Bible: The New Testament

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The Acts of the Apostles (XXII - XXVIII)

Full Text The Acts of the Apostles (XXII - XXVIII)

XXII.  

Brethren, and fathers, hear my defense, which I now make to you. 2And hearing that he spoke to them in the Hebrew tongue, they kept the more silence. 3And he says: I am a Jew, born indeed in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, taught at the feet of Gamaliel, according to the strictness of the law of the fathers, being zealous for God, as ye all are this day. 4And I persecuted this Way unto death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. 5As also the high priest bears me witness, and all the eldership; from whom, moreover, I received letters to the brethren, and was journeying to Damascus, to bring also those who were there bound to Jerusalem, that they might be punished.

6And it came to pass, that as I journeyed, and came near to Damascus, about midday, there suddenly flashed around me a great light out of heaven. 7And I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 8And I answered: Who art thou, Lord? And he said to me: I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom thou persecutest. 9And they who were with me beheld indeed the light, and were afraid; but the voice of him who spoke to me they heard not. 10And I said: What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me: Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee concerning all things which it is appointed thee to do.

11And as I could not see, for the glory of that light, being led by the hand by those who were with me, I came into Damascus. 12And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report from all the Jews who dwelt there, 13came to me, and standing by me said to me: Brother Saul, receive sight. And I, in that very hour, looked up upon him. 14And he said: The God of our fathers appointed thee to know his will, and to see the Just One, and to hear a voice out of his mouth. 15For thou shalt be a witness for him to all men, of what thou hast seen, and didst hear. 16And now why tarriest thou? Arise, be immersed and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.

17And it came to pass, when I had returned to Jerusalem, and as I was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance, 18and saw him saying to me: Make haste, and go forth quickly out of Jerusalem; for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. 19And I said: Lord, they well know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those who believe on thee; 20and when the blood of thy witness Stephen was shed, then I myself was standing by, and consenting, and keeping the garments of those who slew him. 21And he said to me: Depart; for I will send thee far hence to the Gentiles.

22And they heard him unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said: Away with such a one from the earth; for it was not fit that he should live. 23And as they were crying out, and throwing up their garments, and casting dust into the air, 24the chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know for what charge they were thus crying out against him.

25And as they stretched him forth with the thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by: Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned? 26The centurion, hearing it, he went and told the chief captain, saying: What art thou about to do? For this man is a Roman. 27And the chief captain came, and said to him: Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said: Yes. 28And the chief captain answered: For a great sum I obtained this freedom. And Paul said: But I was born free.

29Immediately, therefore, they departed from him who were about to examine him; and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.

30On the morrow, wishing to know the certainty, wherefore he was accused by the Jews, he released him, and commanded the chief priests and all the council to come together; and he brought Paul down, and set him before them.

XXIII.  

And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said: Men, brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God unto this day.

2And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to smite him on the mouth.

3Then Paul said to him: God will smite thee, thou whited wall. And dost thou sit to judge me according to the law, and command me to be smitten contrary to law?

4And they that stood by said: Revilest thou God's high priest?

5And Paul said: I knew not, brethren, that he is high priest; for it is written: Thou shalt not speak evil of a ruler of thy people.

6And Paul, knowing that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, cried out in the council: Men, brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; for the hope of the resurrection of the dead I am now judged.

7And when he had said this, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the multitude was divided. 8For Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit; but Pharisees acknowledge both.

9And there arose a great clamor; and the scribes of the party of the Pharisees arose, and contended, saying: We find no evil in this man; but if a spirit spoke to him, or an angel?—

10And a great dissension arising, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should be pulled in pieces by them, commanded the soldiery to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.

11And the night following, the Lord stood by him, and said: Be of good courage; for as thou didst fully testify the things concerning me at Jerusalem, so must thou testify also at Rome.

12And when it was day, the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13And they were more than forty who made this conspiracy. 14And they came to the chief priests and the elders, and said: We bound ourselves under a great curse, to taste nothing until we have slain Paul.

15Now therefore do ye, with the council, signify to the chief captain that he bring him down to you, as though ye would ascertain more exactly the matters concerning him; and we, before he comes near, are ready to kill him.

16And the son of Paul's sister, hearing of their lying in wait, went and entered into the castle, and told Paul. 17Then Paul called one of the centurions to him, and said: Bring this young man to the chief captain; for he has something to tell him. 18So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said: Paul, the prisoner, called me to him, and asked me to bring this young man to thee, as he has something to say to thee.

19Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went aside privately, and asked: What is that thou hast to tell me? 20And he said: The Jews agreed to desire thee, that thou wouldst bring down Paul to-morrow into the council, as though they would inquire somewhat more exactly concerning him. 21But do not thou yield to them; for of them more than forty men are lying in wait for him, who bound themselves with an oath, neither to eat nor to drink till they have killed him; and now they are ready, looking for the promise from thee. 22The chief captain therefore dismissed the young man, having charged him to say to no one, that thou didst show these things to me. 23And calling to him two or three of the centurions, he said: Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Cæsarea, and seventy horsemen, two hundred spearmen, at the third hour of the night; 24and let them provide beasts, that they may set Paul thereon, and bring him safe to Felix the governor.

