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Wednesday, November 29th, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Acts 15

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) "And certain men which came down from Judaea," (kai tines katelthontesa apo the loudaias) "And some (certain ones) going down from the region of Judea," of their own accord, and with no sanction or sending direction or authority of the church at Jerusalem. These were Judaizing converted, but untaught Pharisees who were not, though believers, qualified to be teachers of the way of Jesus Christ, Acts 15:5; Matthew 5:20; Romans 10:2-4.

2) "Taught the brethren, and said," (edidaskon tous adelphous hoti) "Taught the brethren (at Antioch) that," something they could not do back at their own church in Jerusalem, Galatians 2:11; Galatians 2:14.

3) "Except ye be circumcised," lean me peritmethete) "if you all are not circumcised," or unless you are all circumcised, in the tradition of the Jewish family mark, Leviticus 12:3; Genesis 17:10; John 7:22-24.

4) "After the manner of Moses," (to ethei to Mouseos) "By or in keeping with the custom (ethical standard) of Moses;" Moses never taught, nor did any of the prophets that one had to be circumcised to be saved, Acts 10:43. Just as Jesus never taught that one must be baptized, keep the Lord’s Supper, pay tithes, etc. as a means of obtaining or retaining salvation, Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 John 5:1; John 1:11-12; John 3:15-18; John 5:24. Tho many sects of Protestants teach it.

5) "Ye cannot be saved," (ou dunsathe sothenai) "You all can not (have not a potential to be) saved," or there is not a possibility that any of you all can be saved. Tho sincere, they lied, perverted, distorted the true way of salvation and confused new converts. It was making Jewish rite a necessary condition to obtaining and retaining salvation that constituted the seriousness of the error, Romans 4:3-5; Romans 10:9-13. Salvation had never been offered or obtained, conditioned upon, outward compliance with rituals, forms, or ceremonies, but by faith in Jesus Christ, John 8:24; Acts 4:12; Acts 10:43.

Verse 2


1) "When therefore Paul and Barnabas," (de to Paulo kai to Barnaba) "Therefore when Paul and Barnabas,"

2) "Had no small dissension and disputation with them," (genomenes staseos kai zeteseos ouk holiges pros autous) "There came to be (exist) no little discord, faction and questioning with them," with these self-appointed Judean circumcision teachers of Phariseeism, Acts 15:5, men who had come to Antioch of Syria from Jerusalem in Judea as "free-lances," without the knowledge or sanction of the Jerusalem church, arrogating to themselves as teachers, authority of administration that our Lord gave restrictedly to His church, Acts 15:24; Matthew 28:16-20; John 15:16; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8.

3) "They determined that," (etaksan) "They (the Antioch church brethren) assigned, elected, or authorized that" note, it was the Antioch church in which administrative authority had been vested by the risen Lord, not in the apostles, Matthew 28:16-20.

4) "Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them," (Paulon kai Barnaban kai tinas allous eks auton) "Paul and Barnabas and certain others out of or from among them," from the membership of the Antioch church brethren, Acts 14:27; Acts 15:1.

5) "Should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders," (anabainein pros tous Apostolous kai presbuterous eis lerousalem) "To go up to the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem," in the Jerusalem church. It was the church-"they" at Antioch which made the decision to send elected brethren, both apostles and elders, ordained leaders of the local congregation, to the Jerusalem church for advice and council over the doctrinal issue.

6) "About this question." (peri tou zetematos toutou) "Concerning this question or issue," regarding circumcision and observing the Law of Moses as a moral, ethical, and religious rite that was purported by Pharisee brethren to be a condition toward obtaining or retaining salvation, going to heaven or to hell, Galatians 3:26-27; Romans 4:9-12; Romans 4:16; Romans 1:16.

Verse 3

1) "And being brought on their way by the church, " (hoi men oun propemphthentes hupo tes ekklesias) "When they therefore were sent forth (set forward) by the church," by sanction of the church, for deliberation with the apostles, elders, and brethren of the church in Jerusalem, for a specific council mission, Acts 15:4. They too perhaps were furnished by the church with supplies needed for the trip, Galatians 6:2; Galatians 6:6.

2) "They passed through Phenice and Samaria," (dierchonto ten to Phoiniken kai Samareian) "They passed (as they chose) both thru Phoenicia and Samaria; Phonecia is a 20 mile wide seaside strip of land above Mt Carmel north of Tripolis, Tyre, Sidon, and Berytus and south some thirty miles near to Caeserea, then some place perhaps cut across the plains of Esdraleon into Samaria, perhaps visiting Cornelius and Philip the Evangelist, Acts 8:40; Acts 10:1-48.

3) "Declaring the conversion of the Gentiles:” (ekdiegoumenoi ten epistrophen ton ethnon) "Telling, relating, or giving out in detail as they went, matters relating to the conversion of the Gentiles or people of heathen nations;" Thus they bare and shared the bread or staff of life, and the seed of the Word, with others as they went, continually, John 4:34-37; Ecclesiastes 11:1-6; Isaiah 55:11-12; Matthew 5:13-15; Acts 1:8.

4) "And they caused great joy unto all the brethren," (kai epoioun charan megalen pasin tois adelphois) "And they caused great joy to all the brethren of the churches they visited in Phonecia and Samaria, as they journeyed on to Jerusalem for the council regarding circumcision and the Law of Moses, Acts 15:1; Acts 8:5-8; Acts 11:19; This was the joy of knowledge of new born souls, new creatures in Christ Jesus, when the lost son, lost sheep, or lost coin is found and brought home --- heaven too rejoices then, Luke 15:7; Luke 15:10; Luke 15:32; 1 Thessalonians 5:16; Philippians 4:4; 1 John 1:4.

Verse 4

1) "And when they were come to Jerusalem," (paragenomenoi de eis lerosoluma) "And when they had entered into or arrived in Jerusalem," from the Antioch church from which they were recently sent forth.

2) "They were received of the church," (paredechtesan apo tes ekklesias) "They were welcomed, cordially greeted from the church," by the church in Jerusalem, as well as by the churches they visited on their way through Phoenecia and Samaria, Acts 15:3. The whole church was concerned, involved in the matter, Acts 15:12-22.

3) "And of the apostles and elders," (kai ton apostolon kai ton presbuteron) "And of the apostles and elders of the church they were also welcomed as Christian fellowship brethren, guests from a sister church. It appears to have been an official public reception, a social Christian fellowship hour, followed by the serious doctrinal issue that was the occasion for the meeting.

