Acts 15:7–29

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, a that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving b the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. c He made no distinction between us and them, d cleansing their hearts by faith. e 10 Now then, why are you testing God by putting a yoke on the disciples’ necks f that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11 On the contrary, we believe we are saved through the grace g of the Lord Jesus in the same way they are.”

12 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. h 13 After they stopped speaking, James responded: “Brothers, listen to me! 14 Simeon i has reported how God first intervened to take from the Gentiles a people for His name. j 15 And the words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written:

16 After these things I will return

and rebuild David’s fallen tent.

I will rebuild its ruins

and set it up again,

17 so the rest of humanity

may seek the Lord—

even all the Gentiles

who are called by My name,

declares the Lord who does these things,

18 known from long ago. k l m

19 Therefore, in my judgment, we should not cause difficulties for those among the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, n from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood. 21 For since ancient times, Moses has had those who proclaim him in every city, and every Sabbath day he is read aloud in the * synagogues.” o

The Letter to the Gentile Believers

22 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, p both leading men among the brothers. 23 They wrote this letter to be delivered by them: q

From the apostles and the elders, your brothers,

To the brothers among the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: r


24 Because we have heard that some without our authorization went out from us s and troubled you with their words and unsettled your hearts, t u 25 we have unanimously v decided to select men and send them to you along with our dearly loved Barnabas and Paul, 26 who have risked their lives w for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who will personally report the same things by word of mouth. x 28 For it was the Holy Spirit’s decision—and ours—to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things: y 29 that you abstain from food offered to idols, from blood, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. z You will do well if you keep yourselves from these things.


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