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Acts 28 - An Understandable Version (2005 edition)

Paul Ashore on Malta

1. After we escaped [from the sinking ship] we became aware that the island [on which we had landed] was Melita [i.e., present-day Malta].

2. The natives [there] showed us uncommon kindness. It had begun to rain and was [getting] cold, so they built a fire and made us feel welcome.

3. But as Paul gathered a bundle of sticks, and was placing them on the fire, a snake crawled out because of the heat and clung to his hand.

4. And when the natives saw the poisonous creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “This man must be a murderer because, even though he escaped from the sea, [divine] justice is not going to allow him to live.”

5. However, Paul shook off the creature into the fire without suffering any harm.

6. But the natives expected him to swell up [from snake bite] or fall dead suddenly, but after expecting this for a long time and not seeing any harm come to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

7. Now in that general vicinity there was property belonging to the chief of the island, a man named Publius, who welcomed us courteously and entertained us for three days.

8. And it happened that Publius’ father lay sick with a fever and dysentery. Paul went [to his house] and, after praying and placing hands on him, healed him.

9. When he had done this, the rest of those on the island who had diseases, [also] came and were healed.

10. These people also showered many honors on us and when we sailed [away], they brought the provisions we needed and put them aboard [the ship].

Paul’s Arrival at Rome

11. After three months we set sail on a ship that had spent the winter on the island [of Melita]. This ship had originated from Alexandria and was designated as “Twin Brothers” [Note: The ship may have been named this because of its prow containing the figures of the mythical twin gods of sailors, Castor and Pollux].

12. And docking at Syracuse [i.e., a town on the eastern shore of Sicily], we stayed there three days.

13. From there we sailed around [and then north] until we arrived at Rhegium [i.e., a town on the “toe” of Italy]. The next day a south wind began blowing, and on the second day we arrived at Puteoli [i.e., a town about half-way to Rome],

14. where we found [some Christian] brothers. They urged us to stay with them for seven days. So, [that is how] we finally got to Rome.

15. [So], hearing that we were coming, the brothers [from Rome] traveled from there as far [south] as “The Market of Appius” and “The Three Inns” to meet us. When Paul saw them he thanked God and was [very] encouraged.

16. When we entered Rome [itself] Paul was permitted to live alone except for a soldier who guarded him.

Paul Preaches at Rome Under Guard

17. And it happened after three days that Paul called together those who were the leading Jews, and when they assembled he said to them, “Brothers, although I had done nothing against the [Jewish] people or the customs of our forefathers, yet I was made a prisoner at Jerusalem, being placed in the custody of the Romans [while there].

18. After questioning me, they wanted to release me because they could not find any grounds for sentencing me to death.

19. But when the Jews objected to this, I was compelled to appeal [my case] to Caesar, even though I had no [legitimate] charge [to bring] against my country.

20. It was for this reason that I requested to see you and talk with you, for I am wearing this chain because of the hope held by the Israelites.”

21. Then they said to him, “We did not receive any letters from Judea about you, nor did any of the brothers come here to report anything bad about you.

22. But we would like to hear what you think, for according to our knowledge, this sect [you belong to] is being spoken against everywhere.”

23. And when they had arranged a day, large numbers of people came to Paul's house. He explained [everything to them], testifying from morning until evening concerning the kingdom of God and concerning [the Messiahship of] Jesus, both from the Law of Moses and from [the writings of] the prophets.

24. And some people believed what Paul said and some refused to believe.

25. And when they could not agree among themselves they left, after hearing Paul make this one [important] statement: “The Holy Spirit has spoken truthfully to your forefathers through Isaiah the prophet,

26. saying, [Isa. 6:9-10], ‘Go to these people and say, you will hear all right, but you will not understand [what you hear]. You will see all right, but you will not perceive [what you see].

27. For these people’s minds are dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes. For, if this were not the case, they would perceive what they see with their eyes, and understand what they hear with their ears, and comprehend with their minds, and would turn [back to God] again and I [God] would heal them [from their sins].’

28. Then let it be known to you that salvation from God is [now] being announced to the Gentiles. They will listen [to it].”

29. {Some ancient manuscripts contain this verse} And when he had said these words, the Jews left, disputing about the matter among themselves.

30. Then Paul lived for two whole years in his own rented house and welcomed everyone who visited him.

31. He preached to them about the kingdom of God and taught things about the Lord Jesus Christ, with no one preventing him.






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