Acts Chapter Fifteen
Read Acts 15:1-5
v1. “AND CERTAIN MEN WHICH CAME DOWN FROM
Barnabas have completed their first missionary journey, returned to Antioch of
Syria and have now been with the church there for a “long time.” A controversy arises concerning the keeping
of part of the Jewish tradition. Men
Genesis 17:9-10 “AND GOD SAID UNTO ABRAHAM, THOU SHALT KEEP MY COVENANT THEREFORE, THOU, AND THY SEED AFTER THEE IN THEIR GENERATIONS. THIS is MY COVENANT, WHICH YE SHALL KEEP, BETWEEN ME AND YOU AND THY SEED AFTER THEE; EVERY MAN CHILD AMONG YOU SHALL BE CIRCUMCISED.”
part of the Patriarchal law given to Abraham and as such was required of all
peoples descended from Abraham, not just the children of
“MOSES THEREFORE GAVE UNTO YOU CIRCUMCISION; (NOT BECAUSE IT IS OF MOSES, BUT OF THE FATHERS;) AND YE ON THE SABBATH DAY CIRCUMCISE A MAN.” John 7:22
So the practice was part of God’s law under the Patriarchs,
was carried forward to
Galatians “FOR BEFORE THAT CERTAIN CAME FROM JAMES, HE DID EAT WITH THE GENTILES: BUT WHEN THEY WERE COME, HE WITHDREW AND SEPARATED HIMSELF, FEARING THEM WHICH WERE OF THE CIRCUMCISION.”
“STAND FAST THEREFORE IN THE
v2. “WHEN THEREFORE PAUL AND BARNABAS HAD NO
SMALL DISSENSION AND DISPUTATION WITH THEM, THEY DETERMINED THAT PAUL AND
BARNABAS, AND CERTAIN OTHER OF THEM, SHOULD GO UP TO
As we noted
earlier; Paul and Barnabas have been in Antioch of Syria for some time. When these teachers from
v3. “AND BEING BROUGHT ON THEIR WAY BY THE
CHURCH, THEY PASSED THOUGH PHENICE AND
traveled, they used the normal means of transportation and routes used to reach
v4. “AND WHEN THEY WERE COME TO
and Barnabas arrive at
v5. “BUT THERE ROSE UP CERTAIN OF THE SECT OF THE PHARISEES WHICH BELIEVED SAYING, THAT IT WAS NEEDFUL TO CIRCUMCISE THEM, AND TO COMMAND them TO KEEP THE LAW OF MOSES.”
Apparently many of the Pharisees that had been converted to Christ still tried to hold on to their olds ways didn’t they? They not only wanted the Gentile Christians to be circumcised but also to be required to obey the law of Moses. How wide spread was this problem in the early church? It was common wasn’t it? We have the entire book of Hebrews written to counteract this false teaching. Let’s look at a part of this writing
Read Hebrews 10:1-10
Read Acts 15:6-11
v6. “AND THE APOSTLES AND ELDERS CAME TOGETHER FOR TO CONSIDER OF THIS MATTER.”
This verse doesn’t state this fact, we get that from other verses in this chapter, but the entire church has come together to consider the issue of circumcision. The apostles and elders are providing the necessary leadership.
v7. “AND WHEN THERE HAD BEEN MUCH DISPUTING, PETER ROSE UP, AND SAID UNTO THEM, MEN and BRETHREN, YE KNOW HOW THAT A GOOD WHILE AGO GOD MADE CHOICE AMONG US, THAT THE GENTILES BY MY MOUTH SHOULD HEAR THE WORD OF THE GOSPEL, AND BELIEVE.”
Peter had been directed by the Holy Spirit to go with the messengers to Cornelius:
Acts -20 “WHILE PETER THOUGHT ON THE VISION, THE SPIRIT SAID UNTO HIM, BEHOLD, THREE MEN SEEK THEE. ARISE THEREFORE, AND GET THEE DOWN, AND GO WITH THEM, DOUBTING NOTHING: FOR I HAVE SENT THEM.”
