Acts 11-13 Bible in Basic English

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Peter's Report to the Church at Jerusalem

11 1  Now the Apostles and the brothers who were in Judaea had news that the word of God had been given to the Gentiles. 2  And when Peter came to Jerusalem, those who kept the rule of circumcision had an argument with him, 3  Saying, You went to men without circumcision, and took food with them. 4  But Peter gave them an account of it all in order, saying to them, 5  I was in the town of Joppa, at prayer: and falling into a deep sleep, I saw in a vision a vessel like a great cloth let down from heaven, and it came down to me: 6  And looking on it with attention I saw in it all sorts of beasts and birds. 7  And a voice came to my ears saying, Come, Peter; take them for food. 8  But I said, No, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever come into my mouth. 9  But the voice, coming a second time from heaven, said, What God has made clean, do not you make common. 10  And this was done three times, and they were all taken up again into heaven. 11  And at that minute, three men, sent from Caesarea, came to the house where we were. 12  And the Spirit gave me orders to go with them, doubting nothing. And these six brothers came with me; and we went into that man's house: 13  And he gave us an account of how he had seen the angel in his house, saying, Send to Joppa, and get Simon, named Peter, to come to you; 14  Who will say words to you through which you and all your family may get salvation. 15  And, while I was talking to them, the Holy Spirit came on them, as on us at first. 16  And the words of the Lord came into my mind, how he said, The baptism of John was with water, but you will have baptism with the Holy Spirit. 17  If then God gave them, when they had faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the same as he gave to us, who was I to go against God? 18  And hearing these things they said nothing more, but gave glory to God, saying, Then to the Gentiles as to us has God given a change of heart, so that they may have life.

The Church at Antioch

19  Then those who had gone away at the time of the trouble about Stephen, went as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus, preaching to the Jews only. 20  But some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, when they came to Antioch, gave the good news about the Lord Jesus to the Greeks. 21  And the power of the Lord was with them, and a great number had faith and were turned to the Lord. 22  And news of them came to the ears of the church at Jerusalem: and they sent Barnabas as far as Antioch: 23  Who, when he came and saw the grace of God, was glad; and he made clear to them the need of keeping near the Lord with all the strength of their hearts: 24  For he was a good man and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith: and a great number were joined to the Lord. 25  Then he went on to Tarsus, looking for Saul; 26  And when he had come across him, he took him to Antioch. And they were with the church there for a year, teaching the people; and the disciples were first given the name of Christians in Antioch.

27  Now in those days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28  And one of them, named Agabus, said publicly through the Spirit that there would be serious need of food all over the earth: which came about in the time of Claudius. 29  And the disciples, everyone as he was able, made a decision to send help to the brothers living in Judaea: 30  Which they did, sending it to the rulers of the church by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

James Killed and Peter Imprisoned

12 1  Now, about that time, Herod the king made cruel attacks on the Christians. 2  And he put James, the brother of John, to death with the sword. 3  And when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he went on to take Peter in addition. This was at the time of the feast of unleavened bread. 4  And having taken him, he put him in prison, with four bands of armed men to keep watch over him; his purpose being to take him out to the people after the Passover.

5  So Peter was kept in prison: but the church made strong prayer to God for him.

Peter Delivered from Prison

6  And when Herod was about to take him out, the same night Peter was sleeping in chains between two armed men, and the watchmen were keeping watch before the door of the prison. 7  And a great light was seen shining in the room, and an angel of the Lord came to Peter and, touching him on his side so that he came out of his sleep, said, Get up quickly. And his chains came off his hands. 8  Then the angel said, Put on your shoes and get ready to go. And he did so. And he said, Put your coat round you and come with me. 9  And he went out after him; and he was not certain if what was done by the angel was a fact, for it seemed to him that he was seeing a vision. 10  And when they had gone past the first and second watchmen they came to the iron door into the town, which came open by itself: and they went out and down one street; and then the angel went away. 11  And when Peter came to his senses he said, Now, truly, I am certain that the Lord has sent his angel and taken me out of the hands of Herod, against all the hopes of the Jews. 12  And when he became clear about this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John named Mark, where a number of them had come together for prayer. 13  And he gave a blow on the door, and a young girl came to it, named Rhoda. 14  And hearing the voice of Peter, in her joy she went running, without opening the door, to say that Peter was outside. 15  And they said to her, You are off your head. But still she said, with decision, that it was so. And they said, It is his angel. 16  But Peter went on giving blows on the door: and when it was open and they saw him, they were full of wonder. 17  But he made a sign to them with his hand to be quiet, and gave them an account of how the Lord had taken him out of prison. And he said, Give the news to James and the brothers. And then he went away. 18  Now when it was day, the armed men were greatly troubled about what had become of Peter. 19  And Herod, when he sent for him, and he was not there, after questioning the watchmen, gave orders that they were to be put to death. Then he went down from Judaea to Caesarea for a time.

The Death of Herod

20  Now he was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon: and they came to him, all together, and having made friends with Blastus, the controller of the king's house, they made a request for peace, because their country was dependent on the king's country for its food. 21  And on the day which had been fixed, Herod, dressed in his robes and seated in his place, made a public statement to them. 22  And the people, with loud cries, said, It is the voice of a god, not of a man. 23  And straight away the angel of the Lord sent a disease on him, because he did not give the glory to God: and his flesh was wasted away by worms, and so he came to his end. 24  But the word of the Lord went on increasing. 25  And Barnabas and Saul came back from Jerusalem, when their work was ended, taking with them John named Mark.

