1 THERE was in Caesarea a man named Cornelius, a centurion in the battalion called the Italian cohort.
2 He was a pious man, reverencing God with all his household, doing many acts of charity to the people and praying to God constantly.
3 About three o'clock one afternoon he saw plainly in a vision an angel come in and say to him, "Cornelius."
4 He gazed at him in alarm and asked, "What is it, my Lord?" The angel said to him, "Your prayers and your gifts of charity have come up as an evidence before God.
5 Now send men to Joppa and ask for a man named Simon, who is called Peter.
6 He is the guest of a certain Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside."
7 When the angel who had been speaking to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a pious soldier of those who were attached to him,
8 and, after explaining everything to them, sent them to Joppa.
9 On the next day, while they were on the road and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray. It was about noon.
10 He began to feel hungry and wished to eat. While they were preparing food, he fell into a trance
11 and saw the heavens opened and something descending like a great sheet being let down to the ground by the four corners.
12 In it were all kinds of fourfooted animals and reptiles and birds of the air.
13 Then a voice came to him, "Rise, Peter, kill and eat."
14 But Peter said, "By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unclean or impure."
15 A second time the voice came to him, "What God has cleansed you must not think unclean."
16 This happened a third time, and then immediately the sheet was taken up into the heavens.
17 Peter was thinking this over and was at a loss what the vision meant. Just then the men who had been sent by Cornelius, after inquiring for the house of Simon, came to the door
18 and called to know whether Simon called Peter was a guest there.
19 While Peter was debating with himself about the vision, the Spirit said, "Here are two men looking for you.
20 Rise and go down and go with them without misgivings, for I have sent them."
21 Peter went down and said to the men, "Here I am \'97 the man you are looking for. What is the reason for your coming?"
22 They said, "Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house, and to listen to your words."
23 Then he invited them in and entertained them. The next day Peter arose and went away with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
24 On the following day they came to Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had assembled his relatives and his close friends.
25 As Peter was about to enter, Cornelius met him and falling at his feet did him reverence.
26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I myself also am a man."
27 Conversing with him Peter entered the house and found many people assembled.
28 He said to them, "You understand that it is against our Law for a Jew to be closely associated with a Gentile or to visit him. But God has taught me not to call any person common or unclean.
29 Therefore when I was sent for I came without making any objection. So now I ask, For what reason have you sent for me?"
30 Cornelius said, "Four days ago, at this hour, I was offering the three o'clock prayer in my house, when suddenly a man stood before me in shining dress
31 and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your gifts of charity have been remembered before God.
32 Send to Joppa and call for Simon who is surnamed Peter. He is a guest in the house of Simon a tanner near the sea'
33 Immediately I sent to you and you have done well in coming. Now here we all are in God's presence to hear all that the Lord has commanded you."
34 Peter opened his mouth and said, "Truly I understand that God is not partial,
35 but in every nation whoever reverences him and lives righteously is acceptable to him.
36 As to the message which he sent to the children of Israel telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ \'97 who is Lord of all \'97
37 you know the story that spread through all Judaea. It began in Galilee after the baptism which John proclaimed.
38 You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were harassed by the Devil, for God was with him.
39 We are witnesses of all that he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They hung him on a cross and so killed him.
40 But God raised him up on the third day and granted that he should become visible,
41 not to all the people, but to witnesses previously chosen by God, namely, to us who ate and drank with him after his resurrection from the dead.
42 God commanded us to proclaim to the people and to testify that he is the divinely appointed Judge of the living and the dead.
43 All of the prophets testify to this, that every one who believes in him obtains forgiveness of sins through his name."
44 While Peter was speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening to his message.
45 All the believers who were of the circumcision who had come along with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Gentiles,
46 for they heard them speaking with tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter said,
47 "Can any one forbid water for the baptism of these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?"
48 And he directed that they should be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain there a few days.