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Julian Pe- 23 And when they had ordained 16 them elders in every Lystra, Icoriod, 4758. church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended nium, Antithem to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Vulgar Æra, about 47.

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They proceed through Pisidia, through Perga, and Atta

lia, in Pamphylia.

ACTS xiv. 24, 25.


24 And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they Pisidia, Percame to Pamphylia..

25 And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia.


They return to Antioch, and submit an account of their
proceedings to the Church in that place.

ACTS xiv. 26. to the end.

ga, Attalia.

26 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had Antioch. been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.

27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.

28 And there they abode long time with the disciples.


Dissensions at Antioch concerning Circumcision, before the
commencement of St. Paul's second Apostolical Journey.
ACTS XV. 1, 2.

1 And certain men which came down from Judea
taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised
after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

16 The original is χειροτονήσαντες δὲ αὐτοῖς πρεσβυτέρους κατ' ἐκκλησίαν.

The word xεporovéw, literally interpreted, signifies to stretch forth the hand; and it was used to denote the action by which the ancient Greeks, in their military councils, expressed their approbation or disapprobation. Thus we read in Xenophon, Anab. lib. iii. 3. 22. καὶ ὅτω δοκεῖ ταῦτα ἀνατεινάτω τὴν χεῖρα. 'AVÉTELvov üπaVTEC-From this signification of the word, it was afterwards used, as in this passage, in the derived sense, "to appoint, constitute, or ordain."-See Dr. Hammond's learned and conclusive note on this subject. Hesychius ap. Schleusner renders the word in this sense χειροτονεῖν· καθιστᾶν. ψηφίσειν ; and Suidas interprets χειροτονήσαντες, by the synonym εκλεξά μEvoL. See also Wetstein, N. T. tom. ii. p. 198.




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2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dis- Autioch. riod, 4759. sension and disputation with them, they determined that Vulgar Era, Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem, unto the apostles and elders, about this question.


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riod, 4760.


St. Paul and Barnabas go up to Jerusalem, to consult the
Apostles and Elders-Decree of James, and of the
Church in this matter.

ACTS XV. 3-30.

3 And being brought on their way by the church, they Jerusalem. Vulgar Era, passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.


4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders; and they declared all things that God had done with them.

5 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.

6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

7 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.

8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us: 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

10 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 18?

17 This verse is not to be read parenthetically, but as a continuation of the declaration of St. Paul and Barnabas-" They declared what great things God had done to them; but (said they) there have risen up some of the sect of the Pharisees who have professed their faith in Jesus," &c. Beza was probably the first who observed this; and his ancient manuscript gives a hint of it. Nothing (says Markland ap. Bowyer,) is more certain. At the end of verse 4, after μET' avrov, put only a comma.

1a In Gal. ii. 11, 12, &c. we read that Peter was reproved by Paul for consenting, at the instigation of the Judaízing converts, to press upon the Gentiles the observance of the ceremonial law.

Doddridge would place this occurrence after the present council of Jerusalem, Dr. Hales, relying on the ingenious remark

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11. But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jerusalem. riod, 4760. Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. Volgar Æra,


of Basnage, before that event. Peter (says Basnage) would in
all probability have opposed every attempt to establish the
works of the law among the idolatrous Gentiles, if the present
apostolic decree had been then enacted, In this point of view
the speech of Peter on this occasion may be considered as a
noble retraction of his former conduct. It is probable that
St. Peter came to Antioch from Rome, Antioch being peculiarly
under Roman protection. The general tradition is, that St.
Peter was Bishop of Antioch seven years.

The efforts of the false brethren (Gal. ii. 4) who endeavoured
to persuade the faithful of the Gentiles, that unless they were
circumcised, they could not be saved, occasioned the council of
Jerusalem, to which St. Paul and Barnabas were sent. (Gal. ii.
1.) Titus accompanied them. (Gal. ii. 1.) We have reason for
thinking that they took him with them in the room of John,
surnamed Mark, (Acts xiii. 13.) whom they had left in Pam-

This third voyage of St. Paul to Jerusalem, (ver. 4.) is placed about the forty-ninth year of Christ, and ninth of Claudius; it being evidently the voyage of which the apostle speaks, (Gal. ii. 1.) "Fourteen years afterwards I went again to Jerusalem." The epocha of fourteen years being dated from his conversion.

This fundamental date, as Dr. Hales very justly calls it, has been adopted by Petavius, Pearson, Barrington, Lardner, Paley, Michaelis, Hales, and the great majority of commentators. All of whom unite in referring the apostolic council to the year 49. It has, however, been much disputed, upon the grounds of the ambiguity of the original expression, ἔπειτα, διὰ δεκατεσσάρων ἐτῶν, πάλιν ἀνέβην εις Ιεροσόλυμα, Gal. ii. 1.

It has been contended that these "fourteen years" are rather to be counted from Paul's visit to Jerusalem, three years after his conversion, A.D. 35+3, A.D. 38, (Gal. i. 18.) which would give the date of the council, A. D. 38 +14 — A.D. 52, three years later. And this has been adopted by Jerom, Usher, &c. and A.D. 51, by the Bible Chronology.

But it is more natural to refer them to the fundamental date of his conversion; especially as another πara intervenes, (Gal. i. 21.) to break the connexion with the first visit to Jerusalem, (Gal. i. 18.)


Lardner observes, that the expression dia, signifies" about," 66 during," and that the fourteen years are current, not complete. If so, the date of the council should be A.D. 35+ 13 = A.D. 48, which perhaps is rather more correct.

