a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

Peter’s Report to the Church at Jerusalem


Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. 2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, 3saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” 4Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, 5“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. 6As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ 10This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. 11At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. 12The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; 14he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ 15And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. 16And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” 18When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”


The Church in Antioch

19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, and they spoke the word to no one except Jews. 20But among them were some men of Cyprus and Cyrene who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. 21The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number became believers and turned to the Lord. 22News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion; 24for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were brought to the Lord. 25Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called “Christians.”

27 At that time prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28One of them named Agabus stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine over all the world; and this took place during the reign of Claudius. 29The disciples determined that according to their ability, each would send relief to the believers living in Judea; 30this they did, sending it to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

26. He addeth afterward, that such a holy concord was blessed from heaven; for this was no small honor that the holy name of Christians began there for all the whole world. Though the apostles had been long time at Jerusalem, yet God had not vouchsafed to bestow upon his Church, which was there, this excellent title of his Son. Whether it were because at Antioch much people was grown together into one body, as well of Jews as of Gentiles, or whether it were because the Church might be better ordered in time of peace; or because they were more bold to confess their faith, there were in very deed Christians both at Jerusalem and also in Samaria before that time; and we know that Jerusalem was the first fountain from which Christianity did flow. 742742     “Verum fuisse fontem ex quo primum fluxit Christanismus,” was the true fountain from which Christianity did first flow. And what is it else to be a disciple of Christ but to be a Christian? But when they began plainly to be called that which they were the use of the name served greatly to set forth the glory of Christ, because by this means they referred all their religion unto Christ alone. This was, therefore, a most excellent worship for the city of Antioch. that Christ brought forth his name thence like a standard, whereby it might be made known to all the world that there was some people whose captain was Christ, and which did glory in his name.

But and if Rome had such a color of [pretext for] pride, who were able to suffer the proud boastings of the Pope and his adherents? They would then, not without cause, thunder out that Rome is the mother and head of all Churches; but it is well, that seeing they challenge to themselves whatsoever, when they come to the matter, they are found altogether vain; yea, Antioch itself doth plainly prove that the estate of one place is not continual. Admit we grant the Romans these plausible titles, we have been sometimes, [we once were,] shall they yet be so bold as to take one-half of that which belongeth to Antioch? And is the dignity of Antioch the greater now, because the Christians had their name thence? Yea, it is rather a manifest mirror of the horrible vengeance of God. For, seeing there is nothing to be seen there but evil favored wastiness, 743743     “Deformen vasitatem,” hideous devastation. it remaineth that we learn to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, and that we know that unthankful men have not so much liberty granted them that they may freely mock God.

VIEWNAME is study