25And he wrote a letter after this manner: 26Claudius Lysias to the most excellent governor Felix, sends greeting. 27This man was taken by the Jews, and was about to be killed by them; but I came upon them with the soldiery, and rescued him, having learned that he is a Roman. 28And wishing to know the crime for which they were accusing him, I brought him down into their council; 29whom I found to be accused concerning questions of their law, but having nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds. 30And being informed that a plot was about to be laid against the man, I sent straightway to thee, having also commanded the accusers to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell.

31The soldiers, therefore, as was commanded them, took up Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32But on the morrow, leaving the horsemen to go with him, they returned to the castle; 33who, when they had entered into Cæsarea, and delivered the letter to the governor, presented Paul also before him. 34And having read it, he asked of what province he was. And learning that he was from Cilicia, 35he said: I will hear thee fully, when thy accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in the prætorium of Herod.

XXIV.  

And after five days, the high priest Ananias came down with the elders and a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul; 2and he having been called, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying: Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done for this nation through thy providence, in every way and everywhere; 3we accept it, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.

4But, not to hinder thee too long, I pray thee that thou wouldst hear us of thy clemency a few words. 5For we have found this man to be a pest, and exciting disturbance among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes; 6who also attempted to profane the temple; whom we took, [and desired to judge according to our law. 7But Lysias the chief captain came, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, 8commanding his accusers to come before thee;] from whom thou canst thyself ascertain, by examination, concerning all these things whereof we accuse him.

9And the Jews also joined in assailing him, saying that these things were so.

10Then Paul, the governor having beckoned to him to speak, answered: Knowing that thou hast been for many years a judge for this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself; 11inasmuch as thou mayest know, that there are not more than twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship; 12and neither in the temple did they find me disputing with any one, or causing a tumult of the people, nor in the synagogues, nor in the city; 13nor can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.

14But this I acknowledge to thee, that according to the way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of our fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets; 15having a hope toward God, which these themselves also look for, that there will be a resurrection both of the just and unjust. 16Therefore do I also myself strive to have always a conscience void of offense toward God and men.

17And after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings. 18Amidst which they found me purified in the temple, not with a crowd, nor with tumult; but certain Jews from Asia [caused it], 19who ought to be here before thee, and make accusation, if they had aught against me. 20Or let these themselves say what crime they found in me, while I stood before the council, 21except for this one voice that I cried, standing among them: Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am judged by you this day.

22And Felix put them off, knowing the things concerning the Way more accurately, saying: When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will fully inquire into your matters. 23And he commanded the centurion that he should be guarded, and should have indulgence; and to forbid none of his acquaintance to minister to him.

24And after certain days, Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and the judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered: Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. 26He hoped also that money would be given him by Paul; wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and conversed with him.

27But after two years, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and Felix, wishing to gain favor with the Jews, left Paul bound.

XXV.  

Festus, therefore, having come into the province, after three days went up from Cæsarea to Jerusalem.

2And the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him, 3asking for themselves a favor against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, preparing an ambush to slay him on the way. 4But Festus answered, that Paul was to be kept a prisoner at Cæsarea, and that he himself should soon go thither. 5Let them therefore, said he, who are powerful among you, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there is any wickedness in him.

6And having tarried among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Cæsarea; and on the morrow, sitting on the judgment-seat, he commanded Paul to be brought. 7And when he was come, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around, bringing many and grievous charges, which they could not prove; 8while Paul said in defense: Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Cæsar, did I commit any offense.

9But Festus, wishing to gain favor with the Jews, answered Paul, and said: Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged concerning these things, before me? 10And Paul said; I stand at Cæsar's judgment-seat, where I ought to be judged. To Jews I did no wrong, as thou also very well knowest. 11If then I am an offender, and have done anything worthy of death, I refuse not to die; but if there be none of the things whereof these accuse me, no man can give me up to them. I appeal to Cæsar.

12Then Festus, having conferred with the council, answered: Thou hast appealed to Cæsar; to Cæsar thou shalt go.

13And after certain days, Agrippa the king, and Bernice, came to Cæsarea to salute Festus. 14And as they were spending some days there, Festus laid the case of Paul before the king, saying: There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix; 15about whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews made complaint, asking for judgment against him. 16To whom I answered: It is not a custom for Romans to give up any man, before the accused has the accusers face to face, and has opportunity to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.

