Acts 15

Barnabas and Saul Sent Off

13 Now there were in the church at Antioch nprophets and nteachers, oBarnabas, Simeon who was called Niger,1 Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of pHerod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, qthe Holy Spirit said, rSet apart for me Barnabas and Saul sfor the work to which I have called them. Then after fasting and tpraying they laid their hands on them and usent them off.

Barnabas and Saul on Cyprus

So, being sent out vby the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God win the synagogues of the Jews. And they had xJohn to yassist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain zmagician, aa Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. He was with bthe proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the zmagician (for that is the meaning of his name) copposed them, seeking to turn dthe proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, who was also called Paul, efilled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, You fson of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and gvillainy, will you not stop hmaking crooked ithe straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, jthe hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time. Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking kpeople to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at lthe teaching of the Lord.

Paul and Barnabas at Antioch in Pisidia

13 Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And mJohn left them and returned nto Jerusalem, 14 but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And oon the Sabbath day pthey went into the synagogue and sat down. 15 After qthe reading from rthe Law and the Prophets, sthe rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, Brothers, if you have any tword of encouragement for the people, say it. 16 So Paul stood up, and umotioning with his hand said:

Men of Israel and vyou who fear God, listen. 17 wThe God of this people Israel xchose our fathers and ymade the people great zduring their stay in the land of Egypt, and awith uplifted arm he led them out of it. 18 And for about bforty years che put up with2 them in the wilderness. 19 And dafter destroying eseven nations in the land of Canaan, fhe gave them their land as an inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years. And after that ghe gave them judges until hSamuel the prophet. 21 Then ithey asked for a king, and God gave them Saul jthe son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And kwhen he had removed him, lhe raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, mI have found in David the son of Jesse na man after my heart, owho will do all my will. 23 pOf this man's offspring God has brought to Israel qa Savior, Jesus, ras he promised. 24 Before his coming, sJohn had proclaimed ta baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course, uhe said, What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.

26 Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you vwho fear God, to us has been sent wthe message of xthis salvation. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because ythey did not recognize him nor understand zthe utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, afulfilled them by condemning him. 28 And bthough they found in him no guilt worthy of death, cthey asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when dthey had carried out all that was written of him, ethey took him down from fthe tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But gGod raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days hhe appeared to those iwho had come up with him jfrom Galilee to Jerusalem, kwho are now lhis witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news mthat what God promised to the fathers, 33 nthis he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm,

oYou are my Son,

today I have begotten you.

34 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, pqno more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,

I will give you rthe holy and sure blessings of David.

35 Therefore he says also in another psalm,

sYou will not let your Holy One see corruption.

36 For David, after he had tserved the purpose of God in his own generation, ufell asleep and vwas laid with his fathers and saw corruption, 37 but he whom wGod raised up did not see corruption. 38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, xthat through this man yforgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him zeveryone who believes is freed3 from everything afrom which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. 40 Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about:

41  bLook, you scoffers,

be astounded and perish;

for I am doing a work in your days,

a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.

42 As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. 43 And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and cdevout dconverts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them eto continue in fthe grace of God.

44 The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 gBut hwhen the Jews4 saw the crowds, they were filled with ijealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, jreviling him. 46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, It was necessary that the word of God kbe spoken first to you. lSince you thrust it aside and judge yourselves munworthy of eternal life, behold, we nare turning to the Gentiles. 47 oFor so the Lord has commanded us, saying,

pI have made you qa light for the Gentiles,

that you may rbring salvation to the ends of the earth.

48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and sglorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. 50 tBut the Jews incited the devout uwomen of high standing and the leading men of the city, vstirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and wdrove them out of their district. 51 But they xshook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled ywith joy and zwith the Holy Spirit.

Paul and Barnabas at Iconium

14 Now at Iconium athey entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. bBut the cunbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against dthe brothers.1 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for ethe Lord, who bore witness to fthe word of his grace, ggranting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the people of the city hwere divided; isome sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, jto mistreat them and kto stone them, they learned of it and lfled to mLystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, and there they continued to preach the gospel.

Paul and Barnabas at Lystra

Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was ncrippled from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and oseeing that he had faith to be made well,2 10 said in a loud voice, Stand upright on your feet. And he psprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, qThe gods have come down to us in the likeness of men! 12 Barnabas they called rZeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of rZeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and swanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they ttore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 Men, uwhy are you doing these things? We also are men, vof like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that wyou should turn from these xvain things to ya living God, zwho made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he aallowed all the nations bto walk in their own ways. 17 Yet che did not leave himself without witness, for he ddid good by egiving you rains from heaven and ffruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with gfood and hgladness. 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.

Paul Stoned at Lystra

19 iBut Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, jthey stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had kmade many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 lstrengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them mto continue in nthe faith, and saying that othrough many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had pappointed qelders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting rthey committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Paul and Barnabas Return to Antioch in Syria

24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, swhere they had been tcommended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, uthey declared all that God had done with them, and vhow he had wopened xa door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they remained no little time with the disciples.

The Jerusalem Council

15 yBut some men came down from Judea and were teaching zthe brothers, Unless you are acircumcised baccording to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and cdebate with them, Paul and Barnabas and dsome of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to ethe apostles and the elders about this question. So, fbeing sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, gdescribing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and hbrought great joy to all ithe brothers.1 jWhen they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and kthe apostles and the elders, and gthey declared all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to lthe party of the Pharisees rose up and said, mIt is necessary nto circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.

oThe kapostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much pdebate, Peter stood up and said to them, Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, qthat by my mouth the Gentiles should hear rthe word of sthe gospel and believe. And God, twho knows the heart, ubore witness to them, vby giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and whe made no distinction between us and them, xhaving cleansed their hearts yby faith. 10 Now, therefore, why zare you putting God to the test aby placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples bthat neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we cbelieve that we will be dsaved through ethe grace of the Lord Jesus, wjust as they will.

