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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 1

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1 IN the first part of my work, Theophilus, I gave an account of all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3To these men he showed himself after his death and gave ample proof that he was alive: he was seen by them over a period of forty days and spoke to them about the kingdom of God. 4While he was in their company he directed them not to leave Jerusalem. ‘You must wait’, he said, ‘for the gift promised by the Father, of which I told you; 5John, as you know, baptized with water, but within the next few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

6When they were all together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time at which you are to restore sovereignty to Israel?’ 7He answered, ‘It is not for you to know about dates or times which the Father has set within his own control. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will bear witness for me in Jerusalem, and throughout all Judaea and Samaria, and even in the farthest corners of the earth.’

9After he had said this, he was lifted up before their very eyes, and a cloud took him from their sight. 10They were gazing intently into the sky as he went, and all at once there stood beside them two men robed in white, 11who said, ‘Men of Galilee, why stand there looking up into the sky? This Jesus who has been taken from you up to heaven will come in the same way as you have seen him go.’

12 THEY then returned to Jerusalem from the hill called Olivet, which is near the city, no farther than a sabbath day's journey. 13On their arrival they went to the upstairs room where they were lodging: Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14All these with one accord were constantly at prayer, together with a group of women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

15It was during this time that Peter stood up before the assembled brotherhood, about one hundred and twenty in all, and said: 16‘My friends, the prophecy in scripture, which the Holy Spirit uttered concerning Judas through the mouth of David, was bound to come true; Judas acted as guide to those who arrested Jesus—17he was one of our number and had his place in this ministry.’ 18(After buying a plot of land with the price of his villainy, this man fell headlong and burst open so that all his entrails spilled out; 19everyone in Jerusalem came to hear of this, and in their own language they named the plot Akeldama, which means ‘Blood Acre’.) 20‘The words I have in mind’, Peter continued, ‘are in the book of Psalms: “Let his homestead fall desolate; let there be none to inhabit it.” And again, “Let his charge be given to another.” 21Therefore one of those who bore us company all the while the Lord Jesus was going about among us, 22from his baptism by John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of those must now join us as a witness to his resurrection.’

23Two names were put forward: Joseph, who was known as Barsabbas and bore the added name of Justus, and Matthias. 24Then they prayed and said, ‘You know the hearts of everyone, Lord; declare which of these two you have chosen 25to receive this office of ministry and apostleship which Judas abandoned to go where he belonged.’ 26They drew lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was elected to be an apostle with the other eleven.

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