Acts 14-15 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Paul and Barnabas in Iconium
14 Paul and Barnabas spoke in the Jewish meeting place in Iconium, just as they had done at Antioch, and many Jews and Gentiles[a] put their faith in the Lord. 2 But the Jews who did not have faith in him made the other Gentiles angry and turned them against the Lord’s followers.
3 Paul and Barnabas stayed there for a while, having faith in the Lord and bravely speaking his message. The Lord gave them the power to work miracles and wonders, and he showed that their message about his great kindness was true.
4 The people of Iconium did not know what to think. Some of them believed the Jewish group, and others believed the apostles. 5 Finally, some Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, decided to make trouble for Paul and Barnabas and to stone them to death.
6-7 But when the two apostles found out what was happening, they escaped to the region of Lycaonia. They preached the good news there in the towns of Lystra and Derbe and in the nearby countryside.
Paul and Barnabas in Lystra
8 In Lystra there was a man who had been born with crippled feet and had never been able to walk. 9 The man was listening to Paul speak, when Paul saw that he had faith in Jesus and could be healed. So he looked straight at the man 10 and shouted, “Stand up!” The man jumped up and started walking around.
11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they yelled out in the language of Lycaonia, “The gods have turned into humans and have come down to us!” 12 The people then gave Barnabas the name Zeus, and they gave Paul the name Hermes,[b] because he did the talking.
13 The temple of Zeus was near the entrance to the city. Its priest and the crowds wanted to offer a sacrifice to Barnabas and Paul. So the priest brought some bulls and flowers to the city gates. 14 When the two apostles found out about this, they tore their clothes in horror and ran to the crowd, shouting:
15 Why are you doing this? We are humans just like you. Please give up all this foolishness. Turn to the living God, who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. 16 In times past, God let each nation go its own way. 17 But he showed that he was there by the good things he did. God sends rain from heaven and makes your crops grow. He gives food to you and makes your hearts glad.
18 Even after Paul and Barnabas had said all this, they could hardly keep the people from offering a sacrifice to them.
19 Some Jewish leaders from Antioch and Iconium came and turned the crowds against Paul. They hit him with stones and dragged him out of the city, thinking he was dead. 20 But when the Lord’s followers gathered around Paul, he stood up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas went to Derbe.
Paul and Barnabas Return to Antioch in Syria
21 Paul and Barnabas preached the good news in Derbe and won some people to the Lord. Then they went back to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch in Pisidia. 22 They encouraged the followers and begged them to remain faithful. They told them, “We have to suffer a lot before we can get into God’s kingdom.” 23 Paul and Barnabas chose some leaders for each of the churches. Then they went without eating[c] and prayed that the Lord would take good care of these leaders.
24 Paul and Barnabas went on through Pisidia to Pamphylia, 25 where they preached in the town of Perga. Then they went down to Attalia 26 and sailed to Antioch in Syria. It was there that they had been placed in God’s care for the work they had now completed.[d]
27 After arriving in Antioch, they called the church together. They told the people what God had helped them do and how he had made it possible for the Gentiles to believe. 28 Then they stayed there with the followers for a long time.
15 Some people came from Judea and started teaching the Lord’s followers that they could not be saved, unless they were circumcised as Moses had taught. 2 This caused trouble, and Paul and Barnabas argued with them about this teaching. So it was decided to send Paul and Barnabas and a few others to Jerusalem to discuss this problem with the apostles and the church leaders.
The Church Leaders Meet in Jerusalem
3 The men who were sent by the church went through Phoenicia and Samaria, telling how the Gentiles had turned to God. This news made the Lord’s followers very happy. 4 When the men arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, including the apostles and the leaders. They told them everything God had helped them do. 5 But some Pharisees had become followers of the Lord. They stood up and said, “Gentiles who have faith in the Lord must be circumcised and told to obey the Law of Moses.”
6 The apostles and church leaders met to discuss this problem about Gentiles. 7 They had talked it over for a long time, when Peter got up and said:
My friends, you know that God decided long ago to let me be the one from your group to preach the good news to the Gentiles. God did this so that they would hear and obey him. 8 He knows what is in everyone’s heart. And he showed that he had chosen the Gentiles, when he gave them the Holy Spirit, just as he had given his Spirit to us. 9 God treated them in the same way that he treated us. They put their faith in him, and he made their hearts pure.
10 Now why are you trying to make God angry by placing a heavy burden on these followers? This burden was too heavy for us or our ancestors. 11 But our Lord Jesus was kind to us, and we are saved by faith in him, just as the Gentiles are.
12 Everyone kept quiet and listened as Barnabas and Paul told how God had given them the power to work a lot of miracles and wonders for the Gentiles.
13 After they had finished speaking, James[e] said:
My friends, listen to me! 14 Simon Peter[f] has told how God first came to the Gentiles and made some of them his own people. 15 This agrees with what the prophets wrote,
16 “I, the Lord, will return
19 And so, my friends, I don’t think we should place burdens on the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 We should simply write and tell them not to eat anything that has been offered to idols. They should be told not to eat the meat of any animal that has been strangled or that still has blood in it. They must also not commit any terrible sexual sins.[g]
21 We must remember that the Law of Moses has been preached in city after city for many years, and every Sabbath it is read when we Jews meet.
A Letter to Gentiles Who Had Faith in the Lord
22 The apostles, the leaders, and all the church members decided to send some men to Antioch along with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Silas and Judas Barsabbas,[h] who were two leaders of the Lord’s followers. 23 They wrote a letter that said:
We apostles and leaders send friendly greetings to all of you Gentiles who are followers of the Lord in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia.
24 We have heard that some people from here have terribly upset you by what they said. But we did not send them! 25 So we met together and decided to choose some men and to send them to you along with our good friends Barnabas and Paul. 26 These men have risked their lives for our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We are also sending Judas and Silas, who will tell you in person the same things that we are writing.
28 The Holy Spirit has shown us that we should not place any extra burden on you. 29 But you should not eat anything offered to idols. You should not eat any meat that still has the blood in it or any meat of any animal that has been strangled. You must also not commit any terrible sexual sins. If you follow these instructions, you will do well.
We send our best wishes.
30 The four men left Jerusalem and went to Antioch. Then they called the church members together and gave them the letter. 31 When the letter was read, everyone was pleased and greatly encouraged. 32 Judas and Silas were prophets, and they spoke a long time, encouraging and helping the Lord’s followers.
33 The men from Jerusalem stayed on in Antioch for a while. And when they left to return to the ones who had sent them, the followers wished them well. 34-35 But Paul and Barnabas stayed on in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached about the Lord.[i]
Paul and Barnabas Go Their Separate Ways
36 Sometime later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit the Lord’s followers in the cities where we preached his message. Then we will know how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take along John, whose other name was Mark. 38 But Paul did not want to, because Mark had left them in Pamphylia and had stopped working with them.
39 Paul and Barnabas argued, then each of them went his own way. Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus, 40 but Paul took Silas and left after the followers had placed them in God’s care. 41 They traveled through Syria and Cilicia, encouraging the churches.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.