Bible: Acts 13-15
The Church at Antioch Commissions Barnabas and Saul
13:1 Now there were these prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch: 1 Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, 2 Lucius the Cyrenian, 3 Manaen (a close friend of Herod 4 the tetrarch 5 from childhood 6 ) and Saul. 13:2 While they were serving 7 the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart 8 for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 13:3 Then, after they had fasted 9 and 10 prayed and placed their hands 11 on them, they sent them off.
Paul and Barnabas Preach in Cyprus
13:4 So Barnabas and Saul, 12 sent out by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia, 13 and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 14 13:5 When 15 they arrived 16 in Salamis, 17 they began to proclaim 18 the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. 19 (Now they also had John 20 as their assistant.) 21 13:6 When they had crossed over 22 the whole island as far as Paphos, 23 they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 24 13:7 who was with the proconsul 25 Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. The proconsul 26 summoned 27 Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear 28 the word of God. 13:8 But the magician Elymas 29 (for that is the way his name is translated) 30 opposed them, trying to turn the proconsul 31 away from the faith. 13:9 But Saul (also known as Paul), 32 filled with the Holy Spirit, 33 stared straight 34 at him 13:10 and said, “You who are full of all deceit and all wrongdoing, 35 you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness – will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 36 13:11 Now 37 look, the hand of the Lord is against 38 you, and you will be blind, unable to see the sun for a time!” Immediately mistiness 39 and darkness came over 40 him, and he went around seeking people 41 to lead him by the hand. 13:12 Then when the proconsul 42 saw what had happened, he believed, 43 because he was greatly astounded 44 at the teaching about 45 the Lord.
Paul and Barnabas at Pisidian Antioch
13:13 Then Paul and his companions put out to sea 46 from Paphos 47 and came to Perga 48 in Pamphylia, 49 but John 50 left them and returned to Jerusalem. 51 13:14 Moving on from 52 Perga, 53 they arrived at Pisidian Antioch, 54 and on the Sabbath day they went into 55 the synagogue 56 and sat down. 13:15 After the reading from the law and the prophets, 57 the leaders of the synagogue 58 sent them a message, 59 saying, “Brothers, 60 if you have any message 61 of exhortation 62 for the people, speak it.” 63 13:16 So Paul stood up, 64 gestured 65 with his hand and said,
“Men of Israel, 66 and you Gentiles who fear God, 67 listen: 13:17 The God of this people Israel 68 chose our ancestors 69 and made the people great 70 during their stay as foreigners 71 in the country 72 of Egypt, and with uplifted arm 73 he led them out of it. 13:18 For 74 a period of about forty years he put up with 75 them in the wilderness. 76 13:19 After 77 he had destroyed 78 seven nations 79 in the land of Canaan, he gave his people their land as an inheritance. 80 13:20 All this took 81 about four hundred fifty years. After this 82 he gave them judges until the time of 83 Samuel the prophet. 13:21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man from the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled 84 forty years. 13:22 After removing him, God 85 raised up 86 David their king. He testified about him: 87 ‘I have found David 88 the son of Jesse to be a man after my heart, 89 who will accomplish everything I want him to do.’ 90 13:23 From the descendants 91 of this man 92 God brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, just as he promised. 93 13:24 Before 94 Jesus 95 arrived, John 96 had proclaimed a baptism for repentance 97 to all the people of Israel. 13:25 But while John was completing his mission, 98 he said repeatedly, 99 ‘What do you think I am? I am not he. But look, one is coming after me. I am not worthy to untie the sandals on his feet!’ 100 13:26 Brothers, 101 descendants 102 of Abraham’s family, 103 and those Gentiles among you who fear God, 104 the message 105 of this salvation has been sent to us. 13:27 For the people who live in Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize 106 him, 107 and they fulfilled the sayings 108 of the prophets that are read every Sabbath by condemning 109 him. 110 13:28 Though 111 they found 112 no basis 113 for a death sentence, 114 they asked Pilate to have him executed. 13:29 When they had accomplished 115 everything that was written 116 about him, they took him down 117 from the cross 118 and placed him 119 in a tomb. 13:30 But God raised 120 him from the dead, 13:31 and 121 for many days he appeared to those who had accompanied 122 him from Galilee to Jerusalem. These 123 are now his witnesses to the people. 13:32 And we proclaim to you the good news about the promise to our ancestors, 124 13:33 that this promise 125 God has fulfilled to us, their children, by raising 126 Jesus, as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son; 127 today I have fathered you.’ 128 13:34 But regarding the fact that he has raised Jesus 129 from the dead, never 130 again to be 131 in a state of decay, God 132 has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you 133 the holy and trustworthy promises 134 made to David.’ 135 13:35 Therefore he also says in another psalm, 136 ‘You will not permit your Holy One 137 to experience 138 decay.’ 139 13:36 For David, after he had served 140 God’s purpose in his own generation, died, 141 was buried with his ancestors, 142 and experienced 143 decay, 13:37 but the one 144 whom God raised up did not experience 145 decay. 13:38 Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through this one 146 forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 13:39 and by this one 147 everyone who believes is justified 148 from everything from which the law of Moses could not justify 149 you. 150 13:40 Watch out, 151 then, that what is spoken about by 152 the prophets does not happen to you:
13:41 ‘Look, you scoffers; be amazed and perish! 153
For I am doing a work in your days,
a work you would never believe, even if someone tells you.’” 154
13:42 As Paul and Barnabas 155 were going out, 156 the people 157 were urging 158 them to speak about these things 159 on the next Sabbath. 13:43 When the meeting of the synagogue 160 had broken up, 161 many of the Jews and God-fearing proselytes 162 followed Paul and Barnabas, who were speaking with them and were persuading 163 them 164 to continue 165 in the grace of God.
