Acts 15:23

23 with the following letter: 1"The brothers, both 2the apostles and the elders, to the brothers[a] who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, 3greetings.

Acts 15:23 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 15:23

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,

send greeting;
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 Syria
and Cilicia;
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.

Acts 15:23 In-Context

21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues."
22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers,
23 with the following letter: "The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings.
24 Since we have heard that some persons have gone out from us and troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions,
25 it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

Cross References 3

  • 1. [See ver. 22 above]
  • 2. [See ver. 22 above]
  • 3. Acts 23:26; James 1:1; [2 John 10, 11]

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or brothers and sisters; also verses 32, 33, 36
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.