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Acts 13 Living Bible (TLB)

13 Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch were Barnabas and Symeon (also called “The Black Man”), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the foster-brother of King Herod), and Paul. One day as these men were worshiping and fasting the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Paul for a special job I have for them.” So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them—and sent them on their way.

Directed by the Holy Spirit they went to Seleucia and then sailed for Cyprus. There, in the town of Salamis, they went to the Jewish synagogue and preached. (John Mark went with them as their assistant.)

6-7 Afterwards they preached from town to town across the entire island until finally they reached Paphos where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a fake prophet named Bar-Jesus. He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, a man of considerable insight and understanding. The governor invited Barnabas and Paul to visit him, for he wanted to hear their message from God. But the sorcerer, Elymas (his name in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Paul and Barnabas said, trying to keep him from trusting the Lord.

Then Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, glared angrily at the sorcerer and said, 10 “You son of the devil, full of every sort of trickery and villainy, enemy of all that is good, will you never end your opposition to the Lord? 11 And now God has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be stricken awhile with blindness.”

Instantly mist and darkness fell upon him, and he began wandering around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him. 12 When the governor saw what happened, he believed and was astonished at the power of God’s message.

13 Now Paul and those with him left Paphos by ship for Turkey,[a] landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark deserted them* and returned to Jerusalem. 14 But Barnabas and Paul went on to Antioch, a city in the province of Pisidia.

On the Sabbath they went into the synagogue for the services. 15 After the usual readings from the Books of Moses and from the Prophets, those in charge of the service sent them this message: “Brothers, if you have any word of instruction for us come and give it!”

16 So Paul stood, waved a greeting to them[b] and began. “Men of Israel,” he said, “and all others here who reverence God, let me begin my remarks with a bit of history.*

17 “The God of this nation Israel chose our ancestors and honored them in Egypt by gloriously leading them out of their slavery. 18 And he nursed them through forty years of wandering around in the wilderness. 19-20 Then he destroyed seven nations in Canaan and gave Israel their land as an inheritance. Judges ruled for about four hundred and fifty years and were followed by Samuel the prophet.

21 “Then the people begged for a king, and God gave them Saul (son of Kish), a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years. 22 But God removed him and replaced him with David as king, a man about whom God said, ‘David (son of Jesse) is a man after my own heart, for he will obey me.’ 23 And it is one of King David’s descendants, Jesus, who is God’s promised Savior of Israel!

24 “But before he came, John the Baptist preached the need for everyone in Israel to turn from sin to God. 25 As John was finishing his work he asked, ‘Do you think I am the Messiah? No! But he is coming soon—and in comparison with him, I am utterly worthless.’

26 “Brothers—you sons of Abraham, and also all of you Gentiles here who reverence God—this salvation is for all of us! 27 The Jews in Jerusalem and their leaders fulfilled prophecy by killing Jesus; for they didn’t recognize him or realize that he is the one the prophets had written about, though they heard the prophets’ words read every Sabbath. 28 They found no just cause to execute him, but asked Pilate to have him killed anyway. 29 When they had fulfilled all the prophecies concerning his death, he was taken from the cross and placed in a tomb.

30 “But God brought him back to life again! 31 And he was seen many times during the next few days by the men who had accompanied him to Jerusalem from Galilee—these men have constantly testified to this in public witness.

32-33 “And now Barnabas and I are here to bring you this Good News—that God’s promise to our ancestors has come true in our own time, in that God brought Jesus back to life again. This is what the second Psalm is talking about when it says concerning Jesus, ‘Today I have honored you as my Son.’[c]

34 “For God had promised to bring him back to life again, no more to die. This is stated in the Scripture that says, ‘I will do for you the wonderful thing I promised David.’ 35 In another Psalm he explained more fully, saying, ‘God will not let his Holy One decay.’ 36 This was not a reference to David, for after David had served his generation according to the will of God, he died and was buried, and his body decayed. 37 No, it was a reference to another[d]—someone God brought back to life, whose body was not touched at all by the ravages of death.*

38 “Brothers! Listen! In this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins! 39 Everyone who trusts in him is freed from all guilt and declared righteous—something the Jewish law could never do. 40 Oh, be careful! Don’t let the prophets’ words apply to you. For they said, 41 ‘Look and perish, you despisers of the truth,[e] for I am doing something in your day—something that you won’t believe when you hear it announced.’”

42 As the people left the synagogue that day, they asked Paul to return and speak to them again the next week. 43 And many Jews and godly Gentiles who worshiped at the synagogue followed Paul and Barnabas down the street as the two men urged them to accept the mercies God was offering. 44 The following week almost the entire city turned out to hear them preach the Word of God.

45 But when the Jewish leaders[f] saw the crowds, they were jealous, and cursed* and argued against whatever Paul said.

46 Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and declared, “It was necessary that this Good News from God should be given first to you Jews. But since you have rejected it and shown yourselves unworthy of eternal life—well, we will offer it to Gentiles. 47 For this is as the Lord commanded when he said, ‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles, to lead them from the farthest corners of the earth to my salvation.’”

48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were very glad and rejoiced in Paul’s message; and as many as wanted[g] eternal life, believed. 49 So God’s message spread all through that region.

50 Then the Jewish leaders stirred up both the godly women and the civic leaders of the city and incited a mob against Paul and Barnabas, and ran them out of town. 51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against the town and went on to the city of Iconium. 52 And their converts[h] were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.


  1. Acts 13:13 Turkey, literally, “Pamphylia.” deserted them, literally, “departed from them”; see 15:38.
  2. Acts 13:16 waved a greeting to them, literally, “beckoned with the hand.” let me begin my remarks with a bit of history, implied.
  3. Acts 13:32 Today I have honored you as my Son, literally, “This day have I begotten you.”
  4. Acts 13:37 No, it was a reference to another, implied. was not touched at all by the ravages of death, literally, “saw no corruption.”
  5. Acts 13:41 of the truth, implied.
  6. Acts 13:45 the Jewish leaders, literally, “the Jews.” cursed, or “blasphemed.”
  7. Acts 13:48 wanted, or “were disposed to,” or “were ordained to.”
  8. Acts 13:52 their converts, literally, “the disciples.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Acts 13 New International Version (NIV)

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

On Cyprus

The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.

They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.”

Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

In Pisidian Antioch

13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem. 14 From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.”

16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Fellow Israelites and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country; 18 for about forty years he endured their conduct[a] in the wilderness; 19 and he overthrew seven nations in Canaan, giving their land to his people as their inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years.

“After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. 21 Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. 22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’

23 “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel. 25 As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you suppose I am? I am not the one you are looking for. But there is one coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’

26 “Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. 28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.

32 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:

“‘You are my son;
    today I have become your father.’[b]

34 God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God has said,

“‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’[c]

35 So it is also stated elsewhere:

“‘You will not let your holy one see decay.’[d]

36 “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed. 37 But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.

38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. 40 Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:

41 “‘Look, you scoffers,
    wonder and perish,
for I am going to do something in your days
    that you would never believe,
    even if someone told you.’[e]

42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. 43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.

44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him.

46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us:

“‘I have made you[f] a light for the Gentiles,
    that you[g] may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’[h]

48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.


  1. Acts 13:18 Some manuscripts he cared for them
  2. Acts 13:33 Psalm 2:7
  3. Acts 13:34 Isaiah 55:3
  4. Acts 13:35 Psalm 16:10 (see Septuagint)
  5. Acts 13:41 Hab. 1:5
  6. Acts 13:47 The Greek is singular.
  7. Acts 13:47 The Greek is singular.
  8. Acts 13:47 Isaiah 49:6
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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