OF THE APOSTLES
4. The Trouble concerning Circumcision
a. A Conference of the Apostles and Elders Held in Jerusalem
1 And certain men 1came down from aJudea and began to teach the bbrothers, 2cUnless you are 3dcircumcised according to the 4ecustom of Moses, you cannot be saved.
2 And when no little 1dissension and discussion with them came about through Paul and Barnabas, the brothers directed Paul and Barnabas and certain others among them to go up to the apostles and aelders in 2bJerusalem concerning this question.
3 They therefore, having been asent forward by the 1bchurch, passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, telling in detail about the turning of the cGentiles; and they brought great joy to all the dbrothers.
4 And when they arrived in Jerusalem, they were areceived by the bchurch and the apostles and the elders, and they cdeclared the things that God had done with them.
5 But certain men from the asect of the 1Pharisees who had believed rose up from among them, saying, It is bnecessary to 2circumcise them and to charge them to 3keep the claw of Moses.
6 And the apostles and the elders were 1gathered together to see about this matter.
7 And when much discussion had taken place, Peter rose up and said to them, 1Men, brothers, you know that from the 2early days God achose from among you that through my mouth the bGentiles should hear the word of the cgospel and believe.
8 And God, the Knower of ahearts, bore witness to them, giving them the Holy bSpirit even cas also to us;
9 And He made ano distinction between us and them, bcleansing their 1hearts by faith.
10 Therefore why are you now atesting God by placing a 1byoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11 But we believe that through the 1agrace of the Lord Jesus we are bsaved in the same way also as they are.
12 And all the multitude became silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul arelating all the bsigns and wonders God had done among the cGentiles through them.
13 And when they 1finished speaking, aJames answered, saying, 2Men, brothers, listen to me.
14 1Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles to take out from them a apeople for His name.
15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, even as it is written,
16 a"After these things I will return, and I will rebuild the 1tabernacle of David which has fallen; and I will rebuild its ruins and erect it again,
17 So that the remainder of men may aseek out the Lord, even all the Gentiles 1upon whom My bname has been called,
18 Says the Lord, who is making these things known 1afrom of old.''
19 Therefore I judge that we do not harass those from the Gentiles who are aturning to God,
20 But that we write to them to abstain from the acontaminations of bidols and cfornication and what is strangled and dblood.
21 For 1Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who proclaim him in the 2synagogues, he being aread every Sabbath.
22 It then seemed good to the apostles and the elders with the whole achurch to choose men from among them to send to Antioch together with Paul and Barnabas: Judas, who is called bBarsabbas, and cSilas, leading men among the brothers,
23 Writing to them and sending by their hand the following: The apostles and the elder brothers, to the abrothers throughout Antioch and bSyria and Cilicia who are of the Gentiles, rejoice.
24 Since we have heard that certain ones who went out from among us have atroubled you with their words, unsettling your souls, to whom we gave no instruction,
25 It seemed good to us, having become of aone accord, to choose men to send to you together with our bbeloved Barnabas and Paul,
26 Men who have 1risked their 2alives for the bname of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 Therefore we have sent Judas and aSilas, who themselves will report the same things by word of mouth.
28 For it seemed good to the Holy aSpirit and to us to lay upon you no greater bburden than these necessary things:
29 To abstain from things that have been sacrificed to aidols and blood and things strangled and fornication, from which if you carefully keep yourselves, you will do well. May you be strong.
30 So when they had been sent away, they went down to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they handed them the letter.
31 And when they read it, they rejoiced at the encouragement.
32 And Judas and Silas, also being 1aprophets themselves, exhorted the brothers through much speaking and bconfirmed them.
33 And when they had spent some time there, they were sent away with apeace from the brothers to those who had sent them.
34 1But it seemed good to Silas to remain there.
5. The Problem of Barnabas
35 And Paul and Barnabas stayed in aAntioch, teaching and bannouncing the word of the Lord as the gospel with many others also.
36 Now after some days Paul said to Barnabas, Let us return now and visit the brothers in aevery city in which we announced the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.
37 And Barnabas intended to take aJohn, who is called Mark, along with them also;
38 But Paul did not consider it suitable to take with them this one who awithdrew from them in Pamphylia and did not go with them to the work.
39 And there was a 1sharp contention, so that they separated from each other; and Barnabas, taking Mark along, sailed away to aCyprus.
a. To Syria and Cilicia
40 But Paul chose aSilas and 1went out, having been commended to the bgrace of the Lord by the brothers.
41 And he passed through aSyria and Cilicia, bconfirming the cchurches.