The natives of the island showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because of the pouring rain and the cold. Now Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and was laying it on the fire when a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, |Surely this man is a murderer; although he has been saved from the sea, justice will not let him live.| But he shook the creature off into the fire and was unhurt. They expected that he would at once swell up or fall down dead; but after they had waited a long time and saw that no harm had come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.
On the part of the island where we landed there was an estate belonging to Publius the governor. He welcomed us and entertained us most generously for three days. Now it happened that the father of Publius was lying ill from fever and dysentery. So Paul went to see him and prayed, and, laying his hands on him, cured him. After this the other sick people in the island came and were cured. They also presented us with many gifts, and when we sailed, they put on board everything we needed.
After three months we set sail on a ship from Alexandria called |The Twin Brothers,| which had wintered at the island. We put in at Syracuse, and remained there three days. Then we tacked around and came to Rhegium. The next day a south wind sprang up, and we arrived on the following day at Puteoli, where we found Christian brothers who asked us to spend a week with them, and so we reached Rome.
The brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Market of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.
When we reached Rome, Paul received permission to live by himself with the soldier who guarded him. Three days after our arrival, Paul invited the leading Jews to meet him and said to them, |Brothers, although I have done nothing against the Jewish law or the customs of our fathers, I was handed over as a prisoner from Jerusalem to the Romans, who, when they had examined me, were willing to set me free, for I was innocent of any crime deserving of death. But the Jews objected; so I was forced to appeal to the Emperor -- not that I had any charge to bring against my nation. This is the reason why I have asked to see you and speak with you, for it is on account of Israel's hope that I am bound.|
They replied, |We have received no letters about you from Judea nor has any brother come here with any bad report or statement about you; but we wish to hear from you what you teach, for we know that the Christian sect is everywhere attacked.| So they fixed a day and many of them came to him to the place where he was staying. Then from morning until evening he explained his teachings and told them about the Kingdom of God, and tried to lead them to believe in Jesus by proofs from the law of Moses and from the prophets. Some believed what he taught and others would not believe. When they could not agree among themselves they departed after Paul had said to them: |Well did the Holy Spirit say to your fathers through the prophet Isaiah:
|'Go to this people and say to them,
You will hear and hear but never understand,
You will look and look but never see;
For this people's mind is stupid,
And their ears are too dull to hear,
And they have closed their eyes,
To keep them from seeing with their eyes,
Or hearing with their ears,
Or understanding with their minds,
And turning back that I may heal them.'
|Remember, therefore, that this opportunity to be saved, that God has given you, is given to other peoples, and they will listen to it.|
For two whole years Paul lived in his own hired house. He welcomed all who came to him, and preached the Kingdom of God, and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ openly, no one stopping him.