Acts 14-15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Acceptance and Opposition
14 Now in Iconium Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue together and spoke in such a way [with such power and boldness] that a large number of Jews as well as Greeks believed [and confidently accepted Jesus as Savior]; 2 but the unbelieving Jews [who rejected Jesus as Messiah] stirred up and embittered the minds of the Gentiles against the [a]believers. 3 So Paul and Barnabas stayed for a long time, speaking boldly and confidently for the Lord, who continued to testify to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders (attesting miracles) be done by them. 4 But the people of the city were divided; some were siding with the Jews, and some with the apostles. 5 When there was an attempt by both the Gentiles and the Jews, together with their rulers, to shamefully mistreat and to stone them, 6 they, aware of the situation, escaped to Lystra and Derbe, [taking refuge in the] cities of Lycaonia, and the neighboring region; 7 and there they continued to preach the good news.
8 Now at Lystra a man sat who was unable to use his feet, for he was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, and Paul looked intently at him and saw that he had faith to be healed, 10 and said with a loud voice, “Stand up on your feet.” And he jumped up and began to walk. 11 And the crowds, when they saw what Paul had done, raised their voices, shouting in the [b]Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us [c]in human form!” 12 They began calling Barnabas, Zeus [chief of the Greek gods], and Paul, Hermes [messenger of the Greek gods], since he took the lead in speaking. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance of the city, brought bulls and garlands to the city gates, and wanted to offer sacrifices with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard about it, they [d]tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We too are only men of the same nature as you, bringing the good news to you, so that you turn from these useless and meaningless things to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything that is in them. 16 In generations past He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; 17 yet He did not leave Himself without some witness [as evidence of Himself], in that He kept constantly doing good things and showing you kindness, and giving you rains from heaven and productive seasons, filling your hearts with food and happiness.” 18 Even saying these words, with difficulty they prevented the people from offering sacrifices to them.
19 But Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, thinking he was dead. 20 But the disciples formed a circle around him, and he got up and went back into the city; and the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 They preached the good news to that city and made many disciples, then they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening and establishing the hearts of the disciples; encouraging them to remain firm in the faith, saying, “It is through many tribulations and hardships that we must enter the kingdom of God.” 23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they entrusted them to the Lord in whom they believed [and joyfully accepted as the Messiah].
24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 When they had spoken the word [of salvation through faith in Christ] in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed back to [e]Antioch, where they had been entrusted to the grace of God for the [f]work which they had now completed. 27 Arriving there, they gathered the church together and began to report [in great detail] everything that God had done with them and how He had opened to the Gentiles a door of faith [in Jesus as the Messiah and Savior]. 28 And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.
The Council at Jerusalem
15 Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised in accordance with the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 Paul and Barnabas disagreed greatly and debated with them, so it was determined that Paul and Barnabas and some of the others from their group would go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders [and confer with them] concerning this issue. 3 So, after being supplied and sent on their way by the church, they went through both Phoenicia and Samaria telling in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they brought great joy to all the [g]believers. 4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were received warmly by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported to them all the things that God had accomplished through them. 5 But some from the sect of the Pharisees who had believed [in Jesus as the Messiah] stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise the Gentile converts and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.”
6 The apostles and the elders came together to consider this matter. 7 After a long debate, Peter got up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the message of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows and understands the heart, testified to them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; 9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith [in Jesus]. 10 Now then, why are you testing God by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we have been able to endure? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the [precious, undeserved] grace of the Lord Jesus [which makes us free of the guilt of sin and grants us eternal life], in just the same way as they are.”
12 All the people remained silent, and they listened [attentively] to Barnabas and Paul as they described all the signs and wonders (attesting miracles) that God had done through them among the Gentiles.
13 When they had finished speaking, [h]James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 [i]Simeon (Simon Peter) has described how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name [to honor Him and be identified with Him]. 15 The words of the Prophets agree with this, just as it is written [in Scripture],
19 Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble and make it difficult for those who are turning to God among the Gentiles [by putting obstacles in their way], 20 but that we write to them that they are to abstain from [j]anything that has been contaminated by [being offered to] idols and from sexual impurity and from [eating the meat of] what has been strangled and from [the consumption of] [k]blood. 21 For from ancient generations [the writing of] Moses has been preached in every city, since [l]he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
22 Then the apostles and the elders, together with the whole church, decided to select some of their men to go to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas—Judas, who was called Barsabbas, and Silas [also called Silvanus, both], leading men among the brothers. 23 With them they sent the following letter:
“The apostles and the brothers who are the elders, to the brothers and sisters who are from the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia, Greetings.
24 Since we have heard that some of our men have troubled you with their teachings, causing distress and confusion—men to whom we gave no such orders or instructions— 25 it has been decided by us, having met together, to select men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 So we have sent Judas and Silas, who will report by word of mouth the same things [that we decided in our meeting]. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to place on you any greater burden than these essentials: 29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from [consuming] blood, and from [eating the meat of] things that have been strangled, and from sexual impurity. If you keep yourselves from these things, you will do well. Farewell.”
30 So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch; and after assembling the congregation, they delivered the letter. 31 And when they had read it, the people rejoiced greatly at the encouragement and comfort [it brought them]. 32 Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets (divinely inspired spokesmen), encouraged and strengthened the [m]believers with many words. 33 After spending some time there, they were sent back by the brothers with [the greeting of] peace to those who had sent them. 34 [n][However, Silas decided to stay there.] 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, and with many others also continued teaching and proclaiming the good news, the word of the Lord [concerning eternal salvation through faith in Christ].
Paul’s Second Missionary Journey
36 After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the brothers and sisters (believers) in every city where we preached the message of the Lord, and see how they are doing.” 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take [his cousin] John, who was called Mark, along with them. 38 But Paul kept insisting that they should not take along with them the one who had quit and deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone on with them to the work. 39 And it became such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took [John] Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. 40 But Paul chose Silas [who was again in Antioch] and set out [on his second journey], commended by the brothers to the grace and favor of the Lord. 41 And he traveled through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
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