After they had held their peace (meta to sighsai autou). Literally, "after the becoming silent (ingressive aorist active of the articular infinitive) as to them (Barnabas and Paul, accusative of general reference)." James answered (apekriqh Iakwbo). First aorist passive (deponent) indicative. It was expected that James, as President of the Conference, would speak last. But he wisely waited to give every one an opportunity to speak. The challenge of the Judaizers called for an opinion from James. Furneaux thinks that he may have been elected one of the twelve to take the place of James the brother of John since Paul ( Galatians 1:19 ) calls him apostle. More likely he was asked to preside because of his great gifts and character as chief of the elders.