4) "And they declared all things," (anengeilan te hosa) "And they reported all the things," gave an extended report of their mission experiences on the first journey into Asia Minor, similar to their former report to Antioch from which they had been sent forth, Acts 14:26-28; Acts 13:1-4.

5) "That God had done with them." (ho theos epoiesen met’ auton) "Which God had done (did) with them," when they had gone on their first missionary journey in regions beyond, beyond Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, Luke 24:46-51; Acts 1:8. The events were recounted by Luke, Ac 114-14, 1-28.

Verse 5


1) "But there rose up," (eksanestesan de) "Then there stood up (stood forth)," to oppose them and the import and conclusions of their testimony of God’s work with them among the Gentiles-, as they had reported it, both to the Antioch and Jerusalem churches and brethren in Phoenecia and Samaria, Acts 14:27; Acts 15:3-4.

2) ’’Certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed,’’ (tines ton apo tes haireseos ton Pharisaion pepisteukotes) ’’Certain ones from among the sect of Pharisees, who had believed;" It appears that these who had first opposed Peter’s preaching to the household of Cornelius, but later accepted it, could not accept that all Gentiles might, on equality with the Jews, receive Jesus Christ and all spiritual blessings, Acts 11:1-4.

3) "Saying that it was needful to circumcise them,’’ (legontes hoti dei peritemnein autous) "Repeatedly saying that it was needful or necessary to circumcise them," Acts 15:1; Le 123; Galatians 2:11-14. As it relates to salvation, circumcision avails nothing, nothing in saving efficacy to Jew or Gentile, and it never did, as set forth, Romans 4:9-12; GaI. 5:6.

4) "And to command them to keep the law of Moses." (parangellein te terein ton nomon Mouseos) "Then to charge (them) to keep, guard, or observe the law of Moses," for them to stay saved," Acts 15:1; Tho the Law of Moses only pointed to man’s need of a Savior and who that Savior would be; It was a testimony and revealer of faith, not a method by which one might acquire faith by doing the rites, ceremonies, and deeds of the Law; Romans 4:3-5. That law was abolished, taken out of the way, as even a system of worship and Divine service at the coming of Jesus Christ, and displaced and replaced by the new covenant church program of Divine worship and service, but even the church’s program of ceremonies and services are not earthly methods of or conditions by which salvation is acquired, Colossians 2:14-17; 2 Corinthians 3:7-16; John 3:3; John 3:5; Acts 4:12; Acts 10:43.

Verse 6

1) "And the apostles and elders came together," (sunechthesan te hoi apostoliu kai hoi presbuteroi) "And the apostles and the elders (of the Jerusalem church) were assembled or gathered together in colleague," or came together as colleagues, in close fellowship affinity, unity, or accord. It appears that after the general members of the church received the mission report of Paul and Barnabas, the apostles and elders, mature ordained brethren in the church, then met further to evaluate the issue that had especially troubled the church at Antioch. The church also came together later to adopt the decrees, dogma, or resolution of the council brethren that was thereafter sent to Antioch, Syria, Cilicia, and Asia, Acts 15:12; Acts 15:22-27; Acts 16:4.

2) "For to consider this matter." (idein pere tou logou toutou) "For the purpose of, or with view to consider the issue," this particular matter, to see about the matter that had caused dissension in the Antioch church in Syria, and that had come to disturb Paul and Barnabas, because it conflicted with the way of salvation which they had preached, by which they had seen so many Jews and Gentiles saved, Romans 14:16.

The apostles and elders of the Jerusalem church entered council with Paul, Barnabas, and the "certain other" brethren from the Antioch church. When they in council heard the "Be circumcised or be damned," contentions, they evaluated the contention of the Pharisee believers who erred in their judgement and teaching on the law of Moses. They then reviewed the matter before the Jerusalem church, then both the Jerusalem church and council sent a letter of counsel or advice back to the Antioch church in Syria, to be passed on to other churches. This is the essence of the Jerusalem council, presided over by James, considered to be pastor of the church at Jerusalem, Acts 15:13-22.

Verse 7


1) "And when there had been much disputing," (polles de zeteseos genomenes) "And when much questioning and discussion had taken place," after extended disputation, examination, and appraisal of the issue at stake, after much reasoning. This has been called the first doctrinal council ever convened by agreement of two New Testament Churches over heresy that had infiltrated both the Jerusalem and Antioch churches, Acts 15:1-6.

2) "Peter rose up and said unto them," (anastas Petros eipen pros autous) "Rising up (standing up) both physically and speaking out on the issue of circumcision and the keeping of the law of Moses in order for one to be saved or stay saved, he said:

3) "Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago," (andres adelphoi humeis epistasthe hoti aph’ hemeron archaion) "Men, brethren you all understand (and I know it) that from olden days," from ancient time, by the purpose of His will long ago. God had revealed it to Peter in a vision before he went to Cornelius’ house and preached in power, Acts 10:1-48.

4) "God made choice among us," (en humin ekseleksato ho theos) "God made a choice among you all," among us, of His own will, purpose, and accord, Acts 10:9-20; Acts 10:34-43, at Cornelius’ house, at least five years previous to this council,

5) "That the Gentiles by my mouth," (ta ethne dia tou atomatos mou) "That the Gentiles (heathen or races) through my mouth," my testimony, especially at the household of Cornelius, Acts 11:13-18. Tho Peter had previously been very prejudiced against the Gentiles, Acts 10:14-15.

6) "Should hear the word of the gospel, and believe." (akousai ton logon tou euangeliou kai pisteusai) "Were to hear the word of the gospel and were to believe," which they did, Acts 10:34-46; Acts 11:18.

Verse 8

1) "And God, which knoweth the hearts," (kai ho kardiognostes theos) "And the heart-knowing God," as described Jeremiah 17:10; John 2:25; Proverbs 15:11.

2) "Bare them witness," (emarturesen autois) "Witnessed to them," the Gentiles, thru Peter’s preaching in power of the Holy Spirit, and with the spiritual manifestation of tongues as a spiritual gift in which they praised God, Acts 10:1-48.

3) "Giving them the Holy Ghost," (dous to pneuma to hagion) "Doling (to them) the Holy Spirit," or giving over (to them) the Holy Spirit, both in regeneration and manifestation of the Spiritual gift of tongues, Acts 10:44-46; 1 John 4:13; Romans 5:5; Romans 8:14-16.

4) "Even as He did unto us; " (kathos kai hemin) "Just as (like) He did even (also) to us," John 20:21; Acts 1:1-4; Acts 11:15; Romans 8:9.

