Then certain individuals came down from Judea and were teaching
the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised according to the
custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." And after Paul and
had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas
and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem
to discuss this question with the apostles and the elders.
So they were sent on their way by the church.
. . . When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by
the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported
all that God had done with them. But some believers who
belonged to the sect of the Pharisees
stood up and said, "It is necessary for them to be circumcised
and ordered to keep the law of Moses."
The apostles and the elders met together to consider this
matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up
and said to them, "My brothers, you know that in the early
days God made a choice among you, that I should be the
one through whom the Gentiles would hear the message of
the good news and become believers. And God, who knows
the human heart, testified to them by giving them the Holy
Spirit, just as he did to us; and in cleansing their heart
by faith he has made no distinction between them and us.
Now therefore why are you putting God to the test by placing
on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors
nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe
that we will be saved though the grace of the Lord Jesus,
just as they will."
And all the assembly kept silence, and listened to Barnabas
and Paul as they told of all the signs and wonders that
God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they
finished speaking, James
replied, "My brothers, listen to me. Simeon
has related how God first looked favorably on the Gentiles,
to take from among them a people for his name. This agrees
the words of the prophets. . . Therefore I have reached
the decision that we should not trouble those Gentiles who
are turning to God, but we should write to them to abstain
only from things polluted by idols and from fornication
and from whatever
has been strangled and from blood. For in every city,
for generations past, Moses has had those who proclaim him,
for he has been read aloud every sabbath in the synagogues."