Atos 15

1 BUT certain men came down from Judaea and undertook to teach the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."

2 Since no little dissension and controversy arose between Paul and Barnabas and these men, it was arranged that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question.

3 So they were sent on by the church and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, relating the conversion of the Gentiles, which caused great joy to all the brethren.

4 On their arrival in Jerusalem they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they narrated all that God, working with them, had done.

5 Then some of the party of the Pharisees, who had become believers, rose and said, "We must circumcise them and tell them to keep the Law of Moses."

6 The apostles and elders met to confer about this matter.

7 After there had been much debate, Peter rose and said to them, "Brethren, you know that in early days God chose among you that through my mouth the Gentiles should hear the message of good news and should believe.

8 And God, who knows all hearts, bore witness to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us.

9 He made no difference between us and them in cleansing their hearts by faith.

10 Now, therefore, why are you testing God by putting on the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?

11 On the contrary we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus just as they are."

12 The whole assembly remained silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul relating all the signs and wonders that God had done through them among the Gentiles.

13 When they ceased speaking, James said, "Brethren, listen to me.

14 Symeon has told how first God graciously visited the Gentiles and took a people for his name.

15 With this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written,

16 'After this I will return and build up again the tent of David which has fallen down; yes, I will build up its ruins and erect it again,

17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles upon whom my name has been bestowed, says the Lord

18 who does these things foreknown from of old.'

19 Therefore I judge best not to trouble those of the Gentiles who have turned to God,

20 but to write to them to abstain from contamination with idols, and from unchastity, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.

21 For Moses has had for generations past in every city those who preach him, for he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath."

22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to select men from themselves and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, men esteemed among the brethren.

23 They wrote and sent by their hands the following letter: "The Apostles and the Brethren who are elders, to the Brethren from the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: Greeting.

24 "Inasmuch as we have heard that certain persons from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, \'97 men whom we did not authorize, \'97

25 it seemed good, after unanimous agreement, to select some men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

26 who have exposed their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who will tell you orally the same things.

28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no further burden than these necessary things:

29 to abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from strangled things, and from unchastity. If you keep yourselves from these you will do well. Farewell."

30 So they were sent away and went down to Antioch, where they called together the whole body and delivered over the letter.

31 On reading it they rejoiced over the encouragement.

32 Both Judas and Silas, being themselves prophets, encouraged and confirmed the brethren by long addresses.

33 After spending some time they were sent away with a message of peace from the brethren to those who had sent them.


35 Paul and Barnabas stayed on in Antioch teaching and telling, in association with many others, the good news of the Lord's message.

36 After some time Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the brethren in every city in which we made known the Lord's message, and see how they are prospering."

37 Barnabas wished to take along John who was called Mark.

38 But Paul did not approve of taking him along, since he had left them in Pamphylia and had not gone on with them into the work.

39 Such a difference of feeling resulted that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark and sailed away to Cyprus.

40 Paul selected Silas and left, after being commended to the grace of the Lord by the brethren.

41 They went through Syria and Cilicia strengthening the churches.