Acts 28:1-31

Paul on the island of Malta

1 So then we were on the shore and we were all safe. We discovered that the island was called Malta. 2 The people who lived on the island were very kind to us. Rain was falling and the weather was cold. So the people lit a fire and they helped all of us. 3 Paul picked up some small branches to put on the fire. When he did this, a dangerous snake came out from among the sticks. It had felt the heat from the fire. The snake bit Paul's hand and it held on to it. 4 The people who lived on the island saw the snake. They saw that it was hanging from Paul's hand. So they said to each other, ‘We know now that this man murdered someone. He did not die in the sea but now the snake will kill him. The god who punishes people for the bad things that they do will not let him live.’ 5 Then Paul waved his hand about so that the snake fell off into the fire. The snake had not hurt Paul in any way. 6 So the people watched Paul carefully. They thought that his body would become very sick. They thought that he might die suddenly. They waited for a long time. But they did not see anything bad happen to Paul. So then they thought something different about Paul. They said, ‘This man is certainly a god!’

7 There was an important officer who ruled the island. He was called Publius. He had some fields near to the shore where we had made the fire. He was very kind to us. He asked us to stay in his house. We stayed there for three days. 8 Publius's father was lying in bed because he was ill. His body was hot and he was very sick. Paul went into his room to see him. Paul prayed for him and he put his hands on the man's head. As a result, the man became well again. 9 After Paul did this, the other sick people on the island came to him. He caused them also to become well again. 10 The people gave us many gifts. Later, we got ready to leave the island on another ship. They gave us the things that we needed for the journey.

11 When we left Malta, we had been there for three months. We got on a ship that was called ‘The Twin Gods’. It had come from Alexandria and it had stayed in Malta during the winter.

28:11The ‘Twin Gods’ were two Greek gods called Castor and Pollux. The people from Greece thought that these gods were very powerful.

12 We sailed across the sea and we arrived at the city of Syracuse. We stayed there for three days.

28:12Syracuse was a port on the south-east coast of the island called Sicily.

13 We left Syracuse and we sailed to the city of Rhegium. The next day, the wind began to blow from the south, so we sailed more quickly. The day after that, we arrived at the town of Puteoli.

28:13Puteoli was a port near Naples in Italy. People who wanted to go to Rome got off their ships here.

14 We found some believers there. They asked us to stay with them for one week. After this we travelled to Rome. 15 The believers in Rome had heard about us. So they came out of the city to meet us at ‘The Market of Appius’ and ‘The Three Hotels’. When Paul saw the believers, he thanked God for them. He was very happy that they had come to meet him.

28:15The Market of Appius was 50 kilometres from Rome. The Three Hotels was 40 kilometres from Rome.

16 When we arrived in Rome, the Roman officer said to Paul, ‘You may live in a house by yourself, but a soldier will guard you there.’

17 After three days, Paul asked the leaders of the Jews in Rome to meet with him. When they met together, Paul said to them, ‘Friends, I am a Jew as you are. I tell you that I have never done anything bad against our people. I have always obeyed the rules that our ancestors gave to us. But the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem took hold of me. They gave me to the Roman rulers so that they would judge me. 18 The Roman rulers asked me questions about what I had done. They discovered that I had not done anything wrong. There was no reason that they should kill me. So they wanted to let me go free. 19 But the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem did not agree with that. So then I asked the Roman rulers to send me here to Rome. I wanted Caesar himself to judge me. That was the only thing that I could do. I did not want to say anything bad against my own people. 20 That is why I want to talk with you now. I want to tell you why I am a prisoner here. It is because I believe in the one that God promised to send to us who are Jews.’

21 The Jewish leaders said to Paul, ‘We have not received any letters about you from Judea. Our Jewish friends who have come here from Judea have not told us this news. They have not said anything bad about you. 22 But we know that people everywhere are saying bad things about your new group. So we would like you to tell us your ideas.’

23 So the Jewish leaders in Rome chose a day to meet again with Paul. When that day arrived, a large number of Jews came to the house where Paul was staying. Paul talked to them from the morning until the evening. He explained his message about the kingdom of God. He showed them what Moses and the other prophets had written in the Bible. He tried to show them that Jesus was God's special Messiah. 24 Some of them believed that Paul's message was true. But other Jews who were there would not believe him. 25 They argued about it with each other. When they began to leave the house, Paul said, ‘The Holy Spirit spoke a true message to your ancestors. He gave this message to Isaiah, the prophet:

26 “Go and say to this people,

‘You will listen and listen. But you will not understand.

You will look and look. But you will not see anything.’

27 These people do not really want to understand.

They are like people who have shut their ears.

They are like people who have shut their eyes.

If they did want to look, then they would really see.

If they did want to listen, then they would really hear.

They would understand my message.

They would turn back to me and they would obey me.

Then I would forgive them and I would make them well.” ’

28 Paul then said to the Jews there, ‘You do not want to listen to God's message. But the Gentiles will listen! They will understand how God will save them.’

29 [After Paul had said this, the Jews left. They were still arguing with each other.]

28:29Many copies of the Bible do not have Acts 28:29.

30 Paul lived in a house in Rome for two years. He paid money to live in the house. Many people came to visit him there. He was very happy to see them all. 31 He told people clearly about the kingdom of God. He taught them about the Lord Jesus Christ. He was not afraid to speak strongly. Nobody tried to stop him.