Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) longer form Chapters 36-42 - Chapter 39 (continued)

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Therefore, we regard no man in the mortal sense. Though we once regarded Christ in the mortal sense, we no longer do. Therefore, if any man lives for Christ, he is a new creature and the old has passed away; behold, everything has been renewed. And everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, that God was in Christ, reconciling everyone to himself, no longer holding their sins against them; and hath committed to us the message of reconciliation. And so we are ambassadors for Christ, and God is reaching out to you through us, as we pray in Christ's name, that you are reconciled to God. For God had appointed Him, who had no sin, to stand for our sins; that we might find the righteousness of God through Him.

We then, as workers for His cause, beg you not to receive the grace of God in vain. (For He had said, "I heard you when the time was right, and in the day of salvation have I helped you. Behold, now is that time; behold, now is the day of salvation.") Causing no offense in any way, that the ministry could be blamed for. But in all things exemplifying ourselves as true ministers of God, through great patience enduring injury, hardship and distress, in lashings, in imprisonments, in riots, in hard work, in sleepless nights, in hunger; through purity, knowledge, persistence, kindness, the Holy Spirit, and sincere love, through the word of truth, the power of God, and the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise; Through accusations of deceit while remaining true; ignored, even though we are known; near death, and yet we live on; punished, but not killed; somber, yet always rejoicing; poor, but enriching others; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

Oh Corinthians, we have spoken openly to you, our heart is opened to you. You are not held back by us, but you hold yourselves back. Now for the sake of fairness, (and I speak to you as my children), open your hearts as well.

Do not be tied with unbelievers, for what partnership does righteousness have with unrighteousness? What fellowship does light have with darkness? And what harmony does Christ have with the Devil? What does a believer share in common with an infidel? And what agreement does the temple of God share with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God had said, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." "Therefore step away from them, and stand apart", said the Lord, "And do not touch unclean things, and I will receive you", "And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters", said the Lord Almighty. So with these promises, my friends, let's wash ourselves clean of all filth of body and mind, perfecting holiness in awe of God.

Accept us, for we have hurt no man, corrupted no man, deceived no man. I don't say this to condemn you, since I've told you already that you're in our hearts whether we live or die with you. I speak with great boldness to you, and the great pride I have in you comforts me, bringing me great joy through all our hardship.

For when we had arrived in Macedonia, we had no rest, and we were assailed from all side; with conflict around us and fear within us. Nevertheless, God, Who comforts those those who are downcast, comforted us through the arrival of Titus; and not only through his arrival, but by the news of how he was comforted by you; his telling us of your sincere desire, your sorrow, your eagerness to see; such that I rejoiced even more. For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not regret it, although I was sorry that this epistle had brought you sorrow, even though it was temporary. Now I rejoice, not that you were saddened, but that your sadness led to repentance for it was brought upon you as God's will, and that you were not harmed in any way. For sorrow delivered in God's name brings the repentance that leads to salvation, and is not to be regretted, unlike the sorrows of the world that bring death. For see what this Godly sorrow has manifested in you; what focus it has brought in you, what desire to be pure, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what readiness to punish evil! In all these things you have shown yourselves to innocent in this regard. Therefore, though I had written to you, I did not do it to show who had done wrong, or who had suffered, but that our concern for how you are viewed by God would be apparent to you. Therefore, we were comforted by your understanding, even more grateful for the joy felt by Titus, because of how his spirit was restored by all of you. For if I have boasted of anything to him about you, I am not ashamed; but just as we have always been truthful to you, so was our boasting, made to Titus, nothing but the truth. And his deep affection for you only grew, as he remembered your obedience, and how you received him with fear and trembling. I therefore rejoice that I have trust in you in all things.

So, brothers, we'll tell of how God has bestowed his grace on the Macedonian churches. How, though severely suppressed, their overflowing joy and deep poverty produced incredible generosity. I recall that they gave up all they had, and even more than they had! They prayed and prayed that we would receive God's gift, join the fellowship, and minister to the saints. They did this, not because we hoped it. First they gave themselves to God, and to us by God's will. In that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, he would also finish you in the same grace. Therefore, as you have much of everything, in faith, utterance, knowledge, diligence, and love to us, see that you have much of this grace too.

I do not speak by commanding, but by the occasional forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. For you know the boundless generosity of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, he for your sakes became poor, so that you, through his poverty, could be rich. And here I give my advice, for this is quick to you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. Now, therefore, perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which you have. For if there is first an open mind, it is accepted according to what that man has, and not to what he does not have. For I do not mean that other men be eased, and you burdened, but by an equality, so now your abundance may be a supply for them, that their abundance may also be a supply for you so there may be equality As it is written, "He who gathered much had nothing extra, and he who gathered little had no lack."

But thanks are to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you. For he accepted the incitement, but being more forward, he went to you of his own free will. And we have sent the brother with him, whose praise is in the gospel in all the churches. And not only that, but who was also chosen from the churches to travel with us with this amazing generosity, which we administer to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind. Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this surplus which we administer, providing for honesty, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. And we have sent our brother with them, who we have often proven diligent in much, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence I have in you. Whether any inquire of Titus, he is my partner and volunteer concerning you or our brethren be asked of, they are the messengers of the churches and the glory of Christ. Why show yourself to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.

For as touching the ministering is to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you. For I know the directness of your minds, which I boast of to those in Macedonia, and how Achaia was served a year ago; and how your zeal had inspired so many. Still I have sent the brothers, so that our boasts about you in this regard would not have been in vain; namely, as I had said, that you are ready. Otherwise if any of the Macedonians were to come with me, and find you unprepared, we (as opposed to you) would be ashamed of having boasted like that. Therefore, I considered it necessary to reach out to the brothers, that they would go to you in advance, and prepare with you in advance against the unexpected, that you would be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

Because I tell you this; he who sows sparingly reaps sparingly, and he who sows bountifully reaps bountifully. Every man should give as his heart compels him to; not grudgingly, or out of necessity, because God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to cause all forms of grace to come upon you; so that you, always having what you need, may continue to do good works (as it is written, "He has dispersed abroad; He has given to the poor his everlasting righteousness. Now He who provides seed to the sower accordingly provides bread for your food, and multiplies what you have sown, and increases the fruits of your righteousness;) being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which brings through us thanksgiving to God. For the fulfillment of this service not only meets the needs of the saints, but is abundant in its thanksgivings to God; while by the testing of this ministry they glorify God for your proclaimed dedication to the gospel of Christ, and for your generous sharing among them, and to all men; and by their prayer for you, which long after you for the surplus grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His gratitude.

Now I myself, Paul, ask you in the humble and gentle manner of Christ, being lowly in your presence despite being bold when away. But I ask you, since I don't have to bold when I'm present, because I think I'll have to be toward some who act as if we live by the flesh. Although we walk in the flesh, we don't wage war for the flesh. (Our weapons of warfare are not sinful, but are made so mighty by God that they can destroy fortresses). Casting down speculation, and every lofty opinion held against the knowledge of God, and capturing every thought towards obedience to Christ; and being ready to punish all disobedience, once your obedience has been pledged.

Do you only judge by appearances? If any man believes himself to be in Christ's service then let him reconsider this, since, as he is in Christ's service, so are we. For while I claim more authority in this regard, which the Lord had bestowed on us for your benefit rather than your detriment, I am not ashamed that I am not the terrifying figure you would have expected based on my letters. "His letters", they would say, "are grave and powerful; but in person he is meek, and his speech contemptible". These people should understand, then, that as we appear in our writings from afar, we will act in person if we are here. For we do not dare to number or compare ourselves with those who praise themselves by their own standards, for those who rate themselves only against each other are unwise.

But we will not boast of things beyond our measure, but rather by the standards which God has given to use, a standard that applies to you as well.

For we do not exceed our mandate in reaching out to you, and in coming as far as this place to preach the Gospel of Christ. Not boasting of things beyond our mandate, that is, of other mens' effort; but in the hope, when your faith grows, that we will have grown with you in proportion to our own effort, to preach the Gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast of the works accomplished by others. But he who boasts, let him boast of the Lord. For it is not the one who praises himself that is righteous, but the one who is praised by the Lord.

God willing, please bear with me a bit in my recklessness, and continue to do so For I covet you in God's name, and betrothed you in marriage to one husband, presenting you like a sanctified virgin to Christ. Yet I fear that, as the serpent beguiled Eve with his trickery, so also your minds might be corrupted away from the simplicity of Christ. For if someone comes preaching another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you hear of another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you might stand firm with Him. For I suppose that I am no less than the leading apostles. But though I be self-promoting in speech, not so in knowledge; we have made everything crystal clear to you.

Have I done something wrong in lowering myself in order to elevate you, because I preached the good news of God as a gift to you? I robbed other churches by taking payment from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and I was in need, I didn't financially burden any man, because the church members from Macedonia provided me what I was lacking. I have in all regards kept myself from being a burden to you, and I will continue to do so. As the truth of Christ is in me, no man in all of Achaia will stop me from boasting of this. Why? Because I don't love you? God knows I do.

But I will do what I must, in order to deny the opportunity to those who would seize it, as if they are equal to us in what they take pride in. They are false apostles, deceitful workers, posing as apostles of Christ. And no wonder; for even Satan himself poses as an angel of light. So it's no great surprise that Satan's ministers also pose as the ministers or righteousness; what they get in the end will be according to their works.

Again I say, don't think I'm being foolish, but if you do, listen to this fool anyway, so I can boast about myself a little. When I'm speaking, I don't do it as the Lord would, but rather as fool might, because of my boasting from faith. Since many people take pride in worldly things, I will take some pride too. For you tolerate fools easily, considering yourselves to be wise. You even put up with it if a man enslaves you, steals from you, takes all you have, looks down on you, or even hits you in the face. It’s a shame, as though we had been weak.

However, if others are bold, I will be bold too. (There I go again, speaking foolishly.) Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ? I’m speaking craziness again, but I am more of one. I do more work than they do, I’ve been beaten more than they have, I’ve spent more time in prison, and I’ve faced death more times than they have. Five times, I received 39 lashes from the Jews. I’ve been beaten with rods three times, I’ve been stoned once, I’ve been shipwrecked three times. I spent a night and a day floating at sea. I've traveled often, in danger of drowning, of robbers, of my own countrymen, of gentiles, in the city, in the wilderness, at sea, and from those who deceitfully claim to be church members. I've worked in fatigue and pain, without sleeping, in hunger and thirst without any food, in the cold without clothing. On top of all those things, what weighs on me daily is my concern for all the churches. Who can be weak without making me feel weak? Who can stumble without making me burn?

If I really need to boast, I will boast regarding my weaknesses. God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of the Damacenes in order to capture me. But I escaped his hands by being let down the wall through a window in a basket.

Boasting, though not helpful, is necessary. I will now come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a follower of Christ who, fourteen years ago, was caught up to the third heaven (whether in the body or out of the body, I can't tell; God only knows) And I know that this man (whether in the body or out of the body, I can't tell; God only knows) was snatched up into paradise and heard unspeakable words which man is not allowed to say. I will boast about someone like that, but I won't boast about myself except my weaknesses. If I wanted to boast, I wouldn't be a fool; I'd be telling the truth. But I will hold back, so that no man will think of me other than what he sees or hears in me. And so that I wouldn't become unsufferably proud by having received such an abundance of revelations, I was given a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan, to beat me down so that I wouldn't be insufferably proud. Regarding this thing, I asked the Lord three times to take it away from me. But He told me, "My grace is enough for you; my strength is perfected in weakness." So I will gladly take pride in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmity, in criticism, in hardship, in persecution, and in distress for Christ's sake, for when I am weak, then am I strong.

I have made a fool of myself over this boasting; you have made me do this, even though I should have been commended by you. For in no way am I lesser than the leading apostles, though I am a nobody myself. Truly the evidence of being an apostle were shown to you through patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. For was there any way in which you were inferior to other churches, except that I wasn't a burden to you as well? Forgive me for this wrong.

See, for the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be a burden to you for I seek nothing of yours. You as the children should not have to support the parents, rather the parents should support the children. And I will very gladly spend and expend myself on your behalf; even though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved in return. But be that as it may, I did not burden you; nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with deceit. Did I take advantage of you through any of the men I had sent to you? I had chosen Titus, and I sent a brother along with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? Did we not walk in the same steps?

Again, do you think we're defending ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your benefit. For I fear, however, that when I come, I won't find you as I expect, and that you will regard me likewise, leading to debate, envy, anger, strife, recrimination, gossip, arrogance and fights. And I fear, that when I come again, God will humble me before you, and that I shall grieve over the many who have already sinned, and who have not repented of the filth, depravity and lechery that they have committed.

So this is the third time I have come to you. Every word will be established by two or three witnesses. Today I tell you, as I have told you before; I tell those who have sinned that if I come again I will not have mercy. Each of you seeks proof that Christ speaks from within me, which is not weak but mighty to you. Perceiving that he was crucified through weakness, we yet know that he lived by the power of God. We also are weak in him, but we will live with him through the power of God.

Hasten to understand yourselves, whether or not you have faith; prove yourselves. If you do not know yourselves, how will you know that Jesus Christ is in you? Each of you I trust is not a reprobate. Now I pray to God that none of you do evil acts; not for the sake of being approved, but so that you do that which is honest, despite being a reprobate. For we cannot act against the truth, only in support of it. For we are glad, when we are weak but you are strong, and we wish continue to wish for this, and for your perfection. Therefore, I write these things while being absent, because if I were present I might be more harsh, per the authority the Lord has bestowed on me for purposes of edification and not destruction.

Brethren, farewell. Be perfect, of good comfort, of one mind, and live in peace. Do these things and the God of love and peace will be with you. Great each other with a holy kiss. All the saints salute you.

May the grace of Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all. Amen.

Forty

Chapter 40 Bible texts

About that time, in Asia Minor there arose no small stir concerning the Way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen, whom he gathered together, with the workmen of like occupation, and said, “Sirs, you know that by this business we have our wealth. You see and hear, that not at Ephesus alone, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are no gods, that are made with hands. Not only is there danger that this our trade will come into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be counted as nothing, and her majesty destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worships.”

When they heard this they were filled with anger, and cried out, saying, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!

The whole city was filled with confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the public amphitheater, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel. When Paul wanted to enter in to the people, the disciples did not allow him. Certain also of the Asiarchs, being his friends, sent to him and begged him not to venture into the theater. Some therefore cried one thing, and some another, for the assembly was in confusion. Most of them did not know why they had come together. They brought Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. Alexander beckoned with his hand, and would have made a defense to the people. But when they perceived that he was a Jew, all with one voice for a time of about two hours cried out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!

When the town clerk had quieted the multitude, he said, “You men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great goddess Artemis, and of the image which fell down from Zeus? Seeing then that these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rash. For you have brought these men here, who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess. If therefore Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a matter against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls. Let them press charges against one another. But if you seek anything about other matters, it will be settled in the regular assembly. For indeed we are in danger of being accused concerning today’s riot, there being no cause. Concerning it, we would not be able to give an account of this commotion.”

When he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.

After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, took leave of them, and departed to go into Macedonia. When he had gone through those parts, and had encouraged them with many words, he came into Greece. When he had spent three months there, and a plot was made against him by Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he determined to return through Macedonia. These men accompanied him as far as Asia: Sopater of Beroea; Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians; Gaius of Derbe; Timothy; and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia. But these had gone ahead, and were waiting for us at Troas. We sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas in five days, where we stayed seven days.

On the first day of the week, Sunday, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and continued his speech to midnight. Among them was Luke, a physician from Antioch. There were many lights in the upper room where we were gathered together. A certain young man named Eutychus sat in the window, weighed down with deep sleep. As Paul spoke still longer, being weighed down by his sleep, he fell down from the third floor, and was taken up dead. Paul went down, and fell upon him, and embracing him said, “Do not be troubled, for his life is in him.”

They brought the boy in alive, and were greatly comforted. When Paul had gone up, and had broken bread, and eaten, and had talked with them a long while, even to the break of day, he departed.

But we who went ahead to the ship set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for he had so arranged, intending himself to go by land. When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard, and came to Mitylene across from Pergamum. Sailing from there, we came the following day opposite Chios. The next day we touched at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium, and the day after we came to Miletus. For Paul had determined to sail past Ephesus, that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening, if it were possible for him, to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.

From Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called to himself the Presbyters of the Assembly. When they had come to him, he said to them, “You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you all the time, serving the Lord with all humility with many tears, and with trials which happened to me by the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, Teaching you publicly and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus. Now, behold, I go bound by the Spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there; except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions wait for me. But these things do not count; nor do I hold my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to fully testify to the Good News of the grace of God.

“Now, behold, I know that you all, among whom I went about preaching God’s Kingdom, will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you today that I am clean from the blood of all men, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you Episcopes, to shepherd as guardians the Assembly of the Lord and God which he purchased with his own blood. For I know that after my departure, vicious wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Men will arise from among your own selves, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore watch, remembering that for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish everyone night and day with tears. Now, brothers, I entrust you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build up, and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver, or gold, or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands served my necessities, and those who were with me. In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring you ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

When he had spoken these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. They all wept a lot, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all because of the word which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.

When we had departed from them and had set sail, we came with a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. Having found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard, and set sail. When we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left hand, we sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre, for there the ship was to unload her cargo. Having found disciples, we stayed there seven days. These said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

When those days were over, we departed and went on our journey. They all, with wives and children, brought us on our way to where we were out of the city. Kneeling down on the beach, we prayed. After saying goodbye to each other, we went on board the ship, and they returned home again.

When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais. We greeted the brothers, and stayed with them one day. On the next day, we, who were Paul’s companions, departed, and came to Caesarea.

We entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the Seven, and stayed with him. Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied. As we stayed there some days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming to us, and taking Paul’s belt, he bound his own feet and hands, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit: ‘So will the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and will deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’ ”

When we heard these things, both we and they of that place begged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

When he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The Lord’s will be done.”

The Holy Spirit had revealed what would happen to him, but had not forbidden Paul to go. Those at Tyre in Syria and these, knowing in the Spirit what would happen to him, had done to him as Peter had done to Jesus, saying, “God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.” Paul was determined to go to Jerusalem for the sake of the Joyful Proclamation of God.

After these days we took up our baggage and went up to Jerusalem. Some of the disciples from Caesarea also went with us, bringing one Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we would stay. When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly.

The day following, Paul went in with us to James; and all the Presbyters were present. When he had greeted them, he reported one by one the things which God had worked among the Gentiles through his ministry. They, when they heard it, glorified God. They said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law of Moses. They have been informed about you, that you Teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children neither to walk after the customs. What then? The Assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come. Therefore do what we tell you. We have four men who have taken a vow. Take them, and purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses for them, that they may shave their heads. Then all will know that there is no truth in the things that they have been informed about you, but that you yourself also walk keeping the law of Moses. But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written our decision that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from food offered to idols, from blood, from strangled things, and from sexual immorality.”

Paul obeyed them, submitting himself to their authority in all humility.

Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purified himself and went with them into the Temple, declaring the fulfillment of the days of purification, before the offering was offered for every one of them.

When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, when they saw him in the Temple, stirred up all the multitude and laid hands on him, crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who Teaches all men everywhere against the people, and the law of Moses, and this Place. Moreover, he also brought Greeks into the Temple, and has defiled this Holy Place!

For they had seen Trophimus, the Ephesian, with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the Temple.

All the city was moved, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the Temple. Immediately the doors were shut. As they were trying to kill him, news came up to the commanding officer of the regiment in the Antonia fortress that all Jerusalem was in an uproar, rioting. Immediately he took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. They, when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, stopped beating Paul. Then the commanding officer came near, arrested him, commanded him to be bound with two chains, and inquired who he was and what he had done. Some shouted one thing, and some another, among the crowd. When he could not find out the truth because of the noise, he commanded him to be brought into the barracks. When he came to the stairs, he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd; for the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, “Away with him!

As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he asked the commanding officer, “May I speak to you?”

He said, “Do you know Greek? Are you not then the Egyptian, who before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Assassins?”

But Paul said, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.”

When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, beckoned with his hand to the people. When there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying, “Brothers and Fathers, listen to the defense which I now make to you.”

When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they were even more quiet. He said, “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed according to the strict tradition of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as you all are today. I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest and all the council of the elders testify, from whom also I received letters to the brothers, and traveled to Damascus to bring them also who were there to Jerusalem in bonds to be punished. As I made my journey, and came close to Damascus, about noon, suddenly a great light shone around me from the sky. I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.’

“Those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not understand the voice of him who spoke to me. I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Arise, and go into Damascus. There you will be told about all things which are appointed for you to do.’ When I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus. One Ananias, a devout man according to the law of Moses, well reported of by all the Jews who lived in Damascus, came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ In that very hour I looked up at him. He said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know his will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth. For you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard. Now why do you wait? Arise, be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’

“When I had returned to Jerusalem, and while I prayed in the Temple, I fell into a trance, and saw him saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not receive testimony concerning me from you.’ I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those who believed in you. When the blood of Stephen, your witness, was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting to his death, and guarding the cloaks of those who killed him.’

“He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you out far from here to the Gentiles.’ ”

They listened to him up to the moment he said that; then they lifted up their voice, and said, “Rid the earth of this fellow, for he is not fit to live!

As they cried out, and threw off their cloaks, and threw dust into the air, the commanding officer commanded him to be brought into the barracks, ordering him to be examined by scourging, that he might know for what crime they shouted against him like that.

When they had tied him up with thongs, Paul asked the centurion who stood by, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and not found guilty?”

When the centurion heard it, he went to the commanding officer and told him, “Watch what you are about to do, for this man is a Roman!

The commanding officer came and asked him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?”

He said, “Yes.”

The commanding officer answered, “I bought my citizenship for a great price.”

Paul said, “But I was born a Roman.”

Immediately those who were about to examine him drew back from him, and withdrew, and the commanding officer also was afraid when he realized that he was a Roman, because he had bound him.

But on the next day, desiring to know the truth about why he was accused by the Jews, he freed him from the restraints, and commanded the chief priests and all the council to come together, and brought Paul down and set him before them. Paul, looking steadfastly at the council, said, “Brothers, I have lived before God in all good conscience to this day.”

The high priest, Ananias, commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to judge me according to the law, and command me to be struck contrary to the law?”

Those who stood by said, “Do you malign God’s high priest?”

Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was high priest. For it is written,

“ ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’ ”

But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Men and brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. Concerning the confident expectation and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!

When he had said this, an argument arose between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess all of these. A great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees' party stood up, and contended, saying, “We find no evil in this man. But if a spirit or angel has spoken to him, let us not fight against God!

When a great argument arose, the commanding officer, fearing that Paul would be torn in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the barracks.

The following night, the Lord stood by him, and said, “Courage, Paul, for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so you must testify also at Rome.”

When it was day, some of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink before they had killed Paul. There were more than forty men who had made this conspiracy. They came to the chief priests and the elders, and said, “We have bound ourselves under a great curse, to taste nothing before we have killed Paul. Now therefore, you with the council inform the commanding officer that he should bring him down to you tomorrow, as though you were going to judge his case more exactly. We are ready to kill him before he comes near.”

But Paul’s sister’s son heard of their lying in wait, and he came and entered into the barracks and told Paul. Paul summoned one of the centurions, and said, “Bring this young man to the commanding officer, for he has something to tell him.”

So he took him, and brought him to the commanding officer, and said, “Paul, the prisoner, summoned me and asked me to bring this young man to you, who has something to tell you.”

The commanding officer took him by the hand, and going aside, asked him quietly, “What is it that you have to tell me?”

He said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though intending to inquire somewhat more accurately concerning him. Therefore do not yield to them, for more than forty men lie in wait for him, who have bound themselves under a curse neither to eat nor to drink before they have killed him. Now they are ready, looking for the promise from you.”

So the commanding officer let the young man go, charging him, “Tell no one that you have revealed these things to me.”

He called to himself two of the centurions, and said, “Prepare two hundred soldiers to go as far as Caesarea, with seventy horsemen, and two hundred men armed with spears, at the third hour of the night.”

(This corresponds to 9 P.M., twenty-one hundred hours military time.) He asked them to provide animals, that they might set Paul on one, and bring him safely to Felix the governor. He wrote a letter like this:

“Claudius Lysias to the most excellent governor Felix: Greetings.
“This man was seized by the Jews, and was about to be killed by them, when I came with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman. Desiring to know the cause why they accused him, I brought him down to their council. I found him to be accused about questions of their law, but not to be charged with anything worthy of death or of imprisonment. When I was told that the Jews lay in wait for the man, I sent him to you immediately, charging his accusers also to bring their accusations against him before you. Farewell.”

So the soldiers, carrying out their orders, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. But on the next day they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the barracks. When they came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. When the governor had read it, he asked what province he was from. When he understood that he was from Cilicia, he said, “I will hear you fully when your accusers also arrive.”

He commanded that he be kept in Herod’s palace.

After five days, the high priest, Ananias, came down with certain elders and an orator, one Tertullus. They informed the governor against Paul. When he was called, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, “Seeing that by you we enjoy much peace, and that excellent measures are coming to this nation, we accept it in all ways and in all places, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness. But, that I do not delay you, I entreat you to bear with us and hear a few words. For we have found this man to be a plague, an instigator of insurrections among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to profane the Temple, and we arrested him and would have judged him according to our law. But the chief captain Lysias came and with great violence took him out of our hands, commanding his accusers to come before you. By examining him yourself you may ascertain all these things of which we accuse him.”

The Jews also joined in the attack, affirming that these things were so. When the governor had beckoned to him to speak, Paul answered, “Because I know that you have been a judge of this nation for many years, I cheerfully make my defense, seeing that you can recognize that it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship at Jerusalem. In the Temple they did not find me disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd, either in the synagogues, or in the city. Nor can they prove to you the things of which they now accuse me. But this I confess to you, that after the Way, which they call a sect, so I serve the God of our fathers, believing all things which are according to the law of Moses, and which are written in the prophets; having confident expectation toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. Herein I also practice always having a conscience void of offense toward God and men. Now after some years, I came to bring alms, gifts for the needy, to my nation, and offerings; amid which certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the Temple, not with a mob, nor with turmoil. They ought to have been here before you, and to make accusation, if they had anything against me. Or else let these men themselves say what injustice they found in me when I stood before the council, unless it is for this one thing that I cried standing among them, ‘Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged before you today!’ ”

But Felix, having more exact knowledge concerning the Way, deferred them, saying, “When Lysias, the commanding officer, comes down, I will decide your case.”

He ordered the centurion that Paul should be kept in custody, and should have some privileges, and not to forbid any of his friends to serve him or to visit him. But after some days, Felix came with Drusilla, his wife, who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ Jesus. As he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was terrified, and answered, “Go your way for this time, and when it is convenient for me, I will summon you.”

Meanwhile, he also confidently expected that money would be given to him by Paul, that he might release him. Therefore, also he sent for him more often, and talked with him.

Two years passed.