As you remember Peter went to from Joppa to
Acts “AND THE SPIRIT BADE ME TO WITH THEM, NOTHING DOUBTING. MOREOVER THESE SIX BRETHREN ACCOMPANIED ME, AND WE ENTERED INTO THE MAN’S HOUSE.”
and as a result of Peter’s preaching the entire Gentile household of Cornelius was baptized.
v8. “AND GOD, WHICH KNOWETH THE HEARTS, BARE THEM WITNESS, GIVING THEM THE HOLY GHOST, EVEN AS he did UNTO US;”
God knows our hearts, that fact should give us a reason for meditation? And it’s true, just as David tells Solomon:
I Chronicles 28:9 “AND THOU, SOLOMON MY SON, KNOW THOU THE GOD OF THY FATHER, AND SERVE HIM WITH A PERFECT HEART AND WITH A WILLING MIND: FOR THE LORD SEARCHETH ALL HEARTS, AND UNDERSTANDETH ALL THE IMAGINATIONS OF THE THOUGHTS: IF THOU SEEK HIM, HE WILL BE FOUND OF THEE; BUT IF THOU FORSAKE HIM, HE WILL CAST THEE OFF FOR EVER.”
and just as God had poured out the Holy Spirit on the apostles at Pentecost as Peter had testified at the time, he also poured out the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles:
Acts “WHILE PETER YET SPAKE THESE WORDS, THE HOLY GHOST FELL ON ALL THEM WHICH HEARD THE WORD.”
v9. “AND PUT NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US AND THEM, PURIFYING THEIR HEARTS BY FAITH.”
God had told Peter to not call common or unclean what he had cleansed didn’t he?
Acts “AND THE VOICE spake UNTO HIM AGAIN THE SECOND TIME, WHAT GOD HATH CLEANSED, that CALL NOT THOU COMMON.”
Peter understood the significance of the vision God had provided and told Cornelius and the others present that he understood.
Acts 10:28 “AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, YE KNOW HOW THAT IT IS AN UNLAWFUL THING FOR A MAN THAT IS A JEW TO KEEP COMPANY, OR COME UNTO ONE OF ANOTHER NATION; BUT GOD HATH SHOWED ME THAT I SHOULD NOT CALL ANY MAN COMMON OR UNCLEAN.”
The Holy Spirit gives us the same message through Paul.
Romans 10:11-12 “FOR THE SCRIPTRUE SAITH, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED. FOR THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE JEW AND THE GREEK: FOR THE SAME LORD OVER ALL IS RICH UNTO ALL THAT CALL UPON HIM.”
addresses the first letter to the church at
I Corinthians 1:2 “UNTO THE CHURCH OF GOD WHICH IS AT CORINTH, TO THEM THAT ARE SANCTIFIED IN CHRIST JESUS, CALLED to be SAINTS, WHICH ALL THAT IN EVERY PLACE CALL UPON THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, BOTH THEIRS AND OURS:”
v10. “NOW THEREFORE WHY TEMPT YE GOD, TO PUT A YOKE UPON THE NECK OF THE DISCIPLES, WHICH NEITHER OUR FATHERS NOR WE WERE ABLE TO BEAR?”
Peter tells them that they are tempting or making trial of God because of their demand for physical circumcision. Peter calls it a yoke that they were unable to bear, just like the Jewish fathers, elders and others that Jesus described:
Matthew 23:4 “FOR THEY BIND HEAVY BURDENS AND GRIEVOUS TO BE BORNE, AND LAY them ON MEN’S SHOULDERS; BUT THEY themselves WILL NOT MOVE THEM WITH ONE OF THEIR FINGERS.”
Paul uses the same kind of language in his writing on the same subject:
Galatians 5:1 “STAND FAST THEREFORE IN
v11. “BUT WE BELIEVE THAT THROUGH THE GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WE SHALL BE SAVED, EVEN AS THEY.”
This may be a little backwards compared to the way we might word it today but Peter says that they will be saved (that is the Gentiles) even as we (that is the Jews, for Peter was Jew) will be saved.
“FOR ALL HAVE SINNED, AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD; BEING JUSTIFIED FREELY BY HIS GRACE THROUGH THE REDEMPTION THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS.” Romans 3:23-24
and that salvation comes by the grace of God. We can’t earn it but we have to be in God’s family, citizens of God’s kingdom to receive it:
Ephesians 2:8 “FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED THROUGH FAITH; AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is THE GIFT OF GOD.”
and that grace is available to all men:
Titus “FOR THE GRACE OF GOD THAT BRINGETH SALVATION HATH APPEARED TO ALL MEN.”
Read Acts 15:12-29
v12 “THEN ALL THE MULTITUDE KEPT SILENCE, AND GAVE AUDIENCE TO BARNABAS AND PAUL, DECLARING WHAT MIRACLES AND WONDERS GOD HAD WROUGHT AMONG THE GENTILES BY THEM.”
