1 It was only after our escape that we found out the island was called Malta. 2 The natives showed us uncommon kindness, for they lit a fire and welcomed us all to it, as the rain had come on and it was chilly. 3 Now Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, when a viper crawled out with the heat and fastened on his hand. 4 When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to each other, "This man must be a murderer! He has escaped the sea, but Justice will not let him live." 5 However, he shook off the creature into the fire and was not a whit the worse. 6 The natives waited for him to swell up or drop down dead in a moment, but after waiting a long while and observing that no harm had befallen him, they changed their minds and declared he was a god.
7 There was an estate in the neighbourhood which belonged to a man called Publius, the governor of the island; he welcomed us and entertained us hospitably for three days. 8 His father, it so happened, was laid up with fever and dysentery, but Paul went in to see him and after prayer laid his hands on him and cured him. 9 When this had happened, the rest of the sick folk in the island also came and got cured; 10 they made us rich presents and furnished us, when we set sail, with all we needed.
11 We set sail, after three months, in an Alexandrian ship, with the Dioscuri on her figure-head, which had wintered at the island. 12 We put in at Syracuse and stayed for three days. 13 Then tacking round we reached Rhegium; next day a south wind sprang up which brought us in a day to Puteoli, 14 where we came across some of the brotherhood, who invited us to stay a week with them. In this way we reached Rome. 15 As the local brothers had heard about us, they came out to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Tres Tabernae, and when Paul saw them he thanked God and took courage. 16 When we did reach Rome, Paul got permission to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.
17 Three days later, he called the leading Jews together, and when they met he said to them, "Brothers, although I have done nothing against the People or our ancestral customs, I was handed over to the Romans as a prisoner from Jerusalem. 18 They meant to release me after examination, as I was innocent of any crime that deserved death. 19 But the Jews objected, and so I was obliged to appeal to Caesar ??not that I had any charge to bring against my own nation. 20 This is my reason for asking to see you and have a word with you. I am wearing this chain because I share Israel's hope."
21 They replied, "We have had no letters about you from Judaea, and no brother has come here with any bad report or story about you. 22 We think it only right to let you tell your own story; but as regards this sect, we are well aware that there are objections to it on all hands."
23 So they fixed a day and came to him at his quarters in large numbers. From morning to evening he explained the Reign of God to them from personal testimony, and tried to convince them about Jesus from the law of Moses and the prophets. 24 Some were convinced by what he said, but the others would not believe.
25 As they could not agree among themselves, they were turning to go away, when Paul added this one word: "It was an apt word that the holy Spirit spoke by the prophet Isaiah to your fathers, 26 when he said, Go and tell this people, 'You will hear and hear but never understand, you will see and see but never perceive.' 27 For the heart at this people is obtuse, their ears are heavy at hearing, their eyes they have closed, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they understand with their heart and turn again, and I cure them.
28 Be sure of this, then, that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen to it." 29 --
30 For two full years he remained in his private lodging, welcoming anyone who came to visit him; 31 he preached the Reign of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ quite openly and unmolested.