1. Now certain men who had come down from Judea were teaching the brethren, saying, “Unless you are circumcised after the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
2. Therefore, after a great deal of strife and arguing with them by Paul and Barnabas, the brethren appointed Paul and Barnabas, and certain others from among them, to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem about this question.
3. So then, after being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, where they reported the conversion of the Gentiles. And they caused great joy to all the brethren.
4. And when they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all the things that God had done with them.
5. But there stood up certain of those who believed, who were of the sect of the Pharisees, saying, “It is obligatory to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.” (see explanation)
6. Then the apostles and the elders gathered together to see about this matter.
7. And after much discussion had taken place, Peter stood up and said to them, “Men, brethren, you know that from the early days, God made the choice among us that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
8. And God, Who knows the heart, bore witness to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, even as He did to us,
9. And made no difference between us and them, and has purified their hearts through the faith.
10. Now therefore, why do you tempt God by putting a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11. But by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we believe we shall be saved in the same manner as they also.”
12. Then all the multitude kept silence and heard Barnabas and Paul relate what signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.
13. And after they were silent, James answered and said, “Men, brethren, listen to me.
14. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles to take out a people for His name.
15. And with this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written,
16. ‘After these things, I will return and will build again the tabernacle of David which has fallen; and its ruins I will build again, and will set it up;
17. So that the residue of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom My name is called, says the Lord, Who does all these things.’
18. Known to God are all His works from the beginning of the world.
19. Therefore, my judgment is that we do not trouble those of the Gentiles who have turned to God;
20. But that we write to them to abstain from pollutions of idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled and from blood.
21. For from the generations of old, Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him in the synagogues, being read every Sabbath day.”
22. Then it pleased the apostles and the elders, together with the whole church, to send chosen men from among them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; and they chose leading men from among the brethren: Judas, who was surnamed Barsabas, and Silas.
23. And they wrote letters by their hand, as follows: “The apostles and the elders and the brethren, to those brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: Greetings!
24. Inasmuch as we have heard that certain ones among us who went to you have troubled your souls with words, saying, ‘You are obligated to be circumcised and to keep the law’ (to whom we gave no such command);
25. It seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send to you chosen men with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26. Men who have dedicated their lives to proclaim the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27. Therefore, we have sent Judas and Silas, who shall themselves also tell you by word of mouth the same things that we have written.
28. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us, to lay no further burden upon you than these necessary things:
29. To abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality; if you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”
30. Therefore, after being dispatched, they went to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle.
31. And after reading it, they rejoiced at the consolation.
32. Then Judas and Silas, who were themselves also prophets, exhorted the brethren with many words, and established them.
33. And after they had been there for a time, they were let go in peace from the brethren to the apostles;
34. But it seemed good to Silas to remain there.
35. Now Paul and Barnabas were staying in Antioch with many others, teaching and preaching the gospel—the Word of the Lord.
36. And after certain days, Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back to see how our brethren are doing in every city where we have preached the Word of the Lord.”
37. And Barnabas was determined to take with them John who was called Mark;
38. But Paul did not think it good to take him because he had departed from them at Pamphylia, and did not go with them to the work.
39. As a result, such a sharp contention arose between them that they parted from one another. And Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus;
40. But Paul chose Silas and departed, after being committed to the grace of God by the brethren.
41. And he passed through Syria and Cilicia, establishing the churches.
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