Table of Contents
The Acts of the Apostles(Part Five)
The 23rd Chapter
Paul beheld the council and said: men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day. The high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul to him: God smite you, you painted wall. Sit you and judge me after the law? and commanded me to be smitten contrary to the law? And they that stood by, said: revile you Gods high Priest? Then said Paul: I wist not brethren, that he was the high priest. For it is written, you shall not curse the ruler of your people.
When Paul perceived that the one part were Saduces, and the other Pharises: he cried out in the council. Men and brethren, I am a Pharise, the son of a Pharisaye. Of the hope and resurrection from death, I am Judged. And when he had so said, there arose a debate between the Pharises and the Saduces, and the multitude was divided. For the Saduces say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit. But the Pharises grant both. And there arose a great cry, and the Scribes which were of the Pharises part, arose and strove saying: we find none evil in this man. though a spirit or an angel has appeared to him, let us not strive against God.
And when there arose great debate, the captain fearing least Paul should have been plucked asunder of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him from among them and to bring him into the castle. The night following, God stood by him and said: Be of good cheer Paul: for as you have testified of me in Jerusalem, so must you bear witness at Rome. When day was come, certain of the Jewes gathered themselves together, and made a vow, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. They were about forty which had made this conspiration (conspiracy). And they came to the chief Priest and elders, and said: we have bound ourselves with a vow, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul. Now therefore give you knowledge to the uppercaptain and to the council, that he bring him forth unto us tomorrow, as though we would know something more perfectly of him. But we (or ever he come near) are ready in the mean season to kill him.
When Pauls sisters son heard of their laying wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul. And Paul called one of the under captains unto him, and said: bring this young man unto the high Captain: for he has a certain thing to show him. And he took him, and said: Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto you, which has a certain matter to show you.
The high captain took him by the hand, and went apart with him out of the way: and asked him: what have you to say unto me? And he said: the Jewes are determined to desire you that you would bring forth Paul tomorrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly. But follow not their minds: for there lie in wait for him of them, more than forty men, which have bound themselves with a vow, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now are they ready, and look for your promise.
The uppercaptain let the young man depart and charged him: see you tell it out to no man that you have showed these things to me. And he called unto him two under Captains, saying: make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Cesarea and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night. And deliver them beasts that they may put Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the high debite (deputy), and wrote a letter in this manner.
Claudius Lisias unto the most mighty ruler Felix, sends greetings. This man was taken of the Jewes, and should have been killed of them. Then came I with soldiers, and rescued him, and perceived that he was a Roman. And when I would have known the cause, wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council. There perceived I that he was accused of questions of their law: but was not guilty of any thing worthy of death or of bonds. Afterward when it was showed me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent him straightway to you, and gave commandment to his accusers, if they had anything against him, to tell it unto you: farewell. Then the soldiers as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatras. On the morrow they left horsemen to go with him, and returned unto the castle. Which when they came to Cesarea, they delivered the epistle to the debite (deputy), and presented Paul before him. When the debits (deputys) had read the letter, he asked of what country he was. And when he understood that he was of Cicill. I will hear you (said he) when your accusers are come also: and commanded him to be kept in Herods palace.
The 24th Chapter
After five days, Ananias the high Priest descended, with elders and with a certain Orator named Tartullus, and informed the ruler of Paul. When Paul was called forth, Tartullus began to accuse him saying: Seeing that we live in great quietness by the means of you, and that many good things are done unto this nation through your providence: that allow we ever and in all places most mighty Felix with all thanks. Notwithstanding, that I be not tedious unto you, I pray you, that you would hear us of your courtesy a few words.
We have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of debate unto all the Jewes throughout the world, and a maintainer of the sect of the Nazarites, and has also enforced to pollute the temple. Whom we took and would have judged according to our law: but the high captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands commanding his accusers to come unto you. Of whom you may (if you will enquire) know the certain of all these things whereof we accuse him. The Jewes likewise affirmed, saying that it was even so.
Then Paul (after that the ruler himself had beckoned unto him that he should speak) answered: I shall with a more quiet mind answer for myself, for as much as I understand that you have been of many years a judge unto this people, because that you may know that there are yet, but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to pray, and that they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, either raising up the people neither in the Synagogues, nor in the city. Neither can they prove the things whereof they accuse me.
