Science and History
Cruelty and Violence
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Paul is bitten by a poisonous snake and yet
lives. The "barbarians" who were shipwrecked with him thought he must
be a murderer since he was bitten; but then they changed their minds and thought
him to be a god since he didn't die. (The snake story is especially interesting since there
are no poisonous snakes on Malta, and there is no evidence of their existence in the past.)
(28:3) "When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper
out of the heat, and fastened on his hand."
(28:4) "The barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer,
whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live."
(28:5) "He shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm."
(28:6) "He should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but ... saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds,
and said that he was a god."
By praying and touching the sick people of Malta,
Paul cures them of their diseases.
(28:8) "The father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed,
and laid his hands on him, and healed him."
(28:9) "When this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed."
And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called
And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a
fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of
And when Paul had
gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper
out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
And when the barbarians
saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No
doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet
vengeance suffereth not to live.
And he shook off the
beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
Howbeit they looked
when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they
had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their
minds, and said that he was a god.
In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island,
whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days
And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of
a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on
him, and healed him.
So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island,
came, and were healed:
Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded
us with such things as were necessary.||
And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had
wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.||
And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days.||
And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one
day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli:||
Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days:
and so we went toward Rome.||
And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as
far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked
God, and took courage.||
And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the
captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a
soldier that kept him.||
And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the
Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and
brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of
our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of
Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no
cause of death in me.||
But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto
Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.||
For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak
with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.||
And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea
concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any
harm of thee.||
But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this
sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.||
(28:22) "Concerning this
sect, we know that every where it is spoken against."
The Jews of Rome refer to Paul's new religion as a sect.
And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his
lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading
them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the
prophets, from morning till evening.
And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.||
And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul
had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto
Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not
understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:||
For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of
hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their
eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should
be converted, and I should heal them.||
Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto
and that they will hear it.||
(28:28) "The salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles."|
Should the gospel be preached to everyone?
And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great
reasoning among themselves.
And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all
that came in unto him,||
Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the
Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.