Bible in Basic English

The ACTS, 21
Paul to Jerusalem

21:1     And after parting from them, we put out to sea and came straight to Cos, and the day after to Rhodes, and from there to Patara : 21:2 And as there was a ship going to Phoenicia, we went in it. 21:3 And when we had come in view of Cyprus, going past it on our left, we went on to Syria, and came to land at Tyre : for there the goods which were in the ship had to be taken out. 21:4 And meeting the disciples we were there for seven days : and they gave Paul orders through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem. 21:5 And when these days came to an end, we went on our journey ; and they all, with their wives and children, came with us on our way till we were out of the town : and after going on our knees in prayer by the sea, 21:6 We said our last words to one another, and got into the ship, and they went back to their houses.

21:7     And journeying by ship from Tyre we came to Ptolemais; and there we had talk with the brothers and were with them for one day. 21:8 And on the day after, we went away and came to Caesarea, where we were guests in the house of Philip, the preacher, who was one of the seven. 21:9 And he had four daughters, virgins, who were prophets. 21:10 And while we were waiting there for some days, a certain prophet, named Agabus, came down from Judaea. 21:11 And he came to us, and took the band of Paul's clothing, and putting it round his feet and hands, said, The Holy Spirit says these words, So will the Jews do to the man who is the owner of this band, and they will give him up into the hands of the Gentiles. 21:12 And hearing these things, we and those who were living in that place made request to him not to go to Jerusalem. 21:13 Then Paul said, What are you doing, weeping and wounding my heart ? for I am ready, not only to be a prisoner, but to be put to death at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. 21:14 And as he might not be moved we did no more, saying, Let the purpose of God be done.

21:15     And after these days we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. 21:16 And some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us, taking a certain Mnason of Cyprus, one of the early disciples, in whose house we were to be living.

21:17     And when we came to Jerusalem, the brothers were pleased to see us. 21:18 And on the day after, Paul went with us to James, and all the rulers of the church were present. 21:19 And when he had said how glad he was to see them, he gave them a detailed account of the things which God had done through his work among the Gentiles. 21:20 And hearing it, they gave praise to God; and they said to him, You see, brother, what thousands there are among the Jews, who have the faith; and they all have a great respect for the law : 21:21 And they have had news of you, how you have been teaching all the Jews among the Gentiles to give up the law of Moses, and not to give circumcision to their children, and not to keep the old rules. 21:22 What then is the position? They will certainly get news that you have come. 21:23 Do this, then, which we say to you : We have four men who have taken an oath; 21:24 Go with these, and make yourself clean with them, and make the necessary payments for them, so that they may be free from their oath : and everyone will see that the statements made about you are not true, but that you put yourself under rule, and keep the law. 21:25 But as to the Gentiles who have the faith, we sent a letter, giving our decision that they were to keep themselves from offerings made to false gods, and from blood, and from the flesh of animals put to death in ways against the law, and from the evil desires of the body. 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and on the day after, making himself clean with them, he went into the Temple, giving out the statement that the days necessary for making them clean were complete, till the offering was made for every one of them.

21:27     And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the Temple, got the people together and put their hands on him, 21:28 Crying out, Men of Israel, come to our help : this is the man who is teaching all men everywhere against the people and the law and this place : and in addition, he has taken Greeks into the Temple, and made this holy place unclean. 21:29 For they had seen him before in the town with Trophimus of Ephesus, and had the idea that Paul had taken him with him into the Temple. 21:30 And all the town was moved, and the people came running together and put their hands on Paul, pulling him out of the Temple : and then the doors were shut. 21:31 And while they were attempting to put him to death, news came to the chief captain of the band that all Jerusalem was out of control. 21:32 And straight away he took some armed men and went quickly down to them : and the Jews, seeing them, gave no more blows to Paul. 21:33 Then the chief captain came near and took him, and gave orders for him to be put in chains, questioning them as to who he was and what he had done. 21:34 And some said one thing and some another, among the people : and as he was not able to get a knowledge of the facts because of the noise, he gave orders for Paul to be taken into the army building. 21:35 And when he came on to the steps, he was lifted up by the armed men, because of the force of the people; 21:36 For a great mass of people came after them, crying out, Away with him !

21:37     And when Paul was about to be taken into the building, he said to the chief captain, May I say something to you? And he said, Have you a knowledge of Greek? 21:38 Are you by chance the Egyptian who, before this, got the people worked up against the government and took four thousand men of the Assassins out into the waste land? 21:39 But Paul said, I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, which is not an unimportant town : I make a request to you to let me say a word to the people. 21:40 And when he let him do so, Paul, from the steps, made a sign with his hand to the people, and when they were all quiet, he said to them in the Hebrew language,

The ACTS, 22
Plot against Paul

22:1     My brothers and fathers, give ear to the story of my life which I now put before you.

