Paul in Macedonia and Greece
Act 20:1 When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia.
Act 20:2 He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece,
Act 20:3 where he stayed three months. Because the Jews made a plot against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia.
Act 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.
Act 20:5 These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas.
Act 20:6 But we sailed from Philippi after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days.
Eutychus Raised from the Dead
Act 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.
Act 20:8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting.
Act 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.
Act 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!”
Act 20:11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left.
Act 20:12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.
Act 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.
Act 20:14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene.
Act 20:15 The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Kios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus.
Act 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.
Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders
Act 20:17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church.
Act 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.
Act 20:19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews.
Act 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.
Act 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.
Act 20:22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.
Act 20:23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.
Act 20:24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.
Act 20:25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.
Act 20:26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men.
Act 20:27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.
Act 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.
Act 20:29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.
Act 20:30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
Act 20:31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
Act 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.
Act 20:33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.
Act 20:34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions.
Act 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.'”
Act 20:36 When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed.
Act 20:37 They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him.
Act 20:38 What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.
Paul Goes to Jerusalem
Act 21:1 After we had torn ourselves away from them, we put out to sea and sailed straight to Cos. The next day we went to Rhodes and from there to Patara.
Act 21:2 We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, went on board and set sail.
Act 21:3 After sighting Cyprus and passing to the south of it, we sailed on to Syria. We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo.
Act 21:4 Finding the disciples there, we stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.
Act 21:5 But when our time was up, we left and continued on our way. All the disciples and their wives and children accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray.
Act 21:6 After saying good-by to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.
Act 21:7 We continued our voyage from Tyre and landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and stayed with them for a day.
Act 21:8 Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven.
Act 21:9 He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.
Act 21:10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
Act 21:11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.'”
Act 21:12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.
Act 21:13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Act 21:14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”
Act 21:15 After this, we got ready and went up to Jerusalem.
Act 21:16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea accompanied us and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprus and one of the early disciples.
Paul Visits James
Act 21:17 When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers received us warmly.
Act 21:18 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present.
Act 21:19 Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
Act 21:20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law.
Act 21:21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs.
Act 21:22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come,
Act 21:23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow.
Act 21:24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.
Act 21:25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”
Act 21:26 The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.
Paul Arrested in the Temple
Act 21:27 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him,
Act 21:28 shouting, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple area and defiled this holy place.”
Act 21:29 (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple area.)
Act 21:30 The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut.
Act 21:31 While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar.
Act 21:32 He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
Act 21:33 The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done.
Act 21:34 Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks.
Act 21:35 When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers.
Act 21:36 The crowd that followed kept shouting, “Away with him!”
Paul Speaks to the People
Act 21:37 As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?” “Do you speak Greek?” he replied.
Act 21:38 “Aren’t you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the desert some time ago?”
Act 21:39 Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.”
Act 21:40 Having received the commander’s permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in Aramaic:
Act 22:1 “Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”
Act 22:2 When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet. Then Paul said:
Act 22:3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.
Act 22:4 I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison,
Act 22:5 as also the high priest and all the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.
Act 22:6 “About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.
Act 22:7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, “Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’
Act 22:8 “‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. “”I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied.
Act 22:9 My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.
Act 22:10 “‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked. “”Get up,’ the Lord said, “and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’
Act 22:11 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.
Act 22:12 “A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there.
Act 22:13 He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.
Act 22:14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth.
Act 22:15 You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.
Act 22:16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’
Act 22:17 “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance
Act 22:18 and saw the Lord speaking. “Quick!’ he said to me. “Leave Jerusalem immediately, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’
Act 22:19 “‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these men know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you.
Act 22:20 And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’
Act 22:21 “Then the Lord said to me, “Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'”
Paul and the Roman Tribune
Act 22:22 The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!”
Act 22:23 As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air,
Act 22:24 the commander ordered Paul to be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and questioned in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this.
Act 22:25 As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”
Act 22:26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.”
Act 22:27 The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes, I am,” he answered.
Act 22:28 Then the commander said, “I had to pay a big price for my citizenship.” “But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.
Act 22:29 Those who were about to question him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.
Paul Before the Council
Act 22:30 The next day, since the commander wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the Sanhedrin to assemble. Then he brought Paul and had him stand before them.
Act 23:1 Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.”
Act 23:2 At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth.
Act 23:3 Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!”
Act 23:4 Those who were standing near Paul said, “You dare to insult God’s high priest?”
Act 23:5 Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.'”
Act 23:6 Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead.”
Act 23:7 When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.
Act 23:8 (The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.)
Act 23:9 There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. “We find nothing wrong with this man,” they said. “What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”
Act 23:10 The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.
Act 23:11 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
A Plot to Kill Paul
Act 23:12 The next morning the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.
Act 23:13 More than forty men were involved in this plot.
Act 23:14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul.
Act 23:15 Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here.”
Act 23:16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul.
Act 23:17 Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him.”
Act 23:18 So he took him to the commander. The centurion said, “Paul, the prisoner, sent for me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.”
