Saul Persecutes the Church

1 1Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against2 the church in Jerusalem, and they were all3 scattered throughout the regions of Judea and 4 Samaria, except the apostles.
3 But 5Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and 6dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.

Philip in Samaria

5 9Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them.
6 The crowds with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing.
7 For in the case of many who had 10unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been 11paralyzed and lame were healed.
8 So there was 12much rejoicing in that city.
9 Now there was a man named Simon, who formerly was practicing 13magic in the city and astonishing the people of Samaria, 14claiming to be someone great;
10 and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, "15This man is what is called the Great Power of God."
11 And they were giving him attention because he had for a long time astonished them with his 16magic arts.
12 But when they believed Philip 17preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being 18baptized, men and women alike.
13 Even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip, and as he observed 19signs and 20great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed.
14 Now when 21the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them 22Peter and John,
15 who came down and prayed for them 23that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
16 For He had 24not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been 25baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
17 Then they 26began laying their hands on them, and they were 27receiving the Holy Spirit.
18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money,
19 saying, "Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit."
20 But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could 28obtain the gift of God with money!
21 "You have 29no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not 30right before God.
22 "Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, 31if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.
23 "For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in 32the bondage of iniquity."
24 But Simon answered and said, "33Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me."

An Ethiopian Receives Christ

25 So, when they had solemnly 34testified and spoken 35the word of the Lord, they started back to Jerusalem, and were 36preaching the gospel to many villages of the 37Samaritans.
26 But 38an angel of the Lord spoke to 39Philip saying, "Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to 40Gaza." (This is a desert road. )
27 So he got up and went; and 41there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he 42had come to Jerusalem to worship,
28 and he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah.
29 Then 43the Spirit said to Philip, "Go up and join this chariot."
30 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?"
31 And he said, "Well, how could I, unless * someone guides me?" And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: "44HE WAS LED AS A SHEEP TO SLAUGHTER; AND AS A LAMB BEFORE ITS SHEARER IS SILENT, SO HE DOES NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH.
33 "45IN HUMILIATION HIS JUDGMENT WAS TAKEN AWAY; WHO WILL RELATE HIS GENERATION? FOR HIS LIFE IS REMOVED FROM THE EARTH."
34 The eunuch answered Philip and said, "Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?"
36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look! Water! 49What prevents me from being baptized?"
37 [And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."]
38 And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.
39 When they came up out of the water, 50the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing.
40 But Philip found himself at 51Azotus, and as he passed through he 52kept preaching the gospel to all the cities until he came to 53Caesarea.