in prison are actually in the Temple, standing there, teaching the people." 005:026 Upon this the Commander went with the officers, and brought the Apostles; but without using violence; for they were afraid of being stoned by the people. 005:027 So they brought them and made them stand in front of the Sanhedrin. And then the High Priest questioned them. 005:028 "We strictly forbad you to teach in that name—did we not?" he said. "And see, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and are trying to make us responsible for that man's death!" 005:029 Peter and the other Apostles replied, "We must obey God rather than man. 005:030 The God of our forefathers has raised Jesus to life, whom you crucified and put to death. 005:031 God has exalted Him to His right hand as Chief Leader and as Saviour, to give Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins. 005:032 And we—and the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him— are witnesses as to these things." 005:033 Infuriated at getting this answer, they were disposed to kill the Apostles. 005:034 But a Pharisee of the name of Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, held in honour by all the people, rose from his seat and requested that they should be sent outside the court for a few minutes. 005:035 "Israelites," he said, "be careful what you are about to do in dealing with these men. 005:036 Years ago Theudas appeared, professing to be a person of importance, and a body of men, some four hundred in number, joined him. He was killed, and all his followers were dispersed and annihilated. 005:037 After him, at the time of the Census, came Judas, the Galilaean, and was the leader in a revolt. He too perished, and all his followers were scattered. 005:038 And now I tell you to hold aloof from these men and leave them alone—for if this scheme or work is of human origin, it will come to nothing. 005:039 But if it is really from God, you will be powerless to put them down—lest perhaps you find yourselves to be actually fighting against God." 005:040 His advice carried conviction. So they called the Apostles in, and— after flogging them—ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then let them go. 005:041 They, therefore, left the Sanhedrin and went their way, rejoicing that they had been deemed worthy to suffer disgrace on behalf of the NAME. 005:042 But they did not desist from teaching every day, in the Temple or in private houses, and telling the Good News about Jesus, the Christ. 006:001 About this time, as the number of disciples was increasing, complaints were made by the Greek-speaking Jews against the Hebrews because their widows were habitually overlooked in the daily ministration. 006:002 So the Twelve called together the general body of the disciples and said, "It does not seem fitting that we Apostles should neglect the delivery of God's Message and minister at tables. 006:003 Therefore, brethren, pick out from among yourselves seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, and we will appoint them to undertake this duty. 006:004 But, as for us, we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the delivery of the Message." 006:005 The suggestion met with general approval, and they selected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch. 006:006 These men they brought to the Apostles, and, after prayer, they laid their hands upon them. 006:007 Meanwhile God's Message continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem very greatly increased, and very many priests obeyed the faith. 006:008 And Stephen, full of grace and power, performed great marvels and signs among the people. 006:009 But some members of the so-called 'Synagogue of the Freed-men,' together with some Cyrenaeans, Alexandrians, Cilicians and men from Roman Asia, were roused to encounter Stephen in debate. 006:010 They were quite unable, however, to resist the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. 006:011 Then they privately put forward men who declared, "We have heard him speak blasphemous things against Moses and against God." 006:012 In this way they excited the people, the Elders, and the Scribes. At length they came upon him, seized him with violence, and took him before the Sanhedrin. 006:013 Here they brought forward false witnesses who declared, "This fellow is incessantly speaking against the Holy Place and the Law. 006:014 For we have heard him say that Jesus, the Nazarene, will pull this place down to the ground and will change the customs which Moses handed down to us." 006:015 At once the eyes of all who were sitting in the Sanhedrin were fastened on him, and they saw his face looking just like the face of an angel. 007:001 Then the High Priest asked him, "Are these statements true?" 007:002 The reply of Stephen was, "Sirs—brethren and fathers—listen to me. God Most Glorious appeared to our forefather Abraham when he was living in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran, 007:003 and said to him, "'Leave your country and your relatives, and go into whatever land I point out to you.' 007:004 "Thereupon he left Chaldaea and settled in Haran till after the death of his father, when God caused him to remove into this country where you now live. 007:005 But he gave him no inheritance in it, no, not a single square yard of ground. And yet He promised to bestow the land as a permanent possession on him and his posterity after him— and promised this at a time when Abraham was childless. 007:006 And God declared that Abraham's posterity should for four hundred years make their home in a country not their own, and be reduced to slavery and be oppressed. 007:007 "'And the nation, whichever it is, that enslaves them, I will judge,' said God; 'and afterwards they shall come out, and they shall worship Me in this place.' 007:008 "Then He gave him the Covenant of circumcision, and under this Covenant he became the father of Isaac—whom he circumcised on the eighth day. Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve Patriarchs. 007:009 "The Patriarchs were jealous of Joseph and sold him into slavery in Egypt. But God was with him 007:010 and delivered him from all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom when he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who appointed him governor over Egypt and all the royal household. 007:011 But there came a famine throughout the whole of Egypt and Canaan— and great distress—so that our forefathers could find no food. 007:012 When, however, Jacob heard that there was wheat to be had, he sent our forefathers into Egypt; that was the first time. 007:013 On their second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Pharaoh was informed of Joseph's parentage. 007:014 Then Joseph sent and invited his father Jacob and all his family, numbering seventy-five persons, to come to him, 007:015 and Jacob went down into Egypt. There he died, and so did our forefathers, 007:016 and they were taken to Shechem and were laid in the tomb which Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a sum of money paid in silver. 007:017 "But as the time drew near for the fulfilment of the promise which God had made to Abraham, the people became many times more numerous in Egypt, 007:018 until there arose a foreign king over Egypt who knew nothing of Joseph. 007:019 He adopted a crafty policy towards our race, and oppressed our forefathers, making them cast out their infants so that they might not be permitted to live. 007:020 At this time Moses was born—a wonderfully beautiful child; and for three months he was cared for in his father's house. 