22 Then the apostles and elders together with the whole church in Jerusalem chose delegates, and they sent them to Antioch of Syria with Paul and Barnabas to report on this decision. The men chosen were two of the church leaders[a]—Judas (also called Barsabbas) and Silas.23 This is the letter they took with them:
“This letter is from the apostles and elders, your brothers in Jerusalem. It is written to the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. Greetings!
24 “We understand that some men from here have troubled you and upset you with their teaching, but we did not send them!25 So we decided, having come to complete agreement, to send you official representatives, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,26 who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.27 We are sending Judas and Silas to confirm what we have decided concerning your question.
28 “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater burden on you than these few requirements:29 You must abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. If you do this, you will do well. Farewell.”
30 The messengers went at once to Antioch, where they called a general meeting of the believers and delivered the letter.31 And there was great joy throughout the church that day as they read this encouraging message.
32 Then Judas and Silas, both being prophets, spoke at length to the believers, encouraging and strengthening their faith.33 They stayed for a while, and then the believers sent them back to the church in Jerusalem with a blessing of peace.[b]35 Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch. They and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord there.
Paul and Barnabas Separate
36 After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.”37 Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark.38 But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work.39 Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus.40 Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care.41 Then he traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there.
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