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The Bible in Living English
15 And certain persons came down from Judea and taught the brothers “If you are not circumcised by the Mosaic rite you cannot be saved.” 2* And when Paul and Barnabas had had not a little contradiction and argument with these, the brothers settled it 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, having been seen off by the church going with them out of the city, passed through Phenicia and Samaria recounting the turning of the foreigners, and caused great gladness to all the brothers. 4 And when they arrived in Jerusalem they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and reported what things God had done in connection with their work. 5 But some of the Pharisee party who had believed stood up and said it was necessary to circumcise them and instruct them to keep the law of Moses. 6 And the apostles and the elders met to see about this point. 7 And after there had been much argument Peter stood up and said to them “Brothers, you are aware that back in the earliest days God made among you the choice that it should be by my mouth that the foreigners should hear the word of the gospel and believe; 8 and the heart-discerning God vouched for them by giving the Holy Spirit the same as he did to us, 9 and made no difference between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 So now why are you putting God on trial, in laying on the converts’ necks a yoke that neither our fathers nor we have been able to carry? 11 but we believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus in the same way as they.” 12 And the whole body became silent, and listened to Barnabas and Paul giving their account of what tokens and wonders God had done among the foreigners through them. 13 But after they had become silent James answered “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Symeon has given the account of how God first deigned to take out of the foreigners a people for his name. 15 And the words of the prophets are in harmony with this, as it is written 16 ‘After this I will turn back and rebuild David’s fallen booth, and rebuild its ruins and reerect it, 17 so that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the nations that have been declared mine, says the Lord,’ making these things 18 known from of old. 19 Consequently I move that we do not interfere with those who from the nations are turning to God, 20* but send them a note to abstain from idol-contaminations and unchastity and blood. 21 For Moses has from the earliest generations had his preachers city by city, being read in the synagogues every sabbath.” 22 Then it was resolved by the apostles and the elders, with all the church, to choose and send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas men out of their own number, Judas known as Barsabbas and Silas,—leading men among the brothers,— 23 writing by them “The apostles and the senior brothers to the brothers of foreign nationality in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greeting. 24 Since we have heard that some of us have disturbed you by unsettling your minds with things they said, to whom we had given no commission, 25 we have unanimously resolved to choose men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have forgone their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 So we have sent Judas and Silas to make this same report themselves by word of mouth. 28 For it has been resolved by the Holy Spirit and by us not to impose on you any more of a burden than these essentials, 29** to abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from unchastity; from which things keeping clear, you will be doing well. Our best wishes to you.” 30 So they were dismissed and came down to Antioch, and called a mass-meeting and handed over the letter; 31 and they read it and rejoiced at the encouragement, 32 and Judas and Silas, being prophets themselves, exhorted the brothers at length and fortified them; 33 and after spending some time they were courteously dismissed by the brothers to those who had sent them. 34 —— 35 But Paul and Barnabas stayed on at Antioch teaching and circulating the word of the Lord, with many others besides. 36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas “Let us go back and visit the brothers at each of the cities in which we announced the word of the Lord, to see how they are doing.” 37 And Barnabas wished to take along also John known as Mark, 38 but Paul claimed that the one who had deserted them in Pamphylia and not come to the work with them should not be taken along; 39 and such irritation ensued that they parted company, and Barnabas took Mark along and sailed for Cyprus. 40 But Paul picked out Silas and went out with the brothers commending him to the Lord’s grace. 41 And he passed through Syria and Cilicia fortifying the churches.