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Acts



The Acts of the Apostles, chapter 8, New English Translation

Chapter 8


   Saul Begins to Persecute the Church
   1 And Saul agreed completely with killing him. Now on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were forced to scatter throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria. 2 Some devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation over him. 3 But Saul was trying to destroy the church; entering one house after another, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
   Philip Preaches in Samaria
   4 Now those who had been forced to scatter went around proclaiming the good news of the word. 5 Philip went down to the main city of Samaria and began proclaiming the Christ to them. 6 The crowds were paying attention with one mind to what Philip said, as they heard and saw the miraculous signs he was performing. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks, were coming out of many who were possessed, and many paralyzed and lame people were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.
   9 Now in that city was a man named Simon, who had been practicing magic and amazing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great. 10 All the people, from the least to the greatest, paid close attention to him, saying, "This man is the power of God that is called 'Great.'" 11 And they paid close attention to him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip as he was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they began to be baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after he was baptized, he stayed close to Philip constantly, and when he saw the signs and great miracles that were occurring, he was amazed.
   14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 These two went down and prayed for them so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. 16 (For the Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the LORD Jesus. ) 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on the Samaritans, and they received the Holy Spirit.
   18 Now Simon, when he saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, offered them money, 19 saying, "Give me this power too, so that everyone I place my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit." 20 But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could acquire God's gift with money! 21 You have no share or part in this matter because your heart is not right before God! 22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the LORD that he may perhaps forgive you for the intent of your heart. 23 For I see that you are bitterly envious and in bondage to sin." 24 But Simon replied, "You pray to the LORD for me so that nothing of what you have said may happen to me."
   25 So after Peter and John had solemnly testified and spoken the word of the LORD, they started back to Jerusalem, proclaiming the good news to many Samaritan villages as they went.
   Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
   26 Then an angel of the LORD said to Philip, "Get up and go south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." (This is a desert road. ) 27 So he got up and went. There he met an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and was returning home, sitting in his chariot, reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go over and join this chariot." 30 So Philip ran up to it and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. He asked him, "Do you understand what you're reading?" 31 The man replied, "How in the world can I, unless someone guides me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of scripture the man was reading was this: "He was led like a sheep to slaughter, and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
   33 In humiliation justice was taken from him. Who can describe his posterity? For his life was taken away from the earth."
   34 Then the eunuch said to Philip, "Please tell me, who is the prophet saying this about - himself or someone else?" 35 So Philip started speaking, and beginning with this scripture proclaimed the good news about Jesus to him. 36 Now as they were going along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Look, there is water! What is to stop me from being baptized?" 38 So he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the LORD snatched Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any more, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through the area, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.
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