Act 23:19 The commander took the young man by the hand, drew him aside and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?”
Act 23:20 He said: “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul before the Sanhedrin tomorrow on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about him.
Act 23:21 Don’t give in to them, because more than forty of them are waiting in ambush for him. They have taken an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him. They are ready now, waiting for your consent to their request.”
Act 23:22 The commander dismissed the young man and cautioned him, “Don’t tell anyone that you have reported this to me.”
Paul Sent to Felix the Governor
Act 23:23 Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, “Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight.
Act 23:24 Provide mounts for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Governor Felix.”
Act 23:25 He wrote a letter as follows:
Act 23:26 Claudius Lysias, To His Excellency, Governor Felix: Greetings.
Act 23:27 This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him, but I came with my troops and rescued him, for I had learned that he is a Roman citizen.
Act 23:28 I wanted to know why they were accusing him, so I brought him to their Sanhedrin.
Act 23:29 I found that the accusation had to do with questions about their law, but there was no charge against him that deserved death or imprisonment.
Act 23:30 When I was informed of a plot to be carried out against the man, I sent him to you at once. I also ordered his accusers to present to you their case against him.
Act 23:31 So the soldiers, carrying out their orders, took Paul with them during the night and brought him as far as Antipatris.
Act 23:32 The next day they let the cavalry go on with him, while they returned to the barracks.
Act 23:33 When the cavalry arrived in Caesarea, they delivered the letter to the governor and handed Paul over to him.
Act 23:34 The governor read the letter and asked what province he was from. Learning that he was from Cilicia,
Act 23:35 he said, “I will hear your case when your accusers get here.” Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard in Herod’s palace.
Paul Before Felix at Caesarea
Act 24:1 Five days later the high priest Ananias went down to Caesarea with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus, and they brought their charges against Paul before the governor.
Act 24:2 When Paul was called in, Tertullus presented his case before Felix: “We have enjoyed a long period of peace under you, and your foresight has brought about reforms in this nation.
Act 24:3 Everywhere and in every way, most excellent Felix, we acknowledge this with profound gratitude.
Act 24:4 But in order not to weary you further, I would request that you be kind enough to hear us briefly.
Act 24:5 “We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect
Act 24:6 and even tried to desecrate the temple; so we seized him [and wanted to judge him according to our law.]
Act 24:7 [But the commander, Lysias, came and with the use of much force snatched him from our hands]
Act 24:8 [and ordered his accusers to come before you.] By examining him yourself you will be able to learn the truth about all these charges we are bringing against him.”
Act 24:9 The Jews joined in the accusation, asserting that these things were true.
Act 24:10 When the governor motioned for him to speak, Paul replied: “I know that for a number of years you have been a judge over this nation; so I gladly make my defense.
Act 24:11 You can easily verify that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship.
Act 24:12 My accusers did not find me arguing with anyone at the temple, or stirring up a crowd in the synagogues or anywhere else in the city.
Act 24:13 And they cannot prove to you the charges they are now making against me.
Act 24:14 However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets,
Act 24:15 and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.
Act 24:16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.
Act 24:17 “After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings.
Act 24:18 I was ceremonially clean when they found me in the temple courts doing this. There was no crowd with me, nor was I involved in any disturbance.
Act 24:19 But there are some Jews from the province of Asia, who ought to be here before you and bring charges if they have anything against me.
Act 24:20 Or these who are here should state what crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin—
Act 24:21 unless it was this one thing I shouted as I stood in their presence: ‘It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.'”
Paul Kept in Custody
Act 24:22 Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. “When Lysias the commander comes,” he said, “I will decide your case.”
Act 24:23 He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard but to give him some freedom and permit his friends to take care of his needs.
Act 24:24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus.
Act 24:25 As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.”
Act 24:26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.
Act 24:27 When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.
Paul Appeals to Caesar
Act 25:1 Three days after arriving in the province, Festus went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem,
Act 25:2 where the chief priests and Jewish leaders appeared before him and presented the charges against Paul.
Act 25:3 They urgently requested Festus, as a favor to them, to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem, for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way.
Act 25:4 Festus answered, “Paul is being held at Caesarea, and I myself am going there soon.
Act 25:5 Let some of your leaders come with me and press charges against the man there, if he has done anything wrong.”
Act 25:6 After spending eight or ten days with them, he went down to Caesarea, and the next day he convened the court and ordered that Paul be brought before him.
Act 25:7 When Paul appeared, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many serious charges against him, which they could not prove.
Act 25:8 Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar.”
Act 25:9 Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there on these charges?”
Act 25:10 Paul answered: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well.
Act 25:11 If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!”
Act 25:12 After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!”
Paul Before Agrippa and Bernice
Act 25:13 A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to pay their respects to Festus.
Act 25:14 Since they were spending many days there, Festus discussed Paul’s case with the king. He said: “There is a man here whom Felix left as a prisoner.
Act 25:15 When I went to Jerusalem, the chief priests and elders of the Jews brought charges against him and asked that he be condemned.
