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11 Soon the news reached the apostles and other brothers in Judea that Gentiles also were being converted! But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the Jewish believers argued with him.

“You fellowshiped with Gentiles and even ate with them,” they accused.

Then Peter told them the whole story. “One day in Joppa,” he said, “while I was praying, I saw a vision—a huge sheet, let down by its four corners from the sky. Inside the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds which we are not to eat.[a] And I heard a voice say, ‘Kill and eat whatever you wish.’

“‘Never, Lord,’ I replied. ‘For I have never yet eaten anything forbidden by our Jewish laws!’

“But the voice came again, ‘Don’t say it isn’t right when God declares it is!’

10 “This happened three times before the sheet and all it contained disappeared into heaven. 11 Just then three men who had come to take me with them to Caesarea arrived at the house where I was staying! 12 The Holy Spirit told me to go with them and not to worry about their being Gentiles! These six brothers here accompanied me, and we soon arrived at the home of the man who had sent the messengers. 13 He told us how an angel had appeared to him and told him to send messengers to Joppa to find Simon Peter! 14 ‘He will tell you how you and all your household can be saved!’ the angel had told him.

15 “Well, I began telling them the Good News, but just as I was getting started with my sermon, the Holy Spirit fell on them, just as he fell on us at the beginning! 16 Then I thought of the Lord’s words when he said, ‘Yes, John baptized with[b] water, but you shall be baptized with* the Holy Spirit.’ 17 And since it was God who gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to argue?”

18 When the others heard this, all their objections were answered and they began praising God! “Yes,” they said, “God has given to the Gentiles, too, the privilege of turning to him and receiving eternal life!”

19 Meanwhile, the believers who fled from Jerusalem during the persecution after Stephen’s death traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, scattering the Good News, but only to Jews. 20 However, some of the believers who went to Antioch from Cyprus and Cyrene also gave their message about the Lord Jesus to some Greeks. 21 And the Lord honored this effort so that large numbers of these Gentiles became believers.

22 When the church at Jerusalem heard what had happened, they sent Barnabas to Antioch to help the new converts. 23 When he arrived and saw the wonderful things God was doing, he was filled with excitement and joy, and encouraged the believers to stay close to the Lord, whatever the cost. 24 Barnabas was a kindly person, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. As a result, large numbers of people were added to the Lord.

25 Then Barnabas went on to Tarsus to hunt for Paul. 26 When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch; and both of them stayed there for a full year teaching the many new converts. (It was there at Antioch that the believers were first called “Christians.”)

27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch, 28 and one of them, named Agabus, stood up in one of the meetings to predict by the Spirit that a great famine was coming upon the land of Israel.[c] (This was fulfilled during the reign of Claudius.) 29 So the believers decided to send relief to the Christians in Judea, each giving as much as he could. 30 This they did, consigning their gifts to Barnabas and Paul to take to the elders of the church in Jerusalem.


  1. Acts 11:6 which we are not to eat, implied.
  2. Acts 11:16 baptized with, or “baptized in.”
  3. Acts 11:28 upon the land of Israel, literally, “upon the earth.”

Peter Explains His Actions

11 The apostles and the believers(A) throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.(B) So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers(C) criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”(D)

Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story: “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision.(E) I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’

“I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’

“The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’(F) 10 This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

11 “Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea(G) stopped at the house where I was staying. 12 The Spirit told(H) me to have no hesitation about going with them.(I) These six brothers(J) also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 He told us how he had seen an angel(K) appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. 14 He will bring you a message(L) through which you and all your household(M) will be saved.’

15 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on(N) them as he had come on us at the beginning.(O) 16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with[a] water,(P) but you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.’(Q) 17 So if God gave them the same gift(R) he gave us(S) who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”

18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”(T)

The Church in Antioch

19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed(U) traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch,(V) spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus(W) and Cyrene,(X) went to Antioch(Y) and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news(Z) about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them,(AA) and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.(AB)

22 News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas(AC) to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done,(AD) he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.(AE) 24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit(AF) and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.(AG)

25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus(AH) to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples(AI) were called Christians first(AJ) at Antioch.

27 During this time some prophets(AK) came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus,(AL) stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world.(AM) (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)(AN) 29 The disciples,(AO) as each one was able, decided to provide help(AP) for the brothers and sisters(AQ) living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders(AR) by Barnabas(AS) and Saul.(AT)


  1. Acts 11:16 Or in
  2. Acts 11:16 Or in