WPNT(i) 1 Then some men came down from Judea and started teaching the brothers: “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved”. 2 Well this provoked serious dissension and argument between Paul and Barnabas and them, so Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with certain others of them, to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question. 3 So being sent on their way by the congregation, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brothers. 4 Upon arriving in Jerusalem, they were received by the congregation and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. 5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Law of Moses”. 6 So the apostles and the elders came together to consider this matter. 7 When there had been plenty of discussion, Peter got up and said to them: “Men, brothers, you know that a good while ago God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the message of the Gospel and believe. 8 And the heart-knowing God acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us; 9 and He made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 Rather, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same manner as they.” 12 Then the whole assembly kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul reporting what signs and wonders God had done among the ethnic nations through them. 13 Now when they finished, James reacted saying: “Men, brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has described how God first intervened to extract from the Gentiles a people for His name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: 16 ‘After these things I will return, and I will rebuild David’s tent, the fallen one; yes, I will rebuild its ruins and restore it; 17 so that the remnant of mankind may seek the LORD, even all the Gentiles—the ones, that is, upon whom my name has been called—says the LORD who does all these things.’ 18 All His works are known to God from eternity. 19 Therefore I judge that we should not create difficulty for those who are turning to God from among the ethnic nations, 20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from fornication, from what is strangled, and from blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has in every city those who preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” 22 Then it pleased the apostles and the elders, with the whole congregation, to send chosen men from among them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas (the one called Barsabas) and Silas, leading men among the brothers. 23 They wrote by their hand the following: “The apostles and the elders and the brothers, to the Gentile brothers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings. 24 Since we have heard that some who went out from among us have disturbed you with words, unsettling your souls, saying that you must be circumcised and keep the law —to whom we gave no such authorization— 25 it seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the sake of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 So we have sent Judas and Silas, who will also confirm these things by word of mouth. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to place no greater burden upon you than these necessary things: 29 to abstain from things offered to idols, from ‘blood’, from anything strangled and from fornication; it will be in your own best interest to keep away from these things. Farewell.” 30 So when they were sent off they came to Antioch, and gathering the crowd they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over the encouragement. 32 Both Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words. 33 After some time, they were released with peace from the brothers to the apostles. 34 - - - 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also. 36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return now and visit our brothers in each city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, to see how they are doing”. 37 Now Barnabas resolved to take John (the one called Mark) along as well. 38 But Paul insisted on not taking someone who had deserted them in Pamphilia and not gone with them to the work. 39 Well the contention became so sharp that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; 40 while Paul chose Silas and set out, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of God. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the congregations.