Saul Ravages the Church
8 And bSaul capproved of his execution.
And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and dthey were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. 3 But eSaul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he fdragged off men and women and committed them to prison.
Philip Proclaims Christ in Samaria
4 Now gthose who were scattered went about preaching the word. 5 hPhilip went down to the city1 of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. 6 iAnd the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him jand saw the signs that he did. 7 For kunclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So lthere was much joy in that city.
Simon the Magician Believes
9 But there was a man named Simon, mwho had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, nsaying that he himself was somebody great. 10 They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, o“This man is the power of God that is called pGreat.” 11 And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had qamazed them with his magic. 12 But when rthey believed Philip as he preached good news sabout the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, rthey were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And tseeing signs and ugreat miracles2 performed, vhe was amazed.
14 Now when wthe apostles at Jerusalem heard that xSamaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them ythat they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 for zhe had not yet afallen on any of them, but bthey had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then cthey laid their hands on them and dthey received the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, e“May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God fwith money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for gyour heart is not right before God. 22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, hif possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are in ithe gall3 of bitterness and in jthe bond of iniquity.” 24 And Simon answered, k“Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”
25 Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, lpreaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.
Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
26 Now man angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south4 to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went. And there was an nEthiopian, a oeunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, pwho was in charge of all her treasure. qHe had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, r“How can I, unless someone sguides me?” And the invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:
u“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.
33 In his vhumiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”
34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and wbeginning with this Scripture xhe told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! yWhat prevents me from being baptized?”5 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, zthe Spirit of the Lord acarried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.
The Conversion of Saul
9 But Saul, bstill cbreathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to dthe high priest 2 and asked him for letters eto the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to fthe Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 gNow as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. 4 And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting hme?” 5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, hwhom you are persecuting. 6 But irise and enter the city, and you will be told jwhat you are to do.” 7 kThe men who were traveling with him stood speechless, lhearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, mhe saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named nAnanias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, o“Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man pof Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and qlay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, rhow much evil he has done to syour tsaints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from uthe chief priests to bind all who vcall on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for whe is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name xbefore the Gentiles and ykings and the children of Israel. 16 For zI will show him how much ahe must suffer bfor the sake of my name.” 17 So cAnanias departed and entered the house. And dlaying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and ebe filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and fhe regained his sight. Then ghe rose and was baptized; 19 and htaking food, he was strengthened.
Saul Proclaims Jesus in Synagogues
For isome days he was with the disciples at Damascus. 20 And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, j“He is the Son of God.” 21 And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who kmade havoc lin Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” 22 But Saul mincreased all the more in strength, and nconfounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving othat Jesus was the Christ.
Saul Escapes from Damascus
23 pWhen many days had passed, the Jews1 plotted to kill him, 24 but their qplot became known to Saul. rThey were watching the gates day and night in order to kill him, 25 but his disciples took him by night and slet him down through an opening in the wall,2 lowering him in a basket.
Saul in Jerusalem
26 And twhen he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But uBarnabas took him and vbrought him to the apostles and declared to them whow on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and xhow at Damascus he had ypreached boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 So he went zin and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 And he spoke and disputed against athe Hellenists.3 But bthey were seeking to kill him. 30 And when cthe brothers learned this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off dto Tarsus.
31 So ethe church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And fwalking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, git multiplied.
The Healing of Aeneas
32 Now has Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed. 34 And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, iJesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. 35 jAnd all the residents of Lydda and kSharon saw him, and lthey turned to the Lord.
Dorcas Restored to Life
36 Now there was in mJoppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas.4 She was full of ngood works and acts of charity. 37 In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in oan upper room. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, p“Please come to us without delay.” 39 So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to qthe upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics5 and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. 40 But Peter rput them all outside, and sknelt down and prayed; and turning to the body the said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. 41 And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then, calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and umany believed in the Lord. 43 And he stayed in Joppa for many days vwith one Simon, a tanner.
Peter and Cornelius
10 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of wwhat was known as the Italian Cohort, 2 a devout man xwho feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. 3 yAbout the ninth hour of the day1 zhe saw clearly in a vision aan angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms bhave ascended cas a memorial before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is lodging dwith one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.” 7 When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, 8 and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, ePeter went up fon the housetop about gthe sixth hour2 to pray. 10 And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into ha trance 11 and saw ithe heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; jfor I have never eaten anything that is kcommon or lunclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, m“What God has made clean, do not call common.” 16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.
