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. Chapter 13.

The church breaks barriers

Barnabas and Saul Commissioned (Jerusalem)

1 THERE WERE AT ANTIOCH, in the congregation there, certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, who had been at the court of Prince Herod, and Saul. 2 While they were keeping a fast and offering worship to the Lord, the Holy Spirit said, 'Set Barnabas and Saul apart for me, to do the work to which I have called them.' 3 Then, after further fasting and prayer, they laid their hands on them and let them go.

The Apostles Preach in Cyprus (Cyprus)

4 So these two, sent out on their mission by the Holy Spirit, came down to Seleucia, and from there sailed to Cyprus. 5 Arriving at Salamis, they declared the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. They had John with them as their assistant. 6 They went through the whole island as far as Paphos, and there they came upon a sorcerer, a Jew who posed as a prophet, Bar-Jesus by name. 7 He was in the retinue of the Governor, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man, who had sent for Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God. 8 This Elymas the sorcerer (so his name may be translated) opposed them, trying to turn the Governor away from the Faith. 9 But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his eyes on him 10 and said, 'You swindler, you rascal, son of the devil and enemy of all goodness, will you never stop falsifying the straight ways of the Lord? 11 Look now, the hand of the Lord strikes: you shall be blind, and for a time you shall not see the sunlight.' Instantly mist and darkness came over him and he groped about for someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the Governor saw what had happened he became a believer, deeply impressed by what he learned about the Lord.

Paul and Barnabas at Antioch of Pisidia (Pisidian Antioch)

13 Leaving Paphos, Paul and his companions went by sea to Perga in Pamphylia; John, however, left them and returned to Jerusalem. 14 From Perga they continued their journey as far as Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they went to synagogue and took their seats; 15 and after the readings from the Law and the prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent this message to them: 'Friends, if you have anything to say to the people by way of exhortation, let us hear it.' 16 Paul rose, made a gesture with his hand, and began:

'Men of Israel and you who worship our God, listen to me! 17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers. When they were still living as aliens in Egypt he made them into a nation and brought them out of that country with arm outstretched. 18 For some forty years he bore with their conduct [Some witnesses read: he sustained them.] in the desert. 19 Then in the Canaanite country he overthrew seven nations, whose lands he gave them to be their heritage 20 for some four hundred and fifty years, and afterwards appointed judges for them until the time of the prophet Samuel.

21 'Then they asked for a king and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years. 22 [ Ps.89.20, 1Sm.13.14. ] Then he removed him and set up David as their king, giving him his approval in these words: "I have found David son of Jesse to be a man after my own heart, who will carry out all my purposes." 23 This is the man from whose posterity God, as he promised, has brought Israel a saviour, Jesus. 24 John made ready for his coming by proclaiming baptism as a token of repentance to the whole people of Israel. 25 And when John was nearing the end of his course, he said, "I am not what you think I am. No, after me comes one whose shoes I am not fit to unfasten."

26 'My brothers, you who come of the stock of Abraham, and others among you who revere our God, we are the people to whom the message of this salvation has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize him, or understand the words of the prophets which are read Sabbath by Sabbath; indeed they fulfilled them by condemning him. 28 Though they failed to find grounds for the sentence of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that the scriptures said about him, they took him down from the gibbet and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead; 35 and there was a period of many days during which he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.

32 'They are now his witnesses before our nation; and we are here to give you the good news that God, who made the promise to the fathers, 33 [ Ps.2.7. ] has fulfilled it for the children [Some witnesses read: out children; others read: their children.] by raising Jesus from the dead, as indeed it stands written, in the second [Some witnesses read: first.] Psalm: "You are my son; this day have I begotten you." 34 [ Is.55.3. ] Again, that he raised him from the dead, never again to revert to corruption, he declares in these words: "I will give you the blessings promised to David, holy and sure." 35 [ Ps.16.10. ] This is borne out by another passage: "Thou wilt not let thy loyal servant suffer corruption." 36 As for David, when he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, he died, and was gathered to his fathers, and suffered corruption; 37 but the one whom God raised up did not suffer corruption; 38 and you must understand, my brothers, that it is through him that forgiveness of sins is now being proclaimed to you. 39 It is through him that everyone who has faith is acquitted of everything for which there was no acquittal under the Law of Moses. 40 Beware, then, lest you bring down upon yourselves the doom proclaimed by the prophets: 41 [ Hab.1.5. ] "See this, you scoffers, wonder, and begone; for I am doing a deed in your days,
a deed which you will never believe when you are told of it." '

42 As they were leaving the synagogue they were asked to come again and speak on these subjects next Sabbath; 43 and after the congregation had dispersed, many Jews and gentile worshippers went along with Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to hold fast to the grace of God.

44 On the following Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of God. 45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealous resentment, and contradicted what Paul and Barnabas said, with violent abuse. 46 But Paul and Barnabas were outspoken in their reply. 'It was necessary', they said, 'that the word of God should be declared to you first. But since you reject it and thus condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 47 [ Is.49.6. ] For these are our instructions from the Lord: "I have appointed you to be a light for the Gentiles, and a means of salvation to earth's farthest bounds." ' 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were overjoyed and thankfully acclaimed the word of the Lord, and those who were marked out for eternal life became believers. 49 So the word of the Lord spread far and wide through the region. 50 But the Jews stirred up feeling among the women of standing who were worshippers, and among the leading men of the city; a persecution was started against Paul and Barnabas, and they were expelled from the district. 51 So they shook the dust off their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the converts were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

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