But Paley doubts, whether the visit to Jerusalem might not have been different from that at the time of the council, from the following differences in the circumstances of both. (Hora Paulinæ, p. 195–207.)

1. Titus is mentioned as accompanying Paul and Barnabas, in the Epistle, but not in the Acts.

But Titus is plainly included in the definite expression of their attendants, and "some others of them." (Acts xv. 2.) The name of Titus is nowhere found in the Acts.

2. Paul is said to have gone up to Jerusalem by revelation, (Gal. ii. 2.) whereas he is represented as deputed by the Church of Antioch in the Acts.

Both these accounts are consistent; thus Peter was sent for by Cornelius, but the Holy Spirit directed him to go with the messengers, (Acts x. 20.)

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12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audi- Jerusalem. ence to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,

16 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:

17 That the residue of men 19 might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

18 Known unto God are all his works, from the beginning of the world.

19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood 20.

3. Paul communicated his Gospel to the Gentiles," privately to them which were of reputation," or the pillars of the Church, Peter, James, and John, (Gal. ii. 2-9.) for which there seemed to be no occasion, since this formed the subject of his public mission. (Acts xv. 4.)

But Paul's particular mission, as an extraordinary apostle to the remote Gentiles, Acts xxii. 21. (μaкpàv čaπoσrελ@,) would have been offensive to the mother Church in general. The public avowal of it afterwards at Jerusalem, occasioned great offence to the Jewish zealots, and much persecution to the apostle, (Acts xxii. 21. xxvi. 21.)

4. The last and chief difficulty is, that in the Epistle no notice is taken of the deliberation and decree of the council of Jerusalem, which formed the business for the sake of which they were sent thither from Antioch.

But Paley himself has furnished satisfactory answers to this: 1. It was not agreeable to St. Paul's manner to defer much to the authority of the apostles, with the chief of whom he reckoned himself equal; as receiving his commission not from man, but immediately from Christ himself, (Gal. i. 1.)

2. The authority of the council of Jerusalem would have little weight with the Gentile Galatians. He, therefore, argues the point with them upon principle.

3. The decree did not go the length of the epistle, for the latter abrogated the Mosaic institution, even to the Jews themselves, in the case of justification by faith.-See Hales' Aual. of Chron. vol. ii. part ii. p. 1110.

19 This quotation seems to be taken from the LXX version of Amos ix. 11, 12. which reads the residue of, or Edom, which latter word is used to this day by the Jews, as a convertible term with, to express the Pagan, heathen, or Gentile world. Many references to prove this point might be selected from the Jewish prayers, which are now used in their synagogues.

20 To eat things offered to idols was a Gentile rite (a). To


Julian Pe- 21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that Jerusalem. riod, 4760. Vulgar Era, eat the flesh of animals, without pouring off the blood, and to partake of the blood were also common observances (b). The expression πνικτὸν κρέας, alludes to the manner in which the Gentiles prepared their food. They were accustomed either to inclose the carcase of the lamb, or animal, in an oven, or vessel, and dress it in its own vapour or steam; or otherwise so to kill it, that the blood should not be shed, but remain in it. They were sometimes (Cic. pro Muræna,) accustomed to kill fowls by suffocation.

With respect to the last command, it is evident that offences of this kind were regarded as of no consequence among the heathen. I interpret the word wopvela, with our translators of the Bible, not thinking it worth while to consider here Michaelis's criticism on the passage.

The writer who has paid more attention to this subject during the last century than any other, is Lord Barrington, who supposes that the decree was made for the Proselytes of the Gate alone: that is, as we have already observed, for those Gentiles by birth, who quitted the heathen idolatry, but did not fully embrace the Jewish religion; and who, on account of their forsaking Paganism, and abstaining from the four things here mentioned, were permitted to dwell in Palestine, and had several civil privileges allowed them, with liberty to join in all acts of worship in use before the law, on condition only that they conformed to the laws of society, and those laws here enjoined.

In the fourth essay of the Miscellanea Sacra, Lord Barrington endeavours to prove that the decree was not binding upon any but Christians, who had been Proselytes of the Gate, and to them only, while the Jewish polity lasted; and therefore it abridges no other Gentile Christians of the liberty which the Gospel intended to give.

By things offered to idols, which are prohibited in the first article, he understands any meat or drink offered to an image or idol, but especially such as had been offered in the idol's temple.

By blood is meant the blood separated from the flesh, which was generally done with the greater beasts, and either drunk by itself, or mixed with other liquors, or flour, or spice, &c.

By the third prohibition is understood creatures strangled or suffocated, with design to keep the blood in them, in order to be eaten, which was generally used in fowls, birds, and game; and I imagine every animal was understood to be strangled, which was not slain in such a manner as to have its blood" poured out." (Lev. xvii. 13.)

And by the last article Lord Barrington understands uncleanness of every kind, the abominations practised by the heathen in their worship to their idols.

That these things are forbidden to the Proselytes of the Gate, will appear from the 17th and 18th chapters of Leviticus.

The address of the letter is not to all Gentiles indiscriminately, but to the Gentiles which are turned unto God in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia.

The direction would probably have included the Gentiles also in Pamphylia, Pisidia, &c. had they not been brethren of another sort, and that the decree did not concern them. St. Paul delivered the decree to the churches in Lystra and Derbe, to be kept by them: but though it was intended as a general rule for Proselytes of the Gate, wherever they might happen to be scattered abroad, yet it was only addressed to the brethren in Syria and Cilicia. But Lord Barrington supposes that there is a transposition, and that the 5th and 6th verses of the 16th chapter

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