23 And when they had (A)appointed (B)elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting (C)they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

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The Jerusalem Council

15 (A)But some men came down from Judea and were teaching (B)the brothers, “Unless you are (C)circumcised (D)according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and (E)debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and (F)some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to (G)the apostles and the elders about this question. So, (H)being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, (I)describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and (J)brought great joy to all (K)the brothers.[a] (L)When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and (M)the apostles and the elders, and (N)they declared all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to (O)the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, (P)“It is necessary (Q)to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”

(R)The (S)apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much (T)debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, (U)that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear (V)the word of (W)the gospel and believe. And God, (X)who knows the heart, (Y)bore witness to them, (Z)by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and (AA)he made no distinction between us and them, (AB)having cleansed their hearts (AC)by faith. 10 Now, therefore, why (AD)are you putting God to the test (AE)by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples (AF)that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we (AG)believe that we will be (AH)saved through (AI)the grace of the Lord Jesus, (AJ)just as they will.”

12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul (AK)as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they finished speaking, (AL)James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 (AM)Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them (AN)a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,

16 (AO)“‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins,
     and I will restore it,
17 that the remnant[b] of mankind (AP)may seek the Lord,
    and all the Gentiles (AQ)who are called by my name,
     says the Lord, who makes these things 18 (AR)known from of old.’

19 Therefore (AS)my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who (AT)turn to God, 20 but should write to them (AU)to abstain from (AV)the things polluted by idols, and from (AW)sexual immorality, and from (AX)what has been strangled, and from (AY)blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, (AZ)for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”

The Council's Letter to Gentile Believers

22 Then it seemed good to (BA)the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called (BB)Barsabbas, and (BC)Silas, leading men among (BD)the brothers, 23 with the following letter: (BE)“The brothers, both (BF)the apostles and the elders, to the brothers[c] who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, (BG)greetings. 24 Since we have heard that (BH)some persons have gone out from us and (BI)troubled you[d] with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, 25 it has seemed good to us, having come (BJ)to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our (BK)beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 (BL)men who have (BM)risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent (BN)Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it has seemed good (BO)to the Holy Spirit and (BP)to us (BQ)to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: 29 (BR)that you abstain from (BS)what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”

30 So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 And Judas and Silas, who were themselves (BT)prophets, encouraged and (BU)strengthened (BV)the brothers with many words. 33 And after they had spent some time, they were sent off (BW)in peace by (BX)the brothers to those who had sent them.[e] 35 But (BY)Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

Paul and Barnabas Separate

36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit (BZ)the brothers (CA)in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them (CB)John called Mark. 38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one (CC)who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 And there arose (CD)a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. (CE)Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, (CF)having been commended by (CG)the brothers to (CH)the grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, (CI)strengthening the churches.

Footnotes

  1. Acts 15:3 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 22
  2. Acts 15:17 Or rest
  3. Acts 15:23 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 32, 33, 36
  4. Acts 15:24 Some manuscripts some persons from us have troubled you
  5. Acts 15:33 Some manuscripts insert verse 34: But it seemed good to Silas to remain there

Paul in Macedonia and Greece

20 After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and (A)departed for Macedonia. When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. There he spent three months, and when (B)a plot was made against him by the Jews[a] as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, (C)Aristarchus and Secundus; and (D)Gaius of Derbe, and (E)Timothy; and the Asians, (F)Tychicus and (G)Trophimus. These went on ahead and were waiting for (H)us at (I)Troas, but we sailed away from Philippi after (J)the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days.

Eutychus Raised from the Dead

(K)On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together (L)to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lamps in (M)the upper room where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he (N)fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down and (O)bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, (P)“Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11 And when Paul had gone up and (Q)had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. 12 And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted.

13 But going ahead to the ship, we set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for so he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. 14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and went to Mitylene. 15 And sailing from there we came the following day opposite Chios; the next day we touched at Samos; and[b] the day after that we went to Miletus. 16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia, for he was hastening (R)to be at Jerusalem, if possible, (S)on the day of Pentecost.

Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders

17 Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called (T)the elders of the church to come to him. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them:

(U)“You yourselves know (V)how I lived among you the whole time (W)from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 (X)serving the Lord (Y)with all humility and with (Z)tears and with trials that happened to me through (AA)the plots of the Jews; 20 how I (AB)did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and (AC)teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 (AD)testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of (AE)repentance toward God and of (AF)faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.[c] 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained (AG)by[d] the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that (AH)the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that (AI)imprisonment and (AJ)afflictions await me. 24 But (AK)I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only (AL)I may finish my course and (AM)the ministry (AN)that I received from the Lord Jesus, (AO)to testify to (AP)the gospel of (AQ)the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, (AR)I know that none of you among whom I have gone about (AS)proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. 26 Therefore (AT)I testify to you this day that (AU)I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for (AV)I did not shrink from declaring to you (AW)the whole counsel of God. 28 (AX)Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all (AY)the flock, in which (AZ)the Holy Spirit has made you (BA)overseers, (BB)to care for (BC)the church of God,[e] which he (BD)obtained (BE)with his own blood.[f] 29 I (BF)know that after my departure (BG)fierce wolves will come in among you, (BH)not sparing the flock; 30 and (BI)from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore (BJ)be alert, remembering that (BK)for three years I did not cease night or day (BL)to admonish every one (BM)with tears. 32 And now (BN)I commend you to God and to (BO)the word of his grace, which is able to (BP)build you up and to give you (BQ)the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 (BR)I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. 34 (BS)You yourselves know that (BT)these hands ministered to my necessities and (BU)to those who were with me. 35 In all things (BV)I have shown you that (BW)by working hard in this way we must (BX)help the weak and (BY)remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed (BZ)to give than to receive.’

36 And when he had said these things, (CA)he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And (CB)there was much weeping on the part of all; (CC)they embraced Paul and (CD)kissed him, 38 being sorrowful most of all because of (CE)the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And (CF)they accompanied him to the ship.

Footnotes

  1. Acts 20:3 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time; also verse 19
  2. Acts 20:15 Some manuscripts add after remaining at Trogyllium
  3. Acts 20:21 Some manuscripts omit Christ
  4. Acts 20:22 Or bound in
  5. Acts 20:28 Some manuscripts of the Lord
  6. Acts 20:28 Or with the blood of his Own

Qualifications for Overseers

The saying is (A)trustworthy: If anyone aspires to (B)the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore (C)an overseer[a] must be above reproach, (D)the husband of one wife,[b] (E)sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, (F)hospitable, (G)able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but (H)gentle, not quarrelsome, (I)not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity (J)keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for (K)God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may (L)become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by (M)outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into (N)a snare of the devil.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Timothy 3:2 Or bishop; Greek episkopos; a similar term occurs in verse 1
  2. 1 Timothy 3:2 Or a man of one woman; also verse 12

17 Let the elders (A)who rule well be considered worthy of (B)double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, (C)“You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, (D)“The laborer deserves his wages.” 19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except (E)on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 As for those who persist in sin, (F)rebuke them in the presence of all, (G)so that the rest may stand in fear. 21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels (H)I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, (I)doing nothing from partiality. 22 (J)Do not be hasty in the (K)laying on of hands, nor (L)take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.

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Qualifications for Elders

(A)This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and (B)appoint elders in every town as I directed you— (C)if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife,[a] and his children are believers[b] and not open to the charge of (D)debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer,[c] (E)as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not (F)be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent (G)or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, (H)and disciplined. He must (I)hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in (J)sound[d] doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

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Footnotes

  1. Titus 1:6 Or a man of one woman
  2. Titus 1:6 Or are faithful
  3. Titus 1:7 Or bishop; Greek episkopos
  4. Titus 1:9 Or healthy; also verse 13

Shepherd the Flock of God

So I exhort the elders among you, (A)as a fellow elder and (B)a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: (C)shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,[a] (D)not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;[b] (E)not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not (F)domineering over those in your charge, but (G)being examples to the flock. And when (H)the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the (I)unfading (J)crown of glory.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Peter 5:2 Some manuscripts omit exercising oversight
  2. 1 Peter 5:2 Some manuscripts omit as God would have you

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