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Some Jewish believers said that God will save only people who are circumcised.

1Then some Jewish believers went down from Judea province to Antioch. They started teaching the non-Jewish believers there, and said, “You …must be circumcised/must have God's mark put on you† to indicate you belong to God, as Moses commanded in the laws that he received from God. If you do not do that, you will not be saved {God will not save you}.”

2Paul and Barnabas strongly disagreed with those Jews and started arguing with them. So the believers at Antioch appointed Paul and Barnabas and some of the other believers to go to Jerusalem, in order that they would/could discuss this matter with the apostles and other spiritual leaders.

Paul and Barnabas reported what God had enabled them to do.

3After Paul, Barnabas, and the others were given things for their trip by the congregation at Antioch {After the congregation at Antioch gave Paul, Barnabas, and the others things for their trip}, they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria provinces. When they stopped at different places in those provinces, they reported to the believers that many non-Jews in Antioch had become believers. As a result, all the believers in those places rejoiced greatly.

4And when Paul, Barnabas, and the others arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the apostles, the other elders, and the other members of the congregation there {the apostles, the other elders, and the other members of the congregation there welcomed them}. Then Paul and Barnabas reported the things that God had enabled them to do among non-Jewish people.

Some Jewish believers said that non-Jewish believers must obey Moses’ laws.

5But some of the Jewish believers who belonged to the Pharisee sect stood up among the other believers and said to them, “The non-Jews who have believed in Jesus must be circumcised, and they must be told to obey the laws that God gave to Moses.”

Peter told about non-Jews becoming believers when he preached to them.

6Then the apostles and the other elders met together in order to talk about this matter.

7After they had discussed it for a long time, Peter stood up and spoke to them. He said, “Fellow believers, you all know that a long time ago God chose me from among you other apostles, in order that the non-Jewish people might also hear me [SYN] tell them the good message about the Lord Jesus, so that they could hear it and believe in him. So Paul and Barnabas are not the first ones to tell non-Jews about Jesus.

8God knows and judges people according to what they think, not according to who their ancestors were. By sending the Holy Spirit to the non-Jews, just like he had also done for us(inc) Jews, he showed me and others that he had accepted them to be his people.

9God saved us Jews and those non-Jews similarly, making them clean inside simply as a result of their believing in the Lord Jesus. That was exactly how he has forgiven us.

10You are wanting to force the non-Jewish believers to obey our Jewish rituals and laws—laws that God has shown that he does not require them to obey [MET]. Your doing that is like putting a heavy burden on their necks! So then, …stop/why are you† [RHQ] making God angry by doing that! Our ancestors and we(inc) Jews have never been able to bear the burden of obeying those laws!

11But we(inc) know that it is not because we(inc) try to obey those laws that God saves us(inc) Jews. On the contrary, we(inc) know that it is because of what the Lord Jesus did for us(inc) that we did not deserve that we(inc) are saved {that God saves us} from the guilt of our sins. God saves us Jews exactly like he saves those non-Jews who believe in the Lord Jesus.”

Barnabas and Paul reported what God had helped them to do among the non-Jews.

12All the people there became silent after Peter had spoken. Then they all listened to Barnabas and Paul, as the two of them told about the many great miracles that God had enabled them to do among the non-Jewish people, miracles that showed that God had accepted the non-Jews.

James recommended what they should tell the non-Jewish believers.

13When Barnabas and Paul had finished speaking, James, the leader of the group of believers there in Jerusalem, spoke to them. He said, “Fellow believers listen to me.

14Simon Peter has told you how God previously blessed the non-Jews. God did that by choosing from among them a people who would belong to him [MTY].

15These words that God spoke, words that were written by one of the prophets {that one of the prophets wrote} long ago, agree with that:

16Later on I will return and I will re-establish the kingdom [MET] that David ruled and that has been {that people have} destroyed. My doing that will be like rebuildinga house that has been {that people have} torn down.

17I will do that in order that all other people might seekme, the Lord God. I will do that in order that all the non-Jews whom I have called to belong to me [MTY] might seek me. You can be certain that this will happen because I the LordGod, who will do those things, have spokenthese words.

18I caused my people to know about them long ago.