22:2     And, hearing him talking in the Hebrew language, they became the more quiet, and he said,

22:3     I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia by birth, but I had my education in this town at the feet of Gamaliel, being trained in the keeping of every detail of the law of our fathers ; given up to the cause of God with all my heart, as you are today. 22:4 And I made attacks on this Way, even to death, taking men and women and putting them in prison. 22:5 Of which the high priest will be a witness, and all the rulers, from whom I had letters to the brothers ; and I went into Damascus, to take those who were there as prisoners to Jerusalem for punishment.

22:6     And it came about that while I was on my journey, coming near to Damascus, about the middle of the day, suddenly I saw a great light from heaven shining round me. 22:7 And when I went down on the earth, a voice came to my ears saying to me, Saul, Saul, why are you attacking me so cruelly ? 22:8 And I, answering, said, Who are you ; Lord ? And he said to me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are attacking. 22:9 And those who were with me saw the light, but the voice of him who was talking to me came not to their ears. 22:10 And I said, What have I to do, Lord ? And the Lord said to me, Get up, and go into ; and it will be made clear to you what you have to do. 22:11 And because I was unable to see because of the glory of that light, those who were with me took me by the hand, and so I came to Damascus.

22:12     And one Ananias, a God-fearing man, who kept the law, and of whom all the Jews in that place had a high opinion, 22:13 Came to my side and said, Brother Saul, let your eyes be open. And in that very hour I was able to see him. 22:14 And he said, You have been marked out by the God of our fathers to have knowledge of his purpose, and to see the Upright One and to give ear to the words of his mouth. 22:15 For you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and of what has come to your ears. 22:16 And now, why are you waiting ? get up, and have baptism, for the washing away of your sins, giving worship to his name.

22:17     And it came about that when I had come back to Jerusalem, while I was at prayer in the Temple, my senses became more than naturally clear, 22:18 And I saw him saying to me, Go out of Jerusalem straight away because they will not give hearing to your witness about me. 22:19 And I said, Lord, they themselves have knowledge that I went through the Synagogues putting in prison and whipping all those who had faith in you : 22:20 And when Stephen your witness was put to death, I was there, giving approval, and looking after the clothing of those who put him to death. 22:21 And he said to me, Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.

22:22     And they gave him a hearing as far as this word; then with loud voices they said, Away with this man from the earth ; it is not right for him to be living. 22:23 And while they were crying out, and pulling off their clothing, and sending dust into the air, 22:24 The chief captain gave orders for him to be taken into the army building, saying that he would put him to the test by whipping, so that he might have knowledge of the reason why they were crying out so violently against him. 22:25 And when they had put leather bands round him, Paul said to the captain who was present, Is it the law for you to give blows to a man who is a Roman and has not been judged ? 22:26 And hearing this, the man went to the chief captain and gave him an account of it, saying, What are you about to do ? for this man is a Roman. 22:27 And the chief captain came to him and said, Give me an answer, are you a Roman? And he said, Yes. 22:28 And the chief captain said, I got Roman rights for myself at a great price. And Paul said, But I had them by birth. 22:29 Then those who were about to put him to the test went away : and the chief captain was in fear, seeing that he was a Roman, and that he had put chains on him.

22:30     But on the day after, desiring to have certain knowledge of what the Jews had to say against him, he made him free, and gave orders for the chief priests and all the Sanhedrin to come together, and he took Paul and put him before them.

The ACTS, 23
Paul's Defense

23:1     And Paul, looking fixedly at the Sanhedrin, said, My brothers, my life has been upright before God till this day. 23:2 And the high priest, Ananias, gave orders to those who were near him to give him a blow on the mouth. 23:3 Then Paul said to him, God will give blows to you, you whitewashed wall : are you here to be my judge by law, and by your orders am I given blows against the law ? 23:4 And those who were near said, Do you say such words against God's high priest ? 23:5 And Paul said, Brother, I had no idea that he was the high priest : for it has been said, You may not say evil about the ruler of your people.

23:6     But when Paul saw that half of them were Sadducees and the rest Pharisees, he said in the Sanhedrin, Brothers, I am a Pharisee, and the son of Pharisees : I am here to be judged on the question of the hope of the coming back from the dead. 23:7 And when he had said this, there was an argument between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and a division in the meeting. 23:8 For the Sadducees say that there is no coming back from the dead, and no angels or spirits : but the Pharisees have belief in all these. 23:9 And there was a great outcry : and some of the scribes on the side of the Pharisees got up and took part in the discussion, saying, We see no evil in this man : what if he has had a revelation from an angel or a spirit ? 23:10 And when the argument became very violent, the chief captain, fearing that Paul would be pulled in two by them, gave orders to the armed men to take him by force from among them, and take him into the army building.

23:11     And the night after, the Lord came to his side and said, Be of good heart, for as you have been witnessing for me in Jerusalem, so will you be my witness in Rome.

23:12     And when it was day, the Jews came together and put themselves under an oath that they would take no food or drink till they had put Paul to death. 23:13 And more than forty of them took this oath. 23:14 And they came to the chief priests and the rulers and said, We have taken a great oath to take no food till we have put Paul to death 23:15 So now, will you and the Sanhedrin make a request to the military authorities to have him sent down to you, as if you were desiring to go into the business in greater detail ; and we, before ever he gets to you, will be waiting to put him to death.

