Acts of the Apostles

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[...]   Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is on you, and you will be blind, not seeing the sun for a season!” Immediately a mist and darkness fell on him. He went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.   [...]

Acts of the Apostles: chapter 13, verse 11

Chapter 18, verse 4 - Chapter 23, verse 2

4 He reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Greeks.
5 But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.
6 When they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook out his clothing and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on, I will go to the Gentiles!”
7 He departed there, and went into the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue.
8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house. Many of the Corinthians, when they heard, believed and were baptized.
9 The Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Don’t be afraid, but speak and don’t be silent
10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many people in this city.”
11 He lived there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat,
13 saying, “This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.”
14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If indeed it were a matter of wrong or of wicked crime, you Jews, it would be reasonable that I should bear with you
15 but if they are questions about words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves. For I don’t want to be a judge of these matters.”
16 He drove them from the judgment seat.
17 Then all the Greeks laid hold on Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. Gallio didn’t care about any of these things.
18 Paul, having stayed after this many more days, took his leave of the brothers, and sailed from there for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. He shaved his head in Cenchreae, for he had a vow.
19 He came to Ephesus, and he left them there
20 When they asked him to stay with them a longer time, he declined
21 but taking his leave of them, and saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem, but I will return again to you if God wills,” he set sail from Ephesus.
22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the assembly, and went down to Antioch.
23 Having spent some time there, he departed, and went through the region of Galatia, and Phrygia, in order, establishing all the disciples.
24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by race, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus. He was mighty in the Scriptures.
25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord
26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside, and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
27 When he had determined to pass over into Achaia, the brothers encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him. When he had come, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace
28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews, publicly showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
Chapter 19
1 It happened that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper country, came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples.
2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They said to him, “No, we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
3 He said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.”
4 Paul said, “John indeed baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe in the one who would come after him, that is, in Jesus.”
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke with other languages and prophesied.
7 They were about twelve men in all. 19:8 He entered into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for a period of three months, reasoning and persuading about the things concerning the Kingdom of God.
9 But when some were hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
10 This continued for two years, so that all those who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
11 God worked special miracles by the hands of Paul,
12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and the evil spirits went out.
13 But some of the itinerant Jews, exorcists, took on themselves to invoke over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.”
14 There were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did this.
15 The evil spirit answered, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?”
16 The man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17 This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived at Ephesus. Fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
18 Many also of those who had believed came, confessing, and declaring their deeds.
19 Many of those who practiced magical arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. They counted their price, and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver.
20 So the word of the Lord was growing and becoming mighty.
21 Now after these things had ended, Paul determined in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.”
22 Having sent into Macedonia two of those who served him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.
23 About that time there arose no small stir concerning the Way.
24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen,
25 whom he gathered together, with the workmen of like occupation, and said, “Sirs, you know that by this business we have our wealth.
26 You see and hear, that not at Ephesus alone, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are no gods, that are made with hands.
27 Not only is there danger that this our trade come into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be counted as nothing, and her majesty destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worships.”
28 When they heard this they were filled with anger, and cried out, saying, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
29 The whole city was filled with confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel.
30 When Paul wanted to enter in to the people, the disciples didn’t allow him.
31 Certain also of the Asiarchs, being his friends, sent to him and begged him not to venture into the theater.
32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another, for the assembly was in confusion. Most of them didn’t know why they had come together.
33 They brought Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. Alexander beckoned with his hand, and would have made a defense to the people.
34 But when they perceived that he was a Jew, all with one voice for a time of about two hours cried out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
35 When the town clerk had quieted the multitude, he said, “You men of Ephesus, what man is there who doesn’t know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great goddess Artemis, and of the image which fell down from Zeus?
36 Seeing then that these things can’t be denied, you ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rash.
37 For you have brought these men here, who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess.
38 If therefore Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a matter against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls. Let them press charges against one another.
39 But if you seek anything about other matters, it will be settled in the regular assembly.
40 For indeed we are in danger of being accused concerning this day’s riot, there being no cause. Concerning it, we wouldn’t be able to give an account of this commotion.”
41 When he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.
Chapter 20
1 After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, took leave of them, and departed to go into Macedonia.
2 When he had gone through those parts, and had encouraged them with many words, he came into Greece.
3 When he had spent three months there, and a plot was made against him by Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he determined to return through Macedonia.
4 These accompanied him as far as Asia: Sopater of Beroea
5 But these had gone ahead, and were waiting for us at Troas.
6 We sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas in five days, where we stayed seven days.
7 On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and continued his speech until midnight.
8 There were many lights in the upper room where we were gathered together.
9 A certain young man named Eutychus sat in the window, weighed down with deep sleep. As Paul spoke still longer, being weighed down by his sleep, he fell down from the third story, and was taken up dead.
10 Paul went down, and fell upon him, and embracing him said, “Don’t be troubled, for his life is in him.”
11 When he had gone up, and had broken bread, and eaten, and had talked with them a long while, even until break of day, he departed.
12 They brought the boy in alive, and were greatly comforted.
13 But we who went ahead to the ship set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for he had so arranged, intending himself to go by land.
14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard, and came to Mitylene.
15 Sailing from there, we came the following day opposite Chios. The next day we touched at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium, and the day after we came to Miletus.
16 For Paul had determined to sail past Ephesus, that he might not have to spend time in Asia
17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called to himself the elders of the assembly.
18 When they had come to him, he said to them, “You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you all the time,
19 serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears, and with trials which happened to me by the plots of the Jews
20 how I didn’t shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, teaching you publicly and from house to house,
21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus.
22 Now, behold, I go bound by the Spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there
23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions wait for me.
24 But these things don’t count
