The Council in Jerusalem

15 (A)Some men came down from Judea and began teaching (B)the brothers, “Unless you are (C)circumcised according to (D)the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And after Paul and Barnabas had [a]a heated argument and (E)debate with them, (F)the brothers determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the (G)apostles and elders concerning this issue. Therefore, after being (H)sent on their way by the church, they were passing through both (I)Phoenicia and Samaria, (J)describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they were bringing great joy to all (K)the brothers and sisters. When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were received by the church, (L)the apostles, and the elders, and they (M)reported all that God had done with them. But some of (N)the sect of the (O)Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to (P)circumcise [b]them and to direct them to keep the Law of Moses.”

(Q)The apostles and the elders came together to [c]look into this [d]matter. After there had been much (R)debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “[e]Brothers, you know that [f]in the early days (S)God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of (T)the gospel and believe. And God, (U)who knows the heart, testified to them (V)giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and (W)He made no distinction between us and them, (X)cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 Since this is the case, why are you (Y)putting God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which (Z)neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through (AA)the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”

12 All the people kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were (AB)relating all the (AC)signs and wonders that God had done through them among the Gentiles.

James’ Judgment

13 After they stopped speaking, [g](AD)James responded, saying, “[h]Brothers, listen to me. 14 (AE)Simeon has described how God first concerned Himself about taking a people for His name from among the Gentiles. 15 The words of (AF)the Prophets agree with this, just as it is written:

16 (AG)After these things (AH)I will return,
And I will rebuild the fallen [i]tabernacle of David,
And I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will restore it,
17 (AI)So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
And all the Gentiles [j](AJ)who are called by My name,’
18 (AK)Says the Lord, who [k](AL)makes these things known from long ago.

19 Therefore, it is (AM)my judgment that we do not cause trouble for those from the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but that we write to them that they abstain from [l](AN)things contaminated by idols, from (AO)acts of sexual immorality, from (AP)what has been [m]strangled, and from blood. 21 For (AQ)from ancient generations Moses has those who preach him in every city, since [n]he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

22 Then it seemed good to (AR)the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to (AS)Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas who was called Barsabbas, and (AT)Silas, leading men among (AU)the brothers, 23 and they [o]sent this letter with them:

(AV)The apostles and the brothers who are elders, to (AW)the brothers and sisters in (AX)Antioch, (AY)Syria, and (AZ)Cilicia who are from the Gentiles: (BA)Greetings.

24 Since we have heard that (BB)some [p]of our number to whom we gave no instruction have (BC)confused you by their [q]teaching, upsetting your souls, 25 (BD)it seemed good to us, having [r]become of one mind, to select men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have [s](BE)risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore, we have sent (BF)Judas and (BG)Silas, who themselves will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28 For (BH)it seemed good to (BI)the Holy Spirit and to (BJ)us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: 29 that you abstain from (BK)things sacrificed to idols, from (BL)blood, from (BM)things strangled, and from (BN)acts of sexual immorality; [t]if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.”

30 So when they were sent away, (BO)they went down to Antioch; and after gathering the [u]congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced because of its [v]encouragement. 32 (BP)Judas and (BQ)Silas, also being (BR)prophets themselves, [w]encouraged and strengthened (BS)the brothers and sisters with a lengthy message. 33 After they had spent time there, they were sent away from the brothers and sisters (BT)in peace to those who had (BU)sent them out.[x] 35 But (BV)Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and (BW)preaching (BX)the word of the Lord, with many others also.

Second Missionary Journey

36 After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s return and visit the brothers and sisters in (BY)every city in which we proclaimed (BZ)the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take (CA)John, called Mark, along with them also. 38 But Paul was of the opinion that they should not take along with them this man who had (CB)deserted them [y]in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 Now it turned into such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took (CC)Mark with him and sailed away to (CD)Cyprus. 40 But Paul chose (CE)Silas, and left after being (CF)entrusted by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he was traveling through (CG)Syria and (CH)Cilicia, strengthening the churches.


  1. Acts 15:2 Lit no little
  2. Acts 15:5 I.e., Gentile believers
  3. Acts 15:6 Lit see about
  4. Acts 15:6 Lit word
  5. Acts 15:7 Lit Men, brothers
  6. Acts 15:7 Lit from days of old
  7. Acts 15:13 Or Jacob
  8. Acts 15:13 Lit Men, brothers
  9. Acts 15:16 Or tent
  10. Acts 15:17 Lit upon whom My name is called
  11. Acts 15:18 Or does these things which were known
  12. Acts 15:20 Lit the pollutions of
  13. Acts 15:20 I.e., to retain the blood
  14. Acts 15:21 I.e., the books of Moses, Gen through Deut
  15. Acts 15:23 Lit wrote by their hand
  16. Acts 15:24 Lit from us
  17. Acts 15:24 Lit words
  18. Acts 15:25 Or met together
  19. Acts 15:26 Lit given over
  20. Acts 15:29 Lit from which keeping yourselves free
  21. Acts 15:30 Or multitude
  22. Acts 15:31 Or exhortation
  23. Acts 15:32 Or exhorted
  24. Acts 15:33 Late mss add as v 34: But it seemed good to Silas to remain there.
  25. Acts 15:38 Lit from

The Council at Jerusalem

15 Certain people(A) came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers:(B) “Unless you are circumcised,(C) according to the custom taught by Moses,(D) 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(E) to see the apostles and elders(F) about this question. The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia(G) and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted.(H) 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.(I)

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

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.(M) God, who knows the heart,(N) showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them,(O) just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them,(P) for he purified their hearts by faith.(Q) 10 Now then, why do you try to test God(R) by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke(S) that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace(T) 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(U) God had done among the Gentiles through them.(V) 13 When they finished, James(W) 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.(X) 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](Y)
18     things known from long ago.[c](Z)

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,(AA) from sexual immorality,(AB) from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.(AC) 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.”(AD)

The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers

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


24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.(AL) 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(AM) for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas(AN) to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit(AO) 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.(AP) You will do well to avoid these things.


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,(AQ) who themselves were prophets,(AR) 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(AS) 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(AT) the word of the Lord.(AU)

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(AV) where we preached the word of the Lord(AW) and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark,(AX) with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them(AY) 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(AZ) and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord.(BA) 41 He went through Syria(BB) and Cilicia,(BC) strengthening the churches.(BD)


  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.