23:16     But Paul's sister's son had word of their design, and he came into the army building and gave news of it to Paul. 23:17 And Paul sent for a captain and said, Take this young man to your chief, for he has news for him. 23:18 So he took him to the chief captain and said, Paul, the prisoner, made a request to me to take this young man to you, for he has something to say to you. 23:19 And the chief took him by the hand and, going on one side, said to him privately, What is it you have to say to me ? 23:20 And he said, The Jews are in agreement together to make a request to you for Paul to be taken, on the day after this, into the Sanhedrin, to be questioned in greater detail. 23:21 But do not give way to them, for more than forty of them are waiting for him, having taken an oath not to take food or drink till they have put him to death : and now they are ready, waiting for your order. 23:22 So the chief captain let the young man go, saying to him, Do not say to anyone that you have given me word of these things.

23:23     And he sent for two captains and said, Make ready two hundred men, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen, to go to Caesarea, at the third hour of the night : 23:24 And get beasts so that they may put Paul on them, and take him safely to Felix, the ruler. 23:25 And he sent a letter in these words :

23:26     Claudius Lysias, to the most noble ruler, Felix, peace be with you. 23:27 This man was taken by the Jews, and was about to be put to death by them, when I came on them with the army and took him out of danger, having knowledge that he was a Roman. 23:28 And, desiring to get at the reason for their attack on him, I took him down to their Sanhedrin : 23:29 Then it became clear to me that it was a question of their law, and that nothing was said against him which might be a reason for prison or death. 23:30 And when news was given to me that a secret design was being made against the man, I sent him straight away to you, giving orders to those who are against him to make their statements before you.

23:31     So the armed men, as they were ordered, took Paul and came by night to Antipatris. 23:32 But on the day after, they sent the horsemen on with him, and went back to their place : 23:33 And they, when they came to Caesarea, gave the letter to the ruler, and took Paul before him. 23:34 And after reading it, he said, What part of the country do you come from? And, hearing that he was from Cilicia, 23:35 I will give hearing to your cause, he said, when those who are against you have come. And he gave orders for him to be kept in Herod's Praetorium.

The ACTS, 24
Before Felix

24:1     And after five days, the high priest, Ananias, came with certain of the rulers, and an expert talker, one Tertullus ; and they made a statement to Felix against Paul. 24:2 And when he had been sent for, Tertullus, starting his statement, said,   Because by you we are living in peace, and through your wisdom wrongs are put right for this nation, 24:3 In all things and in all places we are conscious of our great debt to you, most noble Felix. 24:4 But, so that I may not make you tired, I make a request to you of your mercy, to give hearing to a short statement. 24:5 For this man, in our opinion, is a cause of trouble, a maker of attacks on the government among Jews through all the empire, and a chief mover in the society of the Nazarenes : 24:6 Who, in addition, was attempting to make the Temple unclean : whom we took,   (24:7)   24:8 And from whom you will be able, by questioning him yourself, to get knowledge of all the things which we say against him.

24:9     And the Jews were in agreement with his statement, saying that these things were so.

24:10     Then when the ruler had given him a sign to make his answer, Paul said, Because I have knowledge that you have been a judge over this nation for a number of years, I am glad to make my answer : 24:11 Seeing that you are able to make certain of the fact that it is not more than twelve days from the time when I came up to Jerusalem for worship; 24:12 And they have not seen me in argument with any man in the Temple, or working up the feelings of the people, in the Synagogues or in the town : 24:13 And they are not able to give facts in support of the things which they say against me now. 24:14 But this I will say openly to you, that I do give worship to the God of our fathers after that Way, which to them is not the true religion : but I have belief in all the things which are in the law and in the books of the prophets : 24:15 Hoping in God for that which they themselves are looking for, that there will be a coming back from the dead for upright men and wrongdoers. 24:16 And in this, I do my best at all times to have no reason for shame before God or men. 24:17 Now after a number of years I came to give help and offerings to my nation : 24:18 And having been made clean, I was in the Temple, but not with a great number of people, and not with noise : but there were certain Jews from Asia, 24:19 And it would have been better if they had come here to make a statement, if they have anything against me. 24:20 Or let these men here present say what wrongdoing was seen in me when I was before the Sanhedrin, 24:21 But only this one thing which I said among them in a loud voice, I am this day being judged on the question of the coming back from the dead.

24:22     But Felix, who had a more detailed knowledge of the Way, put them off, saying, When Lysias, the chief captain, comes down, I will give attention to your business. 23 And he gave orders to the captain to keep Paul under his control, and to let him have everything he had need of; and not to keep his friends from coming to see him.

24:24     But after some days, Felix came with Drusilla his wife, who was of the Jews by birth, and sent for Paul, and gave hearing to him about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 And while he was talking about righteousness and self-control and the judging which was to come, Felix had great fear and said, Go away for the present, and when the right time comes I will send for you. 26 For he was hoping that Paul would give him money : so he sent for him more frequently and had talk with him. 27 But after two years Porcius Festus took the place of Felix, who, desiring to have the approval of the Jews, kept Paul in chains.

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