About this time the Apostle Peter wrote the following encyclical letter to the assemblies that Paul had established:


Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen ones who are living as exiles in the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became our Father again to a living confident expectation through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that does not fade away, reserved in Heaven for you, who by the power of God are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been put to grief in various trials, that the proof of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes even though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ—whom not having known you love; in whom, though now you do not see him, yet believing, you rejoice greatly with joy unspeakable and full of glory—receiving the result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets sought and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching for who or what kind of time the Spirit of Christ, which was in them, pointed to, when he predicted the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that would follow them. To them it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to you, they ministered these things, which now have been announced to you through those who preached the Good News to you by the Holy Spirit sent out from heaven; which things angels desire to look into.
Therefore prepare your minds for action, be sober, and set your expectation fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ—as children of obedience, not conforming yourselves according to your former lusts as in your ignorance, but just as he who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all of your behavior; because it is written,
You shall be holy; for I am holy.
If you call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judges according to each man’s work, pass the time of your living as foreigners here in reverent fear: knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers, but with precious blood, as of a faultless and pure lamb, the blood of Christ; who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of times for your sake, who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; so that your faith and confident expectation might be in God.
Seeing you have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth through the Spirit in sincere brotherly affection, love one another from the heart fervently: having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the Word of God, which lives and remains forever. For,
“All flesh is like grass, and all of man’s glory like the flower in the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls; but the Lord’s word endures forever.”
This is the word of Good News which was preached to you.
Putting away therefore all wickedness, all deceit, hypocrisies, envies, and all evil speaking, as newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, that with it you may grow, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious: coming to him, a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God, precious. You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Because it is contained in Scripture,
“Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, chosen, and precious: He who believes in him will not be disappointed.”
For you who believe therefore he is precious, but for those who are disobedient,
“The stone which the builders rejected, has become the chief cornerstone,”
and,
“a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.”
For they stumble at the word, being disobedient, to which also they were appointed. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: who in time past were
no people, but now are God’s people, who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy”.
Beloved, I beg you as foreigners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having good behavior among the nations, the Gentiles, so in that of which they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they see, glorify God in the day of visitation. Therefore subject yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether to the king, as supreme; or to governors, as sent by him for vengeance on evildoers and for praise to those who do well. For this is the will of God, that by well-doing you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants, slaves of God.
Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. Servants, be in subjection to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the wicked. For it is commendable if someone endures pain, suffering unjustly, because of conscience toward God. For what glory is it if, when you sin, you patiently endure beating? But if, when you do well, you patiently endure suffering, this is commendable with God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example, that you should follow his steps, who did not sin,
“neither was deceit found in his mouth.”
Who, when he was cursed, did not curse back. When he suffered, did not threaten, but committed himself to him who judges righteously; who his own self bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed. For you were going astray like sheep; but now have returned to the Shepherd and Episcopos of your souls.
In the same way, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; so that, even if any do not obey the Word, they may be won by the behavior of their wives without a word; seeing your pure behavior in fear. Let your beauty be not just the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on fine clothing; but in the hidden person of the heart, in the incorruptible adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God very precious. For this is how the holy women before, who hoped in God also adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands: as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose children you now are, if you do well, and are not put in fear by any terror.
You husbands, in the same way, live with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor to the woman, as to the weaker vessel, as being also joint heirs of the grace of life; that your prayers may not be hindered.
Finally, be all like-minded, compassionate, loving as brothers, tender hearted, courteous, not rendering evil for evil, or insult for insult; but instead blessing; knowing that to this were you called, that you may inherit a blessing. For,
“He who would love life, and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil, and do good. Let him seek peace, and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears open to their prayer; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Now who is he who will harm you, if you become imitators of that which is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed.
“Do not fear what they fear, neither be troubled.”
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason concerning the confident expectation that is in you, with humility and fear: having a good conscience; that, while you are spoken against as evildoers, they may be disappointed who curse your good way of life in Christ. For it is better, if it is God’s will, that you suffer for doing well than for doing evil. Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which he also went and preached to the spirits in prison, who before were disobedient, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ship was being built. In it, a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. This is a symbol of baptism, which now saves you—not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a clean conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.
Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind; for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; that you no longer should live the rest of your time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past time doing the desire of the Gentiles, having walked in lewdness, lusts, drunken binges, orgies, carousings, and abominable idolatries. They think it is strange that you do not run headlong with them plunging into the same swamp of riotous excess, blaspheming: who will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For to this end the Good News was preached even to the dead, that they might be judged indeed as men in the flesh, but live as to God in the spirit. But the end of all things is near. Therefore be of sound mind, self-controlled, and sober in prayer. And above all things be earnest in your love among yourselves, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, employ it in serving one another, as good managers of the grace of God in its various forms. If anyone speaks, let it be as it were the very words of God. If anyone serves, let it be as of the strength which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Beloved, do not be astonished at the fiery trial which has come upon you, to test you, as though a strange thing happened to you. But because you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice; that at the revelation of his glory you also may rejoice with exceeding joy. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed; because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. On their part he is blasphemed, but on your part he is glorified. For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil doer, or a meddler in other men’s matters. But if one of you suffers for being a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God. If it begins first with us, what will happen to those who do not obey the Good News of God?
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will happen to the ungodly and the sinner?”
Therefore let them also who suffer according to the will of God in doing good entrust their souls to him, as to a faithful Creator.
I exhort the Presbyters among you, as a fellow Presbyter, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and who will also share in the glory that will be revealed. Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion, but voluntarily, not for dishonest gain, but willingly; neither as lording it over those entrusted to you, but making yourselves examples to the flock. When the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
Likewise, you younger ones, be subject to the Presbyter. Yes, all of you clothe yourselves with humility, to subject yourselves to one another; for
“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; casting all your worries on him, because he cares for you.
Be sober and self-controlled. Be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Withstand him steadfast in your faith, knowing that your brothers who are in the world are undergoing the same sufferings. But may the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
Through Silvanus, Our faithful brother, as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.
She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you; and so does Mark, my son.
Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.


Eusebius the Christian historian states that Peter’s first letter was composed in Rome, witnesses testifying that he indicated this city figuratively with the words, “Your sister Assembly in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark.”

In Rome, at first Nero revealed only gradually and secretly his insolence, lust, extravagance, greed and cruelty. They were not merely youthful mistakes. There was no doubt that they were faults of his character.

During Nero’s reign a great many public abuses were suppressed by imposing heavy penalties, and among the novel enactments were sumptuary laws limiting private expenditure, the substituting of simple cash disbursements for public banquets, and a decree affecting wine shops restricting the food sold in them to green vegetables, dried beans and similar stuffs, where before all kinds of tasty snacks had been displayed.

He gave an immense variety of entertainments: youth games, chariot races in the Roman Circus, stage plays, a gladiatorial show. The series of plays devoted to the hope of his reigning forever he called “the Great Games”. He made four hundred senators and six hundred of the equestrian class, equites, many of them rich and respectable, do battle in the arena, and some had to fight wild beasts and perform various duties about the ring. He staged a naval battle on an artificial lake of salt water which had large sea creatures swimming in it; also ballets and competitions of poetry and oratory. Throughout the games all kinds of gifts were scattered to the people: one thousand assorted birds daily, quantities of food parcels, vouchers for grain, clothes, gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, paintings, slaves, transport animals, trained wild beasts, and for ships, blocks of income tenements and farms.

Merchants dealt in cargoes of gold, silver, jewels and pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, all kinds of scented wood, all articles of ivory, all articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine four and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is human souls.

When he judged a case, he preferred to defer his judgment to the following day, and then gave it in writing. He ruled that a case should not be presented whole, first by one side, then the other, but that every relevant charge be debated separately. He made each of his judicial advisors write out an opinion on a problem of law instead of consulting them openly, withdrew to study and consider these documents in private, then came to his own conclusion, and passed it off as a majority opinion.

He ordered his consuls to read certain of his speeches sent for the Senate’s information, going over the heads of the quaestors, whose business it should have been. He considered a scheme for extending the city wall as far as Ostia, and cutting a canal which would allow ships to sail straight up to Rome; but neither of these plans was realized.

In the time of Nero, Vespasian, a general, of the obscure Flavii family, in great consternation after he was forbidden access to the court, and asking those about him what he should do, or where he should go, one of those whose office it was to introduce people to the emperor, on thrusting him out, bid him go to Morbonia, to “Plagueville”.

Acts 19:23–24:27
1 Peter
—LXX Wisdom 3:5-6
—LXX Sirach 2:5
—LXX Sirach 16:12
—LXX Isaiah 40:6
—LXX Isaiah 28:16
—LXX Exodus 19:6
—LXX Isaiah 43:21
—LXX Isaiah 53:9
—LXX Proverbs 11:31
—LXX Proverbs 3:34

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Table of Old Testament quotes in the New Testament, in English translation, Joel Kalvesmaki 2013 (kalvesmaki.com)

List of 300 Septuagint Old Testament quotations in the New Testament, by Steve Rudd 2017 (bible.ca)

Table of LXX quotes and allusions in the New Testament


Church History (Eusebius): The Ecclesiastical History Of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop Of Caesarea, In Palestine (newadvent.org)

The Works of Flavius Josephus William Whiston, Translator, 1737 (sacred-texts.com)

Suetonius: Twelve Caesars: The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by C. Suetonius Tranquilus; To which are added His Lives of the Grammarians, Rhetoricians, and Poets. The Translation of Alexander Thomson, M.D., Revised and corrected by T. Forester, Esq., A.M. (Gutenberg.org)

Tacitus: The Annals, Written 109 A.C.E. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb

Sextus Aurelius Victor: Epitome De Caesaribus (roman-emperors.org)

Eutropius: Breviarium - Eutropius's Abridgement of Roman History (tertullian.org)

Cassius Dio: Roman History Epitome (penelope.uchicago.edu)

Early Christian Writings A.D. 30 through 380 (earlychristianwritings.com)
See Biblical Canon and Apocrypha.

Archaeology and the Book of Acts John McRay, Wheaton College Graduate School, Wheaton, IL 60187 pdf
Maps of Paul's journeys:

CHRONOLOGY OF THE ACTS AND EPISTLES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT See the following articles:

Eusebius: Church History: The Ecclesiastical History Of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop Of Caesarea, In Palestine (documentacatholicaomnia.eu) pdf


"Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"

Acts 19:28, 34.
The Protestant King James Version and the Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible both say:
"Great is Diana of the Ephesians."
The Catholic Latin Vulgate, Clementine Edition, says
"Magna Diana Ephesiorum".
The Orthodox Greek Bible says,
"μεγάλη ή Αρτεμις Έφεσίων"
megále é Artemis Ephesíon
Αρτεμις = Artemis.
Compare the Greek text of the New Testament with the KJV and other translations of Acts 19:28.
Many translators have substituted "Diana" for Artemis. The pagan worship of the Roman "Diana" Διάνα is not found in the Bible; the name itself is nowhere to be found in any of the earliest manuscripts of the scriptures of the Bible.
See Translation and Theories of Translation: Formal Equivalence, Dynamic Function and Deductive Translation. Group 12, Arlene Calimag, and Zyra R Olayvar (academia.edu)
The most devoted King James Only readers of the Bible are fully persuaded that "Artemis" is a scholarly and academic corruption of the original text of the Holy Bible, and that "Diana" is the proper and originally inspired word intended by God the Holy Spirit, the divine Author of the Bible, before it was corrupted and changed by the earliest manuscript copyists of the Bible at the time of the Great Apostasy.
See Strong's Concordance entries under
DIANA
Acts 19:24..........735
Acts 19:27..........735
Acts 19:28..........735
Acts 19:34..........735
Acts 19:35..........735
—five verses all keyed to
Strong's number 735 Αρτεμις Artĕmis:— Diana.
Deliberately changing words in published "copies" of the extant manuscripts of the Biblical text, or omitting any words, or translating words, in the Biblical text with a reading different from the known extant text(s), is anathema to every conservative Bible-believing Christian, and is taken by them as evidence of dishonesty and unreliability in any translator or committee of translation that dares to do this.
See commentaries on Acts 19:28.
See also the article Artemis.

"Asiarchs"

Acts 19:31
KJV "certain of the chief of Asia". The term used here and in several versions of the New Testament is transliterated from the Greek Άσιαρχών Asiarchon "Asiarchs". These were civil officers and pagan priests of the games in the province of Asia (Asia Minor), public patrons and leaders either appointed or elected to office, who used their wealth for what the Romans regarded as the public good, especially for supporting worship of the emperor and of Rome. They underwrote expenses of games sponsored in connection with religious festivals.
See the following:

"On the first day of the week, Sunday, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread"

Acts 20:7
Sunday, the first day of the week, the Day of the Lord, the Lord's Day, the Jewish First Day.
The Jews named the days of the week by number.
See Genesis 1:3–2:3.
The "breaking of bread" was the original name for the Eucharist.
See Strong's numbers 2168, 2169, 2170.
See the following scriptural texts.
Apostolic Christianity, from the very beginning, gathered believers together in assemblies in their houses, to worship God and give thanks (Greek εύχαριστία eucharistia "Eucharist"). Acts 2:42, 46-47. According to tradition they offered worship with prayers every day of the week, early in the morning, most often at dawn, before the work of the day began, but most especially on the day of Jesus' Resurrection from the dead in triumph over death.
See Pliny, Letters 10.96-97, Pliny to the Emperor Trajan (faculty.georgetown.edu) "...they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn..."
Pliny does not specify this "fixed day".
See also articles on
Sunday, The Lord's Day
Sabbath
Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Scripture clearly asks "Why do you pass judgment on your brother?" Romans 14:10
"One man esteems one day as better than another, while another man esteems all days alike. Let every one be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. He also who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while he who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God." RSV Romans 14:5-6, in the context of Romans 14:1–15:2.
One of the primary foundations of Christian Protestantism firmly asserts that the Bible alone has superior authority over the established leadership of the church. And that when it becomes evident to Christians under the established authority that the leadership of their church is no longer led by the Holy Spirit, because they perceive that particular key passages in the Bible can be cited which by a plain and simple reading do not appear to support the doctrines taught by the leadership, that it is the duty of true Christians to depart from under that established authority and gather together with likeminded believers who agree with them, even if other passages of the Bible can be cited against their doing this, such as:
Matthew 18:15-20; John 16:12-13; Romans 13:1-7; 16:17-20; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 1 Timothy 1:6; 3:14-17; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; Titus 3:1, 10; Hebrews 13:17; 2 Peter 1:20; 3:14-17; 1 John 2:19; 2 John 8-10; 3 John 9-11; Jude 8-11, 16-19; Revelation 22:19.
Compare Proverbs 10:17; 16:25; 26:12; 28:26.
See Proof text, Eisegesis, Apostolic succession and Bible.
Following the principle of discerning and determining for themselves from their own private reading of the Holy Bible—each one being "fully convinced in his own mind" that the established authority of the leadership which Christians in the church are commanded to obey is no longer doctrinally valid—many disobey those who are over them, go out from the church they were in, and teach a doctrine that differs from the doctrine their leaders had been delivering to them (handing down), and gather disciples to themselves, in order to boldly and without fear restore what they have discerned to be the lost truth of the pure Gospel—an interpretation of the Bible which the leaders they have rejected insist is a departure from the truth which has never been lost because of the promise of the abiding Spirit of Truth to be with us forever and of the Lord Jesus himself to be present with us always to the end, the church of God itself being the pillar and ground of truth and temple of the Holy Spirit. Those who went out declare against the established church they have left that the Holy Spirit is leading them into all truth, calling them out of the darkness of error and into the light of Christ. Following this principle of private judgment and private interpretation and joining in agreement with likeminded believers, more than 42,000 Christian denominations exist today.
See Romans 16:17-18.
See Schism, Heresy, Western Schism, Excommunication, Ostracize, Sect, Liberal Christianity, Pietism, Fundamentalism, Cult, Jonestown Massacre, Heaven's Gate Cult, New age movement.
Many Seventh Day Christians are grieved and scandalized by the fact that many who have read the Bible so carefully and devoutly among them have become "fully convinced in their own mind", by what they see in the scriptures, to depart from them and go away to join the Orthodox and Catholic churches, and then go to worship on Sunday as the principal day of worship for Christians. They firmly teach that the pagan Emperor Constantine changed the primary day of Christian worship from Saturday to Sunday in order to worship the Roman god Sol Invictus ("Unconquerable Sun"), in place of Jesus the Son of God, the true "Sun of Righteousness" (Malachi 4:2 KJV/ 3:20 DR).
"Sunday-keeping is part of the 'Mystery of Iniquity,' Satan's grand counterfeit that looks Christian and proclaims to be Christian, but is, in fact, false, counterfeit—a blatant lie (II Thes. 2:3-13; Rev. 13:11-14)."
Compare the following articles:
See ''The Two Babylons''
See again Revisionism,
also Polemic, Libel and Slander.

"Among them was Luke, a physician from Antioch."

An amplification inserted into Acts 20:7-8.
Acts 20:13 which follows begins the first-person "we" narratives of Acts attributed to the author Luke. Paul identified Luke as a physician (Colossians 4:14), and he distinguished him from those "of the circumcision" (Colossians 4:11).
Early Christian sources indicate that Luke was a Gentile, and tradition says that he was a Greek. Eusebius (around A.D. 300) and Jerome (about A.D. 400) identified Luke as coming from Antioch. Luke's interest in Antioch can be clearly seen in the several references he makes to that city in his "second treatise" of the Gospel (Acts 11:19-27; 13:1-3; 14:26; 15:22, 35; 18:22). Luke adopted Philippi as his home, and he remained behind to oversee the young church there while Paul went on to Corinth during the Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16:40).
The Gospel According to Luke was probably written while Paul was in prison in Rome. The Acts of the Apostles was probably written shortly after Paul's release. The sudden ending of Acts leads many scholars to speculate that he was either interrupted and was unable to complete the work, or that the ending of the complete work was lost. It would be utterly pointless and to no purpose to warn about those "who were never saved in the first place", who, according to the Calvinist doctrine of Limited atonement were never shown the absolutely sovereign partiality of being elected by God to inherit the unmerited salvation above all others, are not saved, being already destined for destruction. According to the doctrine of conditional salvation by Unlimited atonement for all men everywhere (Acts 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9), God shows no partiality (Romans 2:11; Revelation 22:17), so that it is possible for those who are saved to be "carried away with the error of lawless men" and lose the secure stability of eternal salvation in Christ (2 Peter 3:17; Hebrews 6:4-8).
Compare Matthew 13:5-7, 20-22; Mark 4:5-7, 16-19; Luke 8:6-7, 13-14.
There is a manuscript purporting to be the long-lost 29th chapter of Acts, which has proven to be very ancient, which tells of Paul's travels to Britain and Spain after his release from Roman custody. It is included with modern spellings in this Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) in chapter Forty-three, in the next Section 43-49 of this encyclopedic feature, solely as information for the reader to evaluate on its own merit. No claim is made that the Sonnini English text of Acts 29 in the public domain, and adapted here, is inspired scripture. No claim is made that this Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) is inspired. It is a compilation for study, not a document of the Church.

"the Holy Spirit has made you Episcopes, to shepherd as guardians the Assembly of the Lord and God"

Acts 20:28 (Douay-Rheims "bishops").
Greek New Testament Η ΚΑΙΝΗ ΔΙΑΘΗΚΗ:
ἐπισκόπους "episcopous";
"overseers" KJV, WEB;
"bishops" DR,
"guardians" RSVCE.
See multiple versions of Acts 20:28.

"Men will arise from among your own selves, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore watch, remembering that for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish everyone night and day with tears."

Acts 20:30
This is a doctrine of conditional salvation in contradiction of the Calvinist doctrine of Unconditional eternal security which teaches that the chosen elect of the Lord "cannot fall away" and lose their salvation. If the Calvinist doctrine of eternal security were true, no such warning would be given. The certain knowledge of the very real possibility of losing and forfeiting the gift of unmerited salvation by falling away into following the doctrines of false and perverse teachers drawing the Christian disciples after them caused Paul grief and tears and fervent prayers of intercession for their protection (for example, 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; see Hebrews 12:12-17).
"episcopos" 1 Timothy 3:1-2.
Bishop, overseer.
The Greek words in 1 Timothy are ἐπισκοπῆς episkopes (plural) and ἐπίσκοπον episkopon (singular).
The New Testament Greek term for this office in the church has been variously translated as "bishop" (DR, KJV), "overseer" (WEB), "leadership/leader" (REB), and "presiding elder" (NJB).
See multiple versions of 1 Timothy 3:1. See multiple commentaries.
This Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) will read "episcopos" and "episcopes" from this point through the rest of the remaining text. Similarly, "Presbyter" and "Presbyters" from the Greek will be read in place of the WEB reading "elders" and "elder", and "Deacons" and "Deacon" in place of "servants" and "servant" as designating ministers of service in the church.
The Greek word in the New Testament is the plural ἐπισκόποις episkopois. The singular form is episcopos, which means "Bishop", the root of the English word "episcopal". An episcopal see is the diocese of a bishop (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Episcopalian).
The World English Bible (WEB) translation, which is the primary but not exclusive basis for the English text of this Harmony of the Bible (Conservative Version), deliberately substitutes words that do not have explicitly Catholic and Orthodox connotations, words which many translators regard as synonyms "free of ecclesiastical baggage". The word ecclesia "churches" is also avoided by the WEB and rendered instead as "assemblies". The reason for this is apparently based on the influence of Evangelical Christianity on biblical scholarship, representing an anti-clerical, anti-ecclesial, anti-Orthodox, anti-Catholic prejudice which ostensibly claims a more literal accuracy of interpretation, a prejudice and claim traceable back to William Tyndale and his translation of the New Testament.
However, most English translations render the actual meanings according to direct equivalence, "bishops and deacons" and "church" and "churches", instead of using euphemistic synonyms that grammatically divorce the New Testament from ancient Christian usage.
These direct equivalence versions include the Wycliffe WYC, Douay-Rheims DR, King James Version KJV, Revised Standard Version RSV, Bible in Basic English BBE, The Webster Bible TWB, New Revised Standard Version NRSV/NRS, New American Bible NAB, New American Bible, Revised Edition NABRE, GOD'S WORD Translation GWT, Jubilee Bible 2000, Third Millenium Bible TMB.
See multiple translations of
Philippians 1:1 ἐπισκόποις καὶ διακόνοις
"bishops and deacons" and commentaries
Acts 15:6 οἱ ἀπόστολοι καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι
"the apostles and the presbyters" and commentaries
Compare other texts throughout the New Testament that speak of Apostles, Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, Church and Churches.
See άπόστολος, έπίσκοπος, πρεσβύτερος, συμπρεσβύτερος, διάκονος, έκκλησία
See Apostolic succession and Epistles of Ignatius

"They all, with wives and children

Acts 21:5
This passage, together with others in the book of Acts which speak of the baptizing of whole households (2:39; 16:15; 16:31-34), is taken by many (the vast majority of those who call themselves Christians) as scriptural evidence that children and babies in a household were baptized to dedicate the whole family to God through the washing of the blood of Jesus Christ, as circumcision was a sign of membership in the covenant of the whole family of Jacob, the people of Israel, descended from Abraham.
Compare Genesis 17:9-27 "eight days old"; Genesis 34:15-16, 22; Exodus 12:43-49; Joshua 5:2-9; Ephesians 2:10-22; 5:26-27; Philippians 3:3; Colossians 2:11–3:17; Romans 2:25-29; 6:3-11; 1 Peter 3:21; and 2 Peter 1:9 in the context of 2 Peter 1:3-11.
Compare "and they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them" Luke 18:15-16; Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16. The majority of Christians reason, according to tradition, that if even infants can receive the grace of God without understanding and be blessed, they can be baptized without understanding and be saved. Many Protestant traditions support this doctrine.
Denominational families that practice infant baptism include Catholics, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Congregationalists and other Reformed denominations, Methodists and some Nazarenes, and the Moravian Church.
Doctrine determines interpretation. See Sola scriptura and Magisterium. See also the Logical fallacy of arguing on the basis of the belief of the majority Argumentum ad populum, and the article Great Apostasy; also Tradition and Apostolic succession.

"...pay their expenses for them, that they may shave their heads.

Acts 21:24b.
Nazirites.
See Numbers 6:5-21, specifically verses 13-18, 21.
Compare Acts 18:18. Paul earlier at Cenchreae had "cut his hair, for he had a vow." The Conservative Bible (CV) version says, "Aquila had shaved his head, because he had taken a vow."God's Word Translation (GWT) has the same reading. (See multiple versions of Acts 18:18.)

"Gamaliel"

Acts 22:3.
Rabban Gamaliel I.
See also Acts 5:34.

"be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord"

Acts 22:16
A controversial passage, taken as a proof text by Catholics and Orthodox and Lutherans and the major Christian denominations of Protestantism that God the Holy Spirit, applying the blood of Christ Jesus to the soul by and through the material means of baptism actually washes away sins ex opere operato, "by water and the spirit" John 3:5; "by water and the word" Ephesians 5:25-27; "by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit" Titus 3:5).
According to the Book of Acts 22:16, Ananias did not say, "be baptized, and wash away your sins by calling on the name of the Lord." However, this is how his meaning has been plainly understood and interpreted.
Those Reformation Christians, Anabaptists, Baptists, and other Evangelical Christians and Fundamentalists who utterly repudiated, and still denounce as a superstitious doctrine of Satan, the idea that any ritual performance by human effort using water magically washes away sin, especially from innocent newborns incapable of understanding, firmly maintain that salvation is by faith alone (sola fide), and that faith alone by hearing the word of the Lord and believing in him as Lord and Savior and "calling on his name" as your personal Lord and Savior, without any such work of man, is the only means of salvation, and was the original doctrine of the apostles and of Jesus Himself, according to the scriptures, and that baptism is merely a symbolic act publicly testifying to belief in the Lord, and commanded by Him as a sure sign of obedience to his word.
See Salvation: declarational salvation and ontological salvation; also the article Infant baptism, which briefly outlines the history of the controversy.

"God will strike you, you whitewashed wall!"

Acts 23:3.
A reference to the prophesy of Ezekiel 13:14-15.

"I did not know, brothers, that he was high priest."

Acts 23:5
This high priest was Ananias the son of Nebedeus (Acts 23:5; 24:1) whom Paul did not know by sight. He was high priest during the procuratorship of Felix after Jonathan was assassinated.
See Antiquities 20.8.5, footnote containing a transcription of Reland's catalogue listing of the high priests, in William Whiston, A.M., The Works of Josephus, New Updated Edition, Complete and Unabridged in One Volume, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. 1987, page 535, ISBN 0-913573-86-8.
In saying, "I did not know, brothers, that he was high priest", it is highly unlikely that Paul actually knew the man judging him held the office of high priest of the Jews, and unlikely that he was sarcastically implying that, after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus the true high priest of God, this man was not in reality the true high priest over the people of God, and therefore had no real religious authority to judge that Paul was bound to acknowledge as relevant. In other words, it is highly unlikely that Paul defiantly, sarcastically and ironically meant, "I did not know that he was the true high priest and Lord instead of Jesus—there is no way that he is God's true high priest."
Within the whole of the context of the New Testament, it appears instead that Paul was stating the truth, that he actually did not know the man was the official high priest of the Jews and head over the Great Sanhedrin, and therefore he most sincerely apologized for his ignorance of his identity by quoting Exodus 22:28, as a way of saying that he would never have spoken to him the way he did if he had known who he was.
See Romans 13:1, 7; Matthew 23:1-3; 1 Peter 2:13-17.

"a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes ... after the Way, which they call a sect, so I serve the God of our fathers ..."

Acts 24:5 and 14.
The word "sect" had the same disreputable meaning as the word "cult".

"...believing all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets"

Acts 24:14b.
This is neither contradictory nor hypocritical.
According to the Law of Moses Deuteronomy 18:15-19. He does not say "all things written in the law of Moses".
Written in the Prophet Jeremiah (the first book in the scroll of the Prophets) Jeremiah 31:31-34.
Since these two key scriptures being fulfilled in Jesus and pertaining to the whole have set aside the first covenant, just as Paul taught—(Romans 3:20; 6:14; 7:4; 8:2; 10:4-11; 13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; ; Galatians 2:15-21; 3:23-25; 4:21–5:14; 5:18; Ephesians 2:14-16; Philippians 3:7-11; Colossians 2:13-14)—Paul is truthful when he says he believes "all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets."
This argument can be perceived as a form of rabbinical pilpul before the high priest, and may be the reason he ordered Paul to be struck for daring to use it. However, an hermeneutical study of the Torah in light of the claims of Christianity that Jesus is meshiach, has persuaded many Jews to become Christians, Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant. See also Messianic Judaism, and the New Testament of the Orthodox Jewish Bible.

"Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been put to grief in various trials ... may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ

1 Peter 1:6-7
An allusion to the Septuagint text,
Wisdom 3:5-6 and Sirach 2:5.

"even though it is tested by fire...do not be astonished at the fiery trial which has come upon you, to test you, as though a strange thing happened to you. But because you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice"

1 Peter 1:7 and 4:12
These references to testing by fire and the fiery trial which had come upon them do not necessarily demonstrate that the First Epistle of Peter was written after the burning of Rome by Nero during the period of his persecution of Christians, and his burning them alive as torches both as a spectacle in the arena and to light his gardens at night. The epistle is addressed to those "living as exiles in the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia." These is no apparent evidence that Christians were burned outside of Rome. Placing this epistle here in the context of Paul's initial 2-year imprisonment in Herod's palace at Caesarea is an editorial decision based on Peter's pastoral duty toward those Christians Paul had converted and established as Christian communities and churches, whom he had also probably visited "as he went here and there among them all" (Acts 9:32). Eusebius also says that Peter appears to have preached among them (Ecclesiastical History Book III, chapter 4).
"That Paul preached to the Gentiles, and established churches from Jerusalem and around as far as Illyricum, is evident both from his own expressions, and from the testimony of Luke in the book of Acts. And in what provinces Peter also proclaimed the doctrine of Christ, the doctrine of the New Covenant, appears from his own writings and may be seen from that epistle we have mentioned as admitted in the canon, and which he addressed to the Hebrews in the dispersion throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia."
A "fiery judgment" in the Bible is a more vivid general metaphor for the sufferings of the extremely intense personal pain caused by severe affliction, oppression, persecution and devastating ruin being inflicted by the wicked on the innocent and by God on the wicked, sufferings which "sear the soul", most often by warfare, pogrom, ethnic purging, racism, and not always by physical fire. While they were indeed "partakers of Christ's sufferings" by their enduring persecution from the Jews and the pagans, Christ himself was not burned to death. See the following:

"Spirit of Christ, which was in them, pointed to, when he predicted the sufferings of Christ"

1 Peter 1:11-12.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Compare the following scriptural passages:
1 Peter 1:11 is only one of the several scriptures pointing to the controversial doctrine that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father who is in the Son, proceeds from the Son who is in the Father (ἐκ τοῦ Πατρός διὰ τοῦ Ύίού ek tou patros dia tou ouiou as principle, from the Father through the Son, in Homilies on the Gospel of St. John, John Chrysostom, Homily LXXV), proceeds from One God as the single Originating Principle, the One Source from Whom the Spirit proceeds, from the Father and the Son, One God, as from a single origin of unity in being and divinity: "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]..." —The Filioque, which was added to the Nicene Creed by the Roman Pope.
—"Eastern objections to the filioque which are based on the trinitarian dogma of the First and Second Synods, and the theology which is presupposed by them, cannot be conclusively answered by reference to the biblical witness because the biblical witness is not sufficiently nuanced to provide such answers." (see nuance - dictionary.com.)
St. Athanasius, De Trinit. et Spir. S. n. 19, in Patrologia Graeca (PG) XXVI, 1212—Patrologia Cursus Completus: Series Graeca, Vol. 26, 1212
St. Cyril of Alexandria, De Trinit., dialog. vi, in Patrologia Graeca (PG) LXXV, 1011—Patrologia Cursus Completus: Series Graeca, Vol. 75, 1011
St. Cyril of Alexandria, Thesaur., assert. xxxiv, in Patrologia Graeca (PG) LXXV, 585—Patrologia Cursus Completus: Series Graeca, Vol. 75, 585
St. Cyril of Alexandria, Epis., xvii, Ad Nestorium, De excommunication, in Patrologia Graeca (PG) LXXVII, 117—Patrologia Cursus Completus: Series Graeca, Vol. 77, 117
St. Basil, De Spirit. S., xviii, in Patrologia Graeca (PG) XXXII, 147—Patrologia Cursus Completus: Series Graeca, Vol. 32, 147
St. Basil, De Spir. S., viii, 21, in Patrologia Graeca (PG) XXXII, 106—Patrologia Cursus Completus: Series Graeca, Vol. 32, 106
St. Epiphanius, Ancor., viii, in Patrologia Graeca (PG) XLIII, 29, 30—Patrologia Cursus Completus: Series Graeca, Vol. 43, 29, 30
St. Epiphanius, Ancor., xi, in Patrologia Graeca (PG) XLIII, 106—Patrologia Cursus Completus: Series Graeca, Vol. 43, 106
St. Chrysostom, Hom. v. in Joan., n. 2, in Patrologia Graeca (PG) LIX, 56—Patrologia Cursus Completus: Series Graeca, Vol. 59, 56
See also the following links:
Orthodoxy has faithfully and firmly maintained that the Roman Pontiff had, and has, no authority to alter the Symbol of Faith, the Pistevo, or simply, The Creed, by the addition of this phrase. To this day it is regarded by the Orthodox Churches as a part of the body of evidence of the ongoing deformation and corruption of the ancient apostolic doctrine by the Bishop of Rome (the Patriarch of the West) and the Vatican. Orthodoxy points out that the Son is "born" of the Father eternally while the Holy Spirit "proceeds" from the Father eternally and that these divine actions are not the same—the birth is not a procession and the procession is not a birth—both the Son and the Spirit are from the Father. See Heresy.
See the following Orthodox articles:
Orthodox Wiki: Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (orthodoxwiki.org)
The Orthodox Faith. Volume I - Doctrine and Scripture: The Symbol of Faith: Holy Spirit (oca.org)
Compare the following scriptures:

"If you call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judges according to each man’s work, pass the time of your living as foreigners here in reverent fear"

1 Peter 1:17
An allusion to the Septuagint text, Sirach 16:12.

"the useless way of life handed down from your fathers"

1 Peter 1:18
See also 1 Peter 2:10 "once you were no people" a quotation from Hosea 2:23, with reference to Hosea 1:9 "you are not my people, and I am not your God". This passage is applied to believing Gentile Christians who had never been Jews, descendants of pagan ancestors, "the useless way of life handed down from your fathers"; see also 1 Peter 4:2-4 "the time is past for doing what the Gentiles like to do—doing the desire of the Gentiles, having walked in lewdness, lusts, drunken binges, orgies, carousings, and abominable idolatries"—clearly not converts from among the Jews.
Peter is clearly addressing Gentile Christians as an Apostle to the Gentiles, and to the believers also among the Jews, to all who were dispersed (Acts 9:2; 11:10; 12:1; 18:2; 28:22); but more particularly in 1 Peter 1:18; 2:10; 4:2-4 to the Gentiles among the believers.
1 Peter 1:1-12 "the prophets who prophesied the grace that was to be yours", as addressed to the Gentile believers, directly alludes to the same prophetic passages Paul cited in Acts 13:46-49; 15:13-19; Romans 10:18-21; 15:9-12; Galatians 3:8-9; 4:27 with reference to the Gentiles.
Compare Peter in Acts 15:7-11 and Galatians 2:7-9, 12 "he ate with the Gentiles".

"precious blood, as of a faultless and pure lamb, the blood of Christ; who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world"

1 Peter 1:19-20
See Revelation 13:8 "in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
In these verses is found the doctrine that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross with the shedding of his precious blood is one unrepeatable eternal sacrifice of offering established in eternity even before the creation of the universe and made eternally present to all times and places in the constantly repeated act of the one supreme sacrificial worship of the Christian faith presented to God by Jesus Himself as High Priest presiding and presenting Himself to God the Father together with those united to him in baptism and faith as the whole, continuing sacrifice of the whole body of Christ to God the Father in one perpetual, full reparation for the sins of mankind for the redemption and salvation of the whole world, and the saving of "all men everywhere" who do not reject the granting of the grace of "repentance unto salvation" in their hearts and souls and minds.

"All flesh is like grass, and all of man’s glory like the flower in the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls"

1 Peter 1:24
Peter quotes the Septuagint text, Isaiah 40:6.

"to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God"

1 Peter 2:5
This terminology of "offer up" as used here by Peter is directly connected with the formal act of being gathered for worship of God in community to offer up sacrifice—θυσίας thysias. This is evident from the Greek grammar of this passage. See the interlinear text of 1 Peter 2:5, multiple versions, and commentaries.
In Romans 15:16 Paul referred to his own role as a priest—ίερουργούντα hierogounta—in the offering up of the Gentiles, not his Apostolic Christian ministry of converting the Gentiles to Christianity and giving them to God, but their offering up of sacrifice to God and his office of presiding over their formal gathering for the presentation of the offering up of the Christian sacrifice in worship of God through Jesus Christ the High Priest. He does not say, μου προσφορὰ τῶν ἐθνῶν mou prosphora tōn ethnōn "my offering up of the gentiles", but rather, ἡ προσφορὰ τῶν ἐθνῶν he prosphora tōn ethnōn "the offering up of the gentiles", their offering up, the gentiles' offering up what they have, which includes the sacrifice of themselves in their offering up to God, the offering up over which he presides in priestly service and presents to God as their "reasonable service" (KJV) "spiritual worship" (RSVCE), the offering up of the blood of Jesus Christ shed once for the salvation of the world and made present by him as high priest on the altar for their own personal participation in the sacrificial offering up together with him of his one eternal sacrifice to God in worship, an altar from which they partake of his divinity and eat his flesh and drink his blood (John 6:48-69). And here in 1 Peter 2:5 it is they who "offer up spiritual sacrifices"—θυσίας thysias.
See interlinear text of Romans 15:16 and multiple versions of Romans 15:16
—"priestly duty", "priestly service", "sacred service".
See Orthodox Mysteries. According to Catholic and Orthodox mystical theology, what is represented in Mark 14:22; 15:37; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 10:12; 12:22-24; Malachi 1:11 is one eternal event made present now, and those who participate in the sacrifice at the Christian altar as prophets, priests and kings share in the one eternal act of Jesus the High Priest in his offering up of worship in eternity to the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit. They teach that we are present simultaneously in the Upper Room, on Calvary, and in heaven in the presence of God in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:4-7; 1:3).
Many readers of the New Testament readily see this reference to "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation" offering up "spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God", both here in 1 Peter 2:5 and in other places in the Bible, as simply connoting and denoting the wholehearted dedication of themselves—the consecration of their bodies and their actions to God together with verbal praises in prayer and song—as found in Romans 12:1-2 and Hebrews 13:15.
As applied to 1 Peter 2:5, this "spiritualized interpretation" is a misunderstanding of the literal sense of the text due to lack of knowledge of the meaning of the Greek ἀνενέγκαι anenegkai from ἀναφέρω anapheró ("I carry up, lead up; I offer up [on a high altar] as a sacrifice, offer up to God on high.")—"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices" (KJV). This ignorance of the meaning of the Greek term ἀναφέρω anapheró is similar to the misunderstanding Jesus was referring to when he said to the Sadducees, "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God" Matthew 22:29. (See Strong's number 399 anapheró "offer up".)
Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christian doctrine utterly repudiates and rejects the Catholic and Orthodox doctrine of the necessary duty (Hebrews 10:24-25; Acts 2:41-47) of participating in the offering up of Jesus Christ in sacrificial worship at an altar as the highest form of spiritual worship, as an action of Jesus Christ himself in his people (Colossians 1:27; Ephesians 3:21), as an action having supreme spiritual value in the eyes of God the Father, and emphasizes instead the teaching in Hebrews 10:14-18 that "there is no longer any offering for sin"—"For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified." Compare Hebrews 6:6 as used in polemic against the sacrifice of the Catholic Mass and the Orthodox Divine Liturgy, "seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh"—sacrifice is identified as crucifixion. He offered himself once, he cannot offer himself again, "for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world" (Hebrews 9:26 KJV). The doctrine that Jesus from all eternity "slain from the foundation of the world" (1 Peter 1:19-20; Revelation 13:8 KJV) is now uninterruptedly presenting himself to the Father on the altar in the one eternal sacrifice of supreme worship on our behalf (Hebrews 9:24)—just as the sun shines unceasingly but is seen repeatedly rising anew each day—in which the worshippers of God in every age see him presented before their eyes (Galatians 3:1) and each receive a share of that one sacrifice in partaking of his body, blood, soul and divinity from the altar and offer themselves and their works together in union with him, is identified as re-crucifying the Lord in sacrifice. They emphasize that the offering of the Divine Liturgy and the Mass is not time-travel into the past, but takes place now, repeatedly. This is why assembling themselves together for prayer and praise and the devout reading of the Bible are emphasized by Protestants as those sacrifices which are most pleasing to God (Hebrews 13:15) apart from any works that they might do (Romans 4:5)—the humbled, devout human heart is the true altar of sacrifice to God.
Psalm 51:17 "The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise".
See Sola fide and Sola spiritu.
This interpretation excludes the ἀνενέγκαι anenegkai and θυσίας thysias of 1 Peter 2:5.
The offering up of spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God involves more than prayer and praise and loving God by reading the Bible and being present in church whenever possible, but includes both corporal and spiritual works of mercy, as seen in 1 John 3:11-18 and Hebrews 13:16 and Matthew 25:31-46, and the claim that the Eucharist is the greatest act of mercy, which is supposed to be the source and summit of power for all the others, animating those works of mercy by the love of the Lord in giving himself eternally for the salvation of the world.
Orthodox and Catholic apologists argue in protest that Hebrews 6:4-8—in fact the whole of The Epistle to the Hebrews—was written fundamentally as a warning against committing apostasy from the faith, and against rejecting as worthless the sanctifying "blood of the covenant" (Hebrews 10:28-29); that it was not written against "deviant forms" of Christian worship, but against falling back into Judaism, with its ritual sacrifices of the altar in the temple according to the Torah of Moses.
See interlinear text of 1 Peter 2:5
Compare the following texts:
Malachi 1:11
John 6:52-69
Matthew 26:26-27
1 Corinthians 10:14-21; 11:23-30
Hebrews 10:26-31; 12:18-24; 13:10-17;
Romans 12:1
1 Peter 2:4-10
2 Peter 1:3-4; 1:19–2:1
Jude 16-18
"priests" Revelation 1:4-6; 5:9-10;19:5-9;
21:2-3, 21:22-27; 22:12-19

"Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, chosen, and precious: He who believes in him will not be disappointed."

1 Peter 2:6
Peter quotes the Septuagint text, Isaiah 28:16.

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light"

1 Peter 2:9
Peter quotes the Septuagint text,
Exodus 19:6 and Isaiah 43:21

"no people, but now are God’s people, who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."

1 Peter 2:10
Compare Hosea 2:23.

"who did not sin, 'neither was deceit found in his mouth.'"

1 Peter 2:22
Peter quotes the Septuagint text, Isaiah 53:9.

"baptism which saves you now"

1 Peter 3:21
See multiple versions of 1 Peter 3:21.
In the King James Version 1 Peter 3:21 states that baptism is "the answer of a good conscience toward God". The Greek word here translated as "answer" is έπερώτημα eperotema, which means much more than a mere answer to a question. It means primarily “question,” “enquiry,” “inquiry” as in an inquest or hearing and a trial by law before the judge and the court.
A true understanding according to the literal sense of scripture is found partly in the forensic use of the Greek word for question, έπερώτημα eperotema, as including, like our word “examination,” both question and answer. Substantive evidence as an "exhibit" brought before the court is presented to the judge seated on the bench as an answer to the charge of the guilt or innocence of the accused. The final Day of Judgment is in view. According to scripture the whole of mankind was defiled by the guilt of Adam and Eve (Romans 5:12; Wisdom 2:23-24). Moreover, not only are we born as members of the whole community of the fallen race of man defiled by the defect of this original sin, and for this reason every human being dies, even innocent babies in the womb, we also each of us as descendants of fallen man commit our own sins against God and our fellow human beings, against our own parents, children, friends, enemies, against truth, mercy and justice, and against ourselves whether we intend it or not (Romans 3:23; 7:15, 19). Even little children have regrets about what they have done, and tiny babies display anger and stubbornness when they don't get what they want. As we mature in age and come to know the holiness of God we become even more aware of our inherent imperfection and our guilt before Him. Even atheists, against their will, struggle with feelings of guilt, knowing that they are not what they should be.
Hebrews 10:1-2 clearly testifies that the sacrifices and washings of the Law of Moses can never make perfect the conscience of those who draw near to God, because even after offering sacrifices and cleansing their bodies according to the regulations and ordinances of the Torah blamelessly, without fault in their performance of them, they are still conscious of the defilement of sin, for if they had actually been cleansed they would no longer have any consciousness of sin. But Christ through his blood in the washing of baptism with the word makes those who are members of his body sanctified, cleansed, without spot or wrinkle or any such defect, so that each one as members of one body might be holy and without blemish, and this purity of a clean soul and clean conscience thoroughly purged of guilt (Hebrews 1:3) is the evidence, the "exhibit", of innocence in answer to the charge of guilt. (See Revelation 12:10.)
Catholic doctrine teaches that the "washing of water with the word" actually "washes the conscience clean" in a real effect of spiritual cleansing, not legally but really. According to Catholic doctrine, baptism into Christ removes entirely the inherited defect of the original sin of the whole human race descended from Adam and of the spiritual damage of personal guilt of all sins personally committed before being baptized, a damage more than merely mental or psychological, but more like the curing of a pathological disease like leprosy. This corresponds to the type of the circumcision of the fathers beginning with Abraham and continued in the Law of Moses, which was administered even on babies only eight days old (Colossians 2:11-15). Thus the effect of sin and its removal is not merely juridical as a legal decision exonerating the guilty by a decree of amnesty as in Protestant theology, but, in an absolute reality, the removal of sin through the blood of Christ in baptism is ontological, affecting the very being of the individual soul, as is the genuine cure of a deadly disease, the image of which in the New Testament was the cleansing of leprosy by Christ and the apostles (Matthew 9:2-8; Mark 6:13; Acts 5:14-16; 19:11). A legal declaration of amnesty cannot cure the carrier of a deadly disease, only the medicine of a fully competent, practicing physician administered properly can do that. Sin is not merely covered up, as Luther maintained, but is washed away, removed, according to Ephesians 5:25-27 and 2 Peter 2:9; see Acts 22:16.
Compare Did Martin Luther effectively teach that our justification is like white snow covering over dung? (christianity.stackexchange.com)

"If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will happen to the ungodly and the sinner?"

1 Peter 4:18
Peter quotes the Septuagint text, Proverbs 11:31.

"God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

1 Peter 5:5
Peter quotes the Septuagint text, Proverbs 3:34.

"She who is in Babylon..."

1 Peter 5:13.
The Christian Church in Pagan Rome. (Compare also "elect lady" in 2 John 1.) v
Rome is here metaphorically called Babylon. It is an expression of disgust for the pagan Roman culture with its state-sponsored cult of the god-emperor. Imperial Rome was as full of iniquity and mystery-cults as ancient Babylon. See commentaries on 1 Peter 5:13. Compare:
Romans 1:18-32 and Revelation 17:3-9; 18:2-8, 24.
However, there are many who firmly maintain that Peter could not have been referring to Rome as "Babylon", and that the Apostle was in fact writing from the community established at the ancient site of Babylon between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers where he had gone to do missionary work, because "Peter was never in Rome".
The 16th-17th century Protestant claim that Peter was never in Rome as head of the church in Rome has been fully disproven by undeniable archaeological and historical evidence.
Zwierlein dismisses the account written by the Christian historian Eusebius Ecclesiastical History Book II, chapter 13,
"Simon, a certain Samaritan of the village called Githon, was one of the number, who, in the reign of Claudius Cæsar, performed many magic rites by the operation of demons, was considered a god, in your imperial city of Rome, and was honoured by you with a statue as a god, in the river Tiber, (on an island,) between the two bridges, having the superscription in Latin, Simoni Deo Sancto, which is, To Simon the Holy God; and nearly all the Samaritans, a few also of other nations, worship him, confessing him as the Supreme God." (C. F. Cruse transl. 1874, in the public domain.)

"Eusebius the Christian historian states that Peter’s first letter was composed in Rome, witnesses testifying that he indicated this city figuratively with the words, ‘Your sister church in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark.’ "

Redaction: adapted text from Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book II, Chapter 15 "The Gospel According to Mark".

"equestrian class, equites" see the following:

"the genius of the emperor"

The Roman cult of reverence, if not actual worship, of the living emperor was more directed toward acknowledgement of the power of the ruling spirit of the office of emperor, the genius of the emperor residing in the man chosen by the gods or by God as ruler of the empire, a kind of superhuman, divine power or living spirit of authority that was assumed to possess him from the moment that he was acclaimed Imperator (compare Romans 13:1 and 1 Peter 2:13).
In ancient mythology, a genius was a supernatural being appointed to guide a person throughout life; a guardian spirit; a demon (also spelled daemon). They are not the same as the guardian angels, for according to St. Paul the genius of the emperor and all of the gods of Rome were "devils" or "demons", 1 Corinthians 10:20 and commentaries.
See The Gods of the Gentiles, John David Clark, Sr. (isaiah58.com) the author reasons well about the pagan gods as demons, but by rejecting Catholic (and Orthodox) claims to truth (see immediately below) he implicitly rejects 1 Corinthians 12:3, and 1 John 4:1-6 and 4:15 as being in any way fulfilled by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, even though they testify that "Jesus is Lord", that "Jesus Christ has come in the flesh" and confess in the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, the Confession of Dositheus, the Credo of the People of God, that "Jesus is the Son of God", the only-begotten Son of God, "our Lord Jesus Christ", the Word made flesh (John 1:1-18; 3:16-18).
According to the Evangelical and Fundamentalist principle of sola scriptura in full accordance with the plain and simple obviously evident meaning of the divinely inspired words of the testimony of scripture, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches speak "by the Holy Spirit", each of them "is of God", and each of the Popes of Rome and the Orthodox Patriarchs and their followers in their churches, each of them in openly and publicly testifying that Jesus is Lord, the only Son of God come in the flesh, proves that "God abides in him" (1 Corinthians 12:3; 1 John 4:2; 4:15)—they speak by the Holy Spirit, they are of God, and God abides in them, and therefore the charge of Great Apostasy against them must be false—the Bible says so.
Compare the warning in Matthew 12:24-37 and commentary on Matthew 12:32; also Isaiah 5:20-21.
See the Catholic Vatican II document Lumen Gentium. This document represents a defence of the Catholic claim that the Catholic Church is holy, not pagan. It also fulfills all of the Biblical criteria, listed in the Bible texts cited immediately above, which identify the Catholic spirit (or genius) represented in the document as being from God.
(The reader can also examine and compare any of the official Orthodox and Catholic documents readily available in print and online to see what they actually testify about Jesus Christ the Son of God.) The Holy Spirit is the all-powerful genius of the Lord and the invincible genius of his church, abiding with us forever, guiding into all truth (John 14:16-17; 16:13-15). It is not the genius of the Roman emperor.
In Moslem mythology a genius was a jinni or genie, (plural jinn), a spirit-being with intellect and will, either good or bad; and, according to the Qur'an, evil desert jinn were converted by hearing the preaching of the prophet Muhammad and converted other jinn.
Surah al-Jinn Chapter 72, verses 1 and 2 (al-islam.org)
The word "genius" comes from the Latin term for tutelary spirit. (See tutelary (thefreedictionary.com)) The genius loci were the spirits of place or location (singular genius locus). The genius of the emperor was the animating and ruling spirit of the Roman empire, influencing, even possessing the Roman emperors.
See the following:
See also
Were the Pagan Gods Actually Demons? The Scriptural View and Why It Matters, Msgr. Charles Pope (blog.adw.org)
Compare Daniel 10:12–11:1 and commentaries on 10:13 and 10:20.
In the first century, sacrifice offered to the genius of the emperor was sacrifice offered to a demon.
See "Swear by the Genius of our Lord the Emperor": False Worship and Persecution of Christians, by Rex Butler (nobts.edu) scroll down the page to see the text Geaux Therefore

Compare the Conservative Bible text (conservapedia.com):

At the same time, no small dispute arose about the Way:

A certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines for Artemis, brought no small profit to the local craftsmen. He called them together with other silversmiths, and said, "Gentlemen, you know that by this trade we have our livelihood and our business. Furthermore, you can see and hear, that not only at Ephesus but almost throughout all of Asia Province, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that there are no such things as gods made with hands. Not only is our craft in danger of having its market ruined, but the temple of the great goddess Artemis is in danger of being disrespected, and her magnificence of being destroyed--and all of Asia Province and the Roman world worships her!"

When they heard these things that he said, they were full of rage, and cried out, saying, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"

Then the city was filled with confusion. Then they rushed with one accord into the theater and captured Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's traveling companions. When Paul wanted to enter in to the people, the students wouldn't let him. Certain of the leading men of Asia Province, who were his friends, sent messages to him, asking him not to take his chances in the theater. And so some were crying out one thing, and some another, because the assembly was confused. Most of them did not even know why they had come together. They dragged Alexander out of the crowd, when the Jews put him forward. Alexander motioned with his hand, and was about to make his defense to the people. When they realized that he was a Jew, everyone with one voice cried out for two hours, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"

Then the town clerk calmed the people down, and said, "Men of Ephesus, does any man exist who does not know that the city of the Ephesians worships the great goddess Artemis, and the image that fell out of the sky? So if you realize that these things can't be spoken against, you should be quiet, and take no rash actions! You have brought these men here, who are neither church-robbers or blasphemers of your goddess. So if Demetrius, and the craftsmen with him, have a case against any man, then the Forum is open, and the magistrates are available, so they can plead their case to them. But if you are inquiring about other matters, then let that be determined by a lawful assembly. We could all be arrested for this day's work, because we have no just cause by which we can excuse this riot."

When he had delivered that message, he dismissed the assembly.

After the riot had stopped, Paul called the students (of Christ) to him, embraced them, and departed for Macedonia. When he had gone over those parts of the country, and had given them a great deal of exhortation, he came into Greece. He stayed there for three months. Then when the Jews lay in wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he decided instead to return through Macedonia. The following men traveled with him there into Asia Priovince: Sopater of Beroea, Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians, Gaius of Derbe, Timothy, and Tychichus and Trophimus of Asia Province. These people, traveling ahead, were waiting for us at Troas. We sailed away from Philippi after the Passover season, and came to these men in Troas in five days. We stayed there for another seven days.

On the first day of the week, when the students came together to break bread, Paul preached to them, ready to depart the next day. He continued speaking until midnight. There were many lights shining in the upper room when they were gathered together. A certain young man named Eutychus was sitting in a window, having fallen into a deep sleep. As Paul continued preaching for a long time, he sank down with sleep, and fell down from a three-story height and was taken up dead. Paul went down, and fell on him, and embraced him. He said, "Don't disquiet yourselves; he's still alive."

Then Paul came up again, and broke bread, and talked for a long time, until daybreak, and then he left. They brought the young man in alive, and were not a little relieved. He [Eutychus] went ahead to a ship, and sailed to Assos, intending to join Paul: he had decided to do just that, and even to walk.

When he met us at Assos, we let him join us, and came to Mitylene. We sailed from there, and came the next day toward Chios. On the next day we arrived at Samos, and stayed at Trogyllium, and the next day we came to Miletus. Paul had determined to sail past Ephesus. He did not want to spend the time in Asia Province, because he was in a hurry, if it were possible, to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.

From Miletus he sent letters to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. When they had come to him, he told them, "You know, from the first day that I came into Asia Province, the way that I have been with you in all seasons,...serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with tears, and testings, which happened to me by the ambush of the Jews,...and how I held back nothing that would be useful to you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,...testifying, to the Jews and the Greeks, repentance toward God,l and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now look here: I am bound in the spirit to go to Jerusalem, and I don't know what's going to happen to me there,...except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions always happen to me. But none of these things can faze me, nor do I reckon my life dear to myself. I'm going to finish my course, and the ministry, which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

"Now listen carefully: I know that all of you, among whom I have gone to preach the kingdom of God, will never see my face again. So bear witness this day: I am clean from the blood of all men. I have not shrunk back from declaring to you all the counsel of God. So pay attention to yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Spirit made you overseers, to feed the church of God, that He purchased with His Own Blood. I know this: as soon as I leave, some ravenous wolves will enter in among you, and won't spare the flock. And even among yourselves men will arise, speaking twisted things, to draw students of Christ away after him. So watch out, and remember, that for three years I never stopped warning everyone, night and day with tears. Now, brothers, I commend you to God, and to the Word of His grace, which can build you up, and give you an inheritance among all of those that are sanctified. I have never coveted any man's silver or gold or apparel. In fact, you yourselves know that these hands have worked for my necessities, and for them who were with me. I have showed you all things, how that, working in this way, you should support the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

When he had delivered this address, he knelt down and prayed with all of them. They all wept bitterly, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him. They were sad most of all on account of these words that he spoke: that they would never see his face again. And they walked with him to the ship.

It came to pass that after we had gotten away from them, and our ship had put out, we came directly to Coos, and the following day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. We found a ship sailing over to Phoenicia, went aboard, and embarked. When we had discovered Cyprus, we passed it on our port, and sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre, which was where the ship was scheduled to unload. We found some students of Christ, and stayed there for seven days. The students said to Paul, through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

When we had finished those days, we left and went on our way. They all brought us on our way, with their wives and children, until we were out of the city. Then we knelt on the shore and prayed. When we had said our good-byes to one another, we got on a ship, and they went home again.

When we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and said hello to the brothers, and stayed with them for one day. The next day those members of Paul's company left and came to Caesaria, and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the Seven, and stayed with him. This man had four daughters, all never-married, who used to prophesy.

While we were staying there for several days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. When he had come to us, he took Paul's belt and tied his own hands and feet with it. He said, "The Holy Spirit says this: the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt in just this way, and will hand him over to the Gentiles."

When we had heard these things, we and the members of the household both pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, "What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not merely to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus."

When he would not be dissuaded, we stopped, saying, "The Lord's will be done."

After those days we packed up our bundles and went up to Jerusalem. Some of the Christ-students of Caesaria went with us, and brought with them a man named Mnason of Cyprus, a mature student, with whom we intended to stay. When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly.

