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The Gift New Testament

A free online Bible study resource

Acts

16:1When he arrived at Derbe and then Lystra, he came across a certain disciple there by the name of Timothy, whose mother was a Judean believer and whose father was a Greek.16:2He had a good reputation among the believers in Lystra and Iconium.

16:3Paul wanted Timothy to come along with him, and he circumcised him on account of the Judeans in the area, since they all knew his father was a Greek.116:4Now as they went through the cities, they handed out the stipulations that had been agreed upon by the Ambassadors and elders in Jerusalem.16:5So the Congregations were firmly established in the faith, and their numbers increased exponentially each day.

16:6Then they passed through Phrygia and the province of Galatia, but they were prevented by the Holy Spirit from speaking the Word in the province of Asia.16:7They arrived in Mysia and then tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow it,16:8so they bypassed it and went down into Troas.16:9During the night, Paul had a vision of a certain man in Macedonia who was standing and pleading, “Cross over into Macedonia; help us!”16:10After he saw the vision, we2 tried to go to Macedonia immediately, since we were convinced that God had called us to bring the Gospel to them.

16:11We set out from Troas and made a straight run to Samothrace, and the next day to Neapolis.16:12From there we went to Philippi, which is a Roman colony and the most prominent city in that region of Macedonia, and we stayed there for a while.16:13On one of the Sabbaths we went out beyond the gate to a riverside at a place where we expected to find a prayer meeting.3 We sat down and spoke to the women gathering there.16:14One of the listeners was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth in the city of Thyatira. She revered God, and the Master put it into her mind to pay attention to what Paul was saying.416:15Having been immersed then, along with her entire household, she pleaded with us: “If you consider me faithful to the Master, stay in my house.” She was quite adamant about it.

16:16Another time as we were going out to prayer, we were met by a certain slave girl who had a Python spirit.5 Her divination was a great source of income for her masters.16:17And she kept following Paul and us, shouting, “These people are slaves of the Supreme God, and they are proclaiming to you the way of salvation!”16:18This went on day after day, until Paul became exasperated and turned around to confront the spirit: “I command you in the name of Jesus the Anointed to come out of her!” And it left right away.

16:19But her masters realized that all their hopes of income had just disappeared. So they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them to the officials at the marketplace.16:20Upon arrival they said, “These people, these Judeans, have put our city into an uproar!16:21They are proclaiming customs that are forbidden for us Romans.”

16:22Then the crowd united against them, and the officials had their clothes torn off and ordered them to be beaten with rods.16:23After they had inflicted them with many strikes, they threw them into jail and solemnly charged the jailer to guard them securely.16:24Upon hearing this he threw them into the innermost cell and locked their feet in the stocks.

16:25Now around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing festive songs to God, and the other prisoners were listening.16:26Suddenly there was a tremendous earthquake, which shook the prison down to its foundations. Instantly all the cell doors were opened, and everyone’s shackles became loose.16:27But when the jailer awoke and saw that all the cell doors were opened, he drew his sword with the intent to kill himself, since he presumed all the prisoners had escaped.

16:28But Paul shouted out, “Do not harm yourself; we are all still here!”16:29The jailer called for lights and then, shaking, he rushed in and fell down before Paul and Silas.16:30He led them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”16:31And they replied, “Put your trust in Master Jesus and you will be saved— you and your entire household!”16:32Then they spoke the Word of the Master to him and his whole household.

16:33At that very hour of the night he washed their wounds, and then immediately he and his whole household were immersed.16:34After taking them into his house, he set a table before them. He and his household were overjoyed due to their trust in God.

16:35Now the next day the officials sent word to the jailers, “Release those people.”16:36So the jailer passed on the message to Paul: “The officials have sent word to have you released. Come now, go in peace.”16:37But Paul replied to them, “They lashed us publicly, though we are innocent Roman citizens, and threw us into jail. And now they want to release us quietly? No! Let them escort us out themselves!”

16:38The jailers reported these words to the officials, who were alarmed to hear that they were Romans.16:39So they came and placated them, led them out, and asked them to leave the city.16:40Leaving the jail, then, they went to Lydia’s house. They consoled the believers there and then left.

  1. 1Paul did not circumcise Timothy in order to obey the law of Moses, but to minimize resistance in his coming travels among the Jews.
  2. 2The use of “we” after the vision indicates the point at which Luke, the narrator, has joined in the travels personally.
  3. 3The “prayer meeting” they were looking for was possibly a Jewish synagogue, as they needed water for many rituals.
  4. 4The text does not say that the Master gave Lydia faith or controlled her mind, but that she, who was already devoted to God, should take to heart what Paul was saying.
  5. 5The “Python spirit” was a fortune-telling spirit also known as Delphi, and was connected with the worship of Apollo. The Pythia was a girl (later, a woman over 50) who would serve as the oracle (possessed by the spirit of Apollo) to answer questions about the future.