007:021 At length he was cast out, but Pharaoh's daughter adopted him, and brought him up as her own son. 007:022 So Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and possessed great influence through his eloquence and his achievements. 007:023 "And when he was just forty years old, it occurred to him to visit his brethren the descendants of Israel. 007:024 Seeing one of them wrongfully treated he took his part, and secured justice for the ill-treated man by striking down the Egyptian. 007:025 He supposed his brethren to be aware that by him God was sending them deliverance; this, however, they did not understand. 007:026 The next day, also, he came and found two of them fighting, and he endeavoured to make peace between them. "'Sirs,' he said, 'you are brothers. Why are you wronging one another?' 007:027 "But the man who was doing the wrong resented his interference, and asked, "'Who appointed you magistrate and judge over us? 007:028 Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?' 007:029 "Alarmed at this question, Moses fled from the country and went to live in the land of Midian. There he became the father of two sons. 007:030 "But at the end of forty years there appeared to him in the Desert of Mount Sinai an angel in the middle of a flame of fire in a bush. 007:031 When Moses saw this he wondered at the sight; but on his going up to look further, the voice of the Lord was heard, saying, 007:032 "'I am the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.' "Quaking with fear Moses did not dare gaze. 007:033 "'Take off your shoes,' said the Lord, 'for the spot on which you are standing is holy ground. 007:034 I have seen, yes, I have seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt and have heard their groans, and I have come down to deliver them. And now I will send you to Egypt.' 007:035 "The Moses whom they rejected, asking him, 'Who appointed you magistrate and judge?'—that same Moses we find God sending as a magistrate and a deliverer by the help of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 007:036 This was he who brought them out, after performing marvels and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea, and in the Desert for forty years. 007:037 This is the Moses who said to the descendants of Israel, "'God will raise up a Prophet for you, from among your brethren, just as He raised me up.' 007:038 'This is he who was among the Congregation in the Desert, together with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai and with our forefathers, who received ever-living utterances to hand on to us. 007:039 "Our forefathers, however, would not submit to him, but spurned his authority and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. 007:040 They said to Aaron, "'Make gods for us, to march in front of us; for as for this Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.' 007:041 "Moreover they made a calf at that time, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and kept rejoicing in the gods which their own hands had made. 007:042 So God turned from them and gave them up to the worship of the Host of Heaven, as it is written in the Book of the Prophets, "'Were they victims and sacrifices which you offered Me, forty years in the Desert, O House of Israel? 007:043 Yes, you lifted up Moloch's tent and the Star of the God Rephan— the images which you made in order to worship them; and I will remove you beyond Babylon.' 007:044 "Our forefathers had the Tent of the Testimony in the Desert, built as He who spoke to Moses had instructed him to make it in imitation of the model which he had seen. 007:045 That Tent was bequeathed to the next generation of our forefathers. Under Joshua they brought it with them when they were taking possession of the land of the Gentile nations, whom God drove out before them. So it continued till David's time. 007:046 David obtained favour with God, and asked leave to provide a dwelling-place for the God of Jacob. 007:047 But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. 007:048 Yet the Most High does not dwell in buildings erected by men's hands. But, as the Prophet declares, 007:049 "'The sky is My throne, and earth is the footstool for My feet. What kind of house will you build for Me, says the Lord, or what resting place shall I have? 007:050 Did not My hand form this universe.' 007:051 "O stiff-necked men, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you also are continually at strife with the Holy Spirit— just as your forefathers were. 007:052 Which of the Prophets did not your forefathers persecute? Yes, they killed those who announced beforehand the advent of the righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become— 007:053 you who received the Law given through angels, and yet have not obeyed it." 007:054 As they listened to these words, they became infuriated and gnashed their teeth at him. 007:055 But, full of the Holy Spirit and looking up to Heaven, Stephen saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God's right hand. 007:056 "I can see Heaven wide open," he said, "and the Son of Man standing at God's right hand." 007:057 Upon this, with a loud outcry they stopped their ears, rushed upon Stephen in a body, 007:058 dragged him out of the city, and stoned him, the witnesses throwing off their outer garments and giving them into the care of a young man called Saul. 007:059 So they stoned Stephen, while he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 007:060 Then, rising on his knees, he cried aloud, "Lord, do not reckon this sin against them." And with these words he fell asleep. 008:001 And Saul fully approved of his murder. At this time a great persecution broke out against the Church in Jerusalem, and all except the Apostles were scattered throughout Judaea and Samaria. 008:002 A party of devout men, however, buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him. 008:003 But Saul cruelly harassed the Church. He went into house after house, and, dragging off both men and women, threw them into prison. 008:004 Those, however, who were scattered abroad went from place to place spreading the Good News of God's Message; 008:005 while Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed Christ there. 008:006 Crowds of people, with one accord, gave attention to what they heard from him, listening, and witnessing the signs which he did. 008:007 For, with a loud cry, foul spirits came out of many possessed by them, and many paralytics and lame persons were restored to health. 008:008 And there was great joy in that city. 008:009 Now for some time past there had been a man named Simon living there, who had been practising magic and astonishing the Samaritans, pretending that he was more than human. 008:010 To him people of all classes paid attention, declaring, "This man is the Power of God, known as the great Power." 008:011 His influence over them arose from their having been, for a long time, bewildered by his sorceries. 008:012 But when Philip began to tell the Good News about the Kingdom of God and about the Name of Jesus Christ, and they embraced the faith, they were baptized, men and women alike. 008:013 Simon himself also believed, and after being baptized remained in close attendance on Philip, and was full of amazement at seeing such signs and such great miracles performed. 008:014 When the Apostles in Jerusalem heard that the Samaritans had accepted God's Message, they sent Peter and John to visit them. 008:015 They, when they came down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit: 008:016 for He had not as yet fallen upon any of them. They had only been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 008:017 Then the Apostles placed their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 008:018 When, however, Simon saw that it was through the laying on of the Apostles' hands that the Spirit was bestowed, he offered them money. 