International Standard Version
The Church is Scattered
1Now Saul heartily approved of putting Stephena to death. That day a severe persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and everyone except for the apostles was scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria. 2Devout men buried Stephen as they mourned loudly for him. 3But Saul kept trying to destroy the church. Going into one house after another, he began dragging off men and women and throwing them in prison.
Some Samaritans Become Believers
4Now those who were scattered went from place to place preaching the word. 5Philip went down to theb city of Samaria and began to preach the Messiahc to the people.d 6The crowds, hearing his messagee and seeing the signs that he was doing, paid close attention to what was said by Philip. 7Unclean spirits screamed with a loud voice as they came out of the many people they had possessed, and many paralyzed and lame people were healed. 8As a result, there was great rejoicing in that city.
9Now in that city there was a man named Simon. He was practicing occult arts and thrilling the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great. 10Everyone from the least to the greatest paid close attention to him, saying, “This is what we callf the great power of God!” 11They paid careful attention to him because he had thrilled them for a long time with his occult performances. 12But when Philip proclaimed the good news about the kingdom of God and about the name of Jesus the Messiah,g men and women believed and were baptized. 13Even Simon believed, and after he was baptized he became devoted to Philip. He was amazed to see the signs and great miracles that were happening.
14Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaritans had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15They went down and prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit. 16Before this, he had not come on any of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then Peter and Johnh laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19and said, “Give me this power too, so that when I lay my hands on someone, he will receive the Holy Spirit.”
20But Peter told him, “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s free gift with money! 21You have no part or share in what we’re saying, because your heart isn’t right with God. 22So repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, your heart’s intent may be forgiven you. 23For I see that you’re being poisoned by bitterness and you’re a prisoner of wickedness!”
25After they had given their testimony and spoken the word of the Lord, they started back to Jerusalem, continuing to proclaim the good news in many Samaritan villages.
Philip Tells an Ethiopian about Jesus
26Now an angel of the Lord told Philip, “Get up and go south on the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza. This is a deserted road.” 27So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, who was a member of the court of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. He was in charge of all her treasures and had come up to Jerusalem to worship. 28Now he was returning home, seated in his chariot, and reading from the prophet Isaiah.
Philipj asked, “Do you understand what you’re reading?”
“Like a sheep he was led away to be slaughtered,
and like a lamb is silent before its shearer,
so he does not open his mouth.
33In his humiliation, justice was denied him.
Who can describe his descendants?l
For his life is taken away from the earth.”m
34The eunuch asked Philip, “I ask you, who is the prophet talking about? Himself? Or someone else?” 35Then Philip began to speak, and, starting from this Scripture, he told him the good news about Jesus.
36As they were going along the road, they came to some water. The eunuch said, “Look, there’s some water. What keeps me from being baptized?”n 37 38So he ordered the chariot to stop, and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water, and Philipo baptized him. 39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch went on his way rejoicing and did not see Philipp again. 40But Philip found himself at Azotus. As he was passing through that region,q he kept proclaiming the good news in all the towns until he came to Caesarea.
a 8:1 Lit. him
b 8:5 Other mss. read a
c 8:5 Or Christ
d 8:5 Lit. to them
e 8:6 The Gk. lacks his message
f 8:10 Lit. This man is called
g 8:12 Or Christ
h 8:17 Lit. Then they
i 8:24 Lit. Pray (pl.)
j 8:30 Lit. He
k 8:31 Lit. He
l 8:33 Or generation
m 8:33 Cf. Isa 53:7-8 (LXX)
n 8:36 Other mss. read Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” He replied, “I believe that Jesus the Messiah is the Son of God.”
o 8:38 Lit. he
p 8:39 Lit. him
q 8:40 The Gk. lacks the region