At Caesarea1 there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment.
He and all his family were devout and God-fearing;2 he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.
One day at about three in the afternoon3 he had a vision.4 He distinctly saw an angel5 of God, who came to him and said, "Cornelius!"
Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked. The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering6 before God.75
Now send men to Joppa8 to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter.
He is staying with Simon the tanner,9 whose house is by the sea."
When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants.
He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.10
About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof11 to pray.
He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.1211
He saw heaven opened13 and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners.
It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air.
Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."14
"Surely not, Lord!"14 Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."1515
The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."1616
This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision,17 the men sent by Cornelius18 found out where Simon's house was and stopped at the gate.
They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.
While Peter was still thinking about the vision,19 the Spirit said20 to him, "Simon, threea men are looking for you.
So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them."2121
Peter went down and said to the men, "I'm the one you're looking for. Why have you come?"
The men replied, "We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man,22 who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to have you come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say."23