Acts 17-19 Bible in Basic English

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The Uproar in Thessalonica

17 1  Now when they had gone through Amphipolis and Apollonia they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Synagogue of the Jews: 2  And Paul, as he generally did, went in to them, and on three Sabbath days had discussions with them from the holy Writings, 3  Saying to them clearly and openly that Christ had to be put to death and come back to life again; and that this Jesus, whom, he said, I am preaching to you, is the Christ. 4  And some of them had faith, and were joined to Paul and Silas; and a number of the God-fearing Greeks, and some of the chief women. 5  But the Jews, being moved with envy, took with them certain low persons from among the common people, and getting together a great number of people, made an outcry in the town, attacking the house of Jason with the purpose of taking them out to the people. 6  And when they were not able to get them, they took Jason and some of the brothers by force before the rulers of the town, crying, These men, who have made trouble all over the world have now come here; 7  Whom Jason has taken into his house: and they are acting against the orders of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus. 8  And hearing these things the people and the rulers of the town were troubled. 9  And having made Jason and the others give an undertaking to keep the peace, they let them go.

The Apostles at Beroea

10  And the brothers straight away sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroea: and they, when they came there, went to the Synagogue of the Jews. 11  Now these were more noble than the Jews of Thessalonica, for they gave serious attention to the word, searching in the holy Writings every day, to see if these things were so. 12  And a number of them had faith, and no small number of the Greek women of high position and of the men. 13  But when the Jews of Thessalonica had news that Paul was preaching the word at Beroea, they came there, troubling the people and working them up. 14  So the brothers sent Paul straight away to the sea: but Silas and Timothy kept there still. 15  But those who went with Paul took him as far as Athens, and then went away, with orders from him to Silas and Timothy to come to him quickly.

Paul at Athens

16  Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was troubled, for he saw all the town full of images of the gods. 17  So he had discussions in the Synagogue with the Jews and God-fearing Gentiles, and every day in the market-place with those who were there. 18  And some of those who were supporters of the theories of the Epicureans and the Stoics, had a meeting with him. And some said, What is this talker of foolish words saying? And others, He seems to be a preacher of strange gods: because he was preaching of Jesus and his coming back from the dead. 19  And they took him to Mars' Hill, saying, Will you make clear to us what is this new teaching of yours? 20  For you seem to us to say strange things, and we have a desire to get the sense of them. 21  (Now all the Athenians and the men from other lands who come there were giving all their time to talking or hearing of anything new.)

22  And Paul got to his feet on Mars' Hill and said, O men of Athens, I see that you are overmuch given to fear of the gods. 23  For when I came by, I was looking at the things to which you give worship, and I saw an altar with this writing on it, TO THE GOD OF WHOM THERE IS NO KNOWLEDGE. Now, what you, without knowledge, give worship to, I make clear to you. 24  The God who made the earth and everything in it, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, is not housed in buildings made with hands; 25  And he is not dependent on the work of men's hands, as if he had need of anything, for he himself gives to all life and breath and all things; 26  And he has made of one blood all the nations of men living on all the face of the earth, ordering their times and the limits of their lands, 27  So that they might make search for God, in order, if possible, to get knowledge of him and make discovery of him, though he is not far from every one of us: 28  For in him we have life and motion and existence; as certain of your verse writers have said, For we are his offspring. 29  If then we are the offspring of God, it is not right for us to have the idea that God is like gold or silver or stone, formed by the art or design of man. 30  Those times when men had no knowledge were overlooked by God; but now he gives orders to all men in every place to undergo a change of heart: 31  Because a day has been fixed in which all the world will be judged in righteousness by the man who has been marked out by him for this work; of which he has given a sign to all men by giving him back from the dead.

32  Now on hearing about the coming back from death, some of them made sport of it, but others said, Let us go more fully into this another time. 33  And so Paul went away from among them. 34  But some men gave him their support: among whom was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Paul at Corinth

18 1  After these things, he went away from Athens, and came to Corinth. 2  And there he came across a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by birth, who not long before had come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had given orders that all Jews were to go away from Rome: and he came to them; 3  And because he was of the same trade, he was living with them, and they did their work together; for by trade they were tent-makers. 4  And every Sabbath he had discussions in the Synagogue, turning Jews and Greeks to the faith. 5  And when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was completely given up to the word, preaching to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. 6  And when they put themselves against him, and said evil words, he said, shaking his clothing, Your blood be on your heads, I am clean: from now I will go to the Gentiles.

7  And moving from there, he went into the house of a man named Titus Justus, a God-fearing man, whose house was very near the Synagogue. 8  And Crispus, the ruler of the Synagogue, with all his family, had faith in the Lord; and a great number of the people of Corinth, hearing the word, had faith and were given baptism. 9  And the Lord said to Paul in the night, in a vision, Have no fear and go on preaching: 10  For I am with you, and no one will make an attack on you to do you damage: for I have a number of people in this town. 11  And he was there for a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

12  But when Gallio was ruler of Achaia, all the Jews together made an attack on Paul, and took him to the judge's seat, 13  Saying, This man is teaching the people to give worship to God in a way which is against the law. 14  But when Paul was about to say something, Gallio said to the Jews, If this was anything to do with wrongdoing or crime, there would be a reason for me to give you a hearing: 15  But if it is a question of words or names or of your law, see to it yourselves; I will not be a judge of such things. 16  And he sent them away from the judge's seat. 17  And they all made an attack on Sosthenes, the ruler of the Synagogue, and gave him blows before the judge's seat; but Gallio gave no attention to these things.

