Peter and Cornelius (Caesarea)
1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in the Italian Cohort, as it was called. 2 He was a religious man, and he and his whole family joined in the worship of God. He gave generously to help the Jewish people, and was regular in his prayers to God. 3 One day about three in the afternoon he had a vision in which he clearly saw an angel of God, who came into his room and said, 'Cornelius!' 4 He stared at him in terror. 'What is it, my lord?' he asked. The angel said, 'Your prayers and acts of charity have gone up to heaven to speak for you before God. 5 And now send to Joppa for a man named Simon, also called Peter: 6 he is lodging with another Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.' 7 So when the angel who was speaking to him had gone, he summoned two of his servants and a military orderly who was a religious man, 8 told them the whole story, and sent them to Joppa.
9 Next day, while they were still on their way and approaching the city, about noon Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He grew hungry and wanted something to eat. While they were getting it ready, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw a rift in the sky, and a thing coming down that looked like a great sheet of sailcloth. It was slung by the four corners, and was being lowered to the ground. 12 In it he saw creatures of every kind, whatever walks or crawls or flies. 13 Then there was a voice which said to him, 'Up, Peter, kill and eat.' 14 But Peter said, 'No, Lord, no: I have never eaten anything profane or unclean.' 15 The voice came again a second time: 'It is not for you to call profane what God counts clean.' 16 This happened three times; and then the thing was taken up again into the sky.
17 While Peter was still puzzling over the meaning of the vision he had seen, the messengers of Cornelius had been asking the way to Simon's house, and now arrived at the entrance. 18 They called out and asked if Simon Peter was lodging there. 19 But Peter was thinking over the vision, when the Spirit said to him, 'Some men are here looking for you; 20 make haste and go downstairs. You may go with them without any misgiving, for it was I who sent them.' 21 Peter came down to the men and said, 'You are looking for me? Here I am. What brings you here?' 22 'We are from the centurion Cornelius,' they replied, 'a good and religious man, acknowledged as such by the whole Jewish nation. He was directed by a holy angel to send for you to his house and to listen to what you have to say.' 23 So Peter asked them in and gave them a night's lodging. Next day he set out with them, accompanied by some members of the congregation at Joppa.
24 The day after that, he arrived at Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relalives and close friends. 25 When Peter arrived, Cornelius came to meet him, and bowed to the ground in deep reverence. 26 But Peter raised him to his feet and said, 'Stand up; I am a man like anyone else.' 27 Still talking with him he went in and found a large gathering. 28 He said to them, 'I need not tell you that a Jew is forbidden by his religion to visit or associate with a man of another race; yet God has shown me clearly that I must not call any man profane or unclean. 29 That is why I came here without demur when you sent for me. May I ask what was your reason for sending?'
30 Cornelius said, 'Four days ago, just about this time, I was in the house here saying the afternoon prayers, when suddenly a man in shining robes stood before me. 31 He said: "Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your acts of charity remembered before God. 32 Send to Joppa, then, to Simon Peter, and ask him to come. He is lodging in the house of Simon the tanner, by the sea." 33 So I sent to you there and then; it was kind of you to come. And now we are all met here before God, to hear all that the Lord has ordered you to say.'
Peter Speaks in Cornelius' House (Caesarea)
34 Peter began: 'I now see how true it is that God has no favourites, 35 but that in every nation the man who is godfearing and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 He sent his word to the Israelites and gave the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 I need not tell you what happened lately all over the land of the Jews, starting from Galilee after the baptism proclaimed by John. 38 You know about Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 And we can bear witness to all that he did in the Jewish country-side and in Jerusalem. He was put to death by hanging on a gibbet; 40 but God raised him to life on the third day, and allowed him to appear, 41 not to the whole people, but to witnesses whom God had chosen in advance - to us, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to proclaim him to the people, and affirm that he is the one who has been designated by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 It is to him that all the prophets testify, declaring that everyone who trusts in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.'
Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit (Caesarea)
44 Peter was still speaking when the Holy Spirit came upon all who were listening to the message. 45 The believers who had come with Peter, men of Jewish birth, were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit should have been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they could hear them speaking in tongues of ecstasy and acclaiming the greatness of God. Then Peter spoke: 47 'Is anyone prepared to withhold the water for baptism from these persons, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did ourselves?' 48 Then he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. After that they asked him to stay on with them for a time.
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