Acts 15

In the meantime, some, who came down from Judea, taught the brethren, Except you be circumcised, according to the manner of Moses, you can not be saved. There being, therefore, a contention, and no small debate with them, on the part of Paul and Barnabas; they resolved that Paul and Barnabas, and some others of their number, should go up to the Apostles and elders at Jerusalem, about this question. They, therefore, being brought forward on their journey, by the congregation, went through Phenicia and Samaria, relating the conversion of the Gentiles; and they occasioned great joy to all the brethren. And being arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the congregation, and by the Apostles and elders: and they related what things God had done with them. But some of the sect of the Pharisees that believed, rose up and said, that it was necessary to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the law of Moses.

And the Apostles and elders were gathered together to consult upon this affair. And after much debate, Peter rose up and said to them, Brethren, you know that, some considerable time since, God among us, chose, that the Gentiles, by my mouth, should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as he did to us: and made no distinction between us and them, having purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now, therefore, why do you tempt God by imposing on 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 by the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same manner as they. 12 And the whole multitude kept silence, and attended to Barnabas and Paul; relating what signs and wonders God had done among the heathen, by them. 13 Then after they had done speaking, James answered, saying, Brethren, hearken to me. 14 Simeon has been relating how God first looked down on the Gentiles, to take from among them a people for his name. 15 And the words of the prophets harmonize with this; as it is written, 16 "After this, I will return, and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; yes, I will rebuild its ruins, and set it upright again: 17 that the remainder of men may seek the Lord, even all the heathen upon whom my name is called, 18 says the Lord," who does all these things, known to him from the beginning. 19 Wherefore, my judgment is not to disquiet those who, from among the Gentiles, are converted to God; 20 but to write to them, that they abstain from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from that which is strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses has, from ancient generations, those who preach him, in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.

22 Then it seemed good to the Apostles and elders, and all the congregation, to send to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas, chosen men from among themselves, namely, Judas, surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, men of principal account among the brethren; 23 writing by their hands these things: The Apostles, and elders, and brethren, to the brethren from among the Gentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia, greeting: 24 Forasmuch as we have been informed that, some going out from among us, to whom we gave no commission, have troubled you with discourses, unsettling your minds, saying, that you must be circumcised, and keep the law: 25 we, being unanimously assembled, have thought proper to send you chosen men, with out beloved Barnabas and Paul; 26 men that have exposed their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have, therefore, sent Judas and Silas, who will also tell you by word of mouth, the same things. 28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to impose no further burden upon you besides these necessary things; 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from anything strangled, and from fornication: from which you will do well to keep yourselves. Farewell. 30 They, therefore, being dismissed, came to Antioch; and assembling the multitude, delivered the epistle. 31 And when they had read it, they rejoiced for the consolation it brought . 32 And Judas and Silas, being also prophets themselves; in a copious discourse, exhorted and strengthened the brethren. 33 And, having made some stay, they were dismissed with peace from the brethren to the Apostles. 34 But Silas thought proper to continue there. 35 Paul also, and Barnabas, with many others, continued at Antioch; teaching and declaring the good word of the Lord.

36 And, after some days, Paul said to Barnabas, Let us return and visit the brethren in all the cities in which we have published the word of the Lord; and see how they do. 37 And Barnabas determined to take along with them John, surnamed Mark. 38 But Peter did not think proper to take with them that person who had withdrawn himself from them from Pamphylia; and went not with them to the work. 39 There was, therefore, a sharp fit of anger, so that they separated from each other; and Barnabas, taking Mark along with him, sailed to Cyprus. 40 But Paul made choice of Silas, and departed; being commended to the grace of God, by the brethren. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia confirming the congregations;

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