1 Now [living] at Caesarea there was a man whose name was Cornelius, a centurion (captain) of what was known as the Italian Regiment, 2 A devout man who venerated God and treated Him with reverential obedience, as did all his household; and he gave much alms to the people and prayed continually to God. 3 About the ninth hour (about 3:00 p.m.) of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God entering and saying to him, Cornelius! 4 And he, gazing intently at him, became frightened and said, What is it, Lord? And the angel said to him, Your prayers and your [generous] gifts to the poor have come up [as a sacrifice] to God and have been remembered by Him. 5 And now send men to Joppa and have them call for and invite here a certain Simon whose surname is Peter; 6 He is lodging with Simon a tanner, whose house is by the seaside. 7 When the angel who spoke to him had left, Cornelius called two of his servants and a God-fearing soldier from among his own personal attendants. 8 And having rehearsed everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 The next day as they were still on their way and were approaching the town, Peter went up to the roof of the house to pray, about the sixth hour (noon). 10 But he became very hungry, and wanted something to eat; and while the meal was being prepared a trance came over him, 11 And he saw the sky opened and something like a great sheet lowered by the four corners, descending to the earth. 12 It contained all kinds of quadrupeds and wild beasts and creeping things of the earth and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him, saying, Rise up, Peter, kill and eat. 14 But Peter said, No, by no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common and unhallowed or [ceremonially] unclean. 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, What God has cleansed and pronounced clean, do not you defile and profane by regarding and calling common and unhallowed or unclean. 16 This occurred three times; then immediately the sheet was taken up to heaven.
17 Now Peter was still inwardly perplexed and doubted as to what the vision which he had seen could mean, when [just then] behold the messengers that were sent by Cornelius, who had made inquiry for Simon's house, stopped and stood before the gate. 18 And they called out to inquire whether Simon who was surnamed Peter was staying there. 19 And while Peter was earnestly revolving the vision in his mind and meditating on it, the [Holy] Spirit said to him, Behold, three men are looking for you! 20 Get up and go below and accompany them without any doubt [about its legality] or any discrimination or hesitation, for I have sent them. 21 Then Peter went down to the men and said, I am the man you seek; what is the purpose of your coming? 22 And they said, Cornelius, a centurion (captain) who is just and upright and in right standing with God, being God-fearing and obedient and well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, has been instructed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house; and he has received in answer [to prayer] a warning to listen to and act upon what you have to say.
Peter at Caesarea
23 So Peter invited them in to be his guests [for the night]. The next day he arose and went away with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 24 And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for and expecting them, and he had invited together his relatives and his intimate friends. 25 As Peter arrived, Cornelius met him, and falling down at his feet he made obeisance and paid worshipful reverence to him. 26 But Peter raised him up, saying, Get up; I myself am also a man. 27 And as [Peter] spoke with him, he entered the house and found a large group of persons assembled; 28 And he said to them, You yourselves are aware how it is not lawful or permissible for a Jew to keep company with or to visit or [even] to come near or to speak first to anyone of another nationality, but God has shown and taught me by words that I should not call any human being common or unhallowed or [ceremonially] unclean. 29 Therefore when I was sent for, I came without hesitation or objection or misgivings. So now I ask for what reason you sent for me.
30 And Cornelius said, This is now the fourth day since about this time I was observing the ninth hour (three o'clock in the afternoon) of prayer in my lodging place; [suddenly] a man stood before me in dazzling apparel, 31 And he said, Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and harkened to, and your donations to the poor have been known and preserved before God [so that He heeds and is about to help you]. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is surnamed Peter; he is staying in the house of Simon the tanner by the seaside. 33 So at once I sent for you, and you [being a Jew] have done a kind and courteous and handsome thing in coming. Now then, we are all present in the sight of God to listen to all that you have been instructed by the Lord to say.
Gentiles Hear Good News
34 And Peter opened his mouth and said: Most certainly and thoroughly I now perceive and understand that God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons, 35 But in every nation he who venerates and has a reverential fear for God, treating Him with worshipful obedience and living uprightly, is acceptable to Him and sure of being received and welcomed [by Him]. 36 You know the contents of the message which He sent to Israel, announcing the good news (Gospel) of peace by Jesus Christ, Who is Lord of all -- " 37 The [same] message which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee after the baptism preached by John -- " 38 How God anointed and consecrated Jesus of Nazareth with the [Holy] Spirit and with strength and ability and power; how He went about doing good and, in particular, curing all who were harassed and oppressed by [the power of] the devil, for God was with Him. 39 And we are [eye and ear] witnesses of everything that He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. And [yet] they put Him out of the way (murdered Him) by hanging Him on a tree; 40 But God raised Him to life on the third day and caused Him to be manifest (to be plainly seen), 41 Not by all the people but to us who were chosen (designated) beforehand by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He charged us to preach to the people and to bear solemn testimony that He is the God-appointed and God-ordained Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To Him all the prophets testify (bear witness) that everyone who believes in Him [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him, giving himself up to Him] receives forgiveness of sins through His name.
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening to the message. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised [the Jews] who came with Peter were surprised and amazed, because the free gift of the Holy Spirit had been bestowed and poured out largely even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them talking in [unknown] tongues (languages) and extolling and magnifying God. Then Peter asked, 47 Can anyone forbid or refuse water for baptizing these people, seeing that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we have? 48 And he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (the Messiah). Then they begged him to stay on there for some days.