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Acts 15 Disciples’ Literal New Testament (DLNT)

15 And certain ones having come down from Judea were teaching the brothers that “Unless you are circumcised by the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved”. And no small dispute and debate by Paul and Barnabas with them having taken place, they[a] appointed[b] Paul and Barnabas and some others of them to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem concerning this issue. So indeed the ones, having been sent-forward by the church, were going through both Phoenicia and Samaria describing-in-detail the conversion[c] of the Gentiles. And they were producing great joy in all the brothers. And having arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders. And they reported all-that God did with them. But some of the ones from the sect of the Pharisees having believed[d] stood-up-out-of the assembly, saying that “It-is-necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the Law of Moses”.

Peter Says That Both Jews And Gentiles Are Saved By Grace And Faith, Not By The Law

And the apostles and the elders were gathered together to see about this matter. And much debate having taken place, Peter, having stood up, said to them, “Men, brothers, you know that from the old[e] days God made-a-choice among you that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the message of the good-news and believe. And God, the heart-knower, testified[f]— having given the Holy Spirit to them, just as also to us. And He made no distinction between both us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. 10 Therefore[g] why are you now testing God by laying a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 Rather, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus in accordance with the way those also are saved ”.

James Quotes The Prophets To Show That It Is God’s Plan To Save The Gentiles

12 And the whole assembly was silent. And they were listening-to Barnabas and Paul describing all the signs and wonders that God did through them among the Gentiles. 13 And after they were silent, James responded, saying, “Men, brothers, listen-to me. 14 Simeon[h] described how God first visited to take a people for His name from the Gentiles. 15 And the words of the prophets agree with this, just as it has been written [in Amos 9:11-12]: 16 ‘After these things I will return and I will rebuild the fallen tent of David. And I will rebuild its things having been torn-down. And I will restore it 17 so that the rest of mankind may seek-out the Lord— even all the Gentiles upon whom My name has been called-upon them[i]’, says the Lord doing these things 18 known from the past age. 19 Therefore I judge that we not be troubling the ones from the Gentiles turning to God, 20 but that we write to them that they should be abstaining from the contaminated[j] things of idols, and sexual-immorality, and the strangled[k] thing, and blood. 21 For from ancient generations, Moses has the ones proclaiming him in each city— being read in the synagogues every Sabbath”.

A Letter Is Sent To Clear Up The Issue And Encourage The Gentile Believers

22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, along with the whole church, that having chosen men from-among them they should send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas— Judas (the one being called Barsabbas) and Silas, leading men among the brothers, 23 having written by their hand:

“The apostles and the elders, your brothers, to the brothers from the Gentiles throughout Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: Greetings. 24 Because we heard that some having gone out from us disturbed you with words, unsettling your souls— to whom we did not give-orders— 25 it seemed good to us, having become of-one-accord, having chosen men, that we should send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul— 26 men[l] having handed-over their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we have sent-forth Judas and Silas; they also will be declaring the same things by spoken word. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to be laying-on you no greater burden except these essentials[m]: 29 that you be abstaining from foods-sacrificed-to-idols, and blood, and strangled things, and sexual immorality; keeping yourselves from which things, you will do well. Farewell”.

30 So indeed the ones, having been sent-away, went down to Antioch. And having gathered together the multitude, they delivered the letter. 31 And having read it, they rejoiced over the encouragement. 32 Both Judas and Silas, also themselves being prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with a long[n] message. 33 And having done time there, they were sent-away with greetings of peace from the brothers to the ones having sent them out. 34 [o]

Paul And Barnabas Plan a Second Missionary Journey From Antioch, But Split Over John Mark

35 Now Paul and Barnabas were spending-time in Antioch, teaching and announcing-as-good-news the word of the Lord, along with many others also. 36 And after some days, Paul said to Barnabas, “Having returned, let us now visit the brothers in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord to see how they are having[p] things”. 37 And Barnabas was wanting to also take along John with them, the one being called Mark. 38 But Paul was considering-it-fitting that they not be taking-along-with them this one having withdrawn[q] from them since Pamphylia, and not having gone with them to the work. 39 And a disagreement took-place, so that they were separated from one another. And Barnabas, having taken along Mark, sailed-off to Cyprus[r].

