The Holy Bible: The Acts of the Followers 15-17

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     15[1-11] And some people which came down from Judea taught the Christians, saying, “Unless you’re cleansed in the way of Moses, you can’t be saved.” So when Paul and Barnabas had a big disagreement with them and argued about it, they decided that Paul and Barnabas, and a few more of them, would go to Jerusalem to the followers and elders to ask about it. And the church sending them on their way, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, telling how the other peoples were saved: and all the Christians were very happy about it. And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, and the followers and elders, and they told them everything that God had done with them. But some of the sects of the religious leaders who believed got up, saying that they needed to cut the foreskins of the other peoples, and to order them to obey the Word of God by Moses. And the followers and elders came together to consider this matter. And after there had been a lot of arguing, Peter got up, saying to them, “Christians, you know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the other peoples by my mouth would hear the Word of the New Word, and believe. And God, which knows the hearts, gave them witness, by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as God did to us; Who put no difference between us and them, making their hearts pure by faith. So now, why are you tempting God, to put restrictions on the new followers, which neither our ancestors, nor we were able to carry? Don’t we believe that through the grace of Yeshua the Christ we’ll be saved, just as they do?”

    [12-21] Then everyone was silent, and listened to Barnabas and Paul, who told them what wonderful and amazing things God had done among the other peoples by them. And after they stopped speaking, James said, “Christians, Listen carefully to me: Simeon has made known how God first visited the other peoples, to take a people out of them for God’s name. And the Words of the great preachers agree with this; as the Word says, “I’ll return later, and will rebuild the place of worship of David, which is fallen down; and I’ll rebuild its ruins, and I’ll set it up: That the rest of the peoples might look for God, and all the other peoples, on whom My Name is called, God said, who does all this”. God knows everything we’ve done from the beginning of the world. So this is what I think: we shouldn’t trouble those who came from among the other peoples who turned to God: But we should write to them, and tell them not to worship anything else but God, not to do any sexual sin, and not to eat anything that has been strangled, or still has blood in it. Moses, since long ago, has been made known to them in every city by those who preached, being read in the place of worships every Day of Worship.

     [22-35] Then it pleased the followers and elders, along with the whole church, to send some chosen out of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas, who was nicknamed Barsabas, and Silas, who were leaders among the Christians: And they wrote letters later by them in this way:

The followers, elders, and Christians send greeting to the Christians which are of the other peoples in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: So as we’ve heard that some who went out from us have upset you with their words, weakening your faith, saying, “You must be cleansed, and obey the Word of God”: to whom we gave no such word: We thought it best, all of us having one heart, to send some of our people to you, along with our dear loved ones Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the Name of our Christ, Yeshua. So we’ve sent Judas and Silas, who will also tell you the same things by mouth. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to put on you nothing more than what’s necessary; That you don’t eat meats offered in worship to statues, don’t eat anything with its blood in it, or that has been strangled, and don’t do any sexual sin: if you keep yourselves from these things, you’ll do good. Be well.

So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the crowd together, they gave them the letter: Which after they had read it, they celebrated for the comfort it gave them. And Judas and Silas, being great preachers also themselves, encouraged the Christians with many words, and blessed them. And after they had stayed there awhile, they went in peace from the new Christians back to the followers. But Silas decided to stay there. Paul and Barnabas also stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching the Word of God, with many others also.

    [36-41] And a few days later, Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go and visit the Christians everywhere that we’ve preached the Word of God, and see how they’re doing. And Barnabas decided to take with them John, whose nickname was Mark. But Paul didn’t want to take him with them, who had left from Pamphylia, and didn’t go with them to the work. And the argument between them was so great, that they separated from one another: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed to Cyprus; And Paul chose Silas, and went, being recommended by the Christians to God’s grace. And they went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

    16[1-15] Then they came to Derbe and Lystra: And a certain follower was there, named Timothy, whose mother was a Jew, who believed; but whose father was a Greek: Which they were told of by the Christians that were at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted him to go out with them; and took and cut his foreskin because of the Jews there, all of them knowing that his father was a Greek. And as they went through the cities, they gave them the rules they were to keep, that were set up by the followers and elders which were at Jerusalem. And so the churches settled in the faith, and increased in number daily. Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were foretold by the Holy Spirit to preach the Word in Asia, after they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit wouldn’t let them. And passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; In which someone of Macedonia stood, calling them, saying, “Come over into Macedonia, and help us.” And after he had seen the vision, we quickly tried to go into Macedonia, gathering that God had called us to preach the New Word to them. So leaving from Troas, we came straight to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; And from there to Philippi, which is the leading city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were staying a few days in that in that city. And on the Seventh Day we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer services were being held; and we sat down, and spoke to the women which went there. And a certain woman named Lydia, who sold things dyed purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart God opened, that she listened to the things which were spoken by Paul. And after she and her family were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you’ve judged me to be faithful to God, come stay at my house. So she won over us.

