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Acts 7-8 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

Then said the high priest, “Are these things so?”

And Stephen said, “Men, brethren and fathers, hearken! The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran,

and said unto him, ‘Get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee.’

Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Haran; and from thence, when his father was dead, He removed himself into this land wherein ye now dwell.

And He gave him no inheritance in it — no, not so much as to set his foot on; yet He promised that He would give it to him as a possession and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.

And God spoke in this way: that his seed should sojourn in a strange land, and that they should be brought into bondage and be mistreated for four hundred years.

‘And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge,’ said God, ‘and after that shall they come forth, and serve Me in this place.’

And He gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham begot Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot the twelve patriarchs.

And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him

10 and delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him governor over Egypt and all his house.

11 “Now there came a dearth and great affliction over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and our fathers found no sustenance.

12 But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he first sent out our fathers.

13 And on the second visit Joseph was made known to his brethren, and Joseph’s kindred were made known unto Pharaoh.

14 Then Joseph sent and called his father Jacob to him and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls.

15 So Jacob went down into Egypt and died, he and our fathers.

16 And they were carried back into Shechem, and laid in the sepulcher that Abraham had bought for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem.

17 “But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,

18 until another king arose who knew not Joseph.

19 The same dealt craftily with our kindred and illtreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end that they might not live.

20 At that time Moses was born and was exceedingly fair, and was nourished in his father’s house three months.

21 And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up and nourished him as her own son.

22 And Moses became learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.

23 “And when he was fully forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.

24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian,

25 for he supposed his brethren would have understood how God, by his hand, would deliver them; but they understood not.

26 And the next day he showed himself unto them as they were quarreling, and would have set them at one again, saying, ‘Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one another?’

27 But he that was doing his neighbor wrong thrust him away, saying, ‘Who made thee a ruler and judge over us?

28 Wilt thou kill me as thou didst the Egyptian yesterday?’

29 Then Moses fled at this saying and became a stranger in the land of Midian, where he begot two sons.

30 “And when forty years had expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai an angel of the Lord, in a flame of fire in a bush.

31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight; and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying,

32 ‘I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ Then Moses trembled and dared not behold.

33 Then said the Lord to him, ‘Put off thy shoes from thy feet, for the place where thou standest is holy ground.

34 I have seen, I have seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning and have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt.’

35 “This Moses whom they refused, saying, ‘Who made thee a ruler and a judge?’ was the same whom God sent to be a ruler and a deliverer, by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.

36 He brought them out after he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years.

37 This is that Moses who said unto the children of Israel, ‘A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you from your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear.’

38 This is he, who in the church in the wilderness was with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers—the one who received the living oracles to give unto us,

39 to whom our fathers would not be obedient, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,

40 saying unto Aaron, ‘Make us gods to go before us; for as for this Moses, who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what has become of him.’

41 And they made a calf in those days and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.

42 “Then God turned, and gave them up to the worship of the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the Prophets: ‘O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to Me slain beasts and sacrifices for the space of forty years in the wilderness?

43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of your god Remphan, images which ye made to worship them. And I will carry you away beyond Babylon.’

44 “Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as He had appointed, speaking unto Moses that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen,

45 which also our fathers, who came later, brought with Joshua into the territory of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers until the days of David.

46 David found favor before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.

47 But Solomon built Him a house.

48 “However, the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands, as saith the prophet:

49 ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. What house will ye build Me? saith the Lord. Or what is the place of My rest?

50 Hath not My hand made all these things?’

51 “Ye stiffnecked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost! As your fathers did, so do ye!

52 Which of the prophets have your fathers not persecuted? And they have slain those who foretold the coming of the Just One. Of Him ye have now been the betrayers and murderers,

53 ye who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.”

54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed with their teeth at him.

55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,

56 and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

58 and cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man whose name was Saul.

59 And they stoned Stephen as he called upon God and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”

60 And he kneeled down and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, charge not this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

As for Saul, he made havoc of the church. Entering into every house and haling men and women, he committed them to prison.

Therefore those who were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word.

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed with them; and many taken with palsies and who were lame, were healed.