Paul And Silas Revisit The Churches From Paul’s First Journey. Timothy Joins Them

40 And Paul, having chosen[s] Silas[t], went forth, having been handed-over to the grace of the Lord by the brothers. 41 And he was going[u] through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.


  1. Acts 15:2 That is, the brothers in Antioch, v 1.
  2. Acts 15:2 Or, assigned.
  3. Acts 15:3 Or, turning.
  4. Acts 15:5 That is, some believers who were formerly Pharisees.
  5. Acts 15:7 That is, the days of Acts 10, now some ten years in the past.
  6. Acts 15:8 That is, testified that Cornelius was truly and fully saved.
  7. Acts 15:10 The believers in Antioch are a continuation of what God started to do back in Acts 10. These former Pharisees are rejecting the testimony God gave in Acts 10, and seeking to lay on these Gentiles things they themselves could not keep.
  8. Acts 15:14 That is, Peter, v 7. This is the Aramaic form of ‘Simon’.
  9. Acts 15:17 That is, upon whom God has placed His name.
  10. Acts 15:20 Or, polluted, defiled. That is, the foods (v 29) contaminated by their association with idol-worship.
  11. Acts 15:20 That is, meat from strangled animals, because the blood remained in it, violating a command that goes back to Noah’s time, Gen 9:4.
  12. Acts 15:26 This refers specifically to Barnabas and Paul.
  13. Acts 15:28 Or, necessities.
  14. Acts 15:32 Or, a great message. That is, long in duration; or great in quality. If Luke is referring to multiple occasions rather than one speaking event, then this means ‘much speaking’, as in 20:2.
  15. Acts 15:34 Some manuscripts add here, But it seemed good to Silas to remain there. Note v 40.
  16. Acts 15:36 That is, how things are going.
  17. Acts 15:38 Or, more strongly (based on one’s understanding of this event), abandoned, deserted. This word is not related to ‘departed’ in 13:13.
  18. Acts 15:39 Barnabas and Mark return to the cities they had visited with Paul in chapter 13. Cyprus is the native country of Barnabas, 4:36. Paul and Silas visit the churches he and Barnabas had founded.
  19. Acts 15:40 Or, selected, called-upon.
  20. Acts 15:40 He is called Silvanus in 1 Thes 1:1.
  21. Acts 15:41 This time, Paul goes by land.
Disciples’ Literal New Testament (DLNT)

Disciples' Literal New Testament: Serving Modern Disciples by More Fully Reflecting the Writing Style of the Ancient Disciples, Copyright © 2011 Michael J. Magill. All Rights Reserved. Published by Reyma Publishing

Acts 15 New International Version (NIV)

The Council at Jerusalem

15 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.

Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”

The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13 When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. 14 Simon[a] has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:

16 “‘After this I will return
    and rebuild David’s fallen tent.
Its ruins I will rebuild,
    and I will restore it,
17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
    even all the Gentiles who bear my name,
says the Lord, who does these things’[b]
18     things known from long ago.[c]

19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers

22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers. 23 With them they sent the following letter:

The apostles and elders, your brothers,

To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:


24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.


30 So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31 The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message. 32 Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. 33 After spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. [34] [d] 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.

Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas

36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.


  1. Acts 15:14 Greek Simeon, a variant of Simon; that is, Peter
  2. Acts 15:17 Amos 9:11,12 (see Septuagint)
  3. Acts 15:18 Some manuscripts things’— / 18 the Lord’s work is known to him from long ago
  4. Acts 15:34 Some manuscripts include here But Silas decided to remain there.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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