Peter’s speech has silenced the crowd. This reasoning is sound and solid, his testimony is about circumstances with which they are all familiar. They have no comment or rebuttal in the face of it. Then, as though to seal the discussion for good; Paul and Barnabas speak of all the wonderful things that God has done through them to convert the Gentiles during their journey. The gospel of Christ has been preached and the church established in at least one city that didn’t even have enough of a Jewish population to organize a synagogue.
v13. “AND AFTER THEY HAD HELD THEIR PEACE, JAMES ANSWERED, SAYING, MEN and BRETHREN, HEARKEN UNTO ME:”
There has been a lull in the debate. First there seemed to have been general discussion, Peter spoke, then Paul and Barnabas and now as everyone held their peace James starts to speak. This is not the apostle James? How do we know?
Acts 12:1-2 “NOW ABOUT THAT TIME HEROD THE KING STRETCHED FORTH his HANDS TO VEX CERTAIN OF THE CHURCH. AND HE KILLED JAMES THE BROTHER OF JOHN WITH THE SWORD.”
No, this is James the brother of Jesus, the author of the epistle of James.
v14. “SIMEON HATH DECLARED HOW GOD AT THE FIRST DID VISIT THE GENTILES, TO TAKE OUT OF THEM A PEOPLE FOR HIS NAME.”
refers to God calling Cornelius and his household out of the Gentile nations to
be his people. Everyone fully recognized
and realized that God had a direct influence on what had happened in Joppa and
v15. “AND TO THIS AGREE THE WORDS OF THE PROPHETS; AS IT IS WRITTEN:”
not only going to declare that God now has chosen people outside of the family
v16. “AFTER THIS I WILL RETURN, AND WILL BUILD AGAIN THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID, WHICH IS FALLEN DOWN; AND I WILL BUILD AGAIN THE RUINS THEREOF, AND I WILL SET IT UP:”
This is taken from the prophecy of Amos:
Amos 9:11 “IN THAT DAY WILL I RAISE UP THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID THAT IS FALLEN, AND CLOSE UP THE BREACHES THEREOF; AND I WILL RAISE UP HIS RUINS, AND I WILL BUILD IT AS IN THE DAYS OF OLD:
God is going to cause the
v17. “THAT THE RESIDUE OF MEN MIGHT SEEK AFTER THE LORD, AND ALL THE GENTILES, UPON WHOM MY NAME IS CALLED, SAITH THE LORD, WHO DOETH ALL THESE THINGS.”
Amos “THAT THEY MAY
POSSESS THE REMANT OF
Both Amos and James continue to state without hesitation that this is going to benefit the “remnant of Edom and of all the heathen”; or James simply says “Gentiles”. Now James quotes only one prophecy but there were others weren’t there?
Isaiah 2:2-4 “AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THE LAST DAYS, that THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD’S HOUSE SHALL BE ESTABLISHED IN THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAINS, AND SHALL BE EXALTED ABOVE THE HILLS; AND ALL NATIONS SHALL FLOW UNTO IT. AND MANY PEOPLE SHALL GO AND SAY, COME YE, AND LET US GO UP TO THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD, TO THE HOUSE OF THE GOD OF JACOB; AND HE WILL TEACH US OF HIS WAYS, AND WE WILL WALK IN HIS PATHS: FOR OUT OF ZION SHALL GO FORTH THE LAW, AND THE WORD OF THE LORD FROM JERUSALEM. AND HE SHALL JUDGE AMONG THE NATIONS, AND SHALL REBUKE MANY PEOPLE: AND THEY SHALL BEAT THEIR SWORDS INTO PLOWSHARES, AND THEIR SPEARS INTO PRUNINGHOOKS: NATION SHALL NOT LIFT UP SWORD AGAINST NATION, NEITHER SHALL THEY LEARN WAR ANY MORE.”
And there are others.
v18. “KNOWN UNTO GOD ARE ALL HIS WORKS FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD.”
This is just not known in prophecy is it? No God’s plan for the redemption of mankind for sin as promised to Abraham was universal wasn’t it, and known from the beginning, from the first promise to Abraham wasn’t it?