008:019 "Give me too," he said, "that power, so that every one on whom I place my hands will receive the Holy Spirit." 008:020 "Perish your money and yourself," replied Peter, "because you have imagined that you can obtain God's free gift with money! 008:021 No part or lot have you in this matter, for your heart is not right in God's sight. 008:022 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord, in the hope that the purpose which is in your heart may perhaps be forgiven you. 008:023 For I perceive that you have fallen into the bitterest bondage of unrighteousness." 008:024 "Pray, both of you, to the Lord for me," answered Simon, "that nothing of what you have said may come upon me." 008:025 So the Apostles, after giving a solemn charge and delivering the Lord's Message, travelled back to Jerusalem, making known the Good News also in many of the Samaritan villages. 008:026 And an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Rise and proceed south to the road that runs down from Jerusalem to Gaza, crossing the Desert." 008:027 Upon this he rose and went. Now, as it happened, an Ethiopian eunuch who was in a position of high authority with Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, as her treasurer, had visited Jerusalem to worship there, 008:028 and was now on his way home; and as he sat in his chariot he was reading the Prophet Isaiah. 008:029 Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go and enter that chariot." 008:030 So Philip ran up and heard the eunuch reading the Prophet Isaiah. "Do you understand what you are reading?" he asked. 008:031 "Why, how can I," replied the eunuch, "unless some one explains it to me?" And he earnestly invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 008:032 The passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: "Like a sheep He was led to slaughter, and just as a lamb before its shearer is dumb so He opened not His mouth. 008:033 In His humiliation justice was denied Him. Who will make known His posterity? For He is destroyed from among men." 008:034 "Pray, of whom is the Prophet speaking?" inquired the eunuch; "of himself or of some one else?" 008:035 Then Philip began to speak, and, commencing with that same portion of Scripture, told him the Good News about Jesus. 008:036 So they proceeded on their way till they came to some water; and the eunuch exclaimed, "See, here is water; what is there to prevent my being baptized?" 008:037 [] 008:038 So he stopped the chariot; and both of them—Philip and the eunuch— went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 008:039 But no sooner had they come up out of the water than the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again. With a glad heart he resumed his journey; 008:040 but Philip found himself at Ashdod. Then visiting town after town he everywhere made known the Good News until he reached Caesarea. 009:001 Now Saul, whose every breath was a threat of destruction for the disciples of the Lord, 009:002 went to the High Priest and begged from him letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, in order that if he found any believers there, either men or women, he might bring them in chains to Jerusalem. 009:003 But on the journey, as he was getting near Damascus, suddenly there flashed round him a light from Heaven; 009:004 and falling to the ground he heard a voice which said to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" 009:005 "Who art thou, Lord?" he asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," was the reply. 009:006 "But rise and go to the city, and you will be told what you are to do. 009:007 Meanwhile the men who travelled with Saul were standing dumb with amazement, hearing a sound, but seeing no one. 009:008 Then he rose from the ground, but when he had opened his eyes, he could not see, and they led him by the arm and brought him to Damascus. 009:009 And for two days he remained without sight, and did not eat or drink anything. 009:010 Now in Damascus there was a disciple of the name of Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, saying, "Ananias!" "I am here, Lord," he answered. 009:011 "Rise," said the Lord, "and go to Straight Street, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man called Saul, from Tarsus, for he is actually praying. 009:012 He has seen a man called Ananias come and lay his hands upon him so that he may recover his sight." 009:013 "Lord," answered Ananias, "I have heard about that man from many, and I have heard of the great mischief he has done to Thy people in Jerusalem; 009:014 and here he is authorized by the High Priests to arrest all who call upon Thy name." 009:015 "Go," replied the Lord; "he is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My name to the Gentiles and to kings and to the descendants of Israel. 009:016 For I will let him know the great sufferings which he must pass through for My sake." 009:017 So Ananias went and entered the house; and, laying his two hands upon Saul, said, "Saul, brother, the Lord—even Jesus who appeared to you on your journey—has sent me, that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 009:018 Instantly there dropped from his eyes what seemed to be scales, and he could see once more. Upon this he rose and received baptism; 009:019 after which he took food and regained his strength. Then he remained some little time with the disciples in Damascus. 009:020 And in the synagogues he began at once to proclaim Jesus as the Son of God; 009:021 and his hearers were all amazed, and began to ask one another, "Is not this the man who in Jerusalem tried to exterminate those who called upon that Name, and came here on purpose to carry them off in chains to the High Priests?" 009:022 Saul, however, gained more and more influence, and as for the Jews living in Damascus, he bewildered them with his proofs that Jesus is the Christ. 009:023 At length the Jews plotted to kill Saul; 009:024 but information of their intention was given to him. They even watched the gates, day and night, in order to murder him; 009:025 but his disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall, lowering him in a hamper. 009:026 So he came to Jerusalem and made several attempts to associate with the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, being in doubt as to whether he himself was a disciple. 009:027 Barnabas, however, came to his assistance. He brought Saul to the Apostles, and related to them how, on his journey, he had seen the Lord, and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had fearlessly taught in the name of Jesus. 009:028 Henceforth Saul was one of them, going in and out of the city, 009:029 and speaking fearlessly in the name of the Lord. And he often talked with the Hellenists and had discussions with them. 009:030 But they kept trying to take his life. On learning this, the brethren brought him down to Caesarea, and then sent him by sea to Tarsus. 009:031 The Church, however, throughout the whole of Judaea, Galilee and Samaria, had peace and was spiritually built up; and grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord and receiving encouragement from the Holy Spirit. 009:032 Now Peter, as he went to town after town, came down also to God's people at Lud. 009:033 There he found a man of the name of Aeneas, who for eight years had kept his bed, through being paralysed. 