Acts 20; Acts 21; Acts 22

1 When the uproar was over, Paul sent for the disciples, encouraged them, said goodbye, and left for Macedonia. 2 He went through that region and spoke many words of encouragement to the people. Then he went to Greece 3 and stayed there for three months. When Paul was going to board a ship for Syria, he found out that the Jews were plotting to kill him. So he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4 Sopater (son of Pyrrhus) from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia accompanied Paul. 5 All these men went ahead and were waiting for us in Troas. 6 After the Festival of Unleavened Bread, we boarded a ship at Philippi. Five days later we joined them in Troas and stayed there for seven days. 7 On Sunday we met to break bread. Paul was discussing [Scripture] with the people. Since he intended to leave the next day, he kept talking until midnight. 8 (Many lamps were lit in the upstairs room where we were meeting.) 9 A young man named Eutychus was sitting in a window. As Paul was talking on and on, Eutychus was gradually falling asleep. Finally, overcome by sleep, he fell from the third story and was dead when they picked him up. 10 Paul went to him, took him into his arms, and said, "Don't worry! He's alive!" 11 Then Eutychus went upstairs again, broke the bread, and ate. Paul talked with the people for a long time, until sunrise, and then left. 12 The people took the boy home. They were greatly relieved that he was alive. 13 We went ahead to the ship and sailed for the city of Assos. At Assos, we were going to pick up Paul. He had made these arrangements, since he had planned to walk overland to Assos. 14 When Paul met us in Assos, we took him on board and went to the city of Mitylene. 15 We sailed from there. On the following day we approached the island of Chios. The next day we went by the island of Samos, and on the next day we arrived at the city of Miletus. 16 Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia. He was in a hurry to get to Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost, if that was possible. 17 From Miletus Paul sent messengers to the city of Ephesus and called the spiritual leaders of the church to meet with him [in Miletus]. 18 When they were with him, he said to them, "You know how I spent all my time with you from the first day I arrived in the province of Asia. 19 I humbly served the Lord, often with tears in my eyes. I served the Lord during the difficult times I went through when the Jews plotted against me. 20 I didn't avoid telling you anything that would help you, and I didn't avoid teaching you publicly and from house to house. 21 I warned Jews and Greeks to change the way they think and act and to believe in our Lord Jesus. 22 "I am determined to go to Jerusalem now. I don't know what will happen to me there. 23 However, the Holy Spirit warns me in every city that imprisonment and suffering are waiting for me. 24 But I don't place any value on my own life. I want to finish the race I'm running. I want to carry out the mission I received from the Lord Jesus--the mission of testifying to the Good News of God's kindness. 25 "Now I know that none of you whom I told about the kingdom [of God]will see me again. 26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am not responsible for the [spiritual] death of any of you. 27 I didn't avoid telling you the whole plan of God. 28 Pay attention to yourselves and to the entire flock in which the Holy Spirit has placed you as bishops to be shepherds for God's church which he acquired with his own blood. 29 I know that fierce wolves will come to you after I leave, and they won't spare the flock. 30 Some of your own men will come forward and say things that distort the truth. They will do this to lure disciples into following them. 31 So be alert! Remember that I instructed each of you for three years, day and night, at times with tears in my eyes. 32 "I am now entrusting you to God and to his message that tells how kind he is. That message can help you grow and can give you the inheritance that is shared by all of God's holy people. 33 "I never wanted anyone's silver, gold, or clothes. 34 You know that I worked to support myself and those who were with me. 35 I have given you an example that by working hard like this we should help the weak. We should remember the words that the Lord Jesus said, 'Giving gifts is more satisfying than receiving them.'" 36 When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down and prayed with all of them. 37 Everyone cried a lot as they put their arms around Paul and kissed him. 38 The thought of not seeing Paul again hurt them most of all. Then they took Paul to the ship.