17 Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what nthe vision that he had seen might mean, behold, othe men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon’s house, stood at the gate 18 and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there. 19 And while Peter was pondering nthe vision, pthe Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you. 20 Rise and go down and qaccompany them without hesitation,3 for I have sent them.” 21 And Peter went down to the men and said, “I am the one you are looking for. What is the reason for your coming?” 22 And they said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and rGod-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by sa holy angel to send for you to come to his house and tto hear what you have to say.” 23 So he invited them in to be his guests.
The next day he rose and went away with them, and usome of vthe brothers from Joppa accompanied him. 24 And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and wfell down at his feet and xworshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, y“Stand up; I too am a man.” 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. 28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew zto associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but aGod has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.”
30 And Cornelius said, b“Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at cthe ninth hour,4 and behold, da man stood before me in bright clothing 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, eyour prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”
Gentiles Hear the Good News
34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that fGod gshows no partiality, 35 but fin every nation anyone who fears him and hdoes what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for ithe word that he sent to Israel, jpreaching good news of kpeace through Jesus Christ (lhe is Lord of all), 37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, mbeginning nfrom Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how oGod anointed Jesus of Nazareth pwith the Holy Spirit and with qpower. He went about doing good and healing all rwho were oppressed by the devil, sfor God was with him. 39 And twe are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. uThey put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but vGod raised him on wthe third day and made him to xappear, 41 ynot to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as zwitnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And ahe commanded us to preach to the people and to testify bthat he is the one appointed by God to be judge cof the living and the dead. 43 dTo him eall the prophets bear witness that feveryone who believes in him receives gforgiveness of sins hthrough his name.”
The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles
44 While Peter was still saying these things, ithe Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among jthe circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because kthe gift of the Holy Spirit lwas poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them mspeaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47 n“Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit ojust as we have?” 48 And he pcommanded them qto be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.
Peter Reports to the Church
11 Now the apostles and rthe brothers1 who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, sthe circumcision party2 criticized him, saying, 3 t“You went to uncircumcised men and uate with them.” 4 But Peter began and explained it to them in order: 5 v“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me. 6 Looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. 7 And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8 But I said, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ 10 This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven. 11 And behold, at that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea. 12 And the Spirit told me to go with them, wmaking no distinction. xThese six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; 14 yhe will declare to you a message by which zyou will be saved, you and all your household.’ 15 As I began to speak, athe Holy Spirit fell on them bjust as on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, c‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If then dGod gave ethe same gift to them as he gave to us fwhen we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, gwho was I hthat I could stand in God’s way?” 18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they iglorified God, saying, j“Then to the Gentiles also God has kgranted lrepentance that leads to life.”
The Church in Antioch
19 mNow those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists3 also, npreaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And othe hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed pturned to the Lord. 22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he came and saw qthe grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord rwith steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, sfull of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people twere added to the Lord. 25 So Barnabas went to uTarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called vChristians.
27 Now in these days wprophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named xAgabus stood up and foretold yby the Spirit that there would be a great zfamine over all the world (this took place in the days of aClaudius). 29 So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, bto send relief to cthe brothers4 living in Judea. 30 dAnd they did so, sending it to ethe elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
James Killed and Peter Imprisoned
12 About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. 2 He killed fJames the brother of John gwith the sword, 3 and when he saw hthat it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during ithe days of Unleavened Bread. 4 And when he had seized him, he put him jin prison, delivering him over to four ksquads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest lprayer for him was made to God by the church.
Peter Is Rescued
6 Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, mbound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. 7 And behold, nan angel of the Lord ostood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. pHe struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And qthe chains fell off his hands. 8 And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and rput on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9 And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but sthought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. tIt opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter ucame to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that vthe Lord has sent his angel and wrescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of xJohn whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and ywere praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, za servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, ain her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is bhis angel!” 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But cmotioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to dJames and to ethe brothers.”1 Then he departed and went to another place.
18 Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19 And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and fordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there.
The Death of Herod
20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and ghaving persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain,2 they asked for peace, because htheir country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately ian angel of the Lord struck him down, because jhe did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.
24 But kthe word of God increased and multiplied.
25 lAnd Barnabas and Saul returned from3 Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them mJohn, whose other name was Mark.