The next day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. When he had said hello to them, he reported in detail what things God had worked among the Gentiles by his ministry. When they heard it, they gave glory to the Lord, and told him, "You can see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who believe, all of whom are zealous for the Law. They are informed from you, that you are teaching all the Jews among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they shouldn't circumcise their children or walk after the customs. So what should we do? The crowd will have to come together. They will hear that you have come back. So do as we say: We have four men who have a vow on them. Take them, purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses, so that they can shave their heads. That way, everyone may know that those rumors that they were told about you are false, and in fact you yourself walk in an orderly fashion, and keep the Law.

"Now about the Gentiles who believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, except that they abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from strangled foods, and from sexual immorality."

Then Paul took the men, and the next day he purified himself with them and entered the Temple, to signal the fulfillment of the days of purification, until an offering should be made for each man among them. When the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia Province, when they saw him in the Temple, incited all the people, and laid violent hands on him. They cried out, "Men of Israel, help! This is that man who teaches everyone everywhere against the people, and the Law, and this place! And furthermore, he has brought Greeks into the Temple and polluted this holy place!"

(They had previously seen an Ephesian named Trophimus with him, and got a notion into their heads that Paul had brought him into the Temple.) The whole city was moved, and the people were running together. They seized Paul, dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut. As they were about to kill him, reports came to the Roman tribune and commander of the garrison of Jerusalem that all of Jerusalem was running riot. He immediately took some soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. When they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.

Then the tribune came near, and arrested him, and ordered him bound with chains. He then demanded to know who he was and what he had done. Some men cried out one thing, and some another, among the crowd. When he could not learn the truth for all the commotion, he ordered him brought into the Fortress of Antonia. When he reached the stairs, the people were so violent that he was being carried by the soldiers. The crowd of people were following after him, crying, "Away with him!"

As Paul was about to be led into the fortress, he said to the tribune, "May I speak to you?"

The tribune said, "Can you speak Greek? Aren't you that Egyptian who earlier incited a riot and led four thousand cutthroats out into the desert?"

But Paul said, "I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no undistinguished city. I am asking you as a favor: let me speak to the people."

When the tribune had given him permission, Paul stood on the steps, and motioned with his hand to the people. When a great silence fell, he said these words to them in Aramaic:

"Men, brothers and father, hear my defense that I am now making to you!"

(When they heard him speaking to them in Aramaic, they quieted down still more. So he said:) "I am a Jewish man, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to a strict interpretation of the Law of the father, and was zealous toward God, as are all of you today. I persecuted this Way to the death, arresting and delivering men and women into prisons. The High Priest can tell you, as can the entire council of elders. I also received from them letters to the brothers, and went to Damascus, to bring those who were there to Jerusalem under arrest, to be punished. And then this happened: as I was on my journey, and had come close to Damascus at about the noon hour, suddenly a great light from heaven shown all around me. I fell to the ground, and heard a Voice saying to me, 'Saul Saol why are you persecuting Me?' And I answered, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He told me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, Whom you are persecuting.' And those who were with me also saw the light, and were afraid, but they didn't hear the Voice of the One Who spoke to me. And I said, 'What must I do, Lord?' And the Lord told me, 'Get up, and go into Damascus. There you will be told all the things that are appointed for you to do.' Then when I couldn't see on account of the glory of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus.

"A man named Ananias, a devout man according to the Law, who had a good report from all the Jews who were living there,...came to me, and stood, and said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight.' And in that very moment I could look up at him. And he said, 'The God of our fathers has chosen you, that you should know His will, and see that Just One, and hear the Voice of His mouth. For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, and call on the Name of the Lord.'

And it happened that when I had gotten back to Jerusalem, even while I was praying in the Temple, I was in a trance,...and saw him saying to me, 'Hurry and get quickly out of Jerusalem! They won't receive your evidence concerning Me.' And I said, 'Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat those who believed in You in every synagogue. When the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I was standing there, too, and going along with his death, and held the coats of those who killed him.'

"He told me, 'Depart. I am sending you far away from here to the Gentiles.'"

They listened to him until he said that word "Gentiles," and then they raised their voices, and said, "Rid the earth of a fellow like this! It is not fitting for him to live!"

As they were crying out, and throwing off their clothes and throwing dust into the air, the tribune ordered him brought into the fortress (of Antonia) and then ordered him interrogated under scourging, so that he would know why they were crying out in that way against him. As they were tying him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion standing by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman citizen, and has not been convicted of any crime?"

When the centurion heard that, he went and told the tribune, saying, "Be careful what you are doing, Tribune! This man is a Roman citizen!"

Then the tribune came, and asked him, "Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?"

And he said, "Yes."

The tribune answered, "I bought my citizenship and paid handsomely for it."

And Paul said, "But I was born a citizen."

Then those who were about to interrogate him immediately left the room. The tribune was also afraid, after he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen, and he had had him chained.

The next day, because he wanted to know exactly what the Jews were accusing him of, he had him unchained. He then ordered the ranking priests and the entire Sanhedrin to assemble, and brought Paul down, and set him before them. Paul, looking the members of the Sanhedrin straight in the eye, said, "Men and brothers, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day."

The High Priest Ananias ordered those who were standing next to him to strike him on the mouth. Paul then said back to him, "God is about to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you going to sit there to judge me according to the law, and order me to be struck, contrary to that law?"

Those who were standing by his side said, "Are you insulting God's High Priest?"

Then Paul said, "I did not know, brothers, that he was the High Priest. Scripture does say, 'You must not speak ill of the ruler of your people.'"

Then when Paul realized that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out during the session, "Men and brothers, I am a Pharisee, and the son of a Pharisee! And I am being judged here in a case arising out of the hope and resurrection of the dead!"

When he had said that, a dispute arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the crowd was divided. The Sadducees insist that there is no resurrection, and no Messengers of God, and no spirit, while the Pharisees believe in all these things. So a great cry rose up, and the scribes belonging to the Pharisees' faction rose up and started an argument, saying, "We don't find anything wrong with this man! Maybe a spirit has spoken to him, or an angel!"

When a great dispute had arisen, the tribune, afraid that Paul might be torn to pieces by them, ordered the soldiers to go down, take him by force from among them, and bring him back into the Fortress of Antonia. The next night, the Lord stood beside him, and said, "Cheer up! Just as you gave evidence about Me in Jerusalem, you must also give evidence in Rome."

When day came, some of the Jews conspired together, and swore a deadly oath that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. More than forty men participated in this conspiracy. They came to the ranking priests and elders, and said, "We have sworn an oath to eat nothing until we have killed Paul. So we want you, by order of the Sanhedrin, to signal the tribune that he should bring him down to you tomorrow, as if you want to inquire more closely about him. We are ready to kill him before he ever comes close."

When Paul's sister's son heard of their ambush, he went and entered the fortress, and told Paul. Then Paul called one of the centurions to him, and said, "Bring this young man to the tribune; he has something to tell him."

So he took him and brought him to the tribune, and said, "The prisoner Paul called me to him and asked me to bring this young man to you, who has something to tell you."

Then the tribune took him by the hand, and went with him aside in private, and asked him, "What is it that you have to tell me?"

And he said, "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down tomorrow to the Sanhedrin, as if they wanted to inquire into his case more closely. But don't yield to them! More than forty men are lying in ambush for him. They have sworn a terrible oath neither to eat nor drink until they have killed him, and now they are ready, looking for a promise from you."

So the tribune allowed the young man to leave, and ordered him, "Do not tell any man that you have laid this information with me."

Then he summoned two centurions, and gave them these orders: "Have two hundred infantrymen ready to go to Caesaria, and seventy cavalrymen, and two hundred spearmen, three hours past sunset. Provide mounts for Paul to ride on, and bring him securely to Procurator Felix."

He then wrote a letter to this effect:

"From: Claudius Lysias. To: His Excellency Procurator Felix.

Sir: This man was seized by the Jews, and was about to be killed by them. I then came with an armed force and rescued him, after I understood that he was a Roman citizen. When I wanted to know the cause that they were accusing him of, I brought him out into their Sanhedrin. Then I realized that he was accused on issues concerning their Law, and was accused of no capital or even arrestable offense. Then I was informed that the Jews were lying in ambush for the man. So I sent him directly to you, and gave orders to his accusers to make their case against him to you. Sincerely, [Claudius Lysias, Tribune]."

Then the soldiers, acting on their orders, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. The next day they left the cavalry to go with him, and returned to the Fortress of Antonia. The cavalrymen, when they came to Caesaria, and delivered the letter to the procurator, also presented Paul before him. When the procurator had read the letter, he asked from what province he came. When he understood that Paul came from Cilicia, he said, "I will hear you when your accusers have also come."

And he ordered him kept in Herod (the Great)'s Praetorium.

After five days, High Priest Ananias came down, with the elders and with a certain rhetorician named Tertullus, who pleaded the case against Paul before the procurator. When he was recognized, Tertullus began to accuse Paul, saying, "Given that by you we enjoy great peace, and that very worthy things are done for this nation by your providence,...we accept it always, and in all places, Your Excellency Felix, with all thankfulness. Still, so that I might not try Your Excellency's patience any further, I ask that you would grant us the clemency of hearing a few words. We have found this man to be a troublemaker, a creator of division among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the Nazarene sect. In fact he has even set about profaning the Temple. And so we arrested him."

[The rest of the verse is an interpolation] But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, [This verse is an interpolation.]

"If you would examine him yourself, you will understand all the things that we accuse him of."

The Jews also agreed, saying that these things were true.

Then Paul, after the procurator motioned to him to speak, answered, "Given that I realize that you have been for many years a judge for this nations, I now even more cheerfully answer for myself: So that you may understand, it has been only twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship,...and they have never found me in the temple arguing with any man, or inciting the people to riot, not in the synagogues, nor in the city. Nor can they prove the things that they are now accusing me of. But I confess this to you: that after the Way that they call a heresy, I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things that are written in the Law and the Prophets: and have hope toward God, a thing that they themselves also grant, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, just and unjust. In this I exercise myself: always to have a conscience clear of offense toward God and toward men. Now after many years, I came back to bring alms to my nation, and offerings. And when I did, certain Jews from Asia Province found me properly purified in the Temple, neither with a large crowd, nor associated with any riot. They should have come here ahead of me to object, if they had anything against me. Or else: why don't these same men say right here, whether they found me guilty of any wrongdoing, when I stood before the Sanhedrin,...unless it is just one thing that I cried out while standing among them: that I stood accused on account of the resurrection of the dead."

When Felix heard these things, because he knew much more about the Way than they did, he put them off, and said, "When Tribune Lysias comes down, I will hear your case in full."

He ordered a centurion to guard Paul, and to let him have full privileges, and forbid none of his acquaintances to wait on him or come to him.

A few days later, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard from him about faith in Christ. While he was debating about righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, "Go away for now. When I have a convenient time, I will call for you. Felix also hoped that someone would give him a bribe to free Paul. So he sent for him that much more often, and held converse with him.


From Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christs, to the chosen refugees among the elect scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, chosen by foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, by obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be upon you many times over.

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whose abundant mercy we have the hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance, one that will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you. You are kept by the power of God through faith, to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. You greatly rejoice in that, although now for a little while, if need be, you suffer injury through various trials, so that the proof of your faith, which is much more precious than gold (which is perishable even if it is examined under fire), might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ, Whom, though you have never seen Him, you love, and in Whom, though you do not see HIm now, but still believe, you rejoice with joy that is indescribable and fully glorious. You receive the purpose of your faith, which is the salvation of your souls. The prophets have inquired and searched diligently about that salvation, and prophesied about the grace that should come to you, searching out what time, or what kind of time, the Spirit of Christ that was in them indicated, when it bore witness before to the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that would follow. This was revealed to them, so that not to themselves, but to us they ministered the things now reported to you by those who have preached the gospel to you with the Holy Spirit, sent down from heaven. Even the angels would like to look into this.

So prepare your mind for battle, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ, like obedient children, not living after the pattern of the lusts that you, in your ignorance, were used to feeling. He Who has called you is Holy, so you be holy in all types of conversation. As it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

And if you call on the Father, Who judges according to every man's deeds without regard to who he is, then pass the time of your journey here in fear. To the extent that you know that you were not bought with corruptible things, like silver and gold, from your empty conversation that you received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish and without spot. In fact he was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was shown plainly in these last times for you. By Him you believe in God, Who raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope might be in God.

Given that you have cleansed your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit into genuine love of the brothers, make sure that you love one another fervently and with a clean heart. You are born again, not from a corruptible seed, but from an incorruptible one: by the Word of God, Which lives and abides forever. Because: "All flesh is like grass, and all the glory of man is like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away. But the Word of the Lord endures forever." And this is the Word that by the gospel is preached to you.

So: laying aside all malice, and all trickery, and hypocrisies, and envious thoughts, and all evil speaking, like newborn babies, you should desire the sincere milk of the Word, so that you may grow in it. If you have learned from experience that the Lord is gracious, coming to HIm as you would come to a living stone, in fact rejected by men but chosen by God, and precious, then you also, as living stones, are built on a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. That is why it is also contained in Scripture: "Behold, I lay in Zion a Chief Cornerstone, chosen and preciouis, and he who believes on Him will never be put to shame." Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious. But to them who are disobedient, "the stone that the builders rejected, is now the chief cornerstone," and "a stone for stumbling, and a rock to cause men to sin." But you are "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people into possession, that you should show forth the praises of Him Who has called you" out of darkness into His marvelous light. In the past, you were not a people. But now you are the people of God. You had not obtained mercy, but now you have obtained mercy.

Beloved, I beg of you as refugees and pilgrims, abstain from the lusts of the flesh, that make war against the soul. Have honest conversation among the Gentiles, so that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they might, by your good works, which they will see, glorify God in the Day of Visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether it be to the king, as supreme, or to governors, as to those sent by the king to punish evildoers, and for the praise of those who do well. That is the will of God, that by doing well, you can put the ignorance of foolish men to silence, like free men, and not using your liberty as a cloak for maliciousness, but like the servants of God.

Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. You house servants, subject yourselves to your masters with all fear, not only to good and gentle masters, but also to those who are less than honest. This is a blessing, if a man, for a conscience toward God, endures grief and suffers wrongfully. What glory can you have if, when you are harassed for things that are your fault, you take it patiently? But if, when you do well, and suffer for that, you take that patiently, this is acceptable with God. For you were called even to this: because Christ also suffered for us, and left us an example, so that we should follow in His steps: "He did no sin, nor was any guile found in His mouth." And when he was reviled, he did not revile back. When he suffered, he did not threaten, but committed himself to Him Who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins on His own body on the tree, so that we, being dead to sins, might live to righteousness. By His stripes we are healed. You were like sheep going astray, but have now been returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

In the same way, wives should be subject to their own husbands, so that, if anyone does not obey the Word, they also might, even without the Word, be won by the conversation of the wives, when they see your chaste conversation tempered with fear. Wives should not adorn themselves merely outwardly, with hair-dos, gold jewelry, and apparel, but instead the hidden man of the heart, in something that cannot be corrupted, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which God finds very precious. In fact, in the old times the holy women, who trusted in God, used to adorn themselves in this way, and were in subjection to their own husbands. Sarah obeyed Abraham, and called him "lord." You are her daughters, as long as you do well, and are not afraid with the sort of thing that arouses ordinary fear.

In the same way, husbands should live with them according to understanding, giving honor to the wife, as they would to the weaker vessel, and understanding that you are heirs together of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be held back.

Finally, you should be all of one mind, and have compassion for one another. Love as brothers, full of pity, and courteous. Do not return evil for evil, or railing for railing. To the contrary, render blessing, knowing that you are called to this, so that you will inherit a blessing. For: "Let him who wishes to love life, and see good days, restrain his tongue from speaking evil, and his lips from speaking any guile. Let him avoid evil, and do good. Let him seek peace, and make an effort for it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the just, and His ears are open to their prayers. But the face of the Lord turns against those who do evil." And what kind of person can truly hurt you, if you are followers of the good? On the other hand, if you suffer for the cause of justice, be happy, and don't be afraid of their fearsome aspect, or be troubled. Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be always ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a question about the hope that you have in you with meekness and fear. Have a good conscience, so that, whereas they speak ill of you, as they would of evildoers, they who falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ will be ashamed of themselves. If it's God's will that you suffer, better to suffer for doing well than for doing ill. For Christ has also suffered—once—for sins, the Just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but revived in the Spirit.

By that Spirit he also went and preached to other imprisoned spirits. These spirits were disobedient, while God was patiently waiting in the days of Noah, while he was building his Ark, in which a few souls—eight, to be exact—were saved by water. Today, baptism also saves us, the antitype of Noah and his family (not putting away the filth of the flesh, but having an answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He has gone into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God. Messengers and authorities and powers are made subject to him.

Just as Christ has physically suffered for us, prepare yourselves mentally just as He did: for anyone who suffers physically is released from sin, so that he no longer lives out his life in the physical lusts of men, but abides by God's will. We have moved beyond our pasts when we imitated the Gentiles by pursuing lasciviousness, lusts, material excess, partying, feasting, and hateful idolatries. They ostracize you if you do not pursue the same riotous living, and will speak badly about you; they will be accountable to He who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the Gospel was preached even to the dead, so that they might be judged according to the living, and come alive in God's Spirit.

But the end of all is near: sober up, and keep a prayerful watch. Above all have earnest charity with each other, for charity can compensate for many sins. Be hospital to each other without complaint. As every man has received the gift, nevertheless minister it each other, as good stewards of the abundant grace of God. If any man speaks, he ought to speak according to the Word of God, and if any man does any sort of dustman's service, let him do that according to his God-given abilities, so that God might have glory in all things through Jesus Christ, to Whom be praise and lordship for ever and ever.

Beloved, do not suppose that the test-by-fire that is about to test you is some kind of strange thing that has happened to you. Be glad about it—glad to participate in Christ's sufferings, so that when His glory is revealed, you may be exceedingly glad yourselves. If you are insulted on account of the Name of Christ, you can be happy about that, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. But make sure that none of you suffer for being a murderer, or a thief, or a criminal, or a busybody in other people's business. Yet if you suffer for being a Christian, don't be ashamed of that. Rather, glorify God for this. For the time is at hand in which a verdict must be handed down, beginning with the house of God. If it first begins with us, what will be the fate of those who do not obey the gospel of God? And: "If the just will be saved with difficulty, then where will the ungodly and the sinners appear?" So let those who suffer at the will of God trust Him, in well-doing, as one trusts a faithful Creator, to keep their souls.

I exhort the elders among you (for I am an elder myself, a witness to the sufferings of Christ, and a participant in the glory that will be revealed): Feed the flock of God among you, not by constraint, but willingly according to God, and not with greed for material gain, but with readiness and zeal, and not as if you were lords of the heritage, but fellow members of the flock. And when the ranking Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of glory that will not fade away.

Likewise, you new men, submit yourselves to the elders. In fact all of you should subject yourselves to one another, and be clothed in humility. "God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble." So humble yourselves under the strong Hand of God; He will exalt you all in good time. Throw all your worries on Him, because He cares for you.

Be sober, and be on the lookout. Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat! Resist him steadfastly in the faith, and know that the same afflictions are fulfilled in your brothers that are in the world. But may the God of all grace, Who has called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered for a while, cleanse you, establish you, strengthen you, and found you. To him be the rulership for ever and ever.

By Silas, a faithful brother to you, as I reckon him, I have written briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.

The church at Babylon, chosen together with you, salutes you, and so does my son Marcus.

Greet one another with a kiss of charity. May peace be with all of you in Christ.

Forty-one

Chapter 41 Bible texts

While Paul was in prison, James the Episcopos of Jerusalem wrote the following encyclical letter:


James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are in the Dispersion: Greetings.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various temptations, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. For let that man not think that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
But let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position; and the rich, in that he is made humble, because like the flower in the grass, he will pass away. For the sun arises with the scorching wind, and withers the grass, and the flower in it falls, and the beauty of its appearance perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in his pursuits.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love him. Let no man say when he is tested, “I am tested by God,” for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin; and the sin, when it is full grown, produces death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor shadow of turning. Of his own will he gave birth to us by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
So, then, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with humility the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror; for he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets, but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks himself to be religious while he does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
My brothers, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory with partiality. For if a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, comes into your synagogue, and a poor man in filthy clothing also comes in; and you pay special attention to him who wears the fine clothing, and say, “Sit here in a good place”; and you tell the poor man, “Stand there,” or “Sit by my footstool”; have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers. Did God not choose those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which he promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do the rich not oppress you, and personally drag you before the courts? Do they not blaspheme the honorable name by which you are called? However, if you fulfill the royal law, according to the Scripture,
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself,”
you do well. But if you show partiality, you commit sin, being convicted by the law of Moses as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. For he who said,
“Do not commit adultery,”
also said,
“Do not commit murder.”
Now if you do not commit adultery, but murder, you have become a transgressor of the law of Moses. So speak, and so do, as men who are to be judged by a law of freedom. For judgment is without mercy to him who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him? And if a brother or sister is naked and in lack of daily food, and one of you tells them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled”; and yet you did not give them the things the body needs, what good is it? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself. Yes, a man will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.
You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder. But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead? Was Abraham our father not justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says,
“Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness”;
and he was called the Friend of God. You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.
Let not many of you be Teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment. For in many things we all stumble. If anyone does not stumble in word, the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also. Indeed, we put bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, and we guide their whole body. Behold, the ships also, though they are so big and are driven by fierce winds, are yet guided by a very small rudder, wherever the pilot desires. So the tongue is also a little member, and boasts great things. See how a small fire can spread to a large forest! And the tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by Gehenna. For every kind of animal, bird, creeping thing, and sea creature, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind. But nobody can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the image of God. Out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send out from the same opening fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, yield olives, or a vine figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh water.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good conduct that his deeds are done in gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not boast and do not lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Where do wars and fightings among you come from? Do they not come from your pleasures that war in your members? You lust, and do not have. You murder and covet, and cannot obtain. You fight and make war. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask, and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it for your pleasures. You adulterers and adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Whoever therefore wants to be a Friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain,
“The Spirit who lives in us yearns jealously”?
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says,
“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Be subject therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament, mourn, and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Do not speak against one another, brothers. He who speaks against a brother and judges his brother, speaks against the law of Moses and judges the law. But if you judge the law of Moses, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge. Only one is the lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge another?
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow let us go into this city, and spend a year there, trade, and make a profit.” Whereas you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. For what is your life? For you are a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. For you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will both live, and do this or that.” But now you glory in your boasting. All such boasting is evil. To him therefore who knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin.
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming on you. Your riches are corrupted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be for a testimony against you, and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up your treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you have kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of those who reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of Armies. You have lived delicately on the earth, and taken your pleasure. You have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous one. He does not resist you.
Be patient therefore, brothers, before the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it, before it receives the early and late rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do not grumble, brothers, against one another, so that you will not be judged. Behold, the judge stands at the door. Take, brothers, for an example of suffering and of patience, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we call them blessed who endured. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen in the Lord the outcome, and how the Lord is full of compassion and mercy. But above all things, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven, or by the earth, or by any other oath; but let your “yes” be “yes”, and your “no”, “no”; so that you do not fall into hypocrisy.
Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praises. Is any among you sick? Let him call for the Presbyters of the Assembly, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will heal him who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Confess your offenses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. He prayed again, and the sky gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
Brothers, if any among you wanders from the truth and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.


Paul had been in prison two years when Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and desiring to gain favor with the Jews, Felix left Paul in chains. Porcius Festus was procurator of Judea from about A.D. 59.

Festus therefore, having come into the province, after three days went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. Then the high priest and the principal men of the Jews informed him against Paul, and they begged him, asking a favor against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem; plotting to kill him on the way. However Festus answered that Paul should be kept in custody at Caesarea, and that he himself was about to depart shortly. “Let them therefore”, said he, “that are in power among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong in the man, let them accuse him.”

When he had stayed among them more than ten days, he went down to Caesarea, and on the next day he sat on the judgment seat, and commanded Paul to be brought. When he had come, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing against him many and grievous charges which they could not prove, while he said in his defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the Temple, nor against Caesar, have I sinned at all.”

But Festus, desiring to gain favor with the Jews, answered Paul and said, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem, and be judged by me there concerning these things?”

But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you also know very well. For if I have done wrong, and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true that they accuse me of, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar!

Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you shall go.”

Now when some days had passed, King Herod Agrippa the Second and Bernice arrived at Caesarea, and greeted Festus. (This Agrippa was the son and successor of the same Herod Agrippa the First who killed James the brother of John with the sword, and whom the angel struck down because he did not give God the glory; and he was eaten by worms and died.) As he stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, “There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix; about whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, asking for a sentence against him. To whom I answered that it is not the custom of the Romans to give up any man to destruction, before the accused has met the accusers face to face, and has had opportunity to make his defense concerning the matter laid against him. When therefore they had come together here, I did not delay, but on the next day sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought. Concerning whom, when the accusers stood up, they brought no charge of such things as I supposed; but had certain questions against him about their own religion, and about one Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. Being perplexed how to inquire concerning these things, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there be judged concerning these matters. But when Paul had appealed to be kept for the decision of the emperor, I commanded him to be kept, before I send him to Caesar.”

Agrippa said to Festus, “I also would like to hear the man myself.”

“Tomorrow,” he said, “you shall hear him.”

So on the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had come with great pomp, and they had entered into the Place of Hearing with the commanding officers and principal men of the city, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. Festus said, “King Agrippa, and all men who are here present with us, you see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and as he himself appealed to the emperor I determined to send him. Of whom I have no certain thing to write to the Lord Nero. Therefore I have brought him out before you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, that, after examination, I may have something to write. For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to also specify the charges against him.”

Agrippa said to Paul, “You may speak for yourself.”

Then Paul stretched out his hand, and made his defense. “I think myself happy, King Agrippa, that I am to make my defense before you today concerning all the things that I am accused by the Jews, especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews. Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently.

“Indeed, all the Jews know my way of life from my youth up, which was from the beginning among my own nation and at Jerusalem; having known me from the first, if they are willing to testify, that after the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. Now I stand here to be judged for the confident expectation of the promise made by God to our fathers, which our twelve tribes, earnestly serving night and day, confidently expect to attain. Concerning this expectation I am accused by the Jews, King Agrippa! Why is it judged incredible with you, if God does raise the dead?

“I myself most certainly thought that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. This I also did in Jerusalem. I both shut up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, and when they were put to death I gave my vote against them. Punishing them often in all the synagogues, I tried to make them blaspheme. Being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.

“Whereupon as I traveled to Damascus with the authority and commission from the chief priests, at noon, O king, I saw on the way a light from the sky, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who traveled with me. When we had all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

“I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’

“He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But arise, and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose: to appoint you a servant and a witness both of the things which you have seen, and of the things which I will reveal to you; delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom I send you, to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to them of Damascus, at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the Temple, and tried to kill me. Having therefore obtained the help that is from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would happen, how the Christ must suffer, and how, by the resurrection of the dead, he would be first to proclaim light both to these people and to the Gentiles.”

As he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Your great learning is driving you insane!

But he said, “I am not crazy, most excellent Festus, but boldly declare words of truth and reasonableness. For the king knows of these things, to whom also I speak freely. For I am persuaded that none of these things is hidden from him, for this has not been done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.”

Agrippa said to Paul, “With a little persuasion are you trying to make me a Christian?”

Paul said, “I pray to God, that whether with little or with much, not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become such as I am, except for these fetters and chains.”

The king rose up with the governor, and Bernice, and those who sat with them. When they had withdrawn, they spoke to one another, saying, “This man does nothing worthy of death or of chains.”

Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

When it was determined that we should sail for Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners to a centurion named Julius, of the Augustan band. Embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail to places on the coast of Asia, we put to sea; Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us. The next day, we touched at Sidon. Julius treated Paul kindly, and gave him permission to go to his friends and refresh himself. Putting to sea from there, we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. When we had sailed across the sea which is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. There the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing for Italy, and he put us on board. In all, we were two hundred seventy-six souls on the ship.

When we had sailed slowly many days, and had come with difficulty opposite Cnidus, the wind not allowing us farther, we sailed under the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. With difficulty sailing along it we came to a certain place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.

When much time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous, because the Fast of Yom Kippur had now already gone by, Paul admonished them, and said to them, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.”

But the centurion gave more heed to the master and to the owner of the ship than to those things which were spoken by Paul. Because the haven was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised going to sea from there, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, and winter there, which is a port of Crete, looking northeast and southeast.

