Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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BIBLE: ACTS - Chapter 15


A dissension about circumcision. The decision and letter of the council of Jerusalem.

1 And *some coming down from Judea, taught the brethren: That unless you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved.

2 And when Paul and Barnabas had no small contest with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of the other side, should go up to the apostles and priests to Jerusalem, about this question.

3 They, therefore, being brought on their way by the church, passed through Phœnice, and Samaria, relating the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy to all the brethren.

4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church, and by the apostles and ancients, declaring how great things God had done with them.

5 But there arose some of the sect of the Pharisees that believed, saying: They must be circumcised, and be commanded to observe the law of Moses.

6 And the apostles and ancients assembled to consider of this matter.

7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter, rising up, said to them: *Men, brethren, you know that in former days God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

8 And God, who knoweth the hearts, gave them testimony, *giving the Holy Ghost to them as well as to us.

9 And made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

10 Now, therefore, why tempt you God, to put a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

11 But by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we believe to be saved, as they also.

12 And all the multitude held their peace: and gave ear to Barnabas and Paul, relating what great signs and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying: Men, brethren, hear me.

14 Simon hath related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people to his name.

15 And to this agree the words of the prophets, as it is written:

16 *After these things I will return, and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down, and I will rebuild the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

17 That the rest of men may seek after the Lord, and all nations upon whom my name is invoked, saith the Lord, who doth these things.

18 To the Lord was known his own work from the beginning of the world.

19 Wherefore I judge that they, who from among the Gentiles are converted to God, are not to be disquieted.

20 But that we write to them, that they refrain themselves from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

21 For Moses, from ancient times, hath in every city them that preach him in the synagogues, *where he is read every sabbath.

22 Then it pleased the apostles and ancients, with the whole church, to choose men of their own company, and to send to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas; Judas, who was surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren,

23 Writing by their hands. The apostles and ancients, brethren, to the brethren of the Gentiles, that are at Antioch, and in Syria and Cilicia, greeting.

24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that some, who went out from us, have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, to whom we gave no commands:

25 It hath seemed good to us, assembled together, to choose out men, and send them to you, with our dearly beloved Barnabas and Paul,

26 Men who have given their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

27 We have sent, therefore, Judas and Silas, who themselves also will, by word of mouth, tell you the same things.

28 For it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay no further burden upon you, than these necessary things:

29 That you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which things keeping yourselves, you shall do well. Fare ye well.

30 They, therefore, being dismissed, went down to Antioch: and when they had gathered together the multitude, they delivered the epistle.

31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.

32 But Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, comforted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.

33 And having remained there some time, they were dismissed with peace, by the brethren, to those who had sent them.

34 But it seemed good to Silas to remain there: and Judas alone set out for Jerusalem.

35 And Paul and Barnabas continued at Antioch, teaching and preaching with many others the word of the Lord.

36 *And after some days, Paul said to Barnabas: Let us return and visit the brethren in all the cities, wherein we have preached the word of the Lord, to see how they do.

37 And Barnabas wished to take along with him John also, who was surnamed Mark;

38 But Paul desired that he (as having departed from them out of Pamphylia, *and not gone with them to the work) might not be received.

39 And there was a dissension, so that they departed one from another, and Barnabas indeed taking Mark, sailed to Cyprus.

40 But Paul, choosing Silas, departed, being delivered by the brethren to the grace of God.

41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches: commanding them to keep the precepts of the apostles, and the ancients.



1: about the year A.D. 49.; Galatians v. 2.

7: Acts x. 20.

8: Acts x. 45.

16: Amos ix. 11.

21: Acts xiii. 27.

36: about the year A.D. 51.

38: Acts xiii. 13.