Genesis 12:1-3 “NOW THE LORD HAD SAID UNTO ABRAM, GET THEE OUT OF THY COUNTRY, AND FROM THY KINDRED, AND FROM THY FATHER’S HOUSE, UNTO A LAND THAT I WILL SHOW THEE: AND I WILL MAKE OF THEE A GREAT NATION, AND I WILL BLESS THEE, AND MAKE THY NAME GREAT; AND THOU SHALT BE A BLESSING: AND I WILL BLESS THEM THAT BLESS THEE, AND CURSE HIM THAT CURSETH THEE: AND IN THEE SHALL ALL FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED.”
v19. “WHEREFORE MY SENTENCE IS, THAT WE TROUBLE NOT THEM, WHICH FROM AMONG THE GENTILES ARE TURNED TO GOD.”
James goes on here to state that it’s his thought that they shouldn’t trouble these Gentiles who chose to accept Christ, who are turned to God. Because it is God’s will that this should happen.
v20. “BUT THAT WE WRITE UNTO THEM, THAT THEY ABSTAIN FROM POLLUTIONS OF IDOLS, AND from FORNICATION, AND from THINGS STRANGLED, AND from BLOOD.”
He further suggests that they write unto them. That in this writing they tell them certain things regarding how they should conduct themselves. Is James speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit here? Yes, and Luke has recorded his instructions as instructions to Christians today, Jew or Gentile. Good advice we’re getting, why?
I Corinthians 6:9 “KNOW YE NOT THAT THE UNRIGHTEOUS
SHALL NOT INHERIT THE
Ephesians 5:3 “BUT FORNICATION, AND ALL UNCLEANNESS, OR COVETOUSNESS, LET IT NOT BE ONCE NAMED AMONG YOU, AS BECOMETH SAINTS;”
We find instructions to refrain from things strangled only in the book of Acts; no direct references are found in the epistles. Likewise this admonition to abstain from blood is found only in three verses in Acts , and . But God’s commandment regarding this restriction was first given to Noah and his descendants in Genesis 9:4.
v21. “FOR MOSES OF OLD TIME HATH IN EVERY CITY THEM THAT PREACH HIM, BEING READ IN THE SYNAGOGUES EVERY SABBATH DAY.”
What did they read in the synagogue worship. The Old Testament, the Law of Moses, just as we read and study the New Testament the Law of Christ today and the schoolmaster (that is the Old Testament) to help us better understand the new.
v22. “THEN PLEASED IT THE APOSTLES AND ELDERS,
WITH THE WHOLE CHURCH, TO SEND CHOSEN MEN OF THEIR OWN COMPANY TO
A recommendation has been made, a
conclusion has been reached. We’re going
to send representatives to the church at
I Peter “BY SILVANUS, A FAITHFUL BROTHER UNTO YOU, AS I SUPPOSE, I HAVE WRITTEN BRIEFLY, EXHORTING, AND TESTIFYING THAT THIS IS THE TRUE GRACE OF GOD WHEREIN YE STAND.”
v23. “AND THEY WROTE letters BY THEM AFTER THIS MANNER, THE APOSTLES AND ELDERS AND BRETHREN send GREETING UNTO THE BRETHREN WHICH ARE OF THE GENTILES IN ANTIOCH AND SYRIA AND CILICIA:”
letter was brief and to the point, it was from the apostles, the elders at
v24. “FORASMUCH AS WE HAVE HEARD, THAT CERTAIN WHICH WENT OUT FROM US HAVE TROUBLED YOU WITH WORDS, SUBVERTING YOUR SOULS, SAYING, Ye must BE CIRCUMCISED, AND KEEP THE LAW: TO WHOM WE GAVE NO such COMMANDMENT.”
heard that certain members of the
subverted, what does that mean? Our
English version is really a French word that means literally to “turn from
beneath”. The English dictionary will
give you a definition of 1.) “to overturn or overthrow
from the foundation: ruin;” 2) “to
pervert or corrupt by an undermining of morals, allegiance, or faith,” The word used in the Greek means “to pack up
baggage” (Vines) and was used to describe what soldiers did when they
dismantled or plundered a town. Vine
also says that the word is used metaphorically in Acts to mean the “unsettling or subverting the souls
of the believers.” So the Jews teaching
circumcision were subverting the church at
They were doing this by demanding that these Christians also be bound to the Mosaic Law and practice, specifically, the rite of circumcision for religious purposes.
apostles and elders at
Titus 1:10-11 “FOR THERE ARE MANY UNRULY AND VAIN TALKERS AND DECEIVERS, SPECIALLY THEY OF THE CIRCUMCISION: WHOSE MOUTHS MUST BE STOPPED, WHO SUBVERT WHOLE HOUSES, TEACHING THINGS WHICH THEY OUGHT NOT, FOR FILTHY LUCRE’S SAKE.”
