Passage: Acts 8 (RSV)

Acts 8

1And Saul was consenting to his death. And on that day a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the region of Judea and Sama'ria, except the apostles.
2Devout men buried Stephen, and made great lamentation over him.
3But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.
4Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.
5Philip went down to a city of Sama'ria, and proclaimed to them the Christ.
6And the multitudes with one accord gave heed to what was said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs which he did.
7For unclean spirits came out of many who were possessed, crying with a loud voice; and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.
8So there was much joy in that city.
9But there was a man named Simon who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the nation of Sama'ria, saying that he himself was somebody great.
10They all gave heed to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, "This man is that power of God which is called Great."
11And they gave heed to him, because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.
12But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
13Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.
14Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Sama'ria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,
15who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit;
16for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
17Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
18Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money,
19saying, "Give me also this power, that any one on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit."
20But Peter said to him, "Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!
21You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.
22Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.
23For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity."
24And Simon answered, "Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me."
25Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.
26But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." This is a desert road.
27And he rose and went. And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a minister of the Can'dace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship
28and was returning; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
29And the Spirit said to Philip, "Go up and join this chariot."
30So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?"
31And he said, "How can I, unless some one guides me?" And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32Now the passage of the scripture which he was reading was this: "As a sheep led to the slaughter or a lamb before its shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.
33In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken up from the earth."
34And the eunuch said to Philip, "About whom, pray, does the prophet say this, about himself or about some one else?"
35Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news of Jesus.
36And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?"
38And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
39And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught up Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
40But Philip was found at Azo'tus, and passing on he preached the gospel to all the towns till he came to Caesare'a.

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