1 The apostles and the believers all through Judea heard that people who were not Jews had also received God's word. 2 Peter went up to Jerusalem. There the Jewish believers found fault with him. 3 They said, "You went into the house of those who aren't Jews. You ate with them." 4 Peter explained everything to them. He told them exactly what had happened. 5 "I was in the city of Joppa praying," he said. "There I had a vision. I saw something that looked like a large sheet. It was being let down from heaven by its four corners. It came down to where I was. 6 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth. There were also wild animals, reptiles and birds. 7 Then I heard a voice speaking to me. 'Get up, Peter,' the voice said. 'Kill and eat.' 8 "I replied, 'No, Lord! I will not! Nothing that is not pure and "clean" has ever entered my mouth.' 9 "A second time the voice spoke from heaven. 'Do not say anything is not pure that God has made "clean," ' the voice said. 10 This happened three times. Then the sheet was pulled up into heaven. 11 "Just then three men stopped at the house where I was staying. They had been sent to me from Caesarea. 12 The Holy Spirit told me not to let anything keep me from going with them. These six brothers here went with me. We entered the man's house. 13 He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house. The angel said, 'Send to Joppa for Simon Peter. 14 He has a message to bring to you. You and your whole family will be saved through it.' 15 "As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them. He came just as he had come on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered the Lord's words. 'John baptized with water,' he had said. 'But you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' 17 God gave them the same gift he gave those of us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. So who was I to think that I could oppose God?" 18 When they heard this, they didn't object anymore. They praised God. They said, "So then, God has allowed even those who aren't Jews to turn away from their sins and live." 19 Some believers had been scattered by the suffering that came to them after Stephen's death. They traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch. But they told the message only to Jews. 20 Some believers from Cyprus and Cyrene went to Antioch. There they began to speak to Greeks also. They told them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord's power was with them. Large numbers of people believed and turned to the Lord. 22 The church in Jerusalem heard about this. So they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad. He told them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 Barnabas was a good man. He was full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. Large numbers of people came to know the Lord. 25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul. 26 He found him there. Then he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church. They taught large numbers of people. At Antioch the believers were called Christians for the first time. 27 In those days some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them was named Agabus. He stood up and spoke through the Spirit. He said there would not be nearly enough food anywhere in the Roman world. This happened while Claudius was the emperor. 29 The believers decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. All of them helped as much as they could. 30 They sent their gift to the elders through Barnabas and Saul.
1 About this time, King Herod arrested some people who belonged to the church. He planned to make them suffer greatly. 2 He had James killed with a sword. James was John's brother. 3 Herod saw that the death of James pleased the Jews. So he arrested Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. 4 After Herod arrested Peter, he put him in prison. Peter was placed under guard. He was watched by four groups of four soldiers each. Herod planned to put Peter on public trial. It would take place after the Passover Feast. 5 So Peter was kept in prison. But the church prayed hard to God for him. 6 It was the night before Herod was going to bring him to trial. Peter was sleeping between two soldiers. Two chains held him there. Lookouts stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared. A light shone in the prison cell. The angel struck Peter on his side. Peter woke up. "Quick!" the angel said. "Get up!" The chains fell off Peter's wrists. 8 Then the angel said to him, "Put on your clothes and sandals." Peter did so. "Put on your coat," the angel told him. "Follow me." 9 Peter followed him out of the prison. But he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening. He thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards. Then they came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself. They went through it. They walked the length of one street. Suddenly the angel left Peter. 11 Then Peter realized what had happened. He said, "Now I know for sure that the Lord sent his angel. He set me free from Herod's power. He saved me from everything the Jewish people were hoping for." 12 When Peter understood what had happened, he went to Mary's house. Mary was the mother of John Mark. Many people had gathered in her home. They were praying there. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance. A servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 She recognized Peter's voice. She was so excited that she ran back without opening the door. "Peter is at the door!" she exclaimed. 15 "You're out of your mind," they said to her. But she kept telling them it was true. So they said, "It must be his angel." 16 Peter kept on knocking. When they opened the door and saw him, they were amazed. 17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet. He explained how the Lord had brought him out of prison. "Tell James and the others about this," he said. Then he went to another place. 18 In the morning the soldiers were bewildered. They couldn't figure out what had happened to Peter. 19 So Herod had them look everywhere for Peter. But they didn't find him. Then Herod questioned the guards closely. He ordered that they be put to death. Herod went from Judea to Caesarea. He stayed there awhile. 20 He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they got together and asked for a meeting with him. This was because they depended on the king's country to supply them with food. They gained the support of Blastus and asked for peace. Blastus was a trusted personal servant of the king. 21 The appointed day came. Herod was seated on his throne. He was wearing his royal robes. He made a speech to the people. 22 Then they shouted, "This is the voice of a god. It's not the voice of a man." 23 Right away an angel of the Lord struck Herod down. Herod had not given praise to God. So he was eaten by worms and died. 24 But God's word continued to increase and spread. 25 Barnabas and Saul finished their task. Then they returned from Jerusalem. They took John Mark with them.