v25. “IT SEEMED GOOD TO US, BEING ASSEMBLED WITH
ONE ACCORD, TO SEND
The apostles and elders have assembled together, they’re of one mind and have decided to send men from among them these churches along with Paul and Barnabas. They are very firmly endorsing what Paul and Barnabas have been teaching, denying the teaching of the circumcision party and sending witnesses to further confirm that.
v26. “MEN THAT HAVE HAZARDED THEIR LIVES FOR THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.”
These witnesses being sent are not just ordinary men but men so dedicated to Christ and his teaching that they have willing placed themselves in great danger, even the danger of physical death for His cause.
v27. “WE HAVE SEND THEREFORE JUDAS AND SILAS, WHO SHALL ALSO TELL you THE SAME THINGS BY MOUTH.”
These men, Judas and Silas would confirm by mouth the same things being written. There was another man with this group that Luke doesn’t mention, do we know who? Titus was with Paul and Barnabas, speaking of this meeting in Jerusalem Paul writes later:
Galatians 2:3 “BUT NEITHER TITUS, WHO WAS WITH ME, BEING A GREEK, WAS COMPELLED TO BE CIRCUMCISED.”
v28. “FOR IT SEEMED GOOD TO THE HOLY GHOST, AND TO US, TO LAY UPON YOU NO GREATER BURDEN THAN THESE NECESSARY THINGS;”
“IT SEEMED GOOD TO THE HOLY GHOST” Literally a statement that this instruction came from the Holy Spirit, came from God’s own messenger given to the apostles for this purpose. These were special requirements but they would not be a great burden. And what are these requirements?
v29. “THAT YE ABSTAIN FROM MEATS OFFERED TO IDOLS, AND FROM BLOOD, AND FROM THINGS STRANGLED, AND FROM FORNICATION: FROM WHICH IF YE KEEP YOURSELVES, YE SHALL DO WELL. FARE YE WELL.”
These are the same things that James mentions in his sermon aren’t they? They were not to eat meat that had been offered to idols and this has always been a subject of discussion among brethren. We conjure up images in our minds about these Christians having to be concerned about what would be offered in the marketplace but I don’t think that’s what James is talking about. Observe with me, if you will, the practice of the idol worshippers:
In our study of Acts 14 we found, not in the scripture itself, but through other study that these idol worshippers killed the sacrifices, poured the blood on their idols altar as the offering and then had a feast in celebration with the meat itself. Its not the eating of this meat itself that is the problem but rather the joining in with the feast, let’s look at Paul’s writing.
I Corinthians 8:4 “AS CONCERNING THEREFORE THE EATING OF THOSE THINGS THAT ARE OFFERED IN SACRIFICE UNTO IDOLS, WE KNOW THAT AN IDOL is NOTHING IN THE WORLD, AND THAT there is NONE OTHER GOD BUT ONE.”
I Corinthians 8:8-10
“BUT MEAT COMMENDETH US NOT TO GOD; FOR NEITHER, IF WE
EAT, ARE WE THE BETTER; NEITHER, IF WE EAT NOT, ARE WE THE WORSE. BUT TAKE HEED LEST BY ANY MEANS THIS
So Paul says that whether we eat this meat or not is not the problem. But rather the influence it might have on those who do not completely understand God’s requirements. Our actions, since they may be looking to us for their Christian example, could cause them to stumble. A modern day parallel, perhaps, is the participation in various denominational fund raisers and activities.
They’re also not to eat anything strangled, why? Because the blood is not drained from a strangled animal; and they are not to eat blood. We make sure that animals are bled completely today, probably for reasons of health and sanitation rather than for religious reasons, though religion is the original source of this practice. They were also to abstain from fornication.
Read Acts 15:30-35
v30. “SO WHEN THEY WERE DISMISSED, THEY CAME
meeting ended with the letter written as recommended by James; Paul, Barnabas,
Judas and Silas left
v31. “Which WHEN THEY HAD READ, THEY REJOICED FOR THE CONSOLATION.”
When these Gentile Christians read the letter they rejoiced. They were glad to hear that the rites of the Mosiac Law were not binding upon them. What does the word “consolation” mean in this verse? Encouragement, our scholars tell us that the word consolation and exhortation are very similar in meaning and usage.
v32. “AND JUDAS AND SILAS, BEING PROPHETS ALSO THEMSELVES, EXHORTED THE BRETHREN WITH MANY WORDS, AND CONFIMED them.”
