Table of Contents
The Acts of the Apostles(Part Two)
The 7th Chapter
Then said the chief priest: is it even so? And he said: you men, brethren and fathers, hearken to. The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham while he was yet in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him: come out of your country, and from your kindred, and come into the land, which I shall show you. Then came he out of the land of Chaldey, and dwelt in Charran. And after that, as soon as his father was dead, he brought him into this land in which you now dwell, and he gave him none inheritance in it, no not the breadth of a foot: but promised that he would give it to him to possess and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.
God verily spoke on this wise, that his seed should be a dweller in a strange land and that they should keep them in bondage and entreat them evil four hundred years. But the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God. And after that shall they come forth and serve me in this place. And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And he begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day, and Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob the twelve Patriarchs. And the Patriarchs having indignation sold Joseph into Egypt. And God was with him, and delivered him out of all his adversities, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharao king of Egypt which made him governor over Egypt, and over all his household.
Then came there a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, that our fathers found no sustenance. But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt he sent our fathers first, and at the second time, Joseph was known of his brethren, and Josephs kindred was made known unto Pharao. Then sent Joseph and caused his father to be brought and all his kin, three score and fifteen souls. And Jacob descended into Egypt and died both he and our fathers, and were translated into Sichem, and were put in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for money of the sons of Emor, at Syihem.
When the time of the promise drew near (which God had sworn to Abraham) the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, till another king arose which knew not of Joseph. The same dealt subtly with our kindred and evil intreated our fathers, and made them to cast out their young children, that they should not remain alive. The same time was Moses born, and was a proper child in the sight of God, which was nourished up in his fathers house three months. When he was cast out, Pharaohs daughter took him up, and nourished him up for her own son. And Moses was learned in all manner wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in deeds and in words.
And when he was full forty year old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. And when he saw one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged his quarrel that had the harm done to him, and smote the Egyptian. For he supposed his brethren would have understood, how that God by his hands should save them. But they understood not.
And the next day he showed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again saying: Sirs, you are brethren, why hurt you one another? But he that did his neighbour wrong, thrust him away saying: who made you a ruler and a judge among us? What, will you kill me, as you did the Egyptian yesterday? Then fled Moses at that saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.
And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an Angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight. And as he drew near to behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him: I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Moses trembled and durst not behold. Then said the Lord to him: Put off your shoes from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. I have perfectly seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come and I will send you into Egypt.
This Moses whom they forsook saying: who made the a ruler and a judge? the same God sent both a ruler and deliverer, by the hands of the Angel which appeared to him in the bush. And the same brought them out, showing wonders and signs in Egypt, and in the reed sea and in the wilderness forty years. This is that Moses which said unto the children of Israel: A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall you hear.
This is he that was in the congregation, in the wilderness with the Angel which spoke to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers. This man received the word of life to give unto us, to whom our fathers would not obey, but cast it from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, saying unto Aaron: Make us Gods to go before us. For this Moses that brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot (knew) not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the image, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
Then God turned himself and gave them up, that they should worship the stars of the sky, as it is written in the book of the Prophets: O you of the house of Israel, gave you to me sacrifices and meat offerings, by the space of forty years in the wilderness? And you took unto you the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which you made to worship them. And I will translate you beyond Babylon.
Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed them speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. Which tabernacle our fathers received, and brought it in with Joshue into the possession of the Gentiles which God drove out before the face of our fathers unto the time of David, which found favour before God, and would faine have made a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built him an house.
How be it he that is highest of all, dwells not in temples made with hands, as says the Prophet: Heaven is my seat, and earth is my footstool, what house will you build for me says the Lord? or what place is it that I should rest in has not my hand made all these things?
You stiffnecked and of uncircumcised hearts and ears: you have all ways resisted the holy ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the Prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them, which showed before of the coming of that *Just, whom you have now betrayed and murdered. And you also have received a law by the ordinance of Angels, and have not kept it. *Just: cap J
When they heard these things, their hearts clave asunder, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he being full of the holy ghost, looked up steadfastly with his eyes into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said: behold, I see the heavens open, and the son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they gave a shout with a loud voice, and stopped their ears and ran upon him all at once, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young mans feet named Saul. And they stoned Stephen calling on and saying: Lord Jesus receive my spirit. And he kneeled down and cried with a loud voice: Lord lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had thus spoken, he fell asleep.
