1And certain men came down from Ju‧de′a and began to teach the brothers: “Unless YOU get circumcised according to the custom of Moses, YOU cannot be saved.”2But when there had occurred no little dissension and disputing by Paul and Bar′na‧bas with them, they arranged for Paul and Bar′na‧bas and some others of them to go up to the apostles and older men in Jerusalem regarding this dispute.
3Accordingly, after being conducted partway by the congregation, these men continued on their way through both Phoe‧ni′cia and Sa‧mar′i‧a, relating in detail the conversion of people of the nations, and they were causing great joy to all the brothers.4On arriving in Jerusalem they were kindly received by the congregation and the apostles and the older men, and they recounted the many things God had done by means of them.5Yet, some of those of the sect of the Pharisees that had believed rose up from their seats and said: “It is necessary to circumcise them and charge them to observe the law of Moses.”
6And the apostles and the older men gathered together to see about this affair.7Now when much disputing had taken place, Peter rose and said to them: “Men, brothers, YOU well know that from early days God made the choice among YOU that through my mouth people of the nations should hear the word of the good news and believe;8and God, who knows the heart, bore witness by giving them the holy spirit, just as he did to us also.9And he made no distinction at all between us and them, but purified their hearts by faith.10Now, therefore, why are YOU making a test of God by imposing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we were capable of bearing?11On the contrary, we trust to get saved through the undeserved kindness of the Lord Jesus in the same way as those people also.”
12At that the entire multitude became silent, and they began to listen to Bar′na‧bas and Paul relate the many signs and portents that God did through them among the nations.13After they quit speaking, James answered, saying: “Men, brothers, hear me.14Sym′e‧on has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.15And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written,16‘After these things I shall return and rebuild the booth of David that is fallen down; and I shall rebuild its ruins and erect it again,17in order that those who remain of the men may earnestly seek Jehovah, together with people of all the nations, people who are called by my name, says Jehovah, who is doing these things,18known from of old.’19Hence my decision is not to trouble those from the nations who are turning to God,20but to write them to abstain from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.21For from ancient times Moses has had in city after city those who preach him, because he is read aloud in the synagogues on every sabbath.”
22Then the apostles and the older men together with the whole congregation favored sending chosen men from among them to Antioch along with Paul and Bar′na‧bas, namely, Judas who was called Bar′sab‧bas and Silas, leading men among the brothers;23and by their hand they wrote:
“The apostles and the older men, brothers, to those brothers in Antioch and Syria and Ci‧li′cia who are from the nations: Greetings!24Since we have heard that some from among us have caused YOU trouble with speeches, trying to subvert YOUR souls, although we did not give them any instructions,25we have come to a unanimous accord and have favored choosing men to send to YOU together with our loved ones, Bar′na‧bas and Paul,26men that have delivered up their souls for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.27We are therefore dispatching Judas and Silas, that they also may report the same things by word.28For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to YOU, except these necessary things,29to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication. If YOU carefully keep yourselves from these things, YOU will prosper. Good health to YOU!”
30Accordingly, when these men were let go, they went down to Antioch, and they gathered the multitude together and handed them the letter.31After reading it, they rejoiced over the encouragement.32And Judas and Silas, since they themselves were also prophets, encouraged the brothers with many a discourse and strengthened them.33So, when they had passed some time, they were let go in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them out.34——35However, Paul and Bar′na‧bas continued spending time in Antioch teaching and declaring, with many others also, the good news of the word of Jehovah.
36Now after some days Paul said to Bar′na‧bas: “Above all things, let us return and visit the brothers in every one of the cities in which we published the word of Jehovah to see how they are.”37For his part, Bar′na‧bas was determined to take along also John, who was called Mark.38But Paul did not think it proper to be taking this one along with them, seeing that he had departed from them from Pam‧phyl′i‧a and had not gone with them to the work.39At this there occurred a sharp burst of anger, so that they separated from each other; and Bar′na‧bas took Mark along and sailed away to Cy′prus.40Paul selected Silas and went off after he had been entrusted by the brothers to the undeserved kindness of Jehovah.41But he went through Syria and Ci‧li′cia, strengthening the congregations.