1. In the church at Antioch the following were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2. One day while they were offering worship to the Lord and keeping a fast, the Holy Spirit said, 'I want Barnabas and Saul set apart for the work to which I have called them.'
3. So it was that after fasting and prayer they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
4. So these two, sent on their mission by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and from there set sail for Cyprus.
5. They landed at Salamis and proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; John acted as their assistant.
6. They travelled the whole length of the island, and at Paphos they came in contact with a Jewish magician and false prophet called Bar-Jesus.
7. He was one of the attendants of the proconsul Sergius Paulus, who was an extremely intelligent man. The proconsul summoned Barnabas and Saul and asked to hear the word of God,
8. but Elymas the magician (this is what his name means in Greek) tried to stop them so as to prevent the proconsul's conversion to the faith.
9. Then Saul, whose other name is Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked at him intently
10. and said, 'You utter fraud, you impostor, you son of the devil, you enemy of all uprightness, will you not stop twisting the straightforward ways of the Lord?
11. Now watch how the hand of the Lord will strike you: you will be blind, and for a time you will not see the sun.' That instant, everything went misty and dark for him, and he groped about to find someone to lead him by the hand.
12. The proconsul, who had watched everything, became a believer, being much struck by what he had learnt about the Lord.
13. Paul and his companions went by sea from Paphos to Perga in Pamphylia where John left them to go back to Jerusalem.
14. The others carried on from Perga till they reached Antioch in Pisidia. Here they went to synagogue on the Sabbath and took their seats.
15. After the passages from the Law and the Prophets had been read, the presidents of the synagogue sent them a message, 'Brothers, if you would like to address some words of encouragement to the congregation, please do so.'
16. Paul stood up, raised his hand for silence and began to speak: 'Men of Israel, and fearers of God, listen!
17. The God of our nation Israel chose our ancestors and made our people great when they were living in Egypt, a land not their own; then by divine power he led them out
18. and for about forty years took care of them in the desert.
19. When he had destroyed seven nations in Canaan, he put them in possession of their land
20. for about four hundred and fifty years. After this he gave them judges, down to the prophet Samuel.
21. Then they demanded a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin. After forty years,
22. he deposed him and raised up David to be king, whom he attested in these words, "I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will perform my entire will."
23. To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David's descendants, Jesus, as Saviour,
24. whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel.
25. Before John ended his course he said, "I am not the one you imagine me to be; there is someone coming after me whose sandal I am not fit to undo."
26. 'My brothers, sons of Abraham's race, and all you godfearers, this message of salvation is meant for you.
27. What the people of Jerusalem and their rulers did, though they did not realise it, was in fact to fulfil the prophecies read on every Sabbath.
28. Though they found nothing to justify his execution, they condemned him and asked Pilate to have him put to death.
29. When they had carried out everything that scripture foretells about him they took him down from the tree and buried him in a tomb.
30. But God raised him from the dead,
31. and for many days he appeared to those who had accompanied him from Galilee to Jerusalem: and it is these same companions of his who are now his witnesses before our people.
32. 'We have come here to tell you the good news that the promise made to our ancestors has come about.
33. God has fulfilled it to their children by raising Jesus from the dead. As scripture says in the psalms: You are my son: today I have fathered you.
34. The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to return to corruption, is no more than what he had declared: To you I shall give the holy things promised to David which can be relied upon.
35. This is also why it says in another text: You will not allow your Holy One to see corruption.
36. Now when David in his own time had served God's purposes he died; he was buried with his ancestors and has certainly seen corruption.
37. The one whom God has raised up, however, has not seen corruption.
38. 'My brothers, I want you to realise that it is through him that forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you. Through him justification from all sins from which the Law of Moses was unable to justify
39. is being offered to every believer.
40. 'So be careful -- or what the prophets say will happen to you.
41. Cast your eyes around you, mockers; be amazed, and perish! For I am doing something in your own days that you would never believe if you were told of it.'
42. As they left they were urged to continue this preaching the following Sabbath.
43. When the meeting broke up many Jews and devout converts followed Paul and Barnabas, and in their talks with them Paul and Barnabas urged them to remain faithful to the grace God had given them.
44. The next Sabbath almost the whole town assembled to hear the word of God.
45. When they saw the crowds, the Jews, filled with jealousy, used blasphemies to contradict everything Paul said.
46. Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out fearlessly. 'We had to proclaim the word of God to you first, but since you have rejected it, since you do not think yourselves worthy of eternal life, here and now we turn to the gentiles.
47. For this is what the Lord commanded us to do when he said: I have made you a light to the nations, so that my salvation may reach the remotest parts of the earth.'
48. It made the gentiles very happy to hear this and they gave thanks to the Lord for his message; all who were destined for eternal life became believers.
49. Thus the word of the Lord spread through the whole countryside.
50. But the Jews worked on some of the devout women of the upper classes and the leading men of the city; they stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their territory.
51. So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went off to Iconium; but the converts were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.