Chapter 9

  1. And it came to pass in Iconium that they both went together into the synagogue of the Jews and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the gentiles and made their minds poisoned against the brethren. For a long time therefore stayed they, speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided, and part held with the Jews and part with the apostles. And when there was an assault made, both of the gentiles and also of the Jews with their rulers, to treat them spitefully and to stone them, they were aware of it and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lies round about. And there they preached the gospel.
  2. And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb who never had walked. The same heard Paul speak, who, steadfastly beholding him and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, Stand upright on your feet. And he leaped and walked. And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter, and Paul, Mercury, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Jupiter, who was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people, which when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they rent their clothes and ran in among the people, crying out and saying, Sirs, why do you do these things! We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that you should turn from these vanities unto the living God, who made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein; who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless, he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. And with these sayings, they scarcely restrained the people, that they did not do sacrifice unto them.
  3. And there came there certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Nevertheless, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up and came into the city; and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
  4. And when they had preached the gospel to that city and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them elders in every church and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
  5. And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia, and from there sailed to Antioch — from where they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. And when they had come and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith unto the gentiles. And there they stayed for a long time with the disciples.
  6. And certain men who came down from Judea taught the brethren and said, Except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain other of them should go up to Jerusalem, unto the apostles and elders about this question. And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the gentiles; and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
  7. But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees who believed, saying that it was needful to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses; and the apostles and elders came together to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up and said unto them, Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God made choice among us that the gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the hearts, bore them witness, giving them the holy ghost even as he did unto us, and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now, therefore, why do you test God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. Then all the multitude kept silence and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the gentiles by them.
  8. And after they had held their peace, Jacob answered, saying, Men and brethren, listen unto me. Simon has declared how God at the first did visit the gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree 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 I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up, that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the gentiles upon whom my name is called, says the Lord, who does 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 who, from among the gentiles, are turned to God, but that we write unto them that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood; for Moses of old time has in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.
  9. Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: namely Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas — chief men among the brethren. And they wrote letters by them after this manner: The apostles, and elders, and brethren send greeting unto the brethren who are of the gentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia. Forasmuch as we have heard that certain men who went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, You must be circumcised and keep the law — to whom we gave no such commandment — it seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth; for it seemed good to the holy ghost and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from food offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication, from which if you keep yourselves, you shall do well. Farewell.
  10. So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch, and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle, which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation. And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words and confirmed them. And after they had remained there a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the apostles, notwithstanding it pleased Silas to continue there still. Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord with many others also.