Peter and Cornelius
1At Caesare'a there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, 2a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms liberally to the people, and prayed constantly to God. 3About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius." 4And he stared at him in terror, and said, "What is it, Lord?" And he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. 5And now send men to Joppa, and bring one Simon who is called Peter; 6he is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside." 7When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those that waited on him, 8and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
9The next day, as they were on their journey and coming near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. 10And he became hungry and desired something to eat; but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11and saw the heaven opened, and something descending, like a great sheet, let down by four corners upon the earth. 12In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13And there came a voice to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." 14But Peter said, "No, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean." 15And the voice came to him again a second time, "What God has cleansed, you must not call common." 16This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.
17Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision which he had seen might mean, behold, the men that were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon's house, stood before the gate 18and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there. 19And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are looking for you. 20Rise and go down, and accompany them without hesitation; for I have sent them." 21And Peter went down to the men and said, "I am the one you are looking for; what is the reason for your coming?" 22And they said, "Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house, and to hear what you have to say." 23So he called them in to be his guests.
The next day he rose and went off with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 24And on the following day they entered Caesare'a. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his kinsmen and close friends. 25When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am a man." 27And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered; 28and he said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit any one of another nation; but God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me."
30And Cornelius said, "Four days ago, about this hour, I was keeping the ninth hour of prayer in my house; and behold, a man stood before me in bright apparel, 31saying, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. 32Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter; he is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the seaside.' 33So I sent to you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here present in the sight of God, to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord."
Gentiles Hear the Good News
34And Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the word which he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), 37the word which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39And we are witnesses to all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and made him manifest; 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that he is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit
44While Peter was still saying this, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45And the believers from among the circumcised who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46For they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47"Can any one forbid water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" 48And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.