Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Testament in a Year - August 02


Acts 26 - Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

August 02

King James and other versions... []


Paul Before King Agrippa
26 1Agrippa* said to Paul, "You may now speak to defend yourself." Then Paul raised
his hand* and began to speak. 2He said, "King Agrippa, I will answer all the charges
that the Jews say against me. I think it is a blessing that I can stand here before
you today and do this. 3I am very happy to talk to you, because you know much about
all the Jewish customs and the things that the Jews argue about. Please listen to
me patiently. 4"All the Jews know about my whole life. They know the way I lived
from the beginning in my own country and later in Jerusalem. 5These Jews have known
me for a long time. If they want to, they can tell you that I was a good Pharisee.*
And the Pharisees obey the laws of the Jewish religion more carefully than any other
group of Jewish people. 6Now I am on trial because I hope for the promise that God
made to our fathers.* 7This is the promise that all the twelve tribes (family groups)
of our people hope to receive. For this hope the Jews serve God day and night. My
king, the Jews have accused me because I hope for this same promise! 8Why do you
people think it is impossible for God to raise people from death? 9"[When I was
a Pharisee*], even I thought I should do many things against the name of Jesus
from Nazareth. 10And in Jerusalem I did many things against the believers.* The
leading priests gave me the power to put many of these people (believers) in jail.
When the followers of Jesus were being killed, I agreed that it was a good thing.
11In every synagogue* I punished them. I tried to make them say bad things against*
[Jesus]. I was so angry against these people (believers) that I went to other cities
to find them and hurt them.

Paul Tells About Seeing Jesus
12"One time the leading priests gave me permission and the power to go to the city
of Damascus. 13I was on the way to Damascus. It was noon. I saw a light from the
sky. The light was brighter than the sun. The light shined all around me and the
men who were traveling with me. 14We all fell to the ground. Then I heard a voice
talking to me in the Jewish language.* The voice said, 'Saul, Saul, why are you
doing these bad things to me? You are only hurting yourself by fighting me.' 15I
said, 'Who are you, Lord?' The Lord said, 'I am Jesus. I am the One you are persecuting.
16Stand up! I have chosen you to be my servant. You will be my witness--you will
tell people the things that you have seen about me today and the things that I
will show you. This is why I have come to you today. 17I will not let [your own]
people (the Jews) hurt you. And I will keep you safe from the non-Jewish people
too. I am sending you to these people. 18You will show the people the Truth. The
people will turn away from darkness (sin) to the light (good). They will turn away
from the power of Satan, and they will turn to God. Then their sins can be forgiven.
They can have a share with those people who have been made holy* by believing in

Paul Tells About His Work
19Paul continued speaking: "King Agrippa,* after I had this vision* from heaven,
I obeyed it. 20I began telling people that they should change their hearts and
lives and turn back to God. I told the people to do things that show that they really
changed their hearts. I told these things first to people in Damascus. Then I went
to Jerusalem and to every part of Judea and told these things to the people there.
I also went to the non-Jewish people. 21This is why the Jews grabbed me and were
trying to kill me at the temple.* 22But God helped me, and he is still helping
me today. With God's help I am standing here today and telling all people the things
I have seen. But I am saying nothing new. I am saying the same things that Moses
and the prophets* said would happen. 23They said that the Christ* would die and
be the first to rise from death. Moses and the prophets said that the Christ would
bring light to the Jewish people and to the non-Jewish people."

Paul Tries to Persuade Agrippa
24While Paul was saying these things to defend himself, Festus shouted, "Paul, you
are crazy! Too much study has made you crazy!" 25Paul said, "Most Excellent Festus,
I am not crazy. The things I say are true. My words are not the words of a foolish
man; I am serious. 26King Agrippa* knows about these things. I can speak freely
to him. I know that he has heard about all of these things. Why? Because these things
happened where all people could see. 27King Agrippa, do you believe the things the
prophets* wrote? I know you believe!" 28King Agrippa* said to Paul, "Do you think
you can persuade me to become a Christian so easily?" 29Paul said, "It is not important
if it is easy or if it is hard; I pray to God that not only you but every person
listening to me today could [be saved and] be like me--except for these chains
I have!" 30King Agrippa,* Governor Festus, Bernice,* and all the people sitting
with them stood up 31and left the room. They were talking to each other. They said,
"This man should not be killed or put in jail; he has done nothing really bad!"
32And Agrippa said to Festus, "We could let this man go free, but he has asked to
see Caesar.*"

Footnoes: Agrippa Herod Agrippa II, great-grandson of Herod the Great. raised his
hand A sign to make the people listen. Pharisees The Pharisees were a Jewish religious
group that claimed to follow carefully all Jewish laws and customs. father(s) Important
ancestors of the Jews; the leaders of the twelve Jewish family groups. believers
Literally, "holy ones," a name for people that believe in Jesus. synagogue(s) Synagogues
were places where Jews gathered for prayer, study of the Scriptures, and other public
meetings. say bad things against Literally, "blaspheme," the same as saying they
did not believe in Jesus. Jewish language Probably Aramaic, a language like Hebrew
that was spoken by the Jews in the first century. holy A holy person is pure and
belongs only to God. vision(s) Something like dreams used by God to speak to people.
temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship. prophets People that
spoke for God. Some of them wrote books that are part of the Old Testament. Christ
The "anointed one" (Messiah) or chosen one of God. Bernice King Agrippa's sister.
She was the oldest daughter of Herod Agrippa I. Caesar The name given to the emperor
(ruler) of Rome.
"Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: EASY-TO-READ VERSION © 2001 by World Bible Translation
Center, Inc. and used by permission."


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