|<< Acts 15 >>|
Weymouth New testament
The Dispute over Circumcision
1But certain persons who had come down from Judaea tried to convince the brethren, saying, "Unless you are circumcised in accordance with the Mosaic custom, you cannot be saved."
2Between these new comers and Paul and Barnabas there was no little disagreement and controversy, until at last it was decided that Paul and Barnabas and some other brethren should go up to consult the Apostles and Elders in Jerusalem on this matter.
3So they set out, being accompanied for a short distance by some other members of the Church; and as they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told the whole story of the conversion of the Gentiles and inspired all the brethren with great joy.
4Upon their arrival in Jerusalem they were cordially received by the Church, the Apostles, and the Elders; and they reported in detail all that God, working with them, had done.
The Council at Jerusalem
5But certain men who had belonged to the sect of the Pharisees but were now believers, stood up in the assembly, and said, "Yes, Gentile believers ought to be circumcised and be ordered to keep the Law of Moses."
6Then the Apostles and Elders met to consider the matter;
7and after there had been a long discussion Peter rose to his feet. "It is within your own knowledge," he said, "that God originally made choice among you that from my lips the Gentiles were to hear the Message of the Good News, and believe.
8And God, who knows all hearts, gave His testimony in their favour by bestowing the Holy Spirit on them just as He did on us;
9and He made no difference between us and them, in that He cleansed their hearts by their faith.
10Now, therefore, why try an experiment upon God, by laying on the necks of these disciples a yoke which neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear?
11On the contrary, we believe that it is by the grace of the Lord Jesus that we, as well as they, shall be saved."
12Then the whole assembly remained silent while they listened to the statement made by Paul and Barnabas as to all the signs and marvels that God had done among the Gentiles through their instrumentality.
13When they had finished speaking, James said, "Brethren, listen to me.
14Symeon has related how God first looked graciously on the Gentiles to take from among them a People to be called by His name.
15And this is in harmony with the language of the Prophets, which says:
16"'"Afterwards I will return, and will rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will set it up again;
17In order that the rest of mankind may earnestly seek the Lord—even all the nations which are called by My name,"
18Says the Lord, who has been making these things known from ages long past.'
19"My judgement, therefore, is against inflicting unexpected annoyance on those of the Gentiles who are turning to God.
20Yet let us send them written instructions to abstain from things polluted by connexion with idolatry, from fornication, from meat killed by strangling, and from blood.
21For Moses from the earliest times has had his preachers in every town, being read, as he is, Sabbath after Sabbath, in the various synagogues."
The Letter to the Gentile Believers
22Thereupon it was decided by the Apostles and Elders, with the approval of the whole Church, to choose suitable persons from among themselves and send them to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas. Judas, called Bar-sabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, were selected,
23and they took with them the following letter: "The Apostles and the elder brethren send greeting to the Gentile brethren throughout Antioch, Syria and Cilicia.
24As we have been informed that certain persons who have gone out from among us have disturbed you by their teaching and have unsettled your minds, without having received any such instructions from us;
25we have unanimously decided to select certain men and send them to you in company with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul,
26who have endangered their very lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who are themselves bringing you the same message by word of mouth.
28For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no burden heavier than these necessary requirements—
29You must abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication. Keep yourselves clear of these things, and it will be well with you. Farewell."
The Believers at Antioch Rejoice
30They, therefore, having been solemnly sent, came down to Antioch, where they called together the whole assembly and delivered the letter.
31The people read it, and were delighted with the comfort it brought them.
32And Judas and Silas, being themselves also Prophets, gave them a long and encouraging talk, and strengthened them in the faith.
33After spending some time there they received an affectionate farewell from the brethren to return to those who had sent them.
35But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and, in company with many others, telling the Good News of the Lord's Message.
Paul's Second Missionary Journey
36After a while Paul said to Barnabas, "Suppose we now revisit the brethren in the various towns in which we have made known the Lord's Message—to see whether they are prospering!"
37Barnabas, however, was bent on taking with them John, whose other name was Mark,
38while Paul deemed it undesirable to have as their companion one who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone on with them to the work.
39So there arose a serious disagreement between them, which resulted in their parting from one another, Barnabas taking Mark and setting sail for Cyprus.
40But Paul chose Silas as his travelling companion; and set out, after being commended by the brethren to the grace of the Lord;
41and he passed through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the Churches.