1 Some men came down from Judea to teach the brothers. They said: »You cannot be saved unless you become circumcised according to the custom of Moses.«
2 Paul and Barnabas had an intense harsh dispute and debate with them. They concluded that Paul, Barnabas, and others should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders to settle this question.
3 The congregation sent them on their way. They passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the nations. They brought great joy to all the brothers.
4 Then they went to Jerusalem where the apostles and elders and congregation greeted them. They declared all the things that God had done for them.
5 The believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stated: »It is needed to circumcise them and to command them to keep the Law of Moses.«
6 The apostles and elders came together to consider this matter.
7 After much discussion Peter got up and said: »Men and brothers you know that God made a choice among us, that I would preach the good news to the nations that they may hear and believe.
8 »God knows their hearts and showed that he accepted them by giving them Holy Spirit just as he did to us.
9 »He made no distinction between them and us and purified their hearts by faith.
10 »Why do you test God by placing a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, one that our fathers were not able to bear?
11 »We believe we are saved through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, as they also are.«
12 The crowd kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul. They declared the miracles and wonders God performed through them among the people of the nations.
13 When they finished talking James said: »Brothers listen to me:
14 »Simeon declared how God first visited the nations to take out of them a people for his name.
15 »The words of the prophets agree to this for it is written:
16 »I will return and will build again the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins. I will restore it. (Amos 9:11,12)
17 »That the rest of mankind might seek after Jehovah, and all the nations, upon whom my name is called, Jehovah said, who is doing these things. (Amos 9:12)
18 »Known to God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
19 »Therefore it is my decision not to trouble those of the nations who have turned to God.
20 »We should write to them that they should abstain from things polluted by idols, from fornication, from things strangled and from blood.
21 »Moses has been preached in the synagogues from old times until now every Sabbath day.«
22 The apostles and elders along with the whole congregation desired to send chosen men to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers.
23 They wrote letters as follows: »The apostles, elders and brothers send greeting to the brothers who are of the nations in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.
24 »Since we have heard, that certain ones who went out from us have troubled you with speeches, subverting you, saying: You must be circumcised, and keep the law. We gave no such commandment!
25 »It seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul.
26 »These men have endangered their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 »We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things in person.
28 »For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.
29 »You should abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication. If you keep yourselves from these you will do well. Farwell best wishes.«
30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch and when they had gathered the crowd together, they delivered the letter.
31 When they read it they rejoiced over the encouragement.
32 Judas and Silas, being prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers.
33 After they stayed there a while in peace, the brothers sent them back to the apostles.
34 It pleased Silas to stay there.
35 Paul and Barnabas stayed at Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of God, with many others also.
36 After time passed Paul said to Barnabas: »Let us go again and visit our brothers in every city where we have preached the Word of God, and see how they are doing.«
37 Barnabas decided to take John, whose surname was Mark, with them.
38 Paul did not think it a good idea to take him with them. So he left them at Pamphylia.
39 Their disagreement was so great between them that they parted company. So Barnabas took Mark, and sailed to Cyprus.
40 Paul chose Silas, and departed, being entrusted by the brothers to the grace of God.
41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the congregations.