And there was great joy in that city.

But there was a certain man called Simon, who earlier in the same city had used sorcery and bewitched the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great,

10 to whom they all gave heed from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is great with the power of God.”

11 And for him they had regard, because for a long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.

12 But when they believed Philip’s preaching of the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

13 Then Simon himself believed also; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that amaria had received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John,

15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost.

16 (For as yet, He had fallen upon none of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus).

17 Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

19 saying, “Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.”

20 But Peter said unto him, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money!

21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter, for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God that perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.”

24 Then Simon answered and said, “Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.”

25 And they, when they had testified and preached the Word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem and preached the Gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.

26 And the angel of the Lord spoke unto Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south unto the road that goeth down from Jerusalem into Gaza, which is desert.”

27 And he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasure and had come to Jerusalem to worship,

28 was returning; and sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet.

29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, “Go near and join thyself to this chariot.”

30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Understandest thou what thou readest?”

31 And he said, “How can I, unless some man should guide me?” And he besought Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

32 The place of the Scripture from which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb before his shearer is dumb, so opened He not His mouth.

33 In His humiliation, His judgment was taken away. And who shall declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.”

34 And the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? Of himself, or of some other man?”

35 Then Philip opened his mouth and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What doth hinder me from being baptized?”

37 And Philip said, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still, and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.

39 And when they had come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip. And the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.

40 But Philip was found at Azotus, and passing through, he preached in all the cities until he came to Caesarea.

Acts 7-8 New International Version (NIV)

Stephen’s Speech to the Sanhedrin

Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?”

To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’[a]

“So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living. He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child. God spoke to him in this way: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’[b] Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.

“Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him 10 and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.

11 “Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food. 12 When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit. 13 On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. 14 After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. 15 Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died. 16 Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.

17 “As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased. 18 Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’[c] 19 He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.

20 “At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child.[d] For three months he was cared for by his family. 21 When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. 22 Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.

23 “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. 24 He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. 25 Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. 26 The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?’

27 “But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? 28 Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’[e] 29 When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.

30 “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. 31 When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say: 32 ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’[f] Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.

33 “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’[g]

35 “This is the same Moses they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?’ He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 He led them out of Egypt and performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the wilderness.

37 “This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.’[h] 38 He was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living words to pass on to us.

39 “But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. 40 They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!’[i] 41 That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made. 42 But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets:

“‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings
    forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
43 You have taken up the tabernacle of Molek
    and the star of your god Rephan,
    the idols you made to worship.
Therefore I will send you into exile’[j] beyond Babylon.

44 “Our ancestors had the tabernacle of the covenant law with them in the wilderness. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen. 45 After receiving the tabernacle, our ancestors under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David, 46 who enjoyed God’s favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.[k] 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him.

48 “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says:

49 “‘Heaven is my throne,
    and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me?
says the Lord.
    Or where will my resting place be?
50 Has not my hand made all these things?’[l]

51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”

The Stoning of Stephen

54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

And Saul approved of their killing him.

The Church Persecuted and Scattered

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.

Philip in Samaria

Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.

Simon the Sorcerer

Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. 12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”

24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”

25 After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.

Philip and the Ethiopian

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian[m] eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.

31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
    and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
    Who can speak of his descendants?
    For his life was taken from the earth.”[n]

34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” [37] [o] 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 7:3 Gen. 12:1
  2. Acts 7:7 Gen. 15:13,14
  3. Acts 7:18 Exodus 1:8
  4. Acts 7:20 Or was fair in the sight of God
  5. Acts 7:28 Exodus 2:14
  6. Acts 7:32 Exodus 3:6
  7. Acts 7:34 Exodus 3:5,7,8,10
  8. Acts 7:37 Deut. 18:15
  9. Acts 7:40 Exodus 32:1
  10. Acts 7:43 Amos 5:25-27 (see Septuagint)
  11. Acts 7:46 Some early manuscripts the house of Jacob
  12. Acts 7:50 Isaiah 66:1,2
  13. Acts 8:27 That is, from the southern Nile region
  14. Acts 8:33 Isaiah 53:7,8 (see Septuagint)
  15. Acts 8:37 Some manuscripts include here Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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