Acts 15

Chapter 15

15:3  And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.



15:7  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.

my mouth

See, Matthew 16:19 . Peter used the keys first for the Jews on the day of Pentecost; secondly, in the house of Cornelius for the Gentiles, Acts 15:14, But Paul was distinctively the apostle to the Gentiles. Galatians 2:7 Galatians 2:8 .

15:13  And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

Men and brethren

Dispensationally, this is the most important passage in the N.T. It gives the divine purpose for this age, and for the beginning of the next.

(1) The taking out from among the Gentiles of a people for His name, the distinctive work of the present, or church-age. The church is the ecclesia--the "called-out assembly." Precisely this has been in progress since Pentecost. The Gospel has never anywhere converted all, but everywhere has called out some.

(2) "After this viz. the out-calling I will return." James quotes from Amos 9:11 Amos 9:12 . The verses which follow in Amos describe the final regathering of Israel, which the other prophets invariably connect with the fulfilment of the Davidic Covenant (e.g.) ; Isaiah 11:1 Isaiah 11:10-12 ; Jeremiah 23:5-8 .

(3) "And will build again the tabernacle of David," i.e. re-establish the Davidic rule over Israel 2 Samuel 7:8-17 ; Luke 1:31-33 .

(4) "That the residue of men Israelites may seek after the Lord" cf Zechariah 12:7 Zechariah 12:8 ; Zechariah 13:1 Zechariah 13:2 .

(5) "And all the Gentiles," etc. cf Micah 4:2 ; Zechariah 8:21 Zechariah 8:22 . This is also the order of Romans 11:24-27 .

15:14  Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

at the first

Lit. for the first time, i.e. in the house of Cornelius. Acts 15:8-11 ; 10:34-48 11:12-18 .

15:16  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:

tabernacle of David

Kingdom (N.T.) vs. Acts 15:14-17 ; Revelation 3:21 ; Luke 1:31-33 ; 1 Corinthians 15:34 .

15:17  That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.


Jehovah. vs. Acts 15:16 Acts 15:17 ; Amos 9:11 Amos 9:12 .

15:19  Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:


The scope of the decision goes far beyond the mere question of circumcision. The whole question of the relation of the law to Gentile believers had been put in issue ( Acts 15:5 ), and their exemption is declared in the decision ( Acts 15:19 Acts 15:24 ). The decision might be otherwise stated in the terms of Romans 6:14 . "Ye are not under the law, but under grace." Gentile believers were to show grace by abstaining from the practices offensive to godly Jews.

Acts 15:20 Acts 15:21 Acts 15:28 Acts 15:29 cf ; Romans 14:12-17 ; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

15:32  And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.


See, 1 Corinthians 14:3 defines the N.T. gift of prophecy.

15:39  And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;


And is heard of no more in the Bible story.