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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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Acts 8:1-40

8  And Saul approved of his lynching. And on that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem; and they dispersed through the country districts of Judea and Samaria, all but the apostles. 2  But godly men gave Stephen a funeral and made a great wailing over him. 3  But Saul committed atrocities against the church, making house-to-house searches, and dragged off men and women to be committed to prison. 4  So those who dispersed in different directions went along spreading the word. 5*  And Philip came down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them; 6  and the crowds to a man listened respectfully to what Philip said, as they heard and saw the tokens he exhibited. 7  For many of those who had unclean spirits had them come out, shrieking loudly; and many paralytics and cripples were cured; 8  and there was great rejoicing in that city. 9  But there was in the city before them a certain man, Simon by name, playing the magician and surprising the nation of Samaria and saying he was somebody great, 10*  to whom they all looked up, great and small, saying “This man is a Power of God, what is called the Great Power.” 11  And they looked up to him because he had for a considerable time been surprising them with his magic tricks. 12  But when they believed Philip as he brought them word of the Reign of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they had themselves baptized, both men and women. 13  And Simon himself also believed, and, having had himself baptized, was a constant attendant at Philip’s preaching, and was surprised at seeing great tokens and miracles done. 14  And the apostles at Jerusalem, hearing that Samaria had accepted the word of God, sent Peter and John to them; 15  and they came down and prayed for them that they might receive Holy Spirit 16  (for it had not yet fallen on any of them, and they only had their baptism into the name of the Lord Jesus). 17  Then they laid their hands on them and they received Holy Spirit. 18*  And Simon, seeing that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, offered them a fee, 19  saying “Give me too this faculty, that anyone I lay my hands on may receive Holy Spirit.” 20  But Peter said to him “Your money go to destruction, and you with it, because you supposed you would get God’s gift with a fee. 21  You have no portion nor lot in this matter; for your heart is not straightforward before God. 22  So repent of this viciousness of yours, and pray the Lord and see if you may be forgiven the idea you conceived; 23  for I see you are in the gall of bitterness and the tie of wrongness.” 24  And Simon answered “Pray to the Lord for me, you, that there may not come upon me any of the things you have said.” 25  So they, having given their testimony and spoken the word of the Lord, turned back to Jerusalem, and gave the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans. 26  But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying “Up, go southward to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza; that is desert”; 27  and he stood up and went. And along came an Ethiopian, a powerful eunuch of Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, her treasurer-general, who had been up to Jerusalem to do reverence; 28  and he was on his way back, riding in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29  And the Spirit said to Philip “Make up to that chariot and join it”; 30  and Philip ran up, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said “Do you get the meaning of what you are reading?” 31  and he said “Why, how could I, unless somebody puts me on the track?” and he invited Philip to get in and ride with him. 32  And the matter of the text he was reading was this: “He was led like a sheep to slaughtering; and like a lamb mute before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth. 33  In his lowly condition his judgment was taken away; and of his generation who shall tell the story? because his life is taken away from the earth.” 34  And the eunuch answered Philip “Please, about whom is the prophet saying this? about himself or about somebody else?” 35  And Philip opened his mouth and started from this text and told him the gospel of Jesus. 36  And as they were going along the road they came to a bit of water, and the eunuch said “Here is water; what hinders my being baptized?” 37*  —— 38  And he gave orders for the chariot to halt, and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39  But when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch saw no more of him, for he went joyously on his way. 40*  But Philip turned up at Ashdod; and as he went along he brought the gospel to all the cities till he came to Cesarea.

Footnotes

8:5 Var. a city of Samaria
8:10 Or (if this part was originally in Aramaic) This is the power of the god who is called the Great God
8:18 Or a bribe
8:37 Var. adds verse 37 And Philip said “If you believe from the bottom of your heart (lit. out of all your heart) you may.” And he answered “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
8:40 Or found himself at Ashdod