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Acts 11 Expanded Bible (EXB)

Peter Returns to Jerusalem

11 The apostles and the ·believers [L brothers] in Judea heard that some Gentiles had accepted ·God’s teaching [L the word of God] too. But when Peter ·came [went up] to Jerusalem, ·some people [L the circumcised; C Jewish Christians who believed that they should continue to obey certain Jewish regulations] ·argued with [criticized] him. They said, “You went into the homes of people who are not circumcised and ate with them!”

So Peter ·started from the beginning [or began speaking] and explained ·the whole story [it in order/step by step] to them. He said, “I was in the city of Joppa [9:36], and as I was praying, I had a vision while in a trance [10:10]. I saw ·something [L an object] that looked like a big sheet being lowered from heaven by its four corners. It came very close to me. I looked [intently] inside it and saw ·animals [L four-footed creatures], wild beasts, reptiles, and birds [L of the sky/air]. I heard a voice say to me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘·No [Absolutely not], Lord! I have never eaten anything that is unholy [profane; common] or ·unclean [ritually defiled; 10:14].’ But the voice from heaven spoke again, ‘God has made these things clean, so don’t call them ·unholy [profane; common].’ 10 This happened three times. Then the whole thing was ·taken back [or pulled up] to heaven. 11 Right then [L look; T behold] three men who were sent to me from Caesarea came to the house where I was staying [10:17–19]. 12 The Spirit told me to go with them without ·doubting [or hesitation]. These six ·believers [L brothers] here also ·went with [accompanied] me, and we entered the house of ·Cornelius [L the man]. 13 He told us about the angel he saw standing in his house. The angel said to him, ‘Send some men to Joppa and ·invite [summon; send for] Simon [L who is also called] Peter to come. 14 By the ·words [message] he will say to you, you and all your ·family [or household] will be saved.’ 15 When I began ·my speech [L to speak], the Holy Spirit ·came [L fell] on them just as he came on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered the words of the Lord. He said, ‘John baptized ·with [or in] water, but you will be baptized ·with [or in; or by] the Holy Spirit [1:5; Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16].’ 17 [L Therefore] Since God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, how could I ·stop [prevent; hinder] the work of God?”

18 When ·the believers [L they] heard this, they ·stopped arguing [ceased their objections; remained silent]. They ·praised [glorified] God and said, “So God ·is allowing [has given] even ·other nations [the Gentiles] ·to turn to him and live [L repentance (leading) to life].”

The Good News Comes to Antioch

19 Many of the believers were scattered when they were persecuted after Stephen was killed. Some of them went as far as Phoenicia [C northwest of Israel on the coast], Cyprus [C an island to the west of the coast of Syria], and Antioch [C an important city in Syria] telling the message to others, but only to Jews. 20 Some of these believers were people from Cyprus and Cyrene [C a city in North Africa]. When they came to Antioch, they spoke also to ·Greeks[a] [or Hellenists (see textual note); C in 6:1 and 9:29 the word refers to Greek-speaking Jews; here it refers to Greek-speaking Gentiles], telling them the ·Good News [Gospel] about the Lord Jesus. 21 ·The Lord was helping the believers [L The hand of the Lord was with them], and a large group of people believed and turned to the Lord.

22 The church in Jerusalem heard about all of this, so they sent Barnabas [4:36; 9:26–27] to Antioch. Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith. When he reached Antioch and saw ·how God had blessed the people [L the grace of God], he ·was glad [rejoiced]. He ·encouraged [exhorted; urged] all the believers in Antioch always to ·obey [or remain true to] the Lord with ·all their hearts [resolved/resolute hearts], and many people ·became followers of [L were added to] the Lord.

25 Then Barnabas went to the city of Tarsus [C Paul’s hometown in Cilicia; 9:11] to look for Saul, 26 and when he found Saul, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year Saul and Barnabas met with the church and taught many people there. In Antioch the ·followers [disciples] were called Christians for the first time [C highlighting that they were followers of Christ, and perhaps that they were no longer viewed as merely a sect within Judaism].

27 ·About that time [L In those days] some prophets came [L down] from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus [21:10], stood up and spoke ·with the help of [by the power of; through] the Holy Spirit. He said, “A severe famine is coming to the whole ·world [or inhabited world; C probably meaning the Roman empire].” (This happened when Claudius [C Roman emperor from ad 41–54] ruled.) 29 The ·followers [disciples] all decided to ·help [send relief to; L send (something) as a ministry for] the ·believers [brothers] who lived in Judea, as much as each one could. 30 They ·gathered the money [L did this] and ·gave it to Barnabas and Saul, who brought it to the elders in Judea [L sent it to the elders through the hand of Barnabas and Saul].

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 11:20 Greeks Some Greek copies read “Hellenists,” non-Greeks who spoke Greek.
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