Acts 15

The Dispute over Circumcision

Then some men came down from Judea [and] were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” So Paul and Barnabas engaged [these men] in sharp debate. [The two of them] were appointed, along with some other [ believers ] , to go up to Jerusalem to [see] the apostles and elders about this question. Sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, recounting the conversion of the Gentiles and bringing great joy to all the brothers. [On] their arrival in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and apostles and elders, [to whom] they reported all that God had done through them.

The Council at Jerusalem

But some believers from the party of the Pharisees stood up [and] declared, “ [The Gentiles] must be circumcised and required to obey the Law of Moses.” [So] the apostles and elders met to look into this matter. After much discussion, Peter got up [and] said to them, “Brothers, you know that in [the] early days, God made a choice among you [that] the Gentiles would hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, showed His approval by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as [He did] to us. He made no distinction between us and them, [for] He cleansed their hearts by faith. 10  Now then, why do you test God by placing on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11  On the contrary, we believe [it is] through the grace of [the] Lord Jesus [that] we are saved, just as they [are] .” 12  The whole assembly fell silent [as they] listened to Barnabas and Paul describing [the] signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13  When they had finished speaking, James declared, “vvv Brothers, listen to me! 14  Simon
Greek Simeon, a variant of Simon
has told us how God first visited [the Gentiles] to take from [them] a people [to be] His [own] .
15  The words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written: 16  ‘After [this] I will return and rebuild the fallen tent of David. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, 17  so that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear My name, says [the] Lord who does these things 18  [that] have been known for ages.’
Amos 9:11,12. BYZ and TR says the Lord, who does all these things. 18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
19  [It is] my judgment, therefore, that we should not cause trouble for the Gentiles [who] are turning to God. 20  Instead, we should write [ and tell] them to abstain from [ food ] polluted by idols, [from] sexual immorality, [from] the meat of strangled animals, and from blood. 21  For Moses has been proclaimed in every city from ancient times [and] is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

The Letter to the Gentile Believers

22  Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to select men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. [They chose] Judas called Barsabbas and Silas, [two] leaders among the brothers, 23  [and sent them with] this letter: “The apostles and the elders, [your] brothers, To the brothers among [the] Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. 24  It has come to our attention that some went out from us without our authorization
BYZ and TR include saying you must be circumcised and keep the law
[and] unsettled your minds by what [they] said.
25  [So] we all agreed to choose men to send you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26  men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27  Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to tell you [in person] the same things [we are writing you] . 28  It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you [with anything] beyond these essential requirements: 29  [You must] abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.”

The Believers at Antioch Rejoice

30  So [the men] were sent off [and] went down to Antioch, [where] they assembled the congregation [and] delivered the letter. 31  [When] [the people] read [it] , they rejoiced at [its] encouraging message. 32  Judas and Silas, [who] themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers. 33  After spending some time [there] , they were sent off by the brothers in peace to [return to] those who had sent them.
TR includes 34 Silas, however, decided to remain there.
35  But Paul and Barnabas remained at Antioch, along with many others, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord.

Paul's Second Missionary Journey

36  Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “ - Let us go back [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 take John, [also] called Mark. 38  But Paul thought it best not to take him, [because] he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not accompanied them in the work. 39  Their disagreement was so sharp that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark [and] sailed for Cyprus, 40  but Paul chose Silas [and] left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41  And he traveled through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
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