Click to Subscribe
Reading Plan
Bible Version
Commentary
Dictionary
Day 319 Day 320Day 321

Acts chapter 25

1
Three days after Festus arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea.
2
Then the chief priests and the leaders of the Jews presented their case against Paul to him; and they appealed,
3
asking him to do them a favor against Paul, that he might summon him to Jerusalem. They were preparing an ambush along the road to kill him.
4
However, Festus answered that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself was about to go there shortly.
5
"Therefore," he said, "let the men of authority among you go down with me and accuse him, if there is any wrong in this man."
6
When he had spent not more than eight or 10 days among them, he went down to Caesarea. The next day, seated at the judge's bench, he commanded Paul to be brought in.
7
When he arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him and brought many serious charges that they were not able to prove,
8
while Paul made the defense that, "Neither against the Jewish law, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I sinned at all."
9
Then Festus, wanting to do a favor for the Jews, replied to Paul, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem, there to be tried before me on these charges?"
10
But Paul said: "I am standing at Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as even you can see very well.
11
If then I am doing wrong, or have done anything deserving of death, I do not refuse to die, but if there is nothing to what these men accuse me of, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar!"
12
After Festus conferred with his council, he replied, "You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you will go!"
13
After some days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea and paid a courtesy call on Festus.
14
Since they stayed there many days, Festus presented Paul's case to the king, saying, "There's a man who was left as a prisoner by Felix.
15
When I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews presented their case and asked for a judgment against him.
16
I answered them that it's not the Romans' custom to give any man up before the accused confronts the accusers face to face and has an opportunity to give a defense concerning the charge.
17
Therefore, when they had assembled here, I did not delay. The next day I sat at the judge's bench and ordered the man to be brought in.
18
Concerning him, the accusers stood up and brought no charge of the sort I was expecting.
19
Instead they had some disagreements with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, a dead man whom Paul claimed to be alive.
20
Since I was at a loss in a dispute over such things, I asked him if he wished to go to Jerusalem and be tried there concerning these matters.
21
But when Paul appealed to be held for trial by the Emperor, I ordered him to be kept in custody until I could send him to Caesar."
22
Then Agrippa said to Festus, "I would like to hear the man myself." "Tomorrow," he said, "you will hear him."
23
So the next day, Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and entered the auditorium with the commanders and prominent men of the city. When Festus gave the command, Paul was brought in.
24
Then Festus said: "King Agrippa and all men present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish community has appealed to me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he should not live any longer.
25
Now I realized that he had not done anything deserving of death, but when he himself appealed to the Emperor, I decided to send him.
26
I have nothing definite to write to the Emperor about him. Therefore, I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after this examination is over, I may have something to write.
27
For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner and not to indicate the charges against him."

