¶ And there came certain from jewrie and taught the brethren: except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses ye cannot be saved. Then arose there dissension and disputing not a little unto Paul and Barnabas against them. And they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain other of them should ascend to Ierusalem unto the apostles and seniors about this question. After they were brought on their way by the congregation, they passed over Phenices and Samaria, declaring the conversation of the Gentiles, and they brought great joy unto all the brethren. When they were come to Ierusalem they were received of the congregation and of the apostles and seniors. And they declared what things God had done by them. Then arose there up certain of the sect of the pharises, which did believe saying that it was needful to circumcise them and to enjoin them to keep the law of Moses. The apostles and seniors came together to reason of this matter.
¶ When there was much disputing, Peter rose up and said unto them: Ye men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago, God chose among us that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospell and believe. And God which knoweth the heart, bare them witness, and gave unto them the holy ghost, even as he did unto us, And he put no difference between them and us, and with faith purified their hearts. Now therefore why tempt ye God, that ye would put a yoke on the disciples necks which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear: But we believe that thorow the grace of the Lord Iesu Christ we shall be saved as they do. Then all the multitude was peaced and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul which told what signs and wonders God had shewed among the gentiles by them. As soon as they held their peace, Iames answered saying: Men and brethren hearken unto me, Simeon told how God at the beginning did visit the gentiles, and received of them people unto his name. And to this agreeth the words of the prophets, as it is written: After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down, and that which is fallen in decay of it will I build again and I will set it up, that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and also the Gentiles upon whom my name is called saith the Lord, which doth all these things: known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them which of the gentiles are turned to God: but that we write unto them, that they abstain themselves from filthiness of images, from fornication, from strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time in every city hath them that preach him, and he is read in the synagogues every saboth day.
¶ Then pleased it the apostles and seniors with the whole congregation to send chosen men of their own company to Antioche with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Iudas called also Barsabas and Silas which were chief men among the brethren and gave them letters in their hands after this manner.
¶ The apostles, seniors and brethren send greetings unto the brethren which are of the gentiles in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. Forasmuch as we have heard that certain which departed from us, have troubled you with words, and cumbered your minds saying: Ye must be circumcised and keep the law, to whom we gave no such commandment. It seemed therefore to us a good thing, when we were come together with one accord, to send chosen men unto you, with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men that have jeoparded their lives, for the name of our Lord Iesus Christ. We have sent therefore Iudas and Sylas, which shall also tell you the same things by mouth. For it seemed good to the holy ghost and to us, to put no grievous thing to you more than these necessary things, that is to say, that ye abstain from things offered unto images, from blood, from strangled and fornication. From which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. So fare ye well.
¶ When they were departed, they came to Antioche and gathered the multitude together and delivered the pistel. When they had read it, they rejoiced of that consolation. Iudas and Silas being prophets, exhorted the people with much preaching, and strengthened them. After they had tarried there a certain space, they were let go in peace of the brethren unto the apostles. Notwithstanding it pleased Sylas to abide there still. Paul and Barnabas continued in Antioche teaching, and preaching the word of the Lord with other many.
¶ But after a certain space Paul said unto Barnabas: Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city, where we have shewed the word of the Lord, and see how they do. Barnabas gave counsel, to take with them Ihon called also Marke: But Paul thought it not meet to take him unto their company which departed from them at Pamphilia, and went not with them to the worke. So sharp was the dissension between them, that they departed asunder one from the other. And Barnabas took Mark and sailed unto Cypers. Paul chose Sylas and departed delivered of the brethren unto the grace of God. And he went thorow all Cyria and Cilicia, stablishing the congregations.
© Faith of God
William Tyndale 1526