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Acts 15Names of God Bible (NOG)

Controversy about Moses’ Teachings

15 Some men came from Judea and started to teach believers that people can’t be saved unless they are circumcised as Moses’ Teachings require. Paul and Barnabas had a fierce dispute with these men. So Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were sent to Jerusalem to see the apostles and spiritual leaders[a] about this claim.

The church sent Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem. As they were going through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told the whole story of how non-Jewish people were turning to God. This story brought great joy to all the believers.

The church in Jerusalem, the apostles, and the spiritual leaders welcomed Paul and Barnabas when they arrived. Paul and Barnabas reported everything that God had done through them. But some believers from the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “People who are not Jewish must be circumcised and ordered to follow Moses’ Teachings.”

The apostles and spiritual leaders met to consider this statement. After a lot of debating, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know what happened some time ago. God chose me so that people who aren’t Jewish could hear the Good News and believe. God, who knows everyone’s thoughts, showed that he approved of people who aren’t Jewish by giving them the Holy Spirit as he gave the Holy Spirit to us. God doesn’t discriminate between Jewish and non-Jewish people. He has cleansed non-Jewish people through faith as he has cleansed us Jews. 10 So why are you testing God? You’re putting a burden on the disciples, a burden neither our ancestors nor we can carry. 11 We certainly believe that the Lord Yeshua saves us the same way that he saves them—through his kindness.”[b]

12 The whole crowd was silent. They listened to Barnabas and Paul tell about all the miracles and amazing things that God had done through them among non-Jewish people.

13 After they finished speaking, James responded, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simon has explained how God first showed his concern by taking from non-Jewish people those who would honor his name. 15 This agrees with what the prophets said. Scripture says,

16 ‘Afterwards, I will return.
    I will set up David’s fallen tent again.
    I will restore its ruined places again.
    I will set it up again
17 so that the survivors and all the people who aren’t Jewish
    over whom my name is spoken,
        may search for the Lord, declares the Lord.
18 He is the one who will do these things that have always been known!’

19 “So I’ve decided that we shouldn’t trouble non-Jewish people who are turning to God. 20 Instead, we should write a letter telling them to keep away from things polluted by false gods, from sexual sins, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from eating bloody meat. 21 After all, Moses’ words have been spread to every city for generations. His teachings are read in synagogues on every day of worship.”

22 Then the apostles, the spiritual leaders, and the whole church decided to choose some of their men to send with Paul and Barnabas to the city of Antioch. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, who were leaders among the believers. 23 They wrote this letter for them to deliver:

From the apostles and the spiritual leaders, your brothers.

To their non-Jewish brothers and sisters in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia.

Dear brothers and sisters,

24 We have heard that some individuals who came from us have confused you with statements that disturb you. We did not authorize these men to speak. 25 So we have come to a unanimous decision that we should choose men and send them to you with our dear Barnabas and Paul. 26 Barnabas and Paul have dedicated their lives to our Lord, the one named Yeshua Christ. 27 We have sent Judas and Silas to report to you on our decision. 28 The Holy Spirit and we have agreed not to place any additional burdens on you. Do only what is necessary 29 by keeping away from food sacrificed to false gods, from eating bloody meat, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual sins. If you avoid these things, you will be doing what’s right.

Farewell!

30 So the men were sent on their way and arrived in the city of Antioch. They gathered the congregation together and delivered the letter. 31 When the people read the letter, they were pleased with the encouragement it brought them. 32 Judas and Silas, who were also prophets, spoke a long time to encourage and strengthen the believers.

33 After Judas and Silas had stayed in Antioch for some time, the congregation sent them back to Jerusalem with friendly greetings to those who had sent them.[c] 35 Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch. They and many others taught people about the Lord’s word and spread the Good News.

Paul and Barnabas Disagree

36 After a while Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back to every city where we spread the Lord’s word. We’ll visit the believers to see how they’re doing.”

37 Barnabas wanted to take John Mark along. 38 However, Paul didn’t think it was right to take a person like him along. John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to work. 39 Paul and Barnabas disagreed so sharply that they parted ways. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed to the island of Cyprus. 40 Paul chose Silas and left after the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s care.[d]

41 Paul went through the provinces of Syria and Cilicia and strengthened the churches.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 15:2 Or “pastors,” or “elders.”
  2. Acts 15:11 Or “grace.”
  3. Acts 15:33 Some manuscripts and translations add verse 34: “But Silas decided to stay there, and Judas went back to Jerusalem alone.”
  4. Acts 15:40 Or “grace.”
Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

Acts 15New International Version (NIV)

The Council at Jerusalem

15 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.

Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”

The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13 When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. 14 Simon[a] has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:

16 “‘After this I will return
    and rebuild David’s fallen tent.
Its ruins I will rebuild,
    and I will restore it,
17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
    even all the Gentiles who bear my name,
says the Lord, who does these things’[b]
18     things known from long ago.[c]

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, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 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.”

The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers

22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, 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, Syria and Cilicia:

Greetings.

24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 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 for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit 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. 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. 32 Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. 33 After spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. [34] [d] 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.

Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas

36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 15:14 Greek Simeon, a variant of Simon; that is, Peter
  2. Acts 15:17 Amos 9:11,12 (see Septuagint)
  3. Acts 15:18 Some manuscripts things’— / 18 the Lord’s work is known to him from long ago
  4. Acts 15:34 Some manuscripts include here But Silas decided to remain there.
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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