The online Bible teaching ministry of John Brand
m.AD 49Judaisers in AntiochActs 15:1-2; Galatians 2:11-14
 AD 49Paul writes the Letter to the Galatians 
n.AD 50The Jerusalem CouncilActs 15:3-35

m. Soon after their return to Antioch, Peter paid a visit to the city, and openly fellowshipped with the Gentile converts.  However, soon afterwards, some Judaisers came from Jerusalem claiming that the Gentile converts had to be circumcised. They overawed Peter and he withdrew from eating with the Gentiles, for which he was publicly rebuked by Paul.

n. Paul, Barnabas and others from the church in Antioch went to Jerusalem – doing evangelism on the way, of course! – to discuss the problem of the Judaisers with the leaders there. The matter must be resolved, otherwise there will be divisions between the church in Jerusalem and those further afield, and, more importantly, the very essence of the free gospel of grace is in question.

The Council of Jerusalem agrees that all attempts to impose circumcision and other ritual and legal obligations on Gentile Christians must be resisted.  A letter is composed and authorised by the Council and dispatched to the Gentile churches by the hand of two of their members, Judas and Silas, who were to accompany Paul and Barnabas. 

We know nothing else about Judas, but Silas, who is also mentioned in 2 Corinthians 1:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1 and  1 Peter 5:12, is later to become a travelling companion of Paul in the place of Barnabas.  The four delegates and their letter are received with rejoicing in Antioch.  After a period of ministry, Judas and Silas return to Jerusalem but Paul and Barnabas remained, continuing, with others, to teach and preach.

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