009:034 Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ cures you. Rise and make your own bed." He at once rose to his feet. 009:035 And all the people of Lud and Sharon saw him; and they turned to the Lord. 009:036 Among the disciples at Jaffa was a woman called Tabitha, or, as the name may be translated, 'Dorcas.' Her life was wholly devoted to the good and charitable actions which she was constantly doing. 009:037 But, as it happened, just at that time she was taken ill and died. After washing her body they laid it out in a room upstairs. 009:038 Lud, however, being near Jaffa, the disciples, who had heard that Peter was at Lud, sent two men to him with an urgent request that he would come across to them without delay. 009:039 So Peter rose and went with them. On his arrival they took him upstairs, and the widow women all came and stood by his side, weeping and showing him the underclothing and cloaks and garments of all kinds which Dorcas used to make while she was still with them. 009:040 Peter, however, putting every one out of the room, knelt down and prayed, and then turning to the body, he said, "Tabitha, rise." Dorcas at once opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, sat up. 009:041 Then, giving her his hand, he raised her to her feet and, calling to him God's people and the widows, he / 7 gave her back to them alive. 009:042 This incident became known throughout Jaffa, and many believed in the Lord; 009:043 and Peter remained for a considerable time at Jaffa, staying at the house of a man called Simon, a tanner. 010:001 Now a Captain of the Italian Regiment, named Cornelius, was quartered at Caesarea. 010:002 He was religious and God-fearing—and so was every member of his household. He was also liberal in his charities to the people, and continually offered prayer to God. 010:003 About three o'clock one afternoon he had a vision, and distinctly saw an angel of God enter his house, who called him by name, saying, "Cornelius!" 010:004 Looking steadily at him, and being much alarmed, he said, "What do you want, Sir?" "Your prayers and charities," he replied, "have gone up and have been recorded before God. 010:005 And now send to Jaffa and fetch Simon, surnamed Peter. 010:006 He is staying as a guest with Simon, a tanner, who has a house close to the sea." 010:007 So when the angel who had been speaking to him was gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a God-fearing soldier who was in constant attendance on him, 010:008 and, after telling them everything, he sent them to Jaffa. 010:009 The next day, while they were still on their journey and were getting near the town, about noon Peter went up on the house-top to pray. 010:010 He had become unusually hungry and wished for food; but, while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance. 010:011 The sky had opened to his view, and what seemed to be an enormous sail was descending, being let down to the earth by ropes at the four corners. 010:012 In it were all kinds of quadrupeds, reptiles and birds, 010:013 and a voice came to him which said, "Rise, Peter, kill and eat." 010:014 "On no account, Lord," he replied; "for I have never yet eaten anything unholy and impure." 010:015 Again a second time a voice was heard which said, "What God has purified, you must not regard as unholy." 010:016 This was said three times, and immediately the sail was drawn up out of sight. 010:017 While Peter was greatly perplexed as to the meaning of the vision which he had seen, just then the men sent by Cornelius, having by inquiry found out Simon's house, 010:018 had come to the door and had called the servant, and were asking, "Is Simon, surnamed Peter, staying here?" 010:019 And Peter was still earnestly thinking over the vision, when the Spirit said to him, "Three men are now inquiring for you. 010:020 Rise, go down, and go with them without any misgivings; for it is I who have sent them to you." 010:021 So Peter went down and said to the men, "I am the Simon you are inquiring for. What is the reason of your coming?" 010:022 Their reply was, "Cornelius, a Captain, an upright and God-fearing man, of whom the whole Jewish nation speaks well, has been divinely instructed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and listen to what you have to say." 010:023 Upon hearing this, Peter invited them in, and gave them a lodging. The next day he set out with them, some of the brethren from Jaffa going with him, 010:024 and the day after that they reached Caesarea. There Cornelius was awaiting their arrival, and had invited all his relatives and intimate friends to be present. 010:025 When Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him, and threw himself at his feet to do him homage. 010:026 But Peter lifted him up. "Stand up," he said; "I myself also am but a man." 010:027 So Peter went in and conversed with him, and found a large company assembled. 010:028 He said to them, "You know better than most that a Jew is strictly forbidden to associate with a Gentile or visit him; but God has taught me to call no one unholy or unclean. 010:029 So for this reason, when sent for, I came without raising any objection. I therefore ask why you sent for me." 010:030 "Just at this hour, three days ago," replied Cornelius, "I was offering afternoon prayer in my house, when suddenly a man in shining raiment stood in front of me, 010:031 who said, "'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your charities have been put on record before God. 010:032 Send therefore to Jaffa, and invite Simon, surnamed Peter, to come here. He is staying as a guest in the house of Simon, a tanner, close to the sea.' 010:033 "Immediately, therefore, I sent to you, and I thank you heartily for having come. That is why all of us are now assembled here in God's presence, to listen to what the Lord has commanded you to say." 010:034 Then Peter began to speak. "I clearly see," he said, "that God makes no distinctions between one man and another; 010:035 but that in every nation those who fear Him and live good lives are acceptable to Him. 010:036 The Message which He sent to the descendants of Israel, when He announced the Good News of peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—that Message you cannot but know; 010:037 the story, I mean, which has spread through the length and breadth of Judaea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism which John proclaimed. 010:038 It tells how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, so that He went about everywhere doing acts of kindness, and curing all who were being continually oppressed by the Devil—for God was with Jesus. 010:039 "And we are witnesses as to all that He did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. But they even put Him to death, by crucifixion. 010:040 That same Jesus God raised to life on the third day, and permitted Him to appear unmistakably, 010:041 not to all the people, but to witnesses—men previously chosen by God—namely, to us, who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. 010:042 And He has commanded us to preach to the people and solemnly declare that this is He who has been appointed by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead. 010:043 To Him all the Prophets bear witness, and testify that through His name all who believe in Him receive the forgiveness of their sins." 010:044 While Peter was speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening to the Message. 