|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:7-21 We see from the words purifying their hearts by faith, and the address of St. Peter, that justification by faith, and sanctification by the Holy Ghost, cannot be separated; and that both are the gift of God. We have great cause to bless God that we have heard the gospel. May we have that faith which the great Searcher of hearts approves, and attests by the seal of the Holy Spirit. Then our hearts and consciences will be purified from the guilt of sin, and we shall be freed from the burdens some try to lay upon the disciples of Christ. Paul and Barnabas showed by plain matters of fact, that God owned the preaching of the pure gospel to the Gentiles without the law of Moses; therefore to press that law upon them, was to undo what God had done. The opinion of James was, that the Gentile converts ought not to be troubled about Jewish rites, but that they should abstain from meats offered to idols, so that they might show their hatred of idolatry. Also, that they should be cautioned against fornication, which was not abhorred by the Gentiles as it should be, and even formed a part of some of their rites. They were counselled to abstain from things strangled, and from eating blood; this was forbidden by the law of Moses, and also here, from reverence to the blood of the sacrifices, which being then still offered, it would needlessly grieve the Jewish converts, and further prejudice the unconverted Jews. But as the reason has long ceased, we are left free in this, as in the like matters. Let converts be warned to avoid all appearances of the evils which they formerly practised, or are likely to be tempted to; and caution them to use Christian liberty with moderation and prudence.
Verse 10. - That ye should put for to put, A.V. The Greek words cannot be construed as the A.V. takes them. It is not a Greek construction to say πειράζειν τινα ποιεῖν κακόν, "to tempt any one to do evil." The infinitive ἐπιθεῖναι must be taken gerundially, "by placing," or "putting," and the sense is - Why do you try God's patience by your provocation in putting an unbearable yoke upon the necks of those who believe? Or, "as if he had not power to save by faith" (Chrysostom).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now therefore why tempt ye God,.... By hesitating about this matter, by disputing upon this point, and by seeking for further proof and evidence of the will of God in this affair; when it is so plain a case, that it has been his will that the Gospel should be preached to Gentiles, without obliging them to circumcision; that he has given his Spirit both in his extraordinary gifts, and special grace, to uncircumcised persons; particularly he has bestowed faith in Christ upon them, whereby they have been led to the blood of Christ, typified in circumcision, and are thereby purged from all their filth and pollution, and so are the true circumcision: wherefore it is no other than tempting God, a manifest opposition to him, and what must give him offence, to debate about a point so clear; and especially to attempt
to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear. It is common with the Jews to call the law a yoke; frequent mention is made of and "the yoke of the commandments" (o), and , "the yoke of the law" (p): and by it here is meant, not circumcision only and barely, for that the Jewish fathers had been able to bear, and had bore it; nor the whole ceremonial law only, which consisted of a multitude of commands and ordinances very heavy and hard; but even the whole moral law, which circumcision obliged those who submitted to it to keep it perfectly; see Galatians 5:3, which neither the apostles, nor their fathers, were ever able to do, nor any mere man whatever; and therefore this yoke was intolerable and insupportable, and not to be put upon the necks of the Gentile believers; who here are called disciples, being taught the doctrine of the Gospel, and the way of salvation; which was not by circumcision, nor by any works of the law, but by the grace of Christ, as in the following verse.
(o) Targum in Cant. i. 10. & in Lamentations 3.27. Misn. Beracot, c. 2. sect. 2.((p) Echa Rabbati, fol. 56. 3. Pirke Abot, c. 3. sect. 5. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 39. 3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. why tempt—"try," "provoke"
ye God—by standing in the way of His declared purpose.
to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, &c.—He that was circumcised became thereby bound to keep the whole law. (See Ga 5:1-6). It was not then the mere yoke of burdensome ceremonies, but of an obligation which the more earnest and spiritual men became, the more impossible they felt it to fulfil. (See Ro 3:5; Ga 2:4, &c.).
Acts 15:10 Parallel Commentaries
Acts 15:10 NIV
Acts 15:10 NLT
Acts 15:10 ESV
Acts 15:10 NASB
Acts 15:10 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible