1 Saul kept threatening to murder the Lord's disciples. He went to the chief priest 2 and asked him to write letters of authorization to the synagogue leaders in the city of Damascus. Saul wanted to arrest any man or woman who followed the way [of Christ] and imprison them in Jerusalem. 3 As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?" 5 Saul asked, "Who are you, sir?" The person replied, "I'm Jesus, the one you're persecuting. 6 Get up! Go into the city, and you'll be told what you should do." 7 Meanwhile, the men traveling with him were speechless. They heard the voice but didn't see anyone. 8 Saul was helped up from the ground. When he opened his eyes, he was blind. So his companions led him into Damascus. 9 For three days he couldn't see and didn't eat or drink. 10 A disciple named Ananias lived in the city of Damascus. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias!" Ananias answered, "Yes, Lord." 11 The Lord told him, "Get up! Go to Judas' house on Straight Street, and ask for a man named Saul from the city of Tarsus. He's praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias place his hands on him to restore his sight." 13 Ananias replied, "Lord, I've heard a lot of people tell about the many evil things this man has done to your people in Jerusalem. 14 Saul has come here to Damascus with authority from the chief priests to put anyone who calls on your name in prison." 15 The Lord told Ananias, "Go! I've chosen this man to bring my name to nations, to kings, and to the people of Israel. 16 I'll show him how much he has to suffer for the sake of my name." 17 Ananias left and entered Judas' house. After he placed his hands on Saul, Ananias said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way to Damascus, sent me to you. He wants you to see again and to be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18 Immediately, something like fish scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. Then Saul stood up and was baptized. 19 After he had something to eat, his strength came back to him. Saul was with the disciples in the city of Damascus for several days. 20 He immediately began to spread the word in their synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God. 21 Everyone who heard him was amazed. They asked, "Isn't this the man who destroyed those who worshiped the one named Jesus in Jerusalem? Didn't he come here to take these worshipers as prisoners to the chief priests [in Jerusalem]?" 22 Saul grew more powerful, and he confused the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah. 23 Later the Jews planned to murder Saul, 24 but Saul was told about their plot. They were watching the city gates day and night in order to murder him. 25 However, Saul's disciples lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the wall one night. 26 After Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples. But everyone was afraid of him. They wouldn't believe that he was a disciple. 27 Then Barnabas took an interest in Saul and brought him to the apostles. Barnabas told the apostles how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and that the Lord had spoken to him. Barnabas also told them how boldly Saul had spoken about the one named Jesus in the city of Damascus. 28 Then Saul went throughout Jerusalem with the disciples. He spoke boldly with the power and authority of the Lord. 29 He talked and argued with Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him. 30 As soon as the disciples found out about this, they took Saul to Caesarea and sent him to Tarsus. 31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace. The number of people increased as people lived in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. 32 When Peter was going around to all of God's people, he came to those who lived in the city of Lydda. 33 In Lydda Peter found a man named Aeneas who was paralyzed and confined to a cot for eight years. 34 Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ makes you well. Get up, and pick up your cot." Aeneas immediately got up. 35 Everyone who lived in the city of Lydda and the coastal region of Sharon saw what had happened to Aeneas and turned to the Lord in faith. 36 A disciple named Tabitha lived in the city of Joppa. Her Greek name was Dorcas. She always helped people and gave things to the poor. 37 She became sick and died. Her body was prepared for burial and was laid in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda is near the city of Joppa. When the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him. They begged Peter, "Hurry to Joppa! We need your help!" 39 So Peter went with them. When he arrived, he was taken upstairs. All the widows stood around him. They were crying and showing Peter the articles of clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. 40 Peter made everyone leave the room. He knelt and prayed. Then he turned toward the body and said, "Tabitha, get up!" Tabitha opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. 41 Peter took her hand and helped her stand up. After he called the believers, especially the widows, he presented Tabitha to them. She was alive. 42 The news about this spread throughout the city of Joppa, and as a result, many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for a number of days with Simon, a leatherworker.
