Acts 15-16 Bible in Basic English

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The Council at Jerusalem

15 1  Now certain men came down from Judaea, teaching the brothers and saying that without circumcision, after the rule of Moses, there is no salvation. 2  And after Paul and Barnabas had had no little argument and discussion with them, the brothers made a decision to send Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them to the Apostles and the rulers of the church at Jerusalem about this question. 3  So they, being sent on their way by the church, went through Phoenicia and Samaria, giving news of the salvation of the Gentiles, to the great joy of all the brothers. 4  And when they came to Jerusalem, they had a meeting with the church and the Apostles and the rulers, and they gave an account of all the things which God had done through them. 5  But some of the Pharisees, who were of the faith, got up and said, It is necessary for these to have circumcision and to keep the law of Moses.

6  And the Apostles and the rulers of the church came together and gave thought to the question. 7  And when there had been much discussion, Peter got up and said to them, My brothers, you have knowledge that some time back it was God's pleasure that by my mouth the good news might be given to the Gentiles so that they might have faith. 8  And God, the searcher of hearts, was a witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit even as he did to us; 9  Making no division between them and us, but making clean their hearts by faith. 10  Why then are you testing God, by putting on the neck of the disciples a yoke so hard that not even our fathers or we were strong enough for it? 11  But we have faith that we will get salvation through the grace of the Lord Jesus in the same way as they. 12  And all the people were quiet while Barnabas and Paul gave an account of the signs and wonders which God had done among the Gentiles by them. 13  And when they had come to an end, James, answering, said, My brothers, give ear to me: 14  Symeon has given an account of how God was first pleased to take from among the Gentiles a people for himself. 15  And this is in agreement with the words of the prophets, as it is said, 16  After these things I will come back, and will put up the tent of David which has been broken down, building up again its broken parts and making it complete: 17  So that the rest of men may make search for the Lord, and all the Gentiles on whom my name is named, 18  Says the Lord, who has made these things clear from the earliest times. 19  For this reason my decision is, that we do not put trouble in the way of those who from among the Gentiles are turned to God; 20  But that we give them orders to keep themselves from things offered to false gods, and from the evil desires of the body, and from the flesh of animals put to death in ways against the law, and from blood. 21  For Moses, from times long past, has his preachers in every town, reading his law in the Synagogues every Sabbath.

22  Then it seemed good to the Apostles and the rulers and all the church, to send men from among them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; Judas, named Barsabbas, and Silas, chief men among the brothers: 23  And they sent a letter by them, saying, The Apostles and the older brothers, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, may joy be with you: 24  Because we have knowledge that some who went from us have been troubling you with their words, putting your souls in doubt; to whom we gave no such order; 25  It seemed good to us, having come to an agreement together, to send these men to you, with our well loved Barnabas and Paul, 26  Men who have given up their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27  And so we have sent Judas and Silas, who will say the same things to you themselves, by word of mouth. 28  For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us, to put on you nothing more than these necessary things; 29  To keep from things offered to false gods, and from blood, and from things put to death in ways which are against the law, and from the evil desires of the body; if you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. May you be happy. 30  So they, being sent away, came down to Antioch, and having got the people together, they gave them the letter. 31  And after reading it, they were glad of its comfort. 32  And Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, gave teaching to the brothers and made them strong in the faith. 33  And when they had been there for some time, they were sent back in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them. 34  [] 35  But Paul and Barnabas kept on in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of God, with a number of others.

Paul Separates from Barnabas and Begins the Second Missionary Journey

36  And after some days, Paul said to Barnabas, Let us go back and see the brothers in every town where we have given the word of God, and see how they are. 37  And Barnabas had a desire to take with them John, named Mark. 38  But Paul was of the opinion that it was not right to take with them one who had gone away from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone on with the work. 39  And there was a sharp argument between them, so that they were parted from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and went by ship to Cyprus; 40  But Paul took Silas and went away with the blessing of the brothers. 41  And he went through Syria and Cilicia, making the churches stronger in the faith.