010:045 And all the Jewish believers who had come with Peter were astonished that on the Gentiles also the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out. 010:046 For they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling the majesty of God. Then Peter said, 010:047 "Can any one forbid the use of water, and object to these persons being baptized—men who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?" 010:048 And he directed that they should be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they begged him to remain with them for a time. 011:001 Now the Apostles, and the brethren in various parts of Judaea, heard that the Gentiles also had received God's Message; 011:002 and, when Peter returned to Jerusalem, the champions of circumcision found fault with him. 011:003 "You went into the houses of men who are not Jews," they said, "and you ate with them." 011:004 Peter, however, explained the whole matter to them from the beginning. 011:005 "While I was in the town of Jaffa, offering prayer," he said, "in a trance I saw a vision. There descended what seemed to be an enormous sail, being let down from the sky by ropes at the four corners, and it came close to me. 011:006 Fixing my eyes on it, I examined it closely, and saw various kinds of quadrupeds, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. 011:007 I also heard a voice saying to me, "'Rise, Peter, kill and eat.' 011:008 "'On no account, Lord,' I replied, 'for nothing unholy or impure has ever gone into my mouth.' 011:009 "But a voice answered, speaking a second time from the sky, "'What God has purified, you must not regard as unholy.' 011:010 "This was said three times, and then everything was drawn up again out of sight. 011:011 "Now at that very moment three men came to the house where we were, having been sent from Caesarea to find me. 011:012 And the Spirit told me to accompany them without any misgivings. There also went with me these six brethren who are now present, and we reached the Centurion's house. 011:013 Then he described to us how he had seen the angel come and enter his house and say, "'Send to Jaffa and fetch Simon, surnamed Peter. 011:014 He will teach you truths by which you and all your family will be saved.'" 011:015 "And," said Peter, "no sooner had I begun to speak than the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as He fell upon us at the first. 011:016 Then I remembered the Lord's words, how He used to say, "'John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit.' 011:017 "If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we first believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, why, who was I to be able to thwart God?" 011:018 This statement of Peter's silenced his opponents. They extolled the goodness of God, and said, "So, then, to the Gentiles also God has given the repentance which leads to Life." 011:019 Those, however, who had been driven in various directions by the persecution which broke out on account of Stephen made their way to Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, delivering the Message to none but Jews. 011:020 But some of them were Cyprians and Cyrenaeans, who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Greeks also and told them the Good News concerning the Lord Jesus. 011:021 The power of the Lord was with them, and there were a vast number who believed and turned to the Lord. 011:022 When tidings of this reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, they sent Barnabas as far as Antioch. 011:023 On getting there he was delighted to see the grace which God had bestowed; and he encouraged them all to remain, with fixed resolve, faithful to the Lord. 011:024 For he was a good man, and was full of the Holy Spirit and of faith; and the number of believers in the Lord greatly increased. 011:025 Then Barnabas paid a visit to Tarsus to try to find Saul. 011:026 He succeeded, and brought him to Antioch; and for a whole year they attended the meetings of the Church, and taught a large number of people. And it was in Antioch that the disciples first received the name of 'Christians.' 011:027 At that time certain Prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch, 011:028 one of whom, named Agabus, being instructed by the Spirit, publicly predicted the speedy coming of a great famine throughout the world. (It came in the reign of Claudius.) 011:029 So the disciples decided to send relief, every one in proportion to his means, to the brethren living in Judaea. 011:030 This they did, forwarding their contributions to the Elders by Barnabas and Saul. 012:001 Now, about that time, King Herod arrested certain members of the Church, in order to ill-treat them; 012:002 and James, John's brother, he beheaded. 012:003 Finding that this gratified the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also; these being the days of Unleavened Bread. 012:004 He had him arrested and lodged in jail, handing him over to the care of sixteen soldiers; and intended after the Passover to bring him out again to the people. 012:005 So Peter was kept in prison; but long and fervent prayer was offered to God by the Church on his behalf. 012:006 Now when Herod was on the point of taking him out of prison, that very night Peter was asleep between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards were on duty outside the door. 012:007 Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the cell; and, striking Peter on the side, he woke him and said, "Rise quickly." Instantly the chains dropped off his wrists. 012:008 "Fasten your girdle," said the angel, "and tie on your sandals." He did so. Then the angel said, "Throw your cloak round you, and follow me." 012:009 So Peter went out, following him, yet could not believe that what the angel was doing was real, but supposed that he saw a vision. 012:010 And passing through the first ward and the second, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. This opened to them of itself; and, going out, they passed on through one of the streets, and then suddenly the angel left him. 012:011 Peter coming to himself said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel and has rescued me from the power of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were anticipating." 012:012 So, after thinking things over, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John surnamed Mark, where a large number of people were assembled, praying. 012:013 When he knocked at the wicket in the door, a maidservant named Rhoda came to answer the knock; 012:014 and recognizing Peter's voice, for very joy she did not open the door, but ran in and told them that Peter was standing there. 012:015 "You are mad," they said. But she strenuously maintained that it was true. "It is his guardian angel," they said. 012:016 Meanwhile Peter went on knocking, until at last they opened the door and saw that it was really he, and were filled with amazement. 012:017 But he motioned with his hand for silence, and then described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. "Tell all this to James and the brethren," he added. Then he left them, and went to another place. 012:018 When morning came, there was no little commotion among the soldiers, as to what could possibly have become of Peter. 012:019 And when Herod had had him searched for and could not find him, after sharply questioning the guards he ordered them away to execution. He then went down from Judaea to Caesarea and remained there. 012:020 Now the people of Tyre and Sidon had incurred Herod's violent displeasure. So they sent a large deputation to wait on him; and having secured the good will of Blastus, his treasurer, they begged the king to be friendly with them again, because their country was dependent on his for its food supply. 