Act 25:16 “I told them that it is not the Roman custom to hand over any man before he has faced his accusers and has had an opportunity to defend himself against their charges.
Act 25:17 When they came here with me, I did not delay the case, but convened the court the next day and ordered the man to be brought in.
Act 25:18 When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected.
Act 25:19 Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive.
Act 25:20 I was at a loss how to investigate such matters; so I asked if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial there on these charges.
Act 25:21 When Paul made his appeal to be held over for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”
Act 25:22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear this man myself.” He replied, “Tomorrow you will hear him.”
Act 25:23 The next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and entered the audience room with the high ranking officers and the leading men of the city. At the command of Festus, Paul was brought in.
Act 25:24 Festus said: “King Agrippa, and all who are present with us, you see this man! The whole Jewish community has petitioned me about him in Jerusalem and here in Caesarea, shouting that he ought not to live any longer.
Act 25:25 I found he had done nothing deserving of death, but because he made his appeal to the Emperor I decided to send him to Rome.
Act 25:26 But I have nothing definite to write to His Majesty about him. Therefore I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that as a result of this investigation I may have something to write.
Act 25:27 For I think it is unreasonable to send on a prisoner without specifying the charges against him.”
Paul’s Defense Before Agrippa
Act 26:1 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense:
Act 26:2 “King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews,
Act 26:3 and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.
Act 26:4 “The Jews all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem.
Act 26:5 They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee.
Act 26:6 And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today.
Act 26:7 This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. O king, it is because of this hope that the Jews are accusing me.
Act 26:8 Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?
Act 26:9 “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Act 26:10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.
Act 26:11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.
Paul Tells of His Conversion
Act 26:12 “On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.
Act 26:13 About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions.
Act 26:14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
Act 26:15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “”I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied.
Act 26:16 “Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you.
Act 26:17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them
Act 26:18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
Act 26:19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.
Act 26:20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.
Act 26:21 That is why the Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me.
Act 26:22 But I have had God’s help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen—
Act 26:23 that the Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles.”
Act 26:24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”
Act 26:25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable.
Act 26:26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner.
Act 26:27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”
Act 26:28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
Act 26:29 Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”
Act 26:30 The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them.
Act 26:31 They left the room, and while talking with one another, they said, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.”
Act 26:32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
Paul Sails for Rome
Act 27:1 When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment.
Act 27:2 We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us.
Act 27:3 The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs.
Act 27:4 From there we put out to sea again and passed to the lee of Cyprus because the winds were against us.
Act 27:5 When we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia.
Act 27:6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board.
Act 27:7 We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone.
Act 27:8 We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea.
Act 27:9 Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast. So Paul warned them,
Act 27:10 “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.”
Act 27:11 But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship.
Act 27:12 Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest.
The Storm at Sea
Act 27:13 When a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete.
Act 27:14 Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the “northeaster,” swept down from the island.
Act 27:15 The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along.
Act 27:16 As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure.
Act 27:17 When the men had hoisted it aboard, they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Fearing that they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along.
Act 27:18 We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard.
Act 27:19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands.
Act 27:20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.
Act 27:21 After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss.
Act 27:22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.
Act 27:23 Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me
Act 27:24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’
Act 27:25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.
Act 27:26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”
Act 27:27 On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land.
Act 27:28 They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep.
Act 27:29 Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight.
Act 27:30 In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow.
Act 27:31 Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.”
Act 27:32 So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it fall away.
Act 27:33 Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything.
Act 27:34 Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.”
Act 27:35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat.
Act 27:36 They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves.
Act 27:37 Altogether there were 276 of us on board.
Act 27:38 When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea.
Act 27:39 When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could.
Act 27:40 Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach.
Act 27:41 But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf.
Act 27:42 The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping.
Act 27:43 But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land.
Act 27:44 The rest were to get there on planks or on pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land in safety.
Paul on Malta
Act 28:1 Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta.
Act 28:2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.
Act 28:3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand.
Act 28:4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.”
Act 28:5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.
Act 28:6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.
Act 28:7 There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and for three days entertained us hospitably.
Act 28:8 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him.
Act 28:9 When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured.
Act 28:10 They honored us in many ways and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.
Paul Arrives at Rome
Act 28:11 After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island. It was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux.
Act 28:12 We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days.
Act 28:13 From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli.
Act 28:14 There we found some brothers who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome.
Act 28:15 The brothers there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these men Paul thanked God and was encouraged.
Act 28:16 When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.
Paul in Rome
Act 28:17 Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans.
Act 28:18 They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death.
Act 28:19 But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar—not that I had any charge to bring against my own people.
Act 28:20 For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.”
Act 28:21 They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you.
Act 28:22 But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.”
Act 28:23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.
Act 28:24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.
Act 28:25 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet:
Act 28:26 “‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
Act 28:27 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’
Act 28:28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”
Act 28:29 [After he said this, the Jews left, arguing vigorously among themselves.]
Act 28:30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him.
Act 28:31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.