13:44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city assembled together to hear the word of the Lord. 166 13:45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy, 167 and they began to contradict 168 what Paul was saying 169 by reviling him. 170 13:46 Both Paul and Barnabas replied courageously, 171 “It was necessary to speak the word of God 172 to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy 173 of eternal life, we 174 are turning to the Gentiles. 175 13:47 For this 176 is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have appointed 177 you to be a light 178 for the Gentiles, to bring salvation 179 to the ends of the earth.’” 180 13:48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began to rejoice 181 and praise 182 the word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed for eternal life 183 believed. 13:49 So the word of the Lord was spreading 184 through the entire region. 13:50 But the Jews incited 185 the God-fearing women of high social standing and the prominent men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and threw them out 186 of their region. 13:51 So after they shook 187 the dust off their feet 188 in protest against them, they went to Iconium. 189 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy 190 and with the Holy Spirit.
Paul and Barnabas at Iconium
14:1 The same thing happened in Iconium 191 when Paul and Barnabas 192 went into the Jewish synagogue 193 and spoke in such a way that a large group 194 of both Jews and Greeks believed. 14:2 But the Jews who refused to believe 195 stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds 196 against the brothers. 14:3 So they stayed there 197 for a considerable time, speaking out courageously for the Lord, who testified 198 to the message 199 of his grace, granting miraculous signs 200 and wonders to be performed through their hands. 14:4 But the population 201 of the city was divided; some 202 sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles. 14:5 When both the Gentiles and the Jews (together with their rulers) made 203 an attempt to mistreat 204 them and stone them, 205 14:6 Paul and Barnabas 206 learned about it 207 and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra 208 and Derbe 209 and the surrounding region. 14:7 There 210 they continued to proclaim 211 the good news.
Paul and Barnabas at Lystra
14:8 In 212 Lystra 213 sat a man who could not use his feet, 214 lame from birth, 215 who had never walked. 14:9 This man was listening to Paul as he was speaking. When Paul 216 stared 217 intently at him and saw he had faith to be healed, 14:10 he said with a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” 218 And the man 219 leaped up and began walking. 220 14:11 So when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted 221 in the Lycaonian language, 222 “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 223 14:12 They began to call 224 Barnabas Zeus 225 and Paul Hermes, 226 because he was the chief speaker. 14:13 The priest of the temple 227 of Zeus, 228 located just outside the city, brought bulls 229 and garlands 230 to the city gates; he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifices to them. 231 14:14 But when the apostles 232 Barnabas and Paul heard about 233 it, they tore 234 their clothes and rushed out 235 into the crowd, shouting, 236 14:15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We too are men, with human natures 237 just like you! We are proclaiming the good news to you, so that you should turn 238 from these worthless 239 things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, 240 the sea, and everything that is in them. 14:16 In 241 past 242 generations he allowed all the nations 243 to go their own ways, 14:17 yet he did not leave himself without a witness by doing good, 244 by giving you rain from heaven 245 and fruitful seasons, satisfying you 246 with food and your hearts with joy.” 247 14:18 Even by saying 248 these things, they scarcely persuaded 249 the crowds not to offer sacrifice to them.
14:19 But Jews came from Antioch 250 and Iconium, 251 and after winning 252 the crowds over, they stoned 253 Paul and dragged him out of the city, presuming him to be dead. 14:20 But after the disciples had surrounded him, he got up and went back 254 into the city. On 255 the next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe. 256
Paul and Barnabas Return to Antioch in Syria
14:21 After they had proclaimed the good news in that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, 257 to Iconium, 258 and to Antioch. 259 14:22 They strengthened 260 the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue 261 in the faith, saying, “We must enter the kingdom 262 of God through many persecutions.” 263 14:23 When they had appointed elders 264 for them in the various churches, 265 with prayer and fasting 266 they entrusted them to the protection 267 of the Lord in whom they had believed. 14:24 Then they passed through 268 Pisidia and came into Pamphylia, 269 14:25 and when they had spoken the word 270 in Perga, 271 they went down to Attalia. 272 14:26 From there they sailed back to Antioch, 273 where they had been commended 274 to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. 275 14:27 When they arrived and gathered the church together, they reported 276 all the things God 277 had done with them, and that he had opened a door 278 of faith for the Gentiles. 14:28 So they spent 279 considerable 280 time with the disciples.