But this I confess unto you, that after that way (which they call heresy) so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and the Prophets, and have hope towards God, that the same resurrection from death (which they themselves look for also) shall be, both of just and unjust. And therefore study I to have a clear conscience toward God, and toward man also.
But after many years I came and brought alms to my people and offerings, in the which they found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor yet with unquietness. Howbeit there were certain Jewes out of Asia, which ought to be here present before you, and accuse me, if they had anything against me: or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stand here in the council: except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, of the resurrection from death am I judged of you this day.
When Felix heard these things, he deferred them, for he knew very well of that way, and said: when Lysias the captain is come, I will know the utmost of your matters. And he commanded an undercaptain to keep Paul and that he should have rest, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister unto him, or to come unto him.
And after a certain days, came Felix and his wife Drusilla which was a Jewess, and called forth Paul, and heard him of the faith which is toward Christ. And as he preached of righteousness, temperance and judgement to come, Felix trembled and answered: you have done enough at this time, depart, when I have a convenient time, I will send for you. He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he called him the oftener and communed with him. But after two year, Festus Porcius came into Felix room. And Felix willing to show the Jewes a pleasure, left Paul in prison bound.
The 25th Chapter
When Festus was come into the province, after three days, he ascended from Cesarea unto Jerusalem. Then informed him the high Priests and the chief of the Jews of Paul. And they besought him and desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem: and laid wait for him in the way to kill him. Festus answered that Paul should be kept at Cesarea: but that he himself would shortly depart over there. Let them therefore (said he) which among you are able to do it, come down with us and accuse him, if there be any fault in the man.
When he had tarried there more then ten days, he departed unto Cesarea, and the next day sat down in the judgement seat, and commanded Paul to be brought. When he was come, the Jewes which were come from Jerusalem, came about him and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove as long as he answered for himself, that he had neither against the law of the Jewes, neither against the temple, nor yet against Cesar offended any thing at all.
Festus willing to do the Jewes a pleasure answered Paul and said: will you go to Jerusalem and there be judged of these things before me? Then said Paul: I stand at Cesars judgement seat, where I ought to be judged. To the Jewes have I no harm done, as you verily well know. If I have hurt them, or committed any thing worthy of death I refuse not to die. If none of these things are, where of they accuse me, no man ought to deliver me to them. I appeal unto Cesar. Then spoke Festus with deliberation, and answered. You have appealed unto Cesar: unto Cesar shall you go.
After a certain days, king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Cesarea to salute Festus. And when they had been there a good season, Festus rehearsed Pauls cause unto the king saying: there is a certain man left in prison of Felix, about whom when I came to Jerusalem, the high Priests and elders of the Jewes informed me, and desired to have judgement against him. To whom I answered: It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man, that he should perish, before that he which is accused, have the accusers before him, and have license to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him: when they were come hither, without delay on the morrow I sat to give judgement, and commanded the man to be brought forth. Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed: but had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus which was dead whom Paul affirmed to be alive. And because I doubted of such manner questions, I asked him *whither he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters. *whither=what ever place, result, or condition. Then when Paul had appealed to be kept unto the knowledge of Cesar, I commanded him to be kept, till I might send him to Caesar. Agrippa said unto Festus: I would also hear the man myself. Tomorrow (said he) you shall hear him. And on the morrow when Agrippa was come and Bernice with great pomp, and were entered into the council house with the captains and chief men of the city, at Festus commandment Paul was brought forth. And Festus said: king Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us: you see this man about whom all the multitude of the Jewes have been with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. Yet found I nothing worthy of death that he had committed. Nevertheless seeing that he has appealed to Cesar, I have determined to send him. Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my Lord. Wherefore I have brought him unto you, and specially unto you, king Agrippa, that after examination had, I might have somewhat to write. For me thinks it unreasonable, for to send a prisoner, and not to show the causes which are laid against him.
The 26th Chapter
Agrippa said unto Paul: you are permitted to speak for yourself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself. I think myself happy King Agrippa, because I shall answer this day before you, of all the things whereof I am accused of the Jewes, namely because you are expert in all customs and questions, which are among the Jewes. Wherefore I beseech you to hear me patiently.
