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Acts



The Acts of the Apostles, chapter 15, New English Translation and King James Version

Chapter 15

New English Translation


   The Jerusalem Council
   1 Now some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." 2 When Paul and Barnabas had a major argument and debate with them, the church appointed Paul and Barnabas and some others from among them to go up to meet with the apostles and elders in Jerusalem about this point of disagreement. 3 So they were sent on their way by the church, and as they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, they were relating at length the conversion of the Gentiles and bringing great joy to all the brothers. 4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all the things God had done with them. 5 But some from the religious party of the Pharisees who had believed stood up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise the Gentiles and to order them to observe the law of Moses."
   6 Both the apostles and the elders met together to deliberate about this matter. 7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, "Brothers, you know that some time ago God chose me to preach to the Gentiles so they would hear the message of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, has testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, 9 and he made no distinction between them and us, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 So now why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the LORD Jesus, in the same way as they are."
   12 The whole group kept quiet and listened to Barnabas and Paul while they explained all the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13 After they stopped speaking, James replied, "Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has explained how God first concerned himself to select from among the Gentiles a people for his name. 15 The words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written,
   16 'After this I will return, and I will rebuild the fallen tent of David; I will rebuild its ruins and restore it,
   17 so that the rest of humanity may seek the LORD, namely, all the Gentiles I have called to be my own,' says the LORD, who makes these things 18 known from long ago.
   19 "Therefore I conclude that we should not cause extra difficulty for those among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but that we should write them a letter telling them to abstain from things defiled by idols and from sexual immorality and from what has been strangled and from blood. 21 For Moses has had those who proclaim him in every town from ancient times, because he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath."
   22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to send men chosen from among them, Judas called Barsabbas and Silas, leaders among the brothers, to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. 23 They sent this letter with them: From the apostles and elders, your brothers, to the Gentile brothers and sisters in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia, greetings! 24 Since we have heard that some have gone out from among us with no orders from us and have confused you, upsetting your minds by what they said, 25 we have unanimously decided to choose men to send to you along with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul, 26 who have risked their lives for the name of our LORD Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas who will tell you these things themselves in person. 28 For it seemed best to the Holy Spirit and to us not to place any greater burden on you than these necessary rules: 29 that you abstain from meat that has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what has been strangled and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from doing these things, you will do well. Farewell.
   30 So when they were dismissed, they went down to Antioch, and after gathering the entire group together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they read it aloud, the people rejoiced at its encouragement. 32 Both Judas and Silas, who were prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with a long speech. 33 After they had spent some time there, they were sent off in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them. 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and proclaiming (along with many others) the word of the LORD.
   Paul and Barnabas Part Company
   36 After some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let's return and visit the brothers in every town where we proclaimed the word of the LORD to see how they are doing." 37 Barnabas wanted to bring John called Mark along with them too, 38 but Paul insisted that they should not take along this one who had left them in Pamphylia and had not accompanied them in the work. 39 They had a sharp disagreement, so that they parted company. Barnabas took along Mark and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and set out, commended to the grace of the LORD by the brothers and sisters. 41 He passed through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

King James Version


   1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
   2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
   3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
   4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
   5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
   6 ¶ And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
   7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
   8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
   9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
   10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
   11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
   12 ¶ Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
   13 ¶ And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
   14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
   15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
   16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
   17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
   18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
   19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
   20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from 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, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
   22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
   23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
   24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
   25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
   26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
   27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
   28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
   29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
   30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:
   31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.
   32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.
   33 And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the apostles.
   34 Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still.
   35 Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
   36 ¶ And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.
   37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.
   38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
   39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;
   40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
   41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.
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