Back in verse 22 we were introduced to Judas and Silas as being “CHIEF MEN AMONG THE BRETHREN” and now we’re told that they’re prophets as well. Does that mean that they went about foretelling the future? No the word prophet, even in the Greek from which it is translated has a much more general meaning than that. Vines gives the definition as “a proclaimer of a divine message; denoted among the Greeks an interpreter of the oracles of the gods.” That definition covers just about all teachers and preachers of God’s word doesn’t it? The prophets of old brought a divine message that was given to them directly by God; we today, bring a divine message given by God’s recorded revelation, the Bible.
encouraged and exhorted the
v33. “AND AFTER THEY HAD TARRIED there A SPACE, THEY WERE LET GO IN PEACE FROM THE BRETHREN UNTO THE APOSTLES.”
they had been there a while, they decided to go back to the apostles in
v34. “ NOTWITHSTANDING IT PLEASED SILAS TO ABIDE THERE STILL.”
Silas stayed, not much else is said, in fact the ASV omits this verse completely.
v35. “PAUL ALSO AND BARNABAS CONTINUED IN
Silas stayed and Paul and Barnabas stayed as well. Continuing, we‘re told, to preach and teach the Word of God.
Read Acts 15:36-41
v36. “AND SOME DAYS AFTER PAUL SAID UNTO BARNABAS, LET US GO AGAIN AND VISIT OUR BRETHREN IN EVERY CITY WHERE WE HAVE PREACHED THE WORD OF THE LORD, and see HOW THEY DO.”
Paul is the
leader now of the group, takes the initiative to plan another missionary trip
or journey to see about the churches that he and Barnabas planted in
v37. “AND BARNABAS DETERMINED TO TAKE WITH THEM JOHN, WHOSE SURNAME WAS MARK.”
was from where?
“AND WHEN HE HAD CONSIDERED the thing, HE CAME TO THE HOUSE OF MARY THE MOTHER OF JOHN, WHOSE SURNAME WAS MARK; WHERE MANY WERE GATHERED TOGETHER PRAYING.” Acts
Barnabas had used John Mark earlier in their travels. He came with them when they had left
Colossians “ARISTARCHUS MY FELLOWPRISONER SALUTETH YOU, AND MARCUS, SISTER’S SON TO BARNABAS, (TOUCHING WHOM YE RECEIVED COMMANDMENTS: IF HE COME UNTO YOU, RECEIVE HIM;)”
v38. “BUT PAUL THOUGHT NOT GOOD TO TAKE HIM WITH THEM, WHO DEPARTED FROM THEM FROM PAMPHYLIA, AND WENT NOT WITH THEM TO THE WORK.”
Paul doesn’t want to take him along; Barnabas does, so a dispute arises, why? Mark had abandoned the work, as noted by Luke in Acts and left them:
Acts “NOW WHEN PAUL AND
HIS COMPANY LOOSED FROM PAPHOS, THEY CAME TO PERGA IN PAMPHYLIA: AND JOHN DEPARTING
FROM THEM RETURNED TO
Paul didn’t want someone with them who was going to quit on them or hold them back in any way. Barnabas defends his nephew and is determined to take him to help in the work. Paul had a change of mind later didn’t he? Why? Because Mark made a change:
II Timothy “ONLY LUKE IS WITH ME. TAKE MARK, AND BRING HIM WITH THEE: FOR HE IS PROFITABLE TO ME FOR THE MINISTRY.”
v39. “AND THE CONTENTION WAS SO SHARP BETWEEN
THEM, THAT THEY DEPARTED ASUNDER ONE FROM THE OTHER: AND SO BARNABAS TOOK MARK,
AND SAILED UNTO
They have an argument, an argument strong enough to separate them and for Barnabas to go off without Paul but with his nephew. So Barnabas takes Mark and returns to the original missionary road; apparently traveling over the same roads and byways as before, even though it’s been over a year and perhaps even two,
v40. “AND PAUL CHOSE SILAS, AND DEPARTED, BEING RECOMMENDED BY THE BRETHREN UNTO THE GRACE OF GOD.”
Silas to replace Barnabas as his traveling companion. One commentator tells us that Silas had gone
v41. “AND HE WENT THROUGH
Silas travel through