Verse 9

1) "And put no difference between us and them," (kai outhen diektinen metaksu hemon te kai auton) –And not even one thing He distinguished between both us and them," in matters of salvation, means by which either or both Jew and Gentiles might be saved, both in the law and church ages, Acts 10:43; Acts 11:18; Romans 4:3-5; Romans 4:16. Faith in Christ, as the last Divine and human instrument, means, or agency by which a lost person becomes saved, is here placed in direct contrast with the outward purification of circumcision upon which the Pharisee Judaizers insisted, Acts 15:1; Acts 15:5.

2) "Purifying their hearts by faith." (te pistei katharisas tas kardias auton) "Cleaning (purifying) their hearts by faith," by means, instrument, or the agency of faith, the offered gift of God, to every sinner; Hebrews 11:6; Ephesians 2:3; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 10:17; John 1:11-12. "The faith" or system of teaching of Christ, set forth incontestably that a child of wrath becomes a child of God when he has heard the word, repented of his sins, when he, by convicted will, puts, places, or sets that gift of faith to him in Jesus Christ as his Savior.

Note: in no place is one’s heart ever said to be purified by:

a. The law

b. Baptism

c. Good works

d. Lord’s Supper observance

e. Moral or ethical conduct, etc., such as is yet taught today by Pharisees of much Protestantism.

1) One is justified by faith, but not by baptism.

2) One is saved by grace thru faith, but not thru baptism.

3) One is a child of God by faith, but not by or thru baptism, or good works or the observance of the Lord’s Supper, or by moral, ethical, or religious ceremony or rite, Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Acts 13:39; Romans 5:1; Galatians 3:28; Acts 16:31; Romans 1:16; Romans 10:9-13; 1 Peter 1:18-22.

Verse 10

1) "Now therefore why tempt ye God," (nun oun ti peirazete ton theon) "Now therefore and hereafter forever, why test, try or challenge ye the true and living God;" to try His power, patience, wisdom, Word, and judgement, Acts 10:43; John 14:6, as the Pharisees and Sadducees, pious and popular Jewish religionists, repeatedly did toward Jesus and the testimony of early New Testament believers and witnesses, John 8:24; John 20:31; Acts 4:12; Romans 1:16; The "why tempt ye God?" question was directed to those believing Pharisees who were in doctrinal error. This reflects sharpness of the debate.

2) "To put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples," (epitheinai zugon epi ton trachelon ton matheton) "To (try) to put, place, fix or set a yoke upon the neck of the disciples," of the church of the Lord. A yoke denotes bondage, subjection, or servitude, and here specifically refers to both the ceremony of circumcision, the whole of the ceremonial forms of the Law of Moses, and the tradition of the elders. In contrast with the law "yoke," the yoke of Christ is declared "easy to bear;" For it is a voluntary commitment to Christian witnessing, not to repeated forms, rites, and ceremonies, Matthew 5:19; Matthew 11:28-30; Mark 7:1-13.

3) "Which neither our fathers no we," (hon outi hoi pateres hemon oute hemeis) "Which kind of yoke (of the law) neither our fathers (of Israel) nor we," Matthew 23:1-12; Luke 11:46-50.

4) "Were able to bear?" (ischusamen bastasai) "Were strong enough (able, morally or ethically) to bear or to carry out?" Galatians 3:13-14; Galatians 5:11-13; Acts 7:52-53; Acts 13:38-39; James 2:10.

Verse 11

1) "But we believe," (alla pisteuomen) "But (in contrast with and different from that law-kind of yoke) we believe or trust," in contrast with what the Pharisees taught, these apostles of Jesus Christ, mature ordained brethren of the church called elders, and the church believed, as follows:

2) "That through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ," (dia tes charitos tou kuriou lesou) "That thru media of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ," thru looking to, trusting in, committing ourselves to the grace or goodness of Jesus Christ, Isaiah 45:22; Proverbs 3:5-6; John 1:11-12; John 1:16-17; Ephesians 2:8-9; Thru this grace men are "justified freely," not thru obedience to. the oppressing yoke of Moses’ law, including circumcision, See? Romans 3:24.

3) "We shall be saved," (sothenai) "We shall be, are to be, (exist) as saved," or delivered thru His sustaining and growing grace, His undeserved and unmerited favor, Titus 3:5; 2 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:15-17; Titus 2:11

4) "Even as they." (kath hon tropon kakeinoi) "Just as, or in the same way as, those (our fathers) also were saved," Acts 10:43. In ancient times, Old Testament times, men were saved by grace, thru faith in the coming Messiah or savior, just as men are today saved by grace, thru faith in the Savior or redeemer who has come. There has never been but one way of salvation or redemption; that is, has always been, and always will be by grace, thru faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. All who receive Him are saved, all who reject Him are lost, shall be damned, John 6:37; John 3:18; Isaiah 45:22; Isaiah 55:6-7; John 8:24; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 1:16; Romans 10:9-10.

Verse 12


1) "Then all the multitude kept silence," (esigesen de pan to plethos) "Then all the multitude was silent," the multitude of the membership of the church at Jerusalem where the circumcision-issue inter-church council conference, or association was being conducted. It appears that the brethren from Antioch and the apostles and elders of Jerusalem church met in consultation, disputed the issues, then came before the whole church, perhaps repeatedly, for days, listening to testimony and evaluating the arguments of all speakers, including those of the believing Pharisees, Acts 15:5-6.

2) "And gave audience to Barnabas and Paul," (kai ekouon Barnaba kai Paulou) "And they heard (gave attention to) Paul and Barnabas;" Barnabas and Paul spoke after the Pharisees had risen up, had their say, after much disputing, after Peter had spoken, rehearsing how men had been saved thru his preaching and others, among the Gentiles, without their being circumcised, some five years prior to this, Acts 10:1-48; Acts 11:17-18.

3) "Declaring what," (eksegoumenon hosa) "As they related, in a discourse manner, what manner or kind of;”

4) "Miracles and wonders," (semiea kai terata) "Signs and wonders," Holy Spirit gift manifestations. The first was blindness brought suddenly upon Elymas the Sorcerer at Paphos, Acts 13:6-12.

5) "God had wrought among the Gentiles by them." (en tois ethnesin di auton ho theos epoilsen) "God did among the Gentiles through them," as they had made their first missionary journey in regions beyond Palestine, beyond Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. Of God’s miraculous wonders done by Paul and Barnabas among the Gentiles, which they recounted, see also Acts 14:2-3, at lconium; The healing of the impotent man at Lystra, Acts 14:8-10; And they recounted how Gentile people sought to worship Paul because of God’s wonders among them, Acts 14:11-18.