The 8th Chapter
Saul had pleasure in his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the congregation which was at Jerusalem, and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Jewry and Samaria, except the Apostles. Then devout men dressed Stephen, and made great lamentation over him. But Saul made havoc of the congregation, entering into every house, and drew out both man and woman and thrust them into prison. How be it they that were scattered abroad, went every where preaching the word. Then came Philip into a city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people gave heed unto those things which Philip spoke, with one accord in that they heard and saw the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed of them. And many taken with palsies, and many that halted, were healed. And there was great joy in that city. And there was a certain man called Simon, which before time in the same city, used witchcraft and bewitched the people of Samaria, saying that he was a man that could do great things. Whom they regarded, from the least to the greatest, saying: this fellow is the great power of God. And him they set much by, because of long time with he mocked them with sorcery. But as soon as they believed Philips preaching of the kingdom of God and of the name of *Jesu Christ, they were baptised both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also, and was baptised, and continued with Philip, and wondered beholding the miracles and signs, which were showed.*Jesu: Hebrew name of Jesus.
When the Apostles which were at Jerusalem heard say that Samaria had received the word of God: they sent unto them Peter and John. Which when they were come, prayed for them that they might receive the holy ghost. For as yet he was come on none of them: But they were baptised only in the name of Christ *Jesu. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the holy ghost.*Jesu: Hebrew name of Jesus.
When Simon saw, that through laying on of the Apostles hands on them, the holy ghost was given: he offered them money saying: give me also this power, that on whomsoever I put the hands, he may receive the holy ghost. Then said Peter unto him: your money perish with you, because you wenest (thought, small) that the gift of God may be obtained with money. You have neither part nor fellowship in this business. For your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God that the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I perceive that you are full of bitter gall, and wrapped in iniquity .
Then answered Simon and said: Pray you to the Lord for me, that none of these things which you have spoken, fall on me. And they when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord returned toward Jerusalem and preached the gospel in many cities of the Samaritans.
Then the Angel of the Lord spoke unto Philip saying: arise and go towards mid day unto the way that goes down from Jerusalem unto Gaza which is in the desert. And he arose and went on. And behold a man of Ethiopia which was a chamberlain, and of great authority with Candace queen of the Ethiophians, and had the rule of all her treasure, came to Jerusalem for to pray. And as he returned home again sitting in his chariot, he read Esai the Prophet.
Then the spirit said unto Philip: Go near and join yourself to yonder chariot. And Philip ran to him, and heard him read the Prophet Esaias and said: Understand you what you read? And he said: how can I, except I had a guide? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The tenor of the scripture which he read was this. He was led as a sheep to be slain: and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth. Because of his humbleness, he was not esteemed: who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. The chamberlain answered Philip and said: I pray you, of whom speaks the Prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
And Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water, and the chamberlain said: See here is water, what shall let me to be baptised? Philip said unto him: If you believe with all your heart, you may. He answered and said: I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still. And they went down both into the water: both Philip and also the chamberlain, and he baptised him. And as soon as they were come out of the water, the spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the chamberlain saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing: but Philip was found at Azotus. And he walked throughout the country preaching in their cities, till he came to Cesarea.
The 9th Chapter
And Saul yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues: that if he found any of this way whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. But as he journeyed and was come near to Damasco, suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven, and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why persecute you me? And he said, what are you Lord? And the Lord said: I am Jesus whom you persecute, it shall be hard for you to kick against the prick. And he both trembling and astonied said: Lord what will you have me to do? And the Lord said unto him: arise and go into the city, and it shall be told you what you shall do.
The men which journeyed with him, stood amazed, for they heard a voice, but saw no man. And Saul arose from the earth, and opened his eyes, but saw no man. Then led they him by the hand, and brought him into Damasco. And he was three days without sight and neither ate nor drank. And there was a certain disciple at Damasco named Ananias and to him said the Lord in a vision: Ananias? And he said: behold I am here Lord. And the Lord said to him: arise and go into the street which is called straight, and seek in the house of Judas, after one called Saul of Tharsus. For behold he prays, and has seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming into him, and putting his hands on him, that he might receive his sight.
Then Ananias answered: Lord I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem: and here he has authority of the high Priests to bind all that call on your name. The Lord said unto him: Go your ways: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel: For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my names sake.
Ananias went his way and entered into the house, and put his hands on him and said: brother Saul, the Lord that appeared unto you in the way as you came, has sent me, that you might receive your sight and be filled with the holy ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales, and he received sight and arose and was baptised, and received meat and was comforted. Then was Saul a certain days with the disciples which were at Damasco. And straight way he preached Christ in the Synagogues, how that he was the son of God. All that heard him, were amazed and said: is not this he that spoiled them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for the intent that he should bring them bound unto the high priests? But Saul increased in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damasco, affirming that this was very Christ.
And after a good while, the Jews took counsel together, to kill him. But their laying wait was known of Saul. And they watched at the gates day and night to kill him.
Then the disciples took him by night and put him through the wall and let him down in a basket.