When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close to shore. But before long, a stormy wind beat down from shore, which is called Euroclydon, a Mediterranean typhoon or nor'easter. When the ship was caught, and could not face the wind, we gave way to it, and were driven along. Running under the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were able, with difficulty, to secure the boat. After they had hoisted it up, they used cables to undergird the hull and help reinforce the ship. Fearing that they would run aground on the Syrtis sand bars, they lowered the sea anchor, and so were driven along. As we labored exceedingly with the storm, the next day they began to throw things overboard. On the third day, they threw out the ship’s tackle with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars shone on us for many days, and no small storm pressed on us, all confident expectation that we would be saved was now taken away.

When they had been long without food, Paul stood up in the middle of them, and said, “Sirs, you should have listened to me, and not have set sail from Crete, and have gotten this injury and loss. Now I exhort you to cheer up, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night a messenger, belonging to the God whose I am and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand before Caesar. Behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore, sirs, take heart! For I believe God, that it will be just as it has been spoken to me. But we must run aground on a certain island.”

But when the fourteenth night had come, as we were driven back and forth in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors surmised that they were drawing near to some land. They took soundings, and found twenty fathoms. After a little while, they took soundings again, and found fifteen fathoms. Fearing that we would run aground on the rocks, they let go four anchors from the stern, and wished for daylight. As the sailors were trying to flee out of the ship, and had lowered the boat into the sea, pretending that they would lay out anchors from the bow, Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, “Unless these stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.”

Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the boat, and let it fall off.

While the day was coming on, Paul begged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you continue fasting, in suspense, having taken nothing. Therefore I beg you to take some food, for this is for your safety; for not a hair will perish from any of your heads.”

When he had said this, and had taken bread, he gave thanks to God in the presence of all, and he broke it, and began to eat. Then they all cheered up, and they also took food. In all, we were two hundred seventy-six souls on the ship. When they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea. When it was day, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a certain bay with a beach, and they decided to try to drive the ship onto it. Casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea, at the same time untying the rudder ropes. Hoisting up the foresail to the wind, they made for the beach. But coming to a place where two seas met, they ran the vessel aground. The bow struck and remained immovable, but the stern began to break up by the violence of the waves.

The soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, so that none of them would swim out and escape. But the centurion, desiring to save Paul, stopped them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should throw themselves overboard first to go toward the land; and the rest should follow, some on planks, and some on other things from the ship. So they all escaped safely to the land.

When we had escaped, then they learned that the island was called Malta. The natives showed us uncommon kindness; for they kindled a fire, and received us all, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped from the sea, yet Justice has not allowed to live.”

However he shook off the creature into the fire, and was not harmed. But they expected that he would have swollen or fallen down dead suddenly, but when they watched for a long time and saw nothing bad happen to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us, and courteously entertained us for three days. The father of Publius lay sick of fever and dysentery. Paul entered in to him, prayed, and laying his hands on him, healed him. Then when this was done, the rest also who had diseases in the island came, and were cured. They also honored us with many honors, and when we sailed, they put on board the things that we needed.

After three months, we set sail in a ship of Alexandria which had wintered in the island, whose figurehead on the bow was “The Divine Twin Brothers”, Castor and Pollux, the Gemini. Touching at Syracuse, we stayed there three days. From there we circled around, making a compass of the coast, and arrived at Rhegium. After one day, a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli, where we found brothers, and were entreated to stay with them for seven days. From Rome the brothers, when they heard of us, came south to meet us as far as The Market of Appius and The Three Taverns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God, and took courage. So we came to Rome. When we entered into Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard, but Paul was allowed to stay by himself with the soldier who guarded him.

After three days Paul called together those who were the leaders of the Jews. When they had come together, he said to them, “I, brothers, though I had done nothing against the people, or the customs of our fathers, still was delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans, who, when they had examined me, desired to set me free, because there was no cause of death in me. But when the Jews spoke against it, I was constrained to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything about which to accuse my nation. For this cause therefore I asked to see you and to speak with you. For because of the expectation of Israel I am bound with this chain.”

They said to him, “We neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor did any of the brothers come here and report or speak any evil of you. But we desire to hear from you what you think. For, as concerning this sect, it is known to us that everywhere it is spoken against.”

When they had appointed him a day, many people came to him at his lodging. He explained to them, testifying about God’s Kingdom, and persuading them concerning Jesus, both from the law of Moses and from the prophets, from morning to evening. Some believed the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved. When they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had spoken one word, “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah, the prophet, to our fathers, saying,

“ ‘Go to this people, and say, in hearing, you will hear, but will in no way understand. In seeing, you will see, but will in no way perceive. For this people’s heart has grown callous. Their ears are dull of hearing. Their eyes they have closed. Lest they should see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and would turn again, and I would heal them.’

“Be it known therefore to you, that the salvation of God is sent to the Gentiles. They will also listen.”

When he had said these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves.

James
—LXX Sirach 5:11
—LXX 1 Maccabees 2:52
—LXX Wisdom 7:27-28
—LXX Sirach 3:17
—LXX Proverbs 3:34
—LXX Sirach 29:10-11
—LXX Wisdom 4:20–5:8
—LXX Wisdom 2:10-20
Acts 25:1–28:29

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Bible Encyclopedias: Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature (studylight.org)
Catholic Encyclopedia Catholic Online (catholic.org)
Hebrew Calendar Converter See exact equivalents of Gregorian Calendar dates.

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Table of Old Testament quotes in the New Testament, in English translation, Joel Kalvesmaki 2013 (kalvesmaki.com)

List of 300 Septuagint Old Testament quotations in the New Testament, by Steve Rudd 2017 (bible.ca)

Table of LXX quotes and allusions in the New Testament


Church History (Eusebius): The Ecclesiastical History Of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop Of Caesarea, In Palestine (newadvent.org)

The Works of Flavius Josephus William Whiston, Translator, 1737 (sacred-texts.com)

Suetonius: Twelve Caesars: The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by C. Suetonius Tranquilus; To which are added His Lives of the Grammarians, Rhetoricians, and Poets. The Translation of Alexander Thomson, M.D., Revised and corrected by T. Forester, Esq., A.M. (Gutenberg.org)

Tacitus: The Annals, Written 109 A.C.E. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb

Sextus Aurelius Victor: Epitome De Caesaribus (roman-emperors.org)

Eutropius: Breviarium - Eutropius's Abridgement of Roman History (tertullian.org)

Cassius Dio: Roman History Epitome (penelope.uchicago.edu)

Early Christian Writings A.D. 30 through 380 (earlychristianwritings.com)
See Biblical Canon and Apocrypha.

Archaeology and the Book of Acts John McRay, Wheaton College Graduate School, Wheaton, IL 60187 pdf
Maps of Paul's journeys:

CHRONOLOGY OF THE ACTS AND EPISTLES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT See the following articles:

Eusebius: Church History: The Ecclesiastical History Of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop Of Caesarea, In Palestine (documentacatholicaomnia.eu) pdf


"Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love him."

James 1:12
"endures trial" RSVCE. Other versions read "tribulation".
This is a doctrine of conditional salvation. If a man (or woman) after being given the unmerited gift of eternal salvation does not endure, strive, struggle, for love of the Lord, to withstand the trials of difficulty, oppression, temptation, but gives up the struggle, they will not receive the crown of life which the Lord promised. Only those who "endure to the end will be saved" and be "approved" Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13; Hebrews 6:4-8), not those who are "cowards" who "draw back" (Revelation 21:8; Hebrews 10:38-39 and 4:11).

"coming down from the Father of lights"

James 1:17
Compare Revelation 21:2
According to a modified view of the theological interpretation called "realized eschatology", the catholic Christian Church is most preeminently the good endowment and perfect gift from above, coming down from the Father of lights out of heaven since Pentecost and the days of the Apostles, and even now continues to come down from God through the Holy Spirit, and will continue to come down out of heaven from God through all future years and generations to the final culmination following the resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment. However, this is not the view of the Realized Eschatology of the doctrine of Full Preterism, but a form of what has been called Partial Preterism.
Preterists teach that all of the events foretold by Christ and the Apostles as found in the New Testament have been entirely fulfilled, and were completely accomplished in the first century of the Christian Era, including the Second Coming of Christ, the Resurrection of the Dead, and the Final Judgment. Thus, the Christian Church, the Body of Christ, is the New Jerusalem "coming down out of heaven from God", the Bride of the Lamb: "Behold, God's dwelling is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them" Revelation 21:3. Baptism is the resurrection of the dead, and the moral judgment of God is always taking place, all nations and souls, living and dead are all "open and exposed to the eyes of him":
"And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do." Hebrews 4:13
"It is given to men but once to die, and after that the judgment." Hebrews 9:27
Full Preterism has been condemned as a heresy, as a rejection of the traditional understanding of mainstream Christianity, Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, that the Parousia of Christ has not yet occurred and will certainly occur in the future. None of the scriptures of the New Testament, none of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, not one of the ecclesiastical writers of the first five hundred years of the Christian Era, declares that the Lord Jesus Christ has descended from heaven in the sight of all the nations bringing with him all the saints, taking vengeance on his enemies (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10), and that the dead have all come out of their graves, that the sea has given up the dead in it, that Death and Hell have given up the dead in them and all flesh has stood before the throne of God, and that Death is no more, has no more power, and has been thrown with Hell, the grave, into the lake of fire (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:11-15; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
See Social Gospel.
See the following articles:

"let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger"

James 1:19
An allusion to the Septuagint text, Sirach 5:11.

"'Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness'; and he was called the Friend of God."

James 2:23
An allusion to the Septuagint text,
1 Maccabees 2:52 and Wisdom 2:27-28.

"You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not by faith alone."

James 2:24.
A controversial verse.
This is the notorious Catholic and Orthodox doctrine of works condemned by Protestantism, and most especially by Fundamentalism as a Satanic rejection of the Gospel of grace. James 2:24 is found in every Protestant Bible. It is seen by many as directly opposed to the teaching of Paul in Romans 1:17 and 4:2-8.
But the same doctrine on works is also found in 1 John 3:17-18; Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 7:19 and 25:41-46; Luke 3:8-9; 13:6-9; John 15:8; Hebrews 6:7-8; Titus 3:14
The 16th century Reformation theologian and scripture scholar Dr. Martin Luther added the word sola to his German translation of Romans 1:17 so that it reads
"the just shall live by faith alone".
He said that the Epistle of James is a "strawy epistle", and that he did not find Christ in it. He initially included James with Hebrews, Jude and Revelation in an untitled appendix to his German translation of the New Testament as being outside the canon of inspired sacred scripture (see Biblical Canon and Apocrypha).
About good works in general, Martin Luther said that doing good is more dangerous than sinning:
"There is no more dangerous, more pernicious scandal than a good life exteriorly manifested by good works. Those pious souls who do good to gain the Kingdom of Heaven not only will never succeed, but they must even be reckoned among the impious; and it is more important to guard them against good works than against sin."
Tischreden, Wittenberg Edition, Vol. VI., p. 160 (quoted by Father Patrick O'Hare, in The Facts About Luther). Works by Luther, Earliest editions, Wittenberg edition. Nineteen volumes published between 1539-1558. Twelve volumes of German and seven volumes of Latin works.
"Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger... No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day."
—Martin Luther, Letter to Melancthon, 13—See Online text of Martin Luther's Letter to Phillip Melancthon Sin Boldly (scollpublishing.com) Let Your Sins Be Strong: A Letter From Luther to Melanchthon Letter no. 99, 1 August 1521, From the Wartburg (Segment) Translated by Erika Bullmann Flores from: Dr. Martin Luther's Saemmtliche Schriften Dr, Johannes Georg Walch, Ed. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, N.D.), Vol. 15,cols. 2585-2590.
See—
See also
See multiple versions of James 2:24 and multiple commentaries. Compare Antinomianism.
See also Corporal and spiritual works of mercy and Eternal security (salvation).
Compare Ezekiel 18:21-24; Matthew 25:31-46 and Revelation 20:12.

"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good conduct that his deeds are done in gentleness of wisdom."

James 3:13
An allusion to the Septuagint text, Sirach 3:17.

"God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

James 4:6
James quotes the Septuagint text, Proverbs 3:34

"Your gold and your silver are corroded"

James 5:3
An allusion to the Septuagint text, Sirach 29:10-11 and Wisdom 4:20–5:8.
A direct reference to counterfeit currency.
The Epistle of James is addressed to Jewish Christians outside Palestine, "To the twelve tribes in the dispersion" (Diaspora)—James 2:1 "My brothers, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory with partiality."
The scandal of Christians freely cheating their workers is one of the results of the distorted doctrine of Antinomianism, which even today is primarily drawn from a misinterpretation of Paul's Letter to the Romans on justification by faith without works taken out of context (Romans 3:21–5:21; 8:1-39). See Eternal security (salvation) and Licentiousness. The Apostle James is correcting this error by rebuking those elitist believers "freed from law" (Romans 8:1-2) who acted unjustly by sinning against the weak and poor in the name of the Lord and congratulating themselves on their shrewdness by their ignorant unbelief, and warning that they will be judged and condemned to fire (James 5:3-6).
(Compare the context of Romans 3:21–5:21 and 8:1-39 within the whole of Paul's doctrine on justification and faith, which includes good works and not stealing, according to Romans chapter 6; 1 Corinthians 6:7-12; 2 Corinthians 13:1-10; Galatians 5:13–6:10; Ephesians 2:10; 4:25-32; Philippians 2:3-4; Colossians 3:5-10; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10. All of this accords with James 2:14-26.)
"Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you have kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of those who reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of Armies. ... You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous one. He does not resist you." James 5:1-6—compare Genesis 4:10.
Rich Jewish-Christian businessmen and landowners (James 2:1) with fields to be harvested were paying their seasonal workers (most of them pagans, some of them Gentile Christians "the righteous man", their brothers in Christ) with counterfeit coin which corroded and rusted. They were keeping the real gold and silver for themselves, and congratulating themselves for their cleverness in cheating them. Counterfeit currency was immediately detected by other business men, merchants and landlords, who demanded payment with genuine currency for necessary food, rent, goods and services. Impoverished day-laborers who were paid with counterfeit coin at the end of the day, and seasonal field hands who were paid with counterfeit coin at the end of the harvest, had no second chance the same day, or the same year, to go to work for another employer who might pay them with honest coin. Sometimes they starved to death because they had received no real money to purchase food for themselves and their needy families.
See Bad Money: Ancient Counterfeiters and Their Fake Coins (coinweek.com).

"You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous one. He does not resist you."

James 5:6
An allusion to the Septuagint text, Wisdom 2:10-20.

"call for the presbyters of the Assembly"

James 5:14-15
Anointing of the sick.
This has been seen as a continuation of the ministry of the apostles whom Jesus sent forth to preach and to heal in Mark 6:13.
The major Christian denominations which claim apostolic succession and sacraments teach that this passage, having the apostolic authority of Saint James, is the primary biblical support for the doctrine of the sacrament of Extreme Unction (Latin = "anointing in extremis", last anointing) now called Anointing of the Sick.
Controversy has been generated by the Reformation over the interpretive translation of the Greek word πρεσβύτεροι presbuteroi, literally, "elders". The singular form is πρεσβύτερος presbuteros, "presbyter", the root of the English words "priest" and "elder", "presbytery" and "Presbyterian".
See Strong's numbers 4242, 4243, 4244, 4245, 4246. The meanings include: "ambassadors"; "messengers"; "representatives"; "members of the order of elders (the Sanhedrim)", figuratively "members of the celestial council"; and "old men (by implication wise ones, leaders)".
The etymology of the English word "priest" shows that it comes from the Greek πρεσβύτερος presbuteros "presbyter". The presbyterate is the formal name of the collective membership of the priests of a Catholic diocese. The official members of a presbyterate are priests, the presbyters. All Catholic priests are presbyters of the universal presbyterate of the Catholic Church. The Roman Curia of the Catholic Church in Vatican City is representative of the presbyterate of the Catholic Church. The more solemn collective membership of the bishops and cardinals is called the college of bishops. According to Catholic doctrine, the college of bishops headed by the Pope, is entrusted with the charism of discernment of divine truth. They are regarded as having the prophetic teaching office within the church under the anointing guidance of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 12:28-29). The teaching office or teaching ministry of the Church is called the Magisterium, Latin for "the Teacher".
In the Bible, only Moses and Jesus were appointed by God to reveal fresh, new revelation to the world from the mouth of the Lord. All other prophets and apostles in the Bible re-emphasized and reiterated the same teaching again and again without alteration, and expanded the practical understanding of it with application to current events of their day and for all time.
According to Catholicism the Magisterium of the church has the same mission, to continue to speak the unchanging word of the Lord, to apply it to current conditions of life in the human community, and call all nations to repent and come back to the Lord. Thus, the Patriarchs of Orthodox and Catholic Christianity claim to have received from the apostles by apostolic succession the office of prophet, of one who speaks for God (2 Corinthians 5:20; Luke 10:16). The Catholic Church claims that the Office of Pope makes the Bishop of Rome, as successor of the See of Peter (Seat of Peter), the Vicar, or chief representative Ambassador, of Christ, who is entrusted with the keys of the kingdom of God under the infallible guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Orthodoxy claims that the Pope as Patriarch of the West is one among equals and neither superior nor inferior to any of the other Patriarchs and heads of the various ancient autocephalous (self-governing) apostolic Orthodox Churches. Thus, the Catholic and Orthodox churches claim that the office of Prophet has never ceased.
This is one answer to the Mormon claim that prophets ceased to exist after the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles, and that prophecy was removed from the earth until Jesus and the Father appeared to Joseph Smith and appointed and ordained him and his successors as legitimate Apostles and Prophets of God.
Evangelical Protestants and Fundamentalists emphasize that only one verse in the entire New Testament, Romans 15:16, applies a priestly function ἱερουργοῦντα hierourgounta to any Christian other than Jesus Christ "the high priest of our profession" (Romans 15:16 interlinear and commentaries on Hebrews 3:1). They emphasize that here in James 5:14-15, the word means "elders" πρεσβύτεροι. It is a literal fact that James does not actually say "priests" ίεροι hieroi (plural, singular ίεροεύς hiereus; Strong's number 2409).
Orthodox, Catholics and High Church Anglicans respond with the historical fact that the early Christian Fathers and biblical commentaries of the first centuries of Christianity "in accordance with apostolic tradition" always interpreted the word "elders" πρεσβύτεροι as having the same meaning as "priests" ίεροι hieroi in this passage of James. This reading of the meaning of the literal sense of scripture in this passage of James is supported by hermeneutical research and textual higher criticism ("The Literal Sense of Scripture"—newtheologicalmovement.blogspot.com). Many Protestants reject the results of this research.
The Reformation Protestant literalist proof text interpretation of πρεσβύτεροι presbyteroi as meaning only the seniors, the "elders", older, wiser members of the congregation, and not priests, is based on a literalistic interpretation entirely divorced from fifteen centuries of tradition. This was regarded by Catholic and Orthodox authorities as an innovation, a novel (heretical) interpretation which explicitly repudiates any connection with priesthood and sacrament as being a corruption of the true meaning of scripture. By this interpretation any ordinary lay member of the Christian community having a popular reputation of public leadership within the congregation, or within the wider denominational community of the church, is understood by Evangelicals and Fundamentalists to be a legitimate Elder of the church, often without the absolute necessity of being ordained to the ministry as a preacher. The leaders of Orthodoxy and Catholicism see Jude 11 as warning against those who reject established priestly authority through a mutiny similar to "the gainsaying of Core" (KJV), "the rebellion of Korah" (RSV). They saw this as applicable to the Protestant Reformation as being the very same kind of rebellion against God. (See Jude 11 within the context of Jude 8-16; see Numbers 16:3 within the context of the whole chapter of Numbers 16).
"These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own passions, loudmouthed boasters, flattering people to gain advantage." Jude 16 RSV.
"...they rose up before Moses, with a number of the people of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men; and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, 'You have gone too far! For all the congregation are holy, every one of them; why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?' " Numbers 16: 2-3 RSV.
Compare 1 Kings 12:25-33 and 13:33-34, pertaining to the rebellion of Jeroboam I against the house of David.
"...[Jeroboam] also made houses on high places, and appointed priests from among all the people who were not of the Levites..."
"After this thing Jeroboam did not turn away from his evil way, but made priests for the high places again from among all the people; any who would, he consecrated to be priests of the high places. And this thing became sin to the house of Jeroboam, so as to cut it off and to destroy it from the face of the earth."
Martin Luther was aware that this could be used against himself and the leaders of the Reformation, identifying them as rebels resisting the existing authorities instituted by God (Romans 13:1-2). Jude 16 was particularly applied to the polemical language Luther famously used against the Catholic hierarchy. He declared that the Letter of Jude is opposed to the Gospel he taught—he rejected Jude (verse 8 "these men...reject authority") along with James ("faith and works") and Hebrews ("obey those who have the rule over you") and Revelation ("if any man takes away from the words of the book of this prophesy")—thus according to his judgment these New Testament texts could not possibly be scripture inspired by God. Luther placed them in an appendix to his translation of the German Bible. (See Apocrypha: Four New Testament Apocrypha Books according to Martin Luther.)
In many Protestant denominations only men may hold the office of Elder. Others see women as qualified to be Elders (Strong's number 4247 "old woman, elderly woman, wise woman"). Most of these denominational groups do not normally practice anointing with oil for the sick among them, and because it is not emphasized among them, the counsel of James is either forgotten or simply ignored as unnecessary—unless the sick person requests anointing with oil by the pastor. In that case the person making the request is humored for the sake of consolation and harmony, as long as the pastor happens to be free from other more pressing duties of his or her ministry. Instead, they normally have recourse to both prayer and regularly qualified doctors and other reputable medical professionals and specialists, asking the Lord to use them in healing.
Fundamentalists usually understand the pastor of the congregation to be the (chief) Elder who together with the deacons and/or board of directors of the church should be the one called upon to anoint the sick with oil and pray over them. They take this ministry seriously. A minority among Fundamentalist churches refuse any conventional medical means of treatment as being an earthly and demonic denial of the power of God, putting the doctor in the place of God, and for this reason they depend solely on "effectual fervent prayer" alone (James 5:16); yet others among them have recourse to both prayer and anointing with oil by the pastor, or by a regular prayer group of ordinary lay men and women. Other denominations, including disciples of well-known radio preachers and televangelists such as Oral Roberts, instead of calling on the elders of their own congregation to come, use prayer cloths which have been touched with oil and prayed over by the leader and sent by mail to the sick person (compare Acts 19:11-12).
In contrast to this, the Old Testament Book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) (which has always been included since the first century in the Biblical Canon of the Bible in the Orthodox and Catholic churches) says:
"Honor the physician with the honor due him, for he is essential to you, for the Lord created him; for healing comes from the Most High, and he will receive a gift from the king. The skill of the physician lifts up his head, and in the presence of great men he is admired. The Lord makes healing medicines from the earth, and a sensible man will not despise them. Was not water made sweet with a tree in order that his power might be known?" (Exodus 15:22-25) "And he gave skill to men that he might be glorified in his marvelous works. By them he heals and takes away pain; the pharmacist makes of them medicines. His works will never be finished; and from him health is upon the face of the earth. My son, when you are sick do not be negligent, but pray to the Lord, and he will heal you. Give up your faults and direct your hands aright, and cleanse your heart from all sin. Offer a sweet-smelling sacrifice, and a memorial portion of fine flour, and pour oil on your offering, as much as you can afford. And give the physician his place, for the Lord created him; let him not leave you, for there is need of him. There is a time when success lies in the hands of physicians, for they too will pray to the Lord that he should grant them success in diagnosis and in healing, for the sake of preserving life. He who sins before his Maker, will be defiant toward the physician." Sirach 38:1-15, compare translations (biblegateway.com).
It is also found in the King James Bible as Ecclesiasticus 38:1-15 (kingjamesbibleonline.org)
The book of Ecclesiasticus/Sirach among the deuterocanonicals was removed in the 16th century by Reformation leaders as uninspired by God, and placed among the Apocrypha as having no authority whatever for establishing Christian doctrine, teaching and practice. Martin Luther himself, and many major Christian denominations teach that they are still useful and profitable for reading.
Many Protestant Christians firmly believe that the books of the Apocrypha were inspired by the Devil. Rejection of the Apocrypha is the most probable reason why many of them do not believe that the Bible teaches as a commandment of the Lord the need for medical treatment by a doctor. From this belief comes the scandal that many who profess to be Bible-believing Christians have insisted on refusing ordinary medical treatment, which under normal circumstances would have saved the lives of their own very sick infants and children and elderly adults, refused because "it's not in the Bible".
Liberals and atheists have used this scandal, along with others they have identified, as grounds for attacking religion as harmful and dangerous. This is the logical fallacy of assuming pars pro toto (the part represents the whole) that the scandal of faith-healing without medicine represents the substance of the "stupidity" of the Christian religion (the Logical fallacy of composition).
In many contested and controversial cases, U.S. secular courts have arbitrarily taken custody away from those families who devoutly refuse medical treatment on grounds of freedom of religion, and have ordered medically prescribed measures be performed to save the lives and health of those who are deemed to be at risk from "culpable negligence". Sometimes the courts have issued restraining orders against family members who oppose ordinary life-saving medical treatment, to prevent their interference with court-ordered medical procedures. See the following article:
Contrast the life-saving stance of the courts in these cases with their defense of policies of passive euthanasia and state-sponsored funding of abortion. Many liberals insist that the moral standards of Christianity pertaining to health of mind and morals and body, and pertaining to the defense of living human beings, both in and out of the womb, must not be imposed on society and the individual, because to do so is a violation of fundamental human civil rights. See American Civil Liberties Union ACLU (by paronomasia Anti-Christian Liberal Union).

"he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins."

James 5:20
The context of this verse clearly shows that James here is not speaking of Jesus the Savior as the only one who turns a sinner from the error of his way and saves him or her from death. James 5:15 clearly and plainly states (KJV), "call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him"—and James 5:16b adds "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (boldface emphasis added). Clearly, according to the method of reading the "literal, clear and plain meaning of the words" it is their prayer that saves. It is evident from these and other Bible verses that the divinely inspired text of the Holy Bible literally, clearly and plainly teaches that others can save sinners from death and cover sins. This does not mean these saviors of sinners are saviors apart from Jesus Christ, although a strictly literal interpretation of the words of this passage, and of others like it in the New Testament, unequivocally shows that besides Jesus, there are indeed others who truly save from both sin and the condemnation of damnation to hell. The Bible says so. And according to Jesus himself the scriptures cannot be broken (John 10:34-38; 1 John 4:13-14; John 20:21).
Conservative Evangelical and Fundamentalist doctrine points directly to Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" and John 14:6b "no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." The Bible says so. And according to Jesus himself the scriptures cannot be broken. (See also Acts 2:21; Ephesians 5:23; Philippians 3:20; 1 John 5:11-12.) However, a literal reading of the clearly plain and simple meaning of the actual words of other Bible passages appears to contradict this. See the following KJV Bible passages with multiple Protestant commentaries:
Catholic and Orthodox doctrine teaches in harmony with these passages that Mary and the saints and angels also save souls. This doctrine is denounced as blasphemy inspired by Satan himself from out of the very pits of hell, a demonic doctrine which sets Jesus aside, utterly dishonors him who is the only Sovereign Savior of the world, and replaces him with mere creatures who never bore the sins of all mankind on the cross and died and rose again for our salvation, by claiming that there are other saviors besides Jesus. However, such a denunciation also automatically condemns as Satanic the literal reading of the clearly plain and simple meaning of actual words of the above cited passages from Nehemiah, Obadiah, First and Second Corinthians, Philippians, First Timothy, Hebrews, First John and Jude. They are unquestionably part of the whole of the Bible, and speak of saviors who are not Jesus. Thus an impossible difficulty is generated by reading them according to the principle of sola scriptura outside and apart from Christian tradition, taking them exactly according to the ordinary plain and simple literal meaning of their words, an interpretation which unavoidably sets them immediately in conflict with the rest of the Bible, thus setting scripture against scripture. Nothing is added to the words of the Bible, and no words are removed, yet it is an eisegetical interpretation which takes away from the words of the Bible their true meaning within the context of Christian doctrine (Revelation 22:18-19; 2 Peter 3:15-17). This is the classic argument that the ordinary plain and simple reading of the clearly literal meaning of the words of the Bible is a fallacy, and not always according to the literal sense of scripture.
Compare Cafeteria Christianity.
Apologists for the doctrine that Mary and the saints and angels save souls who go to them firmly maintain that according to Catholic and Orthodox teaching, the saving power that Mary and the saints and angels exercise is from God alone through his Son Jesus Christ alone by the Holy Spirit alone, and is given to them by him, bestowing on them the divine authority as his appointed servants to bring souls to salvation, because they are in Jesus Christ as members of his body (1 Corinthians 12; Matthew 16:19; Romans 13:1-2; Exodus 14:16; Deuteronomy 34:10-12). Apart from him they can do nothing; in him they can do all things (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13 and 2:13). These apologists frequently argue that, as we ordinarily say that doctors, policemen and firemen save our lives, and evangelists and missionaries save millions, without taking away from the glory due to God alone, so the Catholic and Orthodox Churches say that Mary and the saints and angels save souls, without in any way taking away from the glory due to God alone, who works through them for good, to the glory of his name. See the following articles:
Bible readers will not find any passage in the Bible that explicitly states that Jesus is the "only" Savior, or that "only Jesus is the Savior", or that "the only Savior is Jesus", but only that He is the Savior. The Bible does say that GOD is the "only" Savior, "the only God", and that Jesus is God the Son and that he and the Father are one (John 1:1-2 and 18; 10:30; 14:10-11). And Acts 4:12 says, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." boldface emphasis added (Acts 4:10-12). But Acts 5:15-16 says, "they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one." And Acts 19:11-12 says, "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them." boldface emphases added
Confusion over how to reconcile all of this can be found in the high priestly prayer of Jesus to the Father on the night he was betrayed:
"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." boldface emphasis added
Jesus in the saints and the saints in Jesus are one Savior. All who love him are saints (1 Peter 1:13-16; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 12–14). See the following:

"I have no certain thing to write to the Lord Nero"

Acts 25:26
The text simply says without specification, "I have no certain thing to write to the Lord". Here it is dynamically amplified by addition of the name of the emperor Nero as clarification of the Greek Κυρίω Kyrio "Lord" in this context, according to the literal sense of scripture.
The usual NT usage of the various forms of Kyrios without specification denotes God. (See Strong's Concordance entry under "LORD".) The literal reading of the Greek text in English, without specifying Nero, can occasion some confusion in the mind of the uninstructed reader, who understands "the Lord" to mean "God", and therefore the phrase "write to the Lord" to mean "write to God". In the context of the passage the procurator Festus as a Roman pagan regarded Nero as a god, the Lord of Rome. For this reason various translators attempt some less literal interpretive rendering of the text, as for example the RSV "write to my lord".
See multiple versions of Acts 25:26.

