111The apostles and the other believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2When Peter went to Jerusalem, those who were in favour of circumcising Gentiles criticized him, saying, 3“You were a guest in the home of uncircumcised Gentiles, and you even ate with them!” 4So Peter gave them a complete account of what had happened from the very beginning:
5“While I was praying in the city of Joppa, I had a vision. I saw something coming down that looked like a large sheet being lowered by its four corners from heaven, and it stopped next to me. 6I looked closely inside and saw domesticated and wild animals, reptiles, and wild birds. 7Then I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat!’ 8But I said, ‘Certainly not, Lord! No ritually unclean or defiled food has ever entered my mouth.’ 9The voice spoke again from heaven, ‘Do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean.’ 10This happened three times, and finally the whole thing was drawn back up into heaven. 11At that very moment three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house where I was11.11 I was; some manuscripts have we were. staying. 12The Spirit told me to go with them without hesitation. These six fellow-believers from Joppa accompanied me to Caesarea, and we all went into the house of Cornelius. 13He told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send someone to Joppa for a man whose full name is Simon Peter. 14He will speak words to you by which you and all your family will be saved.’ 15And when I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came down on them just as on us at the beginning. 16
Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17It is clear that God gave those Gentiles the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; who was I, then, to try to stop God!”
18When they heard this, they stopped their criticism and praised God, saying, “Then God has given to the Gentiles also the opportunity to repent and live!”
Some of the believers who were scattered by the persecution which took place when Stephen was killed went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, telling the message to Jews only. 20But other believers, who were from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and proclaimed the message to Gentiles11.20 Gentiles; some manuscripts have Greek-speaking Jews or Greek-speaking people. also, telling them the Good News about the Lord Jesus. 21The Lord's power was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
22The news about this reached the church in Jerusalem, so they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23When he arrived and saw how God had blessed the people, he was glad and urged them all to be faithful and true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and many people were brought to the Lord.
25Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul. 26When he found him, he took him to Antioch, and for a whole year the two met with the people of the church and taught a large group. It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians.
27About that time some prophets went from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28
One of them, named Agabus, stood up and by the power of the Spirit predicted that a severe famine was about to come over all the earth. (It came when Claudius was emperor.) 29The disciples decided that they would each send as much as they could to help their fellow-believers who lived in Judea. 30They did this, then, and sent the money to the church elders by Barnabas and Saul.
121About this time King Herod12.1 King Herod: Herod Agrippa I, ruler of all Palestine. began to persecute some members of the church. 2He had James, the brother of John, put to death by the sword. 3When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he went on to arrest Peter. (This happened during the time of the Festival of Unleavened Bread.) 4
After his arrest Peter was put in jail, where he was handed over to be guarded by four groups of four soldiers each. Herod planned to put him on trial in public after Passover. 5So Peter was kept in jail, but the people of the church were praying earnestly to God for him.
6The night before Herod was going to bring him out to the people, Peter was sleeping between two guards. He was tied with two chains, and there were guards on duty at the prison gate. 7Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood there, and a light shone in the cell. The angel shook Peter by the shoulder, woke him up, and said, “Hurry! Get up!” At once the chains fell off Peter's hands. 8Then the angel said, “Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.” Peter did so, and the angel said, “Put your cloak round you and come with me.” 9Peter followed him out of the prison, not knowing, however, if what the angel was doing was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10They passed by the first guard post and then the second, and came at last to the iron gate leading into the city. The gate opened for them by itself, and they went out. They walked down a street, and suddenly the angel left Peter.
11Then Peter realized what had happened to him, and said, “Now I know that it is really true! The Lord sent his angel to rescue me from Herod's power and from everything the Jewish people expected to happen.”
12Aware of his situation, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13Peter knocked at the outside door, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer it. 14She recognized Peter's voice and was so happy that she ran back in without opening the door, and announced that Peter was standing outside. 15“You are mad!” they told her. But she insisted that it was true. So they answered, “It is his angel.”
16Meanwhile Peter kept on knocking. At last they opened the door, and when they saw him, they were amazed. 17He motioned with his hand for them to be quiet, and he explained to them how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell this to James and the rest of the believers,” he said; then he left and went somewhere else.
18When morning came, there was a tremendous confusion among the guards — what had happened to Peter? 19Herod gave orders to search for him, but they could not find him. So he had the guards questioned and ordered them to be put to death.
After this, Herod left Judea and spent some time in Caesarea.
20Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, so they went in a group to see him. First they convinced Blastus, the man in charge of the palace, that he should help them. Then they went to Herod and asked him for peace, because their country got its food supplies from the king's country.
21On a chosen day Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to the people. 22“It isn't a man speaking, but a god!” they shouted. 23At once the angel of the Lord struck Herod down, because he did not give honour to God. He was eaten by worms and died.
24Meanwhile the word of God continued to spread and grow.
25Barnabas and Saul finished their mission and returned from12.25 from; some manuscripts have to. Jerusalem, taking John Mark with them.
131In the church at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon (called the Black), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod13.1 herod: Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee (see Lk 3.1). the governor), and Saul. 2While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul, to do the work to which I have called them.”