The Jerusalem Council
15:1 Now some men came down from Judea 281 and began to teach the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised 282 according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 15:2 When Paul and Barnabas had a major argument and debate 283 with them, the church 284 appointed Paul and Barnabas and some others from among them to go up to meet with 285 the apostles and elders in Jerusalem 286 about this point of disagreement. 287 15:3 So they were sent on their way by the church, and as they passed through both Phoenicia 288 and Samaria, they were relating at length 289 the conversion of the Gentiles and bringing great joy 290 to all the brothers. 15:4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were received 291 by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported 292 all the things God had done with them. 293 15:5 But some from the religious party of the Pharisees 294 who had believed stood up and said, “It is necessary 295 to circumcise the Gentiles 296 and to order them to observe 297 the law of Moses.”
15:6 Both the apostles and the elders met together to deliberate 298 about this matter. 15:7 After there had been much debate, 299 Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that some time ago 300 God chose 301 me to preach to the Gentiles so they would hear the message 302 of the gospel 303 and believe. 304 15:8 And God, who knows the heart, 305 has testified 306 to them by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, 307 15:9 and he made no distinction 308 between them and us, cleansing 309 their hearts by faith. 15:10 So now why are you putting God to the test 310 by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke 311 that neither our ancestors 312 nor we have been able to bear? 15:11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through 313 the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they are.” 314
15:12 The whole group kept quiet 315 and listened to Barnabas and Paul while they explained all the miraculous signs 316 and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 15:13 After they stopped speaking, 317 James replied, 318 “Brothers, listen to me. 15:14 Simeon 319 has explained 320 how God first concerned himself 321 to select 322 from among the Gentiles 323 a people for his name. 15:15 The 324 words of the prophets agree 325 with this, as it is written,
and I will rebuild the fallen tent 328 of David;
I will rebuild its ruins and restore 329 it,
15:17 so that the rest of humanity 330 may seek the Lord,
15:19 “Therefore I conclude 337 that we should not cause extra difficulty 338 for those among the Gentiles 339 who are turning to God, 15:20 but that we should write them a letter 340 telling them to abstain 341 from things defiled 342 by idols and from sexual immorality and from what has been strangled 343 and from blood. 15:21 For Moses has had those who proclaim him in every town from ancient times, 344 because he is read aloud 345 in the synagogues 346 every Sabbath.”
15:22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided 347 to send men chosen from among them, Judas called Barsabbas and Silas, 348 leaders among the brothers, to Antioch 349 with Paul and Barnabas. 15:23 They sent this letter with them: 350
From the apostles 351 and elders, your brothers, 352 to the Gentile brothers and sisters 353 in Antioch, 354 Syria, 355 and Cilicia, greetings! 15:24 Since we have heard that some have gone out from among us with no orders from us and have confused 356 you, upsetting 357 your minds 358 by what they said, 359 15:25 we have unanimously 360 decided 361 to choose men to send to you along with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul, 15:26 who 362 have risked their lives 363 for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 364 15:27 Therefore we are sending 365 Judas and Silas 366 who will tell you these things themselves in person. 367 15:28 For it seemed best to the Holy Spirit and to us 368 not to place any greater burden on you than these necessary rules: 369 15:29 that you abstain from meat that has been sacrificed to idols 370 and from blood and from what has been strangled 371 and from sexual immorality. 372 If you keep yourselves from doing these things, 373 you will do well. Farewell. 374
15:30 So when they were dismissed, 375 they went down to Antioch, 376 and after gathering the entire group 377 together, they delivered the letter. 15:31 When they read it aloud, 378 the people 379 rejoiced at its encouragement. 380 15:32 Both Judas and Silas, who were prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with a long speech. 381 15:33 After 382 they had spent some time there, 383 they were sent off in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them. 15:34 [[EMPTY]] 384 15:35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, 385 teaching and proclaiming (along with many others) 386 the word of the Lord. 387
Paul and Barnabas Part Company
15:36 After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s return 388 and visit the brothers in every town where we proclaimed the word of the Lord 389 to see how they are doing.” 390 15:37 Barnabas wanted to bring John called Mark along with them too, 15:38 but Paul insisted 391 that they should not take along this one who had left them in Pamphylia 392 and had not accompanied them in the work. 15:39 They had 393 a sharp disagreement, 394 so that they parted company. Barnabas took along 395 Mark and sailed away to Cyprus, 396 15:40 but Paul chose Silas and set out, commended 397 to the grace of the Lord by the brothers and sisters. 398 15:41 He passed through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening 399 the churches.