"...of the Augustan band" Acts 27:1.

The Augustan Cohort.
The position of honor this unit held among the rest of the Roman army is indicated by the fact that it was named after the Emperor Augustus Caesar. This cohort was stationed in Syria beginning about A.D. 6.

"Castor and Pollux"

Acts 28:11—compare multiple translations.
See Castor and Pollux - Myth Encyclopedia (mythencyclopedia.com)

"From there we circled around, making a compass of the coast"

Acts 28:12-13
The King James Version says (verse 13), "And from thence we fetched a compass..."
Since it is a known fact that the magnetic compass had not yet been invented in A.D. the first century, many persons in the 19th and 20th centuries, ignorant of the meaning of 1611 English usage, and taking as accurate what they understood to be the "obviously plain and simple meaning" of the text, speculated about the mystery of where and how the Apostle Paul obtained ("fetched", as in "go fetch") a compass for the ship. This ignorance was included by Joseph Smith in the first book of his Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 16:10, when in the narrative he claims a miraculous object of heavenly origin was found outside of the tent of Lehi, left as a gift, which guided the wanderers by pointing the way for them over the sea to the New World. See Liahona Compass (mormonwiki).
This has been indirectly connected with the mystery of the Antikythera mechanism as part of New Age speculative theories on "Lost Knowledge of the Ancients" and "Lost Civilizations".
See article Searching for Lost Knowledge in the Age of Intelligent Machines (theatlantic.com)
These speculations have no relevance to the actual meaning of Acts 28:13. They are examples of the distractions stemming from abuse of the scriptures as prompted by the novel speculations of restless and active imaginations seeking excitement and entertainment. See the warnings against such things in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, Titus 3:9-11 and 2 Peter 3:14-18. Compare Acts 17:21 "spent their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new". See Pseudoscience. Compare Psalm 131.
Modern translators variously render the meaning of the nautical terminology of "fetched a compass" in Acts 28:13 as "navigating a circle" around the island—περιελθόντες perielthontes—before they arrived at port and disembarked. See the following:

Compare the Conservative Bible text (conservapedia.com):

From James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered afar:

My brothers, chalk it up to joy when you face various trials; knowing that the testing of your faith gives you stamina. Continue to endure, so that you may perfect your stamina and desire nothing.

If any of you lack wisdom, then request it of God, who gives it freely to all men. Do not complain, and it shall be given you. But ask only in faith, without doubt. For he who waivers is like a wave of the sea tossed around by the wind. Such a man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. A man with a divided mind is unstable in all his ways.

Let the brother of the lowest status rejoice in being exalted. But the rich, in that he is lowered, because he will pass away as a dandelion does. For the sun no sooner rises with a burning heat before it withers the grass, and the dandelion falls, and its grace perishes; so too does the rich man fade away in his style.

Blessed be the man who survives temptation; when tried, he shall receive the prize of life, which the Lord promised to those who live him. Let no man claim when he is tempted, "I am tempted of God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt any man. But every man is tempted when he is carried away by his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust conceives, it brings forth sin; and sin, when consummated brings forth death.

Do not err, my dear brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of light, with whom nothing varies, not even shadows from turning. Of his own will he gave us the true facts, that we shall be special among his creatures. Hence, my dear brothers, let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger: For the wrath of man does not serve God's righteousness. Thus set aside all the filth and superficiality of naughtiness, and accept with humility the implanted truth that is able to save your souls.

But you should be doers of the spoken truth, not merely hearers who deceive yourselves. For if any man is a hearer of the truth, and not a doer, then he is like a man who beholds his natural face in a mirror. He looks at himself, and then proceeds in his own way, immediately forgetting what he really is. But who recognizes the perfect law of liberty, and continues with it, does not forget what he hears and does the works, this man shall be blessed for his deed.

If any man among you seems religious, yet does not curb his speech, and does deceive his own heart, this man's religion is worthless. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father consists of the following: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and remain uncontaminated by the world

My brothers, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, to favor persons. If there comes into your assembly a man with a gold ring, in expensive clothes, and there also enters a poor man wearing rags; and you respect the man wearing the flashy clothes, and tell him, "Sit up front of all"; and say to the poor, "Stand in the back, or sit under the table"; Do you not favor yourselves, and become judges allowing evil thoughts? Listen up, my dear friends, has not God endowed the poor of this world with the richness of faith, and as heirs of the heaven that He promised to those who love him? Yet you have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and sue you? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by which you are called? If you obey the rules of scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted for violating the law. For whoever keeps the entire law, and yet violates one part, is guilty of all. For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, yet do murder, you become a violator of the law. So speak and also act as those who shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he who has shown no mercy, will stand a merciless trial—and mercy rejoices against trial at law.

Of what use is it, my brothers, if a man says that he has faith, and has nothing to show for it? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked, and is not even sure where his or her next meal will come from, and one of you tells them, "Go in peace, and be warmed and filled," even though you did not give them the things that their bodies needed, what use is that? This shows that faith, if it has nothing to show for it, is dead, because it is alone. In contrast, a man might say, "You have faith, and I have deeds to show. Show me your faith with no deeds, and I will show you my faith through my deeds."

If you believe that there is one God, you are doing well. The demons believe, too, and tremble. But you, vain man, are you willing to realize that faith without deeds is dead? Wasn't our ancestor Abraham justified by his deeds, when he had offered his son Isaac on the altar? Do you see how faith worked itself out with his deeds, and by deeds faith was made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled, which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to his account for righteousness, and he was called Friend of God." So you see that a man is justified by deeds, and not by faith alone. In the same way, wasn't Rahab the prostitute justified by deeds, when she had received the messengers, and sent them out through a different door? For as the body without a spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is also dead.

Do not become many teachers, my brothers. Know that we will receive even more condemnation for that. For in many things we give offense to everybody. If any man never gives offense in word, that man must be a perfect man, and also able to restrain the whole body. Look: we put bits into the horses' mouths, so that they might obey us, and we turn their whole body around. Look also at the ships: although they are so large, and are driven by powerful winds, they can be turned about by a very small helm, wherever the captain wants the ship to go. In the same way the tongue is a little body part, and boasts great things. See how great a dispute a little fire will kindle! And the tongue is a fire, a world of injuustice. So is the tongue among our body parts, that it defiles the whole body, and sets fire to the course of nature, and it is set on fire from the place of everlasting fire. For every kind of dangerous wild animal, and bird, and snake, and creature of the sea, can be tamed, and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. We bless God with it, even the Father, and we curse men with it, who are made in the image of God. Out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things should not work that way. Does a fountain send out both sweet and bitter water at the same place? Can a fig tree, my brothers, produce olives? Can a vine produce figs? In fact, no founntain can produce both salt water and fresh water.

Who among you is a wise man, endowed with knowledge? Let him show his deeds from good conduct with meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and strife in your hearts, do not think yourself glorious, and do not lie against the truth. This wisdom does not come from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. For where envy and strife exist, there also exist confusion and every evil deed. But the wisdom that comes from above is first clean, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to ask something from, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of justice is sown in peace by them who make peace.

Where do war and fighting among you come from? Don't they come here from your own lusts that strive in your body parts? You want things very badly, and do not have them. You kill, and want to have, and cannot get. You fight and make war, but you don't have, because you won't ask. You ask, and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, for something to consume in your lusts. You adulterous people, don't you know that the friendship of the world is hostility with God? So whoever is a friend to the world is the enemy of God. Do you think that Scripture says for no reason, "The spirit that lives in us lusts toward envy?" But He gives more grace. To that end He says, "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you.

Draw close to God, and He will draw close to you. Clean your hands, sinners, and clean your hearts, double-minded ones. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Do not say bad things about one another, brothers. A man who says bad things about a brother, says bad things against the Law, and judges the Law. But if you just the Law, you are not obeying the Law, but trying to judge it. There is one Lawgiver, Who can save and destroy. Who are you to judge someone else?

Just a moment, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into some particular city, and stay there for a year, and buy and sell, and make a profit," when you don't know what will happen tomorrow. For what does your life amount to? It is no more than vapor, that appears for a little while, and then vanishes. So what you should say is, "Lord willing, we will live, and do this thing and that thing." But now you are rejoicing in your bragging. That kind of rejoicing is evil. So to him who knows how to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Wait just a moment, you rich men. Weep and howl for your miserable punishment that will come upon you. Your wealth is corrupt, and your expensive clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is rusted through, and their rust will be a testimony against you, and will eat your flesh as if it were fire. You have hoarded a treasure for the last days. Look! The wages of the workers who harvested your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cries out, and the cries of the reapers have been entered into the ears of the All-sufficient Lord. You have indulged yourselves on the earth, and been wanton. You have been nourishing your hearts, as one might in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and killed the just, and he does not resist you.

So be patient, brothers, for the Coming of the Lord. Look: the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and waits patiently for a long time for it, until the early rain and the latter rain fall. So you be patient, too. Make your hearts steady, for the Coming of the Lord is drawing very close. Do not bear a grudge against one another, brothers, if you do not want to be condemned. Look: the Judge is standing before the door.

Brothers, take the prophets, who have spoken in the Name of the Lord, as an example of how to suffer affliction, and of patience. Look: we count them happy who can last. You have heard about the patience of Job, and have seen the final plan of the Lord. The Lord is very full of pity, and of tender mercy.

But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven, or by the earth, or by any other oath. Let your "yes" be a "yes," and your "no" be a "no," if you do not want to fall into condemnation.

Is any man among you afflicted? He should pray. Is any man merry? He should sing psalms. Is any man sick among you? He should call for the church elders, and they should pray over him and rub him with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed any sins, they will be forgiven him.

Confess your faults to one another, and pray for one another, so that you will be healed. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man will go a long way. Elijah was a man subject to the same passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that the rain might not fall. And it did not rain on the arth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced her fruit.

Brothers, if any of you strays from the truth, and anyone converts him, let him know, that he who converts the sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins.


But after two years, Marcus Porcius Festus succeeded Felix in his office. Felix, wanting to show a favor to the Jews, left Paul in custody.

When Festus arrived in Judea Province, after three days he went up from Caesaria to Jerusalem. Then the High Priest and the leading men of the Jews informed him against Paul, and pleaded with him, and asked a favor against Paul, that he would send for him to come to Jerusalem. (They were lying in wait to kill him.) But Festus said in answer that Paul would be kept at Caesaria, and that he himself would depart shortly for that city. He told them, "So let those among you who are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if he has done anything wrong."

When he had stayed among them for more than ten days, he went down to Caesaria. The next day, sitting on his tribunal, he asked Paul to be brought forward. When he had come, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood all around him, and laid many serious accusations against Paul, which they were not able to prove. For his part, Paul answered in his own behalf, "I have done nothing wrong, either against the Law of the Jews, or against the Temple, or even against Caesar."

But Festus, wanting to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul in answer, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and answer these charges before me?"

Then Paul said, "I stand at Caesar's tribunal, where I have a right to be tried. I have done no wrong against the Jews, as you know very well. If I am guilty of any offense, or have committed any capital crime, I don't refuse to die. But if none of these things that they accuse me of are true, then no man is allowed to deliver me to them. I appeal to Caesar!"

Festus, after first conferring with his own advisers, answered, "Have you indeed appealed to Caesar? Then to Caesar you will go!"

After several days King Herod Agrippa II and his sister and consort Berenike II came to Caesaria to pay their respects to Festus. When they had been there for many days, Festus described Paul's case to the king. He said, "There is a certain man left in custody by Felix. When I was at Jerusalem, the leading priests and elders of the Jews informed me about him, and wanted to have a judgment against him. I answered them that it is not the Roman way to deliver any man to be executed, until the accused meets the accusers face to face, and is allowed to answer for himself about the crime laid against him. So when they had come here, the next day I sat on my tribunal without delay and ordered the man brought before me. His accusers stood up against him, and brought no accusation of the type that I had supposed that they would,...but had certain issues with him about their own superstition, and about one Jesus, Who was dead, except that Paul affirmed that He was alive. Because I didn't understand this kind of question, I asked him whether he would go up to Jerusalem and be tried on those charges there. But when Paul appealed to have his case reserved for a hearing before the Emperor, I ordered him kept until I might send him to Caesar."

Then Agrippa said to Festus, "I would like to hear the man myself."

"Tomorrow," said Festus, "you will hear him."

The next day, Agrippa and Berenike came with great pomp, and entered into the courtroom, with the tribunes, and the leading men of the city, and at Festus' order, Paul was brought out. Festus said, "King Agrippa, and all men present with us: You see this man. All the multitude of the Jews have pleaded with me about this man, both at Jerusalem and here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. But when I found that he had committed no capital offense, and that he himself appealed to the Emperor, I have decided to send him. But I have no certain thing to write to the Emperor about thim. So I have brought him here before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after this examination, I might have something to write. Because it doesn't seem reasonable to send a prisoner and not write exactly what crime is laid against him!"

Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You may speak for yourself."

Then Paul reached out with his hand and answered for himself: "I think myself fortunate, King Agrippa, because I can answer for myself today before you all the charges that I am accused of by the Jews. Especially because I know that you are an expert in Jewish customs and legal issues. So I ask you to hear me patiently. My way of life, since I was a lad, which was at first among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know about. They knew me from the beginning, if they are willing to talk, that I lived as a Pharisee, a member of the strictest sect of our religion. Now I stand, and am being judged, for the hope and promise made by God to our fathers: to which promise our Twelve Tribes, who serve God day and night, hope to come. And on account of that hope, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. Why should you find it incredible that God should raise the dead? I indeed considered to myself that I ought to do many things against the Name of Jesus of Nazareth. I also did this thing in Jerusalem. I incarcerated many of the saints, after receiving authority from the leading priests. When they were put to death, I raised my voice against them. I punished them often in every synagogue, and forced them to blaspheme. I was extremely crazy with zeal against them, and persecuted them and chased them to foreign cities. On such an errand I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the leading priests. At mid-day, Your Majesty, I saw on the road a light from the sky, brighter even than the sun, shining all around me and around those who traveled with me. When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a Voice speaking to me, saying in Aramaic, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It's rather hard for you to kick against the goads.' And I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said, 'I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. But get up, and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you for this purpose: to make you a servant and a witness both of the things that you have seen, and the things in which I will appear to you,...delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles. And now I send you to them,...to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they might receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by the faith that is in Me.'

"From that time forward, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but showed, first to those of Damascus, and then at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they needed to repent and turn to God, and do the kind of things most becoming of repentance. For these reasons the Jews caught me in the Temple, and set out to kill me. So now that I have had help from God, I am still alive today, bearing witness both to the small and the great, saying nothing else than what the prophets and Moses said should come: that Christ had to suffer, and that He should be the first to rise from the dead, and should show a light to the people, and to the Gentiles."

As he was defending himself in this way, Festus said loudly, "Paul, you are crazy! All your book-learning has driven you over the edge!"

But he said, "I am not crazy, Your Excellency Festus. I am speaking out the words of truth and soberness. The King knows about these things, and now I speak freely before him. Because I am convinced that none of these things are any secret to him, because this did not happen in any dark corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do!"

Then Agrippa said to Paul, "Do you really expect me to become a Christian in such a short while?"

Then Paul said, "I would wish before God that not only you, but everyone hearing me today, would, in a little while and all the way, be what I am, except for these chains."

When he had so spoken, the king rose up, and the procurator, and Berenike, and those who were sitting with them. When they were gone to one side, they talked among themselves, and said, "This man has done nothing to deserve execution or imprisonment."

Then Agrippa told Festus, "This man might have been set free, if he had not appealed to Caesar."

When it was decided that we must sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and several other prisoners to an officer named Julius, a centurion of the Imperial cohort. After boarding a ship from Adramyttium, we launched, the plan being to sail near the coasts of Asia Province. A man named Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us. The next day we landed at Sidon. Julius treated Paul with every courtesy, and gave him liberty to go to his friends to refresh himself.

When we had put out from that place, we sailed to the leeward of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. When we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myrak, a city of Lycia. There the centurion found a ship from Alexandria sailing to Italy, and he put us on board. When we had sailed slowly for many days, and had scarcely come near to Cnidus (for the wind did not permit us), we sailed to the lee of Crete, near Salmone. After passing it with difficulty, we came to a place called the Fair Havens, near which lay the city of Lasea.

Much time had gone by, and sailing was now dangerous, because the fast had already passed. So Paul admonished them, saying, "Gentlemen, I'm afraid that this voyage will result in much injury and damage, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives."

Nevertheless, the centurion believed the ship's captain and owner, more than the things that were spoken by Paul. Because the harbor was not a good harbor to spend the winter in, most of the men advised to leave that place as well, if they could possibly reach Phoenicia, and winter there. (This Phoenicia is a Cretan harbor, and lies toward the southwest and northwest.) When the south wind was blowing softly, because they thought that they had succeeded in their purpose, they cast off from there and sailed close by Crete.

But not long afterward a great storm wind, the Eurostorm, arose against the ship. When the ship was caught, and could not steer into the wind, we let her be driven. We ran in the lee of a certain island called Clauda, and with much hard work managed to get the lifeboat aboard. When they had taken the boat up, they used hawsers to undergird the ship. Then, in fear that they would fall into the Syrtis, they struck sail and scudded under a bare mast. We were being tossed with great violence by the storm. On the next day they lightened the ship. On the third day we threw out the ship's tackle with our own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm lay upon us, we lost all hope that we should be saved alive.

But after we had abstained for a long time, Paul stood out in the middle of them, and said, "Gentlemen, you should have listened to me, and not cast off from Crete, and incurred this harm and loss. But I urge you now to cheer up. There will be no loss of any man's life among you; only the ship will be lost. Tonight a Messenger of God, to Whom I belong, and Whom I serve, stood beside me. He said, 'Don't be afraid, Paul. You must be brought before Caesar, and listen: God has given you all of those who are sailing with you.' So, gentlemen, cheer up. I believe God, and will be just as it was told to me, but we will have to be cast away on an island."

When the fourteenth night came, as we were being driven up and down in Adria, at about midnight the crew judged that they were drawing near to some land. They took a sounding, and found their depth 20 fathoms. When they had gone a little further, they took another sounding, and found their depth fifteen fathoms. Then, afraid that we might fall upon rocks, they deployed four drogue anchors at the stern, and wished for daylight. As the crewmen were about to desert the ship, when they had let down the lifeboat into the sea, under the pretext of deploying drogue anchors from the bow, Paul told the centurion and the soldiers, "Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved."

Then the soldiers cut off the lifeboat's ropes and let her fall away.

When the day was breaking, Paul pleased with all of them to take food, saying, "Today is the fourteenth day that you have waited and fasted, and you have had nothing to eat! So please take some food. This is for your health. Not a hair will fall from any of your heads."

When he had so spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in front of them all. When he had broken it, he began to eat. Then they all cheered up and took some food. All of us in the ship numbered 276 souls. When they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship some more by throwing the wheat into the sea.

When the day came, they did not know the land. But they discovered a certain creek with a beach, and decided, if they could, to run the ship aground on that beach. When they had taken up the drogue anchors, they committed themselves to the sea, and cut the lashes with which they had tied the tiller, and hoisted the mainsail into the wind, and steered toward shore. They then fell into a place where two seas met, and ran the ship aground. The bow stuck fast, and remained immobile, but the stern was broken with the violence of the waves. The soldiers' advice was to kill all the prisoners, so that none of them would be able to swim out and escape. But the centurion, who wanted to save Paul, stopped them from doing this, and ordered that anyone who could swim should dive into the sea first, and get to land, and the rest would make for land, some on boards, and some on broken fragments of the ship. And so it happened that we all escape safely to land.

After we escaped, we learned that the island we were on was called Malta. The natives of the island showed us no little kindness. They started a fire, and received every one of us, because it was raining and cold. When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, a snake came out of the heat and clamped onto his hand. When the natives saw the venomous snake hanging onto his hand, they said to themselves, "This man must be a murderer, and even though he escaped the sea, vengeance won't allow him to live."

But Paul shook the snake off into the fire, and suffered no injury. In fact, they looked at him and expected him to swell up, or fall down suddenly. After they had stared at him for a great while, and saw that he remained uninjured, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

In the same part of the island were the belongings of the island's governor, a man named Publius. He received us, and gave us lodging for three days with every courtesy. And as it happened, Publius' father was sick with a fever and a hemorrhagic discharge. Paul entered in to his house, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. When this was done, other people on the island who had diseases came, and were healed. They also honored us with many honors, and when we left, they gave us many necessary provisions.

After three months we left in a ship from Alexandria, which had spent the winter in the island, whose sign was the Gemini. We landed at Syracuse and stayed there for three days. From there we cast off and came to Rhegium, and after one day a south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli. There we found some brothers, and were asked to stay with them for seven days. And so we went toward Rome.

From Rome, when the brothers heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appiiforum, and Tres Tabernae. When Paul saw them, he thanked God, and took courage. When we came to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself with one soldier to guard him.

It happened that after three days Paul called the leading men of the Jews together. When they had come together, he said to them, "Men and brothers, although I have done no wrong against the people, or the customs of our fathers, I was still delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. When they had examined me, they were willing to let me go, because they found no capital charge against me. But when the Jews spoke against it, I had to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything to accuse my nation of. So I have called you here for this reason: to see you, and to speak with you. For the hope of Israel I am under arrest."

They told him, "But we have received no letters from Judea concerning you, and nor have any of the brothers that came showed or spoken any harm from you. But we would like to hear from you what you think: because as for this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere."

When they had fixed a day, many came to him where he was staying. He expounded and testified to them the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, from the Law of Moses, and from the Prophets, from morning until evening. Some of them believed the things that were spoken, and some did not. When they disagreed among themselves, they left, after Paul had spoken one word: "The Holy Spirit spoke well by Isaiah the prophet to hour fathers, saying, 'Go to this people, and say, "Hearing you will hear, and not understand. Seeing you will see, and not perceive. For the heart of this people has grown heavy, and their ears are dull from hearing, and they have closed their eyes, so that they will not see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I heal them."' So understand this: the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it."

And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves. [This verse is an interpolation.]

Forty-two

Chapter 42 Bible texts

When Porcius Festus replaced Felix, the Jewish leaders accused him before Nero, and Felix would have been punished if his brother Pallas had not interceded. Meanwhile, Festus had to contend with the sicarii who were plundering Judea, and with assorted imposters, and with the controversy over a newly erected western wall of the Temple which blocked Roman surveillance. The priests built a high wall to block the Romans' view and that of King Agrippa the Second, who had the right to appoint high priests, and enjoyed watching activities inside the Temple as he dined high in the Hasmonean palace to the west. Both he and Festus ordered it demolished, but the Jews appealed to Nero. Poppaea, Nero’s wife, was sympathetic to the Jews and gained his permission to let the wall stand.

While the Roman-Parthian War of A.D. 58 to 63 continued in the east into its second year, A.D. 60, Porcius Festus meanwhile remained procurator of Judea. That same year, Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist, who had been preaching the Gospel of the Lord first in Parthia, and then in Ethiopia, suffered martyrdom in the latter country in the city of Nadabah, being slain with a halberd, a combined spear with axe-head, in A.D. 60.

In A.D. 60 Nero appointed Galba governor of Nearer Spain, who served in that post for eight years. At this time in A.D. 60 or 61 a revolt in Britain was headed by Queen Boudicca, also called Boadicea. A monument to her and to her daughters who had been murdered by the Romans during the occupation and oppression of Britain stands in London to this day.

Paul stayed two whole years in his own rented house in Rome, A.D. 60 into A.D. 63, and received all who were coming to him, preaching God’s Kingdom, and Teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness, without hindrance.

During this time Paul wrote the following letters:


Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy Our brother, to Philemon, Our beloved fellow worker, to the beloved Apphia, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the Assembly in your house: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, hearing of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints, that the fellowship of your faith may become effective in the knowledge of every good thing which is in us in Christ Jesus. For we have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
Therefore though I have all boldness in Christ to command you that which is appropriate, yet for love’s sake I rather beg, being such a one as Paul, the aged, but also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. I beg you for my child, whom I have become the father of in my chains, Onesimus, who once was useless to you, but now is useful to you and to me. I am sending him back. Therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, whom I desired to keep with me, that on your behalf he might serve me in my chains for the Good News. But I was willing to do nothing without your consent, that your goodness would not be as of necessity, but of free will. For perhaps he was therefore separated from you for a while, that you would have him forever, no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much rather to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
If then you count me a partner, receive him as you would receive me. But if he has wronged you at all or owes you anything, put that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it (not to mention to you that you owe to me even your own self besides). Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in the Lord.
Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even beyond what I say.
Also, prepare a guest room for me, for I hope that through your prayers I will be restored to you.
Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.


Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God,
to the saints who are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ; even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without defect before him in love; having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire, to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely gave us favor in the Beloved, in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, in him; in whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who does all things according to the counsel of his will; to the end that we should be to the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ: in whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Good News of your salvation—in whom, having also believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is a pledge of our inheritance, to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.
For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and the love which you have toward all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the confident expectation of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. He put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things for the Assembly, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
You were made alive when you were dead in transgressions and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience; among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus; for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.
Therefore remember that once you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “uncircumcision” by that which is called “circumcision”, (in the flesh, made by hands); that you were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, having abolished in the flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making peace; and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, having killed the hostility thereby. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, being built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom the whole building, fitted together, grows into a Holy Temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together for a Habitation of God in the Spirit.
For this cause I, Paul, am the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles, if it is so that you have heard of the administration of that grace of God which was given me toward you; how that by revelation the mystery was made known to me, as I wrote before in few words, by which, when you read, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ; which in other generations was not made known to the children of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy Apostles and prophets in the Spirit; that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of his promise in Christ Jesus through the Good News, of which I was made a servant, according to the gift of that grace of God which was given me according to the working of his power. To me, the very least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all men see what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now through the Assembly of the Church the manifold wisdom of God might be made known to the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord; in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through our faith in him. Therefore I ask that you may not lose heart at my troubles for you, which are your glory.
For this cause, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, and to know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to him be the glory in the Assembly and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and humility, with patience, bearing with one another in love; being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you also were called in one confident expectation of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all. But to each one of us was the grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Therefore he says,
“When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”
Now this, “He ascended”, what is it but that he also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.
He gave some to be Apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, Shepherds and Teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, to the work of serving, to the building up of the body of Christ; to the day we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, Christ, the Anointed One; from whom all the body, being fitted and knit together through that which every joint supplies, according to the working in measure of each individual part, makes the body increase to the building up of itself in love.
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their hearts; who having become callous gave themselves up to lust, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you did not learn Christ that way; if indeed you heard him, and were Taught in him, even as truth is in Jesus: that you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man, that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit; and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.
Therefore putting away falsehood, speak truth each one with his neighbor. For we are members of one another.
“Be angry, and do not sin.”
Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, and do not give room to the devil.
Let him who stole steal no more; but rather let him labor, producing with his hands something that is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need.
Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but only what is good for building others up as the need may be, that it may give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.
Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children. Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance. But sexual immorality, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be mentioned among you, as becomes saints; nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not appropriate; but rather giving of thanks.
Know this for sure, that no sexually immoral person, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words. For because of these things, the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord. Walk as children of light, for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth, proving what is well pleasing to the Lord. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather even reprove them. For the things which are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of. But all things, when they are reproved, are revealed by the light, for everything that reveals is light. Therefore he says,
“Awake, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Therefore watch carefully how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not be drunken with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing, and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always concerning all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God, even the Father; subjecting yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ.
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the Assembly, being himself the savior of the body. But as the Assembly is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their own husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Assembly, and gave himself up for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the Assembly to himself gloriously, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without defect. Even so husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord also does the Assembly; because we are members of his body, of his flesh and bones.
“For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh.”
This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and the Assembly. Nevertheless each of you must also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
“Honor your father and mother,”
which is the first commandment with a promise:
“that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.”
You fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but nurture them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Servants, be obedient to those who according to the flesh are your masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as to Christ; not in the way of service only when eyes are on you, as men pleasers; but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men; knowing that whatever good thing each one does, he will receive the same again from the Lord, whether he is bound or free.
You masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with him.
Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having the utility belt of truth buckled around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace; above all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints: on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in opening my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Good News, for which I am an Ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
But that you also may know my affairs, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will make known to you all things; whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know Our state, and that he may comfort your hearts.
Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love. Amen.


Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ;
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the Episcopes and Deacons: Grace to you, and peace from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God whenever I remember you, always in every request of mine on behalf of you all making my requests with joy, for your partnership in furtherance of the Good News from the first day to now; being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will complete it to the Day of Jesus Christ. It is even right for me to think this way on behalf of all of you, because I have you in my heart, because, both in my bonds and in the defense and confirmation of the Good News, you all are partakers with me of grace. For God is my witness, how I long after all of you in the tender mercies of Christ Jesus.
This I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all discernment; so that you may approve the things that are excellent; that you may be sincere and without offense to the Day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Now I desire to have you know, brothers, that the things which happened to me have turned out rather to the progress of the Good News; so that it became evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my bonds are in Christ; and that most of the brothers in the Lord, being confident through my bonds, are more abundantly bold to speak the word of God without fear. Some indeed preach Christ even out of envy and strife, and some also out of good will. The former insincerely preach Christ from selfish ambition, thinking that they add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the Good News.
What does it matter? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed. I rejoice in this, yes, and will rejoice. For I know that this will turn out to my salvation, through your supplication and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will in no way be disappointed, but with all boldness, as always, now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will bring fruit from my work; yet I do not know what I will choose. But I am in a dilemma between the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Yet, to remain in the flesh is more needful for your sake. Having this confidence, I know that I will remain, yes, and remain with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, that your rejoicing may abound in Christ Jesus in me through my presence with you again.
Only let your way of life be worthy of the Good News of Christ, that, whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your state, that you stand firm in one spirit, with one soul striving for the faith of the Good News; and in nothing frightened by the adversaries, which is for them a proof of destruction, but to you of salvation, and that from God. Because it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer on his behalf, having the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear is in me.
If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassion, make my joy full, by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; doing nothing through rivalry or through conceit, but in humility, each counting others better than himself; each of you not just looking to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.
Have this in your mind, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, yes, the death of the cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him, and gave to him the name which is above every name; that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputes, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without defect in the middle of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you are seen as lights in the world, holding up the word of life; that I may have something to boast in the Day of Christ, that I did not run in vain nor labor in vain. Yes, and if I am poured out on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice, and rejoice with you all. In the same way, you also rejoice, and rejoice with me.
But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered up when I know how you are doing. For I have no one else like-minded, who will truly care about you. For they all seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ. But you know the proof of him, that, as a child serves a father, so he served with me in furtherance of the Good News. Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it will go with me. But I trust in the Lord that I myself also will come shortly. But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier, and your Apostle and servant of my need; since he longed for you all, and was very troubled, because you had heard that he was sick. For indeed he was sick, nearly to death, but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, that I might not have sorrow on sorrow. I have sent him therefore the more diligently, that, when you see him again, you may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all joy, and hold such in honor, because for the work of Christ he came near to death, risking his life to supply that which was lacking in your service toward me.
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not tiresome, but for you it is safe. Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the cutters, the false circumcision. For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh; though I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has confidence in the flesh, I yet more: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the Assembly; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless.
However, I consider those things that were gain to me as a loss for Christ. Yes most certainly, and I count all things to be a loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is from the law of Moses, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death; if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, if it is so that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
Brothers, I do not regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are “perfect”, think this way. If in anything you think otherwise, God will also reveal that to you. Nevertheless, to the extent that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule. Let us be of the same mind. Brothers, be imitators together of me, and note those who walk this way, even as you have Us for an example. For many walk, of whom I told you often, and now tell you even weeping, as the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is the belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who think about earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from where we also wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will change the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working by which he is able even to subject all things to himself.
Therefore, my brothers, beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. I exhort Euodia, and I exhort Syntyche, to think the same way in the Lord. Yes, I beg you also, true partner, help these women, for they labored with me in the Good News, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, “Rejoice!” Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things. The things which you learned, received, heard, and saw in me: do these things, and the God of peace will be with you. But I rejoice in the Lord greatly, that now at length you have revived your thought for me; in which you did indeed take thought, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect to lack, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content in it. I know how to be humbled, and I know also how to abound. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in need. I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. However you did well that you shared in my affliction. You yourselves also know, you Philippians, that in the beginning of the Good News, when I departed from Macedonia, no Assembly shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent once and again to my need. Not that I seek for the gift, but I seek for the fruit that increases to your account. But I have all things, and abound. I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things that came from you, a sweet-smelling fragrance, an acceptable and well-pleasing sacrifice to God. My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever! Amen.
Greet every saint in Christ Jesus.
The brothers who are with me greet you.
All the saints greet you, especially those who are of Caesar’s household.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.


Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy Our brother, to the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which you have toward all the saints, because of the confident expectation which is laid up for you in the heavens, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the Good News, which has come to you; even as it is in all the world and is bearing fruit and growing, as it does in you also, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; even as you learned of Epaphras Our beloved fellow servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on Our behalf, who also declared to Us your love in the Spirit. For this cause, We also, since the day We heard this, do not cease praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, that you may walk worthily of the Lord, to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, for all endurance and perseverance with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love; in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins; who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things are held together. He is the head of the body, the Assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him; and through him to reconcile all things to himself, by him, whether things on the earth, or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross.
You, being in past times alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil deeds, yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without defect and blameless before him, if it is so that you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the confident expectation of the Good News which you heard, which is being proclaimed in all creation under heaven; of which I, Paul, was made a servant.
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the Assembly; of which I was made a servant, according to the stewardship of God which was given me toward you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden for ages and generations. But now it has been revealed to his saints, to whom God was pleased to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the confident expectation of glory; whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and Teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus; for which I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily.
For I desire to have you know how greatly I struggle for you, and for those at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love, and gaining all riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden. Now this I say that no one may delude you with persuasiveness of speech. For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and seeing your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As therefore you received Christ Jesus, the Lord, walk in him, rooted and built up in him, and confirmed in the faith, even as you were Taught, abounding in it in thanksgiving. Be careful that you do not let anyone rob you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the elements of the world, and not after Christ. For in him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily, and in him you are made full, who is the head of all principality and power; in whom you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, wiping out the handwriting of ordinances which was against us; and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross; having stripped the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Let no one therefore judge you in eating, or in drinking, or with respect to a feast day or a new moon or a Sabbath day, which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ’s. Let no one rob you of your prize by a voluntary humility and worshiping of the angels, dwelling on those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding firmly to the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and ligaments, grows with God’s growth. If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances, “Do not handle, nor taste, nor touch” (all of which perish with use), according to the precepts and doctrines of men? Which things indeed appear like wisdom in self-imposed worship, and humility, and severity to the body; but are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.
If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, our life, is revealed, then you will also be revealed with him in glory. Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry; for which things’ sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. You also once walked in those, when you lived in them; but now you also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and shameful speaking out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his doings, and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his Creator, where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondservant, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.
Put on therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do.
Above all these things, walk in love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom Teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to the Lord.
Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through him.
Wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives, and do not be bitter against them.
Children, obey your parents in all things, for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not provoke your children, so that they will not be discouraged.
Servants, obey in all things those who are your masters according to the flesh, not just when they are looking, as men pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will receive again for the wrong that he has done, and there is no partiality.
Masters, give to your servants that which is just and equal, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving; praying together for Us also, that God may open to Us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds; that I may reveal it as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
All my affairs will be made known to you by Tychicus, the beloved brother, faithful servant, and fellow bondservant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, together with Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you everything that is going on here. Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, greets you, and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you received commandments, if he comes to you, receive him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for God’s Kingdom who are of the circumcision, men who have been a comfort to me.
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, salutes you, always striving for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I testify about him, that he has great zeal for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis.
Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you.
Greet the brothers who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the Assembly that is in his house.
When this letter has been read among you, cause it to be read also in the Assembly of the Laodiceans; and that you also read the letter from Laodicea. Tell Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you fulfill it.”
The salutation of me, Paul, with my own hand: remember my bonds.
Grace be with you. Amen.


Some would include the following Letter to the Laodiceans.


Paul, an apostle, not of men, nor by man, but by Jesus Christ, to the brethren who dwell at Laodicea, grace to you, and peace of God the father, and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God by all my prayer, that you are dwelling and persisting in him in his works of goodness, holding to the confident expectation of salvation in the day of doom; for the empty rhetoric of some unwise men has not unsettled you, which would turn you from the truth of the Gospel preached by me.
And now those who are mine, to the profit of the truth of the gospel, God shall make deserving, and performing of works of goodness unto the health of everlasting life.
And now my bonds remain openly known, which I suffer in Christ Jesus, in which I have gladness and joy. And that is to me of everlasting benefit, that this same thing be done by your prayers, and the superior direction of the Holy Spirit, either by life, or by death.
For truly, for me to live in Christ is life, and to die joy. And his mercy shall also work in you the same thing, that you might have the same love, and that you have one will.
Therefore, beloved brethren, hold fast, and work with the dread fear of God, as you have heard from me in my presence; and life shall be given you without end. It is God who works in you. My dearly beloved brethren, do without any hesitation whatever things you do.
Rejoice, dearly beloved, in Christ, and avoid men befouled with lucre, or foul gain. Let all your prayers of petition be open before God, and be steadfast in the mind of Christ. And do those things which are wholesome, and true, and chaste, and just, and able to be loved; and take to heart and keep the things that you have heard; and peace shall be to you.
All the saints heartily greet you.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
And see that the letter from the Colossians be read to you.


In Rome, in the practical matters of government, Burrus and Seneca were the effective rulers of the empire up to A.D. 62. More and more the spirit of empire, the genius of the emperor, ruled the passions of Nero. After Burrus’s death in 62 Seneca felt that he had lost all influence over Nero, and he retired.

Nero finally announced that his wife Octavia was barren, and divorced her. This act of divorcing Octavia in 62 made Nero so unpopular and caused so great a scandal that he banished Octavia. He was motivated also by his fear that his repudiated wife Octavia was fomenting disaffection at court and among the populace.

Nero then stole Otho’s wife Sabina Poppaea. Twelve days after he had divorced Octavia, he married Poppaea, and finally murdered Octavia, having her executed in June A.D. 62 on a charge of adultery.

Such was the state of affairs in that Babylon called Rome.

Now about this same period, during the reign of Nero, the Roman-Parthian War of A.D. 58 to 63 was occurring.

Josephus Antiquities 20.8.9-11 [182-195]
Acts 28:30-31
Philemon
Ephesians

—LXX Wisdom 7:7
—LXX Wisdom 5:18
—LXX 1 Maccabees 3:3
—LXX Wisdom 5:17-20
Philippians
Colossians

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Scofield Reference Bible (1917 Edition)
Conservative Bible text
multiple versions of any verse
multiple commentaries any passage
interlinear Bible: Hebrew, Greek, English
Bible maps (click initial letter of place name)
Bible Encyclopedias: Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature (studylight.org)
Catholic Encyclopedia Catholic Online (catholic.org)
Hebrew Calendar Converter See exact equivalents of Gregorian Calendar dates.

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Table of Old Testament quotes in the New Testament, in English translation, Joel Kalvesmaki 2013 (kalvesmaki.com)

List of 300 Septuagint Old Testament quotations in the New Testament, by Steve Rudd 2017 (bible.ca)

Table of LXX quotes and allusions in the New Testament


Church History (Eusebius): The Ecclesiastical History Of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop Of Caesarea, In Palestine (newadvent.org)

The Works of Flavius Josephus William Whiston, Translator, 1737 (sacred-texts.com)

Suetonius: Twelve Caesars: The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by C. Suetonius Tranquilus; To which are added His Lives of the Grammarians, Rhetoricians, and Poets. The Translation of Alexander Thomson, M.D., Revised and corrected by T. Forester, Esq., A.M. (Gutenberg.org)

Tacitus: The Annals, Written 109 A.C.E. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb

Sextus Aurelius Victor: Epitome De Caesaribus (roman-emperors.org)

Eutropius: Breviarium - Eutropius's Abridgement of Roman History (tertullian.org)

Cassius Dio: Roman History Epitome (penelope.uchicago.edu)

Early Christian Writings A.D. 30 through 380 (earlychristianwritings.com)
See Biblical Canon and Apocrypha.

Archaeology and the Book of Acts John McRay, Wheaton College Graduate School, Wheaton, IL 60187 pdf
Maps of Paul's journeys:

CHRONOLOGY OF THE ACTS AND EPISTLES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT See the following articles:

Eusebius: Church History: The Ecclesiastical History Of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop Of Caesarea, In Palestine (documentacatholicaomnia.eu) pdf

Paul's First Roman Imprisonment (biblecharts.org)


"if his brother Pallas had not interceded"

Felix's brother Pallas was a powerfully influential freedman. See Pallas (perseus.tufts.edu)

"That same year, Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist, who had been preaching the Gospel of the Lord first in Parthia, and then in Ethiopia, suffered martyrdom in the latter country in the city of Nadabah, being slain with a halberd, a combined spear with axe-head, in A.D. 60. "

"Queen Boudicca"

See the following articles:

"Paul stayed two whole years in his own rented house"

Acts 28:30. WEB
"And he lived there two whole years at his own expense" RSV .
A.D. 60-61-62. The period of "two whole years" is not necessarily limited strictly to the two calendar years A.D. 60-61 (January through December), but most probably indicates a full 48-month length of time beginning with his arrival in Rome in A.D. 60 in March, April or May (after the winter of 59-60), extending through the beginning of A.D. 62 in the spring, in March, April or May.
Historians can only closely approximate the period of Paul's first Roman imprisonment, based on the known dates of Nero's reign, and the procuratorships of Felix and Festus in Judea.

"Onesimus, who once was useless to you, but now is useful to you and to me."

Philemon 10-11.
A pun, or word-play, on the meaning of the Greek name.
This is an example of paronomasia, word-play in the Bible. See Strong's number 3682 Όνήσιμος onesimos.
Onesimus in Greek literally means "profitable".
In the Greek New Testament, "useless" is ἄχρηστον achrēston, and "useful" is εὔχρηστον euchrēston. The prefix "a-" is a negative, meaning "not-". The prefix "eu-" is a positive, meaning "good-". The phrase in the Greek text of Philemon verse 11 is:
τόν ποτέ σοι ἄχρηστον , νυνὶ δὲ καὶ σοὶ καὶ ἐμοὶ εὔχρηστον 
A runaway slave was regarded as a loss of property, "useless" to the slave-owner, who had a lawful right in first-century Roman society to have runaway slaves put to death, if he or she chose to exercise that right. More often the slave was punished. When retaken, the slave was usually branded on the forehead, maimed, or forced to fight with wild beasts. To kill a slave was seen as a foolish waste of capital investment in a piece of equipment. The purchase of an incorrigible slave who could not be controlled was regarded as a waste of money.
(See Death penalty and Dred Scott.)
This Onesimus may have been the same personage as the 2nd century bishop of that name, according to one tradition. Another tradition connects Onesimus to the Ephesian Christian, Onesiphorus (meaning "profit-bearer"), the well-to-do property-holder who is praised by Paul in 2 Timothy 1:16-18; 4:19. Scholars are not generally satisfied that either of these traditions has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
See Catholic Encyclopedia: Philemon.

"that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him"

Ephesians 1:17
An allusion to the Septuagint text, Wisdom 7:7.

"and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus"

Ephesians 2:6.
Christian tradition understands Paul to mean that in Christ the Christian's place in heaven is assured and reserved at Jesus' side after the Resurrection of the Dead and the Final Judgment, as long as he or she does not commit apostasy and does not remain in a state of unrepentant estrangement from him (RSV "commit apostasy" KJV "fall away" Hebrews 6:4-8, Greek parapipto Strong's number 3895) . See Apostasy.
Hymenaeus and Philetus were among those who twisted the meaning of Paul's teaching (2 Peter 3:16-17) and "swerved from the truth by holding that the resurrection is passed already." (2 Timothy 2:17). This view is almost identical to what is today called Preterism, which teaches that Christ's Second Coming, the Resurrection of the Dead, the Final Judgment, and everything John wrote in the Book of Revelation has already been fully accomplished, and that the whole eschatological expectation of Christianity was totally fulfilled in the first century before the year A.D. 100, a view maintained by many liberal scripture scholars and social atheists. This view is also at the heart of Secular Humanism.
(See Social Gospel and Revelation, Book of (historical exegesis): Significant differences in interpretation.)
The notoriety accorded the views of widely published liberal and atheist biblical scholars has prompted many Christians, in particular devout Christian Fundamentalists, to react with suspicion against the disciplines of hermeneutical scholarship and higher criticism.
But in spite of the negative publicity and controversial notoriety of anti-Christian biblical scholarship, the far larger majority of professional biblical textual scholars are highly qualified and truly committed Christian exegetes who prayerfully take seriously the whole of the ancient Christian Bible in every part as the genuinely inspired, written Word of God.

"Stand therefore, having the utility belt of truth buckled around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness"

Ephesians 6:14
An allusion to the Septuagint text,
Wisdom 5:18 and 1 Maccabees 3:3

"Therefore put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. ... And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God"

Ephesians 6:13-17
An allusion to the Septuagint text, Wisdom 5:17-20.

"an ambassador in chains"

Ephesians 6:20.
"Ambassador" here is presbeuo, "to be a senior", "to act as an ambassador", (figuratively "to be a preacher" or "spokesman") from the base of the Greek word presbuteros; see Strong's numbers 4243 and 4245.
The word can be interpretively read as "Representative Elder", as "Priestly representative", and as "Senator", depending on the translating interpreter's opinion based on doctrinal beliefs, perhaps strongly influenced by a conscious or unconscious prejudicial acceptance or rejection of organized religion.
See interlinear text of Ephesians 6:20.
Compare multiple versions of Ephesians 6:20 and multiple commentaries.
Perhaps the best illustrative analogy for an American Christian to be able to grasp Paul's position is to imagine an influential and controversial pro-life U.S. Senator sent abroad on a peace mission to a nation notorious for human rights violations, who has been wrongly detained and is being held for trial on doubtful grounds, pending an investigation by that government.

"episcopes and deacons"

Philippians 1:1.
Bishops and deacons.
The WEB reads "overseers and servants."
See multiple versions of Philippians 1:1.
The Greek text uses the plural terms ἐπισκόποις episkopois and διακόνοις diakonois. The singular forms are episcopos and diaconos, which mean "Bishop" and "Deacon":
ἐπισκόποις καὶ διακόνοις
The World English Bible (WEB) translation, which is the primary but not exclusive basis for the English text of this Harmony of the Bible (Conservative Version), deliberately substitutes words that do not have explicitly Catholic and Orthodox connotations, words which many translators regard as synonyms "free of ecclesiastical baggage". The word ecclesia "churches" is also avoided by the WEB and rendered instead as "assemblies".
However, most English translations, including
WYC, DR, KJV, RSV, BBE, TWB, NRSV, NAB, NABRE, GOD'S WORD, Jubilee Bible 2000, TMB,
render the actual meanings according to direct equivalence, "bishops and deacons" and "church" and "churches", instead of using euphemistic synonyms that grammatically divorce the New Testament from ancient Christian usage.
William Tyndale, the outlawed English translator of the Bible, executed by the king of England for expressions of blasphemy and treason in his textual notes to the scriptures and for flouting the religious establishment of the Church of England, avoided using literal translations of words like "deacon", "priest", "bishop", "church", which to the English reader might sound like scriptural support for the existing organized religious institutional and hierarchical churches of his time, the Anglican and Orthodox, and especially the Roman Catholic. His notes were later removed, condemned by church and king, but a major portion of his translation of the Bible was retained by the James I commission which was tasked with translating the new English Authorized Version. See Bible: English language versions of the Bible.

"work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

Philippians 2:12
Compare 1 Peter 1:13-17 and 2 Peter 3:11-12.
This is a doctrine of conditional salvation.
Many Protestant Christians who have been taught the doctrine of sola fide that no works of their own can guarantee salvation are puzzled by Paul's admonition, even shocked, that he would make such a statement. See Eternal security (salvation).
Compare KJV texts of Ephesians 2:10; Acts 26:19-20;James 2:14-26; 1 John 3:17-18; Revelation 20:12-13 and 22:12-14
Compare:
Revelation 19:7-9 and Matthew 22:11-13
"clothed with fine linen, bright and pure—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints"
See also Revelation 16:15 and John 15:4-8; John 6:28-29; Luke 6:46-49; and Matthew 25:41-46.
See Corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
See also Licentiousness
However, Martin Luther wrote this about a good life manifested by good works:
"No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day." - Letter to Melancthon.
"There is no more dangerous, more pernicious scandal than a good life exteriorly manifested by good works. Those pious souls who do good to gain the Kingdom of Heaven not only will never succeed, but they must even be reckoned among the impious; and it is more important to guard them against good works than against sin."
—Works of Luther, Wittenberg, Vol. VI, 160
Luther Said: Doing Good Is More Dangerous Than Sinning - Beggars All: Reformation & Apologetics (beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com)
St. Paul wrote this:
"We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a peculiar people, zealous for good works." Titus 2:11-14
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of the faith." Galatians 6:7-10
See Verse-by-verse Bible Commentary: Philippians 2:12 (studylight.org)
See especially Summary of Process of Salvation in Roman Catholicism, by Matt Slick - Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry CARM (carm.org) A non-Catholic author's summary of the place of works in the doctrine of salvation as seen in Catechism of the Catholic Church
Compare the actual text of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Part Three: Life in Christ - Section One: Man's Vocation: Life in the Spirit - Chapter Three: God's Salvation: Law and Grace - Article 2: Grace and Justification - I. Justification - II. Grace - III. Merit (scborromeo.org) most of this doctrine has been condemned by the churches of the Protestant Reformation as being utterly contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. See Eternal security (salvation).

"to present you holy and without defect and blameless before him, if it is so that you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away"

Colossians 1:22b-23
This is a doctrine of conditional salvation. If they do not continue in the faith they will not be presented holy and without defect and blameless. They begin well, being saved by the truth of the Gospel, but then they forfeit their security of unmerited eternal salvation by falling away from the truth in Christ, like the seed sown on rock that sprang up and withered away because they had no depth of soil and were scorched by the sun.
See Matthew 13:20-22; John 14:21-23; 15:2-10; Galatians 5:7; 2 Corinthians 11:2-15; Hebrews 6:4-8 and 10:7-25; 2 Peter 10:10 and chapter 3.

"I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for his body’s sake, which is the Assembly"

Colossians 1:24.
Christ suffers with his people and in his people (Acts 9:5).
Many Christians are puzzled by this text. They compare the fullness of redemption in Christ's sacrifice, his passion, death and resurrection, with the statement of Paul in this verse and they ask, "How can anything be lacking in the sufferings and affliction of Christ for the sake of his body, the church?"
The answer is that Christ lives in Paul, as Paul said (Galatians 2:20), and in every believing Christian who loves him (John 14:23). Paul's persecution of Christian believers was a persecution of Christ himself (Acts 9:4-5). The number remaining of those to be saved accounts for all that is lacking in the affliction and suffering of Christ Jesus for the sake of his body, the Church, the household of God, the pillar and ground of truth (1 Timothy 3:15). Paul appealed to the brethren, by the mercies of God, to present their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1). In his people's sufferings, Christ is sacrificed again and again for the salvation of the world. In them He fills up that which is lacking of his afflictions for the sake of his body, the church (Acts 9:5). This is the basis of the classic pastoral counsel proposed by the saints to those who are suffering: "Join your sufferings to the suffering of Christ on the cross for the salvation of poor sinners!"—"Offer it up!"—"I am crucified with Christ!".
See the following:
Compare also:

"if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained ... I press on, if it is so that I may take hold ... I do not regard myself as yet having taken hold ... I press on toward the goal

Philippians 3:11-14.
Compare 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. "lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified".
These and multiple other passages contradict the doctrine of Unconditional Eternal Security, also called Assurance, and mockingly nicknamed "Once saved, always saved". Paul states that he himself does not yet have the security of eternal salvation while he lives, "Not that I have already obtained it...I do not regard myself as yet having taken hold of it...". Not even St. Paul expressed the unconditional assurance that he was irrevocably saved before he died. Only before his martyrdom, and when he was near death, in his Second Letter to Timothy did he express such confidence: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day."
The New Testament is full of warnings to believers to avoid the practice of sin and to not fall away from the truth, "lest you forfeit your own security" (2 Peter 3:17). Such a multitude of warnings to believers indicates that salvation can be forfeited through one's own carelessness and embracing the doctrine of Antinomianism "freedom from law". See Hebrews 6:4-8 "those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then fall away ... near to being burned." It is possible to fall away after being saved.
Those passages which declare that nothing can separate us from Christ and that God can be trusted to bring his work of salvation to perfection list those powers and persons and influences which are outside of the individual believer, which are not within him or her. There is no power outside of those who believe that can "take us out of his hand", but only that which comes from within the heart, Matthew 15:18-20.
The Christian believer is responsible for maintaining faithfulness to God. Salvation in Christ is not automatically infallible and irrevocable. The warnings to believing Christians, who have been "saved from the wrath to come", apply to their own personal decisions, to their own obedience or disobedience, and to their own willing practice of virtue and good works or willing practice of sin and "profligacy" which God will judge, "and there is no respect of persons". See Romans 2:6-11; and Matthew 7:21: "Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord', shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven", who has "created us in Christ unto good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them", for "faith without works is dead" (Ephesians 2:10; James 2:26). This is why Paul urgently commands "Do not sin!" 1 Corinthians 15:34. "Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame." (See Free will.)
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Galatians 6:7-8
"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." 1 Corinthians 10:12
Compare Ezekiel 18:24 and Matthew 25:31-46. Faith and belief are not mentioned: only virtue and good works.
"Beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability." 2 Peter 3:17
"For ground which drinks in the rain that often falls on it, and brings forth crops useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed; its end is finally to be burned." (The rain is the free gift of God).
Compare what happened to those who received the gift of the Lord in Matthew 25:14-30.
If it is impossible to lose the free gift of salvation then no warnings would have been given.

"love, which is the bond of perfection"

Colossians 3:14.
That which is perfect is love. Compare 1 John 4:16-19.
See 1 Corinthians 13:10, "but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away", and "Love never ends." verse 8 (RSV).
According to John and Paul, "love" (Greek agape), is that which is perfection in the Christian, doing away with fear and the persistent need for any other gift of the Spirit. "For love is the fulfilling of the law." Romans 13:10.
Agape is the "bond of perfection" which makes the Christian community perfect, the "bond of peace" that Paul praises in Ephesians 4:1-3.
Faith, hope and charity (agape, love) remain when the Christian has attained true maturity in Christ, after the temporary gifts have passed. See Paul's detailed treatment in 1 Corinthians 12–14.
Jesus said, "Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me", and "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." John 14:11, 23.
And John said, "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." 1 John 4:16b. This is also found in the Book of Revelation, where it says, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them." (Revelation 21:3 and commentaries).
"Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the holy spirit" —Traditional.
Compare Ephesians 4:4-6.

