And wrote letters by them after this manner
Not that they made use of them as their amanuenses, to write their letters for them; but being written they put them into their hands, and sent them by them, and they were written in the following form:
the apostles, and elders, and brethren;
which belonged to, or were members of the church at Jerusalem; they are severally set in their proper place and order: the apostles, Peter, and James, and John, and it may be some others first; for these God had set in the first place in the church; then the elders, or preachers of the Gospel, such as were Judas and Silas: and then the brethren, or private members of the church; who are called so, because they are of one family, and have one Father, and are partakers of the same grace and privileges: these,
or their Christian salutation, wishing all peace and prosperity, both for soul and body, temporal, spiritual and eternal:
unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch, and
the brethren or members of the several churches in these parts, who were Gentiles, are particularly sent to; and not the brethren who were Jews; because they were especially concerned, and to them is the advice directed: Antioch is first mentioned, that being the place where the controversy began; but there being other churches in Syria, besides Antioch, in which were many Gentiles, and also in Cilicia, and particularly at Tarsus, Paul's native place, and where he had preached, ( Acts 9:30 ) ( Galatians 1:21 ) they are therefore mentioned, and being countries near to one another, it is very likely that the controversy had spread itself among them.