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. Chapter 28.

Paul on the Island of Malta (Melita, Malta)

1 Once we had made our way to safety we identified the island as Malta. 2 The rough islanders treated us with uncommon kindness: because it was cold and had started to rain, they lit a bonfire and made us all welcome. 3 Paul had got together an armful of sticks and put them on the fire, when a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened on his hand. 4 The islanders, seeing the snake hanging on to his hand, said to one another, 'The man must be a murderer; he may have escaped from the sea, but divine justice has not let him live.' 5 Paul, however, shook off the snake into the fire and was none the worse. 6 They still expected that any moment he would swell up or drop down dead, but after waiting a long time without seeing anything extraordinary happen to him, they changed their minds and now said, 'He is a god.'

7 In the neighbourhood of that place there were lands belonging to the chief magistrate of the island, whose name was Publius. He took us in and entertained us hospitably for three days. 8 It so happened that this man's father was in bed suffering from recurrent bouts of fever and dysentery. Paul visited him and, after prayer, laid his hands upon him and healed him; 9 whereupon the other sick people on the island came also and were cured. 10 They honoured us with many marks of respect, and when we were leaving they put on board provision for our needs.

Paul Arrives at Rome

11 Three months had passed when we set sail in a ship which had wintered in the island; she was the Castor and Pollux of Alexandria. 12 We put in at Syracuse and spent three days there; 13 then we sailed round and arrived at Rhegium. After one day a south wind sprang up and we reached Puteoli in two days. 14 There we found fellow-Christians and were invited to stay a week with them. And so to Rome. 15 The Christians there had had news of us and came out to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Tres Tabernae, and when Paul saw them, he gave thanks to God and took courage.

16 WHEN WE ENTERED ROME Paul was allowed to lodge by himself with a soldier in charge of him.

Paul Preaches in Rome (Rome) 17 Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders; and when they were assembled, he said to them: 'My brothers, I, who never did anything against our people or the customs of our forefathers, am here as a prisoner; I was handed over to the Romans at Jerusalem. 18 They examined me and would have liked to release me because there was no capital charge against me; 19 but the Jews objected, and I had no option but to appeal to the Emperor; not that I had any accusation to bring against my own people. 20 That is why I have asked to see you and talk to you, because it is for the sake of the hope of Israel that I am in chains, as you see.' 21 They replied, 'We have had no communication from Judaea, nor has any countryman of ours arrived with any report or gossip to your discredit. 22 We should like to hear from you what your views are; all we know about this sect is that no one has a good word to say for it.'

23 So they fixed a day, and came in large numbers as his guests. He dealt at length with the whole matter; he spoke urgently of the kingdom of God and sought to convince them about Jesus by appealing to the Law of Moses and the prophets. This went on from dawn to dusk. 24 Some were won over by his arguments; others remained sceptical. 25 Without reaching any agreement among themselves they began to disperse, aut not before Paul had said one thing more: 'How well the Holy Spirit spoke to your fathers through the prophet Isaiah 26 [ Is.6.9-10. ] when he said, "Go to this people and say: You will hear and hear, but never understand; you will look and look, but never see. 27 people's mind has become gross; their ears are dulled, and their eyes are closed. Otherwise, their eyes might see, their ears hear, and their mind understand, and then they might turn again, and I would heal them." 28 Therefore take notice that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles: the Gentiles will listen.' 29 [Some manuscripts add: After he had spoken, the Jews went away, arguing vigorously among themselves.]

30 He stayed there two full years at his own expense, with a welcome for all who came to him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the facts about the Lord Jesus Christ quite openly and without hindrance.

<< | Acts: 28 |

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