Acts 26

Paul Before Felix at Caesarea

24 And safter five days the high priest tAnanias came down with some elders and a spokesman, one Tertullus. They laid before uthe governor their case against Paul. And when he had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying:

Since through you we enjoy much peace, and since by your foresight, vmost excellent Felix, reforms are being made for this nation, in every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude. But, to detain1 you no further, I beg you in your kindness to hear us briefly. For we have found this man a plague, wone who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of xthe sect of the Nazarenes. yHe even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him.2 By examining him yourself you will be able to find out from him about everything of which we accuse him.

The Jews also joined in the charge, affirming that all these things were so.

10 And when the governor had nodded to him to speak, Paul replied:

Knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation, I cheerfully make my defense. 11 You can verify that zit is not more than twelve days since I awent up bto worship in Jerusalem, 12 and cthey did not find me disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd, either in the temple or in the synagogues or in the city. 13 dNeither can they prove to you what they now bring up against me. 14 But this I confess to you, that according to ethe Way, which they call fa sect, gI worship hthe God of our fathers, believing everything ilaid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, 15 jhaving ka hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be la resurrection mof both the just and the unjust. 16 So I always ntake pains to have a oclear conscience toward both God and man. 17 Now pafter several years qI came to bring alms to rmy nation and to present sofferings. 18 While I was doing this, they found me tpurified in the temple, without any crowd or tumult. But usome Jews from Asia 19 vthey ought to be here before you and to make an accusation, should they have anything against me. 20 Or else let these men themselves say what wrongdoing they found when I stood before the council, 21 other than this one thing wthat I cried out while standing among them: It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.

Paul Kept in Custody

22 But Felix, having a rather accurate knowledge of xthe Way, put them off, saying, When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case. 23 Then he gave orders to the centurion that he yshould be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that znone of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs.

24 After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about afaith bin Christ Jesus. 25 And as he reasoned cabout righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, Go away for the present. dWhen I get an opportunity I will summon you. 26 At the same time he hoped ethat money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him. 27 When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius fFestus. And gdesiring to do the Jews a favor, hFelix left Paul in prison.

Paul Appeals to Caesar

25 Now three days after Festus had arrived in ithe province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews jlaid out their case against Paul, and they urged him, asking as a favor against Paul1 that he summon him to Jerusalembecause kthey were planning an ambush to kill him on the way. Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea and that he himself intended to go there shortly. So, said he, let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them bring charges against him.

After he stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day he took his seat on lthe tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. When he had arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him mthat they could not prove. Paul argued in his defense, Neither nagainst othe law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor pagainst Caesar have I committed any offense. But Festus, qwishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me? 10 But Paul said, I am standing before Caesar's rtribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. 11 If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. sI appeal to Caesar. 12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.

Paul Before Agrippa and Bernice

13 Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the king and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and greeted Festus. 14 And as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul's case before the king, saying, tThere is a man left prisoner by Felix, 15 and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews laid out their case uagainst him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. 16 vI answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone wbefore the accused met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge laid against him. 17 xSo when they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on ythe tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. 18 When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed. 19 Rather they zhad certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about aa certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. 20 Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I basked whether he wanted to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them. 21 But cwhen Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of dthe emperor, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to Caesar. 22 Then eAgrippa said to Festus, I would like to hear the man myself. Tomorrow, said he, you will hear him.

23 So on the next day fAgrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. 24 And Festus said, King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom gthe whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, hshouting that he ought not to live any longer. 25 But I found that ihe had done nothing deserving death. And jas he himself appealed to kthe emperor, I decided to go ahead and send him. 26 But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write. 27 For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him.

Paul's Defense Before Agrippa

26 So lAgrippa said to Paul, You have permission to speak for yourself. Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense:

I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today magainst all the accusations of the Jews, especially because you are familiar with all the ncustoms and ocontroversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.

pMy manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among qmy own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that raccording to the strictest sparty of our treligion I have lived as ua Pharisee. And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in vthe promise made by God to our fathers, wto which xour twelve tribes hope to yattain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope zI am accused by Jews, O king! Why is it thought aincredible by any of you that God raises the dead?

bI myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of cJesus of Nazareth. 10 dAnd I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority efrom the chief priests, but fwhen they were put to death I cast my vote against them. 11 And gI punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them hblaspheme, and iin raging fury against them I jpersecuted them even to foreign cities.

Paul Tells of His Conversion

12 In this connection kI journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me lin the Hebrew language,1 Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads. 15 And I said, Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and mstand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, nto appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 odelivering you from your people and from the Gentilespto whom I qam sending you 18 rto open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from sthe power of Satan to God, that they may receive tforgiveness of sins and ua place among those who are sanctified vby faith in me.

19 Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to wthe heavenly vision, 20 but declared first xto those in Damascus, ythen in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also zto the Gentiles, that they should arepent and bturn to God, performing deeds cin keeping with their repentance. 21 For this reason dthe Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 eTo this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so fI stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what gthe prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 hthat the Christ imust suffer and that, jby being the first kto rise from the dead, lhe would proclaim mlight both to our people and to the Gentiles.

