A A A A A
Bible Book List

Acts 15New King James Version (NKJV)

Conflict over Circumcision

15 And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.

So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren. And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”

The Jerusalem Council

Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ[a] we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”

12 Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles. 13 And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me: 14 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:

16 ‘After this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
Says the Lord who does all these things.’[b]

18 “Known to God from eternity are all His works.[c] 19 Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality,[d] from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

The Jerusalem Decree

22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas,[e] and Silas, leading men among the brethren.

23 They wrote this letter by them:

The apostles, the elders, and the brethren,

To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:

Greetings.

24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”[f] —to whom we gave no such commandment— 25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.[g] If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.

Farewell.

Continuing Ministry in Syria

30 So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement. 32 Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words. 33 And after they had stayed there for a time, they were sent back with greetings from the brethren to the apostles.[h]

34 However, it seemed good to Silas to remain there.[i] 35 Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

Division over John Mark

36 Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.” 37 Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. 39 Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 15:11 NU-Text and M-Text omit Christ.
  2. Acts 15:17 Amos 9:11, 12
  3. Acts 15:18 NU-Text (combining with verse 17) reads Says the Lord, who makes these things known from eternity (of old).
  4. Acts 15:20 Or fornication
  5. Acts 15:22 NU-Text and M-Text read Barsabbas.
  6. Acts 15:24 NU-Text omits saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law.”
  7. Acts 15:29 Or fornication
  8. Acts 15:33 NU-Text reads to those who had sent them.
  9. Acts 15:34 NU-Text and M-Text omit this verse.
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Acts 15Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

15 And certain men which came down from Judæa taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: 14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17 that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. 18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. 19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20 but that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: 23 and they wrote letters by them after this manner;

The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: 24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: 25 it seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle: 31 which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation. 32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them. 33 And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the apostles. 34 Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still. 35 Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. 37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. 39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; 40 and Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

KJV reproduced by permission of Cambridge University Press, the Crown’s patentee in the UK.

Acts 15Modern English Version (MEV)

The Council in Jerusalem

15 Some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised in the tradition of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Therefore when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain others among them, should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question. So being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles, and they brought great joy to all the brothers. When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared what God had done through them.

Then some believers of the sect of the Pharisees rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Law of Moses.”

The apostles and elders assembled to consider this matter. After much disputing, Peter rose up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that some time ago God decided among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, approved of them, giving them the Holy Spirit just as He did to us, and made no distinction between them and us, and purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why test God by putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.”

12 The entire assembly remained silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they had become silent, James answered, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simon has declared how God first visited the Gentiles to take from among them a people for His name. 15 With this the words of the prophets agree. As it is written:

16 ‘After this I will return,
    and I will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins,
    and I will set it up;[a]
17 that the rest of men may seek the Lord,
    and all the Gentiles who are called by My name,[b]
says the Lord who does all these things.’[c]
18     Known to God are all His works since the beginning of the world.

19 “Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but that we write to them to abstain from food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from strangled animals, and from blood. 21 For Moses has had in every city since early generations those who preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

The Reply of the Council

22 Then it pleased the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men from among them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas called Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers. 23 They wrote this letter by their hand:

The apostles and the elders and the brothers,

To the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:

Greetings.

24 Since we have heard that some of us, whom we did not commission, have gone out and have troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law,” 25 it seemed good to us, being assembled in unity, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who will also speak to you, saying the same things. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to put on you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 Abstain from food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from strangled animals, and from blood. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.

Farewell.

30 So when they were dismissed, they went down to Antioch. And when they had assembled the congregation, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over the exhortation. 32 Judas and Silas, being prophets themselves, exhorted the brothers with many words and strengthened them. 33 After they had remained there for a time, they were sent off in peace by the brothers to the apostles. 34 But it seemed good to Silas to remain there. 35 And Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

Paul and Barnabas Separate

36 After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit our brothers in every city where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas determined to take with them John, who was called Mark. 38 But Paul thought it was not good to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 Then there arose a sharp contention, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brothers to the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

Modern English Version (MEV)

The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes