1 However some that arrived from Judea, told the Gentile converts, unless you are circumcised agreeably to the law of Moses, you cannot be saved. 2 upon which Paul and Barnabas having warmly contested the point with them, it was resolved, that Paul and Barnabas and some others should go to Jerusalem to consult the apostles upon this question. 3 so they set out, accompanied part of the way by the church, and pass'd thro' Phenicia and Samaria, relating the conversion of the Gentiles, which gave great joy to all the brethren.
4 and being arrived at Jerusalem, they were receiv'd by the church, by the apostles, and presbyters, to whom they related all that God had done by them. 5 but some of the sect of the Pharisees who had embraced the faith, started up, pretending that the Gentiles ought to be circumcised, and observe the law of Moses.
6 The apostles therefore, and the presbyters assembled to deliberate upon this affair. 7 and after the question had been much canvass'd, Peter rose up, and said, my brethren, you know that a considerable time since God chose me from among you to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, and bring them to the faith. 8 God who knows their hearts has granted them a testimonial, by giving them the holy spirit, even as he did to us: 9 making no difference between us and them, having purified their hearts by the faith. 10 why therefore do you tempt God to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither we nor our forefathers were able to bear? 11 but we believe that it is by the favour of the Lord Jesus Christ, that we are to be sav'd, as well as they.
12 The whole assembly were very silent, whilst Barnabas and Paul related what miracles and prodigies God had wrought among the Gentiles by their ministry. 13 After they had done speaking, James assum'd the discourse, and said, my brethren, give me your attention. 14 Simon has related how God began to visit the Gentiles, to chuse from among them a people consecrated to his name. 15 and this is agreeable to the oracles of the prophets: as it is written,
16 "after this I will return and build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down: 17 I will repair its ruins, and raise it up: that the rest of mankind, even all the nations, that profess my name, may seek the Lord. 18 he that does all these things, is the Lord himself that has said it." for the works of God are all known to him from the beginning of the world.
19 wherefore my opinion is not to disquiet the Gentile converts: but only to write to them, 20 that they abstain from the pollutions of idols, from fornication, from animals that are strangled, and from their blood. 21 for as to the law of Moses, that has been published in every city a considerable time, being read in the synagogues every sabbath-day.
22 Then the apostles, the presbyters, and the whole church thought it proper to select some out of their own body to accompany Paul and Barnabas to Antioch: such as Judas surnam'd Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, 23 whom they charg'd with this letter. The apostles, the presbyters, and the brethren, to the Gentile brethren at Antioch, in Syria, and Cilicia, send greeting.
24 Whereas we have been appriz'd, that some who went from us, have embarass'd you with their discourse, and unsettled your minds, maintaining, that you ought to be circumcised, and to observe the law, though we gave them no such injunction: after having been assembled, 25 we unanimously judg'd it proper to send particular deputies to you, with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men that have exposed their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 we therefore send Judas and Silas to inform you in person of this affair. 28 for by the holy spirit it seemed good to us, to lay no greater burthen upon you, than these necessary injunctions; 29 that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the flesh of strangled animals, and from fornication: you will do well to preserve your selves from these practices. farewel.
30 Being thus dispatch'd, they went to Antioch; where having assembled all the faithful, they deliver'd the letter: from the reading of which, 31 they were affected with joy at the comfortable contents, as for Judas and Silas, 32 they being also prophets, they consolated and confirm'd the brethren by several discourses. 33 and after they had stay'd there some time, with the good wishes of the brethren, they had leave to go to the apostles. 34 however Silas thought fit to stay at Antioch, 35 where Paul and Barnabas continued, teaching and preaching the doctrine of the Lord, with many others.
36 Some time after, Paul said to Barnabas, let us return to visit all those cities, where we have preach'd the word of the Lord, to see what condition the brethren are in. 37 upon which Barnabas propos'd to take John surnam'd Mark, with them. 38 but Paul did not think it proper to take one that had quitted them at Pamphylia, refusing to accompany them in their ministry. 39 and the contention was so sharp between them, that they separated: so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed to Cyprus. 40 but Paul chose Silas, and having been recommended by the brethren to the favour of God, 41 he departed, and passing through Syria and Cilicia, he settled the churches there.