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The Dispute over Circumcision
(Genesis 17:9-27; Leviticus 12:1-8; Joshua 5:1-9)
1AND some coming down from Judea, taught the brethren: That except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved.
2And when Paul and Barnabas had no small contest with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain others of the other side, should go up to the apostles and priests to Jerusalem about this question.
3They therefore being brought on their way by the church, passed through Phenice, and Samaria, relating the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren.
4And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church, and by the apostles and ancients, declaring how great things God had done with them.
The Council at Jerusalem
5But there arose some of the sect of the Pharisees that believed, saying: They must be circumcised, and be commanded to observe the law of Moses.
6And the apostles and ancients assembled to consider of this matter.
7And when there had been much disputing, Peter, rising up, said to them: Men, brethren, you know, that in former days God made choice among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
8And God, who knoweth the hearts, gave testimony, giving unto them the Holy Ghost, as well as to us;
9And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
10Now therefore, why tempt you God to put a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?
11But by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we believe to be saved, in like manner as they also.
12And all the multitude held their peace; and they heard Barnabas and Paul telling what great signs and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
13And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying: Men, brethren, hear me.
14Simon hath related how God first visited to take of the Gentiles a people to his name.
15And to this agree the words of the prophets, as it is written:
16After these things I will return, and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and the ruins thereof I will rebuild, and I will set it up:
17That the residue of men may seek after the Lord, and all nations upon whom my name is invoked, saith the Lord, who doth these things.
18To the Lord was his own work known from the beginning of the world.
19For which cause I judge that they, who from among the Gentiles are converted to God, are not to be disquieted.
20But that we write unto them, that they refrain themselves from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
21For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him in the synagogues, where he is read every sabbath.
The Letter to the Gentile Believers
22Then it pleased the apostles and ancients, with the whole church, to choose men of their own company, and to send to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas, who was surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren.
23Writing by their hands: The apostles and ancients, brethren, to the brethren of the Gentiles that are at Antioch, and in Syria and Cilicia, greeting.
24Forasmuch as we have heard, that some going out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls; to whom we gave no commandment:
25It hath seemed good to us, being assembled together, to choose out men, and to send them unto you, with our well beloved Barnabas and Paul:
26Men that have given their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who themselves also will, by word of mouth, tell you the same things.
28For it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay no further burden upon you than these necessary things:
29That you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which things keeping yourselves, you shall do well. Fare ye well.
The Believers at Antioch Rejoice
30They therefore being dismissed, went down to Antioch; and gathering together the multitude, delivered the epistle.
31Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.
32But Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, with many words comforted the brethren, and confirmed them.
33And after they had spent some time there, they were let go with peace by the brethren, unto them that had sent them.
34But it seemed good unto Silas to remain there; and Judas alone departed to Jerusalem.
35And Paul and Barnabas continued at Antioch, teaching and preaching, with many others, the word of the Lord.
Paul's Second Missionary Journey
(Acts 13:1-3; Acts 18:23-28)
36And after some days, Paul said to Barnabas: Let us return and visit our brethren in all the cities wherein we have preached the word of the Lord, to see how they do.
37And Barnabas would have taken with them John also, that was surnamed Mark;
38But Paul desired that he (as having departed from them out of Pamphylia, and not gone with them to the work) might not be received.
39And there arose a dissension, so that they departed one from another; and Barnabas indeed taking Mark, sailed to Cyprus.
40But Paul choosing Silas, departed, being delivered by the brethren to the grace of God.
41And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches, commanding them to keep the precepts of the apostles and the ancients.