1. Saul approved of the killing. That day a bitter persecution started against the church in Jerusalem, and everyone except the apostles scattered to the country districts of Judaea and Samaria.
2. There were some devout people, however, who buried Stephen and made great mourning for him.
3. Saul then began doing great harm to the church; he went from house to house arresting both men and women and sending them to prison.
4. Once they had scattered, they went from place to place preaching the good news.
5. And Philip went to a Samaritan town and proclaimed the Christ to them.
6. The people unanimously welcomed the message Philip preached, because they had heard of the miracles he worked and because they saw them for themselves.
7. For unclean spirits came shrieking out of many who were possessed, and several paralytics and cripples were cured.
8. As a result there was great rejoicing in that town.
9. Now a man called Simon had for some time been practising magic arts in the town and astounded the Samaritan people. He had given it out that he was someone momentous,
10. and everyone believed in him; eminent citizens and ordinary people alike had declared, 'He is the divine power that is called Great.'
11. He had this following because for a considerable period they had been astounded by his wizardry.
12. But when they came to accept Philip's preaching of the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptised, both men and women,
13. and even Simon himself became a believer. After his baptism Simon went round constantly with Philip and was astonished when he saw the wonders and great miracles that took place.
14. When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,
15. and they went down there and prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit,
16. for as yet he had not come down on any of them: they had only been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus.
17. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money,
19. with the words, 'Give me the same power so that anyone I lay my hands on will receive the Holy Spirit.'
20. Peter answered, 'May your silver be lost for ever, and you with it, for thinking that money could buy what God has given for nothing!
21. You have no share, no part, in this: God can see how your heart is warped.
22. Repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that this scheme of yours may be forgiven;
23. it is plain to me that you are held in the bitterness of gall and the chains of sin.'
24. Simon replied, 'Pray to the Lord for me yourselves so that none of the things you have spoken about may happen to me.'
25. Having given their testimony and proclaimed the word of the Lord, they went back to Jerusalem, preaching the good news to a number of Samaritan villages.
26. The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, 'Set out at noon and go along the road that leads from Jerusalem down to Gaza, the desert road.'
27. So he set off on his journey. Now an Ethiopian had been on pilgrimage to Jerusalem; he was a eunuch and an officer at the court of the kandake, or queen, of Ethiopia; he was her chief treasurer.
28. He was now on his way home; and as he sat in his chariot he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
29. The Spirit said to Philip, 'Go up and join that chariot.'
30. When Philip ran up, he heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, 'Do you understand what you are reading?'
31. He replied, 'How could I, unless I have someone to guide me?' So he urged Philip to get in and sit by his side.
32. Now the passage of scripture he was reading was this: Like a lamb led to the slaughter-house, like a sheep dumb in front of its shearers, he never opens his mouth.
33. In his humiliation fair judgement was denied him. Who will ever talk about his descendants, since his life on earth has been cut short?
34. The eunuch addressed Philip and said, 'Tell me, is the prophet referring to himself or someone else?'
35. Starting, therefore, with this text of scripture Philip proceeded to explain the good news of Jesus to him.
36. Further along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, 'Look,is some water; is there anything to prevent my being baptised?'
38. He ordered the chariot to stop, then Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water and he baptised him.
39. But after they had come up out of the water again Philip was taken away by the Spirit of the Lord, and the eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing.
40. Philip appeared in Azotus and continued his journey, proclaiming the good news in every town as far as Caesarea.