The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Acts of the Apostles
When we were safe on land, we found that the island was called Melita. The kindness which the natives shewed to us was beyond the ordinary;
they welcomed us all by making a fire for us, because rain was coming on, and it was cold.
Paul had collected a bundle of faggots and had just put them on the fire, when a viper, coming out to escape the heat, fastened on his hand;✻
and the natives, when they saw the beast coiled round his hand, said to one another, This must be some murderer; he has been rescued from the sea, but divine vengeance would not let him live.
He, meanwhile, shook the beast into the fire, and was none the worse.
They still waited to see him swell up, or fall down dead on a sudden; but when they had waited a long time, and found that there was nothing amiss with him, they changed their minds, and declared that he must be a god.
Among the estates in that part were some which belonged to the leading citizen of the island, a man named Publius, who took us in and for three days entertained us hospitably;
and it so happened that Publius’ father had taken to his bed, laid up with fever and dysentery. Paul, who had gone to visit him, laid his hands upon him with prayer, and healed him;
whereupon all the other folk in the island who were suffering from infirmities came to him and found a cure.
These paid us great honour, and when we embarked they loaded us with all the supplies we needed.
It was at the end of three months that we sailed, in a ship from Alexandria which had wintered at the island; its sign was Castor and Pollux.
We put in at Syracuse, where we waited for three days;
then we coasted round the further shore, and so arrived at Rhegium. When we had spent a day there, a South wind came on, and we made Puteoli on the second day out.
Here we found some brethren, who prevailed on us to stay with them for a week. And so we ended our journey at Rome.
The brethren there, who had heard our story, came out as far as Appius’ Forum, and on to the Three Taverns, to meet us; Paul gave thanks to God and took courage when he saw them.
Once we were in Rome, Paul was allowed to have his own residence, which he shared with the soldier who guarded him.
It was three days later that he called a meeting of the leading men among the Jews. When they had assembled, he told them, Brethren, I am one who has done nothing to the prejudice of our people, or of our ancestral customs; yet, in Jerusalem, they handed me over to the Romans as a prisoner.
These, when they had examined me, had a mind to release me, since no capital charge lay against me;
but the Jews cried out against it, and I was forced to appeal to Caesar, though it is not as if I had any fault to find with my own nation.
That is why I have asked for the opportunity of seeing you and speaking to you. It is because I hope as Israel hopes, that I wear this chain.
At this they said to him, We have not received any letter about thee from Judaea, nor has any of the brethren come here with any ill report or hard words about thee.
We ask nothing better than to hear what thy opinions are; all we know of this sect is, that it is everywhere decried.
So they made an appointment with him, and met him at his lodging in great numbers. And he bore his testimony and told them about the kingdom of God, trying to convince them from Moses and the prophets of what Jesus was, from dawn till dusk.
Some were convinced by his words, others refused belief;
and they took their leave still at variance among themselves, but not till Paul had spoken one last word, It was a true utterance the Holy Spirit made to our fathers through the prophet Isaias:
Go to this people, and tell them, You will listen and listen, but for you there is no understanding; you will watch and watch, but for you there is no perceiving.
The heart of this people has become dull, their ears are slow to listen, and they keep their eyes shut, so that they may never see with those eyes, or hear with those ears, or understand with that heart, and turn back to me, and win healing from me.✻
Take notice, then, that this message of salvation has been sent by God to the Gentiles, and they, at least, will listen to it.
So much he told the Jews, and then they left him, with much dissension among themselves.✻
And for two whole years he lived in a lodging hired at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to visit him,
proclaiming God’s kingdom, and teaching them the truths which concern our Lord Jesus Christ, boldly enough, without let or hindrance.
The Holy Bible