Verse 13


1) "And after they had held their peace," (meta de to sigesai autous) "Then after they kept silence," had completed their testamentary report on their missionary tour in extended detail, similar to that formerly given to the Antioch church in Syria, from which they had specifically gone forth as missionaries, Acts 14:26-28.

2) "James answered, saying," (apekrithe lakobos legon) "James responded, saying," as Luke then records the conclusion summary made by James, pastor of the Jerusalem church, and at least at this point in the council, he presided over the meeting.

3) "Men and brethren, hearken unto me:" (andres adelphoi akousate mou) "Responsible men, you brethren, you all hear, listen to me," as I summarize the issue and testimony, or as he gave a summary of what had occurred in all deliberations over the issue, before the council to that moment; That James was pastor of the Jerusalem church, and presided as moderator in the final council business, is verified by his summary here recorded, Acts 15:13-21; Acts 12:17, and by his judgement statements, “wherefore my sentence, judgement, or conclusion," of recommendation from the heart of a caring, compassionate pastor, based on his understanding of both the nature of the problem and the Word of God.

Verse 14

1) "Simeon hath declared how God at the first," (Sumeon eksegesato kathos proton ho theos) "Simeon declared, recounted or set forth how God firstly (in order); in the spread of the gospel since Pentecost, to the Gentiles, as mandated by the Lord, Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8. James uses Peter’s Hebrew name, so prominently known and accepted less offensively, among even the believing Pharisee Jews in Jerusalem. Only one other time is it later used in the New Testament as Simeon, 2 Peter 1:1.

2) "Did visit the Gentiles," (epeskepsato ethonon) "Visited the Gentiles," at Cornelius’ home, Acts 10:1-48; Acts 11:18; It was to them Paul had been specifically called of God, and sent of the Holy Spirit, and the church, to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ -not the law of circumcision and yoke of the law bondage, Acts 9:15-16; Isaiah 42:6-7; Acts 13:46-49; Acts 26:15-20.

3) "To take out of them a people for His name." (labein eks laon to onomati autou) "To take out (of the Gentiles) a people for His name," to honor His name, to honor His authority. This people was His church, called from among the Gentiles, though the first members were Jews, called by the seashores of Galilee of the Gentiles, not from Judea, Matthew 4:12-20; Mark 1:14-22; Acts 10:36-37. This "people for His namesake," "taken from among the Gentiles," in Galilee, "for His name sake," is the church, in which church body Jews and Gentiles may worship as equals, and thru which children of God may give to Him the highest degree of honor, praise, and glory in this and all succeeding ages, Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 2:19-22; Ephesians 3:8-10; Ephesians 3:21; Titus 2:14; 1 Timothy 3:15.

Verse 15

1) "And to this agree," (kai touto sunphonousin) "And to this (testimony) agree or harmonize;" James asserted that the application of this gospel acceptance by the Gentiles was in agreement of the Old Testament, when interpreted by subject matter, in contextual setting, and in racial and historical setting, John 5:39; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 3:15.

2) "The words of the prophets;" (hoi logoi ton propheton) "The words (testimony) of the prophets," all Old Testament prophets. What Peter had reported regarding the gospel light he preached to the Gentiles, and their acceptance of it, was, James affirmed, in harmony with the prophecies of their own Hebrew prophets, Isaiah 42:6-7; Isaiah 43:21-22; Luke 2:32.

3) "As it is written," (kathos gegraptai) "Even as it has been written," in the 0ld Testament Scriptures, in Amos 9:11-12. After the church age comes the millennial age, in which God will raise up Israel again, restore her to her land, with Jesus as honored king, sitting on David’s throne in Jerusalem, while the church, giving Him glory in all ages, will have the twelve apostles who shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel, Luke 1:32-33; Luke 22:28-35; Ephesians 3:21.

Verse 16

1) "After this I will return," (meta tauta anastrepso) "After these things I will return," come again, after the "times of the Gentiles" and the church age have been fulfilled, Luke 21:24; Romans 11:25.

2) "And will build again the tabernacle of David," (kai anoikodomeso ten skenen David) "And I will rebuild the tent of David," referring to the reestablishment of Israel’s return to the Land Grant Territory which God once promised Abraham that his race would occupy and control in peace, a Divine promise and covenant, yet to be fulfilled, at the return of the Lord, to this earth, Luke 1:31-33; Luke 22:28-30; 1 Corinthians 15:23-25.

3) "Which is fallen down;” (ten peptokuian) "Which is having fallen," Romans 11:23-27; Jeremiah 12:15; 2 Samuel 7:12, from the lofty place and state of its first or former reign’.

4) "And I will build again the ruins thereof," (kai ta katestrammena autes anoikodomeso) "And the things that have been overturned, relating to it, I will rebuild," reestablish, Amos 9:11-12. Remember, James gave this interpretation of the prophets regarding the return of Jesus was to be after the Gentile dispensation -and church age, 2 Timothy 2:12.

5) "And I will set it up:” (kai anorthoso auten) "And I will set it up (in order) again:" The integrity of the Trinity is here conditioned on the second coming of Jesus Christ, yet future, and on the restitution of the nation of Israel in the Promised Land when Jesus shall reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, from David’s throne in Mt Zion, in Jerusalem, Luke 1:32-33; Genesis 13:14-17; Genesis 15:18; Genesis 17:8; Revelation 3:21.

Verse 17

1) "That the residue of men might seek after the Lord," (hopos an ekzetesosin hoi kataloipoi ton anthropon ton kurion) " So that the rest (remaining) of men may seek the Lord," during the succeeding, progressing, golden millennial era, those who did not experience death through the great tribulation, whether unbelieving Jew of Gentile, and any born to them during that time.

2) "And all the Gentiles," (kai panta ta ethne) "Even all the heathen, nations, or races," those passing unsaved thru the great tribulation, Romans 10:9-13.

3) "Upon whom my name is called," (eph’ ous epikekletai to onomati mou ap’ autous) "Upon whom my name has been invoked, upon (even) them," those who heard my call, thru the church, during the end time Gentile era, when light came and tarried in mercy with them thru the church age, Matthew 4:12-16; Isaiah 42:6-7; Acts 10:36-37; Acts 26:15-21.

4) "Saith the Lord, who doeth all these things." (legei kurios poion tauta) "Says the Lord who is doing these things," thru the church, in witnessing to the Gentiles, even in this era or the church age, Ephesians 3:21. Who raises up David’s seed again, and invites all to come to Hi ’ m and share in subjection and service during the reign of His office, until the restitution of all things to the Father, Acts 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:23-27.