Timothy Accompanies Paul and Silas

16 1  And he came to Derbe and Lystra: and there was a certain disciple there named Timothy, whose mother was one of the Jews of the faith, but his father was a Greek; 2  Of whom the brothers at Lystra and Iconium had a high opinion. 3  Paul had a desire for him to go with him, and he gave him circumcision because of the Jews who were in those parts: for they all had knowledge that his father was a Greek. 4  And on their way through the towns, they gave them the rules which had been made by the Apostles and the rulers of the church at Jerusalem, so that they might keep them. 5  So the churches were made strong in the faith and were increased in number every day.

Paul's Vision of the Man of Macedonia

6  And after they had gone through the land of Phrygia and Galatia, the Holy Spirit did not let them take the word into Asia; 7  And having come to Mysia, they made an attempt to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not let them; 8  And going past Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9  And Paul had a vision in the night; a man of Macedonia came, requesting him, and saying, Come over into Macedonia and give us help. 10  And when he had seen the vision, straight away we made the decision to go into Macedonia, for it seemed certain to us that God had sent us to give the good news to them.

The Imprisonment at Philippi

11  So, from Troas we went straight by ship to Samothrace and the day after to Neapolis; 12  And from there to Philippi, which is the most important town of Macedonia and a Roman colony: and we were there for some days. 13  And on the Sabbath we went outside the town, by the river, where we had an idea that there would be a place of prayer; and, being seated, we had talk with the women who had come together. 14  And a certain woman named Lydia, a trader in purple cloth of the town of Thyatira, and a God-fearing woman, gave ear to us: whose heart the Lord made open to give attention to the things which Paul was saying. 15  And when she and her family had had baptism, she made a request to us, saying, If it seems to you that I am true to the Lord, come into my house and be my guests. And she made us come.

16  And when we were going to the place of prayer, we came across a girl with a spirit which gave knowledge of the future, whose masters made great profit from her power. 17  She came after Paul and us, crying out and saying, These men are the servants of the Most High God, who are giving you news of the way of salvation. 18  And this she did on a number of days. But Paul was greatly troubled and, turning, said to the spirit, I give you orders 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 their hope of profit was gone, they took Paul and Silas, pulling them into the market-place before the rulers; 20  And when they had taken them before the authorities, they said, These men, who are Jews, are greatly troubling our town; 21  Teaching rules of living which it is not right for us to have or to keep, being Romans. 22  And the people made an attack on them all together: and the authorities took their clothing off them, and gave orders for them to be whipped. 23  And when they had given them a great number of blows, they put them in prison, giving orders to the keeper of the prison to keep them safely: 24  And he, having such orders, put them into the inner prison with chains on their feet.

25  But about the middle of the night, Paul and Silas were making prayers and songs to God in the hearing of the prisoners; 26  And suddenly there was an earth-shock, so that the base of the prison was moved: and all the doors came open, and everyone's chains came off. 27  And the keeper, coming out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, took his sword and was about to put himself to death, fearing that the prisoners had got away. 28  But Paul said in a loud voice, Do yourself no damage, for we are all here. 29  And he sent for lights and came rushing in and, shaking with fear, went down on his face before Paul and Silas, 30  And took them out and said, Sirs, what have I to do to get salvation? 31  And they said, Have faith in the Lord Jesus, and you and your family will have salvation. 32  And they gave the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33  And that same hour of the night, he took them, and when he had given attention to their wounds, he and all his family had baptism straight away. 34  And he took them into his house and gave them food, and he was full of joy, having faith in God with all his family.

35  But when it was day, the authorities sent the police, saying, Let these men go. 36  And the keeper said to Paul, The authorities have given orders to let you go: come out now, and go in peace. 37  But Paul said to them, They have given us who are Romans a public whipping without judging us, and have put us in prison. Will they now send us out secretly? no, truly, let them come themselves and take us out. 38  And the police gave an account of these words to the authorities, and they were full of fear on hearing that they were Romans; 39  Then they came and made prayers to them, requesting them, when they had taken them out, to go away from the town. 40  And they came out of the prison and went to the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brothers they gave them comfort and went away.

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