Acts chapter 26

1
Agrippa said to Paul, "It is permitted for you to speak for yourself." Then Paul stretched out his hand and began his defense:
2
"I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, that today I am going to make a defense before you about everything I am accused of by the Jews,
3
especially since you are an expert in all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4
"All the Jews know my way of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation and in Jerusalem.
5
They had previously known me for quite some time, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I lived as a Pharisee.
6
And now I stand on trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers,
7
[the promise] our 12 tribes hope to attain as they earnestly serve Him night and day. Because of this hope I am being accused by the Jews, O king!
8
Why is it considered incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?
9
In fact, I myself supposed it was necessary to do many things in opposition to the name of Jesus the Nazarene.
10
This I actually did in Jerusalem, and I locked up many of the saints in prison, since I had received authority for that from the chief priests. When they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.
11
In all the synagogues I often tried to make them blaspheme by punishing them. Being greatly enraged at them, I even pursued them to foreign cities.
12
"Under these circumstances I was traveling to Damascus with authority and a commission from the chief priests.
13
At midday, while on the road, O king, I saw a light from heaven brighter than the sun, shining around me and those traveling with me.
14
When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'
15
"But I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' "And the Lord replied: 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
16
But get up and stand on your feet. For I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and a witness of things you have seen, and of things in which I will appear to you.
17
I will rescue you from the people and from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,
18
to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.'
19
"Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.
20
Instead, I preached to those in Damascus first, and to those in Jerusalem and in all the region of Judea, and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works worthy of repentance.
21
For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple complex and were trying to kill me.
22
Since I have obtained help that comes from God, to this day I stand and testify to both small and great, saying nothing else than what the prophets and Moses said would take place--
23
that the Messiah must suffer, and that as the first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light to our people and to the Gentiles."
24
As he was making his defense this way, Festus exclaimed in a loud voice, "You're out of your mind, Paul! Too much study is driving you mad!"
25
But Paul replied, "I'm not out of my mind, most excellent Festus. On the contrary, I'm speaking words of truth and good judgment.
26
For the king knows about these matters. It is to him I am actually speaking boldly. For I'm not convinced that any of these things escapes his notice, since this was not done in a corner!
27
King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you believe."
28
Then Agrippa said to Paul, "Are you going to persuade me to become a Christian so easily?"
29
"I wish before God," replied Paul, "that whether easily or with difficulty, not only you but all who listen to me today might become as I am-- except for these chains."
30
So the king, the governor, Bernice, and those sitting with them got up,
31
and when they had left they talked with each other and said, "This man is doing nothing that deserves death or chains."
32
Then Agrippa said to Festus, "This man could have been released if he had not appealed to Caesar."

Acts chapter 27

1
When it was decided that we were to sail to Italy, they handed over Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion named Julius, of the Imperial Regiment.
2
So when we had boarded a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, intending to sail to ports along the coast of the province of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us.
3
The next day we put in at Sidon, and Julius treated Paul kindly and allowed him to go to his friends to receive their care.
4
When we had put out to sea from there, we sailed along the northern coast of Cyprus because the winds were against us.
5
After sailing through the open sea off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we reached Myra in Lycia.
6
There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board.
7
Sailing slowly for many days, we came with difficulty as far as Cnidus. But since the wind did not allow us to approach it, we sailed along the south side of Crete off Salmone.
8
With yet more difficulty we sailed along the coast, and came to a place called Fair Havens near the city of Lasea.
9
By now much time had passed, and the voyage was already dangerous. Since the Fast was already over, Paul gave his advice
10
and told them, "Men, I can see that this voyage is headed toward damage and heavy loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives."
11
But the centurion paid attention to the captain and the owner of the ship rather than to what Paul said.
12
Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided to set sail from there, hoping somehow to reach Phoenix, a harbor on Crete open to the southwest and northwest, and to winter there.
13
When a gentle south wind sprang up, they thought they had achieved their purpose; they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete.
14
But not long afterwards, a fierce wind called the "northeaster" rushed down from the island.
15
Since the ship was caught and was unable to head into the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along.
16
After running under the shelter of a little island called Cauda, we were barely able to get control of the skiff.
17
After hoisting it up, they used ropes and tackle and girded the ship. Then, fearing they would run aground on the Syrtis, they lowered the drift-anchor, and in this way they were driven along.
18
Because we were being severely battered by the storm, they began to jettison the cargo the next day.
19
On the third day, they threw the ship's gear overboard with their own hands.
20
For many days neither sun nor stars appeared, and the severe storm kept raging; finally all hope that we would be saved was disappearing.
21
Since many were going without food, Paul stood up among them and said, "You men should have followed my advice not to sail from Crete and sustain this damage and loss.
22
Now I urge you to take courage, because there will be no loss of any of your lives, but only of the ship.
23
For this night an angel of the God I belong to and serve stood by me,
24
saying, 'Don't be afraid, Paul. You must stand before Caesar. And, look! God has graciously given you all those who are sailing with you.'
25
Therefore, take courage, men, because I believe God that it will be just the way it was told to me.
26
However, we must run aground on a certain island."
27
When the fourteenth night came, we were drifting in the Adriatic Sea, and in the middle of the night the sailors thought they were approaching land.
28
They took a sounding and found it to be 120 feet deep; when they had sailed a little farther and sounded again, they found it to be 90 feet deep.
29
Then, fearing we might run aground in some rocky place, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight to come.
30
Some sailors tried to escape from the ship; they had let down the skiff into the sea, pretending that they were going to put out anchors from the bow.
31
Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, "Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved."
32
Then the soldiers cut the ropes holding the skiff and let it drop away.
33
When it was just about daylight, Paul urged them all to take food, saying, "Today is the fourteenth day that you have been waiting and going without food, having eaten nothing.
34
Therefore I urge you to take some food. For this has to do with your survival, since not a hair will be lost from the head of any of you."
35
After he said these things and had taken some bread, he gave thanks to God in the presence of them all, and when he had broken it, he began to eat.
36
They all became encouraged and took food themselves.
37
In all there were 276 of us on the ship.
38
And having eaten enough food, they began to lighten the ship by throwing the grain overboard into the sea.
39
When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but sighted a bay with a beach. They planned to run the ship ashore if they could.
40
After casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and headed for the beach.
41
But they struck a sandbar and ran the ship aground. The bow jammed fast and remained immovable, but the stern began to break up with the pounding of the waves.
42
The soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners so that no one could swim off and escape.
43
But the centurion kept them from carrying out their plan because he wanted to save Paul, so he ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land.
44
The rest were to follow, some on planks and some on debris from the ship. In this way, all got safely to land.

