Acts 15

But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, reporting the conversion of the Gentiles, and they gave great joy to all the brethren. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up, and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the Law of Moses."

The apostles and the elders came together to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, "Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he also did to us; and he made no distinction between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why do you test God by putting upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they are." 12 All the assembly kept silent; and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they finished speaking, James replied, "Brethren, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for his name. 15 With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 ‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, 17 so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, ‘ 18 says the Lord, who makes these things known from long ago. 19 Therefore it is my judgment that we should not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, 20 but that we should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. 21 For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath."

22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, 23 and they sent the following letter with them: "The apostles and the brethren who are elders, to the brethren in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia who are from the Gentiles, greetings. 24 Since we have heard that some persons from us have disturbed you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, 25 it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: 29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication. If you keep yourselves free from these, you will do well. Farewell." 30 So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch; and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 And when they read it, they rejoiced at its encouragement. 32 And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged the brethren with many words and strengthened them. 33 And after they had spent some time there, they were sent off in peace by the brethren to those who had sent them. 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

36 After some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us return and visit the brethren in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are." 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them. 38 But Paul kept insisting that they should not take along one who had deserted them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. 39 There arose such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. 40 But Paul chose Silas and left, being commended by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

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