they had safely reached shore, they found out that the island was called †
The native people showed us extraordinary kindness. For they welcomed us all and kindled a fire because of the rain that had set in and because of the cold. 3
Paul gathered a bundle of sticks, and when he was putting them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and ‡
fastened on his hand. 4
When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “This man is undoubtedly a murderer. Although he has been saved from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5
But Paul shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm. 6
The people were expecting that he would soon swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after waiting expectantly for a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.
7 Now in the region around that place were lands that belonged to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and hospitably took care of us as his guests for three days. 8 Now it so happened that the father of Publius lay sick in bed, suffering from fevers and dysentery. So Paul went in to see him and healed him by praying and laying his hands on him. 9 After this happened, the rest of the people on the island who were sick also came and were healed. 10 So the people bestowed many honors on us, and when we were about to set sail, they provided us with the things we needed.
After three months, we set sail in an Alexandrian ship that had wintered at the island and that had the twin sons of Zeus as its figurehead. 12
Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days. 13
From there we §
took a circuitous course and arrived at Rhegium. After one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 14
There we found some brothers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15
When the brothers from Rome heard the news about us, they came *
out as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he gave thanks to God and took courage.
When we came into Rome, †
the centurion transferred the prisoners to the captain of the guard, but Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.
17 After three days, Paul called together those who were prominent among the Jews. When they had gathered together, he said to them, “Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18 When they examined me, they were willing to release me because there were no grounds for death in my case. 19 But when the Jews objected, I was forced to appeal to Caesar, not that I had any accusation to make against my own nation. 20 That is why I have asked to see you and speak with you, for it is on account of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.” 21 They said to him, “We have received no letters from Judea about yoʋ, and none of the brothers who have come here have reported or spoken anything bad about yoʋ. 22 But we think it would be best to hear what yoʋr views are, for concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against.”
When they had arranged a day to meet with Paul, many more came to him at his lodging. From morning until evening he explained the matter to them, testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24
Some were convinced by what he said, but others refused to believe. 25
So they were in disagreement with one another and began to leave after Paul made this one final statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to ‡
our fathers through Isaiah the prophet:
26 ‘Go to this people and say,
“Although you will hear, you will never understand,
and although you will see, you will never perceive.”
27 For the heart of this people has become dull;
with their ears they have barely heard,
and their eyes they have closed,
lest they should see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn back,
and I would heal them.’
Therefore let it be known to you that §
the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.” 29 *
After Paul said these things, the Jews went away and had a great dispute among themselves.
30 For two whole years Paul stayed in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.