Acts

 

1   

    Indeed, in the first account I made, honourable Theophilus, concerning all that Yeshua began to do and to teach until the day when he was taken up, after he’d instructed the ambassadors, whom he’d selected though the holy spirit, and to whom he’d also presented himself alive after he’d suffered. He was seen by them throughout forty days, with many proofs, and he spoke of things about the kingdom of God.

    And when he’d gathered them together, he instructed them, “Don’t leave Jerusalem, but await the promise of the father which you’ve= heard from me. Because Yohannes indeed immersed you= with water, but not many days from now you’ll= be immersed in the holy spirit.” Indeed then, when they’d come together, they questioned him, saying, “Lord, is this the time that you- restore the kingdom to Yisrael?” But he said to them, “It isn’t for you= to perceive the times and seasons that the father has placed under his own authority. But you’ll= receive power when the holy spirit has come upon you=, and you’ll= be witnesses to me in both Jerusalem, and in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the limits of the earth.”

    And when he’d said these things, while they looked on, he was lifted up and a cloud covered him from their sight. And they looked intently into the sky as he was going. And look! Two men stood beside them in white garments who also said, “Men. Galileans. Why are you= standing looking up into the sky? This Yeshua who has been taken up from you= into the sky, will come back in the same way in which you= gazed at him going into the sky.”

    Then they returned into Jerusalem from the mountain called the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath’s journey. And when they entered they went up into the upper room where they were staying - Petros, and Yaakov, and Yohannes, and Andreas, Philippos and Thomas, Bartholomaios and Matthaios, Yaakov of Alpheus and Shimon the zealot, and Yehuda of Yaakov. They were all devoted with one accord in prayer and petition, together with the women, and Maria the mother of Yeshua, together with his brothers.

    And in those days, Petros stood up in the middle of the disciples, (a crowd of names of about a hundred and twenty), and he said, “Men. Brothers. The writing must be fulfilled which the holy spirit spoke before through the mouth of David, concerning Yehuda, who became a guide to those who apprehended Yeshua, ‘for he was numbered with us, and he obtained a part in this service by lot.’ (This one indeed then acquired a property from the reward of unrighteousness, and when he threw himself down he burst in the middle and all his innards were poured out. And it became known to all those who dwell in Jerusalem, so that property was called in their own language Akeldama, which is Property of Blood).

    For it’s been written in the scroll of psalms, ‘Let his residence become desolate and don’t let anyone dwell in it’, and, ‘May another take his position of watchman’. So then, from among the men who’ve been with us the entire time, from when the lord Yeshua entered in until he went out from us, beginning from the immersion by Yohannes, until the day on which he was taken up from us, one of these should become a witness together with us of his resurrection.”

    And they settled on two, Yosef, (the one called Barsabbas, who was usually called Justus), and Matthias. And praying they said, “Lord, knower of the hearts of all, indicate which one you’ve- selected from these two, to take this position of service and ambassadorship from which Yehuda has transgressed to go to his own place.” And they gave their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven ambassadors.

2   

    And when the fiftietha day [Pentecost] was fulfilled, they were all with one accord in the same place. And suddenly a sound like violent blowing came from the sky, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And divided tongues, like fire, appeared to them and sat above each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy spirit, and they began speaking in other tongues, just as the spirit gave to them to speak openly.

    Now there were Jews dwelling in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under the sky, and when this sound occurred a multitude came together and was confused, because each one heard them speaking in their own language. And they were amazed, and they marvelled, saying to one another, “Look! Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? How does each of us hear them in our own language, in which we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and those who dwell in Mesopotamia, Judea, along with Cappadocia, Pontus, and the province of Asia, Phrygia, along with Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, and Romans, (Jews along with proselytes), who have returned home, Cretans, and Arabs are hearing them speak the greatness of God in our own tongues!” And they were all amazed and bewildered, saying to one another, “What ever might this meanb?”

    But others jeered, saying, “They’re full of wine.” But Petros stood up with the Eleven and lifted his voice and spoke openly to them, “Men. Jews. And all those who dwell in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you=, and listen to my declarations. For these people aren’t drunk as you= suppose, for it’s only the third hourc of the day. But this is what was declared through the prophet Yoel, ‘God says, “In the last days I’ll pour out from my spirit on all flesh, and your= sons and your= daughters will prophesy, and your= young men will see visions, and your= elders will dream dreams. Even onto my male slaves and my female slaves, in those days I’ll pour out from my spirit, and they’ll prophesy. And I’ll give miracles in the sky above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and clouds of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and glorious day of the lordd [Yahweh]. And whosoever calls on the name of the lordd [Yahweh] will be saved.”’

    Men. Yisraelites. Listen to these messages. Yeshua the Nazarene, a man shown to you= to be from God by powerful works and miracles, which God did through him in your= midst, just as you= yourselves know. He was handed over, (in accordance with the pre-determined counsel and foreknowledge of God), and he was taken by the hands of the lawless, and when he’d been attached you= lifted him up.

    And whom God raised up, releasing him from the pains of death, for it wasn’t possible for him to be held by it. For David says about him, ‘I foresaw the lordd [Yahweh] always in my sight, because he’s on my right, so that I can’t be shaken. Because of this my heart celebrated and my tongue rejoiced greatly. But still my flesh will encamp on expectation, because you- won’t abandon my soul into Hadese, nor will you- hand your- hallowed one over to see decay. You’ve- made the ways of life known to me. You’ll- fill me with happiness by your- appearance.’

    Men. Brothers. It’s permitted for me to tell you= plainly about the patriarch David, that he died and was buried, and his tomb is with us until this day. But he was by nature a prophet, and knew that God had sworn an oath to him, that he’d raise up the Anointed from the fruit of his loins, (according to the flesh), and set him on his throne. Foreseeing this, he spoke about the resurrection of the Anointed, that his soul wasn’t abandoned to Hadese, nor did his flesh see decay. We’re all witnesses that God has raised this Yeshua up.

    So then, having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received the promise of the holy spirit from the father, he poured out this which you’re= now observing and hearing. For David didn’t go up into the heavens, but he himself says, ‘The lordd [Yahweh] said to my lord, “Sit on my right until I’ve placed your- enemies as a footstool for your- feet.”’ Certainly then, let every household in Yisrael perceive that God has made this Yeshua, whom you= executedf, both Lord and Anointed.”

    But when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they said to Petros and the rest of the ambassadors, “What should we do? Men? Brothers?” But Petros declared to them, “Repent and be immersed, each of you=, on the name of Yeshua the Anointed, into the pardoning of sins. And you’ll= receive the gift of the holy spirit. For the promise is to you= and to your= children, and also to all those who are far away, as many as the lordd [Yahweh] our god will call to himself.” And with many other messages he pleaded with and entreated them, saying, “Be saved from this twisted generation.” Indeed then those who gladly welcomed his message were immersed, and about three thousand souls were added on that day.

    And they were devoted to the teaching of the ambassadors, and the partnershipg, and the breaking of bread, and prayers. And fear came on every soul, with many miracles and signs happening through the ambassadors. And all those who trusted were in the same place, and had all things in common. They sold their belongings and possessions and distributed them to everyone - to whoever had a need. And each day, devoted with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they partook of food with exultation and simplicity of heart, praising God, and having grace towards all the people. And each day the lord added those who were being saved to the assembly.

a) the Greek word for “fiftieth” is “pentekoste” and so the day 50 days after Passover has become known as Pentecost

b) literally “what ever might this want to be?”

c) nine in the morning

d) Jews used “Lord” in place of “Yahweh” to avoid any possibility of breaking the third commandment.

e) Hades was the Greek god of the dead, but it also came to mean the place where the dead go

f) the Greek word specifically means to execute by hanging on a stake

g) partnership in Greek has the idea of sharing everything in common

3   

    Now, Petros and Yohannes went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, (the ninth houra). And there was a certain man, who was lame from the belly of his mother, and who was usually carried and placed each day at the gate of the temple, (the one called Beautiful), to beg for charity from those who were going into the temple. When he saw Petros and Yohannes about to pass into the temple he asked for charity. But Petros, together with Yohannes, looked intently at him and said, “Look at us!” So he paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. But Petros said, “I don’t haveb silver or gold, but I give what I do have to you-. In the name of Yeshua the Anointed of Nazareth, get up and walk.” And seizing him by the right hand he lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were strengthened. And leaping up, he stood, and walked, and entered together with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God.

    And when all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognised him - that this was the one who used to sit begging for charity at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. And they were filled with awe and astonishment at what had happened to him. And while the lame man who’d been healed held on to Petros and Yohannes, all the people ran together toward them in the colonnade, (the one called Solomon’s Colonnade), and they were overawed.

    But when he saw this, Petros answered the people, “Men. Yisraelites. Why do you= marvel at this? And why are you= looking so intently at us, as if by our own power or godliness we’ve made him walk? The god of Abraham, and Yitshak, and Yaakov, the god of our fathers, has glorified his servantc Yeshua, whom you= indeed handed over and disowned in the presence of Pilate, who had judged that he should be released. But you= disowned the holy and righteous one, and requested that a man, (a murderer), be granted to you=. And you= killed the originator of life, whom God has raised from the dead - of which we are witnesses. And on the faith in his name, this one whom you’re= looking at, and whom you= know, was given strength. It was his name, and the faith that’s through him, which gave this soundness to him in front of all of you=.

    And now brothers. I know that you= acted according to ignorance, just as your= rulers did. But God, who declared beforehand through the mouth of all his prophets that the Anointed would suffer, has thus fulfilled it. So repent! And turn around, so that your= sins may be wiped out, in order that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the lordd [Yahweh], and he may send the one who has been proclaimed to you=, Anointed Yeshua - whom heaven must welcome until the times of the reestablishment of all things, (of which God spoke through the mouth of all his holy prophets from long ago).

    For indeed, Moshe said to the fathers, ‘The lordd [Yahweh] our god will raise up a prophet to you= from among your= brothers, as he did with me. You’ll= listen to him about all things, whatever he should say to you=. And every soul, except anyone who listens to that prophet, will be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ And also all the prophets, from Samuel, one by one, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days. You’re= the sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘In your- seed all the lineages of the earth will be blessed.’ Firstly to you=, God has raised up his servantc, Yeshua, sending him, and blessing you= in the turning away of each of you= from your= wickedness.”

a) three in the afternoon

b) literally “silver or gold don’t belong to me”

c) “servant” could also be “child”

d) Jews used “Lord” in place of “Yahweh” to avoid any possibility of breaking the third commandment.

4   

    While they were speaking to the people, the priests, and the officer of the temple, and the Sadducees came up to them. They were exasperated because they were teaching the people and declaring a resurrection of the dead in Yeshua. And they laid hands on them, and put them under guard until the next day, (because it was already dusk). But many of those who heard the message trusted, and the number of men became about five thousand.

    And it came to be on the next day, that their rulers, the elders, and the scribes gathered together in Jerusalem. And Annas the chief priest, and Caiaphas, and Yohannes, and Alexandros, and all who were of the family of the chief priest were there. And when they’d stood them in the middle, they inquired, “In what power or in what name have you= done this?”

    Then Petros, filled with the holy spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Yisrael. If we’re being questioned today about an act of kindness shown to a sick person, and about how he’s been healed, then let it be known to all of you=, and to the entire people of Yisrael, that in the name of Yeshua the Anointed of Nazareth, whom you= executeda, whom God raised from the dead - in this name, this person stands in front of you=, made well. This is the stone which was scorned by you=, the builders, which has become the head of the corner. And there’s salvation in nobody else, for there’s no other name under heaven which has been given to people in which we must be saved.”

    When they observed the boldness of Petros, and that of Yohannes, and when they grasped that they were illiterate uneducated people, they marvelled and realised that they’d been with Yeshua. And when they observed the person who’d been cured, standing there with them, they couldn’t contradict them. But they ordered them to go out from the Sanhedrin, and they conferred with one another saying, “What should we do to these people, for indeed it’s apparent to all those who dwell in Jerusalem that a sign has come about through them, and we aren’t able to deny it. But so that this won’t be spread any further among the people, let’s threaten them, that they should no longer speak in this name to any person.”

    And calling them, they instructed them not to speak or teach in the name of Yeshua in any way. But Petros and Yohannes answered them, saying, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God to listen to you= instead of God - you= decide, for we’re not able to not speak about what we’ve seen and heard.” And when they’d threatened them some more, they released them, having found no way to punish them, because the people were all glorifying God for what had happened. For the person on whom this sign of healing had been performed was more than forty years old.

    So, when they’d been released, they went to their own and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard this, with one accord they lifted their voice to God, and said, “Owner, you- are God, who made the sky, and the earth and the sea, and every thing that’s in them - saying through the mouth of your- servantb David, ‘Why did the nations rage and the peoples attend to empty things? The kings of the earth came and stood here, and the rulers were gathered together in the same place, against the lordc [Yahweh] and against his anointed.’

    For in truth, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, together with the nations and the peoples of Yisrael, were gathered together against your- holy servantb Yeshua, (whom you- had anointed), to do whatever your- hand and your- will had decided beforehand would come to pass. And now, lord, take notice of their threats, and give your- slaves all boldness to speak your- message. Stretch out your- hand for healing and for signs and miracles to come to pass, through the name of your- holy servantb Yeshua.” And when they’d pleaded, the place where they’d gathered was shaken, and they were all filled with the holy spirit and they spoke the message of God with boldness.

    But the multitude of those who’d trusted were one in heart and soul, and nobody said that any of their belongings were their own, but to them everything was common property. And with great power the ambassadors rendered testimony of the resurrection of the lord Yeshua. And great grace was on all of them, for there wasn’t anyone in need among them, for whoever were possessors of properties or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the sales and placed them at the feet of the ambassadors. And it was distributed to each one as they had any need.