012:021 So, on an appointed day, Herod, having arrayed himself in royal robes, took his seat on the tribunal, and was haranguing them; 012:022 and the assembled people kept shouting, "It is the voice of a god, and not of a man!" 012:023 Instantly an angel of the Lord struck him, because he had not given the glory to God, and being eaten up by worms, he died. 012:024 But God's Message prospered, and converts were multiplied. 012:025 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, having discharged their mission, and they brought with them John, surnamed Mark. 013:001 Now there were in Antioch, in the Church there—as Prophets and teachers—barnabas, Symeon surnamed 'the black,' Lucius the Cyrenaean, Manaen (who was Herod the Tetrarch's foster-brother), and Saul. 013:002 While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me, now at once, Barnabas and Saul, for the work to which I have called them." 013:003 So, after fasting and prayer and the laying on of hands, they let them go. 013:004 They therefore, being thus sent out by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleuceia, and from there sailed to Cyprus. 013:005 Having reached Salamis, they began to announce God's Message in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John as their assistant. 013:006 When they had gone through the whole length of the island as far as Paphos, they there met with a Jewish magician and false prophet, Bar-Jesus by name, 013:007 who was a friend of the Proconsul Sergius Paulus. The Proconsul was a man of keen intelligence. He sent for Barnabas and Saul, and asked to be told God's Message. 013:008 But Elymas (or 'the Magician,' for such is the meaning of the name) opposed them, and tried to prevent the Proconsul from accepting the faith. 013:009 Then Saul, who is also called Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and, fixing his eyes on Elymas, 013:010 said, "You who are full of every kind of craftiness and unscrupulous cunning—you son of the Devil and foe to all that is right—will you never cease to misrepresent the straight paths of the Lord? 013:011 The Lord's hand is now upon you, and you will be blind for a time and unable to see the light of day." Instantly there fell upon him a mist and a darkness, and, as he walked about, he begged people to lead him by the hand. 013:012 Then the Proconsul, seeing what had happened, believed, being struck with amazement at the teaching of the Lord. 013:013 From Paphos, Paul and his party put out to sea and sailed to Perga in Pamphylia. John, however, left them and returned to Jerusalem. 013:014 But they themselves, passing through from Perga, came to Antioch in Pisidia. Here, on the Sabbath day, they went into the synagogue and sat down. 013:015 After the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the Wardens of the synagogue sent word to them. "Brethren," they said, "if you have anything encouraging to say to the people, speak." 013:016 So Paul rose, and motioning with his hand for silence, said, "Israelites, and you others who fear God, pay attention to me. 013:017 The God of this people of Israel chose our forefathers, and made the people great during their stay in Egypt, until with wondrous power He brought them out from that land. 013:018 For a period of about forty years, He fed them, like a nurse, in the Desert. 013:019 Then, after overthrowing seven nations in the land of Canaan, He divided that country among them as their inheritance for about four hundred and fifty years; 013:020 and afterwards He gave them judges down to the time of the Prophet Samuel. 013:021 Next they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a Benjamite, who reigned forty years. 013:022 After removing him, He raised up David to be their king, to whom He also bore witness when He said, "'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man I love, who will obey all My commands.' 013:023 "It is from among David's descendants that God, in fulfilment of His promise, has raised up a Saviour for Israel, even Jesus. 013:024 Before the coming of Jesus, John had proclaimed to all the people of Israel a baptism of repentance. 013:025 But John, towards the end of his career, repeatedly asked the people, "'What do you suppose me to be? I am not the Christ. But there is One coming after me whose sandal I am not worthy to unfasten.' 013:026 "Brethren, descendants of the family of Abraham, and all among you who fear God, to us has this Message of salvation been sent. 013:027 For the people of Jerusalem and their rulers, by the judgement they pronounced on Jesus, have actually fulfilled the predictions of the Prophets which are read Sabbath after Sabbath, through ignorance of those predictions and of Him. 013:028 Without having found Him guilty of any capital offence they urged Pilate to have Him put to death; 013:029 and when they had carried out everything which had been written about Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb. 013:030 "But God raised Him from the dead. 013:031 And, after a few days, He appeared to the people who had gone up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem and are now witnesses concerning Him to the Jews. 013:032 And we bring you the Good News about the promise made to our forefathers, 013:033 that God has amply fulfilled it to our children in raising up Jesus; as it is also written in the second Psalm, 'Thou art My Son: to-day I have become Thy Father.' 013:034 And as to His having raised Him from among the dead, never again to be in the position of one soon to return to decay, He speaks thus: 'I will give you the holy and trustworthy promises made to David.' 013:035 Because in another Psalm also He says, 'Thou wilt not give up Thy Holy One to undergo decay.' 013:036 For David, after having been useful to his own generation in accordance with God's purpose, did fall asleep, was gathered to his forefathers, and did undergo decay. 013:037 But He whom God raised to life underwent no decay. 013:038 "Understand therefore, brethren, that through this Jesus forgiveness of sins is announced to you; 013:039 and in Him every believer is absolved from all offences, from which you could not be absolved under the Law of Moses. 013:040 Beware, then, lest what is spoken in the Prophets should come true of you: 013:041 'Behold, you despisers, be astonished and perish, because I am carrying on a work in your time—a work which you will utterly refuse to believe, though it be fully declared to you.'" 013:042 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people earnestly begged to have all this repeated to them on the following Sabbath. 013:043 And, when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and of the devout converts from heathenism continued with Paul and Barnabas, who talked to them and urged them to hold fast to the grace of God. 013:044 On the next Sabbath almost the whole population of the city came together to hear the Lord's Message. 013:045 Seeing the crowds, the Jews, filled with angry jealousy, opposed Paul's statements and abused him. 013:046 Then, throwing off all reserve, Paul and Barnabas said, "We were bound to proclaim God's Message to you first. But since you spurn it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of the Life of the Ages—well, we turn to the Gentiles. 013:047 For such is the Lord's command to us. "'I have placed Thee,' He says of Christ, 'as a light to the Gentiles, in order that Thou mayest be a Saviour as far as the remotest parts of the earth.'" 