1 In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers. Among them were Barnabas, Simeon, and Lucius from Cyrene. Simeon was also called Niger. Another was Manaen. He had been brought up with Herod, the ruler of Galilee. Saul was among them too. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke. "Set apart Barnabas and Saul for me," he said. "I have appointed them to do special work." 3 The prophets and teachers fasted and prayed. They placed their hands on Barnabas and Saul. Then they sent them off. 4 Barnabas and Saul were sent on their way by the Holy Spirit. They went down to Seleucia. From there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 They arrived at Salamis. There they preached God's word in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper. 6 They traveled all across the island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jew named Bar-Jesus. He was an evil magician and a false prophet. 7 He was an attendant of Sergius Paulus, the governor. Paulus was a man of understanding. He sent for Barnabas and Saul. He wanted to hear God's word. 8 But Elymas, the evil magician, opposed them. The name Elymas means "magician." He tried to keep the governor from becoming a believer. 9 Saul was also known as Paul. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. He looked straight at Elymas. He said to him, 10 "You are a child of the devil! You are an enemy of everything that is right! You cheat people. You use all kinds of tricks. Won't you ever stop twisting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the Lord's hand is against you. You are going to go blind. You won't be able to see the light of the sun for a while." Right away mist and darkness came over him. He tried to feel his way around. He wanted to find someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the governor saw what had happened, he believed. He was amazed at what Paul was teaching about the Lord. 13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia. There John left them and returned to Jerusalem. 14 From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath day they entered the synagogue and sat down. 15 The Law and the Prophets were read aloud. Then the synagogue rulers sent word to Paul and his companions. They said, "Brothers, do you have a message of hope for the people? If you do, please speak." 16 Paul stood up and motioned with his hand. Then he said, "Men of Israel, and you non-Jews who worship God, listen to me! 17 The God of Israel chose our people who lived long ago. He blessed them greatly while they were in Egypt. With his mighty power he led them out of that country. 18 He put up with them for about 40 years in the desert. 19 He destroyed seven nations in Canaan. Then he gave the land to his people as their rightful share. 20 All of this took about 450 years. "After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. 21 Then the people asked for a king. He gave them Saul, son of Kish. Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin. He ruled for 40 years. 22 God removed him and made David their king. Here is God's witness about him. 'David, son of Jesse, is a man dear to my heart,' he said. 'He will do everything I want him to do.' 23 "From this man's family line God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus. This is what he had promised. 24 Before Jesus came, John preached that we should turn away from our sins and be baptized. He preached this to all Israel. 25 John was coming to the end of his work. 'Who do you think I am?' he said. 'I am not the one you are looking for. No, he is coming after me. I am not good enough to untie his sandals.' 26 "Listen, brothers, you children of Abraham! Listen, you non-Jews who worship God! This message of salvation has been sent to us. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus. By finding him guilty, they made the prophets' words come true. These are read every Sabbath day. 28 The people and their rulers had no reason at all for sentencing Jesus to death. But they asked Pilate to have him killed. 29 They did everything that had been written about Jesus. Then they took him down from the cross. They laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead. 31 For many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. Now they are his witnesses to our people. 32 "We are telling you the good news. What God promised our people long ago 33 he has done for us, their children. He has raised up Jesus. This is what is written in the second Psalm. It says, " 'You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.' (Psalm 2:7) 34 God raised Jesus from the dead. He will never rot in the grave. This is what is written in Scripture. It says, " 'Holy and sure blessings were promised to David. I will give them to you.' (Isaiah 55:3) 35 In another place it says, " 'You will not let your Holy One rot away.' (Psalm 16:10) 36 "David carried out God's purpose while he lived. Then he died. He was buried with his people. His body rotted away. 37 But the One whom God raised from the dead did not rot away. 38 "My brothers, here is what I want you to know. I announce to you that your sins can be forgiven because of what Jesus has done. 39 Through him everyone who believes is made right with God. Moses' law could not make you right in God's eyes. 40 Be careful! Don't let what the prophets spoke about happen to you. They said, 41 " 'Look, you who make fun of the truth! Wonder and die! I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe. You wouldn't believe it even if someone told you.' " (Habakkuk 1:5) 42 Paul and Barnabas started to leave the synagogue. The people invited them to say more about these things on the next Sabbath day. 43 The people were told they could leave the service. Many Jews followed Paul and Barnabas. Many non-Jews who faithfully worshiped the God of the Jews did the same. Paul and Barnabas talked with them. They tried to get them to keep living in God's grace. 44 On the next Sabbath day, almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they became very jealous. They said evil things against what Paul was saying. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly. "We had to speak God's word to you first," they said. "But you don't accept it. You don't think you are good enough for eternal life. So now we are turning to those who aren't Jews. 47 This is what the Lord has commanded us to do. He said, " 'I have made you a light for those who aren't Jews. You will bring salvation to the whole earth.' " (Isaiah 49:6) 48 When the non-Jews heard this, they were glad. They honored the word of the Lord. All who were appointed for eternal life believed. 49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole area. 50 But the Jews stirred up the important women who worshiped God. They also stirred up the men who were leaders in the city. They tried to get them to attack Paul and Barnabas. They threw them out of that area. 51 Paul and Barnabas didn't like this. So they shook the dust from their feet. They went on to Iconium. 52 The believers were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.