Acts 15:1-21 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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The Meeting at Jerusalem

15 1Then some men came [to Antioch] from Judea. They began teaching the non-Jewish brothers: "You cannot be saved if you are not circumcised.* Moses taught us to do this." 2Paul and Barnabas were against this teaching. They argued with these men about it. So the group decided to send Paul, Barnabas, and some other men to Jerusalem. These men were going there to talk more about this with the apostles* and elders.* 3The church helped the men leave on the trip. These men went through the countries of Phoenicia and Samaria. In these countries they told all about how the non-Jewish people had turned to the true God. This made all the brothers very happy. 4Paul, Barnabas, and the others arrived in Jerusalem. The apostles,* the elders,* and the whole group of believers welcomed them. Paul, Barnabas, and the others told about all the things that God had done with them. 5Some of the believers [in Jerusalem] had belonged to the Pharisees.* They stood up and said, "The non-Jewish believers must be circumcised.* We must tell them to obey the law of Moses!" 6Then the apostles* and the elders* gathered to study this problem. 7There was a long debate. Then Peter stood up and said to them, "My brothers, I know that you remember what happened in the early days. God chose me then from among you to tell the Good News* to the non-Jewish people. They heard the Good News from me and they believed. 8God knows the thoughts of all men, and he accepted these non-Jewish people. God showed this to us by giving them the Holy Spirit* the same as he did to us. 9To God, those people are not different from us. When they believed, God made their hearts pure. 10So now, why are you putting a heavy burden* around the necks of the non-Jewish brothers? Are you trying to make God angry? We and our fathers* were not strong enough to carry that burden! 11No, we believe that we and these people will be saved by the grace (mercy) of the Lord Jesus!" 12Then the whole group became quiet. They listened to Paul and Barnabas speak. Paul and Barnabas told about all the miracles and wonders* that God did through them among the non-Jewish people. 13Paul and Barnabas finished speaking. Then James spoke. He said, "My brothers, listen to me. 14Simon (Peter) has told us how God showed his love for the non-Jewish people. For the first time, God accepted the non-Jewish people and made them his people. 15The words of the prophets* agree with this too: 16'I (God) will return after this. I will build David's* house again. It has fallen down. I will build again the parts of his house that have been pulled down. I will make his house new. 17Then all other people will look for the Lord (God) -- all the non-Jewish people that are my people too. The Lord (God) said this. And he is the One who does all these things. Amos 9:11-12

18These things have been known from the beginning of time.' 19"So I think we should not bother the non-Jewish brothers who have turned to God. 20Instead, we should write a letter to them. We should tell them these things: Don't eat food that has been given to idols.* (This makes the food unclean.) Don't do any kind of sexual sin. Don't eat meat from animals that have been strangled (choked) or any meat that still has the blood in it. 21They should not do these things, because there are still men (Jews) in every city who teach the law of Moses. The words of Moses have been read in the synagogue* every Sabbath day* for many years."

circumcised To have the foreskin cut off. This was done to every Jewish baby boy. It was a mark of the agreement that God made with Abraham (Gen. 17:9-14). apostles The men Jesus chose to be his special helpers. elders A group of men chosen to lead a church. Also called "overseers" and "pastors" ("shepherds"), they have the work of caring for God's people (Acts 20:28; Eph. 4:11; Tit. 1:7,9). Pharisees The Pharisees were a Jewish religious group that claimed to follow carefully all Jewish laws and customs. Good News, message The news that God has made a way for people to have their sins forgiven and live with him forever. Spirit, Holy Spirit Also called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Comforter. Joined with God and Christ, he does God's work among people in the world. burden The Jewish law. Some of the Jews tried to make the non-Jewish believers follow this law. father(s) Important ancestors of the Jews; the leaders of the twelve Jewish family groups. miracles and wonders Amazing works or great things done by the power of God. prophets People that spoke for God. Some of them wrote books that are part of the Old Testament. David King of Israel about 1000 years before Christ. idols The false gods that the non-Jewish people worshiped. synagogue(s) Synagogues were places where Jews gathered for prayer, study of the Scriptures, and other public meetings. Sabbath day The seventh day of the Jewish week. It was a special religious day for the Jews.

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