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.” 2 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. 3 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 4 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. 5 But some believers who belonged to lthe party of the Pharisees rose up and said, m“It is necessary nto circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”
6 oThe kapostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. 7 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. 8 And God, twho knows the heart, ubore witness to them, vby giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, 9 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 j“‘After 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,
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: x“The 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. 2 He was well spoken of by bthe brothers2 at Lystra and Iconium. 3 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. 4 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. 5 gSo the churches were strengthened in hthe faith, and they increased in numbers idaily.
The Macedonian Call
6 And jthey went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but kthe Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. 8 So, passing by Mysia, they went down lto Troas. 9 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, f“I 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, x“Believe 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. 2 And Paul went in, has was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them ifrom the Scriptures, 3 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.” 4 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. 5 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. 6 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, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against tthe decrees of Caesar, saying that there is uanother king, Jesus.” 8 And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. 9 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, j“What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because 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: p‘To 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
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, t“We 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.
Paul in Corinth
18 After this Paul1 left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a Jew named vAquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife vPriscilla, because wClaudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, 3 and xbecause he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. 4 And yhe reasoned in the synagogue yevery Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks.
5 zWhen Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul awas occupied with the word, btestifying to the Jews that the Christ was cJesus. 6 And when they opposed and reviled him, dhe shook out his garments and said to them, e“Your blood be on your own heads! fI am innocent. gFrom now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius hJustus, ia worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. 8 jCrispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together kwith his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. 9 And the Lord said to Paul lone night in ma vision, n“Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 nfor I am with you, and ono one will attack you to harm you, for pI have many in this city who are my people.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
12 But when Gallio was qproconsul of Achaia, rthe Jews2 made a united attack on Paul and sbrought him before the tribunal, 13 saying, “This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to tthe law.” 14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious ucrime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. 15 But vsince it is a matter of questions about words and names and wyour own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.” 16 And he drove them from the tribunal. 17 And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this.
Paul Returns to Antioch
18 After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of xthe brothers3 and set sail for Syria, and with him yPriscilla and Aquila. At zCenchreae ahe had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. 19 And they came to bEphesus, and he left them there, but che himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. 21 But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you dif God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus.
22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he ewent up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. 23 After spending some time there, he departed and fwent from one place to the next through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, gstrengthening all the disciples.
Apollos Speaks Boldly in Ephesus
24 Now a Jew named hApollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, icompetent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in jthe way of the Lord. And kbeing fervent in spirit,4 he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only lthe baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when mPriscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him nthe way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross to oAchaia, pthe brothers encouraged him and qwrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, rhe greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures sthat the Christ was Jesus.
Paul in Ephesus
19 And it happened that while tApollos was at Corinth, Paul passed uthrough the inland1 country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, v“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, wwe have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, x“Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into yJohn’s baptism.” 4 And Paul said, y“John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people zto believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, athey were baptized in2 the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And bwhen Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and cthey began speaking in tongues and dprophesying. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
8 And ehe entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them fabout the kingdom of God. 9 gBut when some became stubborn and hcontinued in unbelief, speaking evil of ithe Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus.3 10 This continued for jtwo years, so that kall the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
The Sons of Sceva
11 And lGod was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 lso that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and mthe evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish nexorcists oundertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, p“I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, q“Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all4 of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and rthe name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, sconfessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord tcontinued to increase and prevail mightily.
A Riot at Ephesus
21 Now after these events Paul resolved in the Spirit uto pass through vMacedonia and Achaia and wgo to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, xI must also see Rome.” 22 And having sent into Macedonia two of yhis helpers, zTimothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia afor a while.
23 About that time bthere arose no little disturbance concerning cthe Way. 24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, dbrought no little business to the craftsmen. 25 dThese he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. 26 And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, esaying that fgods made with hands are not gods. 27 And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the ggreat goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship.”
28 When they heard this they were enraged and were crying out, g“Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and hAristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s icompanions in travel. 30 But when Paul wished to go in among the crowd, the disciples would not let him. 31 And even some of the Asiarchs,5 who were friends of his, sent to him and were urging him not to venture into the theater. 32 jNow some cried out one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together. 33 Some of the crowd prompted Alexander, whom the Jews had put forward. And Alexander, kmotioning with his hand, wanted to make a defense to the crowd. 34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, for about two hours they all cried out with one voice, l“Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
35 And when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, who is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone that fell from mthe sky?6 36 Seeing then that these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rash. 37 For you have brought nthese men here who are neither osacrilegious nor blasphemers of our goddess. 38 If therefore Demetrius and the craftsmen with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open, and there are pproconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another. 39 But if you seek anything further,7 it shall be settled in the regular assembly. 40 For we really are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause that we can give to justify this commotion.” 41 And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.