The Council in Jerusalem
15 Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 And after Paul and Barnabas had a heated argument and debate with them, the brothers determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.3 Therefore, after being sent on their way by the church, they were passing through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they were bringing great joy to all the brothers and sisters. 4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were received by the church, the apostles, and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. 5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to keep the Law of Moses.”
6 The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter.7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, 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. 8 And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; 9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.10 Since this is the case, why are you putting God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”
12 All the people kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating all the signs and wonders that God had done through them among the Gentiles.
13 After they stopped speaking, James responded, saying, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has described how God first concerned Himself about taking a people for His name from among the Gentiles. 15 The words of the Prophets agree with this, just as it is written:
16 ‘After these things I will return,
And I will rebuild the fallen tabernacle of David,
And 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 do not cause trouble for those from the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols, from acts ofsexual immorality, from what has been strangled, and from blood.21 For from ancient generations Moses has those who preach him in every city, 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 to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas who was called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers, 23 and they sent this letter with them:
“The apostles and the brothers who are elders, to the brothers and sisters in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia who are from the Gentiles: Greetings.
24 Since we have heard that some of our number to whom we gave no instruction have confused you by their teaching, upsetting your souls, 25 it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to select men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.27 Therefore, we have sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will also report 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, from blood, from things strangled, and from acts of sexual immorality; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.”
30 So when they were sent away, they went down to Antioch; and after gathering the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brothers and sisters with a lengthy message. 33 After they had spent time there, they were sent away from the brothers and sisters in peace to those who had sent them out. 35 But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
Second Missionary Journey
36 After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s return and visit the brothers and sisters in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, called Mark, along with them also. 38 But Paul was of the opinion that they should not take along with them this man who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 Now it turned into 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 after being entrusted by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.