Thematic Bible




Thematic Bible



Then the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, decided to select men who were among them and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas, called Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers.

Some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom prescribed by Moses, you cannot be saved!" But after Paul and Barnabas had engaged them in serious argument and debate, they arranged for Paul and Barnabas and some others of them to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem concerning this controversy. When they had been sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, explaining in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they created great joy among all the brothers. read more.
When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, the apostles, and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some of the believers from the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses!" Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Why, then, are you now testing God by putting on the disciples' necks a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way they are." Then the whole assembly fell silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul describing all the signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they stopped speaking, James responded: "Brothers, listen to me! Simeon has reported how God first intervened to take from the Gentiles a people for His name. And the words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written: After these things I will return and will rebuild David's tent, which has fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins and will set it up again, so that those who are left of mankind may seek the Lord- even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does these things, which have been known from long ago. Therefore, in my judgment, we should not cause difficulties for those who turn to God from among the Gentiles, but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood. For since ancient times, Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, and he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath day." Then the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, decided to select men from among them and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas, called Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers. They wrote this letter to be delivered by them: From the apostles and the elders, your brothers, To the brothers from among the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. Because we have heard that some to whom we gave no authorization went out from us and troubled you with their words and unsettled your hearts, we have unanimously decided to select men and send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who will personally report the same things by word of mouth. For it was the Holy Spirit's decision-and ours-to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things: that you abstain from food offered to idols, from blood, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these things, you will do well. Farewell. Then, being sent off, they went down to Antioch, and after gathering the assembly, they delivered the letter. When they read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. Both Judas and Silas, who were also prophets themselves, encouraged the brothers and strengthened them with a long message. After spending some time there, they were sent back in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them. But Paul and Barnabas, along with many others, remained in Antioch teaching and proclaiming the message of the Lord.


Some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom prescribed by Moses, you cannot be saved!" But after Paul and Barnabas had engaged them in serious argument and debate, they arranged for Paul and Barnabas and some others of them to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem concerning this controversy. When they had been sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, explaining in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they created great joy among all the brothers. read more.
When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, the apostles, and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some of the believers from the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses!" Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Why, then, are you now testing God by putting on the disciples' necks a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear?

Because we have heard that some without our authorization went out from us and troubled you with their words and unsettled your hearts,

But not even Titus who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. [This issue arose] because of false brothers smuggled in, who came in secretly to spy on our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, in order to enslave us. But we did not yield in submission to these people for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain for you.


For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

John responded, "Master, we saw someone driving out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him because he does not follow us." "Don't stop him," Jesus told him, "because whoever is not against you is for you."

John said to Him, "Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him because he wasn't following us." "Don't stop him," said Jesus, "because there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name who can soon afterwards speak evil of Me. For whoever is not against us is for us. read more.
And whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of My name, since you belong to the Messiah-I assure you: He will never lose his reward.

Therefore, if God gave them the same gift that He also gave to us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, how could I possibly hinder God?" When they heard this they became silent. Then they glorified God, saying, "So God has granted repentance resulting in life to even the Gentiles!"

Some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom prescribed by Moses, you cannot be saved!" But after Paul and Barnabas had engaged them in serious argument and debate, they arranged for Paul and Barnabas and some others of them to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem concerning this controversy. When they had been sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, explaining in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they created great joy among all the brothers. read more.
When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, the apostles, and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some of the believers from the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses!" Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Why, then, are you now testing God by putting on the disciples' necks a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way they are." Then the whole assembly fell silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul describing all the signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they stopped speaking, James responded: "Brothers, listen to me! Simeon has reported how God first intervened to take from the Gentiles a people for His name. And the words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written: After these things I will return and will rebuild David's tent, which has fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins and will set it up again, so that those who are left of mankind may seek the Lord- even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does these things, which have been known from long ago. Therefore, in my judgment, we should not cause difficulties for those who turn to God from among the Gentiles, but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood. For since ancient times, Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, and he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath day." Then the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, decided to select men from among them and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas, called Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers. They wrote this letter to be delivered by them: From the apostles and the elders, your brothers, To the brothers from among the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. Because we have heard that some to whom we gave no authorization went out from us and troubled you with their words and unsettled your hearts, we have unanimously decided to select men and send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who will personally report the same things by word of mouth. For it was the Holy Spirit's decision-and ours-to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things: that you abstain from food offered to idols, from blood, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these things, you will do well. Farewell. Then, being sent off, they went down to Antioch, and after gathering the assembly, they delivered the letter. When they read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.

Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and singled out for God's good news- which He promised long ago through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures- concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh read more.
and was established as the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness. We have received grace and apostleship through Him to bring about the obedience of faith among all the nations, on behalf of His name, including yourselves who are also Jesus Christ's by calling: To all who are in Rome, loved by God, called as saints. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am obligated both to Greeks and barbarians, both to the wise and the foolish. So I am eager to preach the good news to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God's power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.

For no flesh will be justified in His sight by the works of the law, for through the law [comes] the knowledge of sin. But now, apart from the law, God's righteousness has been revealed-attested by the Law and the Prophets -that is, God's righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction. read more.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. He presented Him to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By one of works? No, on the contrary, by a law of faith. For we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law. Or is God for Jews only? Is He not also for Gentiles? Yes, for Gentiles too, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then cancel the law through faith? Absolutely not! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Also through Him, we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In His flesh, He did away with the law of the commandments in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace. [He did this so] that He might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it. read more.
When [Christ] came, He proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.

Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all. Therefore, God's chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must [forgive]. read more.
Above all, [put on] love-the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.


He made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace.


Those who want to make a good impression in the flesh are the ones who would compel you to be circumcised—but only to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.

But some of the believers from the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses!" Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. read more.
And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Why, then, are you now testing God by putting on the disciples' necks a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way they are." Then the whole assembly fell silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul describing all the signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they stopped speaking, James responded: "Brothers, listen to me! Simeon has reported how God first intervened to take from the Gentiles a people for His name. And the words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written: After these things I will return and will rebuild David's tent, which has fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins and will set it up again, so that those who are left of mankind may seek the Lord- even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does these things, which have been known from long ago. Therefore, in my judgment, we should not cause difficulties for those who turn to God from among the Gentiles, but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood. For since ancient times, Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, and he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath day." Then the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, decided to select men from among them and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas, called Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers. They wrote this letter to be delivered by them: From the apostles and the elders, your brothers, To the brothers from among the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. Because we have heard that some to whom we gave no authorization went out from us and troubled you with their words and unsettled your hearts, we have unanimously decided to select men and send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who will personally report the same things by word of mouth. For it was the Holy Spirit's decision-and ours-to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things: that you abstain from food offered to idols, from blood, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these things, you will do well. Farewell.


Is this blessing only for the circumcised, then? Or is it also for the uncircumcised? For we say, Faith was credited to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it credited-while he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while he was circumcised, but uncircumcised. And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while still uncircumcised. This was to make him the father of all who believe but are not circumcised, so that righteousness may be credited to them also.

Was anyone already circumcised when he was called? He should not undo his circumcision. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? He should not get circumcised. Circumcision does not matter and uncircumcision does not matter, but keeping God's commandments does.

But not even Titus who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. [This issue arose] because of false brothers smuggled in, who came in secretly to spy on our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, in order to enslave us.

Take note! I, Paul, tell you that if you get circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all. Again I testify to every man who gets circumcised that he is obligated to keep the entire law. You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace! read more.
For by the Spirit we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness from faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love. You were running well. Who prevented you from obeying the truth? This persuasion did not come from Him who called you. A little yeast leavens the whole lump of dough. In the Lord I have confidence in you that you will not accept any other view. But whoever it is who is troubling you will pay the penalty. Now brothers, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.

So then, remember that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh—called “the uncircumcised” by those called “the circumcised,” which is done in the flesh by human hands.


When the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced and glorified the message of the Lord, and all who had been appointed to eternal life believed.

The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.



The apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles had welcomed God’s message also.

After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: “Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe.

Therefore, let it be known to you that this saving work of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen!”

on us, the ones He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

and so that Gentiles may glorify God for His mercy. As it is written:Therefore I will praise You among the Gentiles,
and I will sing psalms to Your name.