1 A man named Cornelius lived in the city of Caesarea. He was a Roman army officer in the Italian Regiment. 2 He and everyone in his home were devout and respected God. Cornelius gave many gifts to poor Jewish people and always prayed to God. 3 One day, about three in the afternoon, he had a vision. He clearly saw an angel from God come to him and say, "Cornelius!" 4 He stared at the angel and was terrified. Cornelius asked the angel, "What do you want, sir?" The angel answered him, "God is aware of your prayers and your gifts to the poor, and he has remembered you. 5 Send messengers now to the city of Joppa, and summon a man whose name is Simon Peter. 6 He is a guest of Simon, a leatherworker, whose house is by the sea." 7 After saying this, the angel left. Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier, one of those who served him regularly. 8 Cornelius explained everything to them and sent them to Joppa. 9 Around noon the next day, while Cornelius' men were on their way and coming close to Joppa, Peter went on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted to eat. While the food was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw the sky open and something like a large linen sheet being lowered by its four corners to the ground. 12 In the sheet were all kinds of four-footed animals, reptiles, and birds. 13 A voice told him, "Get up, Peter! Kill these animals, and eat them." 14 Peter answered, "I can't do that, Lord! I've never eaten anything that is impure or unclean." 15 A voice spoke to him a second time, "Don't say that the things which God has made clean are impure." 16 This happened three times. Then the sheet was quickly taken into the sky. 17 While Peter was puzzled by the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found Simon's house and went to the gate. 18 They asked if Simon Peter was staying there. 19 Peter was still thinking about the vision when the Spirit said to him, "Three men are looking for you. 20 Get up, and go downstairs. Don't hesitate to go with these men. I have sent them." 21 So Peter went to the men. He said, "I'm the man you're looking for. Why are you here?" 22 The men replied, "Cornelius, a Roman army officer, sent us. He's a man who has God's approval and who respects God. Also, the Jewish people respect him. A holy angel told him to summon you to his home to hear what you have to say." 23 Peter asked the men to come into the house and had them stay overnight. The next day Peter left with them. Some disciples from Joppa went along. 24 The following day they arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called his relatives and close friends together. 25 When Peter was about to enter Cornelius' house, Cornelius met him, bowed down, and worshiped Peter. 26 But Peter made him get up. He told him, "Stand up! I'm only a man." 27 As Peter talked, he entered Cornelius' house and found that many people had gathered. 28 He said to them, "You understand how wrong it is for a Jewish man to associate or visit with anyone of another race. But God has shown me that I should no longer call anyone impure or unclean. 29 That is why I didn't object to coming here when you sent for me. I want to know why you sent for me." 30 Cornelius answered, "Four days ago I was praying at home. It was at this same time, three o'clock in the afternoon. Suddenly, a man dressed in radiant clothes stood in front of me. 31 He said to me, 'Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and has remembered your gifts to the poor. 32 So send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man whose name is Simon Peter. He's a guest in the home of Simon, a leatherworker who lives by the sea.' 33 So I sent for you immediately. Thank you for coming. All of us are here now in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has ordered you to say." 34 Then Peter said, "Now I understand that God doesn't play favorites. 35 Rather, whoever respects God and does what is right is acceptable to him in any nation. 36 God sent his word to the people of Israel and brought them the Good News of peace through Jesus Christ. This Jesus Christ is everyone's Lord. 37 You know what happened throughout Judea. Everything began in Galilee after John spread the news about baptism. 38 You know that God anointed Jesus from Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Jesus went everywhere and did good things, such as healing everyone who was under the devil's power. Jesus did these things because God was with him. 39 We can testify to everything Jesus did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. People hung him on a cross and killed him, 40 but God brought him back to life on the third day. God didn't show him 41 to all the people. He showed Jesus to witnesses, apostles he had already chosen. We apostles are those men who ate and drank with Jesus after he came back to life. 42 He ordered us to warn the people, 'God has appointed Jesus to judge the living and the dead.' 43 In addition, all the prophets testify that people who believe in the one named Jesus receive forgiveness for their sins through him." 44 While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit came to everyone who heard his message. 45 All the believers who were circumcised and who had come with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured on people who were not Jewish. 46 They heard these non-Jewish people speaking in other languages and praising God. Then Peter said, 47 "No one can refuse to baptize these people with water. They have received the Holy Spirit in the same way that we did." 48 So Peter ordered that they should be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for several days.