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15 And some coming down from Judea, taught the brethren: That except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved.

And when Paul and Barnabas had no small contest with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain others of the other side, should go up to the apostles and priests to Jerusalem about this question.

They therefore being brought on their way by the church, passed through Phenice, and Samaria, relating the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren.

And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church, and by the apostles and ancients, declaring how great things God had done with them.

But there arose some of the sect of the Pharisees that believed, saying: They must be circumcised, and be commanded to observe the law of Moses.

And the apostles and ancients assembled to consider of this matter.

And when there had been much disputing, Peter, rising up, said to them: Men, brethren, you know, that in former days God made choice among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

And God, who knoweth the hearts, gave testimony, giving unto them the Holy Ghost, as well as to us;

And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

10 Now therefore, why tempt you God to put a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?

11 But by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we believe to be saved, in like manner as they also.

12 And all the multitude held their peace; and they heard Barnabas and Paul telling what great signs and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying: Men, brethren, hear me.

14 Simon hath related how God first visited to take of the Gentiles a people to his name.

15 And to this agree the words of the prophets, as it is written:

16 After these things I will return, and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and the ruins thereof I will rebuild, and I will set it up:

17 That the residue of men may seek after the Lord, and all nations upon whom my name is invoked, saith the Lord, who doth these things.

18 To the Lord was his own work known from the beginning of the world.

19 For which cause I judge that they, who from among the Gentiles are converted to God, are not to be disquieted.

20 But that we write unto them, that they refrain themselves from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him in the synagogues, where he is read every sabbath.

22 Then it pleased the apostles and ancients, with the whole church, to choose men of their own company, and to send to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas, who was surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren.

23 Writing by their hands: The apostles and ancients, brethren, to the brethren of the Gentiles that are at Antioch, and in Syria and Cilicia, greeting.

24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that some going out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls; to whom we gave no commandment:

25 It hath seemed good to us, being assembled together, to choose out men, and to send them unto you, with our well beloved Barnabas and Paul:

26 Men that have given their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who themselves also will, by word of mouth, tell you the same things.

28 For it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay no further burden upon you than these necessary things:

29 That you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which things keeping yourselves, you shall do well. Fare ye well.

30 They therefore being dismissed, went down to Antioch; and gathering together the multitude, delivered the epistle.

31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.

32 But Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, with many words comforted the brethren, and confirmed them.

33 And after they had spent some time there, they were let go with peace by the brethren, unto them that had sent them.

34 But it seemed good unto Silas to remain there; and Judas alone departed to Jerusalem.

35 And Paul and Barnabas continued at Antioch, teaching and preaching, with many others, the word of the Lord.

36 And after some days, Paul said to Barnabas: Let us return and visit our brethren in all the cities wherein we have preached the word of the Lord, to see how they do.

37 And Barnabas would have taken with them John also, that was surnamed Mark;

38 But Paul desired that he (as having departed from them out of Pamphylia, and not gone with them to the work) might not be received.

39 And there arose a dissension, so that they departed one from another; and Barnabas indeed taking Mark, sailed to Cyprus.

40 But Paul choosing Silas, departed, being delivered by the brethren to the grace of God.

41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches, commanding them to keep the precepts of the apostles and the ancients.

The Council at Jerusalem

15 Certain people(A) came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers:(B) “Unless you are circumcised,(C) according to the custom taught by Moses,(D) you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem(E) to see the apostles and elders(F) about this question. The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia(G) and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted.(H) This news made all the believers very glad. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.(I)

Then some of the believers who belonged to the party(J) of the Pharisees(K) stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”(L)

The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.(M) God, who knows the heart,(N) showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them,(O) just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them,(P) for he purified their hearts by faith.(Q) 10 Now then, why do you try to test God(R) by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke(S) that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace(T) of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders(U) God had done among the Gentiles through them.(V) 13 When they finished, James(W) spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. 14 Simon[a] has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles.(X) 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:

16 “‘After this I will return
    and rebuild David’s fallen tent.
Its ruins I will rebuild,
    and I will restore it,
17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
    even all the Gentiles who bear my name,
says the Lord, who does these things’[b](Y)
18     things known from long ago.[c](Z)

19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols,(AA) from sexual immorality,(AB) from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.(AC) 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”(AD)

The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers

22 Then the apostles and elders,(AE) with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch(AF) with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas,(AG) men who were leaders among the believers. 23 With them they sent the following letter:

The apostles and elders, your brothers,

To the Gentile believers in Antioch,(AH) Syria(AI) and Cilicia:(AJ)

Greetings.(AK)

24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.(AL) 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives(AM) for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas(AN) to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit(AO) and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.(AP) You will do well to avoid these things.

Farewell.

30 So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31 The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message. 32 Judas and Silas,(AQ) who themselves were prophets,(AR) said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. 33 After spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace(AS) to return to those who had sent them. [34] [d] 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached(AT) the word of the Lord.(AU)

Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas

36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns(AV) where we preached the word of the Lord(AW) and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark,(AX) with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them(AY) in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas(AZ) and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord.(BA) 41 He went through Syria(BB) and Cilicia,(BC) strengthening the churches.(BD)

Footnotes

  1. Acts 15:14 Greek Simeon, a variant of Simon; that is, Peter
  2. Acts 15:17 Amos 9:11,12 (see Septuagint)
  3. Acts 15:18 Some manuscripts things’— / 18 the Lord’s work is known to him from long ago
  4. Acts 15:34 Some manuscripts include here But Silas decided to remain there.

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