My living of a child, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem know all the Jewes which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify it. For after the most straitest sect of our *lay, lived I a Pharisaye. And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: unto which promise our twelve tribes instantly serving God day and night hope to come. For which hopes sake, king Agrippa, am I accused of the Jewes. Why should it be thought a thing incredible unto you, that God should raise again the dead? I also verily thought in myself, that I ought to do many contrary things clean against the name of Jesus of Nazareth: which things I also did in Jerusalem. Where many of the saints I shut up in prison, and had received authority of the high priests. And when they were put to death, I gave the sentence. And I punished them often in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme: and was yet more mad upon them, and persecuted them even unto strange cities. About the which things as I went to Damasco with authority and license of the high Priests, even at midday (O king) I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shine round about me and them, which journeyed with me. *lay : means worldly. See here that this word is not "religion" neither is the word religion found in any of the original text.
When we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue: Saul, Saul, why persecute you me? It is hard for you to kick against the prick. And I said: Who are you Lord? And he said I am Jesus whom you persecute, but rise and stand up on your feet. For I have appeared unto you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness, both of those things which you have seen, and of those things in you which I will appear unto you, delivering you from the people, and from the gentiles, unto which now I send you, to open their eyes, that they might turn from darkness unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith in me.
Wherefore king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: but showed first unto them of Damasco, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Jewry, and to the gentiles, that they should repent, and turn to God, and do the right works of repentance. For this cause the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. Nevertheless I obtained help of God, and continue unto this day witnessing both to small and to great saying none other things, than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come, that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from death, and should show light unto the people, and the gentiles. As he thus answered for himself: Festus said with a loud voice: Paul, you are besides yourself. Much learning has made you mad. And Paul said: I am not mad, most dear Festus: but speak the words of truth and soberness. The king knows of these things, before whom I speak freely: neither think I that any of these things are hidden from him. For this thing was not done in a corner. King Agrippa believe you the Prophets? I wot (know) well you believe. Agrippa said unto Paul: Somewhat you bring me in mind for to become a Christian. And Paul said: I would to God that not only you: but also all that hear me today, were, not somewhat only, but altogether such as I am, except these bonds. And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the debite (deputy), and Bernice, and they that sat with them. And when they were gone apart, they talked between themselves saying: This man does nothing worthy of death, nor of bonds. Then said Agrippa unto Festus: This man might have been loosed, if he had not appealed unto Cesar.
The 27th Chapter
When it was concluded that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, an undercaptain of Cesars soldiers. And we entered into a ship of Adramicium, and loosed from land, appointed to sail by the coasts of Asia, one Aristarcus out of Macedonia, of the country of Thessalia, being with us. And the next day we came to Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends, and to refresh himself. And from that place launched we, and sailed hard by Cypers, because the winds were contrary. Then sailed we over the sea of Cilicia, and Pamphilia, and came to Myra a city in Lycia.
And there the undercaptain found a ship of Alexander, ready to sail into Italy, and put us therein. And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Gnidon (because the wind withstood us) we sailed hard by the coast of Candy, over against Salmo, and with much work sailed beyond it, and came unto a place called good port. Near whereunto was a city called Lasea. When much time was spent and sailing was now jeopardous, because also that we had overlong fasted, Paul put them in remembrance, and said unto them Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not of the lading and ship only: but also of our lives. Neverthelater the undercaptain believed the governor and the master, better than those things which were spoken of Paul. And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, many took counsel to depart from that place, if by any means they might attain to Phenices and there to winter, which is an haven of Candy, and serves to the southwest and northwest wind. When the south wind blew, they supposing to obtain their purpose, loosed unto Asson, and sailed past all Candy.
But anon (a little while) after, there arose against their purpose, a flaw of wind out of the northeast. And when the ship was caught, and could not resist the wind, we let her go and drove with the weather. And we came unto an isle named Clauda, and had much work to come by a boat, which they took up and used help, undergirding the ship, fearing least we should have fallen into Syrtes, and we let down a vessel and so were carried. The next day when we were tossed with an exceeding tempest, they lightened the ship, and the third day we cast out with our own hands, the tackling of the ship. When at the last neither sun nor star in many days appeared and no small tempest lay upon us, all hope that we should be saved, was then taken away. Then after long abstinence, Paul stood forth in the midst of them and said: Sirs you should have hearkened to me, and not have loosed from Candy, neither to have brought unto us this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of goad cheer. For there shall be no loss of any mans life among you, save of the ship only. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying: fear not Paul for you must be brought before Cesar. And lo, God has given unto you all that sail with you. Wherefore sirs be of good cheer: for I believe God, that so it shall be even as it was told me. How be it we must be cast into a certain island.
