8 And Saul agreed completely with killing 1 him.
Now on that day a great 2 persecution began 3 against the church in Jerusalem, 4 and all 5 except the apostles were forced to scatter throughout the regions 6 of Judea and Samaria. 2 Some 7 devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation 8 over him. 9 3 But Saul was trying to destroy 10 the church; entering one house after another, he dragged off 11 both men and women and put them in prison. 12
4 Now those who had been forced to scatter went around proclaiming the good news of the word. 5 Philip went down to the main city of Samaria 13 and began proclaiming 14 the Christ 15 to them. 6 The crowds were paying attention with one mind to what Philip said, 16 as they heard and saw the miraculous signs 17 he was performing. 7 For unclean spirits, 18 crying with loud shrieks, were coming out of many who were possessed, 19 and many paralyzed and lame people were healed. 8 So there was 20 great joy 21 in that city.
9 Now in that city was a man named Simon, who had been practicing magic 22 and amazing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great. 10 All the people, 23 from the least to the greatest, paid close attention to him, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called ‘Great.’” 24 11 And they paid close attention to him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip as he was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God 25 and the name of Jesus Christ, 26 they began to be baptized, 27 both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after he was baptized, he stayed close to 28 Philip constantly, and when he saw the signs and great miracles that were occurring, he was amazed. 29
14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem 30 heard that Samaria had accepted the word 31 of God, they sent 32 Peter and John to them. 15 These two 33 went down and prayed for them so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. 16 (For the Spirit 34 had not yet come upon 35 any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 36 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on the Samaritans, 37 and they received the Holy Spirit. 38
18 Now Simon, when he saw that the Spirit 39 was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power 40 too, so that everyone I place my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, 41 because you thought you could acquire 42 God’s gift with money! 21 You have no share or part 43 in this matter 44 because your heart is not right before God! 22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord 45 that he may perhaps forgive you for the intent of your heart. 46 23 For I see that you are bitterly envious 47 and in bondage to sin.” 24 But Simon replied, 48 “You pray to the Lord for me so that nothing of what you have said may happen to 49 me.”
25 So after Peter and John 50 had solemnly testified 51 and spoken the word of the Lord, 52 they started back to Jerusalem, proclaiming 53 the good news to many Samaritan villages 54 as they went. 55
26 Then an angel of the Lord 56 said to Philip, 57 “Get up and go south 58 on the road that goes down from Jerusalem 59 to Gaza.” (This is a desert 60 road.) 61 27 So 62 he got up 63 and went. There 64 he met 65 an Ethiopian eunuch, 66 a court official of Candace, 67 queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasury. He 68 had come to Jerusalem to worship, 69 28 and was returning home, sitting 70 in his chariot, reading 71 the prophet Isaiah. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran up 72 to it 73 and heard the man 74 reading Isaiah the prophet. He 75 asked him, 76 “Do you understand what you’re reading?” 31 The man 77 replied, “How in the world can I, 78 unless someone guides me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of scripture the man 79 was reading was this:
“He was led like a sheep to slaughter,
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did 80 not open his mouth.
33 In humiliation 81 justice was taken from him. 82
Who can describe his posterity? 83
For his life was taken away 84 from the earth.” 85
34 Then the eunuch said 86 to Philip, “Please tell me, 87 who is the prophet saying this about – himself or someone else?” 88 35 So Philip started speaking, 89 and beginning with this scripture 90 proclaimed the good news about Jesus to him. 36 Now as they were going along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water! What is to stop me 91 from being baptized?” 37 [[EMPTY]] 92 38 So he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, 93 and Philip baptized 94 him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any more, but 95 went on his way rejoicing. 96 40 Philip, however, found himself 97 at Azotus, 98 and as he passed through the area, 99 he proclaimed the good news 100 to all the towns 101 until he came to Caesarea. 102
9 Meanwhile Saul, still breathing out threats 1 to murder 2 the Lord’s disciples, went to the high priest 2 and requested letters from him to the synagogues 3 in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, 4 either men or women, he could bring them as prisoners 5 to Jerusalem. 6 3 As he was going along, approaching 7 Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed 8 around him. 4 He 9 fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, 10 why are you persecuting me?” 11 5 So he said, “Who are you, Lord?” He replied, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting! 6 But stand up 12 and enter the city and you will be told 13 what you must do.” 7 (Now the men 14 who were traveling with him stood there speechless, 15 because they heard the voice but saw no one.) 16 8 So Saul got up from the ground, but although his eyes were open, 17 he could see nothing. 18 Leading him by the hand, his companions 19 brought him into Damascus. 9 For 20 three days he could not see, and he neither ate nor drank anything. 21
10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The 22 Lord 23 said to him in a vision, “Ananias,” and he replied, “Here I am, 24 Lord.” 11 Then the Lord told him, “Get up and go to the street called ‘Straight,’ 25 and at Judas’ house look for a man from Tarsus named Saul. For he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision 26 a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him so that he may see again.” 13 But Ananias replied, 27 “Lord, I have heard from many people 28 about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem, 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison 29 all who call on your name!” 30 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, because this man is my chosen instrument 31 to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. 32 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 33 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, placed 34 his hands on Saul 35 and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came here, 36 has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 37 18 Immediately 38 something like scales 39 fell from his eyes, and he could see again. He 40 got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, his strength returned.
