Acts 8

Saul Persecutes the Church

1And Saul was there, giving approval to Stephen’s death.

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2God-fearing men buried Stephen and mourned deeply over him. 3But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.

Philip in Samaria

4Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them. 6The crowds gave their undivided attention to Philip’s message and to the signs they saw him perform. 7With loud shrieks, unclean spirits came out of many who were possessed, and many of the paralyzed and lame were healed. 8So there was great joy in that city.

Simon the Sorcerer
(Deuteronomy 18:9–14)

9Prior to that time, a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and astounded the people of Samaria. He claimed to be someone great, 10and all the people, from the least to the greatest, heeded his words and said, “This man is the divine power called the Great Power.” 11They paid close attention to him because he had astounded them for a long time with his sorcery.

12But when they believed Philip as he preached the gospel of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13Even Simon himself believed and was baptized. He followed Philip closely and was astounded by the great signs and miracles he observed.

14When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15On their arrival, they prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit. 16For the Holy Spirit had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

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

20But Peter replied, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21You have no part or share in our ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22Repent, therefore, of your wickedness, and pray to the Lord. Perhaps He will forgive you for the intent of your heart. 23For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and captive to iniquity.”

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

25And after Peter and John had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many of the Samaritan villages.

Philip and the Ethiopian
(Isaiah 53:1–8)

26Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go south to the desert road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official in charge of the entire treasury of Candace,a queen of the Ethiopians. He had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28and on his return was sitting in his chariot reading Isaiah the prophet.

29The Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to that chariot and stay by it.”

30So Philip ran up 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 guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

32The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,

and as a lamb before the shearer is silent,

so He did not open His mouth.

33In His humiliation He was deprived of justice.

Who can recount His descendants?

For His life was removed from the earth.”b

34“Tell me,” said the eunuch, “who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?”

35Then Philip began with this very Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

36As they traveled along the road and came to some water, the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is there to prevent me from being baptized?”c 38And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.

39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, but went on his way rejoicing. 40But Philip appeared at Azotus and traveled through that region, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

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Acts 7
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