The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Acts of the Apostles
It was at this same time that Herod exerted his authority to persecute some of those who belonged to the Church.
James, the brother of John, he beheaded,
and then, finding that this was acceptable to the Jews, he went further, and laid hands on Peter too. It was the time of unleavened bread;
and he imprisoned Peter, after arresting him, with a guard of four soldiers, relieved four times a day; when paschal-time was over, he would bring him out in the presence of the people.
Peter, then, was well guarded in prison, but there was a continual stream of prayer going up to God from the church on his behalf.
And now the day was coming when Herod was to bring him out; that night, Peter was sleeping with two chains on him, between two soldiers, and there were warders at the door guarding his prison.
Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood over him, and a light shone in his cell. He smote Peter on the side, to rouse him; Quick, he said, rise up; and thereupon the chains fell from his hands.
Then the angel said to him, Gird thyself up, and put on thy shoes; and, when he had done this, Throw thy cloak over thee, and follow me.
So he followed him out, unaware that what the angel had done for him was true; he thought he was seeing a vision.
Thus they passed one party of guards, then a second, and reached the iron gate which leads out into the city; this opened for them of its own accord. They came out, and as soon as they had passed on up one street, the angel left him.
At this, Peter came to himself. Now I can tell for certain, he said, that the Lord has sent his angel, to deliver me out of Herod’s hands, and from all that the people of the Jews hoped to see.
After some thought, he made for the house belonging to Mary the mother of John, also called Mark. Here many had gathered for prayer;
a girl named Rhoda came to answer, when he knocked at the porch door,
and she, recognizing Peter’s voice, was too overjoyed to open the gate for him; she ran in, and told them that Peter was, standing at the gate.
Thou art mad, they told her, but she still insisted that it was so; and then they said, It must be his guardian angel.
Meanwhile, Peter went on knocking; so they opened, and found him there, and stood astonished.
Calling for silence by a gesture of his hand, he told them how the Lord had delivered him from prison; Give news of this, he said, to James and the rest of the brethren. And so he left them, and went elsewhere.✻
When day broke, there was a great to-do among the soldiers, to know what had become of Peter.
Herod, after searching for him without avail, questioned the warders and had them punished. Then he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and spent his time there.
He was much out of humour with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and these, since their country depended on the king’s country for its supplies, waited upon him by common consent, and tried (by winning over Blastus, the royal chamberlain) to make their peace.
So, on an appointed day, Herod put on his royal finery and sat down on a raised dais to harangue them;
whereupon the people cried out in applause, It is no man, it is a god that speaks.
And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, for not referring the glory to God; and he was eaten up by worms, and so died.
And still the word of God grew strong and spread wide.
Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, their mission of relief fulfilled, and took John, also called Mark, in their company.✻
The Holy Bible