    [16-24] And then, as we went to prayer, a certain girl, who was being controlled by an evil spirit which helped her tell the future, and which made her employers much money by her fortune telling, followed Paul and us, and called out, saying, “These people are the workers of the Most High God, who will show us the way to be saved.” And she did this many days, so Paul, being tired of it, turned saying to the spirit, “I tell you in the Name of Yeshua the Christ to come out of her.” And it came out as soon as he said it. And when her employers saw that they had no hope of making any more money off of her, they caught Paul and Silas, bringing them into the shopping center to the rulers, and brought them to the courts, saying, “These people, being Jews, greatly trouble our city, and teach a way of life, which isn’t right for us to do, nor to observe, being Romans.” And the crowd gathered together against them, tearing off their clothes, and told the guards to beat them. And when they had beaten them, they put them in jail, charging the jailer to keep them safely: Who, having gotten such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and put their feet in chains.

    [25-40] And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises to God: and all the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake that shook the foundations of the prison: and suddenly all the doors began to open, and everyone’s chains fell open. And the keeper of the prison, awaking out of sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, drew out his weapon, and would have killed himself, thinking that the prisoners had run away. But Paul hollered out, saying, “Do yourself no harm; we’re all here.” Then he called for a light, and came in trembling, and bowed down to Paul and Silas, and brought them out, saying, “Please, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe on Yeshua the Christ, and you’ll be saved, and your whole house.” And they told him the Word of God, along with all that were in his house. And he took them the same time of the night, and washed their wounds; and was baptized, him and his whole house. And when he had brought them home, he gave them something to eat, and celebrated, believing in God with his whole house. But when the day came, the courts sent the sergeants, saying, “Let those people go.” And the keeper of the prison told this to Paul, “The courts have sent to let you go: so you can leave now, and go in peace.” But Paul answered, “They have beaten us openly uncharged, being Romans, and have put us in jail; and now do they want to kick us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and get us out. And the sergeants told these words to the courts: and they were afraid, when they heard that they were Romans. And they came, begging them, and brought them out, and asked them to leave the city. And they went out of the prison, and went to the house of Lydia, and when they had seen the Christians, they comforted them, and left.

    17[1-4] Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a place of worship of the Jews: And Paul, as his way was, for three Days of Worship, went in and explained to them and showed them from the Word that Christ needed to have suffered, and come back to life again from the dead; saying that “This Yeshua, whom I preach to you, is the Christ.” And some of them believed, and a great crowd of dedicated Greeks and many of the leading women gathered together with Paul and Silas.

    [5-9] But the Jews that didn’t believe, became jealous, and gathered a crowd of evil people, who stirred up the whole city, and attacked the house of Jason, trying to bring them out to the people. But when they didn’t find them, they took Jason and a few other Christians to the rulers of the city, saying, “These people who have upset the whole world have come here also; Whom Jason has taken in: and they all act against the law of Caesar, saying that there’s another ruler, Yeshua. Both the people and the rulers of the city were greatly upset when they heard this. And when they had taken money from Jason, and the others for security, they let them go.

    [10-15] And right away the Christians sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea: who coming there went into the Jews’ place of worship. The people there were more understanding than those in Thessalonica, in that they accepted the Word with willing minds, and searched the Words daily, to see whether or not those things were true. So many of them believed; both the honorable women of the Greeks, and many of the men. But when the Jews of Thessalonica found out that Paul preached the Word of God at Berea, they came there also, and stirred up the people there. And then the Christians quickly sent Paul away to go to the sea: but Silas and Timothy still stayed there. And those who led Paul brought him to Athens: and being told to tell Silas and Timothy to come to him as quickly as they could, they went.

    [16-21] Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred when he saw the whole city falsely worshiped other things. So he argued in the place of worship with the Jews, and with the other people who were dedicated, and in the shopping center daily with whoever he met. Then he met certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoics. And some said, “What’s this babbler trying to say? Others said, He seems to be telling us of a strange god: because he was preaching about Yeshua and the new life to them. And they took paul, and brought him to Areopagus, asking, “Would you please tell us what this new teaching is, which you’ve been talking about? What you’ve been saying seems strange to us: so we want to know what it means.” (All the Athenians and the strangers who came there spent all their time either telling, or listening to something new.)

    [22-33] Then Paul stood in the middle of Mars’ hill, saying, “You people of Athens, I realize that you’re too superstitious in everything, because as I passed by, and watched your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. I will tell you about the One whom you worship without knowing. God, who made the world and everything in it, seeing that this One is the God of all heaven and earth, doesn’t live in place of worship made with human hands; Neither is worshipped with human hands, as though God needed anything, seeing that God gives life, breath, and everything else to all things; And has made of one race all the nations of humanity that live on the face of the earth, and has decided their times beforehand, and where the borders of their nation was to be; To look for God, if it so happens that they search for God, and finds God, though God isn’t far from any of us: because we live, and move, and have our very being in God; as certain also of your own poets have said, “We’re God’s children also.” So then, since we’re the children of God, we shouldn’t think that God is like gold, or silver, or stone, which is carved by the art work of a human being. And though God winked at these times of ignorance; now God tells everyone everywhere to change their evil ways: God has chosen a day, in which the whole world will be judged rightly by that person whom God has set apart; in which God has given assurance to everyone, in that God has raised the Christ from the dead. And when they heard of the coming to life again of the dead, some mocked him, but others said, “We want to hear more about this from you.” So Paul left them. But some of them stayed with him, and believed: Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and some others being among them.

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