Acts 15-16 American Standard Version

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The Council at Jerusalem

15 1  And certain men came down from Judaea and taught the brethren, [saying], Except ye be circumcised after the custom of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 2  And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and questioning with them, [the brethren] appointed that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. 3  They therefore, being brought on their way by the church, passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. 4  And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church and the apostles and the elders, and they rehearsed all things that God had done with them. 5  But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees who believed, saying, It is needful to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the law of Moses.

6  And the apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider of this matter. 7  And when there had been much questioning, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Brethren, ye know that a good while ago God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8  And God, who knoweth the heart, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as he did unto us; 9  and he made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10  Now therefore why make ye trial of God, that ye should put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11  But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in like manner as they. 12  And all the multitude kept silence; and they hearkened unto Barnabas and Paul rehearsing what signs and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles through them. 13  And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Brethren, hearken unto me: 14  Symeon hath rehearsed how first God visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15  And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16  After these things I will return, And I will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen; And I will build again the ruins thereof, And I will set it up: 17  That the residue of men may seek after the Lord, And all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, 18  Saith the Lord, who maketh these things known from of old. 19  Wherefore my judgment is, that we trouble not them that from among the Gentiles turn to God; 20  but that we write unto them, that they abstain from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from what is strangled, and from blood. 21  For Moses from generations of old hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath.

22  Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men out of their company, and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; [namely], Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: 23  and they wrote [thus] by them, The apostles and the elders, brethren, unto the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greeting: 24  Forasmuch as we have heard that certain who went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls; to whom we gave no commandment; 25  it seemed good unto us, having come to one accord, to choose out men and send them unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26  men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27  We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who themselves also shall tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28  For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29  that ye abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which if ye keep yourselves, it shall be well with you. Fare ye well. 30  So they, when they were dismissed, came down to Antioch; and having gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle. 31  And when they had read it, they rejoiced for the consolation. 32  And Judas and Silas, being themselves also prophets, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them. 33  And after they had spent some time [there], they were dismissed in peace from the brethren unto those that had sent them forth. 34  [But it seemed good unto Silas to abide there.] 35  But Paul and Barnabas tarried in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

Paul Separates from Barnabas and Begins the Second Missionary Journey

36  And after some days Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us return now and visit the brethren in every city wherein we proclaimed the word of the Lord, [and see] how they fare. 37  And Barnabas was minded to take with them John also, who was called Mark. 38  But Paul thought not good to take with them him who withdrew from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. 39  And there arose a sharp contention, so that they parted asunder one from the other, and Barnabas took Mark with him, and sailed away unto Cyprus; 40  but Paul choose Silas, and went forth, being commended by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. 41  And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

Timothy Accompanies Paul and Silas

16 1  And he came also to Derbe and to Lystra: and behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewess that believed; but his father was a Greek. 2  The same was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. 3  Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and he took and circumcised him because of the Jews that were in those parts: for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4  And as they went on their way through the cities, they delivered them the decrees to keep which had been ordained of the apostles and elders that were at Jerusalem. 5  So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.

Paul's Vision of the Man of Macedonia

6  And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden of the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; 7  and when they were come over against Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia; and the Spirit of Jesus suffered them not; 8  and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9  And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: There was a man of Macedonia standing, beseeching him, and saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. 10  And when he had seen the vision, straightway we sought to go forth into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

The Imprisonment at Philippi

11  Setting sail therefore from Troas, we made a straight course to Samothrace, and the day following to Neapolis; 12  and from thence to Philippi, which is a city of Macedonia, the first of the district, a [Roman] colony: and we were in this city tarrying certain days. 13  And on the sabbath day we went forth without the gate by a river side, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down, and spake unto the women that were come together. 14  And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple of the city of Thyatira, one that worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened to give heed unto the things which were spoken by Paul. 15  And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide [there]. And she constrained us.

16  And it came to pass, as we were going to the place of prayer, that a certain maid having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by soothsaying. 17  The same following after Paul and us cried out, saying, These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim unto you the way of salvation. 18  And this she did for many days. But Paul, being sore troubled, turned and said to the spirit, I charge thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And it came out that very hour. 19  But when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone, they laid hold on Paul and Silas, and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers, 20  and when they had brought them unto the magistrates, they said, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21  and set forth customs which it is not lawful for us to receive, or to observe, being Romans. 22  And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent their garments off them, and commanded to beat them with rods. 23  And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: 24  who, having received such a charge, cast them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

25  But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns unto God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26  and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison-house were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. 27  And the jailor, being roused out of sleep and seeing the prison doors open, drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28  But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29  And he called for lights and sprang in, and, trembling for fear, fell down before Paul and Silas, 30  and brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house. 32  And they spake the word of the Lord unto him, with all that were in his house. 33  And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, immediately. 34  And he brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his house, having believed in God.

35  But when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, Let those men go. 36  And the jailor reported the words to Paul, [saying], The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore come forth, and go in peace. 37  But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men that are Romans, and have cast us into prison; and do they now cast us out privily? Nay verily; but let them come themselves and bring us out. 38  And the sergeants reported these words unto the magistrates: and they feared when they heard that they were Romans; 39  and they came and besought them; and when they had brought them out, they asked them to go away from the city. 40  And they went out of the prison, and entered into [the house] of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

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