But when the fourteenth night was come as we were carried in Adria about midnight, the shipmen deemed that there appeared some country unto them: and sounded, and found it twenty fathoms. And when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found fifteen fathoms. Then fearing least they should have fallen on some rock, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. As the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, and had let down the boat into the sea, under a colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship: Paul said unto the undercaptain and the Soldiers: except these abide in the ship, you cannot be safe. Then the Soldiers cut off the rope of the boat, and let it fall away.
And in the meantime between that and day, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying: this is the fourteenth day that you have tarried and continued fasting, receiving nothing at all. Wherefore I pray you to take meat: for this no doubt is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. And when he had thus spoken, he took bread and gave thanks to God in presence of them all, and brake it, and began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took meat. We were altogether in the ship, two hundred three score and sixteen souls. And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship and cast out the wheat into the sea.
When it was day, they knew not the land but they spied a certain haven with a bank into the which they were minded (if it were possible) to thrust in the ship. And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bonds and hoised up the mainsail to the wind and drew to land. But they chanced on a place, which had the sea on both the sides, and thrust in the ship. And the fore part stuck fast and moved not, but the hinder brake with the violence of the waves.
The Soldiers counsel was to kill the prisoners, least any of them, when he had swum out, should flee away. But the undercaptain willing to save Paul kept them from their purpose, and commanded that they that could swim should cast themselves first in to the sea, and scape to land. And the other he commanded to go, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they came all safe to land.
The 28th Chapter
And when they were scaped, then they knew that the isle was called Mileta. And the people of the country showed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of cold. And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and put them into the fire, there came a viper out of the heat and leapt on his hand. When the men of the country saw the worm hang on his hand, they said among themselves: this man must needs be a murderer: Whom (though he have escaped the sea) yet vengeance allows not to live. But he shook off the vermin into the fire, and felt no harm. How be it they waited when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly. But after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a God.
In the same quarters, the chief man of the isle whose name was Publius, had a lordship: the same received us, and lodged us three days courteously. And it fortuned that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever, and of a bloody flux. To whom Paul entered in and prayed, and laid his hands on him and healed him. When this was done, other also which had diseases in the isle, came and were healed. And they did us great honour. And when we departed, they laded us with things necessary.
After three months we departed in a ship of Alexandry, which had wintered in the isle, whose badge was Castor and Pollux. And when we came to Cyracusa, we tarried there three days. And from that place we fetched a compass and came to Regium. And after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Putiolus: where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days, and so came to Rome, and from that place, when the brethren heard of us, they came against us to Apiphorum, and to the three taverns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God, and waxed bold. And when he came to Rome, the undercaptain delivered the prisoners to the chief captain of the host: but Paul was suffered (allowed) to dwell by himself with one Soldier that kept him.
And it fortuned after three days, that Paul called the chief of the Jewes to gether. And when they were come, he said unto them: Men and brethren though I have committed nothing against the people or laws of our fathers: yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. Which when they had examined me, would have let me go, because they found no cause of death in me. But when the Jewes cried contrary, I was constrained to appeal unto Cesar: not because I had anything to accuse my people of. For this cause have I called for you, even to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel, I am bound with this chain.
And they said unto him: We neither received letters out of Jewry pertaining unto you, neither came any of the brethren that showed or spoke any harm of you. But we will hear of you what you think. For we have heard of this sect, that everywhere it is spoken against. And when they had appointed him a day, there came many unto him into his lodging. To whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, and preached unto them of *Jesu: both out of the law of Moses and also out of the Prophets, even from morning to night. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.*Jesu: Hebrew name of Jesus.
When they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word. Well spoke the holy ghost by Esai the Prophet unto our fathers, saying: Go unto this people and say: with your ears shall you hear, and shall not understand: and with your eyes shall you see and shall not perceive.
For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears were thick of hearing, and their eyes have they closed: least they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Be it known therefore unto you, that this salvation of God is sent to the gentiles, and they shall hear it. And when he had said that, the Jewes departed, and had great despitions (disputations,arguments) among themselves.
And Paul dwelt two years full in his lodging, and received all that came to him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concerned the Lord Jesus, with all confidence, unforbidden.
Here ends the Acts of the Apostles
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