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.18
God, who knows the heart,2 showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them,3 just as he did to us.
He made no distinction between us and them,4 for he purified their hearts by faith.510
Now then, why do you try to test God6 by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke7 that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?
No! We believe it is through the grace8 of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders9 God had done among the Gentiles through them.1013
When they finished, James11 spoke up: "Brothers, listen to me.
Simona has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself.1215
The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:
" 'After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it,
that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things'b1318
that have been known for ages.c1419
"It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.
Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols,15 from sexual immorality,16 from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.1721
For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."18
Then the apostles and elders,19 with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch20 with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas,21 two men who were leaders among the brothers.
With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch,22 Syria23 and Cilicia:24 Greetings.2524
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.2625
So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul--
men who have risked their lives27 for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas28 to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing.
It seemed good to the Holy Spirit29 and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:
You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.30 You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.