1 When we finally left them, we sailed straight to the island of Cos. The next day we sailed to the island of Rhodes and from there to the city of Patara. 2 In Patara, we found a ship that was going to Phoenicia, so we went aboard and sailed away. 3 We could see the island of Cyprus as we passed it on our left and sailed to Syria. We landed at the city of Tyre, where the ship was to unload its cargo. 4 In Tyre we searched for the disciples. After we found them, we stayed there for seven days. The Spirit had the disciples tell Paul not to go to Jerusalem. 5 When our time was up, we started on our way. All of them with their wives and children accompanied us out of the city. We knelt on the beach, prayed, 6 and said goodbye to each other. Then we went aboard the ship, and the disciples went back home. 7 Our sea travel ended when we sailed from Tyre to the city of Ptolemais. We greeted the believers in Ptolemais and spent the day with them. 8 The next day we went to Philip's home in Caesarea and stayed with him. He was a missionary and one of the seven men who helped the apostles. 9 Philip had four unmarried daughters who had the ability to speak what God had revealed. 10 After we had been there for a number of days, a prophet named Agabus arrived from Judea. 11 During his visit he took Paul's belt and tied his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, "The Holy Spirit says, 'This is how the Jews in Jerusalem will tie up the man who owns this belt. Then they will hand him over to people who are not Jewish.'" 12 When we heard this, we and the believers who lived there begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul replied, "Why are you crying like this and breaking my heart? I'm ready not only to be tied up in Jerusalem but also to die there for the sake of the Lord, the one named Jesus." 14 When Paul could not be persuaded, we dropped the issue and said, "May the Lord's will be done." 15 After that, we got ready to go to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us. They took us to Mnason's home, where we would be staying. Mnason was from the island of Cyprus and was one of the first disciples. 17 When we arrived in Jerusalem, the believers welcomed us warmly. 18 The next day Paul went with us to visit James. All the spiritual leaders were present. 19 After greeting them, Paul related everything God had done through his work with non-Jewish people. 20 When the spiritual leaders heard about everything, they praised God. They said to Paul, "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews are now believers, and all of them are deeply committed to Moses' Teachings. 21 But they have been told that you teach all the Jews living among non-Jewish people to abandon Moses. They claim that you tell them not to circumcise their children or follow Jewish customs. 22 What should we do about this? They will certainly hear that you're in town. 23 So follow our advice. We have four men who have made a vow to God. 24 Take these men, go through the purification ceremony with them, and pay the expenses to shave their heads. Then everyone will know that what they've been told about you isn't true. Instead, they'll see that you carefully follow Moses' Teachings. 25 "[To clarify this matter,] we have written non-Jewish believers a letter with our decision. We told them that they should not eat food sacrificed to false gods, bloody meat, or the meat of strangled animals. They also should not commit sexual sins." 26 The next day, Paul took the men and went through the purification ceremony with them. Then he went into the temple courtyard to announce the time when the purification would be over and the sacrifice would be offered for each of them. 27 When the seven days were almost over, the Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul in the temple courtyard. They stirred up the whole crowd and grabbed Paul. 28 Then they began shouting, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere to turn against the Jewish people, Moses' Teachings, and this temple. He has even brought Greeks into the temple courtyard and has made this holy place unclean." 29 They had seen Trophimus from Ephesus with him in the city earlier and thought Paul had taken him into the temple courtyard. 30 The whole city was in chaos, and a mob formed. The mob grabbed Paul and dragged him out of the temple courtyard. The courtyard doors were immediately shut. 31 As the people were trying to kill Paul, the officer in charge of the Roman soldiers received a report that all Jerusalem was rioting. 32 Immediately, he took some soldiers and officers and charged the crowd. When the crowd saw the officer and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33 Then the officer went to Paul, grabbed him, and ordered him to be tied up with two chains. The officer asked who Paul was and what he had done. 34 Some of the crowd shouted one thing, while others shouted something else. The officer couldn't get any facts because of the noise and confusion, so he ordered Paul to be taken into the barracks. 35 When Paul came to the stairs of the barracks, the crowd was so violent that the soldiers had to carry him. 36 The mob was behind them shouting, "Kill him!" 37 As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the officer, "May I say something to you?" The officer replied to Paul, "Can you speak Greek? 38 Aren't you the Egyptian who started a revolution not long ago and led four thousand terrorists into the desert?" 39 Paul answered, "I'm a Jew, a citizen from the well-known city of Tarsus in Cilicia. I'm asking you to let me talk to the people." 40 The officer gave Paul permission to speak. So Paul stood on the stairs of the barracks and motioned with his hand for the people to be quiet. When the mob was silent, Paul spoke to them in the Hebrew language.