    And Yoses, who was usually called Barnabasd by the ambassadors, (which is translated as Son of Aid), a Levite, and a Cyprian by birth, when he’d sold a field which belonged to him, brought the moneye and placed it at the feet of the ambassadors.

a) the Greek word specifically means to execute by hanging on a stake

b) “servant” could also be “child”

c) Jews used “Lord” in place of “Yahweh” to avoid any possibility of breaking the third commandment.

d) as a Hebrew name Barnabas looks like “Son of Prophet”

e) the word “money” here means money and/or possessions

5   But a certain man, named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, sold a property, and, with his wife’s full knowledge, he kept back some of the price for himself, and he brought a portion and placed it at the feet of the ambassadors. But Petros said, “Ananias! How is it that Satana has filled your- heart to lie to the holy spirit, and to keep for yourself some of the price of the property? While it remained, didn’t it remain yours-? And when it’d been disposed of, didn’t it still belong under your- authority? Why did you- place this business into your- heart? You- haven’t lied to people, but to God.” And when he heard these words, Ananias fell down and expired. And great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And the younger men got up, and they wrapped him up, and they carried him out and buried him.

    But about three hours later his wife, unaware of what had happened, also entered in. And Petros answered her, “Tell me if so much is the amount you= received in payment for the property?” And she said, “Yes, so much.” But Petros said to her, “How is it that you= agreed to test the spirit of the lordb [Yahweh]? Look! The feet of those who buried your- husband are at the door, and they’ll carry you- out.” And immediately she fell down at his feet and expired. And when the young men entered in they found her dead, and when they’d carried her out they buried her with her husband. And great fear came on the whole assembly and on all those who heard these things.

    And through the hands of the ambassadors many signs and miracles happened among the people. And they were all together with one accord in Solomon’s Colonnade. And none of the rest dared to join them, but the people were magnifying them. And even more who trusted were added to the lord, multitudes of both men and women. To the extent that they carried the sick out into the squares and put them on beds and on mats, so that whenever Petros came by his shadow might fall on some of them. And the multitude from the surrounding towns came together into Jerusalem, carrying anyone who was sick or troubled by unclean spirits - and they were all cured.

    And the chief priest stood up, and all those who were with him, (who were of the sect of the Sadducees), were filled with jealousy, and they laid hands on the ambassadors and placed them in a public prison. But during the night, a messenger of the lordb [Yahweh] opened the doors of the jail, and when he’d led them out, he said, “Go and stand in the temple, and speak all the declarations of this life to the people.” And when they heard this, they entered the temple in the early morning and taught.

    But when the chief priest and those with him came along, they called together the Sanhedrin and the whole council of the elders of the sons of Yisrael, and they sent to the prison to have them led in. But when the attendants came they didn’t find them in the jail, so they returned and reported, saying, “Indeed, we found the prison very securely locked, and the guards standing in front of the doors, but when we opened them, we found nobody inside.” And when both the priest and the officer of the temple, (and the chief priests), heard these things, they were bewildered about them, wondering what this might be.

    But someone came up and reported to them, “Look! The men whom you= put in the jail are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” Then the officer went off, together with his attendants, and he brought them in, (without force because they were afraid of the people - so they wouldn’t be stoned). And they lead them in and stood them in the Sanhedrin. And the chief priest questioned them, saying, “Haven’t we specifically instructed you= not to teach in this name? And look! You’ve= filled Jerusalem with your= teaching, and you= intend to bring the blood of this person on us.” And answering, Petros and the ambassadors said, “We have to submit to God rather than to people. The god of our fathers raised Yeshua whom you= slew, hanging him on a polec. He’s the originator and saviour, whom God has exalted to his right hand to give repentance and the pardoning of sins to Yisrael. And we’re his witnesses of these declarations, and so also is the holy spirit, whom God gives to those who submit to him.”

    But when they heard this they were cut completely through, and they planned to kill them. But a certain one of the Sanhedrin stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, honoured by all the people, and he ordered that the ambassadors be put outside for a while, and he said to them, “Men. Yisraelites. Watch out for yourselves, what you’re= about to commit to these people. For, before these days, Theudas rose up, saying that he was someone. To whom a number of men, (about four hundred), were joined, and who was killed. And all of those who’d been persuaded by him were scattered, and it came to nothing. After this, Yehuda the Galilean rose up in the days of the registration, and he led away a considerable number of people after him. And he was also destroyed, and all who were persuaded by him were scattered. And now I say to you=, stay away from these people and leave them alone, because if this counsel or work is from people, then it’ll be demolished. But if it’s from God, then you= won’t be able to demolish it, otherwise you= might even be found to be fighting against God.”

    And they were persuaded by him, and when they’d called the ambassadors, they whipped them, and instructed them not to speak in the name of Yeshua, and they released them. And indeed, they went out rejoicing from the presence of the Sanhedrin because they’d been deemed worthy to be dishonoured for the sake of the name of Yeshua. And every day, both in the temple and house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching the good news that Yeshua is the Anointed.

a) Satan is the Hebrew name for Diabolos and means “accuser”

b) Jews used “Lord” in place of “Yahweh” to avoid any possibility of breaking the third commandment.

c) the word here is different to the word translated “stake” elsewhere

6   

    But in those days of a multiplying of the disciples, a murmuring rose up among the Greek speakers towards the Hebrews, because their widows were being neglected in the daily servicea. So the Twelve called the multitude of the disciples to them, and they said, “It isn’t acceptable that we leave the message of God to serve at tables. So brothers, call uponb seven men from among you=, who are testified to be full of the holy spirit and of wisdom, whom we’ll install over this need. And we’ll be devoted to prayer and to the service of the message.”

    And the message was pleasing in the sight of all the multitude, and they selected Stephanosc, a man who was full of faith and of the holy spirit, and Philippos, and Prochorus, and Nikanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nikolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they stood in front of the ambassadors. And when they’d prayed, they placed their hands on them. And the message of God grew, and the number of disciples multiplied extremely in Jerusalem. Even a great crowd of the priests were obedient to the faith.

    And Stephanosc, full of faith and power, performed miracles and great signs among the people. But there rose up some from the Synagogue of the Freedmen, (as it was called), from Cyrene, and Alexandria, and those from Cilicia and the province of Asia, who were discussing with Stephanosc. But they weren’t strong enough to withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke. Then they secretly induced men to say, “We’ve heard him speaking evil declarations against Moshe and against God.” And they stirred up the people, and the elders and scribes. And they came up to him and they snatched him away and led him into the Sanhedrin. And they set up false witnesses, saying, “This person doesn’t cease speaking evil declarations against this holy place and against the law. For we’ve heard him saying that this Yeshua the Nazarene will demolish this place, and he’ll change the customs which Moshe has handed down to us.”

    And looking intently at him, all those who were seated in the Sanhedrin saw his face, as if it was the face of a messenger.

a) service here is a ministry not a meeting

b) the word “call upon” here is translated “visit” elsewhere (in the sense of visiting to look after someone)

c) Stephanos means “wreath” or “crown”

7   But the chief priest said, “So, did these things happen in this way?” And he declared, “Men. Brothers and fathers. Listen! The god of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran. And he said to him, ‘Come out of your- land, and from your- kinsmen, and come here to the land which I’ll show you-.’ Then, when he’d come out from the land of the Chaldeans, he dwelt in Haran, and from there, after his father died, God led him to settle in this land in which you’re= now dwelling.

    But he gave him no inheritance in it, not even one footstep. But he promised to give possession of it to him and to his seed after him - even though he had no child. And God spoke in this way, that his seeda will be a sojournerb in someone else’s land, and they’ll enslave themc, and they’ll mistreat themc, four hundred years, ‘I’ll judge whichever nation they serve as slaves’. And God said, ‘And after these things they’ll come out and serve me in this place.’

    And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And in this way he fathered Yitshak, and he circumcised him on the eighth day. And Yitshak, Yaakov. And Yaakov, the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs, jealous of Yosef, handed him over into Egypt. But God was with him, and he delivered him from all his duress, and gave him grace and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. And he installed him as leader of Egypt, and of his whole household.

    But a famine came on the whole land of Egypt and Canaan. And great duress. And our fathers couldn’t find food. But when Yaakov heard that there was grain in Egypt, he first sent our fathers. And the second time, Yosef made himself known to his brothers, and Yosef’s family became known to Pharaoh. And Yosef sent them off to call his father Yaakov and all his kinsmen to come, seventy five souls in all. And Yaakov went down into Egypt.

    And he died, he and our fathers. And they were relocated to Shechem, and they were placed in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor of Shechem. And as the time of the promise which God had sworn to Abraham drew near, the people increased and were multiplied in Egypt. Until a different king rose up who didn’t know Yosef. This one dealt deceptively with our people and mistreated our fathers, making them set their babies outside - so they wouldn’t live.

    At which time Moshe was born. And he was special to God, and he was reared for three months in his father’s house, but when he was set outside the daughter of Pharaoh picked him up and reared him as her own son. And Moshe was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was powerful in words and works.

    But when he was forty years old it arose in his heart to visit his brothers, the sons of Yisrael. And when he saw a certain one being wronged he defended him, and avenged him by subduing and striking down the Egyptian. He presumed that his own brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation through his hand. But they didn’t understand. And the ensuing day he appeared to some who were fighting, and he interceded, bringing them peace, saying, ‘Men. You’re= brothers. Why are you= doing wrong to one another?’ But the one who was doing wrong to his neighbour pushed him away and said, ‘Who installed you- as ruler and judge over us? You- don’t want to kill me like you- killed the Egyptian yesterday do you-?’ And at this statement Moshe fled and became a sojournerb in the land of Midian, where he fathered two sons.

    And when forty years had passed, a messenger of the lordd [Yahweh] appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flames of a burning bramble. And when he saw this, Moshe marvelled at the sight. And as he approached to observe it the voice of the lordd [Yahweh] came to him. ‘I’m the god of your- fathers, the god of Abraham, and the god of Yitshak, and the god of Yaakov.’ And trembling, Moshe dared not look. And the lordd [Yahweh] said to him, ‘Untie your- sandals from your- feet, because the place on which you’re- standing is holy ground. I’ve seen the ill treatment of my people in Egypt, and I’ve heard their groaning, and I’ve come down to deliver them. And now come here, I’ll send you- to Egypt.’

    This is the Moshe whom they’d disowned, saying, ‘Who installed you- as ruler and judge?’ This one, God sent as ruler and ransomer, through the hand of the messenger who appeared to him in the brambles. This is the one who led them out, having done miracles and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moshe who said to the sons of Yisrael, ‘The lordd [Yahweh] our God will raise up a prophet to you= from among your= brothers, as he did with me.’ This is the one who was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the messenger who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received a living message to give to us, which our fathers didn’t want to become obedient to, but pushed it away, and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt, saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods who’ll go ahead of us, because we don’t know what’s become of this Moshe who led us out from the land of Egypt.’

    And in those days they made a calf, and they took a sacrifice up to the idol, and they celebrated in the works of their hands. But God turned away, and handed them over to serve the army of heaven. Just as it’s been written in the scroll of the prophets, ‘Did you= offer me the slaughters and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, household of Yisrael? And you= lifted up the tent of Molech, and the constellation of your= god Rephan, and the models which you= made to worship them. And so I’ll lead you= to settle beyond Babylon.’

    The tent of the testimony was with our fathers in the wilderness, just as the one who spoke to Moshe had told him to make it, according to the model which he’d seen. And which our fathers in succession, when they’d received it from him, brought it with Yeshuae in the possessing of the nations which God forced out from the presence of our fathers. Up until the days of David, who found grace in the sight of God and requested to find a home for the god of Yaakov. But Solomon built a house for him. But the highest doesn’t dwell in temples made by hands. Just as the prophet says, ‘”For me, the sky is a throne, and the earth is a footstool for my feet. What house will you= build for me?” says the lordd [Yahweh].’ Or ‘“Where’s my resting place? Wasn’t it my hand which made all these things?”’

    You’re= also a stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears, always resisting the holy spirit, just like your= fathers. Which of the prophets did your= fathers not persecute? And they killed those who declared beforehand about the coming of the righteous one, of whom you’ve= now become betrayers and murderers. You= who received the law as the ordinance of messengers, but who didn’t keep it.”

    But when they heard these things, they were cut to their heart and they gnashed their teeth at him. But being naturally filled with the holy spirit, and looking intently into the sky, he saw the glory of God, and Yeshua standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Look! I can see the heavens. They’ve been opened up, and the Son of Man is standing at the right hand of God.” But, crying out with a loud voice, they pressed their hands over their ears, and they rushed at him with one accord. And they threw him outside the town and they stoned him. And the witnesses placed their cloaks at the feet of a young man called Saul. And they stoned Stephanosf as he called out, saying, “Lord Yeshua. Accept my spirit.” And he bowed his knees and he cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, don’t holdg this sin against them.” And when he’d said this, he fell asleep.

a) “seed” here is singular

b) a sojourn is a period of temporarily living in a foreign country or region

c) “them” here is “it” in the Greek

d) Jews used “Lord” in place of “Yahweh” to avoid any possibility of breaking the third commandment.

e) this is the Old Testament Yeshua, not the son of God

f) Stephanos means “wreath” or “crown”

g) “hold” is literally “to make something stand”

8   And Saul consented to his death.

    And on that day a great persecution came upon the assembly in Jerusalem. And they were all dispersed to the regions of Judea and Samaria, (except the ambassadors). Devout men carried Stephanosa away and they made a great lamentation over him. But Saul ravaged the assembly, going into their homes and dragging out both men and women, and handing them over into jail.

