16 When we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.
17 Three days later he called together the local leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, he said to them, Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, yet I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18When they had examined me, the Romans* wanted to release me, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. 19But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to the emperoreven though I had no charge to bring against my nation. 20For this reason therefore I have asked to see you and speak with you,* since it is for the sake of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain. 21They replied, We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken anything evil about you. 22But we would like to hear from you what you think, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against.
23 After they had fixed a day to meet him, they came to him at his lodgings in great numbers. From morning until evening he explained the matter to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the law of Moses and from the prophets.
24Some were convinced by what he had said, while others refused to believe.
25So they disagreed with each other; and as they were leaving, Paul made one further statement: The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah,
26 Go to this people and say,
You will indeed listen, but never understand,
and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
27 For this peoples heart has grown dull,
and their ears are hard of hearing,
and they have shut their eyes;
so that they might not look with their eyes,
and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn
and I would heal them.
28Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.*
30 He lived there for two whole years at his own expense* and welcomed all who came to him, 31proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011