25 “Now, behold, I know that you all, among whom I went about preaching the Kingdom of God, will see my face no more.
26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am clean from the blood of all men,
27 for I didn’t shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.
28 Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of the Lord and God which he purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know that after my departure, vicious wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Men will arise from among your own selves, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, remembering that for a period of three years I didn’t cease to admonish everyone night and day with tears.
32 Now, brothers, I entrust you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build up, and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
33 I coveted no one’s silver, or gold, or clothing.
34 You yourselves know that these hands served my necessities, and those who were with me.
35 In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring you ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
36 When he had spoken these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.
37 They all wept a lot, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him,
38 sorrowing most of all because of the word which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.
Chapter 21
1 When it happened that we had parted from them and had set sail, we came with a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara.
2 Having found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard, and set sail.
3 When we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left hand, we sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre, for there the ship was to unload her cargo.
4 Having found disciples, we stayed there seven days. These said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.
5 When it happened that we had accomplished the days, we departed and went on our journey. They all, with wives and children, brought us on our way until we were out of the city. Kneeling down on the beach, we prayed.
6 After saying goodbye to each other, we went on board the ship, and they returned home again.
7 When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais. We greeted the brothers, and stayed with them one day.
8 On the next day, we, who were Paul’s companions, departed, and came to Caesarea. We entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him.
9 Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.
10 As we stayed there some days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
11 Coming to us, and taking Paul’s belt, he bound his own feet and hands, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit: ‘So will the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and will deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”
12 When we heard these things, both we and they of that place begged him not to go up to Jerusalem.
13 Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
14 When he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The Lord’s will be done.”
15 After these days we took up our baggage and went up to Jerusalem.
16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea also went with us, bringing one Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we would stay.
17 When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly.
18 The day following, Paul went in with us to James
19 When he had greeted them, he reported one by one the things which God had worked among the Gentiles through his ministry.
20 They, when they heard it, glorified God. They said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law.
21 They have been informed about you, that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children neither to walk after the customs.
22 What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come.
23 Therefore do what we tell you. We have four men who have taken a vow.
24 Take them, and purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses for them, that they may shave their heads. Then all will know that there is no truth in the things that they have been informed about you, but that you yourself also walk keeping the law.
25 But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written our decision that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from food offered to idols, from blood, from strangled things, and from sexual immorality.”
26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purified himself and went with them into the temple, declaring the fulfillment of the days of purification, until the offering was offered for every one of them.
27 When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the multitude and laid hands on him,
28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place. Moreover, he also brought Greeks into the temple, and has defiled this holy place!”
29 For they had seen Trophimus, the Ephesian, with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.
30 All the city was moved, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple. Immediately the doors were shut.
31 As they were trying to kill him, news came up to the commanding officer of the regiment that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
32 Immediately he took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. They, when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, stopped beating Paul.
33 Then the commanding officer came near, arrested him, commanded him to be bound with two chains, and inquired who he was and what he had done.
34 Some shouted one thing, and some another, among the crowd. When he couldn’t find out the truth because of the noise, he commanded him to be brought into the barracks.
35 When he came to the stairs, it happened that he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd
36 for the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, “Away with him!”
37 As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he asked the commanding officer, “May I speak to you?”. He said, “Do you know Greek?
38 Aren’t you then the Egyptian, who before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?”
39 But Paul said, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.”
40 When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, beckoned with his hand to the people. When there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying,
Chapter 22
1 “Brothers and fathers, listen to the defense which I now make to you.”
2 When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they were even more quiet. He said,
3 “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed according to the strict tradition of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as you all are this day.
4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
5 As also the high priest and all the council of the elders testify, from whom also I received letters to the brothers, and traveled to Damascus to bring them also who were there to Jerusalem in bonds to be punished.
6 It happened that, as I made my journey, and came close to Damascus, about noon, suddenly there shone from the sky a great light around me.
7 I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
8 I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.’
9 “Those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they didn’t understand the voice of him who spoke to me.
10 I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Arise, and go into Damascus. There you will be told about all things which are appointed for you to do.’
11 When I couldn’t see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.
12 One Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well reported of by all the Jews who lived in Damascus,
13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ In that very hour I looked up at him.
14 He said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know his will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth.
15 For you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard.
16 Now why do you wait? Arise, be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’
17 “It happened that, when I had returned to Jerusalem, and while I prayed in the temple, I fell into a trance,
18 and saw him saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not receive testimony concerning me from you.’
19 I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those who believed in you.
20 When the blood of Stephen, your witness, was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting to his death, and guarding the cloaks of those who killed him.’
21 “He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you out far from here to the Gentiles.’”
22 They listened to him until he said that
23 As they cried out, and threw off their cloaks, and threw dust into the air,
24 the commanding officer commanded him to be brought into the barracks, ordering him to be examined by scourging, that he might know for what crime they shouted against him like that.
25 When they had tied him up with thongs, Paul asked the centurion who stood by, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and not found guilty?”
26 When the centurion heard it, he went to the commanding officer and told him, “Watch what you are about to do, for this man is a Roman!”
27 The commanding officer came and asked him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?”. He said, “Yes.”
28 The commanding officer answered, “I bought my citizenship for a great price.” Paul said, “But I was born a Roman.”
29 Immediately those who were about to examine him departed from him, and the commanding officer also was afraid when he realized that he was a Roman, because he had bound him.
30 But on the next day, desiring to know the truth about why he was accused by the Jews, he freed him from the bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all the council to come together, and brought Paul down and set him before them.
Chapter 23
1 Paul, looking steadfastly at the council, said, “Brothers, I have lived before God in all good conscience until this day.”
2 The high priest, Ananias, commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.