Barnabas and Saul Begin Their First Missionary Journey

13 1  Now there were at Antioch, in the church there, prophets and teachers, Barnabas, and Symeon who was named Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, a relation of Herod the king, and Saul. 2  And while they were doing the Lord's work, and going without food, the Holy Spirit said, Let Barnabas and Saul be given to me for the special work for which they have been marked out by me. 3  Then, after prayer and going without food they put their hands on them, and sent them away.

The Apostles Preach in Cyprus

4  So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they went by ship to Cyprus. 5  And at Salamis they were preaching the word of God in the Synagogues of the Jews: and John was with them, helping them. 6  And when they had gone through all the island to Paphos, they came across a certain wonder-worker and false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus; 7  Who was with the ruler, Sergius Paulus, an able man. This man sent for Barnabas and Saul, desiring to have knowledge of the word of God. 8  But Elymas, the wonder-worker (for that is the sense of his name), put himself against them, with the purpose of turning the ruler from the faith. 9  But Saul, whose other name is Paul, being full of the Holy Spirit, looking hard at him, said, 10  O you, who are full of false tricks and evil ways, a son of the Evil One, hating all righteousness, will you for ever be turning people from the right ways of the Lord? 11  And now, see, the hand of the Lord is on you, and you will be blind and not able to see the sun for a time. And straight away a dark mist came down on him; and he went about looking for a guide. 12  Then the ruler, when he saw what was done, had faith, being full of wonder at the teaching of the Lord.

Paul and Barnabas at Antioch of Pisidia

13  Then Paul and those who were with him went by ship from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia: and there John went away from them and came back to Jerusalem.

14  But they, going through from Perga, came to Antioch in Pisidia; and they went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath and were seated. 15  And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the Synagogue sent to them, saying, Brothers, if you have a word of comfort for the people, say on. 16  And Paul, getting up and making a sign with his hand, said, Men of Israel, and you who have the fear of God, give ear. 17  The God of this people Israel made selection of our fathers, lifting the people up from their low condition when they were living in the land of Egypt, and with a strong arm took them out of it. 18  And for about forty years he put up with their ways in the waste land. 19  And having put to destruction seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them the land for their heritage for about four hundred and fifty years. 20  And after these things he gave them judges, till the time of Samuel the prophet. 21  Then at their request for a king, God gave them Saul, the son of Kish, a man of the family of Benjamin, who was their king for forty years. 22  And having put him on one side, he made David their king, to whom he gave witness, saying, I have taken David, the son of Jesse, a man dear to my heart, who will do all my pleasure. 23  From this man's seed has God given to Israel a Saviour, even Jesus, as he gave his word; 24  For whose coming John made ready the way by preaching to all the people of Israel the baptism which goes with a change of heart. 25  And when John was completing his work, he said, What do I seem to you to be? I am not he; but one is coming after me, whose shoes I am not good enough to undo. 26  My brothers, children of the family of Abraham, and those among you who have the fear of God, to us the word of this salvation is sent. 27  For the men of Jerusalem and their rulers, having no knowledge of him, or of the sayings of the prophets which come to their ears every Sabbath day, gave effect to them by judging him. 28  And though no cause of death was seen in him, they made a request to Pilate that he might be put to death. 29  And when they had done all the things said in the Writings about him, they took him down from the tree, and put him in the place of the dead. 30  But God gave him back from the dead: 31  And for a number of days he was seen by those who came with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses before the people. 32  And we are giving you the good news of the undertaking made to the fathers, 33  Which God has now put into effect for our children, by sending Jesus; as it says in the second Psalm, You are my Son; this day I have given you being. 34  And about his coming back from the dead, never again to go to destruction, he has said these words, I will give you the holy and certain mercies of David. 35  Because he says in another Psalm, You will not let your Holy One see destruction. 36  Now David, having done God's work for his generation, went to sleep, and was put with his fathers, and his body came to destruction: 37  But he, who was lifted up by God, did not see destruction. 38  And so, let it be clear to you, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is offered to you: 39  And through him everyone who has faith is made free from all those things, from which the law of Moses was not able to make you free. 40  So take care that these words of the prophets do not come true for you; 41  See, you doubters, have wonder and come to your end; for I will do a thing in your days to which you will not give belief, even if it is made clear to you.

42  And when they went out, they made a request that these words might be said to them again on the Sabbath after. 43  Now when the meeting was ended, a number of the Jews and of the God-fearing Gentiles who had become Jews, went after Paul and Barnabas: who put before them how important it was to keep on in the grace of God. 44  And on the Sabbath after, almost all the town came together to give hearing to the word of God. 45  But when the Jews saw such a great number of people, they were full of envy and said evil words against Paul's preaching. 46  Then Paul and Barnabas without fear said, It was necessary for the word of God to be given to you first; but because you will have nothing to do with it, and have no desire for eternal life, it will now be offered to the Gentiles. 47  For so the Lord has given us orders, saying, I have given you for a light to the Gentiles so that you may be for salvation to the ends of the earth. 48  And the Gentiles, hearing this, were glad and gave glory to the word of God: and those marked out by God for eternal life had faith. 49  And the word of the Lord went through all the country. 50  But the Jews, working up the feelings of the God-fearing women of high position and of the chief men of the town, got an attack started against Paul and Barnabas, driving them out of those parts. 51  But they, shaking off the dust of that place from their feet, came to Iconium. 52  And the disciples were full of joy and of the Holy Spirit.

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