Acts 13-16

Barnabas and Saul Commissioned 1Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the ruler, and Saul.2While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”3Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.The Apostles Preach in Cyprus 4So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus.5When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also to assist them.6When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus.7He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God.8But the magician Elymas (for that is the translation of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith.9But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him10and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?11And now listen—the hand of the Lord is against you, and you will be blind for a while, unable to see the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he went about groping for someone to lead him by the hand.12When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.Paul and Barnabas in Antioch of Pisidia 13Then Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. John, however, left them and returned to Jerusalem;14but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down.15After the reading of the law and the prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent them a message, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, give it.”16So Paul stood up and with a gesture began to speak: “You Israelites, and others who fear God, listen.17The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it.18For about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness.19After he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance20for about four hundred fifty years. After that he gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel.21Then they asked for a king; and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years.22When he had removed him, he made David their king. In his testimony about him he said, ‘I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after my heart, who will carry out all my wishes.’23Of this man's posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised;24before his coming John had already proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.25And as John was finishing his work, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of the sandals on his feet.’26“My brothers, you descendants of Abraham's family, and others who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent.27Because the residents of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize him or understand the words of the prophets that are read every sabbath, they fulfilled those words by condemning him.28Even though they found no cause for a sentence of death, they asked Pilate to have him killed.29When they had carried out everything that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.30But God raised him from the dead;31and for many days he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, and they are now his witnesses to the people.32And we bring you the good news that what God promised to our ancestors33he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you.’34As to his raising him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, ‘I will give you the holy promises made to David.’35Therefore he has also said in another psalm, ‘You will not let your Holy One experience corruption.’36For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, died, was laid beside his ancestors, and experienced corruption;37but he whom God raised up experienced no corruption.38Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you;39by this Jesus everyone who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.40Beware, therefore, that what the prophets said does not happen to you:41‘Look, you scoffers! Be amazed and perish, for in your days I am doing a work, a work that you will never believe, even if someone tells you.’ ”42As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people urged them to speak about these things again the next sabbath.43When the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.44The next sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.45But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy; and blaspheming, they contradicted what was spoken by Paul.46Then both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles.47For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”48When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and praised the word of the Lord; and as many as had been destined for eternal life became believers.49Thus the word of the Lord spread throughout the region.50But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their region.51So they shook the dust off their feet in protest against them, and went to Iconium.52And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.Chapter 14Paul and Barnabas in Iconium 1The same thing occurred in Iconium, where Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks became believers.2But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.3So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who testified to the word of his grace by granting signs and wonders to be done through them.4But the residents of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.5And when an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them,6the apostles learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country;7and there they continued proclaiming the good news.Paul and Barnabas in Lystra and Derbe 8In Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet and had never walked, for he had been crippled from birth.9He listened to Paul as he was speaking. And Paul, looking at him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed,10said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And the man sprang up and began to walk.11When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”12Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.13The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates; he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifice.14When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting,15“Friends, why are you doing this? We are mortals just like you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.16In past generations he allowed all the nations to follow their own ways;17yet he has not left himself without a witness in doing good—giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filling you with food and your hearts with joy.”18Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them.19But Jews came there from Antioch and Iconium and won over the crowds. Then they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.20But when the disciples surrounded him, he got up and went into the city. The next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe.The Return to Antioch in Syria 21After they had proclaimed the good news to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, then on to Iconium and Antioch.22There they strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith, saying, “It is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God.”23And after they had appointed elders for them in each church, with prayer and fasting they entrusted them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.24Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia.25When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.26From there they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had completed.27When they arrived, they called the church together and related all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith for the Gentiles.28And they stayed there with the disciples for some time.Chapter 15The Council at Jerusalem 1Then certain individuals came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”2And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to discuss this question with the apostles and the elders.3So they were sent on their way by the church, and as they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, they reported the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the believers.4When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them.5But some believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and said, “It is necessary for them to be circumcised and ordered to keep the law of Moses.”6The apostles and the elders met together to consider this matter.7After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “My brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that I should be the one through whom the Gentiles would hear the message of the good news and become believers.8And God, who knows the human heart, testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us;9and in cleansing their hearts by faith he has made no distinction between them and us.10Now therefore why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear?11On the contrary, we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”12The whole assembly kept silence, and listened to Barnabas and Paul as they told of all the signs and wonders that God had done through them among the Gentiles.13After they finished speaking, James replied, “My brothers, listen to me.14Simeon has related how God first looked favorably on the Gentiles, to take from among them a people for his name.15This agrees with the words of the prophets, as it is written,16‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen; from its ruins I will rebuild it, and I will set it up,17so that all other peoples may seek the Lord— even all the Gentiles over whom my name has been called. Thus says the Lord, who has been making these things18known from long ago.’19Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble those Gentiles who are turning to God,20but we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from whatever has been strangled and from blood.21For in every city, for generations past, Moses has had those who proclaim him, for he has been read aloud every sabbath in the synagogues.”The Council's Letter to Gentile Believers 22Then the apostles and the elders, with the consent of the whole church, decided to choose men from among their members and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers,23with the following letter: “The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the believers of Gentile origin in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings.24Since we have heard that certain persons who have gone out from us, though with no instructions from us, have said things to disturb you and have unsettled your minds,25we have decided unanimously to choose representatives and send them to you, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,26who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.27We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth.28For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to impose on you no further burden than these essentials:29that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”30So they were sent off and went down to Antioch. When they gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter.31When its members read it, they rejoiced at the exhortation.32Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers.33After they had been there for some time, they were sent off in peace by the believers to those who had sent them.3435But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, and there, with many others, they taught and proclaimed the word of the Lord. Paul and Barnabas Separate 36After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Come, let us return and visit the believers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.”37Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark.38But Paul decided not to take with them one who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not accompanied them in the work.39The disagreement became so sharp that they parted company; Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus.40But Paul chose Silas and set out, the believers commending him to the grace of the Lord.41He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.Chapter 16Timothy Joins Paul and Silas 1Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek.2He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium.3Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.4As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem.5So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.Paul's Vision of the Man of Macedonia 6They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.7When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them;8so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.9During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”10When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.The Conversion of Lydia 11We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis,12and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days.13On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there.14A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul.15When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.Paul and Silas in Prison 16One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling.17While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.”18She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.19But when her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities.20When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, “These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews21and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or observe.”22The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods.23After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely.24Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.26Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened.27When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped.28But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.”29The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.30Then he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”31They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”32They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.33At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay.34He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.35When morning came, the magistrates sent the police, saying, “Let those men go.”36And the jailer reported the message to Paul, saying, “The magistrates sent word to let you go; therefore come out now and go in peace.”37But Paul replied, “They have beaten us in public, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they going to discharge us in secret? Certainly not! Let them come and take us out themselves.”38The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens;39so they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city.40After leaving the prison they went to Lydia's home; and when they had seen and encouraged the brothers and sisters there, they departed.