Then the apostles and elders,1 with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch2 with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas,3 two men who were leaders among the brothers.
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With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch,4 Syria5 and Cilicia:6 Greetings.7
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We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.8
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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 lives9 for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas10 to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing.
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It seemed good to the Holy Spirit11 and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:
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You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.12 You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.
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The men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter.
The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message.
Judas and Silas,13 who themselves were prophets,14 said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers.
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After spending some time there, they were sent off by the brothers with the blessing of peace15 to return to those who had sent them.
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But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached16 the word of the Lord.17
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Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns18 where we preached the word of the Lord 19 and see how they are doing."
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Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark,20 with them,
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but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them21 in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.
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They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,
but Paul chose Silas22 and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.23
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He went through Syria24 and Cilicia,25 strengthening the churches.26
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