Now the apostles and the brethren who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.
And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised took issue with him,
saying, " You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.'
But Peter began speaking and proceeded to explain to them in orderly sequence, saying,
" I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object coming down like a great sheet lowered by four corners from the sky; and it came right down to me,
and when I had fixed my gaze on it and was observing it I saw the four-footed animals of the earth and the wild beasts and the crawling creatures and the birds of the air.
"I also heard a voice saying to me, "Get up, Peter; kill and eat.'
"But I said, "By no means, Lord, for nothing unholy or unclean has ever entered my mouth.'
"But a voice from heaven answered a second time, " What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.'
"This happened three times, and everything was drawn back up into the sky.
"And behold, at that moment three men appeared at the house in which we were staying, having been sent to me from Caesarea.
" The Spirit told me to go with them without misgivings. These six brethren also went with me and we entered the man's house.
"And he reported to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying, "Send to Joppa and have Simon, who is also called Peter, brought here;
and he will speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household.'
"And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning.
"And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, " John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'
"Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?'
When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, "Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.'
So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone.
But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus.
And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch.
Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord;
for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord.
And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul;
and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.
One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius.
And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea.
And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders. 12
Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them.
And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword.
When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread.
When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people.
So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.
On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison.
And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter's side and woke him up, saying, "Get up quickly.' And his chains fell off his hands.
And the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and put on your sandals.' And he did so. And he said to him, "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.'
And he went out and continued to follow, and he did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.
When they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself; and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.
When Peter came to himself, he said, "Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.'
And when he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.
When he knocked at the door of the gate, a servant-girl named Rhoda came to answer.
When she recognized Peter's voice, because of her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate.
They said to her, "You are out of your mind!' But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, "It is his angel.'
But Peter continued knocking; and when they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed.
But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, "Report these things to James and the brethren.' Then he left and went to another place.
Now when day came, there was no small disturbance among the soldiers as to what could have become of Peter.
When Herod had searched for him and had not found him, he examined the guards and ordered that they be led away to execution. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and was spending time there.
Now he was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and with one accord they came to him, and having won over Blastus the king's chamberlain, they were asking for peace, because their country was fed by the king's country.
On an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the rostrum and began delivering an address to them.
The people kept crying out, "The voice of a god and not of a man!'
And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.
But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.
And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission, taking along with them John, who was also called Mark. 13