1 Saul heartily approved of his being put to death. So on that day a severe persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all of them, except the apostles, were scattered over Judea and Samaria. 2 Some devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation for him. 3 But Saul continued to harass the church, and by going from house to house and dragging off men and women he continued to put them into prison.
4 Now those who were scattered went from place to place preaching the good news of the message. 5 So Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began to preach the Christ to the Samaritans. 6 As the crowds continued to listen to his message and continued to see his wonder-works which he was performing, with one mind they became interested in what was said by Philip. 7 For many of those under the power of foul spirits cried out and the spirits came out of them, and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured. 8 So there was great rejoicing in that city.
9 There was a man named Simon in the city, who had kept the Samaritan people thrilled by practicing magic there and by claiming to be a great man. 10 Everybody, high and low, kept running after him, saying, "He is certainly what is known as the Great Power of God!" 11 They kept running after him, because for a long time he had thrilled them with his magical performances. 12 But when the people came to believe the good news proclaimed by Philip about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were constantly baptized. 13 So Simon himself came to believe too, and after he was baptized he continued to be devoted to Philip, and he was always thrilled at seeing such great signs and wonder-works continuously performed.
14 When the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted God's message, they sent Peter and John there. 15 They came and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 for as yet He had not come upon any of them, but they had been baptized merely in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid their hands upon them, and one by one they received the Holy Spirit.
18 So when Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was conferred by the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, 19 and said, "Give me this power too, that when I lay my hands on anyone he may receive the Holy Spirit."
20 But Peter said to him, "Your money go to perdition with you for even dreaming you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no share or part in this matter, for your heart is not sincere in the sight of God. 22 So repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord, to see if this thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are a bitter weed and a bundle of crookedness!"
24 So Simon answered, "Both of you beg the Lord for me that none of the things you have said may befall me!"
25 So after they had given their testimony and spoken the Lord's message, they started back to Jerusalem, and on the way continued to tell the good news in many Samaritan villages.
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Get up and go south by the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza; this is the desert road." 27 So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian official, a member of the court of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, her chief treasurer, who had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and now was on his way home. He was seated in his chariot, reading the prophet Isaiah.
30 Then Philip ran up and listened to him reading the prophet Isaiah, and he asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?"
31 He answered, "How in the world could I, unless someone teaches me?" And he begged him to get up and sit with him. 32 Now this was the passage of Scripture that he was reading: "Like a sheep He was led away to be slaughtered, and just as a lamb is dumb before its shearer, so He does not open His mouth. 33 Justice was denied Him in His humiliation, who can tell of His times? For His life is removed from the earth."
34 "Tell me, I pray, of whom is the prophet speaking," asked the official of Philip, "of himself or of someone else?" 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and starting from this passage, he told him the good news about Jesus.
36 As they continued down the road, they came to some water, and the official said, "Look! here is some water! What is there to keep me from being baptized?" 37 Omitted Text. 38 So he ordered the chariot to stop, and Philip and the official both went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away; the official saw him no more, for he went on home rejoicing; 40 but Philip was found at Ashdod, and he went on telling the good news in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.