Acts 15:2

When Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and questioning with them (Genomenh stasew kai zhthsew ouk oligh twi Paulwi kai Barnabai pro autou). Genitive absolute of second aorist middle participle of ginomai, genitive singular agreeing with first substantive stasew. Literally, "No little (litotes for much) strife and questioning coming to Paul and Barnabas (dative case) with them " (pro autou, face to face with them). Paul and Barnabas were not willing to see this Gentile church brow-beaten and treated as heretics by these self-appointed regulators of Christian orthodoxy from Jerusalem. The work had developed under the leadership of Paul and Barnabas and they accepted full responsibility for it and stoutly resisted these Judaizers to the point of sedition (riot, outbreak in Luke 23:25 ; Acts 19:40 ) as in Acts 23:7 . There is no evidence that the Judaizers had any supporters in the Antioch church so that they failed utterly to make any impression. Probably these Judaizers compelled Paul to think through afresh his whole gospel of grace and so they did Paul and the world a real service. If the Jews like Paul had to believe, it was plain that there was no virtue in circumcision ( Galatians 2:15-21 ). It is not true that the early Christians had no disagreements. They had selfish avarice with Ananias and Sapphira, murmuring over the gifts to the widows, simony in the case of Simon Magus, violent objection to work in Caesarea, and now open strife over a great doctrine (grace vs. legalism). The brethren appointed (etaxan). "The brethren" can be supplied from verse Galatians 1 and means the church in Antioch. The church clearly saw that the way to remove this deadlock between the Judaizers and Paul and Barnabas was to consult the church in Jerusalem to which the Judaizers belonged. Paul and Barnabas had won in Antioch. If they can win in Jerusalem, that will settle the matter. The Judaizers will be answered in their own church for which they are presuming to speak. The verb etaxan (tassw, to arrange) suggests a formal appointment by the church in regular assembly. Paul ( Galatians 2:2 ) says that he went up by revelation (kat apokalupsin), but surely that is not contradictory to the action of the church. Certain others of them (tina allou). Certainly Titus ( Galatians 2:1 Galatians 2:3 ), a Greek and probably a brother of Luke who is not mentioned in Acts. Rackham thinks that Luke was in the number. The apostles and elders (tou apostolou kai presbuterou). Note one article for both (cf. "the apostles and the brethren" in Galatians 11:1 ). "Elders" now ( Galatians 11:30 ) in full force. The apostles have evidently returned now to the city after the death of Herod Agrippa I stopped the persecution.