At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: "Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe.
God, who knows people's hearts, confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he gave him to us.
He made no distinction between us and them, for he also cleansed their hearts through faith.
Why are you now questioning God's way by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear?
We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the special favor of the Lord Jesus."
When they had finished, James stood and said, "Brothers, listen to me.
Peter has told you about the time God first visited the Gentiles to take from them a people for himself.
And this conversion of Gentiles agrees with what the prophets predicted. For instance, it is written:
'Afterward I will return, and I will restore the fallen kingdom of David. From the ruins I will rebuild it, and I will restore it,
so that the rest of humanity might find the Lord, including the Gentiles -- all those I have called to be mine. This is what the Lord says,
he who made these things known long ago.'
And so my judgment is that we should stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God,
except that we should write to them and tell them to abstain from eating meat sacrificed to idols, from sexual immorality, and from consuming blood or eating the meat of strangled animals.
For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)