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Acts 16:16-40 Living Bible (TLB)

16 One day as we were going down to the place of prayer beside the river, we met a demon-possessed slave girl, who was a fortune-teller and earned much money for her masters. 17 She followed along behind us shouting, “These men are servants of God, and they have come to tell you how to have your sins forgiven.”

18 This went on day after day until Paul, in great distress, turned and spoke to the demon within her. “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her,” he said. And instantly it left her.

19 Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered; they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the judges at the marketplace.

20-21 “These Jews are corrupting our city,” they shouted. “They are teaching the people to do things that are against the Roman laws.”

22 A mob was quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the judges ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden whips. 23 Again and again the rods slashed down across their bared backs; and afterwards they were thrown into prison. The jailer was threatened with death if they escaped,[a] 24 so he took no chances, but put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet into the stocks.

25 Around midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to the Lord—and the other prisoners were listening— 26 suddenly there was a great earthquake; the prison was shaken to its foundations, all the doors flew open—and the chains of every prisoner fell off! 27 The jailer wakened to see the prison doors wide open, and assuming the prisoners had escaped, he drew his sword to kill himself.

28 But Paul yelled to him, “Don’t do it! We are all here!”

29 Trembling with fear, the jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 He brought them out and begged them, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, and your entire household.”

32 Then they told him and all his household the Good News from the Lord. 33 That same hour he washed their stripes, and he and all his family were baptized. 34 Then he brought them up into his house and set a meal before them. How he and his household rejoiced because all were now believers! 35 The next morning the judges sent police officers over to tell the jailer, “Let those men go!” 36 So the jailer told Paul they were free to leave.

37 But Paul replied, “Oh no they don’t! They have publicly beaten us without trial and jailed us—and we are Roman citizens! So now they want us to leave secretly? Never! Let them come themselves and release us!”

38 The police officers reported to the judges, who feared for their lives when they heard Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. 39 So they came to the jail and begged them to go, and brought them out and pled with them to leave the city. 40 Paul and Silas then returned to the home of Lydia, where they met with the believers and preached to them once more before leaving town.


  1. Acts 16:23 if they escaped, implied.
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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