Acts 11-13 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Peter Reports at Jerusalem
11 Now the apostles and the believers who were throughout Judea heard [with astonishment] that the Gentiles also had received and accepted the word of God [the message concerning salvation through Christ]. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision [certain Jewish believers who followed the Law] took issue with him [for violating Jewish customs], 3 saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and [even] ate with them!” 4 But Peter began [at the beginning] and explained [the events] to them step by step, saying, 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision of an object coming down from heaven, like a huge sheet being lowered by the four corners; and [it descended until] it came right down to me, 6 and looking closely at it, I saw all kinds of the four-footed animals of the earth and the wild beasts and the crawling creatures and the birds of the air [both clean and unclean according to the Law], 7 and I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8 But I said, ‘Not at all, Lord; for nothing common (unholy) or [ceremonially] unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 But the voice from heaven answered a second time, ‘What God has cleansed and pronounced clean, no longer consider common (unholy).’ 10 This happened three times, and everything was drawn up again into heaven. 11 And right then the three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house where we were staying. 12 The Spirit told me to go with them without the slightest hesitation. So these six brothers also went with me and we went to the man’s house. 13 And Cornelius told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, saying, ‘Send word to Joppa and have Simon, who is also called Peter, brought here; 14 he will bring a message to you by which you will be saved [and granted eternal life], you and all your household.’ 15 When I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as He did on us at the beginning [at Pentecost]. 16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 So, if God gave Gentiles the same gift [equally] as He gave us after we accepted and believed and trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ [as Savior], who was I to interfere or stand in God’s way?” 18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified and praised God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance that leads to eternal life [that is, real life after earthly death].”
The Church at Antioch
19 So then [since they were unaware of these developments] those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with [the stoning of] Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, without telling the message [of salvation through Christ] to anyone except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks as well, proclaiming [to them] the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand (the power and presence) of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord [for salvation, accepting and drawing near to Jesus as Messiah and Savior]. 22 The news of this reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the grace of God [that was bestowed on them], he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with an unwavering heart to stay true and devoted to the Lord. 24 For Barnabas was a good man [privately and publicly—his godly character benefited both himself and others] and he was full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith [in Jesus the Messiah, through whom believers have everlasting life]. And a great number of people were brought to the Lord. 25 And Barnabas left for Tarsus to search for Saul; 26 and when he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. For an entire year they met [with others] in the church and instructed large numbers; and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.
27 Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them named Agabus stood up and prophesied through the [Holy] Spirit that a severe famine would come on the [a]entire world. And this did happen during the reign of [b]Claudius. 29 So the disciples decided to send a contribution, each according to his individual ability, to the believers who lived in Judea. 30 And this they did, sending the contribution to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
Peter’s Arrest and Escape
12 Now at that time [c]Herod [Agrippa I] the king [of the Jews] arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to harm them. 2 And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword; 3 and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to have Peter arrested as well. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread [the Passover week]. 4 When he had seized Peter, he put him in prison, turning him over to four squads of soldiers of four each to guard him [in rotation throughout the night], planning after the Passover to bring him out before the people [for execution]. 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but fervent and persistent prayer for him was being made to God by the church.
6 The very night before Herod was to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries were in front of the door guarding the prison. 7 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared [beside him] and a light shone in the cell. The angel struck Peter’s side and awakened him, saying, “Get up quickly!” And the chains fell off his hands. 8 The angel said to him, “Prepare yourself and strap on your sandals [to get ready for whatever may happen].” And he did so. Then the angel told him, “Put on your robe and follow me.” 9 And Peter went out following the angel. He did not realize that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first guard and the second, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city. Of its own accord it swung open for them; and they went out and went along one street, and at once the angel left him. 11 When Peter came to his senses, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel and has rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting [to do to me].” 12 When he realized what had happened, he went to the house of [d]Mary the mother of John, who was also called [e]Mark, where many [believers] were gathered together and were praying continually [and had been praying all night]. 13 When he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant-girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she failed to open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gateway. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind!” But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, “It is his angel!” 16 But [meanwhile] Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were completely amazed. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be quiet and listen, he described how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, “Report these things to [f]James and the brothers and sisters.” Then he left and went to another place.
18 Now when day came, there was no small disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19 When Herod had searched for him and could not find him, he interrogated the guards and commanded that they be led away to execution. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea [Maritima] and spent some time there.
Death of Herod
20 Now Herod [Agrippa I] was [g]extremely angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and their delegates came to him in a united group, and after persuading Blastus, [h]the king’s chamberlain [to support their cause], they asked for peace, because their country was fed by [imports of grain and other goods from] the king’s country. 21 On an appointed day Herod dressed himself in his [i]royal robes, sat on his throne (tribunal, rostrum) and began delivering a speech to the people. 22 The assembled people kept shouting, “It is the voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 And at once an angel of the Lord struck him down because he did not give God the glory [and instead permitted himself to be worshiped], and [j]he was eaten by worms and died [five days later].