3They fasted and prayed, placed their hands on them, and sent them off.
4Having been sent by the Holy Spirit, Barnabas and Saul went to Seleucia and sailed from there to the island of Cyprus. 5When they arrived at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues. They had John Mark with them to help in the work.
6They went all the way across the island to Paphos, where they met a certain magician named Bar-Jesus, a Jew who claimed to be a prophet. 7He was a friend of the governor of the island, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor called Barnabas and Saul before him because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8But they were opposed by the magician Elymas (that is his name in Greek), who tried to turn the governor away from the faith. 9Then Saul — also known as Paul — was filled with the Holy Spirit; he looked straight at the magician 10and said, “You son of the Devil! You are the enemy of everything that is good. You are full of all kinds of evil tricks, and you always keep trying to turn the Lord's truths into lies! 11The Lord's hand will come down on you now; you will be blind and will not see the light of day for a time.”
At once Elymas felt a dark mist cover his eyes, and he walked about trying to find someone to lead him by the hand. 12When the governor saw what had happened, he believed; for he was greatly amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
13Paul and his companions sailed from Paphos and came to Perga, a city in Pamphylia, where John Mark left them and went back to Jerusalem. 14They went on from Perga and arrived in Antioch in Pisidia, and on the Sabbath they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15After the reading from the Law of Moses and from the writings of the prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent them a message: “Brothers and sisters, we want you to speak to the people if you have a message of encouragement for them.” 16Paul stood up, motioned with his hand, and began to speak:
“Fellow-Israelites and all Gentiles here who worship God: hear me! 17
The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors and made the people a great nation during the time they lived as foreigners in Egypt. God brought them out of Egypt by his great power, 18
and for forty years he endured13.18 he endured; some manuscripts have he took care of. them in the desert. 19
He destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan and made his people the owners of the land. 20
All this took about 450 years.
“After this13.20 All this took about 450 years. “After this; or Some 450 years later. he gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel. 21
And when they asked for a king, God gave them Saul son of Kish from the tribe of Benjamin, to be their king for forty years. 22
After removing him, God made David their king. This is what God said about him: ‘I have found that David son of Jesse is the kind of man I like, a man who will do all I want him to do.’ 23It was Jesus, a descendant of David, whom God made the Saviour of the people of Israel, as he had promised. 24
Before Jesus began his work, John preached to all the people of Israel that they should turn from their sins and be baptized. 25
And as John was about to finish his mission, he said to the people, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not the one you are waiting for. But listen! He is coming after me, and I am not good enough to take his sandals off his feet.’
26“My fellow-Israelites, descendants of Abraham, and all Gentiles here who worship God: it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent! 27For the people who live in Jerusalem and their leaders did not know that he is the Saviour, nor did they understand the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. Yet they made the prophets' words come true by condemning Jesus. 28
And even though they could find no reason to pass the death sentence on him, they asked Pilate to have him put to death. 29
And after they had done everything that the Scriptures say about him, they took him down from the cross and placed him in a tomb. 30But God raised him from death, 31
and for many days he appeared to those who had travelled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now witnesses for him to the people of Israel. 32-33
And we are here to bring the Good News to you: what God promised our ancestors he would do, he has now done for us, who are their descendants, by raising Jesus to life. As it is written in the second Psalm:
‘You are my Son;
today I have become your Father.’34
‘I will give you the sacred and sure blessings
that I promised to David.’35
‘You will not allow your faithful servant to rot in the grave.’36For David served God's purposes in his own time, and then he died, was buried with his ancestors, and his body rotted in the grave. 37But this did not happen to the one whom God raised from death. 38-39We want you to know, my fellow-Israelites, that it is through Jesus that the message about forgiveness of sins is preached to you; and that everyone who believes in him is set free from all the sins from which the Law of Moses could not set you free. 40Take care, then, so that what the prophets said may not happen to you:13.40 Some manuscripts do not have to you.
‘Look, you scoffers! Be astonished and die!
For what I am doing today
is something that you will not believe,
even when someone explains it to you!’ ”
42As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to come back the next Sabbath and tell them more about these things. 43After the people had left the meeting, Paul and Barnabas were followed by many Jews and by many Gentiles who had been converted to Judaism. The apostles spoke to them and encouraged them to keep on living in the grace of God.
44The next Sabbath nearly everyone in the town came to hear the word of the Lord. 45When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy; they disputed what Paul was saying and insulted him. 46But Paul and Barnabas spoke out even more boldly: “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. But since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we will leave you and go to the Gentiles. 47
For this is the commandment that the Lord has given us:
‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
so that all the world may be saved.’ ”
48When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and praised the Lord's message; and those who had been chosen for eternal life became believers.
49The word of the Lord spread everywhere in that region. 50But the Jews stirred up the leading men of the city and the Gentile women of high social standing who worshipped God. They started a persecution against Paul and Barnabas and threw them out of their region. 51
The apostles shook the dust off their feet in protest against them and went on to Iconium. 52The believers in Antioch were full of joy and the Holy Spirit.