Some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom prescribed by Moses, you cannot be saved!" But after Paul and Barnabas had engaged them in serious argument and debate, they arranged for Paul and Barnabas and some others of them to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem concerning this controversy. When they had been sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, explaining in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they created great joy among all the brothers. read more.
When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, the apostles, and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some of the believers from the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses!" Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Why, then, are you now testing God by putting on the disciples' necks a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way they are." Then the whole assembly fell silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul describing all the signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they stopped speaking, James responded: "Brothers, listen to me! Simeon has reported how God first intervened to take from the Gentiles a people for His name. And the words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written: After these things I will return and will rebuild David's tent, which has fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins and will set it up again, so that those who are left of mankind may seek the Lord- even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does these things, which have been known from long ago. Therefore, in my judgment, we should not cause difficulties for those who turn to God from among the Gentiles, but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood. For since ancient times, Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, and he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath day." Then the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, decided to select men from among them and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas, called Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers. They wrote this letter to be delivered by them: From the apostles and the elders, your brothers, To the brothers from among the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. Because we have heard that some to whom we gave no authorization went out from us and troubled you with their words and unsettled your hearts, we have unanimously decided to select men and send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who will personally report the same things by word of mouth. For it was the Holy Spirit's decision-and ours-to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things: that you abstain from food offered to idols, from blood, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these things, you will do well. Farewell.


Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. read more.
He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Why, then, are you now testing God by putting on the disciples' necks a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way they are." Then the whole assembly fell silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul describing all the signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they stopped speaking, James responded: "Brothers, listen to me! Simeon has reported how God first intervened to take from the Gentiles a people for His name. And the words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written: After these things I will return and will rebuild David's tent, which has fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins and will set it up again, so that those who are left of mankind may seek the Lord- even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does these things, which have been known from long ago. Therefore, in my judgment, we should not cause difficulties for those who turn to God from among the Gentiles, but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood. For since ancient times, Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, and he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath day." Then the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, decided to select men from among them and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas, called Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers. They wrote this letter to be delivered by them: From the apostles and the elders, your brothers, To the brothers from among the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. Because we have heard that some to whom we gave no authorization went out from us and troubled you with their words and unsettled your hearts, we have unanimously decided to select men and send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who will personally report the same things by word of mouth. For it was the Holy Spirit's decision-and ours-to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things: that you abstain from food offered to idols, from blood, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these things, you will do well. Farewell.


So each of the disciples, according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brothers who lived in Judea. This they did, sending it to the elders by means of Barnabas and Saul.

Some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom prescribed by Moses, you cannot be saved!" But after Paul and Barnabas had engaged them in serious argument and debate, they arranged for Paul and Barnabas and some others of them to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem concerning this controversy. When they had been sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, explaining in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they created great joy among all the brothers. read more.
When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, the apostles, and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some of the believers from the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses!" Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Why, then, are you now testing God by putting on the disciples' necks a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way they are." Then the whole assembly fell silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul describing all the signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they stopped speaking, James responded: "Brothers, listen to me! Simeon has reported how God first intervened to take from the Gentiles a people for His name. And the words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written: After these things I will return and will rebuild David's tent, which has fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins and will set it up again, so that those who are left of mankind may seek the Lord- even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does these things, which have been known from long ago. Therefore, in my judgment, we should not cause difficulties for those who turn to God from among the Gentiles, but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood. For since ancient times, Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, and he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath day." Then the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, decided to select men from among them and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas, called Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers. They wrote this letter to be delivered by them: From the apostles and the elders, your brothers, To the brothers from among the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. Because we have heard that some to whom we gave no authorization went out from us and troubled you with their words and unsettled your hearts, we have unanimously decided to select men and send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who will personally report the same things by word of mouth. For it was the Holy Spirit's decision-and ours-to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things: that you abstain from food offered to idols, from blood, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these things, you will do well. Farewell. Then, being sent off, they went down to Antioch, and after gathering the assembly, they delivered the letter. When they read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. Both Judas and Silas, who were also prophets themselves, encouraged the brothers and strengthened them with a long message. After spending some time there, they were sent back in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them. But Paul and Barnabas, along with many others, remained in Antioch teaching and proclaiming the message of the Lord.



As they traveled through the towns, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem for them to observe. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and were increased in number daily.

Now from Miletus, he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among whom the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. And men from among yourselves will rise up with deviant doctrines to lure the disciples into following them. read more.
Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning each one of you with tears. "And now I commit you to God and to the message of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified.

The following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.

The elders who are good leaders should be considered worthy of an ample honorarium, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says: You must not muzzle an ox that is threshing grain, and, The laborer is worthy of his wages. Don't accept an accusation against an elder unless it is supported by two or three witnesses.

The reason I left you in Crete was to set right what was left undone and, as I directed you, to appoint elders in every town: someone who is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of wildness or rebellion. For an overseer, as God's manager, must be blameless, not arrogant, not quick tempered, not addicted to wine, not a bully, not greedy for money, read more.
but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled, holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it.

For our ancestors won God’s approval by it.

Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

Therefore, as a fellow elder and witness to the sufferings of the Messiah, and also a participant in the glory about to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you: shepherd God's flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God's [will]; not for the money but eagerly; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. read more.
And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you younger men, be subject to the elders. And all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

The Elder:To the elect lady and her children: I love all of you in the truth—and not only I, but also all who have come to know the truth

The Elder:To my dear friend Gaius: I love you in the truth.


When the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced and glorified the message of the Lord, and all who had been appointed to eternal life believed.

The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.



The apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles had welcomed God’s message also.

After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: “Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe.

Therefore, let it be known to you that this saving work of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen!”

on us, the ones He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

and so that Gentiles may glorify God for His mercy. As it is written:Therefore I will praise You among the Gentiles,
and I will sing psalms to Your name.



For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, heirs according to the promise.

for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But now, apart from the law, God's righteousness has been revealed-attested by the Law and the Prophets -that is, God's righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction.

Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. read more.
He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.

For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body-so also is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his practices and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of his Creator. read more.
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.


Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. read more.
He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Why, then, are you now testing God by putting on the disciples' necks a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way they are."

Disagreeing among themselves, they began to leave after Paul made one statement: "The Holy Spirit correctly spoke through the prophet Isaiah to your forefathers when He said, Go to this people and say: 'You will listen and listen, yet never understand; and you will look and look, yet never perceive. For this people's heart has grown callous, their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and be converted-and I would heal them.' read more.
Therefore, let it be known to you that this saving work of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen!" [

What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness-namely the righteousness that comes from faith. But Israel, pursuing the law for righteousness, has not achieved the law. Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. read more.
As it is written: Look! I am putting a stone in Zion to stumble over, and a rock to trip over, yet the one who believes on Him will not be put to shame.

I ask, then, has God rejected His people? Absolutely not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the Elijah section-how he pleads with God against Israel? Lord, they have killed Your prophets, torn down Your altars; and I am the only one left, and they are trying to take my life! read more.
But what was God's reply to him? I have left 7,000 men for Myself who have not bowed down to Baal. In the same way, then, there is also at the present time a remnant chosen by grace. Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace. What then? Israel did not find what it was looking for, but the elect did find it. The rest were hardened, as it is written: God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear, to this day . And David says: Let their feasting become a snare and a trap, a pitfall and a retribution to them. Let their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent continually. I ask, then, have they stumbled so as to fall? Absolutely not! On the contrary, by their stumbling, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous. Now if their stumbling brings riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full number bring! Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. In view of the fact that I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if I can somehow make my own people jealous and save some of them. For if their being rejected is world reconciliation, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? Now if the firstfruits offered up are holy, so is the whole batch. And if the root is holy, so are the branches. Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, though a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them, and have come to share in the rich root of the cultivated olive tree, do not brag that you are better than those branches. But if you do brag-you do not sustain the root, but the root sustains you. Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." True enough; they were broken off by unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either. Therefore, consider God's kindness and severity: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness toward you-if you remain in His kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not remain in unbelief, will be grafted in, because God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from your native wild olive, and against nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these-the natural branches-be grafted into their own olive tree? So that you will not be conceited, brothers, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery: a partial hardening has come to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Liberator will come from Zion; He will turn away godlessness from Jacob. And this will be My covenant with them, when I take away their sins. Regarding the gospel, they are enemies for your advantage, but regarding election, they are loved because of their forefathers, since God's gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable. As you once disobeyed God, but now have received mercy through their disobedience, so they too have now disobeyed, [resulting] in mercy to you, so that they also now may receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.

Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, so understand that those who have faith are Abraham's sons. Now the Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and foretold the good news to Abraham, saying, All the nations will be blessed in you. read more.
So those who have faith are blessed with Abraham, who had faith. For all who [rely on] the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written: Cursed is everyone who does not continue doing everything written in the book of the law. Now it is clear that no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous will live by faith. But the law is not based on faith; instead, the one who does these things will live by them. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written: Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree. The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.



On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him." He said this about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were going to receive, for the Spirit had not yet been received, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had murdered by hanging Him on a tree. God exalted this man to His right hand as ruler and Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him."

"So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? read more.
Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us.


For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, heirs according to the promise.

for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But now, apart from the law, God's righteousness has been revealed-attested by the Law and the Prophets -that is, God's righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction.

Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. read more.
He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.

For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body-so also is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his practices and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of his Creator. read more.
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.



Some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom prescribed by Moses, you cannot be saved!" But after Paul and Barnabas had engaged them in serious argument and debate, they arranged for Paul and Barnabas and some others of them to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem concerning this controversy. When they had been sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, explaining in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they created great joy among all the brothers. read more.
When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, the apostles, and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some of the believers from the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses!" Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Why, then, are you now testing God by putting on the disciples' necks a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way they are." Then the whole assembly fell silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul describing all the signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they stopped speaking, James responded: "Brothers, listen to me! Simeon has reported how God first intervened to take from the Gentiles a people for His name. And the words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written: After these things I will return and will rebuild David's tent, which has fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins and will set it up again, so that those who are left of mankind may seek the Lord- even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does these things, which have been known from long ago. Therefore, in my judgment, we should not cause difficulties for those who turn to God from among the Gentiles, but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood. For since ancient times, Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, and he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath day." Then the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, decided to select men from among them and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas, called Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers. They wrote this letter to be delivered by them: From the apostles and the elders, your brothers, To the brothers from among the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. Because we have heard that some to whom we gave no authorization went out from us and troubled you with their words and unsettled your hearts, we have unanimously decided to select men and send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who will personally report the same things by word of mouth. For it was the Holy Spirit's decision-and ours-to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things: that you abstain from food offered to idols, from blood, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these things, you will do well. Farewell.



But when I saw that they were deviating from the truth of the gospel, I told Cephas in front of everyone, "If you, who are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel Gentiles to live like Jews?" We are Jews by birth and not "Gentile sinners"; yet we know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no human being will be justified. read more.
But if, while seeking to be justified by Christ, we ourselves are also found to be sinners, is Christ then a promoter of sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild those things that I tore down, I show myself to be a lawbreaker. For through the law I have died to the law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.


After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: “Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe.


The apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles had welcomed God's message also. When Peter went up to Jerusalem, those who stressed circumcision argued with him, saying, "You visited uncircumcised men and ate with them!" read more.
Peter began to explain to them in an orderly sequence, saying: "I was in the town of Joppa praying, and I saw, in a visionary state, an object coming down that resembled a large sheet being lowered from heaven by its four corners, and it came to me. When I looked closely and considered it, I saw the four-footed animals of the earth, the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky. Then I also heard a voice telling me, 'Get up, Peter; kill and eat!' " 'No, Lord!' I said. 'For nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth!' But a voice answered from heaven a second time, 'What God has made clean, you must not call common.' "Now this happened three times, and then everything was drawn up again into heaven. At that very moment, three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house where we were. Then the Spirit told me to go with them with no doubts at all. These six brothers accompanied me, and we went into the man's house. He reported to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, 'Send to Joppa, and call for Simon, who is also named Peter. He will speak words to you by which you and all your household will be saved.' "As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came down on them, just as on us at the beginning. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' Therefore, if God gave them the same gift that He also gave to us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, how could I possibly hinder God?" When they heard this they became silent. Then they glorified God, saying, "So God has granted repentance resulting in life to even the Gentiles!"

After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. read more.
Why, then, are you now testing God by putting on the disciples' necks a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way they are."


Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. read more.
He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Why, then, are you now testing God by putting on the disciples' necks a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way they are."