    Now, those who’d been scattered brought the message of the good news as they passed through. And Philippos went down to a town in Samaria, and he proclaimed the Anointed to them. The crowds paid attention to the things which were being said by Philippos, and they listened to them in one accord, and they observed the signs which he was doing. For many of them had unclean spirits which shouted in a loud voice as they came out of them. And many who were paralysed and lame were cured. And great joy came to that town.

    But there was a certain man, named Shimon, who’d previously been using magic artsb in the town and amazing the nation of Samaria, saying that he himself was someone great, and to whom everyone, from the least to the greatest, paid attention, saying, “This is the great power of god.” And they paid attention to him because they’d been amazed by the magic artsb for a considerable time. But when they trusted Philippos, who was bringing the good news about the kingdom of God, and the name of Yeshua the Anointed, they were immersed, both men and women. And Shimon himself also trusted and he was immersed, and he was devoted to Philippos. And when he looked at the powers and signs which were occurring, he was amazed.

    And when they heard that Samaria had welcomed the message of God, the ambassadors in Jerusalem sent Petros and Yohannes to them, who came down and prayed for them, that they might receive the holy spirit, because he hadn’t yet fallen on any of them, and they’d only been immersed - belonging to the name of Anointed Yeshua. Then they placed their hands on them and they received the holy spirit.

    But when Shimon observed that the holy spirit had been given through the placing on of the hands of the ambassadors, he offered them moneyc, saying, “Give this authority to me also, so that whomever I place my hands on will receive the holy spirit.” But Petros said to him, “May you- and your- silver go together to destruction because you- presumed that you- could acquire the gift of God with moneyc. You- have no share nor allotment in this message, because your- heart isn’t straight in the sight of God. So repent from this evil of yours-, and plead with God in case the thinking of your- heart might be pardoned. For I see that you’re- in the bile of bitterness and in the bond of unrighteousness.” And answering, Shimon said, “Plead with the lordd [Yahweh] on my behalf so that nothing of what you’ve= said will happen to me.”

    Indeed then, when they’d earnestly declared and spoken the message of the lord, they returned to Jerusalem, declaring the good news in many villages of the Samaritans. But a messenger of the lordd [Yahweh] spoke to Philippos, saying, “Get up and go towards the south, on the way down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desolate road). And he rose up and he went. And look! There was a man, an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a leader of Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasure, and who’d gone to Jerusalem in order to worship, and was returning. He was sitting in his chariot and reading the prophet Yisheyah.

    And the spirit said to Philippos, “Approach and join with this chariot.” So Philippos ran up, and he heard him reading the prophet Yisheyah, and he said, “So then, do you- perceive what you’re- reading?” But he said, “How can I unless someone guides me?” And he urged Philippos to step up and to sit with him. And the passage of the writing which he was reading was this, “He was led like a sheep to slaughter. And as a lamb in front of the shearer is silent, in the same way he didn’t open his mouth. In his humiliation his justice was taken away. And who will relate his genealogy, because his life was taken away from the earth.” And answering, the eunuch said to Philippos, “I’m pleading with you-. Who’s the prophet talking about? Is it himself or about someone else?” And opening his mouth, and beginning from this writing, Philippos brought the good news of Yeshua to him.

    And as they went along the way they came to some water. And the eunuch declared, “Look! Water. What’s preventing me from being immersed?” And he ordered the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water. Both Philippos and the eunuch, and he immersed him. And when they came up from the water, the spirit of the lordd [Yahweh] snatched Philippos away, and the eunuch didn’t see him any longer because he went on his way rejoicing. But Philippos was found in Azotus, and as he passed through he brought the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

a) Stephanos means “wreath” or “crown”

b) this could mean anything from astrology to sorcery and potions

c) the word “money” here means money and/or possessions

d) Jews used “Lord” in place of “Yahweh” to avoid any possibility of breaking the third commandment.

9   

    But, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the lord, Saul approached the chief priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found anyone of The Way, either men or women, he may bring them, bound, to Jerusalem. And as he was going along and he came near to Damascus, suddenly light from the sky flashed around him. And he fell down on the ground, and he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul. Saul. Why are you- persecuting me?” But he said, “Who are you- lord?” And the lord said, “I’m Yeshua whom you’re- persecuting. Now get up and go into the town, and you’ll- be told what you- must do.” But the men who were travelling with him had stood speechless - they’d heard the voice, but they hadn’t seen anybody. And Saul was lifted up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he couldn’t see anything, so they led him by the hand into Damascus. And he couldn’t see for three days, and he didn’t eat or drink anything.

    But there was a certain disciple in Damascus named Ananias. And the lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” and he said, “Here I am lord.” And the lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and look in the house of Yehuda for a Tarsian named Saul. For look! He’s praying, and in a vision he’s seen a man named Ananias entering and placing his hands on him so that he should recover his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord. I’ve heard from many about this man - how much evil he’s done to your- holy ones in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all those who call on your- name.” But the lord said to him, “Go. Because he’s my vessel of election to carry my name in the sight of nations and kings, and even the sons of Yisrael. For I’ll disclose to him what he must suffer for the sake of my name.”

    And Ananias went away and entered into the house, and when he’d placed his hands on him, he said, “Saul. Brother. The lord, who appeared to you- on the way by which you- came, has sent me so that you- should recover your- sight and be filled with the holy spirit.” And straightaway something like scales fell from his eyes and he recovered his sight. And immediately he got up and was immersed. And when he’d taken nourishment he was strengthened. And Saul spent some days with the disciples in Damascus.

    And straightaway he proclaimed the Anointed in the synagogues, that he’s the son of God. And all who heard were amazed, and they said, “Isn’t this the one who was destroying those in Jerusalem who call on this name? And didn’t he come here so that when they’ve been bound, he might take them to the chief priests?” But Saul was empowered even more and confounded the Jews dwelling in Damascus, proving logically that this is the Anointed.

    And after a considerable number of days had passed, the Jews conspired together to kill him. But their plot was perceived by Saul. They were watching the gates closely, both day and night, so they might kill him. But the disciples took him at night and they lowered him down through the wall in a hamper.

    And Saul came to Jerusalem and he tried to join the disciples there. But they were all afraid of him, not trusting that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and led him to the ambassadors, and he related to them how along the way he’d seen the lord, and that he’d spoken to him, and how in Damascus he’d spoken openly in the name of Yeshua. And he was with them, coming and going in Jerusalem, and speaking openly in the name of the lord Yeshua. And he talked and discussed with the Greek speakers, but they took it upon themselves to kill him. And when they realised this, the brothers took him down to Caesarea and they sent him off to Tarsus. Then indeed, the assemblies throughout the whole of Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria had peace, and were built up and were multiplied, through the fear of the lorda [Yahweh] and by the aid of the holy spirit.

    And it came to be that Petros was passing throughout all the areas, and he went down to the holy who dwelled in Lydda. And he found a certain person there named Aeneas, who’d been paralysed, and who’d been lying on a mat for eight years. And Petros said to him, “Aeneas. Yeshua the Anointed is healing you-. Stand up and spread out your- mat for yourself.” And he stood up straightaway. And all those who dwelled at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the lord.

    And in Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabithab, (which is interpreted as Dorcasb [Gazelle]). And she was filled with good works and acts of charity which she’d done. But it came to be in those days that she became ill and died. And they bathed her and placed her in an upper room. And Lydda is near Joppa, so when the disciples heard that Petros was there, they sent off two men to entreat him not to hesitate to come to them. So Petros got up and went with them, and when they arrived, they took him up into the upper room. And all the widows stood with him, weeping, and showing him the tunics and cloaks that Dorcas had made while she was with them. So Petros sent them all outside, and he got down on his knees and prayed. And turning towards the body, he said, “Tabitha. Stand up.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Petros, she sat up. And he gave her his hand and he raised her up. When he’d called the holy and the widows, he presented her - alive. And this became known throughout the whole of Joppa, and many trusted on the lord. And it came to be that he remained in Joppa for a considerable number of days with a certain Shimon, a tanner.

a) Jews used “Lord” in place of “Yahweh” to avoid any possibility of breaking the third commandment.

b) Tabitha is Hebrew and Dorcas is Greek and both mean gazelle

10   There was a certain man in Caesarea named Cornelius, who was a centurion from what was called the Italian Regiment. And he and his entire household were devout and feared God, doing many acts of charity for the people and always pleading to God. And at about the ninth hour of the daya he plainly saw in a vision - a messenger of God came to him and said, “Cornelius!” And looking intently at him he was terrified and said, “What is it lord?” And he said to him, “Your- prayers and your- acts of charity have risen as a memorial before God. And now, send men to Joppa to send for Shimon, the one usually called Petros. He’s lodging with a certain Shimon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.” And as the messenger who’d been speaking went away, Cornelius called two of his household slaves and a devout soldier from those who were attached to him. And when he’d related everything in full to them, he sent them off to Joppa.

    But the next day, as those people were travelling and coming near the town, Petros went up onto the rooftop to pray, at about the sixth hourb. And he became hungry and he wanted a taste of those things which were being prepared, when a trance fell on him. And he saw the sky opened up, and a vessel was coming down to him, like a huge sheet tied at the four corners and being let down onto the ground, and in which there were all kinds of four legged animals, and wild beasts, and reptiles, and birds of the sky. And a voice came to him, “Get up Petros. Kill and eat.” But Petros said, “Far be it from me lord! I’ve never eaten anything commonc or unclean.” And the voice came to him again a second time, “Don’t consider anything which God has cleansed as commonc.” And this happened again a third time too. And the vessel was taken up into the sky.

    And Petros was at a loss as to what the vision which he’d seen might be. And look! The men who’d been sent by Cornelius had asked for the house of Shimon, and they were standing at the gate. And calling out, they inquired if Shimon, usually called Petros, was lodging at this place. And Petros was reflecting about the vision, and the spirit said to him, “Look! Men are looking for you-. So, get up and go downstairs, and go off with them without questioning, because I’ve sent them.” So Petros went downstairs and he said to the men, “Look! I’m the one you’re= looking for. What’s the reason you’re= here?” And they said, “Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous and God fearing man, (as the whole nation of the Jews will testify), has been informed by a holy messenger to send for you-, in order that his household will hear declarations from you-.” And he called them in and he gave them lodging. And the next day Petros went off with them. And some of the brothers from Joppa came together with him.

    And the next day after that they entered into Caesarea, and Cornelius, expecting them, called together all his relatives and close friends. And as Petros entered Cornelius met with him and fell at his feet and worshipped. But Petros made him get up, saying, “Stand up, I myself am also a person.” And, conversing with him, he entered, and found that many had come together there. And he declared to them, “You’re= well aware how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to be associated with, or to visit, people of other tribes. But God showed me that I shouldn’t say that a person is commonc or unclean. And that’s why, when I was sent for, I came without objecting. So I’m inquiring, why did you= send for me?”

    And Cornelius declared, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour. And I was praying in my house at the ninth houra. And look! A man stood in front of me in a splendid garment. And he said, ‘Cornelius. Your- prayer has been listened to. And your- acts of charity are remembered in the sight of God. So then, send to Joppa and call for Shimon, who’s usually called Petros, who’s lodging in the house of Shimon, a tanner, beside the sea, and who’ll come and speak to you-.’ So I sent for you- at once, and you’ve- done well and come. Now then, we’re all here in the sight of God, to hear everything which has been told to you- by God.”

    And Petros opened his mouth and he said, “Truthfully I’m grasping that God isn’t one who shows partiality. But in every nation, those who fear him and who work righteousness are acceptable to him. The message is that which he sent to the sons of Yisrael - bringing the good news that peace is through Yeshua the Anointed, who is lord of all. You= yourselves know the declaration of what’s been happening throughout all of Judea, beginning from Galilee, after the immersion which Yohannes proclaimed - about Yeshua from Nazareth - how God anointed him with the holy spirit and with power, and how he went around being a benefactor and healing all those who were oppressed by Diabolosd, because God was with him.

    And we’re witnesses of all that he did, both in the countryside of the Jews, and also in Jerusalem. Whom they killed, hanging him on a pole. God raised him on the third day, and allowed him to become manifest. Not to all the people, but to those witnesses who’d been selected before by God - to us, who ate and drank with him after his rising up from the dead. And he instructed us to proclaim to the people, and to earnestly declare that he himself is the one who’s been designated by God as the judge of the living and the dead. This is the one to whom all the prophets testify - that everyone who trusts in him receives a pardoning of sins through his name.”

    While Petros was still speaking these declarations, the holy spirit fell on all those who heard the message. And those from the circumcision, those believers who’d come with Petros, were amazed, because the gift of the holy spirit had also been poured out on the nations - for they heard them speaking in tongues and magnifying God. Then Petros answered, “Is anyone able to forbid water for the immersion of these people who have received the holy spirit, just as we also did?” So he commanded that they should be baptised in the name of the lord. Then they asked him to stay for several days.

a) three in the afternoon

b) midday

c) everything is either holy (for God’s use) or common (not holy)

d) Diabolos means “slanderer”

11   And the ambassadors and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the nations had also welcomed the message of God. So when Petros went up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision separated from him, saying, “Because you- went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” But Petros began to explain to them step by step, saying, “I was in the town of Joppa, praying, and in a trance I saw a vision - a vessel was coming down like a great sheet being let down by four corners from the sky, and it came right to me. As I looked intently into it I was considering it, and I saw four legged animals of the land, and wild beasts, and reptiles, and birds of the sky. And I heard a voice say to me, ‘Get up Petros. Kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘Far be it from me lord. Because nothing commona or unclean has ever entered into my mouth.’ But the voice answered me a second time from the sky, ‘What God cleanses, you- shouldn’t count as commona.’ And this happened three times. And everything was pulled up into the sky again.