24 But the word of the Lord [the good news about salvation through Christ] continued to grow and spread [increasing in effectiveness].
25 Barnabas and Saul came back [k]from Jerusalem when they had completed their mission, bringing with them John, who was also called Mark.
First Missionary Journey
13 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets [who spoke a new message of God to the people] and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called [l]Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with [m]Herod [Antipas] the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul (Paul) for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them [in approval and dedication] and sent them away [on their first journey].
4 So then, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When Barnabas and Saul arrived at Salamis, they began to preach the word of God [proclaiming the message of eternal salvation through faith in Christ] in the synagogues of the Jews; and they also had John [Mark] as their assistant. 6 When they had traveled through the entire island [of Cyprus] as far as Paphos, they found a sorcerer, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was [closely associated] with the [n]proconsul [of the province], Sergius Paulus, an intelligent and sensible man. He called for Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God [concerning eternal salvation through faith in Christ]. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is how his name is translated) opposed them, trying to turn the proconsul away from accepting the faith. 9 But [o]Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit and led by Him, looked steadily at Elymas, 10 and said, “[p]You [Elymas] who are full of every [kind of] deceit, and every [kind of] fraud, you son of the devil, enemy of everything that is right and good, will you never stop perverting the straight paths of the Lord? 11 [q]Now, watch! The hand of the Lord is on you, and you will be blind, [so blind that you will be] unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately a mist and darkness fell upon him, and he groped around, seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12 The proconsul believed [the message of salvation] when he saw what had happened, being astonished at the teaching concerning the Lord.
13 Now Paul and his companions sailed from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia; but [r]John [Mark] left them and went back to Jerusalem. 14 Now they went on from Perga and arrived at Antioch in Pisidia, and on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the reading of the Law and the [writings of the] Prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers (kinsmen), if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.” 16 So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand, he said,
“Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen! 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great and numerous during their stay [as foreigners] in the land of Egypt, and then with an [s]uplifted arm He led them out of there. 18 For a period of about forty years He put up with their behavior in the wilderness. 19 When He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He gave their land [to our ancestors] as an inheritance—this took about four hundred and fifty years. 20 After this, He gave them judges until the prophet Samuel. 21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king: of him He testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart [conforming to My will and purposes], who will do all My will.’ 23 From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel a Savior, [in the person of] Jesus, according to His promise. 24 Before [t]His coming John [the Baptist] had preached a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course [of ministry], he kept saying, ‘What or who do you think that I am? I am not He [the Christ]; but be aware, One is coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie [even as His slave]!’
26 “Brothers, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation [obtained through faith in Jesus Christ]. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, who failed to recognize or understand both Jesus and the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled these [very prophecies] by condemning Him. 28 And though they found no cause or charge deserving death, they asked Pilate to have Him executed. 29 And when they had finished carrying out everything that was written [in Scripture] about Him, they took Him down from the [u]cross and laid Him in a tomb. 30 But God raised Him from the dead; 31 and for many days (forty) He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people. 32 And we are bringing you the good news of the promise made to our fathers (ancestors), 33 that God has completely fulfilled this promise to our children by raising up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today I have begotten (fathered) You.’ 34 And [as for the fact] that He raised Him from the dead, never again to return to decay [in the grave], He has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David [those blessings and mercies that were promised to him].’ 35 For this reason He also says in another Psalm, ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see decay.’ 36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was buried among his fathers and experienced decay [in the grave]; 37 but He whom God raised [to life] did not experience decay [in the grave]. 38 So let it be clearly known by you, brothers, that through Him forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you; 39 and through Him everyone who believes [who acknowledges Jesus as Lord and Savior and follows Him] is [v]justified and declared free of guilt from all things, from which you could not be justified and freed of guilt through the Law of Moses. 40 Therefore be careful, so that the thing spoken of in the [writings of the] Prophets does not come upon you:
42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving [the synagogue], the people kept begging that these things might be spoken to them on the next Sabbath. 43 When the congregation of the synagogue had been dismissed, many of the Jews and the devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, talking to them were urging them to continue in the grace of God.
Paul Turns to the Gentiles
44 On the next Sabbath almost the entire [w]city gathered together to hear the word of the Lord [about salvation through faith in Christ]. 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things said by Paul, and were slandering him. 46 And [at the same time] Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and confidently, saying, “It was necessary that God’s message [of salvation through faith in Christ] be spoken to you [Jews] first. Since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, now we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For that is what the Lord has commanded us, saying,
‘I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles,
48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying [praising and giving thanks for] the word of the Lord; and all those who had been appointed (designated, ordained) to eternal life [by God] believed [in Jesus as the Christ and their Savior]. 49 And so the word of the Lord [regarding salvation] was being spread through the entire region. 50 But the Jews incited the devout, prominent women and the leading men of the city, and instigated persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them forcibly out of their district. 51 But [x]they shook its dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were continually filled [throughout their hearts and souls] with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
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