18  And Paul, after waiting some days, went away from the brothers and went by ship to Syria, Priscilla and Aquila being with him; and he had had his hair cut off in Cenchrea, for he had taken an oath. 19  And they came down to Ephesus and he left them there: and he himself went into the Synagogue and had a discussion with the Jews. 20  And being requested by them to be there for a longer time, he said, No; 21  And went from them, saying, I will come back to you if God lets me; and he took ship from Ephesus.

Paul Returns to Antioch and Begins the Third Missionary Journey

22  And when he had come to land at Caesarea, he went to see the church, and then went down to Antioch. 23  And having been there for some time, he went through the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, making the disciples strong in the faith.

Apollos Preaches at Ephesus

24  Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, and a man of learning, came to Ephesus; and he had great knowledge of the holy Writings. 25  This man had been trained in the way of the Lord; and burning in spirit, he gave himself up to teaching the facts about Jesus, though he had knowledge only of John's baptism: 26  And he was preaching in the Synagogue without fear. But Priscilla and Aquila, hearing his words, took him in, and gave him fuller teaching about the way of God. 27  And when he had a desire to go over into Achaia, the brothers gave him help, and sent letters to the disciples requesting them to take him in among them: and when he had come, he gave much help to those who had faith through grace: 28  For he overcame the Jews in public discussion, making clear from the holy Writings that the Christ was Jesus.

Paul at Ephesus

19 1  And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having gone through the higher country, came to Ephesus, where there were certain disciples: 2  And he said to them, Did you get the Holy Spirit when you had faith? And they said to him, No, we have had no knowledge of the Holy Spirit. 3  And he said, What sort of baptism did you have? And they said, The baptism of John. 4  And Paul said, John gave a baptism which goes with a change of heart, saying to the people that they were to have faith in him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus. 5  And hearing this, they had baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6  And when Paul had put his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they had the power of talking in tongues, and acting like prophets. 7  And there were about twelve of these men.

8  And he went into the Synagogue, and for three months he was preaching there without fear, reasoning and teaching about the kingdom of God. 9  But because some of the people were hard-hearted and would not give hearing, saying evil words about the Way before the people, he went away from them, and kept the disciples separate, reasoning every day in the school of Tyrannus. 10  And this went on for two years, so that all those who were living in Asia had knowledge of the word of the Lord, Greeks as well as Jews. 11  And God did special works of power by the hands of Paul: 12  So that bits of linen and clothing from his body were taken to people who were ill, and their diseases went away from them and the evil spirits went out.

13  But some of the Jews who went from place to place driving out evil spirits, took it on themselves to make use of the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, I give you orders, by Jesus, whom Paul is preaching. 14  And there were seven sons of a man named Sceva, a Jew and a chief priest, who did this. 15  And the evil spirit, answering, said to them, I have knowledge of Jesus, and of Paul, but who are you? 16  And the man in whom the evil spirit was, jumping on them, was stronger than the two of them, and overcame them, so that they went running from that house, wounded and without their clothing. 17  And this came to the ears of all those, Jews and Greeks, who were living at Ephesus; and fear came on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was made great. 18  And a number of those who had faith came and made a public statement of their sins and all their acts. 19  And a great number of those who were experts in strange arts took their books and put them on the fire in front of everyone: and when the books were valued they came to fifty thousand bits of silver. 20  So the word of the Lord was increased very greatly and was full of power.

21  Now after these things were ended, Paul came to a decision that when he had gone through Macedonia and Achaia he would go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I have a desire to see Rome. 22  And having sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, into Macedonia, he himself went on living in Asia for a time.

The Riot at Ephesus

23  And about that time a great outcry took place about the Way. 24  For there was a certain man named Demetrius, a silver-worker, who made silver boxes for the images of Diana, and gave no small profit to the workmen; 25  Whom he got together, with other workmen of the same trade, and said to them, Men, it is clear that from this business we get our wealth. 26  And you see, for it has come to your ears, that not only at Ephesus, but almost all through Asia, this Paul has been teaching numbers of people and turning them away, saying that those are not gods who are made by men's hands: 27  And there is danger, not only that our trade may be damaged in the opinion of men, but that the holy place of the great goddess Diana may be no longer honoured, and that she to whom all Asia and the world give worship, will be put down from her high position. 28  And hearing this, they were very angry, crying out and saying, Great is Diana of Ephesus. 29  And the town was full of noise and trouble, and they all came running into the theatre, having taken by force Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia who were journeying in company with Paul. 30  And when Paul was about to go in to the people, the disciples did not let him. 31  And some of the rulers of Asia, being his friends, sent to him, requesting him seriously not to put himself in danger by going into the theatre. 32  And some said one thing, and some another: for there was no order in the meeting; and most of them had no idea why they had come together. 33  Then they took Alexander out from among the people, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander, making a sign with his hand, was about to make a statement to the people in answer: 34  But when they saw that he was a Jew, all of them with one voice went on crying out for about two hours, Great is Diana of Ephesus. 35  And when the chief secretary had got the people quiet, he said, Men of Ephesus, is any man without knowledge that the town of Ephesus is the keeper of the holy place of the great Diana, who was sent down from Jupiter? 36  So then, because these things may not be doubted, it would be better for you to be quiet, and do nothing unwise. 37  For you have taken these men, who are not doing damage to the holy place or talking against our goddess. 38  If, then, Demetrius and the workmen who are with him have a protest to make against any man, the law is open to them, and there are judges; let them put up a cause at law against one another. 39  But if any other business is in question, let it be taken up in the regular meeting. 40  For, truly, we are in danger of being made responsible for this day's trouble, there being no cause for it: and we are not able to give any reason for this coming together. And when he had said this, he sent the meeting away. 41  []

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