Table of Contents
The Acts of the Apostles(Part Four)
The 17th Chapter
As they made their journey through Amphipolis, and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica where was a Synagogue of the Jewes. And Paul as his manner was went in unto them, and three Saboth days declared out of the scripture unto them, opening and alleging that Christ must needs have suffered and risen again from death, and that this Jesus was Christ, whom (said he) I preach to you. And some of them believed and came and companied with Paul and Silas: also of the honorable Greeks a great multitude and of the chief women, not a few.
But the Jewes which believed not having indignation, took unto them evil men which were vagabonds, and gathered a company, and set all the city on a roar, and made assault unto the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. But when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the heads of the city crying: these that trouble the world are come hither also which Jason has received privily. And these all do contrary to the elders of Cesar, affirming another king, one Jesus. And they troubled the people and the officers of the city, when they heard these things. And when they were sufficiently answered of Jason and of the other, they let them go.
And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berrea. Which when they were come over there, they entered into the Synagogue of the Jews. These were the noblest of birth among them of Thessalonica, which received the word with all diligence of mind, and searched the scriptures daily whether those things were even so. And many of them believed: also of worshipful women which were Greeks, and of men not a few. When the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berrea, they came there and moved the people. And then by and by the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still. And they that guided Paul, brought him unto Athens, and received a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him at once, and came their way. While Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was moved in him, to see the city given to worshipping of images. Then he disputed in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that came unto him. Certain Philosophers of the Epicures and of the Stoicks, disputed with him. And some there were which said: what will this babbler say? Other said: he seems to be a tidings bringer of new devils, because he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him, and brought him into Marce street saying: may we not know what this new doctrine whereof you speak, is? For you bring strange tidings to our ears. We would know therefore what these things mean. For all the Athenians and strangers which were there, gave themselves to nothing else, but either to tell or to hear new tidings.
Paul stood in the midst of Marce street and said: you men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious. For as I passed by and beheld the manner how you worship your gods, I found an altar wherein was written: unto the unknown God. Whom you then ignorantly worship him show I unto you: God that made the world and all that are in it, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, he dwells not in temples made with hands, neither is worshipped with mens hands, as though he needed of any thing, seeing he himself gives life and breath to all men everywhere, and has made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has assigned before, how long time, and also the ends of their inhabitation, that they should seek God, if they might feel and find him, though he be not far from every one of us. For in him we live, move and have your being, as certain of your own Poets said. For we are also his generation. For as much then as we are the generation of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, silver or stone, graven by craft and imagination of man.
And the time of this ignorance God regarded not. but now he bids all men everywhere repent, because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world according to righteousness, by that man whom he has appointed, and has offered faith to all men, after that he had raised him from death.
When they heard of the resurrection from death, some mocked, and other said: we will hear you again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them. How be it certain men clave unto Paul and believed, among the which was Dionysius a senator, and a woman named Damaris, and other with them.
The 18th Chapter
After that Paul departed from Athens and came to Corinthum, and found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Ponthus, lately come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because that the Emperor Claudius had commanded all Jewes to depart from Rome) and he drew unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them and wrought: their craft was to make tents. And he preached in the synagogue every Saboth day, and exhorted the Jewes and the gentiles.
When Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was constrained by the spirit to testify to the Jewes that Jesus was very Christ. And when they said contrary and blasphemed, he shook his raiment and said unto them: your blood upon your own heads, and from this time I go blameless unto the gentiles. And he departed from that place, and entered into a certain mans house named Justus a worshipper of God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue. How be it one Crispus the chief ruler of the synagogue believed on the Lord with all his household, and many of the Corinthians gave audience and believed and were baptised.
Then spoke the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision: be not afraid, but speak, and hold not your peace: for I am with you, and no man shall invade you that shall hurt you. For I have much people in this city. And he continued there a year and six months, and taught them the word of God.
When Gallio was ruler of the country of Acaia the Jewes made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgement seat, saying: this fellow counsels men to worship God contrary to the law. And as Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews: if it were a matter of wrong, or an evil deed to you (O you Jews) reason would that I should hear you: but if it be a question of words, or of names, or of your law, look you to it yourselves. For I will be no judge in such matters, and he drove them from the seat. Then took all the Greeks Sosthenes the chief ruler of the Synagogue, and smote him before the judges seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.
