Safe at Malta
1After we were safe [on land], we found out that the island was called Malta. 2And the natives showed us extraordinary kindness and hospitality; for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, since it had begun to rain and was cold. 3But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper crawled out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand. 4When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another, “Undoubtedly this man is a murderer, and though he has been saved from the sea, Justice [the avenging goddess] has not permitted him to live.” 5Then Paul [simply] shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6But they stood watching and expecting him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began saying that he was a god.
7In the vicinity of that place there were estates belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who welcomed and entertained us hospitably for three days. 8And it happened that the father of Publius was sick [in bed] with recurring attacks of fever and dysentery; and Paul went to him, and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him. 9After this occurred, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were coming to him and being healed. 10They also gave us many honors [gifts and courtesies expressing respect]; and when we were setting sail, they supplied us with all the things we needed.
Paul Arrives at Rome
11At the end of three months we set sail on a ship which had wintered at the island, an Alexandrian ship with the Twin Brothers [Castor and Pollux] as its figurehead. 12We landed at Syracuse [on Sicily] and stayed there three days. 13From there we sailed around and arrived at Rhegium [on Italy’s southern tip]; and a day later a south wind came up, and on the second day we arrived at Puteoli. 14There we found some believers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15And the brothers and sisters, having heard news about us, came from as far away as the Forum of Appius and Three Inns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and was encouraged.
16When we entered Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself [in rented quarters] with the soldier who was guarding him.
17Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews; and when they had gathered, he said to them, “Kinsmen, though I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our fathers, yet I was turned over as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18After they had interrogated me, they were ready to release me because I was not guilty of any offense deserving death. 19But when the Jews objected [to my release], I was forced to appeal to Caesar (Emperor Nero), not because I had any charge to make against my nation. 20For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you, since it is for the sake of the hope of Israel (the Messiah, the resurrection) that I am bound with this chain.” 21They said to him, “We have not received [any] letters about you from Judea, nor have any of the [Jewish] brothers come here and reported or said anything bad about you. 22But we would like to hear from you what your views are [that is, exactly what you believe]; for in regard to this sect (Christianity), we are fully aware that it is denounced everywhere.”
23When they had set a day for Paul, they came to his lodging in large numbers. And he carefully explained [Christianity] to them from morning until evening, solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, both from the Law of Moses and from the [writings of the] Prophets. 24Some were persuaded by what he said, but others would not believe. 25They disagreed among themselves and they began to leave after Paul had made one last statement: “The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, 26‘Go to this people and say,
“You will keep on hearing, but will not understand,
You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
27For the heart (the understanding, the soul) of this people has become dull (calloused),
And with their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have shut their eyes [to the truth];
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return [to Me],
And I would heal them.” ’
28Therefore let it be known to you that [this message of] the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they indeed will listen!” 29[And when he had said these things, the Jews left, arguing among themselves.]
30And Paul lived there for two full years [at his own expense] in his own rented lodging and welcomed all who came to him, 31preaching and proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness and boldness, unhindered and unrestrained.