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. Chapter 16.

Timothy Accompanies Paul and Silas (Lystra)

1 He went on to Derbe and to Lystra, and there he found a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish Christian mother and a Gentile father. 2 He was well spoken of by the Christians at Lystra and Iconium, 3 and Paul wanted to have him in his company when he left the place. So he took him and circumcised him, out of consideration for the Jews who lived in those parts; for they all knew that his father was a Gentile. 4 As they made their way from town to town they handed on the decisions taken by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem and enjoined their observance. 5 And so, day by day, the congregations grew stronger in faith and increased in numbers.

Paul's Vision of the Man of Macedonia (Troas)

6 They travelled through the Phrygian and Galatian region, [Or: through Phrygia and the Galatian region.] because they were prevented by the Holy Spirit from delivering the message in the province of Asia; 7 and when they approached the Mysian border they tried to enter Bithynia; but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them, 8 so they skirted [Possibly: traversed.] Mysia and reached the coast at Troas. 9 During the night a vision came to Paul: a Macedonian stood there appealing to him and saying, 'Come across to Macedonia and help us.' 10 After he had seen this vision we at once set about getting a passage to Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to bring them the good news.

The Conversion of Lydia (Philippi)

11 So we sailed from Troas and made a straight run to Samothrace, the next day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, a city of the first rank in that district of Macedonia, and a Roman colony. Here we stayed for some days, 13 and on the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate by the riverside, where we thought there would be a place of prayer, [Some witnesses read: where there was a recognized place of prayer.] and sat down and talked to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of them named Lydia, a dealer in purple fabric from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshipper of God, was listening, and the Lord opened her heart to respond to what Paul said. 15 She was baptized, and her household with her, and then she said to us, 'If you have judged me to be a believer in the Lord, I beg you to come and stay in my house.' And she insisted on our going.

The Imprisonment at Philippi (Philippi)

16 Once, when we were on our way to the place of prayer, we met a slave-girl who was possessed by an oracular spirit and brought large profits to her owners by telling fortunes. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, 'These men are servants of the Supreme God, and are declaring to you a way of salvation.' 18 She did this day after day, until Paul could bear it no longer. Rounding on the spirit he said, 'I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her', and it went out there and then.

19 When the girl's owners saw that their hope of gain had gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them to the city authorities in the main square; 20 and bringing them before the magistrates, they said, 'These men are causing a disturbance in our city, they are Jews; 21 they are advocating customs which it is illegal for us Romans to adopt and follow.' 22 The mob joined in the attack; and the magistrates tore off the prisoners' clothes and ordered them to be flogged. 23 After giving them a severe beating they flung them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them under close guard. 24 In view of these orders, he put them in the inner prison and secured their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas, at their prayers, were singing praises to God, and the other prisoners were listening, 26 when suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken; all the doors burst open and all the prisoners found their fetters unfastened. 27 The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open, and assuming that the prisoners had escaped, drew his sword intending to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted, 'Do yourself no harm; we are all here.' 29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and threw himself down before Paul and Silas, trembling with fear. 30 He then escorted them out and said, 'Masters, what must I do to be saved?' 31 They said, 'Put your trust in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.' 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord [Some witnesses read: of God.] to him and to everyone in his house. 33 At that late hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; and immediately afterwards he and his whole family were baptized. 34 He brought them into his house, set out a meal, and rejoiced with his whole household in his new-found faith in God.

35 When daylight came the magistrates sent their officers with instructions to release the men. 36 The jailer reported the message to Paul: 'The magistrates have sent word that you are to be released. So now you may go free, and blessings on your journey.' [Some witnesses read: ... free and take your journey.] 37 But Paul said to the officers: 'They gave us a public flogging, though we are Roman citizens and have not been found guilty; they threw us into prison, and are they now to smuggle us out privately? No indeed! Let them come in person and escort us out.' 38 The officers reported his words. The magistrates were alarmed to hear that they were Roman citizens, 39 and came and apologized to them. Then they escorted them out and requested them to go away from the city. 40 On leaving the prison, they went to Lydia's house, where they met their fellow-Christians, and spoke words of encouragement to them; then they departed.

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NEBNew English Bible: © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press & the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961. This Webpage layout © Paul Ingram 2009. Any mismatches, truncated verses, other mistakes? Please e-mail me.