Acts chapter 28

1
Safely ashore, we then learned that the island was called Malta.
2
The local people showed us extraordinary kindness, for they lit a fire and took us all in, since rain was falling and it was cold.
3
As Paul gathered a bundle of brushwood and put it on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself to his hand.
4
When the local people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, "This man is probably a murderer, and though he has escaped the sea, Justice does not allow him to live!"
5
However, he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm.
6
They expected that he would swell up or suddenly drop dead. But after they waited a long time and saw nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.
7
Now in the area around that place was an estate belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us hospitably for three days.
8
It happened that Publius' father was in bed suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went to him, and praying and laying his hands on him, he healed him.
9
After this, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were cured.
10
So they heaped many honors on us, and when we sailed, they gave us what we needed.
11
After three months we set sail in an Alexandrian ship that had wintered at the island, with the Twin Brothers as its figurehead.
12
Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed three days.
13
From there, after making a circuit along the coast, we reached Rhegium. After one day a south wind sprang up, and the second day we came to Puteoli.
14
There we found believers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome.
15
Now the believers from there had heard the news about us and had come to meet us as far as Forum of Appius and Three Taverns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.
16
And when we entered Rome, Paul was permitted to stay by himself with the soldier who guarded him.
17
After three days he called together the leaders of the Jews. And when they had gathered he said to them: "Brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our forefathers, I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans
18
who, after examining me, wanted to release me, since I had not committed a capital offense.
19
Because the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar; it was not as though I had any accusation against my nation.
20
So, for this reason I've asked to see you and speak to you. In fact, it is for the hope of Israel that I'm wearing this chain."
21
And they said to him, "We haven't received any letters about you from Judea; none of the brothers has come and reported or spoken anything evil about you.
22
But we consider it suitable to hear from you what you think. For concerning this sect, we are aware that it is spoken against everywhere."
23
After arranging a day with him, many came to him at his lodging. From dawn to dusk he expounded and witnessed about the kingdom of God. He persuaded them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets.
24
Some were persuaded by what he said, but others did not believe.
25
Disagreeing among themselves, they began to leave after Paul made one statement: "The Holy Spirit correctly spoke through the prophet Isaiah to your forefathers
26
when He said, Go to this people and say: 'You will listen and listen, yet never understand; and you will look and look, yet never perceive.
27
For this people's heart has grown callous, their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and be converted-- and I would heal them.'
28
Therefore, let it be known to you that this saving work of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen!"
29
[[After he said these things, the Jews departed, while engaging in a prolonged debate among themselves.]]
30
Then he stayed two whole years in his own rented house. And he welcomed all who visited him,
31
proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with full boldness and without hindrance.