    And look! At once, three men stood at the house where I was, who’d been sent to me from Caesarea. The spirit told me to go with them without questioning. And they went, together with me and these six brothers, and we entered into the man’s house. He reported to us how he’d seen the messenger standing in his house and saying to him, ‘Send men to Joppa. And send for Shimon, the one usually called Petros, who’ll speak declarations to you- by which you’ll- be saved - you- and all your- household.’

    And when I began to speak, the holy spirit fell on them, just as on us in the beginning. And I was reminded of the declaration of the lord, how he said, ‘Indeed Yohannes immersed you= with water, but you’ll= be immersed in the holy spirit.’ So if God gave the same gift to them as he did also to us who have trusted on the lord Yeshua the Anointed, who am I that I was able to forbid God?” And when they’d heard these things they were quiet, and they glorified God saying, “So then, God gives repentance into life to the nations too.”

    Now those who’d indeed been scattered abroad due to the duress that came on Stephanosb passed through as far as Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch, not speaking the message to anybody, except only to Jews. But there were some of them, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they entered into Antioch, spoke to the Greek speakers, bringing the good news of the lord Yeshua. And the hand of the lordc [Yahweh] was with them, and a vast number trusted and turned to the lord.

    And the account about them was heard in the ears of the assembly in Jerusalem. And they sent Barnabas off to go through to Antioch. Who, when he’d come and seen the grace of God, rejoiced and entreated them all to remain in the lord with purpose of heart. (Because he was a good man and full of the holy spirit and of faith). And a considerable crowd was added to the lord.

    And Barnabas went up to Tarsus to hunt for Saul. And when he’d found him, he led him to Antioch. And it came to be that they gathered with the assembly for a whole year, and taught the considerable crowd. The disciples first took the name Christiand in Antioch.

    And in those days prophets came down to Antioch from Jerusalem. And one of them, named Agabus, got up and signalled through the spirit that a great famine was about to come on the whole of the inhabited world. (And it came about under Claudius Caesar). But the disciples, in accordance with how each one was prospering, determined to send a service to those brothers who dwelled in Judea. And they did so, sending it to the elders through the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

a) everything is either holy (for God’s use) or common (not holy)

b) Stephanos means “wreath” or “crown”

c) Jews used “Lord” in place of “Yahweh” to avoid any possibility of breaking the third commandment.

d) Christian is a transliteration of the made up Greek word “christianos” which means “followers of the Anointed”

12   About that time Herod the king laid his hands on some of those of the assembly to mistreat them. He killed Yaakov, the brother of Yohannes, by the sword. And when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he continued, arresting Petros too. Now they were the days of Unleavened Bread, and when he’d arrested him he put him in jail, handing him over to four quaternionsa of soldiers to be guarded, intending to lead him before the people after the Passover.

    Indeed then, Petros was kept in the jail, but there was earnest prayer to God by the assembly on his behalf. And when Herod was about to have him led forth, that same night - Petros had been bound with chains and he was sleeping between two soldiers, and two guards were also in front of the door keeping watch. And look! A messenger of the lordb [Yahweh] stood there, and light shone into the room. And he struck Petros on his side and woke him up saying, “Get up quickly”, and his chains fell off his hands. And the messenger said to him, “Girdc yourself, and strap your- sandals on tightly.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Throw your- cloak around yourself, and follow me.” And when he went out, he followed him. But he didn’t know that what was happening through the messenger was real, because he presumed he was looking at a vision.

    And when they’d passed through the first watch, and the second, they came to the iron gate, the one leading into the town, which opened for them by itself. And when they’d come out, they went down one street, and straightaway the messenger withdrew from him. And Petros came to himself and said, “Now I know that the lordb [Yahweh] has really sent his messenger, and he’s delivered me from the hand of Herod, and from every expectation of the Jewish people.”

    And when he realised all this, he went to the house of Maria, the mother of Yohannes, usually called Markos, where a considerable number had gathered together and were praying. And when Petros knocked at the door of the gateway a slave girl named Rhoda approached to answer it. But when she recognised the voice of Petros she was so joyful that she didn’t open the gate, but she ran inside and reported that Petros was standing at the front of the gate. But they said to her, “You’re- mad!” But she insisted strongly that it was so, so they said, “It’s his messenger.”

    But Petros persisted knocking, and when they opened the door they saw him and they were amazed. And he gestured with his hand for them to be hushed, and he related to them how the lord had led him out of the jail. And he said, “Go and report these things to Yaakov and to the brothers.” And when he’d come out, he went to another place.

    And when day came there was no small disturbance among the soldiers about what had become of Petros. And when they’d looked for him, but not found him, Herod interrogated the guards and ordered that they be led away [to prison]. And he went down from Judea to Caesarea and he stayed there.

    Now Herod had been fighting with the people of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, (who’s in charge of the bed-chamber of the king), they’d requested peace because their region was provided food by the region of the king. On the set day, Herod, wearing a royal garment and sitting on the judgement platform, addressed them. And the people called back, “This is the voice of a god, not of a person.” And immediately a messenger of the lordb [Yahweh] struck him because he didn’t give the glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and he expired. And the message of God grew and multiplied. And when Barnabas and Saul had fulfilled the service, they returned from Jerusalem. And they took Yohannes, who’s usually called Markos, along with them.

a) quaternions were special squads of 4 soldiers in the Roman army

b) Jews used “Lord” in place of “Yahweh” to avoid any possibility of breaking the third commandment.

c) “girded” means to have something wrapped around and tightened, usually it involved pulling your tunic between your legs and tucking it into your belt

13   

    And there were some from the assembly which was in Antioch, who were prophets and teachers. Barnabas and Simeon, who was usually called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, (who was a foster brother of Herod the tetrarcha), and Saul. And while they were ministering to the lord and fasting, the holy spirit said, “Set apart Barnabas and Saul, and bind them to me for the work to which I’ve called them.” So, when they’d fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them, and they released them.

    Indeed then, having been sent out by the holy spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed away to Cyprus. And when they came to Salamis they declared the message of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had Yohannes as their attendant. And when they’d passed through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a certain magicianb, a false prophet, a Jew, who was named Bar-Yeshuac, and who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. And he called Barnabas and Saul to him, seeking to hear the message of God. But Elymasd[Wise] the magician, (for that’s the translation of his name), stood against them, seeking to divert the proconsul from the faith. But Saul, who’s also Paulus, was filled with the holy spirit. And looking intently at him he said, “You’re- full of all deceit and of all fraud. You- son of Diabolose. You- enemy of all righteousness. Won’t you- cease diverting the straight ways of the lordf [Yahweh]? And now look! The hand of the lordf [Yahweh] is on you-, and you’ll- be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” And immediately a mist fell on him, and darkness, and he went about seeking someone to lead him by the hand. Then, when he saw what had happened, the proconsul trusted, being astonished at the teaching of the lord. And setting out from Paphos, the companions with Paulus went to Perga of Pamphylia. And Yohannes departed from them and he returned to Jerusalem.

    And when they’d passed through from Perga, they themselves came along to Antioch of Pisidia. And they entered into the synagogue on the day of the Sabbathg, and they sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them saying, “Men. Brothers. If you= have a message of encouragement for the people, say it.” So Paulus got up, and gesturing with his hand he said, “Men. Yisraelites. And those who fear God. Listen. The god of this people selected our fathers, and he lifted up the people in their sojournh in the land of Egypt. And with a raised arm he led them out from there. And for forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. And when he’d put down seven nations in the land of Canaan, he divided the land to them by lot. And after these things, (about four hundred and fifty years), he gave them judges up until the prophet Samuel. And from there they requested a king. And God gave them Saul, son of Kish, a man from the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when he removed him he raised up David to be their king. About whom he also testified, saying, ‘I’ve found David of Yishay to be a man after my own heart, who’ll do all my will.’ From this man’s seed, God, in accordance with the promise, has brought a saviour to Yisrael. Before his appearance Yohannes had proclaimed an immersion of repentance to all the people of Yisrael. And as Yohannes completed his race he said, ‘Who do you= suspect that I am? I’m not him, but look! He’s coming after me. I’m not worthy to untie the sandals of his feet.’

    Men. Brothers. Sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you= who fear God. This message of salvation has been sent to you=. For those who dwell in Jerusalem and their rulers failed to recognise it, and they fulfilled the voice of the prophets which was being read every Sabbath when they judged him. And having not even found one cause for death, they requested Pilate to kill him. And when they’d completed all the things which had been written about him, they took him down from the pole and they placed him in a tomb.

    But God raised him from the dead. And over many days he appeared to those who’d come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses to the people. And we’re bringing the good news to you= about the promise to the fathers - God has fully fulfilled it to their children, to us - having raised Yeshua. As it’s been written in the second psalm, ‘You’re- my son, I’ve fathered you- today.’ But because he’s raised him up from the dead, no longer to return to decay, thus he’s said, ‘I’ll give you= the hallowed things of faithful David.’ That’s why in another one it says, ‘You- won’t hand your- hallowed one over to see decay.’ For indeed, David, after he’d attended his own generation according to the counsel of God, fell asleep and was added to his fathers, and he saw decay. But he whom God has raised up didn’t see decay.

    So then let it be known to you= men. Brothers. That through this one, a pardoning of sins is declared to you=. And from all the things for which you= weren’t able to be declared righteous in the law of Moshe, in this one - everyone who trusts is declared righteous. So then, watch out that it doesn’t come upon you= as has been said in the prophets, ‘Look you= despisers! Marvel and disappear, because I’m doing a work in your= days, a work which you= wouldn’t believe at all, even if someone relates it to you= in detail.’”

    And as they were going out from the synagogue of the Jews, the non-Jews were begging that these things which had been said might be spoken to them the next Sabbath. And when the synagogue had been dispersed, many of the Jews and the devout proselytes followed Paulus and Barnabas, who spoke to them and persuaded them to remain in the grace of God.

    And on the coming Sabbath almost all the town was gathered together to hear the message of God. And when they saw the crowds the Jews were filled with jealousy, and they contradicted the things which were being said by Paulus - contradicting and speaking evil about them. And being bold, Paulus and Barnabas said, “It was necessary for the message of God to be spoken to you= first. But since you’re= pushing it away and you’re= judging yourselves to be not worthy of everlasting life. Look! We’re turning to the nations. For this is how the lord has directed us, ‘I’ve placed you- as a light for the nations, so that you’ll- be for salvation to the limits of the earth.’ And when they heard this the non-Jews rejoiced and glorified the message of the lord, and they trusted - as many as were appointed into everlasting life. And the message of the lord was carried throughout the whole region.

    But the Jews stirred up the reverent women, and the highly respected, and the leading men of the town, and they raised up persecution against Paulus and Barnabas, and threw them out of their borders. But they shook the dust off their feet against them, and they went on to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and the holy spirit.

a) a tetrarch was a Roman ruler in charge of a largish area, like a province. Literally it means “ruler of a quarter”

b) this could mean anything from astrologer to sorcerer. He may have been follower of Zoroaster

c) Bar-Yeshua means “son of Yeshua”

d) Elymas is an Arabic word meaning “wise”

e) Diabolos means “slanderer”

f) Jews used “Lord” in place of “Yahweh” to avoid any possibility of breaking the third commandment.

g) Sabbath here is literally plural

h) a sojourn is a period of temporarily living in a foreign country or region

14   And it came to be, that in Iconium they went and spoke, as usual, in the synagogue of the Jews - resulting in a great multitude of Jews, and also of Greeks, trusting. But the Jews who were disobedient stirred up and embittered the souls of the non-Jews against the brothers. Indeed, they stayed there for a considerable time speaking openly about the lord - testifying to the message of his grace in granting signs and miracles to occur through their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided, and indeed some sided with the Jews, and some sided with the ambassadors. But an attempt was made by both the non-Jews and the Jews, together with their leaders, to maltreat them, and to have them stoned. And when they became aware of it they fled to safety, to the towns of Lycaonia - to Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding area. And they brought the good news there.

    And in Lystra a certain man, who was crippled in the feet, was sitting there. He’d been born lame from the belly of his mother, and he’d never walked. And he listened to Paulus speaking, who looked intently at him, and when he saw that he had faith to be saved, he said in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your- feet!” And he leaped up and walked.

    And when the crowds saw what Paulus had done they lifted up their voice in the Lycaonian language saying, “The gods have come down to us in the form of people.” They called Barnabas, Zeus, and Paulus, Hermes, since he was the one who was leading the speaking. And the priest of Zeus who was over their town brought bulls and wreaths to the gates, wanting to sacrifice together with the crowds. But when they heard this the ambassadors Barnabas and Paulus tore their clothes and jumped up into the crowd, crying out and saying, “Men! Why are you= doing these things? We’re of the same nature as you=, humans who are bringing the good news to you=. Turn from these futile things to the living God who made the sky, and the earth, and the sea, and everything in them. Who in bygone generations allowed all the nations to go their own way - though certainly he didn’t leave himself without witness - doing good things for you= from heaven - giving rain and fruitful times, and filling our hearts with nourishment and happiness.” And even when he’d said these things, they only just stopped the crowds from sacrificing to them.

    But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and they persuaded the crowds. And they stoned Paulus and dragged him outside the town, presuming that he’d died. But when the disciples had surrounded him, he got up and entered into the town. And the next day he went off with Barnabas to Derbe.

    And when they’d brought the good news to that town, and had made a considerable number of disciples, they returned to Lystra and Iconium, and to Antioch, shoring up the lives of the disciples, entreating them to remain in the faith, and that through much duress we must enter into the kingdom of God. And when they’d selected elders for them in each assembly, with praying and fasting, they committed them to the lord in whom they’d trusted.

    And when they’d passed through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. And when they’d spoken the message in Perga, they went down to Attalia. And from there they sailed to Antioch, from where they’d been handed over to the grace of God for the work which they’d fulfilled. And when they’d come, and had gathered the assembly, they reported everything which God had done through them, and how he’d opened a door of faith to the nations. And they stayed there, not a short time, with the disciples.

15   And some who came down from Judea taught the brothers, ”If you= aren’t circumcised according to the custom of Moshe, then you= aren’t able to be saved.” And a commotion broke out, and there was no little discussion by Paulus and Barnabas towards them. They appointed Paulus and Barnabas and certain others from among them to go up to the ambassadors and elders in Jerusalem about this question. Indeed then, when they’d been sent by the assembly, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, relating in detail the turning around of the nations. And great joy came to all the brothers. And when they arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the assembly, and the ambassadors, and the elders. And they reported how much God had done with them.

    And a certain one of the sect of the Pharisees who’d trusted, rose up saying, “We must circumcise them, and instruct them to keep the law of Moshe.” And the ambassadors and elders were gathered together to see about this matter. And after much discussion, Petros got up and said to them, “Men. Brothers. You’re= well aware that from the early days God made a selection among us, that through my mouth the nations would hear the message of the good news, and trust. And God, who knows hearts, testified by giving the holy spirit to them just as he had to us. And he didn’t distinguish between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Now then, why are you= testing God by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were strong enough to bear? But through the grace of the lord Yeshua we trust and we’re saved in the same manner as them.”

    And the whole multitude was hushed and they listened to Barnabas and Paulus relating in full how God had done signs and miracles among the nations through them. And after they were hushed, Yaakov answered, saying, “Men. Brothers. Listen to me. Shimon has related in full how God first visited the nations to accept a people for his name from among them. And this agrees with the message of the prophets, just as it’s been written, ‘”After these things I’ll return and I’ll rebuild the tent of David which has fallen. And I’ll rebuild what’s been torn down, and I’ll raisea it up again. So that the people who are remaining should seek the lordb [Yahweh], and all the nations who have called on my name”, says the lordb [Yahweh], who does all these things.’ All his works are known to God from the age. That’s why I judge not to trouble those from the nations who turn to God. But send a letter to them telling them to keep away from the pollution of idols, and from fornication, from strangled things, and from blood. For Moshe has those who proclaim him in all generations from the beginning, in every town, and he’s read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

    Then it seemed good to the ambassadors and the elders, together with the whole assembly, having selected men from among them, to send them to Antioch together with Paulus and Barnabas - Yehuda, usually called Barsabbas, and Silas - men who were leaders among the brothers. Writing this through their hand:

    “The ambassadors, and the elders, and the brothers.

    To those throughout Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, to those brothers from the nations.

    Rejoice.

    Since in fact we’ve heard that some have gone out from us and troubled you= with what they said, disturbing your= lives and telling you= to be circumcised and to keep the law - even though we didn’t give them such an instruction. So it seemed good to us, being of one accord, to select men to send to you= together with our beloved Barnabas and Paulus. People who have given up their lives for the sake of the name of our lord, Yeshua the Anointed.

    We’ve sent Yehuda and Silas, and through their message they’ll report the same things. For it seemed good to the holy spirit and to us, that no more burden be placed on you=, except these necessary things: to keep away from things offered to idols, and blood, and things which have been strangled, and fornication. You’ll= be acting well if you= faithfully keep yourselves from these things.

    Farewell.”

    Indeed then, those who were released went down to Antioch. And when they’d gathered the multitude together, they handed over the letter. And when they’d read it, they rejoiced at the encouragement. Yehuda and Silas, also both being prophets, exhorted the brothers through many messages, and shored them up. And when they’d spent some time there, they were let go with peace from the brothers back to the ambassadors.

    But Paulus and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and bringing the good news, (with many others), the message of the lord. And after some days Paulus said to Barnabas, “We should definitely turn back and visit our brothers in every town in which we’ve declared the message of the lord - to see how they’re doing.” And Barnabas advised taking Yohannes, the one usually called Markos, along with them. But Paulus didn’t deem him worthy to come with them since he’d withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and didn’t go along with them into the work. And they became exasperated to the point that they parted company from one another. And Barnabas took Markos along with him, and sailed for Cyprus. But Paulus chose Silas, and went forth after he’d been committed to the grace of God by the brothers. And he passed through Syria and Cilicia, shoring up the assemblies.

a) “raise up” here has the idea of rebuilding something which has been broken down

b) Jews used “Lord” in place of “Yahweh” to avoid any possibility of breaking the third commandment.

16   And he reached Derbe and Lystra. And look! There was a certain disciple there named Timotheos, a son of a certain faithful Jewish woman, and of a Greek father, and who was well spoken of by the brothers in Lystra and Iconium. He wanted to go along with Paulus, so he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews in those places, for they all knew his father, (that he was a Greek). And they went through the towns, handing them the decisions which had been made by the ambassadors and the elders in Jerusalem, which they were to keep. Indeed then, the assemblies were strengthened in the faith, and their number increased every day.

    And after they’d passed through Phrygia and the Galatian countryside they were hindered by the holy spirit from speaking the message in the province of Asia. And when they came down to Mysia, they tried to go down to Bithynia, but the spirit didn’t allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and they went down to Troas. And during the night a vision appeared to Paulus - a certain man, a Macedonian, was standing and entreating him, saying, “Step across into Macedonia and help us.” And when he saw the vision, straightaway we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the lord had called us to bring the good news to them. Setting out then from Troas, we headed straight for Samothrace, and the ensuing day to Neapolis. From there to Philippi, which is the main city of that part of Macedonia, and we stayed in that city for some days.

    On the day of the Sabbatha we went outside the city, alongside the river where it was customary for prayer. And we sat and spoke to the women who were coming together there. And a certain woman, named Lydia, a seller of purple in the town of Thyatira, and who revered God, heard. The lord opened up her heart to pay attention to what was being spoken by Paulus. And when she was immersed, her and her household, she entreated us, saying, “If you’ve= judged me faithful to the lord, then come and stay in my house.” And she compelled us.

    And it came to be, that as we were going to prayer, a certain slave girl met us who had a spirit of divination, and who brought a lot of work to her masters by fortune-telling. This girl followed after Paulus, and she cried out to us, saying, “These people are slaves of God the highest, who are declaring to us a way of salvation.” And she’d done this for many days. And becoming exasperated, Paulus turned to the spirit and said, “I instruct you- in the name of Yeshua the Anointed to come out from her.” And it came out that hour.

    But when her masters saw that their expectation of income was gone, they seized Paulus and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace, to the rulers. And they led them to the officers of the temple guards and they said, “These people are bringing trouble to our town, and being Jews they’re advocating customs which aren’t permitted for us, being Romans, to concur with or to do.” And the crowd rose up together against them. And the officers tore their clothes from them, and ordered them to be beaten with rods. When many blows had been laid on them, they threw them into jail and instructed the jailer to guard them securely. Who, having received such a command, threw them into the inner jail and secured their feet in wood.

    And around midnight Paulus and Silas were praying and singing praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. And suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened and all the bonds came loose. And when the jailer woke from his sleep and saw that the doors of the jail had been opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, (presuming that the prisoners had escaped). But Paulus called in a loud voice, saying, “Don’t do anything evil to yourself! Because we’re still here.” And requesting lights, he jumped up and, trembling, came and fell down in front of Paulus and Silas. And leading them outside he declared, “Masters. What do I have to do so that I can be saved?” And they said, “Trust on the lord Yeshua the Anointed and you’ll- be saved - you- and your- household.” And they spoke the message of the lord to him, and also to all those in his household. And at that hour of the night he took them and bathed their wounds, and immediately he himself was immersed along with all those who belonged to him. And he lead them up into his house and he set a table for them, and rejoiced with his whole household who’d trusted God.

    And when day came, the officers sent aides off, saying, “Release those people.” And the jailer reported these messages to Paulus, “The officers have sent that you= may be released. So then, come out now and go in peace.” But Paulus declared to them, “When they’d whipped us publicly - uncondemned people who belong to Rome - they threw us into jail. And now they throw us out secretly. No. Let them come and lead us out themselves.” And the aides reported what was said to the officers. And when they heard that they were Romans they were afraid. And they came to them and entreated them. And when they’d lead them out, they asked them to leave the city. So when they’d come out of the jail, they entered Lydia’s, and when they’d seen the brothers, they exhorted them, and they left.

a) Sabbath here is literally plural

17   And when they’d travelled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And, as they were accustomed, Paulus went in to them. And on three Sabbaths he reasoned with them from the writings, explaining and proposing that the Anointed must suffer and rise up again from the dead. And “Yeshua, whom I declare to you=, is the Anointed.” And some of them were persuaded and attached themselves to Paulus and Silas, along with a great multitude of reverent Greeks, and more than a few of the prominent women.

    But those disobedient Jews took themselves some troublemakersa, certain wicked men, and they formed a mob, and they made a commotion in the town. And when they came to the house of Iason they were looking to lead them out to the people. But when they didn’t find them, they dragged Iason and certain brothers to the city chiefs, shouting, “These people have upset the inhabited world, and now they’re here - those whom Iason has welcomed, and who all practise things against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there’s another king - Yeshua.” And they stirred up the crowd and the city chiefs who heard these things. And when they’d taken sufficient [bond money] from Iason and the rest, they released them. But the brothers sent both Paulus and Silas off to Berea straightaway, during the night.

    And when they’d arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. And these were more noble than those in Thessalonica - they welcomed the message with all eagerness, and they examined the writings each day to see if they said the same things. Indeed then, many of them trusted, as did more than a few of the highly respected Greek women and men. And when the Jews from Thessalonica perceived that the message of God was also being declared by Paulus in Berea, they came there and started agitating the crowds. And straightaway then, the brothers sent Paulus off to sea, but both Silas and Timotheos remained behind there. And those who were conducting Paulus led him up to Athens.

    And when they’d received a command for Silas and Timotheos, (that they should come to him as quickly as possible), they departed. And while Paulus was waiting for them in Athens his spirit was stirred up in him, since he’d observed how filled with idols the town was. Indeed then, he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devoted, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to come along.

    And some of the Epicurean and the Stoic philosophers conferred with him. And some said, “What ever does this scavengerb want to say?” and others, “He seems to think he’s the herald of some foreign godsc”, (because he was bringing the good news about Yeshua and the resurrection to them). And they seized him, and they led him to the Areopagus, saying, “Are we able to know what this new teaching is that you’re- speaking? For you’re- bringing some strange things to our hearing, and so we intend to perceive what they might mean.” (All the Athenians and foreigners who’d returned home spent their time doing nothing other than saying something and hearing new things).

    And standing in the middle of the Areopagus, Paulus declared, “Men. Athenians. I observe that you’re= very religiousd in all things. For as I passed through and looked closely at your= objects of worship I even found a pedestal on which had been inscribed, ‘To an unknown god’. This one of whom you’re= not aware, but to whom you’re= devout - this is the one I’m declaring to you=. God, who made the world and everything in it, the lord of heaven and earth. Who doesn’t by nature dwell in manmade temples, neither is he attended to by the hands of people, as if he needs anything. He himself gives life, and breath, and everything, to all. From the blood of one person he made every nation of people to dwell all over the face of the earth - designating beforehand the times and boundaries of their dwelling - to seek the lord, if in fact they surely might feel about for him and find him. Although inherently he isn’t far from each of us. For we live, and move, and are, in him.

    As some of your= poets have declared, ‘For we’re also his family.’ Since we are therefore inherently the family of God, we ought not presume the divine to be like gold, or silver, or stone - to be carved by human craft or thinking. Indeed then, having overlooked those times of ignorance, God is now instructing all people everywhere to repent, because he’s set a day in which the inhabited world is about to be judged in righteousness, through the man whom he’s designated - having presented assurance to all by raising him up from the dead.

    And when they heard of a resurrection from the dead, they indeed jeered. But others said, “We’ll hear you- again about this.” And in this way Paulus went out from the middle of them. But certain men, who’d attached themselves to him, trusted. Among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and his wife, (named Damaris), and others with them.

a) troublemakers was a word used for those who hung around in markets getting up to no good

b) “scavenger” is literally “seed collector” and it referred to birds which pick up seeds.

c) literally this is “foreign demons” but in Greek thinking “demon” was a more generic term and not always evil

d) “very religious” here is literally “fearing daemons” (daemons were not necessarily thought of as evil).

18   And after these things, Paulus departed from Athens and came to Corinth. And when he found a certain Jew named Akulas, of Pontus by birth, who’d recently come from Italy with his wife Priska, (because Claudius had decreed that all the Jews had to depart from Rome), he approached them. And since they were of the same trade he remained and worked with them, (for by trade they were tentmakers). And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.

    And as Silas and Timotheos both came down from Macedonia, Paulus was constrained by the spirit, earnestly declaring Yeshua the Anointed to those Jews. And when they resisted and spoke evil, he shook out his clothes and he said to them, “Your= blood is on your= own head, I’m clean. From now on, I’ll go to the nations.”

    And when he’d moved on from there he went into the house of a certain person named Justus, who revered God, and whose house was adjacent to the synagogue. And Crispus, the ruler of synagogue, had trusted in the lord together with his whole household. And when they heard, many of the Corinthians trusted and were immersed. But the lord said to Paulus through a vision in the night, “Don’t be afraid, but speak and don’t be silent, because I’m with you-, and no one will set on you- to mistreat you- because my people are many in this town.” And he settled there for a year and six months, teaching the message of God among them.

