Acts 16 New Life Version (NLV)
Timothy Starts to Work with Paul
16 Paul went down to the cities of Derbe and Lystra. There was a follower there named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish Christian and his father was a Greek. 2 The Christians in the city of Lystra and Iconium respected Timothy. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to go with him as a missionary. He took him and had Timothy go through the religious act of becoming a Jew because of the Jews who were in those places. Everyone knew his father was a Greek.
4 They went from city to city and told the Christians what the missionaries and the church leaders in Jerusalem had written for the Christians to do. 5 The churches were made stronger in the faith. More people were added each day.
Paul Is Called to Macedonia in a Dream
6 They went through the countries of Phrygia and Galatia. The Holy Spirit kept them from preaching the Word of God in the countries of Asia. 7 When they came to the city of Mysia, they tried to go on to the city of Bithynia but the Holy Spirit would not let them go. 8 From Mysia they went down to the city of Troas.
9 That night Paul had a dream. A man was standing in front of him crying out, “Come over to the country of Macedonia and help us!” 10 After he had seen this, we agreed that God told us to go to Macedonia to tell them the Good News.
Lydia, the First Christian in Europe
11 We took a ship from the city of Troas to the city of Samothracia. The next day we went to the city of Neapolis. 12 From there we went to the city of Philippi. This was an important city in Macedonia. It was ruled by the leaders of the country of Rome. We stayed here for some days. 13 On the Day of Rest we went outside the city to a place down by the river. We thought people would be gathering there for prayer. Some women came and we sat down and talked to them. 14 One of the women who listened sold purple cloth. She was from the city of Thyatira. Her name was Lydia and she was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to hear what Paul said. 15 When she and her family had been baptized, she said to us, “If you think I am faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my house.” She kept on asking. Then we went with her.
Paul Heals a Girl with a Demon
16 One day as we were going to the place to pray, we met a servant-girl who could tell what was going to happen in the future by a demon she had. Her owner made much money from her power. 17 She followed Paul and us crying out, “These are servants of the Highest God. They are telling you how to be saved from the punishment of sin.” 18 She did this many days. Paul was troubled. Then he turned and said to the demon in her, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I speak to you. Come out of her!” At once it left her.
Paul and Silas in Jail
19 The girl’s owners saw that they could not make money with her anymore. Then they took hold of Paul and Silas and dragged them to the leaders. This happened in the center of town where people gather. 20 After they brought them in front of the leaders, they said, “These men are Jews and are making a lot of trouble in our city. 21 They are teaching a religion that we Romans are not allowed to follow.”
22 Many people had gathered around Paul and Silas. They were calling out things against them. The leaders had the clothes of Paul and Silas taken off and had them beaten with sticks. 23 After they had hit them many times, they put Paul and Silas in prison. The soldiers told the man who watched the prison to be sure to keep them from getting away. 24 Because of this, they were put in the inside room of the prison and their feet were put in pieces of wood that held them.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing songs of thanks to God. The other men in prison were listening to them. 26 All at once the earth started to shake. The stones under the prison shook and the doors opened. The chains fell off from everyone.
27 The man who watched the prison woke up. He saw the prison doors wide open and thought the men in prison had gotten away. At once he pulled out his sword to kill himself. 28 But Paul called to him, “Do not hurt yourself. We are all here!” 29 The man who watched the prison called for a light. Then he ran in and got down in front of Paul and Silas. He was shaking with fear. 30 As he took them outside, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They said, “Put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and you and your family will be saved from the punishment of sin.”
32 Then Paul spoke the Word of God to him and his family. 33 It was late at night, but the man who watched the prison took Paul and Silas in and washed the places on their bodies where they were hurt. Right then he and his family were baptized. 34 He took Paul and Silas to his house and gave them food. He and all his family were full of joy for having put their trust in God.
Paul and Silas Are Allowed to Go Free
35 When it was day, the leaders sent a soldier to say, “Let these men go free.” 36 The man who watched the prison told this to Paul. He said, “The leaders have sent word to let you go free. Come out now and go without any trouble.”
37 Paul said, “No! They have beaten us in front of many people without a trial. We are Roman citizens and they have put us in prison. Now do they think they can send us away without anyone knowing? No! They must come themselves and take us out.” 38 The soldiers told this to the leaders. Then the leaders were afraid when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. 39 They went themselves and told Paul and Silas they were sorry. Then they took them out and asked them to leave their city. 40 Paul and Silas went to Lydia’s house after they left the prison. They met with the Christians and gave them comfort. Then they went away from the city.