Verse 18

1) "Known unto God are all His works," (gnosta) "Known," to God are His works, purposes, and master plan --- as the omniscient one who knoweth all, who does not change His purpose and plans because of deeds of depraved men, Isaiah 42:8-9; Isaiah 46:9-10; Matthew 24:36; 1 John 3:20 asserts that He "knoweth all things;" but let it be observed that though all things "are known," and He knoweth all things," in no place does the Word of God assert (as extreme Calvinists assert) -that He "forefixed all things!"

2) "From the beginning of the world." (apo aionos) "Which originated from the ages," or had their origin before ages and eras were marked out as time; God has not only known all things from the beginning of the world, or the ages, but He also knows all things now, is never less than omniscient, (all-knowing) at any time, and all times, Acts 3:18; Psalms 139:1-16; 1 Peter 1:18-20. But to say what the Bible does- not say, "that He foreknew all things, acts, deeds, etc., is to add to the Word of God! God has not involved His mind in pre-review or revelation of when every grasshopper may lose his leg, or every grass its seed, before the grasshopper existed or the grass ever came forth from a previous seed. This bold, broad, unsustained, extreme Calvinist position that "God fore-knew all things," as a major premise on which to argue their extreme prefixing of salvation for aII men is an error, involves God in pre-mental exercise of folly, a thing unsustained by the Scriptures, Isaiah 40:22; Isaiah 40:28.

Verse 19


1) "Wherefore my sentence is," (dis ego krino) "Based on this, my judgement, my conclusion is;" James spoke as a presiding officer or moderator over a conference, summarizing what appeared to be general judgement of the conferees, then gave the essence of what became essentially a practical resolution of the issue and problem that the conferees had encountered.

2) "That we trouble not them," (me parenochlien tois) "That we are not to trouble those," those already troubled, those already troubled, any further or to any further extent, than the practical resolution that follows, by not imposing Jewish ceremonies and customs upon them.

3) "Which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:”(apo ton ethnon epistrephousin epi ton theon) "Who are turning (in repentance) to God," from among the Gentiles, such as had been reported by Peter, Paul, and Barnabas, and certain other brethren from the church at Antioch in Syria, Acts 10:36-37; Acts 11:18; Acts 15:2; Even as the Thessalonians later did, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-10.

Verse 20

1) "But that we write unto them," (alla episteilai autois) "But that instead we write an advisory to them," a statement of moral and ethical nature, send a written resolution, dogma, or decree of recommendation nature, later referred to as a decree, only in the sense of an advisory, Acts 16:4.

2) "That they abstain from," (tou apechesthai) "Directing or counseling them to abstain or refrain from," avoid, forego, have no part in or with, Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Peter 4:3-4.

3) "Pollutions of idols, and from fornication," (ton alisgernaton ton eidolon kai te proneias) "Pollutions of idols, even the fornication," associated with them, and the fornication that normally accompanied these feast of idol orgies, 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 6:15; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

4) "And from things strangled, and from blood." (kai pniktou kai tou haimatos) "And that they abstain from a thing strangled and from blood," that is they were to avoid eating blood or animals strangled to death, (unbled) as food, as specifically forbidden by the Mosaic law, because of the sacredness of life, "the blood thereof," Leviticus 17:10; Leviticus 17:12; Deuteronomy 12:16; Deuteronomy 12:23; Deuteronomy 15:23; Acts 21:25. It is said that heathen drank blood and mingled it with their food at idolatrous feasts, hence because such was both offensive to the Jews and identified believers with heathen idolatrous feasts, they were advised to abstain from the practice. Until today the Jews have their own butcher shops, overseeing the butchering of meat, so that it is well bled, may be called Kosher or sanctified and proper food on the basis of the Law of Moses.

Verse 21

1) "For Moses of old time hath in every city," (Mouses gar ek geneon archaion kata polin) "Because Moses (has) from ancient generations (centuries) in every city," those observing the ceremonies and rituals of the law, in every city where the Jews were then dispersed thru the Roman Empire, 2 Corinthians 3:15.

2) "Them that preach him," (tous kerussontas auton eckei) "Has those who preach (or herald) him," that is His law as a standard of religious life, worship, and service; The Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes preached Moses, not Jesus, not discerning the message of the formal law, to which they blindly, ignorantly, and erroneously held, Mark 7:1-13; Matthew 5:20; Romans 10:1-4.

3) "Being read in the synagogues every sabbath day." (en tais sunagogais kata pan sabbaton anaginoskomenos) "Being read on every sabbath day in the synagogues," wherever the Jews were dispersed, Acts 13:14-15; Acts 13:42; Acts 13:44; Our Lord’s announcement of His anointing of the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel, followed the reading of the law Scriptures, Luke 4:16-22.

Verse 22

1) "Then pleased it the apostles," (tote edokse tois apostolois) "At that very moment it seemed good or proper to the apostles," that is it met their approval’

2) "And elders " (kai tois presbuterois) "As well as the elders," the mature ordained brethren of the Jerusalem church and council.

3) "With the whole church," (sun hole te ekkesia) "In colleague or affinity with the entire church, congregation, or assembly;" It appears to have been a resolution of unanimous or predominant acceptance of the whole church and council, as a solution to the problem that had confronted them.

4) "To send chosen men of their own company to Antioch," (ekleksamenous andras eks auton pempsai eis Antiocheian) "To send chosen, responsible men out of their own church, assembly, company, or congregation to Antioch;" This sending was not a mandated, commission sending, such as the church’s sending out missionaries (Gk. stello) but a sending of an advisory resolution, which might be received or rejected by other congregations, councils, fellowships, and messenger assemblies of ministers and laymen, having no Ecclesiastical jurisdiction over local congregations, Matthew 20:25-26.

5) "With Paul and Barnabas;" (sun to Paulo kai Barnaba) "In colleague (close association with) Paul and Barnabas," but with no control or authority over them," Matthew 20:27-28; Mark 10:42-45.

6) "Namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas (Ioudan ton kaloumenon Barsabban) Judas who was caIled (known as) Barsabbas,"(kai Silan) "As welI as Silas," or aIso SiIas. This messenger (Judas) is aIso the brother of James, pastor of the Jerusalem church, and writer of the book of Jude, Judges 1:1.

7) "Chief men among the brethren:" (andras egoumenous en tois adelphois) "Who were responsible, leading men among the church brethren," or among the members of the Jerusalem church.