Disagreeing among themselves, they began to leave after Paul made one statement: "The Holy Spirit correctly spoke through the prophet Isaiah to your forefathers when He said, Go to this people and say: 'You will listen and listen, yet never understand; and you will look and look, yet never perceive. For this people's heart has grown callous, their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and be converted-and I would heal them.' read more.
Therefore, let it be known to you that this saving work of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen!" [

What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness-namely the righteousness that comes from faith. But Israel, pursuing the law for righteousness, has not achieved the law. Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. read more.
As it is written: Look! I am putting a stone in Zion to stumble over, and a rock to trip over, yet the one who believes on Him will not be put to shame.

I ask, then, has God rejected His people? Absolutely not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the Elijah section-how he pleads with God against Israel? Lord, they have killed Your prophets, torn down Your altars; and I am the only one left, and they are trying to take my life! read more.
But what was God's reply to him? I have left 7,000 men for Myself who have not bowed down to Baal. In the same way, then, there is also at the present time a remnant chosen by grace. Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace. What then? Israel did not find what it was looking for, but the elect did find it. The rest were hardened, as it is written: God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear, to this day . And David says: Let their feasting become a snare and a trap, a pitfall and a retribution to them. Let their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent continually. I ask, then, have they stumbled so as to fall? Absolutely not! On the contrary, by their stumbling, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous. Now if their stumbling brings riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full number bring! Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. In view of the fact that I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if I can somehow make my own people jealous and save some of them. For if their being rejected is world reconciliation, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? Now if the firstfruits offered up are holy, so is the whole batch. And if the root is holy, so are the branches. Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, though a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them, and have come to share in the rich root of the cultivated olive tree, do not brag that you are better than those branches. But if you do brag-you do not sustain the root, but the root sustains you. Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." True enough; they were broken off by unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either. Therefore, consider God's kindness and severity: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness toward you-if you remain in His kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not remain in unbelief, will be grafted in, because God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from your native wild olive, and against nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these-the natural branches-be grafted into their own olive tree? So that you will not be conceited, brothers, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery: a partial hardening has come to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Liberator will come from Zion; He will turn away godlessness from Jacob. And this will be My covenant with them, when I take away their sins. Regarding the gospel, they are enemies for your advantage, but regarding election, they are loved because of their forefathers, since God's gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable. As you once disobeyed God, but now have received mercy through their disobedience, so they too have now disobeyed, [resulting] in mercy to you, so that they also now may receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.

Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, so understand that those who have faith are Abraham's sons. Now the Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and foretold the good news to Abraham, saying, All the nations will be blessed in you. read more.
So those who have faith are blessed with Abraham, who had faith. For all who [rely on] the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written: Cursed is everyone who does not continue doing everything written in the book of the law. Now it is clear that no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous will live by faith. But the law is not based on faith; instead, the one who does these things will live by them. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written: Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree. The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.


Some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom prescribed by Moses, you cannot be saved!" But after Paul and Barnabas had engaged them in serious argument and debate, they arranged for Paul and Barnabas and some others of them to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem concerning this controversy. When they had been sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, explaining in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they created great joy among all the brothers. read more.
When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, the apostles, and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some of the believers from the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses!" Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Why, then, are you now testing God by putting on the disciples' necks a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way they are." Then the whole assembly fell silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul describing all the signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they stopped speaking, James responded: "Brothers, listen to me! Simeon has reported how God first intervened to take from the Gentiles a people for His name. And the words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written: After these things I will return and will rebuild David's tent, which has fallen down. I will rebuild its ruins and will set it up again, so that those who are left of mankind may seek the Lord- even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does these things, which have been known from long ago. Therefore, in my judgment, we should not cause difficulties for those who turn to God from among the Gentiles, but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood. For since ancient times, Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, and he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath day." Then the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, decided to select men from among them and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas, called Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers. They wrote this letter to be delivered by them: From the apostles and the elders, your brothers, To the brothers from among the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. Because we have heard that some to whom we gave no authorization went out from us and troubled you with their words and unsettled your hearts, we have unanimously decided to select men and send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who will personally report the same things by word of mouth. For it was the Holy Spirit's decision-and ours-to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things: that you abstain from food offered to idols, from blood, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these things, you will do well. Farewell.