Then the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, decided to select men from among them and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas, called Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers.
They wrote this letter to be delivered by them: From the apostles and the elders, your brothers, To the brothers from among the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings.
Because we have heard that some to whom we gave no authorization went out from us and troubled you with their words and unsettled your hearts,
we have unanimously decided to select men and send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who will personally report the same things by word of mouth.
For it was the Holy Spirit's decision-and ours-to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things:
that you abstain from food offered to idols, from blood, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these things, you will do well. Farewell.
Then, being sent off, they went down to Antioch, and after gathering the assembly, they delivered the letter.
When they read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.
Both Judas and Silas, who were also prophets themselves, encouraged the brothers and strengthened them with a long message.
After spending some time there, they were sent back in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them.
But Paul and Barnabas, along with many others, remained in Antioch teaching and proclaiming the message of the Lord.
After some time had passed, Paul said to Barnabas, "Let's go back and visit the brothers in every town where we have preached the message of the Lord, and see how they're doing."
Barnabas wanted to take along John Mark.
But Paul did not think it appropriate to take along this man who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone on with them to the work.
There was such a sharp disagreement that they parted company, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed off to Cyprus.
Then Paul chose Silas and departed, after being commended to the grace of the Lord by the brothers.
He traveled through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.