Paul after this, tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed from that place into Ciria, Priscilla and Aquila accompanying him. And he shore his head in Cenchrea, for he had a vow. And he came to Ephesus and left them there: but he himself entered into the Synagogue, and reasoned with the Jewes. When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not, but bade them farewell saying. I must needs at this feast that comes, be in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he departed from Ephesus and came unto Cesarea: and ascended and saluted the congregation, and departed unto Antioche, and when he had tarried there a while he departed. And went over all the country of Galatacia and Phrigia by order, strengthening all the disciples.
And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, came to Ephesus, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures. The same was informed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke fervently in the spirit, and taught diligently the things of the Lord, and knew but the baptism of John only. And the same began to speak boldly in the Synagogue. And when Aquila and Priscilla had heard him, they took him unto them and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
And when he was disposed to go into Acaia, the brethren wrote exhorting the disciples to receive him. After he was come over there, he help them much which had believed through grace. And mightily he overcame the Jews, and that openly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
The 19th Chapter
It fortuned, while Apollo was at Corintham, that Paul passed through the upper coasts and came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples, and said unto them: have you received the holy ghost since you believed? And they said unto him: no we have not heard whether there be any holy ghost or no. And he said unto them: wherewith were you then baptised? And they said: with Johns baptism. Then said Paul: John verily baptised with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on him, which should come after him: that is on Christ Jesus. When they heard that, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. And Paul laid his hands upon them, and the holy ghost came on them, and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied, and all the men were about twelve.
And he went into the synagogue, and behaved himself boldly for the space of three months, disputing and giving them exhortations of the kingdom of God. When diverse waxed hard hearted and believed not, but spoke evil of the way, and that before the multitude: he departed from them, and separated the disciples. And disputed daily in the school of one called Tyranus. And this continued by the space of two years: so that all they which dwelt in Asia, heard the word of the Lord *Jesu, both Jewes and Greeks. And God wrought no small miracles by the hands of Paul: so that from his body, were brought unto the sick, napkins or partlets, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. *Jesu: Hebrew name of Jesus.
Then certain of the vagabond Jewes, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits, the name of the Lord Jesus saying: We adjure you by Jesu whom Paul preaches. And there were seven sons of one Sceva a Jewe and chief of the priests which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said: Jesus I know, and Paul I know: but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was, ran on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jewes and Greeks also, which dwelt at Ephesus and fear came on them all, and they magnified the name of the Lord Jesus.
And many that believed, came and confessed and showed their works. Many of them which used curious crafts, brought their books and burned them before all men, and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand silverlings. So mightily grew the word of God, and prevailed. After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, to pass over Macedonia and Achaia, and to go to Jerusalem saying: After I have been there, I must also see Rome. So sent he into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him Timotheus and Erastus: but he himself remained in Asia for a season.
The same time there arose no little ado about that way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, was not a little beneficial unto the craftsmen. Which he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said: Sirs, you know that by this craft we have vantage. Moreover you see and hear that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be not gods which are made with hands. So that not only this our craft comes into peril to be set at nought: but also that the temple of the great Goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, which all Asia and the world worshippeth.
When they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out saying: Great is Diana of the Ephesians. And all the city was on a roar, and they rushed into the common hall with one assent, and caught Gaius and Aristarcus, men of Macedonia, Pauls companions. When Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples allowed him not. Certain also of the chief of Asia which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not press into the common hall. Some cried one thing and some another, and the congregation was all out of quiet, and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.
Some of the company drew forth Alexander, the Jewes thrusting him forwards. Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have given the people an answer. When they knew that he was a Jewe, there arose a shout almost for the space of two hours, of all men crying, great is Diana of the Ephesians.
When the town clerk had ceased the people, he said: you men of Ephesus, what man is it that knows not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which came from heaven. Seeing then that no man says here against, you ought to be content, and to do nothing rashly: For you have brought hither these men which are neither robbers of *churches, nor yet despisers of your goddess. Wherefore if Demetrius and the craftsmen which are with him, have any saying to any man, the law is open, and there are rulers, let them accuse one another. If you go about any other thing, it may be determined in a lawful congregation. For we are in jeopardy to be accused of this days business: for as much as there is no cause whereby we may give a reckoning of this concourse of people. And when he had thus spoken he let the congregation depart. *churches: Again this word "church" is describing a pagan temple. RN
The 20th Chapter
After the rage was ceased, Paul called the disciples unto him, and took his leave of them, and departed for to go into Macedonia. And when he had gone over those parts, and given them large exhortations, he came into Greece, and there abode three months. And when the Jewes laid wait for him as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia. There accompanied him into Asia, Sopater of Berrea, and of Thessalonia Aristarcus and Secundus, and Gaius of Derba, and Timotheus: and out of Asia Tychicus and Trophimos. These went before, and tarried us at Troas. And we sailed away from Philippos after the *ester holy days, and came unto them to Troas in five days, where we abode seven days.