And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he *assayed to couple himself with the disciples and they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the Apostles and declared to them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and had spoken with him: and how he had done boldly at Damasco in the name of *Jesu. And he had his conversation with them at Jerusalem, and quit him self boldly in the name of the Lord Jesu. And he spoke and disputed with the Greeks: and they went about to slay him. But when the brethren knew of that, they brought him to Cesarea, and sent him forth to Tharsus. Then had the congregations rest throughout all Jewry and Galile and Samary, and were edified, and walked in the fear of the Lord, and multiplied by the comfort of the holy ghost.*Jesu: Hebrew name of Jesus. *assayed= 1. To be shown by analysis to contain a certain proportion of usually precious metal. God's word is eternal even is this modern definition exactly to the point. This would be men of their own understanding "assaying" of themselves what their own will is or even by their own thinking ; what the will of God is. RN
And it chanced that as Peter walked throughout all quarters, he came to the saints which dwelt at Lydda. And there he found a certain man named Eneas, which had kept his bed eight years sick of the palsy. Then said Peter unto him: Eneas, Jesus Christ make you whole: Arise and make your bed. And he arose immediately. And all that dwelt at Lydda and Assaron, saw him, and turned to the Lord.
There was at Joppa a certain woman (which was a disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas) the same was full of good works and alms deeds, which she did. And it chanced in those days that she was sick and died. When they had washed her and laid her in a chamber: Because Lydda was near to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him, desiring him that he would not be grieved to come unto them.
Peter arose and came with them. And when he was come, they brought him into the chamber. And all the widows stood round about him weeping and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made while she was with them. And Peter put them all forth and kneeled down and prayed and turned him to the body, and said: Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, sat up. And he gave her the hand and lift her up, and called the saints and widows, and showed her alive. And it was known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord. And it fortuned that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.
The 10th Chapter
There was a certain man in Cesarea called Cornelius, a captain of the soldiers of Italy, a devout man, and one that feared God with all his household, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed God always. The same man saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day, an Angel of God coming into him, and saying unto him: Cornelius. When he looked on him, he was afraid, and said: what is it Lord? He said unto him. your prayers and your alms are come up into remembrance before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon named also Peter. He lodges with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side. He shall tell you, what you ought to do. When the Angel which spoke unto Cornelius, was departed, he called two of his household servants and a devout soldier of them that waited on him, and told them all the matter, and sent them to Joppa.
On the morrow as they went on their journey and drew near unto the city, Peter went up upon the top of the house to pray, about the sixth hour. Then waxed he an hungered, and would have eaten. But while they made ready. He fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened and a certain vessel come down unto him, as it had been a great sheet, knit at the four corners, and was let down to the earth, where in were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and vermin and worms, and fouls of the air. And there came a voice to him: rise Peter kill and eat. But Peter said: God forbid Lord, for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spoke unto him again the second time: what God has cleansed, that make you not common. This was done three times, and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
While Peter mused in him self what this vision which he had seen meant: behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius, had made inquirance for Simons house, and stood before the door. And called out one and asked whether Simon which was also called Peter were lodged there. While Peter thought on this vision, the spirit said unto him: Behold, men seek you: arise therefore, get you down, and go with them, and doubt not: For I have sent them. Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius, and said. Behold, I am he whom you seek, what is the cause wherefore you are come? And they said unto him: Cornelius the captain, a just man, and one that fears God, and of good report among all the people of the Jews, was warned by an holy angel to send for you into his house, and to hear words of you. Then called he them in, and lodged them.
And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him. And the third day entered they into Cesaria. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen, and special friends. And as it chanced Peter to come in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up saying: stand up: for even I my self am a man. And as he talked with him he came in, and found many that were come together. And he said unto them: you do know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew, to company or come unto an alien: But God has showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean: therefore came I unto you without saying no, as soon as I was sent for. I ask therefore, for what intent have you sent for me?
And Cornelius said: This day now four days I fasted and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house: and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said: Cornelius, your prayer is heard and your alms deeds are had in remembrance in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa, and call for Simon which is also called Peter. He is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side, the which as soon as he is come, shall speak unto you. Then sent I for you immediately: and you have well done for to come. Now are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded unto you of God.
Then Peter opened his mouth and said: Of a truth I perceive, that God is not partial, but in all people he that fear him and works righteousness, is accepted with him.
You know the preaching that God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ, which is Lord over all things. Which preaching was published throughout all Jewry, and began in Galile, after the baptism which John preached, how God had anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy ghost, and with power. Which Jesus went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devils, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did in the land of the Jewes and at Jerusalem: whom they slew, and hung on tree. Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly, not to all the people, but unto us witnesses chosen before of God, which ate and drank with him, after he arose from death. And he commanded unto us to preach unto the people and testify, that it is he that is ordained of God a judge of quick and dead. To him give all the Prophets witness, that through his name, all that believe in him shall receive remission of sins.
While Peter yet spoke these words, the holy ghost fell on all them which heard the preaching. And they of the circumcision which believed, were astonied, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was shed out the gift of the holy ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then answered Peter: can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptised, which have received the holy ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptised in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him, to tarry a few days.
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