Now the apostles and the brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.
So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him,
saying, "Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?"
But Peter began and explained to them in order:
"I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, something descending, like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came down to me.
Looking at it closely I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air.
And I heard a voice saying to me, 'Rise, Peter; kill and eat.'
But I said, 'No, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.'
But the voice answered a second time from heaven, 'What God has cleansed you must not call common.'
This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven.
At that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesare'a.
And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brethren also accompanied me, and we entered the man's house.
And he told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, 'Send to Joppa and bring Simon called Peter;
he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.'
As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning.
And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, 'John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'
If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"
When they heard this they were silenced. And they glorified God, saying, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance unto life."
Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoeni'cia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to none except Jews.
But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyre'ne, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus.
And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number that believed turned to the Lord.
News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad; and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose;
for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a large company was added to the Lord.
So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul;
and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians.
Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.
And one of them named Ag'abus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world; and this took place in the days of Claudius.
And the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brethren who lived in Judea;
and they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version w/ Apocrypha)