Verse 23

1) "And they wrote letters by them after this manner;” (grapsantes dia cheiros auton) "Through the hand of these brethren they (the church) was writing (wrote) to them," (the Antioch church) as follows: This was a resolution, adopted first by recommendation of the inter-church fellowship or association council, then sent by authority of the Jerusalem church, sent forth as a recommendation, not a mandate or law, to other churches of the Lord, Matthew 20:25-26.

2) "The apostles and elders and brethren," (hoi apostoloi kai hoi presbuteroi adelphoi) "The apostles and brethren and elders," of and from the Jerusalem church.

3) "Send greeting unto the brethren," (adelphois tois chairein) "Greetings to the brethren," or send, extend greeting to the brethren, a certification of the authority of the letter that followed, and of Silas and Judas, whom they also sent to accompany the returning brethren, and to bear the written resolution message.

4) "Which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:” (tois kata ten Antiocheian kai Surian kai Kilikian eks ethnon) "To the brethren out of the nations or Gentiles, to those throughout Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia," thus intended to be used as a circulatory, advisory letter among Gentile churches, Acts 15:28-29; Acts 16:4.

Verse 24

1) "Forasmuch as we have heard," (epeide ekousamen) "Since we have heard," or because it has been reliably reported to us at Jerusalem, by Paul, Barnabas, and certain brethren from Antioch in Syria, Acts 15:2.

2) "That certain which went out from us," (hoti tines eks hemon) "That some (certain ones) who went out of our assembly," of their own accord, without sanction from the church, who went out on their own as freelancers, self-called and self-appointed would-be leaders and teachers, independent isolationists, Acts 15:1; Acts 15:5.

3) "Have troubled you with words," (etaraksan humas logois) "Have troubled or frustrated you all," caused division among you all at Antioch, with clever cunning, in contrast with and conflict with sound doctrine, similar to what later occurred in Galatia, Galatians 1:6-8; 2 Corinthians 2:17.

4) "Subverting your souls," (anaskeuazontes tas psuches humon) "Unsettling your souls," causing doubts in your minds, 2 Corinthians 11:4; 2 Corinthians 11:13, as to pack up, dismantle, and carry away.

5) "Saying, ye must be circumcised, and keep the law," in order to be saved or stay saved, Acts 15:2; Romans 16:17-18.

6) "To whom we gave no such commandment:" (ois ou diesteilametha) "To whom we (the Jerusalem church) did not give a commission, mandate, or commandment at all:” They apparently used the name of the Jerusalem church to advance their own name and prominence while outside of Judea, in Antioch of Syria and other areas, Galatians 2:4; Galatians 5:11; Titus 1:11-13.

Verse 25

1) "It seemed good unto us," (edoksen hemin) "It seemed good or proper to us," the right thing for us to do.

2) "Being assembled with one accord," (genomenois homothumadon) "Becoming of one mind or accord," coming to be in harmony regarding the false brethren who had gone out from them at Jerusalem to disturb and mislead certain brethren in the Antioch church. This one accord spirit of harmony was an Holy Spirit fruit of the doctrinal council, accompanied by Divine sanction.

3) "To send chosen men unto you," (ekleksamenous andras pempsai pros humas) "To send chosen or elected responsible men as messengers to you all," to bear a written and verbal message from the Jerusalem church and inter-church council, such as was later done regarding benevolent and missionary matters in far away Europe, 2 Corinthians 8:4; 2 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 8:16-19; 2 Corinthians 8:22-24.

4) "With our beloved Barnabas and Paul," (sun tois agapetois hemon Barnaba kai Paulo) "In colleague, harmony, or close association with our beloved Barnabas and Paul," both of whom the Jerusalem church "Commissioned" or sent out, before the Antioch church in Syria also co-endorsed and sent them into regions beyond. Paul was first "sent forth," Acts 9:26-30, and Barnabas second, Acts 11:22-25, by the Jerusalem church.

Verse 26

1) "Men that have hazarded their lives," (anthropois paradedokosi tas psukas auton) "Even men who have given up their lives, of their own accord or will," Acts 9:24; Acts 13:50; Acts 14:5; Acts 14:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23; 1 Corinthians 11:26. These, having jeopardized or hazarded their lives for Jesus Christ, should be the more dear to true churches of the Lord. Suffering in sincerity for the cause of Jesus Christ merits respect and does not go without rewards from the Lord, Romans 8:17-18; 2 Timothy 2:11-12.

2) "For the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (huper tou onomatos tou kuriou hemon lesou Christou) "On behalf of the name or authority of our Lord Jesus Christ," 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17. All that men do is to be done "in the name" (by the authority) of Jesus Christ, in word and in deed, Acts 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:12; Ephesians 5:20.

Verse 27

1) "We have sent therefore," (apestalkamen oun) "We have therefore sent, commissioned, or deputized," as messengers who were willing, because of their care or concern.

2) "Judas and Silas," (loudan kai Silan) "Judas and Silas," members of the Jerusalem congregation. Silas was later to join Paul as his companion on his second missionary journey to regions beyond, Acts 15:40-41; and Judas later exposed traitorous false apostles he had seen termiting the Jerusalem and Antioch churches when he wrote the book of Jude, Acts 15:1-25.

3) "Who shall also tell you,”(kai autous apangellontas) "And they shall witness or testify to you all," that in the mouth of two or three witnesses (thru testamentary evidence) every word might be incontestably established, John 8:17-18; Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1; Hebrews 10:28.

4) "The same things by mouth" (dia logou ta auta) "The same things by word of mouth," verbally, Judas and Silas, members of the Jerusalem church, were to verbally testify to the Antioch brethren that the Jerusalem church brethren had not authorized or did not sanction the "circumcised and keep the law of Moses or be damned," doctrine that the "certain brethren" who had come from Judea had taught among the Antioch brethren, Acts 15:1-2; Acts 15:4; Acts 15:24; They were also to give verbal sanction and testimony to the resolution letter sent by the church, sanctioned by the council brethren, as it related to the circumcision and law of Moses customs and rites over which they had been troubled, frustrated, or confused by the false brethren, Acts 15:24.

Verse 28


1) "For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost," (edoksen gar to pneumati to hagio) "For it seemed proper (the good thing) to the Holy Spirit," Romans 8:14-16.

2) "And to us," (kai hemin) "And to us," the apostles, elders, and members of the Jerusalem church, as we were led by the Holy Spirit, in harmony with the Word of God, rightly interpreted, to act as we have, John 16:13; John 15:26-27.

3) "To lay upon you no greater burden," (meden pleon epitithesthai humin) "To put nothing more on you," as religious, moral, and ethical obligations, than to take up the yoke of Christ (not Moses) and learn of Him, Matthew 11:29-30.