And on the morrow after the Saboth day the disciples came together for to break bread, and Paul preached unto them (ready to depart on the morrow) and continued the preaching unto midnight. And there were many lights in the chamber where they were gathered together, and there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutichus, fallen into a deep sleep. And as Paul declared, he was the more overcome with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. Paul went down and fell on him, and embraced him, and said: make nothing ado for his life is in him. When he was come up again, he brake bread, and talked, and communed a long while even till the morning, and so departed. And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.
And we went before to ship, and loosed unto Asson there to receive Paul. For so had he appointed, and would himself go a foot. When he was come to us unto Asson, we took him in, and came to Mytilenes. And we sailed from that place, and came the next day over against Chios. And the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogilon. The next day we came to Myleton: for Paul had determined to leave Ephesus as they sailed, because he would not spend the time in Asia. For he hasted to be (if he could possibly) at Jerusalem at the day of Pentecost. Wherefore from Myleton he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the congregation. And when they were come to him, he said unto them: you know from the first day that I came unto Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humbleness of mind, and with many tears, and temptations which happened unto me by the laying wait of the Jewes, and how I kept back nothing that was profitable: but that I have showed you and taught you openly and at home in your houses, witnessing both to the Jewes, and also to the Greeks, the repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus.
And now behold I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, and know not what shall come on me there, but that the holy ghost witnesses in every city saying: that bonds and trouble abide me. But none of those things move me: neither is my life dear unto myself, that I might fulfil my course with joy, and the ministration which I have received of the Lord *Jesu, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God.*Jesu: Hebrew name of Jesus.
And now behold, I am sure that from this time you all (through whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God) shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this same day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have kept nothing back: but have showed you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto your selves and to all the flock, whereof the holy ghost has made you overseers, to rule the congregation of God, which he has purchased with his blood. For I am sure of this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, which will not spare the flock. Moreover of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things, to draw disciples after them. Therefore awake and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one of you, both night and day with tears.
And now brethren I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build further, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have desired no mans silver, gold, or vesture. you know well that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, how that so laboring you ought to receive the weak and to remember the words of the Lord *Jesu, how that he said: It is more blessed to give, than to receive. *Jesu: Hebrew name of Jesus.
When he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they wept all abundantly and fell on Pauls neck, and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.
The 21st Chapter
And it chanced that as soon as we had launched forth, and were departed from them, we came with a straight course unto Choon and the day following unto the Rhodes, and from that place unto Patara. And we found a ship ready to sail unto Phenices, and went aboard and set forth. Then appeared unto us Cyprus, and we left it on the left hand, and sailed unto Syria, and came unto Tyre. For there the ship unladened her burden. And when we had found brethren, we tarried there seven days. And they told Paul through the spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. And when the days were ended, we departed and went our ways, and they all brought us on our way, with their wives and children, till we were come out of the city. And we kneeled down in the shore and prayed. And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship, and they returned home again.
When we had full ended the course from Tyre we arrived at Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day. The next day, we that were of Pauls company departed and came unto Cesarea. And we entered into the house of Philip the Evangelist, which was one of the seven deacons, and abode with him. The same man had four daughters virgins, which did prophesy. And as we tarried there a good many days, there came a certain prophet from Jurie, named Agabus. When he was come unto us, he took Pauls girdle, and bound his hands and feet, and said: Thus says the holy ghost: so shall the Jewes at Jerusalem bind the man that owns this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
When we heard this, both we and other of the same place, besought him that he would not go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered and said: what do you weeping and breaking mine heart? I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesu. When we could not turn his mind, we ceased, saying: the will of the Lord be fulfilled. After those days we made ourselves ready, and went up to Jerusalem. There went with us also certain of his disciples of Cesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple with whom we should lodge. And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. And on the morrow Paul went in with us unto James. And all the elders came together. And when he had saluted them, he told by order all things, that God had wrought among the gentiles by his ministration. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him: You See brother, how many thousand Jewes there are which believe, and they are all zealous over the law. And they are informed of you, that you teach all the Jewes which are among the gentiles, to forsake Moses, and say that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to live after the customs. What is it therefore? The multitude must needs come together. For they shall hear that you are come. Do therefore this that we say to you.