19James continued by saying, “Therefore I have decided that we(inc) should stop bothering the non-Jewish people who are turning away from their sins and turning to God. That is, we should stop demanding that they obey our laws.

20Instead, we should write a letter to them, one requiring only four things: They should not eat meat/food that people have offered to idols, they should not have sex with someone to whom they are not married, they should not eat meat from animals that have been killed by being strangled {people have strangled}, and they should not eat the blood of animals.

21In many cities, for a very long time people have been proclaiming the laws that Moses wrote [MTY], laws prohibiting those things. And every …Sabbath/Jewish day of rest† those laws are read {someone reads those laws} in the Jewish meeting places. So if the non-Jews want to know more about those laws, they can find out in our meeting houses.”

The church leaders sent messengers with a letter to non-Jewish believers.

22The apostles and the other elders, along with all the other members of the congregation, accepted what James had said. Then they decided that they should choose men from among themselves and that they should send them, along with Paul and Barnabas, to Antioch, to let the believers there know what the leaders at Jerusalem had decided. So they chose Judas, who was also called Barsabbas, and Silas, who were leaders among the believers at Jerusalem.

23Then they wrote the following letter that they asked Judas and Silas to take to the believers at Antioch: “We(exc) apostles and other leaders who are your fellow believers send our greetings to you as we write this to you non-Jewish believers who live in Antioch and other places in Syria and Cilicia provinces.

24People have told us that some men from among us went to you, although we had not told them to do that. They troubled/distressed you [SYN] by telling you things that confused your thinking.

25So while we(exc) met together here, we decided to choose some men and ask them to go to you, along with Barnabas and Paul, whom we(exc) love very much.

26Those two have put their lives in danger because of their serving our Lord [MTY] Jesus Christ.

27We(exc) have also chosen Judas and Silas to go to you. They will tell you the same things that we are writing.

28The Holy Spirit and also we decided that you should not be required {that we should not require you} to obey a lot of burdensome Jewish laws. Instead, we only require you to obey the following instructions:

29You should not eat food that people have sacrificed to idols. You should not eat blood from animals, and you should not eat meat from animals that people have killed by strangling them. Also, you should not have sex with someone to whom you are not married. Those things especially offend Jewish believers. So if you avoid doing them, you will be doing what is right. That is all/Good-bye.”

The letter and messengers encouraged the believers at Antioch.

30The four men whom they had chosen went from Jerusalem down to Antioch city. When all the believers there had assembled together, Judas and Silas gave the letter to them.

31When the believers there read the letter, they rejoiced, because its message encouraged them.

32Just like Paul and Barnabas were …prophets/men who spoke messages from God†. Judas and Silas were also prophets. They spoke a lot and encouraged the believers there, and helped them to trust more strongly in the Lord Jesus.

Paul and Barnabas continued to teach and preach in Antioch.

33After Judas and Silas had stayed there for some time and were ready to return to Jerusalem, the believers at Antioch wished them well, and the believers prayed that God would protect them as they traveled. So the two men started to go back to the leaders in Jerusalem who had asked them to go to Antioch.

34(15:33)

35However, Paul and Barnabas continued to stay in Antioch. While they were there, they, along with many others, were teaching people and preaching to them the message about the Lord Jesus.

Paul and Barnabas separated, and Paul chose Silas.

36After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit the fellow believers in every city where we previously proclaimed the message about the Lord Jesus. In that way, we will know how well they are continuing to believe in the Lord Jesus.”

37Barnabas agreed with Paul, and said that he wanted to take John, whose other name was Mark, along with them again.

38However, Paul told Barnabas that he thought that it would not be good to take Mark with them, because Mark had deserted them when they were previously in Pamphylia region and had not continued to work with them.

39Paul and Barnabas strongly disagreed with each other about that, so they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark along with him and they got on a ship and went to CyprusIsland.

40Paul chose Silas, who had returned to Antioch, to work with him. The believers there asked the Lord God to graciously help Paul and Silas. Then the two of them departed from Antioch.

41Paul continued traveling with Silas through Syria and Cilicia provinces. In those places he was helping the congregations to trust strongly in the Lord Jesus.



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