    And while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia the Jews rose up with one accord against Paulus, and they led him to the judgement platform, saying “This person persuades people to revere God, contrary to the law.” And when Paulus was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If indeed then there was any wrongdoing or wicked crime, honourable Jews, I should’ve tolerated your= message. But if it’s a question of words, and of names, and of your= law, then look into it yourselves, for I’m not intending to be a judge of these things.” And he drove them away from the judgement platform. And they seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and all the Greeks beat him in front of the judgement platform. But Gallio didn’t care at all about these things.

    But when Paulus had remained there a considerable number of days longer, he took his leave from those brothers and sailed off to Syria, (together with Priska and Akulas), after he’d shorn his head in Cenchrea because he’d taken a vow. And he reached Ephesus, and he left them behind, and he entered the synagogue by himself and reasoned with those Jews. But when they asked him to remain longer with them he didn’t nod approval, but he took leave of them, saying, “I definitely have to make the coming festival in Jerusalem. But I’ll come back to you= again, if God is willing.”

    And he set sail from Ephesus. And when he’d come down to Caesarea, and had gone up and greeted the assembly, he went down to Antioch. And when he’d spent some time there, he went on, passing one by one through the Galatian region and Phrygia, shoring up all the disciples.

    But a certain Jew, named Apollos, Alexandrian by birth, a learned man, arrived in Ephesus. He was powerful in the writings and he’d been instructed in The Way of the lorda. And being passionate in the spirit he spoke and taught accurately about the lorda, although he was only aware of the immersion of Yohannes. Besides this, he also began to speak openly in the synagogue. And when they heard him, Akulas and Priska took him aside and explained the way of God to him more accurately. And when he intended to pass through to Achaia, the brothers wrote to those disciples, urging them to welcome him. And when he’d arrived, he contributed much to those who’d trusted through grace. For publicly he was vigorously and thoroughly refuting the Jews, showing through the writings that Yeshua is the Anointed.

a) “lord” here could refer to Yeshua or Yahweh. And Apollos may have not been a Christian before he met Akulas and Priska. But “way of the lord” and “in the spirit” imply to me that he was, and this reference is to Yeshua.

19   And it came to be, while Apollos was in Corinth, that when Paulus had passed through the upper regions, he came to Ephesus. And when he’d found certain disciples he said to them, “When you= trusted, did you= receive the holy spirit?” But they said to him, “We haven’t even heard that there is a holy spirit.” And so he said to them, “Then what were you= immersed into?” And they said, “Into the immersion of Yohannes.” And Paulus said, “Yohannes indeed immersed an immersion of repentance, telling the people that they should trust in the one who was coming after him, that is, in Anointed Yeshua.” And when they heard this they were immersed into the name of the lord Yeshua. And the holy spirit came on them when Paulus placed his hands on them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. In all there were about twelve men there.

    And he entered the synagogue and spoke openly for three months, reasoning and persuading about the kingdom of God. But because some were hardened and stubborn, speaking evil of The Way in front of the multitude, he withdrew from them and separated the disciples, reasoning with them every day in the school of a certain Tyrannus.

    And this took place over the next two years, so that all those who dwelled in the province of Asia heard the message of the lord Yeshua - both Jews and Greeks. And God did no ordinary works of power through the hands of Paulus. So that even when napkins or aprons which had touched his skin were taken to those who were ill, they were set free from their diseases, and even the wicked spirits went out from them.

    But some of the Jewish exorcists who were going around, took it upon themselves to name the name of the lord Yeshua over those who had the wicked spirits, saying, “We urge you= to swear an oatha by the Yeshua whom Paulus proclaims.” And there were some, seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who were doing this. But answering, the wicked spirit said, “I know Yeshua, and I’m aware of Paulus, but you=? Who are you=?” And the person in whom the wicked spirit was, leaped upon them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them so that they fled naked and wounded from that house. And this became known to all the Jews, and even the Greeks, who dwelled in Ephesus. And fear fell on all of them, and the name of the lord Yeshua was magnified.

    And many of those who’d trusted, came, confessing and reporting their own actions. And a considerable number of those who practised curious things, came carrying the scrolls. And they burned them up in front of everyone. And they calculated their value, and they found it was fifty thousand silver coinsb. And in this way, the message of the lord grew mightily and prevailed.

    And as these things were fulfilled, Paulus determined in the spirit to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, “After I’ve been there, I must also see Rome.” And when he’d sent off the two who were serving him to Macedonia, (Timotheos and Erastus), he himself was detained in the province of Asia for a while.

    And at that time no small disturbance arose concerning The Way. For there was a certain silversmith, named Demetrius, who made silver temples of Artemis, and provided not a small amount of work to the craftsmen - to whom, when he’d gathered them together with the workers in such things, he said, “Men. You’re= well aware that our prosperity is from this work. And you= see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of the province of Asia, this Paulus has persuaded and changed a considerable crowd by saying that gods which are made by hands aren’t gods at all. And there’s a danger for us that not only our trade will fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be counted as nothing, and her magnificence will be brought down - she whom the whole of the province of Asia and the inhabited world reveres.” And when they heard this they became full of fury, and they cried out saying, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians.” And the whole town was filled with confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theatre, seizing Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, travelling companions of Paulus.

    But when Paulus intended to go into the population, the disciples wouldn’t let him. And some of the Asiarchsc, who were friends of his, sent to him, and were entreating him not to hand himself over to the theatre. Some indeed cried one thing, and others another, for the assembly was thrown into confusion, and most of them didn’t know why they’d come together. And out of the crowd they pushed forward Alexandros, thrown forward by the Jews. And Alexandros gestured with his hand that he wanted to make a defence to the population. But recognising that he was a Jew, they all shouted with one voice for about two hours, crying out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians.”

    But when the clerk had calmed the crowd, he declared, “Men. Ephesians. What person is there who doesn’t perceive that the town of the Ephesians is the custodian of the temple of the great goddess Artemis, and of that which fell down from Zeus? So then, since these things aren’t denied by anyone, you= must calm down, and not commit anything rash. For you’ve= brought these men here, who are neither temple robbers nor speaking evil of your= goddess. If indeed then, Demetrius and the craftsmen with him have some matter against anyone, the court sessions are being conducted, and there are proconsuls - let them bring a charge against one another. But if you’re= seeking something else, it’ll be determined in a lawful assembly. For we’re also in danger of being charged with civil disobedience in regard to today. And there’ll be no cause we’ll be able to give to account for this gathering.” And when he’d said these things, he dismissed the assembly.

a) “urge someone to swear an oath” is all one word in Greek

b) “fifty thousand silver coins” is about fifty thousand days pay for a labourer, almost 140 years wages.

c) the Asiarchs were the highest Roman appointed religious officials

20   But after the uproar had ceased, Paulus called the disciples to himself, and when he’d taken his leave of them, he set out for Macedonia. And when he’d passed through those parts, and entreated them with many messages, he came to Greece. And when he’d spent three months there, because of a plot against him by the Jews when he was about to set out for Syria, he resolved to return through Macedonia. And following along with him as far as the province of Asia were Sopatros, a Berean, and Thessalonicans, Aristarchus and Secundus, Gaius, a Derbian, and Timotheos, and from the province of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus. And they went on ahead, and then waited for us in Troas. After the days of Unleavened Bread we sailed from Philippi, and after five days we came to them at Troas where we stayed for seven days.

    But on the day after the Sabbatha, when the disciples had gathered together to break bread, Paulus was reasoning with them. And since he was about to depart the next day, he prolonged the message until midnight. And there were a considerable number of lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. And a certain young man, named Eutychus, was sitting on the window and sinking further and further into a deep sleep as Paulus reasoned on. And when he’d fallen completely asleep he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead. But when he went down Paulus fell on him, and taking him in his arms he said, “Don’t make a commotion, for his soul is still in him.” When he’d gone back up, and broken bread and eaten, he kept on conversing considerably until daybreak, and then he departed. And they led the childb in alive, and they were immeasurably consoled.

    So we went on ahead to the boat, and set out for Assos, intending to take Paulus onboard from there, for this was what he’d determined - for himself to go on foot. And when he met us together in Assos we took him onboard, and we went to Mitylene. And from there we sailed off the ensuing day, and we arrived opposite Chios. After another day we pulled in at Samos, and when we had stayed in Trogyllium, we then reached Miletus. For Paulus had decided to sail past Ephesus so there was no opportunity for him to linger in the province of Asia, for he was hurrying, so that if it was possible he might be in Jerusalem for the fiftiethc day [Pentecost].

    And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the assembly. And when they came to him, he said to them, “You’re= well aware, from the first day on which I stepped foot into the province of Asia, how I behaved among you= at all times - being a slave to the lord with all humility, and with many tears and trials which befell me through the plots of the Jews. And how I didn’t hold back from informing you= of anything which was profitable, and I taught you= in public and from house to house, earnestly declaring to both Jews and Greeks - repentance towards God and faith in our lord Yeshua.

    And now. Look. I’ve been bound by the spirit and I’m going to Jerusalem, not knowing what I’ll meet with there. Except that the holy spirit has earnestly declared in every town, saying that bonds and duress are awaiting me. But I’m not keeping account of these, neither do I count my life as precious to myself, so that I complete my race with joy - the service which I received from the lord Yeshua, to earnestly declare the good news of the grace of God.

    And now. Look. I know that you’ll= no longer see my face, all of you= whom I passed among, proclaiming the kingdom of God. That’s why I’m calling you= to witness today that I’m clean of the blood of all, for I haven’t held back from reporting to you= the whole counsel of God. Watch out then, for yourselves and for all the flock among which the holy spirit has placed you= as watchmen, to shepherd the assembly of the lord and of God, and which he procured for himself through his own blood. For I know this, that after my departure large wolves will enter in among you=, and won’t spare the flock. And from among you= men will rise up who’ll speak distorted things in order to draw the disciples away after them.

    Therefore be alert! Recalling that for three years, night and day, I didn’t cease to admonish each of you= with tears. And now brothers, I’m committing you= to God and to the message of his grace, to the one who’s able to build you= up and to give you= an inheritance among all those who are regarded as holy. I didn’t desire anyone’s silver or gold or garment. But you= yourselves perceive that these very hands attended to my needs, and to the needs of those who were with me. In everything I disclosed to you=, that by labouring in this way you= must support the weak - recalling the message of the lord Yeshua, that he himself said, ‘It’s more blessed to give than to receive.’”

    And when he’d said these things, he knelt down together with all of them and prayed. And there was considerable weeping by everyone, and they fell on the neck of Paulus, and they were kissing him. Especially pained by the message which he’d declared, that soon they’d no longer see his face again. And they escorted him to the boat.

a) “day after the Sabbath” here is literally “one of the Sabbaths”

b) “child” could also be “servant”

c) the Greek word for “fiftieth” is “pentekoste” and so the day 50 days after Passover became known as Pentecost

21   And it came to be, that when we had been pulled away from them, we set sail, and we ran straight and we came to Cos, and next to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. And we found a boat crossing over to Phoenicia, and when we had boarded, we set sail. And after we had sighted Cyprus, but passed it on the left, we were sailing to Syria but we landed in Tyre because the boat was unloading cargo there.

    And we found the disciples, and we stayed there for seven days. And they kept telling Paulus, through the spirit, not to go up to Jerusalem. But when our days there were complete, we left and we went on our way, with all of them, including their women and children, seeing us off until we were outside the town. And we knelt on the beach and prayed. And when we had farewelled one another, we boarded the boat and they returned to their own.

    And when we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we reached Ptolemais, and after we had greeted the brothers, we stayed one day with them. And the next day, those of us who were travelling with Paulus went to Caesarea. And we entered the house of Philippos the Good News Bringer, who’s one of the Seven, and we stayed with him. And he had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses.

    After we had stayed there for some days, a certain person, a prophet named Agabus, came down from Judea. And he came up to us, and when he’d taken the belt of Paulus, he bound his own hands and feet, and he said, “This is what the holy spirit says, ‘The man whose belt this is - this man will be bound in this way by the Jews in Jerusalem. And they’ll hand him over into the hands of the nations.’” And when we heard these things, we entreated him, both us and those who were locals, not to go up to Jerusalem. But Paulus answered, “What are you= doing? Weeping and breaking my heart. For I’m ready, not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the sake of the name of the lord Yeshua.” And when he couldn’t be persuaded we kept quiet, saying, “Let the will of the lorda [Yahweh] come to be.”

    And after these days, when we had packed, we went up to Jerusalem. And the disciples from Caesarea came with us, leading us to where we should lodge, to a certain Mnason, a Cyprian, a disciple from the beginning. And when we came to Jerusalem, the brothers there welcomed us gladly.

    And the ensuing day, Paulus went in, together with us, to Yaakov, and all the elders also came along. And greeting them, he related in full, one by one, each of the things which God had done among the nations through his service. And when they’d heard this they glorified the lord, and said to him, “You- can see brother, how many tens of thousands of Jews have trusted, and they’re all zealots of the law. But they’ve been informed about you-, that you’re- teaching defection from Moshe to all those Jews among the nations - saying not to circumcise their children, nor to walk according to the customs.

    What then? The multitude will come together, for they’ll undoubtedly hear that you’ve- come. So then, do what we say to you-. There are four men with us who have taken a vow upon themselves. Take them and be purified together with them, and pay for them to have their heads shaved. And everyone will perceive that the things they’ve been told about you- are nothing. And you-, yourself, are in line with, and are keeping, the law. But as for those of the nations who have trusted, we’ve written a letter judging that they shouldn’t keep such things, except to keep themselves from things which have been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, from strangled animals, and from fornication.”