We have four men, which have a vow on them. Them take, and purify yourself with them, and do cost on them, that they may shave their heads and all shall know that those things which they have heard concerning you, are nothing: but that you yourself also walk and keep the law. For as touching the gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded, that they observe no such things: but that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from strangled and from fornication. Then the next day Paul took the men, and purified himself with them, and entered into the temple, declaring that he observed the days of the purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.
And as the seven days should have been ended, the Jewes which were of Asia when they saw him in the temple, they moved all the people, and laid hands on him crying: men of Israel help. This is the man that teaches all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place. Moreover also he has brought Greeks into the temple, and has polluted this holy place. For they saw one Trophimus an Ephesian with him in the city. Him they supposed Paul had brought into the temple. And all the city was moved, and the people swarmed together. And they took Paul and drew him out of the temple, and forth with the doors were shut to.
As they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the high captain of the soldiers, that all Jerusalem was moved. Which immediately took soldiers and undercaptains, and ran down unto them. When they saw the uppercaptain and the soldier they left smiting of Paul. Then the captain came near and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains, and demanded what he was, and what he had done. And one cried this, another that among the people. And when he could not know the certainty for the rage, he commanded him to be carried into the castle. And when he came unto a Grece, it fortuned that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people. For the multitude of the people followed after crying: away with him.
And as Paul should have been carried into the castle, he said unto the high Captain: may I speak unto you? Which said: can you speak Greek? are not you that Egyptian which before these days made an uproar, and led out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers? But Paul said: I am a man which am a Jewe of Tharsus a city in Cicill a Citizen of no vile city, I beseech you suffer (allow) me to speak unto the people. When he had given him licence, Paul stood on the steps and beckoned with the hand unto the people, and there was made a great silence. And he spoke unto them in the Hebrew tongue saying:
The 22nd Chapter
You men, brethren and fathers, hear mine answer which I make unto you. When they heard that he spoke in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence. And he said: I am verily a man which am a Jewe born in Tharsus, a city in Cicill: nevertheless yet brought up in this city, at the feet of Gamaliel, and informed diligently in the law of the fathers, and was fervent minded to God ward, as you all are this same day, and I persecuted this way unto the death binding and delivering into prison both men and women, as the chief priest does bear me witness, and all the elders: of whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem for to be punished.
And it fortuned, as I made my journey and was come near unto Damasco about noon, that suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me, and I fell unto the earth, and heard a voice saying unto me. Saul, Saul, why persecute you me? And I answered: what are you Lord? And he said unto me: I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you persecute. And they that were with me, saw verily a light and were afraid: but they heard not the voice of him that spoke with me. And I said: what shall I do Lord? And the Lord said unto me: Arise and go into Damasco and there it shall be told you of all things which are appointed for you to do. And when I saw nothing for the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand of them that were with me, and came into Damasco.
And one Ananias a perfect man, and as pertaining to the law having good report of all the Jewes which there dwelt, came unto me, and stood and said unto me: Brother Saul, look up. And that same hour I received my sight and saw him. And he said, the God of our fathers has ordained you before, that you should know his will, and should see that which is rightful, and should hear the voice of his mouth: for you shall be his witness unto all men of those things, which you have seen and heard. And now: why tarry you? Arise and be baptised, and wash away your sins, in calling on the name of the Lord. And it fortuned, when I was come again to Jerusalem and prayed in the temple, that I was in a trance, and saw him saying unto me: Make haste, and get you quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive your witness that you bear of me. And I said: Lord they know that I prisoned, and beat in every synagogue them that believed on you. And when the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I also stood by, and consented unto his death and kept the raiment of them that slew him. And he said unto me: depart, for I will send you afar from here, now unto the Gentiles.
They gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices and said: away with such a fellow from the earth: it is pity that he should live. And as they cried and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air, the captain bade him to be brought into the castle, and commanded him to be scourged, and to be examined, that he might know wherefore they cried on him. And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the Centurion that stood by: Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman and uncondemned? When the centurion heard that, he went, and told the upper Captain saying: What intend you to do? This man is a Roman.
Then the upper Captain came, and said to him: tell me, are you a Roman? He said: Ye. And the captain answered: with a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said: I was free born. Then straight way departed from him, they which should have examined him. And the high Captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman: because he had bound him.
On the morrow because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jewes, he loosed him from his bonds, and commanded the high Priests and all the council to come together, and brought Paul, and set him before them.
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