12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul fas they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they finished speaking, gJames replied, Brothers, listen to me. 14 hSimeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them ia people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,

16  jAfter this I will return,

and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;

I will rebuild its ruins,

and I will restore it,

17  that the remnant2 of mankind kmay seek the Lord,

and all the Gentiles lwho are called by my name,

says the Lord, who makes these things 18 mknown from of old.

19 Therefore nmy judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who oturn to God, 20 but should write to them pto abstain from qthe things polluted by idols, and from rsexual immorality, and from swhat has been strangled, and from sblood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, tfor he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.

The Council's Letter to Gentile Believers

22 Then it seemed good to uthe apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called vBarsabbas, and wSilas, leading men among xthe brothers, 23 with the following letter: xThe brothers, both uthe apostles and the elders, to the brothers3 who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, ygreetings. 24 Since we have heard that zsome persons have gone out from us and atroubled you4 with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, 25 it has seemed good to us, having come bto one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our cbeloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 dmen who have erisked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent fJudas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it has seemed good gto the Holy Spirit and hto us ito lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: 29 jthat you abstain from kwhat has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.

30 So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 And Judas and Silas, who were themselves lprophets, encouraged and mstrengthened nthe brothers with many words. 33 And after they had spent some time, they were sent off oin peace by nthe brothers to those who had sent them.5 35 But pPaul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

Paul and Barnabas Separate

36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, Let us return and visit nthe brothers qin every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are. 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them rJohn called Mark. 38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one swho had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 And there arose ta sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. uBarnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, vhaving been commended by wthe brothers to xthe grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, ystrengthening the churches.

Timothy Joins Paul and Silas

16 Paul1 came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named zTimothy, athe son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by bthe brothers2 at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he ctook him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance dthe decisions ethat had been reached by fthe apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. gSo the churches were strengthened in hthe faith, and they increased in numbers idaily.

The Macedonian Call

And jthey went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but kthe Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down lto Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, Come over to Macedonia and help us. 10 And when Paul3 had seen the vision, immediately mwe sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

The Conversion of Lydia

11 So, setting sail from Troas, we nmade a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to oPhilippi, which is a leading city of the4 district of Macedonia and pa Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. 13 And qon the Sabbath day we went outside the gate rto the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we ssat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, twho was a worshiper of God. The Lord uopened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, vand her household as well, she urged us, saying, If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay. And she wprevailed upon us.

Paul and Silas in Prison

16 As we were going to xthe place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had ya spirit of zdivination and abrought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and us, bcrying out, These men are cservants of dthe Most High God, who proclaim to you ethe way of salvation. 18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, fI command you gin the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And hit came out that very hour.

19 But iwhen her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and jdragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20 And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. 21 They kadvocate customs that are not lawful for us las Romans to accept or practice. 22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders mto beat them with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner nprison and fastened their feet in othe stocks.

The Philippian Jailer Converted

25 pAbout midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly qthere was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately rall the doors were opened, and severyone's bonds were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and twas about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, Do not harm yourself, for we are all here. 29 And the jailer5 called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he ufell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, Sirs, vwhat must I do to be wsaved? 31 And they said, xBelieve in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you yand your household. 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them zthe same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he awas baptized at once, he and all his family. 34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he brejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.

35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the police, saying, Let those men go. 36 And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, The magistrates have sent to let you go. Therefore come out now and go in peace. 37 But Paul said to them, They have beaten us publicly, cuncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out. 38 The police reported these words to the magistrates, and cthey were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens. 39 So they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and dasked them to leave the city. 40 So they went out of the prison and visited eLydia. And when they had seen fthe brothers, they encouraged them and departed.

Paul and Silas in Thessalonica

17 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to gThessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, has was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them ifrom the Scriptures, jexplaining and proving that it was necessary for kthe Christ to suffer and lto rise from the dead, and saying, This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ. And msome of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did na great many of the devout oGreeks and not a few of the leading women. pBut the Jews1 qwere jealous, and taking rsome wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, sthey dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against tthe decrees of Caesar, saying that there is uanother king, Jesus. And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.

Paul and Silas in Berea

10 vThe brothers2 immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they wwent into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, xexamining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 yMany of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek zwomen of high standing as well as men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, aagitating and stirring up the crowds. 14 Then the brothers bimmediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and cTimothy remained there. 15 dThose who conducted Paul brought him as far as eAthens, and after receiving a command ffor Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed.

Paul in Athens

16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was gprovoked within him as he saw that the city was hfull of idols. 17 So ihe reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, jWhat does this babbler wish to say? Others said, He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinitiesbecause khe was preaching lJesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to mthe Areopagus, saying, May we know what this nnew teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some ostrange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean. 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

Paul Addresses the Areopagus

22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: pTo the unknown god. pWhat therefore you worship qas unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 rThe God who made the world and everything in it, being sLord of heaven and earth, tdoes not live in temples made by man,3 25 nor is he served by human hands, uas though he needed anything, since he himself vgives to all mankind wlife and breath and everything. 26 And xhe made from one man every nation of mankind to live yon all the face of the earth, zhaving determined allotted periods and athe boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 bthat they should seek God, cand perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. dYet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

eIn him we live and move and have our being;4

as even some of fyour own poets have said,

For we are indeed his offspring.5

29 gBeing then God's offspring, hwe ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 iThe times of ignorance jGod overlooked, but know he lcommands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed ma day on which nhe will judge the world oin righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and pof this he has given assurance to all qby raising him from the dead.

32 Now when they heard of rthe resurrection of the dead, ssome mocked. But others said, tWe will hear you again about this. 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius uthe Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.