"the letter from Laodicea"

Colossians 4:16
There is an extant latin Epistula ad Laodicæos “Epistle to the Laodiceans”, which was circulated in the West, known only from the Latin text, dated to A.D. 150-350, which some have thought bears traces of translation from a Greek original. It appears to the majority of experts be a complete forgery. Any speculative supposition that a genuine letter from Paul to the Laodicean church has been lost is completely arbitrary, and has no supporting evidence. In our ordinary copies of the Greek Testament the only letter which is noted as having been written by Paul from Laodicea is the First Epistle to Timothy; but Paul states clearly in Colossians 2:1 that the Laodiceans had not seen his face in the flesh, making 1 Timothy unlikely as being "the letter from Laodicea".
A fourth century tradition declares that the “Epistle to the Hebrews” was written to the Laodiceans; but according to the textual analyses of "higher criticism", the whole character and argument of Hebrews make this extremely unlikely.
The supposition of higher criticism which is held to be most probable overwhelmingly identifies the “Epistle to the Ephesians” with the "Epistle to the Laodiceans". The heretic Marcion expressly calls Ephesians an “Epistle to the Laodiceans.” An encyclical letter of Paul, which Ephesians appears to be, might well have been sent to Laodicea to be sent on to Colossæ. The two Epistles, Ephesians and Colossians, have both strong likeness and marked distinction, and it would be natural that these two churches should interchange them to each other, according to the direction of the text.
An English translation of the Epistle to the Laodiceans is included in an edition of the Wycliffite Bible translation.
The 16th century Council of Trent did not include Laodiceans among the approved list of canonical scriptures of the Vulgate Bible. The Orthodox Church has never included a Greek translation of the Latin text of Laodiceans in Η ΚΑΙΝΗ ΔΙΑΘΗΚΗ E Kaine Diatheke, "The Kaini Testament" (the New Testament of the Greek Bible).
See the following:

"LETTER TO THE LAODICEANS"

An updated and revised dynamic translation of the text of Laodiceans has been included here solely for the purpose of information, for the convenience of the reader, to evaluate on its own merits.

NOTE TO THE READER: Conservapedia does not accept the Letter to the Laodiceans as genuine or as inspired scripture.

"the Roman-Parthian War of A.D. 58 to 63 was occurring."

Amplification from history.
Most Bible scholars date Paul's imprisonment during this period. See the following:
Compare Revelation 16:12 and Matthew 24:6.
See Book of Revelation: The Parthian Attack.

Compare the Conservative Bible text (conservapedia.com):

Paul stayed for two full years in his own rented house, and received everyone who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, and no man forbade him.


Paul, in prison for Jesus Christ, and our brother Timothy, say to our friend and fellow volunteer Philemon, and to dear Apphia and our colleague Archippus, and to your home church.

God's grace to you, and peace of mind, from our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanks be to God, as my prayers always do, hearing of your love and faith toward the Lord Jesus and all saints, that sharing your faith may be effective through acknowledging that every good thing comes from Christ Jesus. For we enjoy great joy and comfort from your love, because the hearts of believers are cheered by you, my brother. Though I could be so bold in the name of Christ to beg you to do what is right, Instead, for the sake of love I, Paul, urge you, in my old age and from prison for Jesus Christ. I beg you on behalf of my convert Onesimus, to whom I successfully witnessed while imprisoned; (which in the past was ineffective for you, but now is effective for you and for me) whom I have sent again: you should therefore accept him, for he is of my faith, who I would have kept with me, that he might have witnessed to other prisoners here the Gospel, instead of you. But without you, am I to do nothing? You must volunteer, not be forced into this work.

For he who departs for a season should still always be welcomed back. Not as a servant, but as more than a servant, a beloved brother, especially to me, but even more to you, both in this world and in the next? If you consider me a partner, treat him as you would treat me. If he has done some wrong to you, or owes you anything, I, Paul, have written with my own hand that I shall repay it, although I do not say how you owe me even your very self.

Colleague, let me have joy of you in the Lord: refresh my strength and faith in the Lord. I write to you because I am confident in your obedience, doing even more than I ask. But still, I ask you prepare me a lodging, for I believe that through your prayers, I shall be released and delivered to you. Epaphras, a colleague in prison for Christ Jesus, sends his best wishes; as do my colleagues Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.


From Paul, one of Jesus Christ's apostles by God's will, to the Ephesian saints and those faithful to Jesus Christ:

Our Father God and Jesus Christ's grace and peace of mind be on you.

Blessed is God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blessed us with all the spiritual blessings in Christ in the heavenly realm. Since He chose us to serve Him before the world began, that we would be holy and blameless and loving before Him, and in fact planned ahead of time to adopt us as His children through Jesus Christ, as He willed, which praises the glory of His grace, which He gave to us in the Beloved. We are redeemed by His blood, and forgiven our sin thanks to His rich grace, which He has give to us in His wisdom and prudence, since He told us the truth of His will, according to the plan He had created, so that at the end of the full execution of that plan over time, He might gather everything together in Christ in one place, both the things in heaven, and the things on earth.

We also have received an inheritance in Him, having been destined ahead-of-time according to the plan of Him Who makes all things work out according to the counsel of His own will, so that we, who first trusted in Christ, should exist to the praise of His glory. You also trusted in HIm, after you heard the Word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation in Him. Also, after you believed in that, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, the collateral for our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

For that reason I, too, after I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love to all the saints, have not stopped giving thanks for you, and mentioning you in my prayers, so that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, might give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in knowledge about Him, and so that the eyes of your understanding will be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and how rich is the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and how exceedingly great is His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His of his ruling power. He created that power in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above every kind of principality, and authority, and power, and lordship, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in the world to come, and has put all things under His feet, and given Him to be the head over all things to the church. The church is His Body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

You were once dead with sin and wrongdoings. While in the past you followed the custom of the day, catering to the prince of earth, the evil spirit that guides men and women who behave like disobedient children. Furthermore, we all had our dealings in the past with such people in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of flesh and mind. We were by nature children of wrath, the same as these others. But God, Who is rich in mercy, on account of His great love that He loved us with, even when we were dead in sins, has made us alive together with Christ—by grace you are saved—and has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might demonstrate the exceeding wealth of His grace in His kindness toward us, through Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this did not come from yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, so that no man has any room to boast.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has preordained for us to walk in. So remember that you, who in the past were Gentiles in the flesh, who are called the "uncircumcision" by the thing that is called the "circumcision" in the flesh made by hands, were at that time without Christ, and were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and foreign to the covenants of promise, and had no hope, and were without God in the world. But now, in Christ Jesus, you, who ere once far away, are brought near by the blood of Christ. He is our peace, and has made both classes one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us. He has abolished in His flesh the enmity, and even the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, in order to make in Himself one new man of two natures, thus making peace, and so that He might reconcile both to God in one body by the Cross, having destroyed the enmity through the agency of that Cross, and come and preached peace to you who were far away from Him, and to those who were much closer to Him. Because through Him, both classes have access by one Spirit to the Father.

So now you are not strangers and foreigners anymore, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, and are built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. Jesus Christ Himself is the chief cornerstone, and in Him the entire building, properly framed, grows together to a Holy Temple in the Lord. And in Him you also are built together as a dwelling-place of God through the Spirit.

This is why I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ on behalf of you, the Gentiles, if you heard (and I assume you have) of the management of the grace of God that is given from me to you, that by revelation He let me in on the secret (as I wrote before in a few words, by which, when you read this, you might understand my comprehension of the secret of Christ) that in other ages was kept from the sons of men, as it is revealed now to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that the Gentiles must be fellow-heirs, and belong to the same body, and partake in His Promise in Christ by the gospel of which I was made a servant, according to the gift of the grace of God given me by the working-out of His power. I am less than the least of all the saints, and yet this grace has been given me, so that I might preach, among the Gentiles, the unsearchable wealth of Christ, and make all men realize the fellowship of the secret, which has been hidden from the beginning of the world in God, Who created all things through Jesus Christ, so that now, to the principalities and authorities in heavenly places, the manifold wisdom of God might be known by the church, according to the eternal purpose that he set in Christ Jesus our Lord, in Whom we have boldness and access, with confidence, by His faith. So I would not have you give up in the face of the oppression that I suffer for you, the oppression that is your glory.

This is why I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant to you, according to the richness of His glory, to be strengthened greatly by His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ might live in your hearts by faith, so that you, being rooted and grounded in love, can comprehend with all the saints the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge, so that you might be filled with the fullness of God.

Now to Him WHo can do with exceeding abudance anything that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be the glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.

And so I, the prisoner of the Lord, beg of you that you will walk worthy of your calling, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, putting up with one another in love, doing your best to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, just as you are called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of everyone. He is above all, and through all, and in all of you.

But grace is given to every one of us according to the measure of the gift of Christ. That is why He says, "When He went up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men." Now that He has ascended, did He not also descend first into the lower parts of the earth? He Who has descended is the same One Who has ascended far above all heavens, so that He might fill all things. He made some men apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some for making the saints complete, for the work of service, for the building-up of the body of Christ, until we all come in the unity of the faith, and the understanding of the Son of God, to a complete man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that from now on we will not be children anymore, tossed here and there, and carried around with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, and cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive, but, speaking the truth in love, we might grow up into Him in all things, He Who is the head: Christ. From Him the whole body, joined properly together and brought together by that which every joint supplies, according to the working-out in the measure of every part, makes itself increase for its own building-up in love.

All that to say this, and to testify in the Lord: from now on you must not walk the way other Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thinking. They have their understanding darkened, and are alienated from the lief of God through the ignorance that is in them. They, being past feeling, have given themselves over to loose living, to work all types of uncleanness with greed. You have not thus learned about Christ, if it is true that you have heard Him, and been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus, so that you will put off, as regards the old conversation, the old man, who is corrupt according to deceitful lusts, and allow yourself to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, who is created after God in righteousness and true holiness.

So put away lying, and let every man speak the truth with his neighbor, because we are all members of one another. Be angry in a controlled way and with just cause, and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no quarter to the devil.

He who steals, let him steal no more. Instead, let him work, making good things with his hands, so that he can give something to a needy person. Do not say anything rotten, but rather speak of good that builds so that others may understand grace.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. After all, you are sealed with the spirit of God until redemption. Cease all bitterness, wrath, anger, outrage and blasphemy along with all forms of malice Be kind to each other, compassionate and forgiving as God in Christ has forgiven you.

So you must be followers of God, like beloved children, and walk in love, as Christ loved us as well, and gave Himself for us as an Offering and a Sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling flavor. But make sure that sexual immorality, or perversion, or covetousness is never once named among you, as becomes the set-apart people that you are, nor filthiness, nor the speaking of foolish things, nor making fun of others. These do not become you well. Instead, you should be giving thanks. You know this: no client of prostitutes, no unclean person, and no covetous man, who is a worshipper of idols, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Do not let any man deceive you with empty words. Because of these things, the righteous and magisterial anger of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. So do not be a participant with them in that disobedience.

You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. So walk like children of light, (the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth,) discerning what is acceptable to the Lord. Do not have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. You should instead be showing such things up for what they are. It is a shameful thing even to talk about the things that they do in hiding. All things that are shown for what they are, are made obvious by the light—for anything that makes a thing obvious, is light. For He Who makes things obvious says: "Wake up, sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light."

So see that you tread carefully, not like ignorant people, but like wise people, and redeeming the time, because the days are evil. On this account you must not be unlearned, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And do not intoxicate yourselves with material luxuries; that sort of thing leads to excess. Instead, by filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual odes, singing and making melody inm your heart to the Lord. always giving thanks for all things to God and the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. In a spirit of mutual submission in the fear of God, you wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as you do to the Lord. A husband is the head of his wife, in the same way that Christ is the head of the church, and He is the Savior of the body. So, as the church is subject to Christ, let wives be subject to their own husbands in everything.

You husbands: love your wives, in the same way that Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it, so that he might set it apart and cleanse it with the washing of water by the (spoken) word, so that he might present it to Himself as a glorious church, having no spot or wrinkle or anything of that kind, but that it should be holy and without blemish. Men ought to love their wives as much as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife, loves himself. No man has ever yet treated his own flesh with indifference. He nourishes it and cherishes it, the same way that the Lord does for the church. For we are members of His Body, of His Flesh, and of His Bones. "This is why a man leaves his father and mother, and is joined to his wife, and the two of them will be one flesh." This is an important secret. But I am speaking about Christ and the church. Still, let every one of you in particular love his wife in this way, even as he loves himself. And let the wife see that she shows reverence for her husband.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord. This is the right thing to do. "Honor your father and mother," (this is the first commandment carrying a promise) "so that it will be well with you, and you may live long on the earth."

You fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the instruction and admonition of the Lord.

Slaves, be obedient to those that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in single-mindedness of your heart, as you are to Christ, not with eye-service, as men do to please other men, but like the slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, doing your job with good will, as if you are doing it for the Lord, and not for men, knowing that whatever good thing any man does, he will get back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or a free man.

And you masters: do likewise for them, and lay off threatening. Remember: your Master is in heaven, and there is no respect of persons with Him.

Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His strength. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand against the tricks of the Devil. We are not in a fight against flesh and blood, but against principalities, authorities, and world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in heavenly places. So take up to yourselves the full armor of God, so that you can stand fast in the evil day and, having done everything, remain standing. So stand, having the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and your feet protected with the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and staying alert to it with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints, and for me, so that the power of speech might be given me, so that I may open my mouth boldly, to share the secret of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds, so that I may speak boldly in that, as I should.

But so that you may also know about my business, and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything. I have sent him to you for that very purpose, so that you may know what we are doing, and he might comfort your hearts.

May peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

May grace be with all of those who sincerely love our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


From Paul and Timothy, Jesus Christ's servants, to His Philippian saints, bishops, and deacons.

Our Father God and Lord Jesus Christ's grace and peace of mind be upon you.

I thank God whenever I think of you. I pray for your joy in every one of my prayers, for your faith in the gospel from the beginning until now. I am confident that He, having begun great work in you, will continue it until Jesus Christ returns. It is right for me to think of you all, as you remain in my mind. You all join in my salvation, just as you join my imprisonment, and defense and proof of the gospel. God can testify how I care for you all in the way of Jesus Christ. So I pray that your love will still grow in knowledge and insight, so you can discern what is best and be truthful and sinless until Christ's return, and be filled with Jesus Christ's fruits of righteousness, to God's praise and glory.

I want you to understand, Brothers, that the trials which have fallen on me only further the gospel, so my alliance with Christ is shown to the palace and all other places. Many of the Lord's brothers, made confident by my imprisonment, courageously and fearlessly speak the truth. Some actually preach Christ out of envy and strife, but many also out of good will. The first preach Him deceitfully, hoping to harm me in prison. But the others do so from love, knowing I am destined to defend the gospel.

Now what? Regardless of the motives - false or true - Christ is preached and I rejoice for it and will continue to rejoice. I know from your prayer and the sustenance from Jesus Christ's spirit that this will end in my salvation. My earnest expectation and hope is that I will be ashamed of nothing, but Christ will be magnified in me courageously as ever, whether I live or die. For me, to live is Christ, to die is to profit.

If I go in living in body, this will be the profit of my work, but what will I choose? I am currently torn between two options: I desire to leave and be with Christ, which is much better, but continuing to live is more helpful to you. I'm confident I'll continue to live with you all to assist your faith and joy. So your rejoicing for me in Jesus Christ will be greater when I return. Have your conversation attune to Christ's Gospel, so whether I'm with you or not, I'll hear of you that you remain strong with one spirit and one mind in faith to the gospel.

Never be terrified by your enemies. It is a sign of damnation for them, but God's salvation to you. It is given to you on Christ's behalf to believe in him and suffer for his cause, since you're undergoing the same struggle I did and I've told you of. So if there's any consolation, loving comfort, fellowship of the Spirit, kindness and mercy in Christ, make my joy by being of one mind, sharing the same love, having one decision, one conclusion.

Don't do anything in anger or selfishness, but with humbleness consider others better than yourself. Don't obsess over your own affairs, but consider others'. Have the same outlook as while in the form of God, He didn't think it was theft to be equal with God. He didn't make a reputation for Himself, but became a servant in the likeness of men. As He lived like men, He humbled Himself, and obeyed until He died upon the cross. So God has exalted Him highly, and so all knees bow in heaven, earth, and underneath at Jesus' name, and all tongues confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to God the Father's glory.

So, my friends, since you've obeyed when I was with you but also now that I'm away, work to your salvation with great awe. God is working through you to bring about His plans. Never mutter or bicker, so you will be blameless and unharmed, sons of God, within a corrupt and perverted nation. You will shine like lights in the world among them, holding forth the Word of Life, so that I may be glad in the Day of Christ that I did not either run or work for nothing. To the contrary, and if I am offered into the sacrifice and service of your faith, I have joy, and rejoice with all of you. For that same reason, you should have joy and rejoice with me.

I hope, in the Lord Jesus, that I can send Timothy to you soon, so that I may also be comforted when I know how you stand. I have no man of like mind who will be naturally concerned about you. For everyone seeks his own, and not the things that pertain to Jesus Christ. But you can trust [Timothy]: as a son serves with his father, so he has served with me in the Gospel. So I hope to send him to you shortly, as soon as I know how I am doing. But I hope in the Lord that I can shortly come myself as well.

But I felt that I had to send you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your agent, and the one who ministered to my needs. He longed after all of you, and was full of grief, because you had heard that I had been ill. For in fact he had fallen mortally ill. But God had mercy on him, and not only him but me also, so that I wouldn't have sorrow after sorrow. So I sent him with much greater deliberation, so that, when you see him again, you can rejoice, and I can be less sad. So welcome him in the Lord with all gladness, and hold men like him in high regard, because on account of the work of Christ he was near death, disregarding his own life, to make up for your lack of service to me.

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. It is not a problem for me to write these things to you, and it is safe for you. Watch out for men who behave like dogs, watch out for men who work evil, and watch out for the mutilation. We are the circumcision. We worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and place no reliance on the flesh. Although I might also rely somewhat on the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has reason to trust in the flesh, I have more reason:

I was circumcised on the eight day, I am of the caste of Israel, of the Tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, and as to the Law, I am a Pharisee. As to zeal, I once persecuted the church; and as regards any justice to be found in the Law, I am blameless. But those things that were profit to me, I counted them as loss for Christ. But no doubt I indeed count all things as loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For Him I suffered the loss of all things, but I reckon them as a total waste, so that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having any justice for myself, which is from the Law, but that justice that comes through the faith of Christ, the justice that is from God by faith, so that I may know Him, and the power of HIs Resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, after being made moldable to His death, if I can possibly win a part of the resurrection of the dead. And not as if I had already won that, or were already made complete, but I follow after, if I may understand that for which I am also understood by Christ Jesus.

Brothers, I don't pretend to have understood. But I am doing this one thing, forgetting the things behind me, and reaching for the things that are ahead of me: I am pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ. So let as many of us as might be complete, think this way. And if you think otherwise in anything, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to what we have already attained, let us walk by that same rule, and let us mind the same thing.

Brothers, follow together after my lead, and take note of those who walk in this way, so that you can have us for an example. (For many are walking, whom I told you about before, and I tell you now and cry as I say it, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their god is their belly, and their glory is in their shame, when they think about earthly things.) For our place of citizenship is in heaven, and we also look there for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our humiliated body, so that it might be fashioned like His glorious body, according to the working that enables Him also to subdue all things to Himself.

So, my dearly beloved and longed-for brothers, my joy and crown, stand fast in the Lord, my beloved. I beg of Euodias, and bed of Syntyche, that they will be of the same mind in the Lord. I also ask you, my true fellow subjugate, to help those women who worked with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with others of my fellow workers, whose names are found in the Book of Life.

Rejoice in the Lord at all times. I will say it again: Rejoice. Let your graciousness and forbearance be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Don't worry about a thing. To the contrary, bring your requests in everything to the Lord, by prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will preserve your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers: whatever is true, whatever honest, whatever just, whatever clean, whatever lovely, and whatever well-spoken-of, if there is any excellence, and if there is any praise, consider these things. Those things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, you do. The God of peace will be with you.

And I have rejoiced greatly in the Lord, that now at last your concern about me has flourished once again. You were always concerned about that, but you hadn't the opportunity. I am not speaking about my wants. I have learned to be content with whatever state I find myself in. I now how to handle scarcity and abundance. I am instructed everywhere and in all things, how to be full and how to be hungry, how to have abundant resources, and how to handle need. I can do everything through Christ who makes me strong. All that to say that you have done well, because you helped me when I was ill.

Now you Phillipians also know, that in the beginning of my gospel mission, when I left Macedonia, no church had anything in common about giving or receiving, except yourselves alone. For even in Thessalonica you sent me things I needed again and again. It's not that I want a gift. I want to see fruit that will redound abundantly to your credit. But I have everything, and plenty of it. I am full, because I received from Epaphroditus the things that were sent by you, a sweet-smelling odor, an acceptable sacrifice, very pleasing to God. But my God will supply everything you need according to His wealth in glory by Christ Jesus.

Now: glory be to our God and Father for ever and ever. Amen.

Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those who belong to the household of Caesar. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.


From: Paul, God's appointed apostle of Jesus Christ, and Timothy, our companion,

To: the faithful members and brothers in Christ at the church of Colossae. God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send you grace and peace of mind.

We thank God the Father of Jesus Christ, and we are always praying for you. We have heard of your faith in Jesus Christ and the love you have for all the believers, on account of the hope laid up for you in heaven, that you heard of before in the Word of the Truth of the Gospel, which has come to you, as in all the world, and brings out fruit, as it does in you as well, since the day you heard about it and knew the grace of God in truth.

You also learned from Epaphras our much-loved fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, and has also declared to us how much love you have in the Spirit. On this account we also, since the day we heard about it, have not stopped praying for you, and asking that you might be filled with the understanding of His will in all wisdom and spiritual comprehension, so that you might walk in a manner worthy of the lord to all pleasing, and be fruitful in every good work, and increase in the knowledge of God, made powerful with all power, according to His glorious rulership, to all patient endurance and waiting with joyfulness, giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us fit to be participants in the inheritance of the saints in light, Who has rescued us from the authority of darkness, and has caused us now to stand in the kingdom of His beloved Son, in Whom we have redemption by means of His blood, including the forgiveness of sins.

He is the Image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. By Him all things were created, in heaven and earth, seen and unseen, including thrones, lordships, principalities, or authorities. All things were created by Him and for Him. He came before all things, and all things have been made to stand by Him. He is the Head of the body, the church. He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from the dead, so that in all things He should have pre-eminence. For it was pleasing to the Father that in Him all fullness should live, and, having made peace by means of the blood from His cross, to reconcile all things to Himself through Him. By Him, I say again, whether they are things in earth or things in heaven. You, who were at one time alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked worth, he has now reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you as a holy, flawless and unreproachable thing in His sight, if you continue to be grounded and founded in the faith, and not let yourselves be moved away from the hope of the gospel, that you have heard, and that was preached to every creature under the sky, of which I, Paul, was made a minister. I now rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf, and fill up whatever is lacking from the oppression of Christ in my flesh for the sake of his body, the church, of which I have been made a minister, according to the managerial order of God that is given to me for you, to fulfill God's word, even the secret that has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now is revealed fully to His saints.

God would have them know about the riches of the glory of this secret among the Gentiles: Christ in you, the hope of glory. We preach Him, and warn every man, and teach every man in all wisdom, so that we may present every man as a complete man in Christ Jesus. And I also am working for HIm, striving according to His working, which works in me in great power.

For I want you to know that I am very much concerned about you, and about those at Laodicea, and about anyone who has not met me face-to-face, because I want their hearts to be comforted, and knit together in love, and to all the wealth of a full understanding, to the recognition of the secret of God, and of the Father, and of Christ. In HIm all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.

And I say this, so that no one will lead you away with nice-sounding words. For though I am absent in the flesh, I am with you in spirit, taking joy as if I could look directly at your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. So as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, having it in abundance with thanksgiving.

Be careful not to let anyone spoil you through philosophy and vain decepsion, according to the tradition of men, according to the "principles" of the world, and not according to Christ. For all the full Godhead lives inside Him bodily. And you have been made complete in Him, and He is the Head of all rulership and authority. You are also circumcised in Him with the circumcision made without hands, in that you have put off the body of the sins of the flesh by means of the circumcision of Christ. You were buried with Him in baptism, and in that you are also risen with Him through the faith from the working-out by God, Who has raised Him from the dead. And you who were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has revived together with Him and forgiven you all your trespasses. He has obliterated the handwritten record of ordinances that lay against us, which was our enemy, and took it out of the way and nailed it to His Cross. He has despoiled rulerships and authorities, and exposed them openly and triumphed over them in it.

So don't let anyone judge you for what you eat or drink, or what holidays you keep or do not keep, or with regard to the new moon or the sabbaths. These are a shadow of things to come, but the body comes from Christ. Don't let anyone cheat you out of your reward by showing voluntary humility and angel worship, intruding into things that he has not seen, puffed up with vain pride by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head. From the Head all the body, having nourishment ministered by joints and tendons, and knit together, increases as God increases.

So if you are dead with Christ from the basic principles of the world, then why, as if you were living in the world, would you be subject to ordinances ("Don't touch!" "Don't taste!" "Don't handle!" All these will go away through usages.) according to the instructions and dogmas of men? To be sure, these things have an outward show of wisdom in will-worship, humility, and bodily neglect, but not in any honor to the satisfaction of the flesh.

So if you are risen with Christ, you should seek after the things above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Keep your mind on the things above, not on things on the earth. For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, our Life, appears, you will appear with him also in glory.

So mortify your members on the earth—things like sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustful affection, lustful practice, and grasping and greedy behavior, which is actually a form of idolatry. On account of those things the righteous anger of God is coming on the children of disobedience. You also used to walk in these things before, when you lived in them. Now you should also put off all of these: anger, rage, malice, blasphemy, foul language. Do not tell one another lies. You have put off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him Who created him. In him there is neither Greek nor Jew, nor circiumcision nor uncircumcision, nor uncivilized man, nor Scythian, nor slave nor free man. Christ is all and in all.

So as becomes the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness and patience from your innermost being. Put up with one another and forgive one another, if any man has a quarrel against any other man. Christ forgave you, so you should do the same. Above all these things put on sacrificial love. This is the bond of perfection. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you are also called in one body, and be thankful. Let the Word of Christ live in you richly, teaching in all wisdom and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and give thanks to God and the Father through him.

Wives, submit to your own husbands. This is the proper thing to do in the Lord.

Husbands, love your wives, and do not be bitter against them.

Children, obey your parents in everything. This will please the Lord well.

Fathers, do not provoke your children; you do not want to discourage them.

Slaves, obey your masters in all things according to the flesh, and not with eye-service, but in singleness of heart, fearing God.

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as if you are doing it for the Lord, not for men. Remember that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance, because you are in the service of Christ. But anyone who does wrong will be repaid for the wrong that has been done, and there is no respect of persons.

Masters, give your slaves what is just and equal. You know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Keep praying, and be on the lookout in prayer in thanksgiving, and pray for us as well, so that God will open a door of utterance to us, to share the secret of Christ, for which I also am a prisoner, so that I may make it obvious to all, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are outside of it, and redeem the time. Make sure your speech is always with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you might know you should given an answer to every man.

Tychicus will tell you everything that is happening with me. He is a beloved brothers, and a faithful minister and fello-servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for the same reason, so that he might know how you stand, and comfort your hearts, together with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of your number. They will make sure that you know all the things that are happening here.

Aristarchus my fellow prisoner sends his respects, and Marcus, Barnabas' nephew (about whom you have this instruction: if he comes to you, make him welcome), and Jesus, also known as Justus. All these are of the circumcision. Only these men are my fellow-workers toward the kingdom of God, and have been a comfort to me.

Epaphras, who is one of you, a devoted servant of Christ, sends his respects to you. He is always working fervently for you in prayer, so that you might stand perfect and fulfilled in all the will of God. I will vouch for him, that he has a great zeal for you, and those in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis.

Luke the beloved physician, and Demas, also send their respects.

Pay your respects to the brothers in Laodicea, and to Nymphas, and the church in his house. And when this letter is read among you, make sure that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you also read the letter from Laodicea.

Tell Archippus: Pay attention to the ministry that you have received in the Lord, so that you might fulfill it.

Sincerely, Paul. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen.


[The Letter to the Laodiceans is not included in the Conservative Bible.]


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Ad Gloriam Dei, 31 January 2019—developed by Michael Paul Heart and the editors of Conservapedia.
Revised on the Octave of the Ascension of the Lord, Thursday 28 May 2020, by Michael Paul Heart