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Saul agreed with putting Stephen to death.

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen, and they mourned deeply for him.

But Saul was trying to destroy the church by going into one house after another, dragging off both men and women, and putting them in prison.

The Word of God Spreads in Samaria

So those believers who were scattered went around proclaiming the gospel message. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began preaching the Christ to them. With one mind, the crowds paid close attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the miraculous signs he was doing. Unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed, and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.

Now there was a man by the name of Simon, who had been practicing magic arts[a] in the city. He amazed the people of Samaria while claiming that he was someone great. 10 They all paid attention to him, from the least of them to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called ‘Great.’” 11 They paid attention to him, because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic arts. 12 But when they believed Philip, as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

13 Then even Simon himself believed. After he was baptized, he stayed close to Philip. As he observed the signs and great miracles that were taking place, he was amazed.

The Apostles Send Peter and John to Samaria

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

18 When Simon saw that the Holy[b] Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me this power too, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right in God’s sight. 22 So repent of this wickedness of yours and pray to the Lord. Perhaps the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are filled with bitter poison and chained by wickedness.”

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

25 After Peter and John had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.

Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is an isolated area.) 27 So he got up and went. And there was a man, an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship. 28 He was on his way home, sitting in his chariot and reading the prophet Isaiah.

29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go over there and stay close to that chariot.” 30 Philip ran up to it and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet.

Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

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

32 Now the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading was this:

He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he does not open his mouth.
33 In his[c] humiliation justice was denied him.
Who will talk about his generation?
For his life is taken from the earth.[d]

34 The eunuch said to Philip, “I ask you, who is the prophet talking about—himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began to speak. Starting with that very passage of Scripture, he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they were traveling along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What is there to prevent me from being baptized?”[e]

38 He ordered the chariot to stop. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39 When they stepped up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away. The eunuch did not see him anymore, but went on his way rejoicing.

40 Philip, however, found himself at Azotus. And as he went from place to place, he preached the gospel in all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

Footnotes

  1. Acts 8:9 Or sorcery
  2. Acts 8:18 A few witnesses to the text omit Holy.
  3. Acts 8:33 Some witnesses to the text omit his.
  4. Acts 8:33 Isaiah 53:7-8
  5. Acts 8:36 A few witnesses to the text add verse 37: Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” He replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

And Saul(A) 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(B) throughout Judea and Samaria.(C) Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul(D) began to destroy the church.(E) 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(F) preached the word wherever they went.(G) Philip(H) 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,(I) and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.(J) So there was great joy in that city.

Simon the Sorcerer

Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery(K) in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great,(L) 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.”(M) 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(N) and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized,(O) both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles(P) he saw.

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

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!(Y) 21 You have no part or share(Z) in this ministry, because your heart is not right(AA) before God. 22 Repent(AB) 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(AC) so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”

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

Philip and the Ethiopian

26 Now an angel(AF) of the Lord said to Philip,(AG) “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[a](AH) eunuch,(AI) 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,(AJ) 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told(AK) 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.”[b](AL)

34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began(AM) with that very passage of Scripture(AN) and told him the good news(AO) 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?”(AP) [37] [c] 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,(AQ) 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(AR) until he reached Caesarea.(AS)

Footnotes

  1. Acts 8:27 That is, from the southern Nile region
  2. Acts 8:33 Isaiah 53:7,8 (see Septuagint)
  3. 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.”

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