For several days 41 he was with the disciples in Damascus, 20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, 42 saying, “This man is the Son of God.” 43 21 All 44 who heard him were amazed and were saying, “Is this not 45 the man who in Jerusalem was ravaging 46 those who call on this name, and who had come here to bring them as prisoners 47 to the chief priests?” 22 But Saul became more and more capable, 48 and was causing consternation 49 among the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving 50 that Jesus 51 is the Christ. 52
23 Now after some days had passed, the Jews plotted 53 together to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plot against him. 54 They were also watching 55 the city gates 56 day and night so that they could kill him. 25 But his disciples took him at night and let him down through an opening 57 in the wall by lowering him in a basket. 58
26 When he arrived in Jerusalem, 59 he attempted to associate 60 with the disciples, and they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe 61 that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took 62 Saul, 63 brought 64 him to the apostles, and related to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, that 65 the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly 66 in the name of Jesus. 28 So he was staying with them, associating openly with them 67 in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He was speaking and debating 68 with the Greek-speaking Jews, 69 but they were trying to kill him. 30 When the brothers found out about this, they brought him down to Caesarea 70 and sent him away to Tarsus.
31 Then 71 the church throughout Judea, Galilee, 72 and Samaria experienced 73 peace and thus was strengthened. 74 Living 75 in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, the church 76 increased in numbers.
32 Now 77 as Peter was traveling around from place to place, 78 he also came down to the saints who lived in Lydda. 79 33 He found there a man named Aeneas who had been confined to a mattress for eight years because 80 he was paralyzed. 34 Peter 81 said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ 82 heals you. Get up and make your own bed!” 83 And immediately he got up. 35 All 84 those who lived in Lydda 85 and Sharon 86 saw him, and they 87 turned 88 to the Lord.
36 Now in Joppa 89 there was a disciple named Tabitha (which in translation means 90 Dorcas). 91 She was continually doing good deeds and acts of charity. 92 37 At that time 93 she became sick 94 and died. When they had washed 95 her body, 96 they placed it in an upstairs room. 38 Because Lydda 97 was near Joppa, when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Come to us without delay.” 98 39 So Peter got up and went with them, and 99 when he arrived 100 they brought him to the upper room. All 101 the widows stood beside him, crying and showing him 102 the tunics 103 and other clothing 104 Dorcas used to make 105 while she was with them. 40 But Peter sent them all outside, 106 knelt down, 107 and prayed. Turning 108 to the body, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 109 41 He gave 110 her his hand and helped her get up. Then he called 111 the saints and widows and presented her alive. 42 This became known throughout all 112 Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 113 43 So 114 Peter 115 stayed many days in Joppa with a man named 116 Simon, a tanner. 117
10 Now there was a man in Caesarea 1 named Cornelius, a centurion 2 of what was known as the Italian Cohort. 3 2 He 4 was a devout, God-fearing man, 5 as was all his household; he did many acts of charity for the people 6 and prayed to God regularly. 3 About three o’clock one afternoon 7 he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God 8 who came in 9 and said to him, “Cornelius.” 4 Staring at him and becoming greatly afraid, Cornelius 10 replied, 11 “What is it, Lord?” The angel 12 said to him, “Your prayers and your acts of charity 13 have gone up as a memorial 14 before God. 5 Now 15 send men to Joppa 16 and summon a man named Simon, 17 who is called Peter. 6 This man is staying as a guest with a man named Simon, a tanner, 18 whose house is by the sea.” 7 When the angel who had spoken to him departed, Cornelius 19 called two of his personal servants 20 and a devout soldier from among those who served him, 21 8 and when he had explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 About noon 22 the next day, while they were on their way and approaching 23 the city, Peter went up on the roof 24 to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing the meal, a trance came over him. 25 11 He 26 saw heaven 27 opened 28 and an object something like a large sheet 29 descending, 30 being let down to earth 31 by its four corners. 12 In it 32 were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles 33 of the earth and wild birds. 34 13 Then 35 a voice said 36 to him, “Get up, Peter; slaughter 37 and eat!” 14 But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything defiled and ritually unclean!” 38 15 The voice 39 spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not consider 40 ritually unclean!” 41 16 This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into heaven. 42
