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1At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in the Italian Cohort, as it was called.

2He was a devout man, and he and his whole family joined in the worship of God; he gave generously to help the Jewish people, and was regular in his prayers to God.

3One day about three in the afternoon he had a vision in which he clearly saw an angel of God come into his room and say, “Cornelius!”

4Cornelius stared at him in terror. “What is it, my lord?” he asked. The angel said, “Your prayers and acts of charity have gone up to heaven to speak for you before God.

5Now send to Joppa for a man named Simon, also called Peter:

6he is lodging with another Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.”

7When the angel who spoke to him had gone, he summoned two of his servants and a military orderly who was a religious man,

8told them the whole story, and ordered them to Joppa.

9Next day about noon, while they were still on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray.

10He grew hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were getting it ready, he fell into a trance.

11He saw heaven opened, and something coming down that looked like a great sheet of sailcloth; it was slung by the four corners and was being lowered to the earth,

12and in it he saw creatures of every kind, four-footed beasts, reptiles, and birds.

13There came a voice which said to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat.”

14But Peter answered, “No, Lord! I have never eaten anything profane or unclean.”

15The voice came again, a second time: “It is not for you to call profane what God counts clean.”

16This happened three times, and then the thing was taken up into heaven.

17While Peter was still puzzling over the meaning of the vision he had seen, the messengers from Cornelius had been asking the way to Simon's house, and now arrived at the entrance.

18They called out and asked if Simon Peter was lodging there.

19Peter was thinking over the vision, when the Spirit said to him, “Some men are here looking for you;

20get up and go downstairs. You may go with them without any misgiving, for it was I who sent them.”

21Peter came down to the men and said, “You are looking for me? Here I am. What brings you here?”

22“We are from the centurion Cornelius,” they replied, “a good and religious man, acknowledged as such by the whole Jewish nation. He was directed by a holy angel to send for you to his house and hear what you have to say.”

23So Peter asked them in and gave them a night's lodging. Next day he set out with them, accompanied by some members of the congregation at Joppa,

24and on the following day arrived at Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.

25When Peter arrived, Cornelius came to meet him, and bowed to the ground in deep reverence.

26But Peter raised him to his feet and said, “Stand up; I am only a man like you.”

27Still talking with him he went in and found a large gathering.

28He said to them, “I need not tell you that a Jew is forbidden by his religion to visit or associate with anyone of another race. Yet God has shown me clearly that I must not call anyone profane or unclean;

29that is why I came here without demur when you sent for me. May I ask what was your reason for doing so?”

30Cornelius said, “Three days ago, just about this time, I was in the house here saying the afternoon prayers, when suddenly a man in shining robes stood before me.

31He said: ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your acts of charity have spoken for you before God.

32Send to Simon Peter at Joppa, and ask him to come; he is lodging in the house of Simon the tanner, by the sea.’

33I sent to you there and then, and you have been good enough to come. So now we are all met here before God, to listen to everything that the Lord has instructed you to say.”

34Peter began: “I now understand how true it is that God has no favourites,

35but that in every nation those who are god-fearing and do what is right are acceptable to him.

36He sent his word to the Israelites and gave the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

37I need not tell you what has happened lately all over the land of the Jews, starting from Galilee after the baptism proclaimed by John.

38You know how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Because God was with him he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil.

39And we can bear witness to all that he did in the Jewish countryside and in Jerusalem. They put him to death, hanging him on a gibbet;

40but God raised him to life on the third day, and allowed him to be clearly seen,

41not by the whole people, but by witnesses whom God had chosen in advance -- by us, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

42He commanded us to proclaim him to the people, and affirm that he is the one designated by God as judge of the living and the dead.

43It is to him that all the prophets testify, declaring that everyone who trusts in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

44Peter was still speaking when the Holy Spirit came upon all who were listening to the message.

45The believers who had come with Peter, men of Jewish birth, were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit should have been poured out even on Gentiles,

46for they could hear them speaking in tongues of ecstasy and acclaiming the greatness of God. Then Peter spoke:

47“Is anyone prepared to withhold the water of baptism from these persons, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?”

48Then he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. After that they asked him to stay on with them for a time.

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