Acts 15:2
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.

King James Bible
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 Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

Darby Bible Translation
A commotion therefore having taken place, and no small discussion on the part of Paul and Barnabas against them, they arranged that Paul and Barnabas, and certain others from amongst them, should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question.

World English Bible
Therefore when Paul and Barnabas had no small discord and discussion with them, they appointed Paul and Barnabas, and some others of them, to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question.

Young's Literal Translation
there having been, therefore, not a little dissension and disputation to Paul and Barnabas with them, they arranged for Paul and Barnabas, and certain others of them, to go up unto the apostles and elders to Jerusalem about this question,

Acts 15:2 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Had no small dissension an disputation - The word rendered "dissension" στάσις stasis denotes sometimes "sedition" or "intestine war," and sometimes "earnest and violent disputation or controversy," Acts 23:7, Acts 23:10. In this place it clearly denotes that there was earnest and warm discussion; but it is not implied that there was any improper heat or temper on the part of Paul and Barnabas. Important principles were to be settled in regard to the organization of the church. Doctrines were advanced by the Judaizing teachers which were false, and which tended to produce great disorder in the church. Those doctrines were urged with zeal, were declared to be essential to salvation, and would therefore tend to distract the minds of Christians, and to produce great anxiety. It became, therefore, necessary to meet them with a determined purpose, and to establish the truth on an immovable basis. And the case shows that it is right to "contend earnestly for the faith" Jde 1:3; and, when similar cases occur, that it is proper to resist the approach of error with all the arguments which may be at our command, and with all the weapons which truth can furnish. It is further implied here that it is the duty of the ministers of the gospel to defend the truth and to oppose error. Paul and Barnabas regarded themselves as set for this purpose (compare Philippians 1:17, "Knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel"); and Christian ministers should be qualified to defend the truth, and should be willing with a proper spirit and with great earnestness to maintain the doctrines revealed.

They determined - There was no prospect that the controversy would be settled by contention and argument. It would seem, from this statement, that those who came down from Judea were also willing that the whole matter should be referred to the apostles at Jerusalem. The reason for this may have been:

(1) That Jerusalem would be regarded by them as the source of authority in the Christian church, as it had been among the Jews.

(2) most of the apostles and the most experienced Christians were there. They had listened to the instructions of Christ himself; had been long in the church; and were supposed to be better acquainted with its design and its laws.

(3) those who came from Judea would not be likely to acknowledge the authority of Paul as an apostle: the authority of those at Jerusalem they would recognize.

(4) they might have had a very confident expectation that the decision there would be in their favor. The question had not been agitated there. They had all been Jews, and it is certain that they continued as yet to attend in the temple service, and to conform to the Jewish customs. They might have expected, therefore, with great confidence, that the decision would be in their favor, and they were willing to refer it to those who resided at Jerusalem.

Certain other of them - Of the brethren; probably of each party. They did not go to debate, or to give their opinion, or to vote in the ease themselves, but to lay the question fairly before the apostles and elders.

Unto the apostles - The authority of the apostles in such a case would be acknowledged by all. They had been immediately instructed by the Saviour, and had the promise of infallible guidance in the organization of the church. See the notes on Matthew 16:19; Matthew 18:18.

And elders - See the note at Acts 11:30. Greek: presbyters. See the notes on Acts 14:23. Who these were, or what was their office and authority, is not easy now to determine. It may refer either to the aged men in the church at Jerusalem, or to those who were appointed to rule and to preach in connection with the apostles. As in the synagogue it was customary to determine questions by the advice of a bench of elders, there is no improbability in the supposition that the apostles would imitate that custom, and appoint a similar arrangement in the Christian church (Grotius). It is generally agreed that this is the journey to which Paul refers in Galatians 2:1-10. If so, it happened fourteen years after his conversion, Galatians 2:1. It was done in accordance with the divine command, "by revelation," Galatians 2:2. Among those who went with him was Titus, who was afterward so much distinguished as his companion, Galatians 2:3.

About this question - The question whether the ceremonial laws of Moses were binding on Christian converts. In regard to the nature and design of this council at Jerusalem, see the notes on Acts 15:30-31.

Acts 15:2 Parallel Commentaries

Library
A Good Man's Faults
'And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 38. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.'--ACTS xv. 37, 38. Scripture narratives are remarkable for the frankness with which they tell the faults of the best men. It has nothing in common with the cynical spirit in historians, of which this age has seen eminent examples, which fastens upon the weak places in the noblest natures, like a wasp
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

"Now the End of the Commandment," &C.
1 Tim. i. 5.--"Now the end of the commandment," &c. Fourthly, Faith purging the conscience purifies the heart (Acts xv. 9.), and hope also purifies the heart (1 John iii. 3.), which is nothing else but faith in the perfection and vigour of it. This includes, I. That the heart was unclean before faith. II. That faith cleanses it, and makes it pure. But "who can say, I have made my heart pure (Prov. xx. 9.), I am clean from my sin?" Is there any man's heart on this side of time, which lodges not many
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Whether the Justification of the Ungodly is the Remission of Sins
Whether the Justification of the Ungodly is the Remission of Sins We proceed to the first article thus: 1. It seems that the justification of the ungodly is not the remission of sins. It is clear from what was said in Q. 71, Arts. 1 and 2, that sin is opposed not only to justice, but to all virtues. Now justification means a movement towards justice. Hence not every remission of sin is justification, since every movement is from one contrary to its opposite. 2. Again, it is said in 2 De Anima, text
Aquinas—Nature and Grace

Whether Purification of the Heart is an Effect of Faith
Whether Purification of the Heart is an Effect of Faith We proceed to the second article thus: 1. It seems that purification of the heart is not an effect of faith. Purity of heart pertains mainly to the affections. But faith is in the intellect. Hence faith does not cause purification of the heart. 2. Again, that which causes purification of the heart cannot exist together with impurity. But faith exists together with the impurity of sin, as is obvious in those whose faith is unformed. Hence faith
Aquinas—Nature and Grace

Cross References
Acts 11:30
And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.

Acts 15:4
When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them.

Acts 15:6
The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter.

Acts 15:7
After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, "Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe.

Acts 15:22
Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas-- Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren,

Acts 15:23
and they sent this letter by them, "The apostles and the brethren who are elders, to the brethren in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia who are from the Gentiles, greetings.

Acts 16:4
Now while they were passing through the cities, they were delivering the decrees which had been decided upon by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem, for them to observe.

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