17When, therefore, they had come together here, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment-seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth; 18and standing up around him, the accusers brought no accusation of such things as I supposed; 19but had certain controversies with him concerning their own religion, and concerning a certain Jesus who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. 20And I, being perplexed in regard to the dispute about these things, asked whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged concerning them. 21But Paul having appealed, to be kept in custody for the decision of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept until I shall send him up to Cæsar.

22And Agrippa said to Festus: I would also hear the man myself. To-morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.

23On the morrow, therefore, Agrippa and Bernice having come with great pomp, and entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains and principal men of the city, at Festus' command Paul was brought forth. 24And Festus said: King Agrippa, and all men who are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews interceded with me, both at Jerusalem and here, Crying out that he ought not to live any longer. 25But having found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and he himself having appealed to Augustus, I determined to send him. 26Of whom I have nothing certain to write to my lord. Wherefore I brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, king Agrippa, in order that, the examination having been made, I may have something to write. 27For it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not also signify the charges against him.

XXVI.  

And Agrippa said to Paul: Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:

2I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself before thee this day, concerning all things whereof I am accused by Jews; 3especially since thou art expert in all the customs and questions among Jews. Wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.

4My manner of life, therefore, from my youth, which was from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all Jews know; 5having known me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived a Pharisee. 6And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to the fathers; 7unto which our twelve tribes, earnestly serving day and night, hope to attain; concerning which hope, O king, I am accused by Jews.

8Why is it judged incredible with you, if God, raises the dead?

9I therefore thought to myself, that I ought to do many hostile things against the name of Jesus the Nazarene. 10Which I also did in Jerusalem; and many of the saints did I myself shut up in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. 11And punishing them often, throughout all the synagogues, I constrained them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them also unto foreign cities.

12Whereupon, as I went to Damascus with authority and a commission from the chief priests, 13at midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. 14And we all having fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking to me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the goads. 15And I said: Who art thou, Lord? And he said: I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest. 16But arise, and stand upon thy feet; for I appeared to thee for this purpose, to appoint thee a minister and a witness both of the things which thou sawest, and of the things in which I will appear to thee; 17delivering thee from the people, and the Gentiles, to whom I send thee, 18to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may obtain forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among the sanctified, by faith in me.

19Wherefore, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision; 20but to those in Damascus first, and in Jerusalem, and unto all the region of Judæa, and to the Gentiles, I announced that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.

21For these causes the Jews, seizing me in the temple, attempted to kill me. 22Having therefore obtained help from God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying nothing except those things which the prophets and Moses said should come; 23whether the Christ should suffer, whether he, the first of the resurrection from the dead, shall show light to the people and to the Gentiles.

24And as he thus spoke for himself, Festus said with a loud voice: Paul, thou art mad; much learning makes thee mad.

25But he said: I am not mad, most noble Festus; but utter words of truth and soberness. 26For the king knows well concerning these things, to whom also I speak boldly; for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this has not been done in a corner. 27King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.

28And Agrippa said to Paul: With little pains thou persuadest me to become a Christian. 29And Paul said: I could pray God, that with little or much, not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, may become such as I am, except these bonds.

30And the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they who sat with them. 31And having withdrawn, they talked together, saying: This man does nothing worthy of death or of bonds. 32And Agrippa said to Festus: This man could have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed to Cæsar.

XXVII.  

And when it was determined that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners to a centurion named Julius, of the Augustan band. 2And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, about to sail along the coasts of Asia, we put to sea, Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us. 3And on the second day we landed at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul humanely, and permitted him to go to his friends and receive their care. 4And thence having put to sea, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary, 5And having sailed over the sea along Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. 6And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing to Italy; and he put us on board of it. 7And sailing slowly many days, and having come with difficulty over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us to put in7, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone; 8and coasting along it with difficulty, we came to a certain place called Fair Havens, near to which was the city Lasa.

9And much time having been spent, and the voyage being now dangerous, because also the fast had already passed by, Paul exhorted them, 10saying: Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with violence and much loss, not only of the lading and the ship, but also of our lives. 11But the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than the things spoken by Paul. 12And as the haven was not well situated for wintering, the greater number advised to sail thence also, if by any means they might reach Phoenix, a haven of Crete, looking toward the southwest and northwest, and there winter.

13And a south wind beginning to blow moderately, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor, and coasted along close by Crete. 14But not long after, there struck against it a tempestuous wind, called Euracylon. 15And the ship being caught, and unable to face the wind, we yielded to it, and were driven along. 16And running under a certain small island called Clauda, we were hardly able to come by the boat; 17which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should be cast away on the quicksand, they lowered the sail, and so were driven.

