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Acts of Apostles - Chapter 28

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1 Once we had come safely through, we discovered that the island was called Malta.

2 The inhabitants treated us with unusual kindness. They made us all welcome by lighting a huge fire because it had started to rain and the weather was cold.

3 Paul had collected a bundle of sticks and was putting them on the fire when a viper brought out by the heat attached itself to his hand.

4 When the inhabitants saw the creature hanging from his hand they said to one another, 'That man must be a murderer; he may have escaped the sea, but divine justice would not let him live.'

5 However, he shook the creature off into the fire and came to no harm,

6 although they were expecting him at any moment to swell up or drop dead on the spot. After they had waited a long time without seeing anything out of the ordinary happen to him, they changed their minds and began to say he was a god.

7 In that neighbourhood there were estates belonging to the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius. He received us and entertained us hospitably for three days.

8 It happened that Publius' father was in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him, and after a prayer he laid his hands on the man and healed him.

9 When this happened, the other sick people on the island also came and were cured;

10 they honoured us with many marks of respect, and when we sailed they put on board the provisions we needed.

11 At the end of three months we set sail in a ship that had wintered in the island; she came from Alexandria and her figurehead was the Twins.

12 We put in at Syracuse and spent three days there;

13 from there we followed the coast up to Rhegium. After one day there a south wind sprang up and on the second day we made Puteoli,

14 where we found some brothers and had the great encouragement of staying a week with them. And so we came to Rome.

15 When the brothers there heard about us they came to meet us, as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns. When Paul saw them he thanked God and took courage.

16 On our arrival in Rome Paul was allowed to stay in lodgings of his own with the soldier who guarded him.

17 After three days he called together the leading Jews. When they had assembled, he said to them, 'Brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans.

18 They examined me and would have set me free, since they found me guilty of nothing involving the death penalty;

19 but the Jews lodged an objection, and I was forced to appeal to Caesar, though not because I had any accusation to make against my own nation.

20 That is why I have urged you to see me and have a discussion with me, for it is on account of the hope of Israel that I wear this chain.'

21 They answered, 'We have received no letters from Judaea about you, nor has any of the brothers arrived here with any report or story of anything to your discredit.

22 We think it would be as well to hear your own account of your position; all we know about this sect is that it encounters opposition everywhere.'

23 So they arranged a day with him and a large number of them visited him at his lodgings. He put his case to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them about Jesus, arguing from the Law of Moses and the prophets from early morning until evening;

24 and some were convinced by what he said, while the rest were sceptical.

25 So they disagreed among themselves and, as they went away, Paul had one last thing to say to them, 'How aptly the Holy Spirit spoke when he told your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah:

26 Go and say to this people: Listen and listen but never understand! Look and look but never perceive!

27 This people's heart is torpid, their ears dulled, they have shut their eyes tight, to avoid using their eyes to see, their ears to hear, using their heart to understand, changing their ways and being healed by me.

28 'You must realise, then, that this salvation of God has been sent to the gentiles;they will listen to it.'


30 He spent the whole of the two years in his own rented lodging. He welcomed all who came to visit him,

31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ with complete fearlessness and without any hindrance from anyone.

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