1 "Brothers and fathers, listen as I now present my case to you." 2 When the mob heard him speak to them in Hebrew, they became even more quiet. Then Paul continued, 3 "I'm a Jew. I was born and raised in the city of Tarsus in Cilicia and received my education from Gamaliel here in Jerusalem. My education was in the strict rules handed down by our ancestors. I was as devoted to God as all of you are today. 4 I persecuted people who followed the way [of Christ]: I tied up men and women and put them into prison until they were executed. 5 The chief priest and the entire council of our leaders can prove that I did this. In fact, they even gave me letters to take to the Jewish community in the city of Damascus. I was going there to tie up believers and bring them back to Jerusalem to punish them. 6 "But as I was on my way and approaching the city of Damascus about noon, a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice asking me, 'Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?' 8 "I answered, 'Who are you, sir?' "The person told me, 'I'm Jesus from Nazareth, the one you're persecuting.' 9 "The men who were with me saw the light but didn't understand what the person who was speaking to me said. 10 "Then I asked, 'What do you want me to do, Lord?' "The Lord told me, 'Get up! Go into the city of Damascus, and you'll be told everything I've arranged for you to do.' 11 "I was blind because the light had been so bright. So the men who were with me led me into the city of Damascus. 12 "A man named Ananias lived in Damascus. He was a devout person who followed Moses' Teachings. All the Jews living in Damascus spoke highly of him. 13 He came to me, stood beside me, and said, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight!' At that moment my sight came back and I could see Ananias. 14 "Ananias said, 'The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the one who has God's approval, and to hear him speak to you. 15 You will be his witness and will tell everyone what you have seen and heard. 16 What are you waiting for now? Get up! Be baptized, and have your sins washed away as you call on his name.' 17 "After that, I returned to Jerusalem. While I was praying in the temple courtyard, I fell into a trance 18 and saw the Lord. He told me, 'Hurry! Get out of Jerusalem immediately. The people here won't accept your testimony about me.' 19 "I said, 'Lord, people here know that I went from synagogue to synagogue to imprison and whip those who believe in you. 20 When Stephen, who witnessed about you, was being killed, I was standing there. I approved of his death and guarded the coats of those who were murdering him.' 21 "But the Lord told me, 'Go! I'll send you on a mission. You'll go far away to people who aren't Jewish.'" 22 Up to that point the mob listened. Then they began to shout, "Kill him! The world doesn't need a man like this. He shouldn't have been allowed to live this long!" 23 The mob was yelling, taking off their coats, and throwing dirt into the air. 24 So the officer ordered the soldiers to take Paul into the barracks and told them to question Paul as they whipped him. The officer wanted to find out why the people were yelling at Paul like this. 25 But when the soldiers had Paul stretch out [to tie him to the whipping post] with the straps, Paul asked the sergeant who was standing there, "Is it legal for you to whip a Roman citizen who hasn't had a trial?" 26 When the sergeant heard this, he reported it to his commanding officer. The sergeant asked him, "What are you doing? This man is a Roman citizen." 27 The officer went to Paul and asked him, "Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?" Paul answered, "Yes." 28 The officer replied, "I paid a lot of money to become a Roman citizen." Paul replied, "But I was born a Roman citizen." 29 Immediately, the soldiers who were going to question Paul stepped away from him. The officer was afraid when he found out that he had tied up a Roman citizen. 30 The officer wanted to find out exactly what accusation the Jews had against Paul. So the officer released Paul the next day and ordered the chief priests and the entire Jewish council to meet. Then the officer brought Paul and had him stand in front of them.
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