24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, nyou are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind. 25 But Paul said, I am not out of my mind, omost excellent Festus, but I am speaking ptrue and qrational words. 26 For rthe king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe. 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, In a short time would you persuade me to be sa Christian?2 29 And Paul said, Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day tmight become such as I amexcept for uthese chains.

30 Then the king rose, and vthe governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them. 31 And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, wThis man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment. 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, xThis man could have been set yfree if he had not appealed zto Caesar.

Paul Sails for Rome

27 And when it was decided athat bwe should sail for Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion of the Augustan cCohort named Julius. And embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by dAristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. The next day we put in at Sidon. And eJulius ftreated Paul kindly and ggave him leave to go to his friends and be cared for. And putting out to sea from there we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us. And when we had sailed across the open sea along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra in Lycia. There the centurion found ha ship of Alexandria sailing for Italy and put us on board. We sailed slowly for a number of days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, and as the wind did not allow us to go farther, we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmone. Coasting along it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near which was the city of Lasea.

Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even ithe Fast1 was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with jinjury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives. 11 But the centurion paid more attention to kthe pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said. 12 And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing both southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there.

The Storm at Sea

13 Now when the south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close to the shore. 14 But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster, lstruck down from the land. 15 And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along. 16 Running under the lee of a small island called Cauda,2 we managed with difficulty to secure the ship's boat. 17 After hoisting it up, they used supports to undergird the ship. Then, fearing that they would mrun aground on the Syrtis, they lowered the gear,3 and thus they were driven along. 18 Since we were violently storm-tossed, they began the next day nto jettison the cargo. 19 And on the third day they threw the ship's tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.

21 Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, Men, oyou should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this oinjury and loss. 22 Yet now I urge you to ptake heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For this very night qthere rstood before me san angel of the God tto whom I belong and uwhom I worship, 24 and he said, Do not be afraid, Paul; vyou must stand before Caesar. And behold, wGod has granted you all those who sail with you. 25 So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26 But xwe must yrun aground on some island.

27 When the fourteenth night had come, as we were being driven across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land. 28 So they took a sounding and found twenty fathoms.4 A little farther on they took a sounding again and found fifteen fathoms.5 29 And fearing that we might zrun on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. 30 And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, and had lowered athe ship's boat into the sea under pretense of laying out anchors from the bow, 31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved. 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship's boat and let it go.

33 As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing. 34 Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength,6 for bnot a hair is to perish from the head of any of you. 35 And when he had said these things, he took bread, and cgiving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. 36 Then they all dwere encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37 (We were in all 2767 epersons in the ship.) 38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, fthrowing out the wheat into the sea.

The Shipwreck

39 Now when it was day, gthey did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned if possible to run the ship ashore. 40 So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that tied the rudders. Then hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach. 41 But striking a reef,8 hthey ran the vessel aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable, and the stern was being broken up by the surf. 42 iThe soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any should swim away and escape. 43 But the centurion, jwishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, 44 and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that kall were brought safely to land.

Paul on Malta

28 After we were brought safely through, lwe then learned that mthe island was called Malta. nThe native people1 showed us unusual okindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold. When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand. When pthe native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, qNo doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, rJustice2 has not allowed him to live. He, however, sshook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, tthey changed their minds and usaid that he was a god.

Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and vprayed, and wputting his hands on him, healed him. And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. 10 They also honored us greatly,3 and when we were about to sail, they put on board whatever we needed.

Paul Arrives at Rome

11 After three months we set sail in xa ship that had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods4 as a figurehead. 12 Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days. 13 And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhegium. And after one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 14 There we found ybrothers5 and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15 And ythe brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, zPaul thanked God and took courage. 16 And when we came into Rome, aPaul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him.

Paul in Rome

17 After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, Brothers, bthough I had done nothing against our people or cthe customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18 When they had examined me, they dwished to set me at liberty, ebecause there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. 19 But because the Jews objected, I was compelled fto appeal to Caesarthough I had no charge to bring against gmy nation. 20 For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is hbecause of ithe hope of Israel that I am wearing jthis kchain. 21 And they said to him, We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of lthe brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you. 22 But we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with regard to this msect we know that everywhere nit is spoken against.

23 When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening ohe expounded to them, testifying to pthe kingdom of God and qtrying to convince them about Jesus rboth from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 And ssome were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. 25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: tThe Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:

26  uGo to this people, and say,

vYou will indeed hear but never understand,

and you will indeed see but never perceive.

27  wFor this people's heart has grown dull,

and with their ears they can barely hear,

and their eyes they have closed;

lest they should see with their eyes

and hear with their ears

and understand with their heart

and xturn, and I would heal them.

28 Therefore let it be known to you that ythis zsalvation of God ahas been sent to the Gentiles; bthey will listen.6

30 He lived there two whole years at his own expense,7 and cwelcomed all who came to him, 31 dproclaiming ethe kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ fwith all boldness and gwithout hindrance.