18And we being violently tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship; 19and the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. 20And neither sun nor stars appearing for many days, and no small tempest lying on us, thenceforward all hope that we should be saved was utterly taken away. 21But after much abstinence, then Paul, standing up in the midst of then, said: Sirs, ye should have hearkened to me and not put to sea from Crete, and so have escaped this violence and loss. 22And now I exhort you to be of good cheer; for there shall be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23For there stood by me this night an angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24saying: Fear not, Paul; thou must stand before Cæsar; and, lo, God has given thee all those who sail with thee. 25Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer; for I believe God, that it will be even so, as it has been told me. 26But we must be cast away upon a certain island.

27And when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven onward in the Adriatic sea, about midnight the seamen suspected that they were near to some country; 28and sounding, they found twenty fathoms; and having gone a little further, they sounded again, and found fifteen fathoms. 29Then fearing lest we should fall upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for day.

30And as the seamen were seeking to flee out of the ship, and had let down the boat into the sea, under color as if they were about to extend anchors out of the foreship, 31Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers: Except these abide in the ship, ye can not be saved. 32Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let it fall off.

33And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take food, saying: This day is the fourteenth day that ye have waited, and continued fasting, having taken nothing. 34Wherefore I pray you to take food; for this is for your safety; for there shall not a hair fall from the head of one of you.

35And having thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all; and having broken it, he began to eat. 36Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took food. 37And we were in all in the ship two hundred and seventy-six souls. 38And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, casting out the grain into the sea.

39And when it was day, they knew not the land; but they perceived a certain creek, having a beach, on which they determined, if they were able, to drive the ship ashore. 40And cutting the anchors entirely away, they abandoned them to the sea, at the same time unfastening the bands of the rudders; and hoisting the foresail to the wind, they made toward the beach. 41And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the prow sticking fast remained immovable, but the stern was broken by the violence of the waves. 42And it was the plan of the soldiers, that they should kill the prisoners, lest any one should swim out, and escape. 43But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that those who could swim should cast themselves first into the sea and get to land, 44and the rest, some on boards, and others on some of the pieces from the ship. And so it came to pass, that all escaped safe to land.

XXVIII.  

And having escaped, they then learned that the island is called Melita. 2And the barbarians showed us no little kindness; for they kindled a fire, and received us all, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.

3And Paul having gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came out a viper from the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4And when the barbarians saw the animal hanging from his hand, they said among themselves: No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though escaped from the sea, justice suffered not to live. 5He, however, shaking off the animal into the fire, suffered no harm. 6But they were expecting that he would become inflamed, or suddenly fall down dead; but after looking a great while, and seeing no harm befall him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

7In the region around that place, there were lands of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius, who received and entertained us kindly three days. 8Now it happened, that the father of Publius was lying sick with a fever and a bloody flux; to whom Paul entered in, and having prayed, laid his hands on him and healed him. 9And this having been done, the others also, who had diseases in the island, came and were healed; 10who also honored us with many honors; and when we put to sea, they loaded us with such things as were necessary.

11And after three months, we put to sea in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the island, whose sign was Castor and Pollux. 12And landing at Syracuse, we remained three days. 13And from thence, making a circuit13, we came to Rhegium. And after one day, a south wind arose, and we came on the second day to Puteoli; 14where we found brethren, and were entreated to remain with them seven days; and so we went toward Rome. 15And from thence, the brethren, having heard of us, came to meet us as far as Appii Forum, and the Three Taverns; whom when Paul saw, he gave thanks to God, and took courage.

16And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the commander of the camp; but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself, with the soldier who guarded him.

17And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called together those who were the chief men of the Jews; and when they were come together, he said to them: Men, brethren, though I had done nothing against the people, or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans; 18who, when they had examined me, wished to release me, because there was no cause of death in me. 19But as the Jews spoke against it, I was compelled to appeal to Cæsar; not that I have anything to charge against my nation. 20For this cause therefore I called for you, to see and to speak with you; for on account of the hope of Israel I am compassed with this chain.

21And they said to him: We neither received letters from Judæa concerning thee, nor did any one of the brethren that came, report or speak any evil concerning thee. 22But we desire to hear from thee what thou thinkest; for concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against.

23And having appointed a day for him, they came to him in greater numbers to his lodging; to whom he expounded, testifying fully the kingdom of God, and persuading them of the things concerning Jesus, both from the law of Moses and the prophets, from morning till evening. 24And some believed the things spoken, and some believed not. 25And disagreeing among themselves, they departed, after Paul had spoken one word: Well did the Holy Spirit speak through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, 26saying:

Go to this people, and say;

With the hearing ye will hear, and will not understand,

And seeing ye will see, and will not perceive.

27For the heart of this people is become gross,

And their ears are dull of hearing,

And their eyes they have closed;

Lest haply they see with their eyes,

And hear with their ears,

And understand with their heart,

And turn, and I shall heal them.

28Be it known to you, therefore, that to the Gentiles the salvation of God was sent; they, moreover, will hear.

30And Paul remained two whole years in his own hired house, and gladly received all that came in to him; 31preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no one hindering him.