17 Now while Peter was puzzling over 43 what the vision he had seen could signify, the men sent by Cornelius had learned where Simon’s house was 44 and approached 45 the gate. 18 They 46 called out to ask if Simon, known as Peter, 47 was staying there as a guest. 19 While Peter was still thinking seriously about 48 the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Look! Three men are looking for you. 20 But get up, 49 go down, and accompany them without hesitation, 50 because I have sent them.” 21 So Peter went down 51 to the men and said, “Here I am, 52 the person you’re looking for. Why have you come?” 22 They said, “Cornelius the centurion, 53 a righteous 54 and God-fearing man, well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, 55 was directed by a holy angel to summon you to his house and to hear a message 56 from you.” 23 So Peter 57 invited them in and entertained them as guests.
On the next day he got up and set out 58 with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa 59 accompanied him. 24 The following day 60 he entered Caesarea. 61 Now Cornelius was waiting anxiously 62 for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 So when 63 Peter came in, Cornelius met 64 him, fell 65 at his feet, and worshiped 66 him. 26 But Peter helped him up, 67 saying, “Stand up. I too am a mere mortal.” 68 27 Peter 69 continued talking with him as he went in, and he found many people gathered together. 70 28 He said to them, “You know that 71 it is unlawful 72 for a Jew 73 to associate with or visit a Gentile, 74 yet God has shown me that I should call no person 75 defiled or ritually unclean. 76 29 Therefore when you sent for me, 77 I came without any objection. Now may I ask why 78 you sent for me?” 30 Cornelius 79 replied, 80 “Four days ago at this very hour, at three o’clock in the afternoon, 81 I was praying in my house, and suddenly 82 a man in shining clothing stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your acts of charity 83 have been remembered before God. 84 32 Therefore send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter. This man is staying as a guest in the house of Simon the tanner, 85 by the sea.’ 33 Therefore I sent for you at once, and you were kind enough to come. 86 So now we are all here in the presence of God 87 to listen 88 to everything the Lord has commanded you to say to us.” 89
34 Then Peter started speaking: 90 “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, 91 35 but in every nation 92 the person who fears him 93 and does what is right 94 is welcomed before him. 36 You know 95 the message 96 he sent to the people 97 of Israel, proclaiming the good news of peace 98 through 99 Jesus Christ 100 (he is Lord 101 of all) – 37 you know what happened throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 102 38 with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, 103 that 104 God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He 105 went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, 106 because God was with him. 107 39 We 108 are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea 109 and in Jerusalem. 110 They 111 killed him by hanging him on a tree, 112 40 but 113 God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 114 41 not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, 115 who ate and drank 116 with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He 117 commanded us to preach to the people and to warn 118 them 119 that he is the one 120 appointed 121 by God as judge 122 of the living and the dead. 43 About him all the prophets testify, 123 that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins 124 through his name.”
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on 125 all those who heard the message. 126 45 The 127 circumcised believers 128 who had accompanied Peter were greatly astonished 129 that 130 the gift of the Holy Spirit 131 had been poured out 132 even on the Gentiles, 46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising 133 God. Then Peter said, 47 “No one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, 134 can he?” 135 48 So he gave orders to have them baptized 136 in the name of Jesus Christ. 137 Then they asked him to stay for several days.