15:14. Simon hath related how God first visited to take to the Gentiles, a people to his name.
15:15. And to this agree the words of the prophets, as it is written:
15:16. After these things I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down: and the ruins thereof I will rebuild.
And I will set it up:
15:17. That the residue of men may seek after the Lord, and all nations upon whom my name is invoked, saith the Lord, who doth these things.
15:18. To the Lord was his own work known from the beginning of the world.
15:19. For which cause, judge that they who from among the Gentiles are converted to God are not to be disquieted:
15:20. But that we write unto them, that they refrain themselves from the pollutions of idols and from fornication and from things strangled and from blood.
15:21. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him in the synagogues, where he is read every sabbath.
15:22. Then it pleased the apostles and ancients, with the whole church, to choose men of their own company and to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas, who was surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren.
15:23. Writing by their hands: The apostles and ancients, brethren, to the brethren of the Gentiles that are at Antioch and in Syria and Cilicia, greeting.
15:24. Forasmuch as we have heard that some going out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, to whom we gave no commandment:
15:25. It hath seemed good to us, being assembled together, to choose out men and to send them unto you, with our well beloved Barnabas and Paul:
15:26. Men that have given their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15:27. We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who themselves also will, by word of mouth, tell you the same things.
15:28. For it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us to lay no further burden upon you than these necessary things:
15:29. That you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication: from which things keeping yourselves, you shall do well. Fare ye well.
From blood, and from things strangled... The use of these things, though of their own nature indifferent, was here prohibited, to bring the Jews more easily to admit of the society of the Gentiles; and to exercise the latter in obedience. But this prohibition was but temporary, and has long since ceased to oblige; more especially in the western churches.
15:30. They therefore, being dismissed, went down to Antioch and, gathering together the multitude, delivered the epistle.
15:31. Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.
15:32. But Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, with many words comforted the brethren and confirmed them.
15:33. And after they had spent some time there, they were let go with peace by the brethren unto them that had sent them.
15:34. But it seemed good unto Silas to remain there: and Judas alone departed to Jerusalem.
15:35. And Paul and Barnabas continued at Antioch, teaching and preaching, with many others, the word of the Lord.
15:36. And after some days, Paul said to Barnabas: Let us return and visit our brethren in all the cities wherein we have preached the word of the Lord, to see how they do.
15:37. And Barnabas would have taken with them John also, that was surnamed Mark.
15:38. But Paul desired that he (as having departed from them out of Pamphylia and not gone with them to the work) might not be received.
15:39. And there arose a dissension so that they departed one from another. And Barnabas indeed, taking Mark, sailed to Cyprus.
15:40. But Paul, choosing Silas, departed, being delivered by the brethren to the grace of God.
15:41. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches, commanding them to keep the precepts of the apostles and the ancients.
Acts Chapter 16
Paul visits the churches. He is called to preach in Macedonia. He is scourged at Philippi.
16:1. And he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, there was a certain disciple there named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman that believed: but his father was a Gentile.
16:2. To this man the brethren that were in Lystra and Iconium gave a good testimony.
16:3. Him Paul would have to go along with him: and taking him, he circumcised him, because of the Jews who were in those places. For they all knew that his father was a Gentile.
16:4. And as they passed through the cities, they delivered unto them the decrees for to keep, that were decreed by the apostles and ancients who were at Jerusalem.
16:5. And the churches were confirmed in faith and increased in number daily.
16:6. And when they had passed through Phrygia and the country of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia.
16:7. And when they were come into Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia: and the Spirit of Jesus suffered them not.
16:8. And when they had passed through Mysia, they went down to Troas.
16:9. And a vision was shewed to Paul in the night, which was a man of Macedonia standing and beseeching him and saying: Pass over into Macedonia and help us.
16:10. And as soon as he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia: being assured that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
16:11. And sailing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the day following to Neapolis.
16:12. And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were in this city some days conferring together.
16:13. And upon the Sabbath day, we went forth without the gate by a river side, where it seemed that there was prayer: and sitting down, we spoke to the women that were assembled.
16:14. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one that worshipped God, did hear: whose heart the Lord opened to attend to those things which were said by Paul.
16:15. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying: If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide there. And she constrained us.
16:16. And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain girl having a pythonical spirit met us, who brought to her masters much gain by divining.
A pythonical spirit... That is, a spirit pretending to divine, and tell fortunes.
16:17. This same following Paul and us, cried out, saying: These men are the servants of the Most High God, who preach unto you the way of salvation.