013:048 The Gentiles listened with delight and extolled the Lord's Message; and all who were pre-destined to the Life of the Ages believed. 013:049 So the Lord's Message spread through the whole district. 013:050 But the Jews influenced the gentlewomen of rank who worshipped with them, and also the leading men in the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and drove them out of the district. 013:051 But they shook off the dust from their feet as a protest against them and came to Iconium; 013:052 and as for the disciples, they were more and more filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. 014:001 At Iconium the Apostles went together to the Jewish synagogue and preached, with the result that a great number both of Jews and Greeks believed. 014:002 But the Jews who had refused obedience stirred up the Gentiles and embittered their minds against the brethren. 014:003 Yet Paul and Barnabas remained there for a considerable time, speaking freely and relying on the Lord, while He bore witness to the Message of His grace by permitting signs and marvels to be done by them. 014:004 At length the people of the city split into parties, some siding with the Jews and some with the Apostles. 014:005 And when a hostile movement was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with the sanction of their magistrates, to maltreat and stone them, 014:006 the Apostles, having become aware of it, made their escape into the Lycaonian towns of Lystra and Derbe, and the neighbouring country. 014:007 And there they continued to tell the Good News. 014:008 Now a man who had no power in his feet used to sit in the streets of Lystra. He had been lame from his birth and had never walked. 014:009 After this man had listened to one of Paul's sermons, the Apostle, looking steadily at him and perceiving that he had faith to be cured, 014:010 said in a loud voice, "Stand upright upon your feet!" 014:011 So he sprang up and began to walk about. Then the crowds, seeing what Paul had done, rent the air with their shouts in the Lycaonian language, saying, "The gods have assumed human form and have come down to us." 014:012 They called Barnabas 'Zeus,' and Paul, as being the principal speaker, 'Hermes.' 014:013 And the priest of Zeus—the temple of Zeus being at the entrance to the city—brought bullocks and garlands to the gates, and in company with the crowd was intending to offer sacrifices to them. 014:014 But the Apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it; and tearing their clothes they rushed out into the middle of the crowd, exclaiming, "Sirs, why are you doing all this? 014:015 We also are but men, with natures kindred to your own; and we bring you the Good News that you are to turn from these unreal things, to worship the ever-living God, the Creator of earth and sky and sea and of everything that is in them. 014:016 In times gone by He allowed all the nations to go their own ways; 014:017 and yet by His beneficence He has not left His existence unattested— His beneficence, I mean, in sending you rain from Heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and joyfulness." 014:018 Even with words like these they had difficulty in preventing the thronging crowd from offering sacrifices to them. 014:019 But now a party of Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and, having won over the crowd, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the town, believing him to be dead. 014:020 When, however, the disciples had collected round him, he rose and went back into the town. The next day he went with Barnabas to Derbe; 014:021 and, after proclaiming the Good News to the people there and gaining a large number of converts, they retraced their steps to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch. 014:022 Everywhere they strengthened the disciples by encouraging them to hold fast to the faith, and warned them saying, "It is through many afflictions that we must make our way into the Kingdom of God." 014:023 And in every Church, after prayer and fasting, they selected Elders by show of hands, and commended them to the Lord on whom their faith rested. 014:024 Then passing through Pisidia they came into Pamphylia; 014:025 and after telling the Message at Perga they came down to Attaleia. 014:026 Thence they sailed to Antioch, where they had previously been commended to the grace of God in connexion with the work which they had now completed. 014:027 Upon their arrival they called the Church together and proceeded to report in detail all that God, working with them, had done, and how He had opened for the Gentiles the door of faith. 014:028 And they remained a considerable time in Antioch with the disciples. 015:001 But certain persons who had come down from Judaea tried to convince the brethren, saying, "Unless you are circumcised in accordance with the Mosaic custom, you cannot be saved." 015:002 Between these new comers and Paul and Barnabas there was no little disagreement and controversy, until at last it was decided that Paul and Barnabas and some other brethren should go up to consult the Apostles and Elders in Jerusalem on this matter. 015:003 So they set out, being accompanied for a short distance by some other members of the Church; and as they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told the whole story of the conversion of the Gentiles and inspired all the brethren with great joy. 015:004 Upon their arrival in Jerusalem they were cordially received by the Church, the Apostles, and the Elders; and they reported in detail all that God, working with them, had done. 015:005 But certain men who had belonged to the sect of the Pharisees but were now believers, stood up in the assembly, and said, "Yes, Gentile believers ought to be circumcised and be ordered to keep the Law of Moses." 015:006 Then the Apostles and Elders met to consider the matter; 015:007 and after there had been a long discussion Peter rose to his feet. "It is within your own knowledge," he said, "that God originally made choice among you that from my lips the Gentiles were to hear the Message of the Good News, and believe. 015:008 And God, who knows all hearts, gave His testimony in their favour by bestowing the Holy Spirit on them just as He did on us; 015:009 and He made no difference between us and them, in that He cleansed their hearts by their faith. 015:010 Now, therefore, why try an experiment upon God, by laying on the necks of these disciples a yoke which neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? 015:011 On the contrary, we believe that it is by the grace of the Lord Jesus that we, as well as they, shall be saved." 015:012 Then the whole assembly remained silent while they listened to the statement made by Paul and Barnabas as to all the signs and marvels that God had done among the Gentiles through their instrumentality. 015:013 When they had finished speaking, James said, "Brethren, listen to me. 015:014 Symeon has related how God first looked graciously on the Gentiles to take from among them a People to be called by His name. 015:015 And this is in harmony with the language of the Prophets, which says: 015:016 "'"Afterwards I will return, and will rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will set it up again; 015:017 In order that the rest of mankind may earnestly seek the Lord— even all the nations which are called by My name," 015:018 Says the Lord, who has been making these things known from ages long past.' 015:019 "My judgement, therefore, is against inflicting unexpected annoyance on those of the Gentiles who are turning to God. 015:020 Yet let us send them written instructions to abstain from things polluted by connexion with idolatry, from fornication, from meat killed by strangling, and from blood. 