    Then Paulus took those men, and the next day, when he’d purified himself together with them, he went into the temple to notify[] them when the completion of the days of purification would be, and of the offering which would be made on behalf of each one of them. And when the seven days were about to be concluded, those Jews from the province of Asia who’d watched him in the temple, stirred up the crowd and laid their hands on him, crying out, “Men. Yisraelites. Help us. This is the person who’s teaching everyone everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place. And who’s even led Greeks into the temple, and he’s made the holy place into something commonb.” (For they’d seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the town together with him, and they’d presumed that Paulus had taken him into the temple).

    And the whole town was stirred up, and the people ran together, and they seized Paulus and dragged him out of the temple, and straightaway the doors were closed. And while they were seeking to kill him an allegation went up to the commander of the [Roman] troops that the whole of Jerusalem had been thrown into confusion - who ran down to them at once, taking soldiers and centurions. And when they saw the commander and those soldiers, they stopped beating Paulus. Then the commander came near and he took hold of him, and ordered that he be bound with two chains. And he inquired as to who he might be and what he’d done. But some in the crowd shouted one thing, and others another. And not being able to perceive with certainty because of the uproar, he ordered him to be led into the barracks.

    And when he came to the stairs he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd. For the multitude of the people followed, crying out, “Take him away!” And as he was about to be led into the barracks, Paulus said to the commander, “If it’s permitted, may I say something to you-?” And he declared, “You- know Greek? Then you- aren’t the Egyptian who started an insurrection some days ago, and who led four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?” And Paulus said, “Indeed, I’m a Jew, of Tarsus of Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant town. And I’m pleading with you- to permit me to speak to the people.” And when he’d been given permission by him, Paulus stood on the stairs and gestured with his hand to the people. And a great hush came over them, and he called out in the Hebrew language, saying,

a) Jews used “Lord” in place of “Yahweh” to avoid any possibility of breaking the third commandment.

b) everything is either holy (for God’s use) or common (not holy)

22   “Men. Brothers and fathers. Hear my defence to you= now.” And when they heard him calling out to them in the Hebrew language they quietened down. And he declared, “Indeed, I’m a Jew, having been born in Tarsus of Cilicia, and having been brought up in this city. And I was educated at the feet of Gamaliel, in every minute detail of the hereditary law, and by nature I was a zealot for God, just as all of you= are today.

    And I persecuted this Way to death, binding and handing over both men and women to jails. As the chief priest will testify for me, and also all the eldership besides, when I’d received letters from them to the brothers in Damascus, I went to lead those who were there, having been bound, back to Jerusalem, so they could be punished. But it came to be, that as I was going and drawing near to Damascus, about midday, suddenly a considerable light from the sky flashed around about me. And I fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul. Saul. Why are you- persecuting me?’ And I answered, ‘Who are you- lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I’m Yeshua the Nazarene, whom you’re- persecuting.’ But those who were with me, indeed saw the light and were terrified, but they didn’t hear the voice of the one who spoke to me. So I said, ‘What shall I do lord?’ And the lord said to me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus. And there, everything which has been appointed for you- to do will be told to you-.’ And since I couldn’t see from the glory of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and I came to Damascus.

    And a certain man, Ananias, devout according to the law, as testified by all the Jews who dwelt there, came and stood by me, and he said to me, ‘Saul. Brother. Recover your- sight.’ And at that very hour I recovered my sight and saw him. And he said, ‘The god of our fathers prepared beforehand for you- to perceive his will, and to see the righteous one, and to hear the voice out of his mouth, because you’ll- be a witness to him to all people of what you’ve- seen and heard. And now, why are you- delaying? Get up and be immersed, and wash away your- sins, calling on the name of the lord.’

    And it came to be, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I fell into a trance. And I saw him saying to me, ‘Hurry and leave swiftly from Jerusalem, because they won’t concur with your- testimony about me.’ And I said, ‘Lord. They themselves are well aware that I was jailing and whipping those who trusted on you- from every synagogue. And when the blood of your- witness Stephanosa was poured out, I myself was also standing by, endorsing his death, and guarding the cloaks of those who killed him.’ And he said to me, ‘Go, because I’ll dispatch you- to distant nations.’”

    They’d been listening until this message from him, but they raised their voices saying, “Remove him from the earth, for such a person doesn’t deserve to live.” They were crying out, and tossing their cloaks, and throwing dust into the air. The commander ordered him to be led into the barracks, saying, “Let him be interrogated by scourging” - so he might determine why they were calling back at him like this.

    But as they stretched him out with straps, Paulus said to the centurion who was standing there, “Is it permitted for you= to scourge a Roman, and uncondemned?” And when he heard this the centurion approached the commander, and reported it saying, “Look at what you’re- about to do, for this person is Roman.” And the commander approached, and said to him, “Tell me. Are you- a Roman?” And he declared, “Yes.” And the commander answered, “I acquired this citizenship with a vast sum [of money].” But Paulus declared, “But I was born so.” Then straightaway, those who were about to interrogate him withdrew from him. And the commander was afraid, realising that he was Roman, and that he’d bound him.

    But the next day, intending to perceive with certainty why he was being accused by the Jews, he released him from the bonds, and he ordered the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to come and gather together. And when he’d led Paulus down, he stood him among them.

a) Stephanos means “wreath” or “crown”

23   And looking intently at the Sanhedrin, Paulus said, “Men. Brothers. To this day I’ve been a citizen to God in all good conscience.” But the chief priest Ananias commanded those who were standing beside him to strike him in the mouth. Then Paulus said to him, “God is also about to strike you-, you- whitewashed wall! You’re- sitting in judgment of me according to the law, but against the law you- ordered that I be struck!” But those standing by said, “You- criticisea the chief priest of God?” Paulus declared, “I wasn’t aware, brothers, that he’s the chief priest. For it’s been written, ‘Don’t speak evil of the ruler of your- people.’”

    But Paulus, perceiving that some of them were of the party of the Sadducees and the others of the Pharisees, cried out in the Sanhedrin, “Men. Brothers. I’m a Pharisee, a son of a Pharisee. I’m being judged on account of an expectation, and the resurrection of the dead.” And when he’d said this, a commotion arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the multitude was divided. For indeed, the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither messengers nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge both.

    And a great uproar came about. And the scribes of the party of the Pharisees rose up and argued vigorously saying, “We find no evil in this person. And if a spirit or a messenger spoke to him, we shouldn’t fight against God.” And the commotion became so great that the commander, respondingb in order that Paulus wouldn’t be torn apart by them, ordered the troops to go down and to snatch him out from the middle of them, and to lead him into the barracks. But the ensuing night the lord stood beside him and said, “Have courage Paulus. For as you’ve- earnestly declared me in Jerusalem, you- also have to testify in Rome in the same way.”

    But when day came, some of the Jews bound themselves together under a curse, not to eat or drink until they’d killed Paulus. And there were more than forty of them who took this oath together, who went to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We’ve sworn a curse on ourselves, not to taste anything until we’ve killed Paulus. Now then, you=, together with the Sanhedrin, appear in front of the commander, so that tomorrow he’ll lead him down to you=, as if you’re= about to investigate more accurately about him. But we’re ready to kill him before he arrives.”

    But the son of Paulus’ sister heard of the coming ambush, and he went into the barracks and reported it to Paulus. And, calling over one of the centurions, Paulus declared to him, “Take this young man off to the commander, because he has something to report to him.” Indeed then, they took him with them, and they led him to the commander and declared, “The prisoner Paulus called me over and asked me to bring this young man to you-, because he has something to say to you-.” And when he’d taken hold of his hand and withdrawn by themselves, the commander inquired “What is it that you- have to report to me?” And he said, “That the Jews have agreed together to ask you- that tomorrow you- might lead Paulus down into the Sanhedrin, as if they’re about to inquire more accurately about him. So you- shouldn’t be persuaded by them, because more than forty men, who have bound themselves with a curse not to eat or drink until they’ve killed him, are waiting in ambush for him. They’re ready now, anticipating the promise from you-.”

    Indeed then, the commander dismissed the young man, instructing him, “Tell nobody that you’ve- disclosed these things to me.” And calling over two of the centurions, he said, “Get two hundred soldiers ready, and seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen, so that they may go up to Caesarea at the third hour of the nightc. Also provide animals so that Paulus will be mounted, and take him safely to Felix the governor.”

    And he wrote a letter including the following:

    “Claudius Lysias.

    To the most excellent governor, Felix.

    Rejoice.

    This man had been seized by the Jews, and was about to be killed by them when I came up to them with the troops and delivered him, (having learned that he’s a Roman). And, intending to perceive the reason for which they were charging him, I led him down to their Sanhedrin, where I found that he was being charged concerning questions of their law. But there was no charge deserving death or bonds.

    And, having been divulged of a plot against this man which was about to be carried out by the Jews, I sent him to you- at once, also instructing the accusers to say the things they have against him in front of you-.

    Be strong.”

    Indeed then, just as they’d been ordered, when those soldiers had taken Paulus, they led him up during the night to Antipatris. And the next day they left the horsemen to go on together with him, and they returned to the barracks. And when they entered Caesarea and handed over the letter to the governor, they presented Paulus to him. And when he’d read it, the governor inquired which province he was from, and learned that he was from Cilicia. “I’ll hear you- out”, he declared, “when your- accusers arrive.” And he ordered that he be guarded in the governor’s residence of Herod.

a) in Greek “criticism” has the sense of doing so in an angry or unconstructive way

b) responding with the idea of taking action to avoid a disaster

c) nine at night

24   And after five days, the chief priest, Ananias, went down with the elders, and a certain public speaker, Tertullus. And they disclosed the things they had against Paulus to the governor. And when he’d been called, Tertullus began the accusation, saying, “Much peace has come through you-, and many reforms have come to this nation because of your- foresight. And everywhere, and in every way, we welcome it, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness. But so that I may not hinder you- further, I entreat you- by your- fairness to hear us briefly. For we’ve found this man to be a pestilence, stirring up a commotion among all the Jews throughout the inhabited world. A ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes, who even tried to profane the temple, and whom we seized. By examining him yourself, you’ll- be able to recognise all these things of which we’re accusing him.” And the Jews also agreed with him, alleging that these things were as he’d said.

    And when the governor had nodded to him, Paulus answered, saying, “Being well aware that you’ve- been a judge of this nation for many years, the more cheerfully I answer the things concerning myself. As you’ll- be able to discover, it isn’t more than twelve days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem. And they didn’t find me in the temple arguing with anyone, or stopping a crowd, nor even in the synagogues, nor even around the city. Nor are they able to defend the things of which they’re now accusing me. But I admit this to you-, that according to The Way, which they call a sect, I serve the hereditary god, trusting everything which is according to the law, and that’s been written by the prophets. Having an expectation of God, which they themselves are also anticipating, that there’s about to be a resurrection of the dead - both of the righteous and of wrong doers. But in this, I myself endeavour to have a clear conscience towards God, and towards all people. And after many years I have come, to do acts of charity for my nation, and to present offerings. Which I was doing when they found me, after I’d been purified in the temple - not with a crowd, nor with any uproar. But there were some Jews from the province of Asia who should be present in front of you- accusing me, if they have something against me. Or let these people themselves say if they found some wrongdoing in me when I stood in front of the Sanhedrin. Unless it’s this one thing which I cried out while standing among them, ‘It’s concerning the resurrection of the dead that I’m being judged by you= today.’”

    When he’d heard these things, Felix adjourned, (being well aware of things concerning The Way), saying, “When Lysias, the commander, comes down, I’ll investigate the matters concerning you=.” And he appointed the centurion to guard Paulus, but to let him have some freedom, and not to prevent any of his own from attending or coming to him.

    And after some days, when Felix had arrived together with Drusilla, his wife, who was a Jewess, he sent for Paulus and heard from him about faith in the Anointed. But as he discussed about righteousness, and self-control, and the impending judgement, Felix, becoming terrified, answered, “You- have to go now, but when I have time I’ll call for you-.” At the same time he was also expecting that moneya would be given to him by Paulus, so that he’d release him. That’s why he frequently sent for him and conversed with him. But when two years had passed, Felix received a successor, Porcius Festus. And wanting to grant a favour to the Jews, Felix left Paulus bound.

a) the word “money” here means money and/or possessions

25   Three days after setting foot in the province, Festus went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priest and the leaders of the Jews disclosed the things against Paulus, and they entreated him, requesting a favour from him, that he should send for him to be bought to Jerusalem, (so they could ambush him and kill him on the way). Indeed then, Festus answered, “Paulus is being kept in Caesarea, and I myself am about to go there soon. So then, those who are powerful among you=”, he declared, “come down with me, and if there’s anything in this man, let them accuse him.”

    And when he’d stayed among them not more than ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day he sat on the judgement platform and ordered Paulus to be led forth. And when he’d come in, those Jews who’d come down from Jerusalem stood around him. And many heavy charges were brought against Paulus, which they weren’t able to prove.

    Defending himself, he said, “I haven’t sinned against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor even against Caesar.” But Festus, wanting to show favour to the Jews, answered Paulus and said, “Are you- willing to go up to Jerusalem, and to be judged there by me concerning these things?” But Paulus said, “I’m standing on the judgement platform of Caesar, where I should be judged. I haven’t done any wrong to the Jews, as you- also recognise very well. Indeed then, if I’m doing wrong and I’ve committed something deserving of death then I don’t refuse to die. But if there’s nothing in these things which they’re accusing me of, then nobody is able to grant me to them. I call on Caesar!” Then, when Festus had conversed with the counsel, he answered, “You’ve- called on Caesar. You’ll- go to Caesar!”

    When some days had passed, Agrippa, the king, and Bernice arrived in Caesarea to welcome Festus. But since they were staying there several days, Festus brought up the things against Paulus to the king, saying, “There’s a certain man who has been left a prisoner here by Felix, about whom, when I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews appeared before me, demanding a judgement against him. Toward whom I answered that it isn’t a custom of the Romans to give any person over to destruction before the one accused has faced his accusers, and they’ve had an opportunity to give a defence concerning the charge.

