13 Now in the church at Antioch(A) there were prophets(B) and teachers:(C) Barnabas,(D) Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,(E) Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod(F) the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,(G) “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work(H) to which I have called them.”(I) So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them(J) and sent them off.(K)

On Cyprus

The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit,(L) went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.(M)

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19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols,(A) from sexual immorality,(B) from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.(C) 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”(D)

The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers

22 Then the apostles and elders,(E) with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch(F) with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas,(G) men who were leaders among the believers. 23 With them they sent the following letter:

The apostles and elders, your brothers,

To the Gentile believers in Antioch,(H) Syria(I) and Cilicia:(J)

Greetings.(K)

24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.(L) 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives(M) for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas(N) to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit(O) and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.(P) You will do well to avoid these things.

Farewell.

30 So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31 The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message.

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28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock(A) of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.(B) Be shepherds of the church of God,[a](C) which he bought(D) with his own blood.[b](E)

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Footnotes

  1. Acts 20:28 Many manuscripts of the Lord
  2. Acts 20:28 Or with the blood of his own Son.

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