Acts 8Expanded Bible (EXB)
8 Saul ·agreed that the killing of Stephen was good [L approved of his execution/death].
Troubles for the Believers
On that day the church of Jerusalem began to be persecuted, and all the believers, except the apostles, were scattered throughout [L the countryside/regions of] Judea and Samaria [C the southern and central regions of Israel].
2 And some ·religious [devout; pious; godly] ·people [or men] buried Stephen and ·cried loudly [or mourned deeply] for him. 3 [L But] Saul ·was also trying to destroy [or began harassing/mistreating/doing harm to] the church, going from house to house, dragging ·out [or off] men and women and putting them in ·jail [prison]. 4 But wherever the believers were scattered, they told people the ·Good News [Gospel].
Philip Preaches in Samaria
5 Philip [C one of the seven leaders chosen to serve; 6:5; 21:8] went to ·the city[a] [or a city; or the main city] of Samaria [C perhaps the city of Sebaste, known in ancient times as Samaria] and ·preached about [proclaimed] the ·Christ [Messiah]. 6 When the ·people [L crowds] there heard Philip and saw the ·miracles [signs] he was doing, they all [L with one accord/mind] listened carefully to what he said. 7 Many of these people had ·evil [L unclean; 5:16] spirits in them, but Philip made the evil spirits ·leave [come out]. The spirits made a loud ·noise [cry] when they came out. Philip also healed many ·weak [paralyzed] and ·crippled [lame] people there. 8 So the people in that city were ·very happy [joyful; greatly rejoicing].
9 But there was a man named Simon in that city. ·Before Philip came there, [L Previously] Simon had practiced ·magic [sorcery] and amazed all the people of Samaria. He ·bragged and called himself [L said he was] a great man. 10 All the people—·the least important and the most important [L from the smallest to the greatest]—paid attention to Simon, saying, “This man has the power of God, called ‘·the Great Power [L Great]’!” 11 Simon had amazed them with his ·magic [sorcery] so long that the people ·became his followers [L paid attention to him]. 12 But when Philip told them the ·Good News [Gospel] about the kingdom of God and the ·power [L name] of Jesus Christ, men and women believed Philip and were baptized. 13 Simon himself believed, and after he was baptized, he stayed very close to Philip. When he saw the ·miracles [signs] and the powerful things Philip did, Simon was amazed.
14 When the apostles who were still in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria [8:1] had ·accepted [received] the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When Peter and John arrived, they prayed that the Samaritan believers might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 These people had [L only] been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, but the Holy Spirit had not yet ·come [L fallen] upon any of them. 17 Then, when ·the two apostles [L they] began ·laying [placing] their hands on the people [C a ritual of blessing and/or conferring of authority], they received the Holy Spirit.
18 Simon saw that the Spirit was given to people when the apostles ·laid [placed] their hands on them. So he offered the apostles money, 19 saying, “Give me also this power so that anyone on whom I ·lay [place] my hands will receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 Peter said to him, “·You and your money should both be destroyed [L May your silver perish with you], because you thought you could ·buy [get; obtain] God’s gift with money. 21 You ·cannot [L have no part or] share with us in this ·work [ministry; L thing; word] since your heart is not right before God. 22 ·Change your heart! Turn away from [L Repent of] this evil thing you have done, and pray to the Lord. Maybe he will forgive you for ·thinking this [L the intent of your heart]. 23 [L For] I see that you are full of ·bitter jealousy [L the gall/bile of bitterness; C a metaphor; gall is a bitter fluid; Deut. 29:18] and ·ruled by sin [L in bondage to wickedness/unrighteousness].”
24 Simon answered, “Both of you pray for me to the Lord so the things you have said will not happen to me.”
25 After ·Peter and John [L they] ·told the people what they had seen Jesus do [L testified; bore witness] and after they had spoken the ·message [word] of the Lord, they went back to Jerusalem. On the way, they went through many Samaritan ·towns [villages] and preached the ·Good News [Gospel] to the people.
Philip Teaches an Ethiopian
26 An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get ·ready [up] and go ·south [or at about noon] to the road that leads down to Gaza from Jerusalem [C a distance of about fifty miles]—the ·desert [wilderness] road.” 27 So Philip got ·ready [up] and went. On the road he saw a man from Ethiopia [C not present-day Ethiopia (Abyssinia), but Nubia in northern Sudan], a eunuch [or court official; C royal servants were sometimes made eunuchs (castrated males), especially if they served in the presence of females]. He was an important officer in the service of ·Candace [or the Kandáke; C a title, not a name, meaning “queen”], the queen of the Ethiopians; he was responsible for ·taking care of all her money [her entire treasury]. He had gone to Jerusalem to worship. 28 Now, as he was on his way home, he was sitting in his chariot reading from the ·Book of Isaiah, the prophet [L the prophet Isaiah]. 29 The Spirit said to Philip, “Go to that chariot and ·stay near [join] it.”
30 So when Philip ran toward the chariot, he heard the man reading from Isaiah the prophet [C ancient peoples generally read aloud]. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31 He answered, “How can I understand unless someone ·explains it to [guides; directs] me?” Then he ·invited [urged] Philip to climb in and sit with him. 32 The portion of Scripture he was reading was this:
“He was like a sheep being led to ·be killed [L the slaughter].
34 The ·officer [L eunuch] said to Philip, “Please tell me, who is the prophet talking about—himself or someone else [C the idea of a suffering messiah was not commonly understood in Judaism]?” 35 Philip ·began to speak [L opened his mouth], and starting with this same Scripture, he told the man the ·Good News [Gospel] about Jesus.
36 While they were traveling down the road, they came to some water. The ·officer [L eunuch] said, “Look, here is water. What is ·stopping [preventing] me from being baptized?” |37 Philip answered, “If you believe with all your heart, you can.” The officer said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”|[b] 38 Then the officer commanded the chariot to stop. Both Philip and the ·officer [L eunuch] went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord ·took [snatched; carried] Philip away; the officer ·never [or no longer] saw him again. And the ·officer [L eunuch] continued on his way home, ·full of joy [rejoicing]. 40 But Philip ·appeared [or found himself; L was found] in a city called Azotus [C another name for Ashdod, just to the north of Gaza] and ·preached [proclaimed] the ·Good News [Gospel] in all the towns on the way from Azotus to Caesarea [C a city further north up the coast].
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