    Then, when they came together in this place, without delay, the next day I sat on the judgement platform, and I ordered the man to be brought in. Concerning whom, the accusers stood up, and they brought up none of the reasons which I’d suspected, but they had certain questions with him concerning their own religiona, and about a certain Yeshua who’d died, and whom Paulus alleged to be living. And being puzzled as to how to investigate such matters, I asked if he’d prefer to go to Jerusalem, and to be judged there about these things. But when Paulus called to be kept under guard for investigation by Augustus, I ordered that he be kept under guard until I could send him to Caesar.” But Agrippa declared to Festus, “I also intended to hear this person myself.” “And tomorrow”, he declared, “you’ll- hear him.”

    On the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with much pageantry. And when they’d entered the chamber for receiving audience, together with the commanders and the prominent men of the town, on the orders of Festus, Paulus was brought in. And Festus declared, “Agrippa. King. And all those who are present with us. Men. You= see this person, about whom the entire multitude of the Jews has pleaded with me, both in Jerusalem and in this place, shouting back to me that he must not live any longer. I found that he hadn’t committed anything deserving of death, but as he’d called on Augustus, I decided to send him there. But I have nothing certain about him to write to the lord. And that’s why I’ve led him before you=, and especially before you- King Agrippa, so that when you’ve- made an examination, I should have something to write. For it seems irrational to me to send a prisoner and not to specify the charges against him.”

a) “religion” here is literally “fearing daemons” (daemons were not necessarily thought of as evil)

26   And Agrippa declared to Paulus, “You’re- permitted to speak on your- own behalf.” Then Paulus, stretching out his hand, made his defence. “Concerning everything of which I’m being charged by the Jews, King Agrippa, I consider myself blessed - being about to make my defence before you- today. Especially because you’re- well acquainted with questions and customs of the Jews. That’s why I’m pleading with you- to hear me patiently.

    Indeed then, the manner of my life, from my youth, which began among my nation in Jerusalem, as all the Jews are well aware - having known me before from the very first, (if they’re willing to testify), that I lived according to the strictest sect of our religion, a Pharisee. And now for the expectation of the promise to our fathers by God, I stand judged. That for which our twelve tribes earnestly serve night and day, expecting it to be attained. It’s about this expectation that I’m being charged by the Jews, honourable King Agrippa. Why is it judged unbelievable by any of you= that God raises the dead?

    Indeed then, I myself had presumed that I had to commit many things against the name of Yeshua of Nazareth. Which I also did in Jerusalem. And I locked up many of the holy in the jails, having received the authority from the chief priests. And even when they were killed, I cast my votea against them. And punishing them in all the synagogues, many times, I compelled them to speak evil. And being exceedingly mad with them, I pursued them even as far as foreign towns.

    During which I went to Damascus, with authority and permission from the chief priests. In the middle of the day, along the way, I saw, honourable king, a light from the sky, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who were travelling with me. And when we all fell down to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul. Saul. Why are you- persecuting me? It’s hard for you- to kick against the goadsb.’ But I said, ‘Who are you- lord?’ And he said, ‘I’m Yeshua whom you’re- persecuting. But get up and stand on your- feet. For I’ve appeared to you- to appoint you- as an attendant, and as a witness of what you’ve- seen, and of what I’ll show you-, delivering you- out from among the people, and from the nations to whom I’m sending you- - to open their eyes, and to turn them back from darkness into the light, and from the powers of Satanc to God - so they may receive a pardoning of sins, and a place among those who are regarded as holy through faith in me.’

    From which time, honourable King Agrippa, I wasn’t disobedient to the heavenly vision, but first to those in Damascus, and then to those in Jerusalem, and to the whole region of Judea, and to the nations, reporting that they should repent and turn back to God, practising works in keeping with repentance.

    On account of these things, the Jews seized me in the temple, and they attempted to slay me. But it so happened that I had the aid of God, until this very day, and I’ve stood testifying to both small and great, not saying anything outside of what both the prophets and Moshe have spoken, about what was to come - that the Anointed would suffer, that he, by being the first of the resurrection of the dead, would declare light to the people and to the nations.”

    So, when he’d defended himself with these things, Festus declared in a loud voice, “You’re- mad Paulus! The many writings have sent you- mad.” But Paulus declared, “I’m not mad most excellent Festus, but I’m openly speaking declarations of both truth and sanity, because the king, before whom I’m speaking openly, is well aware of these things. For I’m convinced that none of these things have escaped his notice, because this wasn’t committed in some corner. Do you- trust the prophets King Agrippa? I know that you- do.”

    But Agrippa declared to Paulus, “In a short time you’re- persuading me to become a Christiand?” But Paulus said, “I pray to God that if possible, in a short time or in a long time, not only you-, but also everyone who hears me today will become such as I also am, (except for these bonds).” And when he’d said these things, the king stood up, also the governor, along with Bernice and those who were sitting with them. And, when they’d withdrawn, they talked with one another saying, “This person isn’t committing anything deserving of death or bonds.” But Agrippa declared to Festus, “He could’ve been released if he hadn’t called on Caesar.”

a) “vote” here is literally “pebble”

b) a goad is a long pointed stick for prodding oxen to move

c) Satan is the Hebrew name for Diabolos and means “accuser”

d) Christian is a transliteration of the made up Greek word “christianos” which means “followers of the Anointed”

27   And as it’d been decided that we’d sail to Italy, they handed Paulus and some other prisoners over to a centurion named Julius, of the regiment of Augustus. And when we had boarded a boat at Adramyttium, planning to sail via places in the province of Asia, we set out. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us. The next day we landed at Sidon, and Julius, treating Paulus kindly, permitted him to go to his friends so they could care for him. Setting out from there we sailed under Cyprus because the winds were against us. And when we had sailed across the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came down to Myra of Lycia. And there, having found an Alexandrian boat sailing for Italy, the centurion put us on board.

    After sailing slowly for a considerable number of days and barely making it to Cnidus, (since the wind wasn’t permitting us to go further), we sailed under Crete opposite Salome. And barely sailing along, we came to a certain place called Good Harbours, which was near the town of Lasea. A considerable amount of time had passed, and because sailing was now precarious, (because the fast was already over), Paulus exhorted them, saying, “Men. I see that this voyage is about to end with damage and much loss, not only of the cargo, but also of the boat, and also of our lives.” But the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship, than he was by what Paulus had said. And since the harbour was unfit to winter in, the majority gave counsel to set sail and then, somehow, they might be able to reach Phoenix, a harbour of Crete facing southwest and northwest, and to winter there.

    And with a southerly blowing gently, thinking they had what they wanted, and weighing anchor, they sailed along close to shore past Crete. But not long after, a tempestuous wind, called the Euroclydon [The North Easter], swept down from there, and the boat was caught up in it. Not able to face into the wind, and giving up, we were driven along. But, running under a certain island called Clauda, we were barely able to maintain control of the dinghy, and, after they’d lifted it onboard, they used supports, undergirdinga the boat, fearing that they might run aground on the Syrtisb. And when they’d lowered the equipment, we were driven along in this way. But because we were being tossed around so violently, the next day they threw things overboard. And on the third day, with our own hands, we tossed away the gear of the boat. But neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no slight tempest hung over us, and finally all hope of being saved was taken from us.

    And we had been a long time without food, when standing up in the middle of them Paulus said, “Indeed men, you= should’ve submitted to me, and not set out from Crete and incurred all this damage and loss. But now I’m exhorting you= to be cheerful. For not one of your= lives will be lost, but only the boat. For this night, there stood beside me a messenger of the god whose I am, whom I serve, saying, ‘Don’t be afraid Paulus! You- have to stand before Caesar. And look! God has graciously given you- all those who are sailing with you-.’ Therefore, be cheerful men! For I trust God that it’ll be as it’s been spoken to me. However, we have to run aground on some island.”

    And on the fourteenth night we were being carried across the Adriatic Sea, when in the middle of the night the sailors suspected that they were nearing some land. And taking soundings, they found it was twenty fathoms. But when they’d gone a bit further, they again took soundings and they found it was fifteen fathoms. Fearing that somehow they might run aground on some rugged places, tossing four anchors from the stern, they prayed for day to come.

    But some of the sailors tried to flee the boat, and they lowered the dinghy into the sea on the pretence that they were about to lay out anchors from the bow. Paulus said to the centurion and to the soldiers, “Unless these men remain in the boat, you= won’t be able to be saved.” Then the soldiers chopped off the ropes of the dingy, and they let it float away. And when it was almost daylight, Paulus entreated everyone to partake of some nourishment, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you’ve= been hoping, and continuing to go without nourishment, not having partaken of anything. That’s why I entreat you= to take some nourishment. This is for your= salvation, for not one of you= will lose even a hair from your= head.”

    And when he’d said these things, he took a loaf of bread, and he gave thanks to God in front of all of them, and when he’d broken it he began to eat. And since they’d all become more cheerful, they themselves took some nourishment. (All together the souls in the boat were two hundred and seventy six). And when they’d eaten their fill of food, they lightened the boat by throwing the grain into the sea.

    And when day broke they didn’t recognise the land, but they carefully considered a certain bay which had a beach, into which they planned, if possible, to drive the boat. And taking up the anchors, they left them in the sea, and at the same time letting go the yokes of the rudders and hoisting the foresail to the wind, they headed the ship into the beach. And when they’d run into a place between two seas, they ran the ship aground. And indeed, the bow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern was breaking up under the force of the waves.

    And the soldiers planned to kill the prisoners so none of them could swim away and escape. But the centurion, intending to save Paulus, prevented them from carrying out their intention, and he ordered those who were able to swim to throw themselves off first, and to head for the land; and the rest - some indeed on planks, and some on any piece of the boat. And in this way, they all came to be safe on land.

a) undergirding involved wrapping ropes under the boat to try to hold it together

b) the Syrtis are two large sandbanks off Lybia

28   And when they were safe, they realised they were on the island called Malta. But the Barbariansa offered us no ordinary kindness, for, when they’d lit a fire, they took us all in because of the rain that had started, and also because of the cold.

    But when Paulus had collected together a pile of kindling and placed it on the fire, a viper, coming out because of the heat, fastened itself onto his hand. And when the Barbarians saw the beast hanging from his hand they said to one another, “Undoubtedly this person is a murderer, whom, although he was saved from the sea, justice did not allow to live.” Indeed then, shaking the beast off into the fire, he suffered no ill effects. But they were expecting that he was about to burn up or suddenly fall down dead. But when they’d been expectant for a while, and not seeing anything out of the ordinary happen to him, they changed their minds and said, “He’s a god.”

    Near that place there were properties belonging to the leader of the island, named Publius, who received us and kindly gave us lodging for three days. But it came to be that the father of Publius had a fever and dysentery, and was constrained to lie down. And when he’d gone in and prayed, and placed his hands on him, Paulus healed him. And when this happened, the rest of those on the island who had illnesses came up, and they were cured. And with many things they paid honour to us, and as we departed, they placed everything that we needed on board.

    And after three months we set out in an Alexandrian boat, with a figurehead of the sons of Zeusb, that had wintered on the island. And landing in Syracuse we stayed there for three days. From where, coming around, we reached Rhegium, and after one day a southerly wind came up, and the second day we came to Puteoli, where we found brothers. And we were entreated by them to stay for seven days. And in this way, we came to Rome.

    And when they’d heard about us, the brothers came out from there as far as the forum of Appius and the three taverns to meet us. When he saw them, Paulus gave thanks to God and took courage. And when we came to Rome the centurion handed the prisoners over to the military commander, but Paulus was permitted to stay by himself, together with the soldier who was guarding him.

    And it came to be after three days, that Paulus called together those who were prominent Jews. And when they’d come together, he said to them, “Men. Brothers. I, having not done anything contrary to the people or to our hereditary customs, am a prisoner from Jerusalem, and I’ve been handed over into the hands of the Romans. Who, having examined me, intended to release me because there was no cause for death within me. But against the Jews’ wishes I was compelled to call on Caesar. (Not that I had any accusation against my own nation). For this reason then, I called you= here to see for yourselves, and to speak to you=, for I’m wearing this chain on account of the expectation of Yisrael.”

    And they said to him, “We neither received writings about you- from Judea, nor even did any of the brothers who came report it or speak anything wicked about you-. But we consider it worthwhile to hear from you- what you- think, for indeed, it’s known to us about this sect - that it’s spoken against everywhere.”

    And setting a day for him, many came to him at the lodging. And he explained in detail, earnestly pleading the kingdom of God, even persuading them about Yeshua - both from the law of Moshe and from the prophets - from morning until dusk. And indeed, some were persuaded by the things being said, but some disbelieved. And since they disagreed with one another they were leaving. But Paulus declared one more thing, “The holy spirit spoke correctly to our fathers through the prophet Yisheyah, saying, ‘Go to this people and say, “You’ll= hear sounds but not understand. And you’ll= observe sights but not see.”

    For the heart of this people has grown fat, and they’ve heard heavily with their ears, and they’ve shut their eyes. Otherwise they might see by those eyes, and they might hear with their ears, and they might understand with their heart, and they’d turn back and I’d heal them.’ Therefore, let it be known that the salvationc of God has been sent to the nations, and they will listen!”

    And when he’d said these things the Jews went away, having a considerable discussion among themselves. But Paulus remained there for two whole years in his own rented house, and he welcomed everyone who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God, and teaching about the lord Yeshua the Anointed with all boldness - unhindered.

a) Barbarians was a term used to describe people who were not Greeks or Romans

b) the sons of Zeus were named Castor and Pollux

c) “salvation” here is an adjective in Greek