4) "Than these necessary things;" (plen touton ton epanagkes) "Than these (following) necessary matters;” such as had been acted on by the apostles, elders, church at Jerusalem and council members, Acts 15:29. To such Paul complied, that he might "by all means save some," 1 Corinthians 9:20-23; 1 Corinthians 10:31.

Verse 29

1) "That ye abstain from meats offered to idols," (apechesthai eidolothuton) "To refrain, avoid, (abstain from) idols," or sacrifices offered up to or before idols, 1 Corinthians 8:1-3; 1 Corinthians 10:20-22; 1 Corinthians 10:28; as advised by James, Acts 15:20.

2) "And from blood," (kai haimatos) "And you all are to abstain from blood," as food or drink, Leviticus 17:14; Acts 21:26.

3) "And from things strangled," (kai pnikton) "And you all are to refrain from strangled things," as proper for food, Acts 15:20; Leviticus 14:10-14; Deuteronomy 12:23-24.

4) "And from fornication:" (kai porneias) "And you are all to avoid or abstain, refrain from, fornication," 1 Corinthians 5:9; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Revelation 2:14; Revelation 2:20.

5) "From which if ye keep yourselves," (eks hon diaterountes heautous) "From which things as, if, or when you all guard yourselves," avoiding such deeds or practices.

6) "Ye shall do well." (eu praksete) "You all will do well," or "it shall be well with you all," exist in a state of sanctified being, Divinely sanctioned, forth is the wiII of God even your sanctification, from the morally and ethically wrong, to be and do that which is morally and ethically right, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4.

7) "Fare ye well." (errosthe) "Farewell brethren," or literally, "be ye strong or in good health."

Verse 30

1) "So when they were dismissed," (hoti men oun apoluthentes) "Therefore when they were dismissed," concluded their council and consultation, and had received both oral and written testimony, as a message from the Jerusalem church and council of brethren; when they were dismissed with prayer and brotherly words of farewell, Colossians 3:17.

2) "They came to Antioch:" (katelthon eis Antiocheian) "They went down to Antioch," of their own willingness or accord," to the place from which the circumcision and law keeping propositions for council resolution originated, Acts 15:2.

3) "And when they had gathered the multitude together," (kai sunagagontes to plethos) "And assembling the multitude," of the brethren in the Antioch of Syria area, and perhaps others, to share with them the final conclusion, resolution, or testamentary message from the Jerusalem church and council in both oral and written form, Acts 15:20; Acts 15:25-27.

4) "They delivered the epistle:” (epedokan ton epistolen) "They handed (to them), turned in, the letter," from the Jerusalem church and council, the epistle, Acts 15:23-24, an epistle that was designed to be circulatory in nature, Acts 16:4; Acts 21:25.

Verse 31

1) "Which when they had read," (anagnontes de) "When they had read (it), or when they had it read, heard it read," understood what the conclusion of the apostles, elders, Jerusalem church brethren and whole council had been, Acts 15:19-20; Acts 21:25.

2) "They rejoiced for the consolation." (echaresan epi te

paraklesei) "They rejoiced (were elated) at the exhortation," which it contained: It was both a message of consolation and exhortation that brought the Syrian and Asian brethren relief and harmony, to quiet the dispute or dissension that had come among them by false brethren of the Jewish law-keeping for salvation concept, Acts 15:1; Acts 15:5; Acts 11:22-23; The name Barnabas means "Son of consolation or exhortation." This conference conclusion must, therefore, have rejoiced his heart, Acts 4:36.

Verse 32

1) "And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves," (loudas te kai Silas kai autoi prophetai ontes) "Then Judas as well as Silas being themselves prophets," men Divinely called to speak forth the word of God, to preach and exhort, to admonish.

2) "Exhorted the brethren with many words," (dia logou pollou parekalesan tous adelphous) "By much speech they exhorted the (Antioch) brethren who had assembled to hear the epistle read, and the extended testimony and message of Judas and Silas, that was extended to them by the Jerusalem church and council, together with their own personal prophetic encouragement, Matthew 10:38; Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:11-12.

3) "And confirmed them," (kai epesteriksan) "And they confirmed, strengthened, or supported them," the Antioch brethren especially, with personal words of care for their souls, as their prophetic souls cared and yearned for the welfare of the Gentile brethren, John 13:34-35; Acts 14:22; They wanted, yearned to bear and share the burdens of others, to help them along life’s highway, Romans 14:1; Romans 15:1; Galatians 6:1-2; Philippians 2:4; admonishes in this spirit, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others," unselfishly.

Verse 33

1) "And after they had tarried there a space," (poiesantes de chronon) "When they had continued for a reasonable space (of) time," in the Antioch church, among the multitude of church brethren, who had formerly been disturbed over the circumcision and law issue, Acts 15:30. As the spies tarried to bless Rahab after she received them with peace, Hebrews 11:31.

2) "They were let to," (apeluthesan) "They were released, let go," when they had satisfactorily explained the subject and contextual meaning of the letter from the Jerusalem brethren, to the Antioch church, as Paul admonished the Corinthian brethren toward Timothy, 1 Corinthians 16:11.

3) "In peace from the brethren unto the apostles," (met’ eirenes apo ton adelphon pros tous aposteilantos autous) "With peace from the brethren (at Antioch) toward those who had sent them," to the Jerusalem brethren who had sent them as messengers on this good will mission to Antioch, Acts 15:25-27.

Verse 34

1) "Notwithstanding it pleased Silas," (The Revised Version omits this verse), as doubtful in the original texts. Apparently, from the following account, Acts 15:36-40, Silas chose not to return to Jerusalem with Jude, the brother of James.

2) "To abide there still." (Tho omitted from the Revised Version text), as doubtful in the Gk. text, but Acts 15:36-40 of the original text indicates that Silas did remain in Antioch, later accompany Paul on his second missionary journey. This entire verse is omitted from many ancient Gk. manuscripts and varies in the wording of other copies, leaving the general impression that some copyist of scripts added it as a marginal note to explain Acts 15:40.

Verse 35

1) "Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch," (Paulos de kai Barnabas dietribon en Antiocheia) "Then Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch," where they had begun their associate teaching ministry, some ten years earlier, Acts 11:25-26.

2) "Teaching and preaching the word of the Lord," (didaskontes kai euangelizomenoi ton logon tou kuriou) "Continually or repeatedly teaching and preaching the Word of the Lord," to both the saved and unsaved, as they had opportunity.

