Acts 15; Acts 16

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.