Acts 15:4–31

When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.s

Then some of the believers who belonged to the partyt of the Phariseesu stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”v

The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.w God, who knows the heart,x showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them,y just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them,z for he purified their hearts by faith.a 10 Now then, why do you try to test Godb by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yokec that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the graced of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonderse God had done among the Gentiles through them.f 13 When they finished, Jamesg spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. 14 Simona has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles.h 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:

16 “ ‘After this I will return

and rebuild David’s fallen tent.

Its ruins I will rebuild,

and I will restore it,

17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,

even all the Gentiles who bear my name,

says the Lord, who does these things’b i

18 things known from long ago.c j

19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols,k from sexual immorality,l from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.m 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”n

The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers

22 Then the apostles and elders,o with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antiochp with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas,q men who were leaders among the believers. 23 With them they sent the following letter:

The apostles and elders, your brothers,

To the Gentile believers in Antioch,r Syrias and Cilicia:t


24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.v 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul—26 men who have risked their livesw for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silasx to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirity and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.z You will do well to avoid these things.


30 So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31 The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message.

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