3) "With many others also." (meta kai heteron pollon) "With many others (other teachers and preachers) as well." This Antioch church was a Bible Study church, a Bible teaching church that supported Christian Education, Benevolence, and Missions as evidenced.

Verse 36


1) "And some days after," (meta de tinas hemeras) "Then after some days (had passed)," perhaps a short time, a few weeks, during which time it is believed Peter made his visit to Antioch, as recounted, Galatians 2:11-14.

2) "Paul said unto Barnabas," (eipen pros Barnaban Paulos) "Paul said to Barnabas," who had long taught with him in the Antioch church, accompanied him on his first missionary journey, and attended the Jerusalem council with him, Acts 13:2.

3) "Let us go again and visit our brethren," (epistrepsantes de episkepsometha tous adelphous) "Let us then return (go again) and visit the brethren;" The second missionary journey of Paul is here initiated or commences, ending as recounted, Acts 18:22.

4) “In every city," (kata polin pasan) "Scattered through out every city," which was Selucia, Salamis in Cyprus, Paphos, Perga in Pamphylia, Antioch in Pisidia, lconium, Lystra, Derbe, and Attalia, as recounted Acts 13:1 to Acts 14:28.

5) "Where we have preached the word of the Lord," (en hais katengeliamen ton logon tou kuriou) "in which we (on our previous tour) witnessed, declared, or proclaimed the word of the Lord," Acts 14:22; Acts 14:26-27.

6) "And see how they do." (pos echousin) "And see how they are," or have been and are doing in the work of the Lord, in spiritual matters, James 1:22; 2 Peter 3:18.

Verse 37

1) "And Barnabas determined to take with them," (Barnabas de ebouleto suparalabein) "Then Barnabas covetously, of himself, strongly wished to take in or as colleague," in affinity with them, as an equal. Barnabas deemed it a just and right thing to do, perhaps influenced by his kinship to John Mark.

2) "John, whose surname was Mark," (kai ton loannen ton kaloumenon Markon) "Also John who is called (surnamed) Mark," his nephew, Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:10.

This quarrel and lengthy breach of fellowship in labors of Barnabas and John Mark with Paul indicates that the best of men are not infallible, but earnest and conscientious pursuit of differing brethren in the common ministry of the Master, with the passing of years, may bring them together again for the greater interest and welfare of the Master. Note that in later years Paul called for their rejoining him because they were still profitable in the work of the Lord among the Gentiles, 1 Corinthians 9:6; 2 Timothy 4:11.

Verse 38

1) "But Paul thought not good to take him with them," (Paulos ed eksiou me sumparalambanien touton) "Yet Paul considered it not proper or judicious to take this one (John Mark) as an equal, a colleague, in travel with them," perhaps because he had deserted them, refused to go overland into Asia Minor, where the going was dangerous on their former tour, Acts 13:13. Reliable men, not neophytes or quitters, not easily discouraged are needed on mission crusades, on mission fields, 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9.

2) "Who departed from them from Pamphylia," (ton apostanta ap’auton apo Pamphulias) "The one who withdrew from (deserted) them from Pamphylia," on their former trip, Acts 13:38.

3) "And went not with. them to the work." (kai me anunelthonta autois eis to ergon) "And did not go in colleague with them (Paul and Barnabas) into the work," when the mission work took them to face real danger overland into the interior of Asia Minor, yet he was some fourteen years later called to Paul’s help and ministry in Rome, on the European continent, 2 Timothy 4:11.

Verse 39

1) "And the contention was so sharp between them," (egeneto de paroksusmos) "Then there existed (came to be) sharp feeling," tension, argument, between them, between Paul and Barnabas, companions for ten years in labor together, Acts 11:25-27 to this time.

2) "That they departed asunder one from the other:”(hoste apochoristhenai autous ap’ allelon) "So that it came to separate them from each other," for many years, caused a breach of fellowship. Yet, not a total severance of friendship, but a separation into different paths of mission labors. Paul later associated himself with Barnabas in equal Divine rights to forego working and to have a wife, within the providence of God, 1 Corinthians 9:5-6.

3) "And so Barnabas took Mark," (ton te Barnaban paralabonta ton Markon) "Then Barnabas taking (to himself) John Mark," his nephew, Colossians 4:10.

4) "And sailed unto Cyprus," (ekpleusai eis Kupron)"To sail away from Antioch into Cyprus," his native homeland, to have his later labors unreported in either the book of Acts or the Bible, Acts 4:36-37; Acts 13:4.

When brethren differ in opinions they should not abandon principles or conduct themselves so as to damage the cause of truth. "To err is human, to forgive divine;"- Sharp differences of opinions must not, can not be permitted to seethe into bitterness or an unforgiving spirit, Ephesians 4:30-32.

Verse 40

1) "And Paul chose Silas, and departed," (Paulos de epileksamenos Silan ekselthen) "Then Paul, having chosen Silas, went forth," of his own accord, on a mission itinerary as he himself sought to follow the call of his Lord; He went forth with Silas a missionary of the Antioch church and Jerusalem church, in the place formerly filled by Barnabas.

2) "Being recommended by the brethren," (paradotheis te chariti tou kuriou) "Being given or commended by the brethren," the brethren of the Antioch church. In commending Paul as he went forth with Silas from the Antioch church, Barnabas’ attitude was explicitly and tacitly disapproved by the same church brethren, as an example of what Paul later admonished as a public rebuke before all, 1 Timothy 5:20.

3) "Unto the grace of God." (te chariti tou kuriou) "To the grace of the Lord." Prayers, good will, and support, seem to have been pledged to Paul and Silas by these Antioch church brethren, as Paul set forth on his second major mission journey, Galatians 6:6; Acts 13:3; Acts 14:26.

Verse 41

1) "And he went through Syria and Cilicia," (diercheto de ten Surian kai Kilikian) "Then he went forth through Syria and Cilicia," into Asia Minor, where he and Barnabas had gone on their first journey.

2) "Confirming the churches." (episterizon tas ekklesias) "Confirming, strengthening, edifying, or building up the churches," throughout the area of Asia Minor, in "the faith," the system of teaching of Jesus Christ, for which they were to contend, Acts 16:5; Judges 1:1-3.

It is as hard to keep a kind and gracious spirit, a tender attitude, and a kind tongue in the midst of contention as it is to keep a candle burning in a rain storm, but servants of God should always strive to do it, Ephesians 4:1-3, "Endeavoring to keep the unity (oneness) of the spirit in the bond of peace.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Acts 15". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/acts-15.html. 1985.
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