015:021 For Moses from the earliest times has had his preachers in every town, being read, as he is, Sabbath after Sabbath, in the various synagogues." 015:022 Thereupon it was decided by the Apostles and Elders, with the approval of the whole Church, to choose suitable persons from among themselves and send them to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas. Judas, called Bar-sabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, were selected, 015:023 and they took with them the following letter: "The Apostles and the elder brethren send greeting to the Gentile brethren throughout Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. 015:024 As we have been informed that certain persons who have gone out from among us have disturbed you by their teaching and have unsettled your minds, without having received any such instructions from us; 015:025 we have unanimously decided to select certain men and send them to you in company with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul, 015:026 who have endangered their very lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. 015:027 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who are themselves bringing you the same message by word of mouth. 015:028 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no burden heavier than these necessary requirements— 015:029 You must abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication. Keep yourselves clear of these things, and it will be well with you. Farewell." 015:030 They, therefore, having been solemnly sent, came down to Antioch, where they called together the whole assembly and delivered the letter. 015:031 The people read it, and were delighted with the comfort it brought them. 015:032 And Judas and Silas, being themselves also Prophets, gave them a long and encouraging talk, and strengthened them in the faith. 015:033 After spending some time there they received an affectionate farewell from the brethren to return to those who had sent them. 015:034 [] 015:035 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and, in company with many others, telling the Good News of the Lord's Message. 015:036 After a while Paul said to Barnabas, "Suppose we now revisit the brethren in the various towns in which we have made known the Lord's Message—to see whether they are prospering!" 015:037 Barnabas, however, was bent on taking with them John, whose other name was Mark, 015:038 while Paul deemed it undesirable to have as their companion one who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone on with them to the work. 015:039 So there arose a serious disagreement between them, which resulted in their parting from one another, Barnabas taking Mark and setting sail for Cyprus. 015:040 But Paul chose Silas as his travelling companion; and set out, after being commended by the brethren to the grace of the Lord; 015:041 and he passed through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the Churches. 016:001 He also came to Derbe and to Lystra. At Lystra he found a disciple, Timothy by name—the son of a Christian Jewess, though he had a Greek father. 016:002 Timothy was well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Iconium, 016:003 and Paul desiring that he should accompany him on his journey, took him and circumcised him on account of the Jews in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 016:004 As they journeyed on from town to town, they handed to the brethren for their observance the decisions which had been arrived at by the Apostles and Elders in Jerusalem. 016:005 So the Churches went on gaining a stronger faith and growing in numbers from day to day. 016:006 Then Paul and his companions passed through Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Message in the province of Asia. 016:007 When they reached the frontier of Mysia, they were about to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not permit this. 016:008 So, passing along Mysia, they came to Troas. 016:009 Here, one night, Paul saw a vision. There was a Macedonian who was standing, entreating him and saying, "Come over into Macedonia and help us." 016:010 So when he had seen the vision, we immediately looked out for an opportunity of passing on into Macedonia, confidently inferring that God had called us to proclaim the Good News to the people there. 016:011 Accordingly we put out to sea from Troas, and ran a straight course to Samothrace. The next day we came to Neapolis, 016:012 and thence to Philippi, which is a city in Macedonia, the first in its district, a Roman colony. And there we stayed some little time. 016:013 On the Sabbath we went beyond the city gate to the riverside, where we had reason to believe that there was a place for prayer; and sitting down we talked with the women who had come together. 016:014 Among our hearers was one named Lydia, a dealer in purple goods. She belonged to the city of Thyateira, and was a worshipper of the true God. The Lord opened her heart, so that she gave attention to what Paul was saying. 016:015 When she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, "If in your judgement I am a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house." And she made us go there. 016:016 One day, as we were on our way to the place of prayer, a slave girl met us who claimed to be inspired and was accustomed to bring her owners large profits by telling fortunes. 016:017 She kept following close behind Paul and the rest of us, crying aloud, "These men are the bondservants of the Most High God, and are proclaiming to you the way of salvation." 016:018 This she persisted in for a considerable time, until Paul, wearied out, turned round and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out immediately. 016:019 But when her owners saw that their hopes of gain were gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them off to the magistrates in the public square. 016:020 Then they brought them before the praetors. "These men," they said, "are creating a great disturbance in our city. 016:021 They are Jews, and are teaching customs which we, as Romans, are not permitted to adopt or practise." 016:022 The crowd, too, joined in the outcry against them, till at length the praetors ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods; 016:023 and, after severely flogging them, they threw them into jail and bade the jailer keep them safely. 016:024 He, having received an order like that, lodged them in the inner prison, and secured their feet in the stocks. 016:025 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 016:026 when suddenly there was such a violent shock of earthquake that the prison shook to its foundations. Instantly the doors all flew open, and the chains fell off from every prisoner. 016:027 Starting up from sleep and seeing the doors of the jail wide open, the jailer drew his sword and was on the point of killing himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 016:028 But Paul shouted loudly to him, saying, "Do yourself no injury: we are all here. 016:029 Then, calling for lights, he sprang in and fell trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas; 016:030 and, bringing them out of the prison, he exclaimed, "O sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 016:031 "Believe on the Lord Jesus," they replied, "and both you and your household will be saved." 016:032 And they told the Lord's Message to him as well as to all who were in his house. 016:033 Then he took them,

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