Acts 15:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

King James Bible
But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

Darby Bible Translation
but to write to them to abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from what is strangled, and from blood.

World English Bible
but that we write to them that they abstain from the pollution of idols, from sexual immorality, from what is strangled, and from blood.

Young's Literal Translation
but to write to them to abstain from the pollutions of the idols, and the whoredom, and the strangled thing; and the blood;

Acts 15:20 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

But that we write unto them - Four things are prohibited in this decree:

1. Pollutions of idols;

2fornication;

3. things strangled;

4. blood.

By the first, Pollutions of Idols, or, as it is in Acts 15:25, meats offered to idols, not only all idolatry was forbidden, but eating things offered in sacrifice to idols, knowing that they were thus offered, and joining with idolaters in their sacred feasts, which were always an incentive either to idolatry itself, or to the impure acts generally attendant on such festivals.

By the second, Fornication, all uncleanness of every kind was prohibited; for πορνεια not only means fornication, but adultery, incestuous mixtures, and especially the prostitution which was so common at the idol temples, viz. in Cyprus, at the worship of Venus; and the shocking disorders exhibited in the Bacchanalia, Lupercalia, and several others.

By the third, Things Strangled, we are to understand the flesh of those animals which were strangled for the purpose of keeping the blood in the body, as such animals were esteemed a greater delicacy.

By the fourth, Blood, we are to understand, not only the thing itself, for the reasons which I have assigned in the note on Genesis 9:4, and for others detailed at the end of this chapter; but also all cruelty, manslaughter, murder, etc., as some of the ancient fathers have understood it.

Instead of του αἱματος, blood, some have conjectured that we should read χοιρειας, swine's flesh; for they cannot see, first, that there can be any harm in eating of blood; and, secondly, that, as the other three things neither have nor can have any moral evil in them, it would seem strange that they should be coupled with a thing which, on all hands, is confessed to have much moral turpitude. Answers to such trifling objections will be found at the end of the chapter. It is only necessary to add that this χοιρειας, which is the critical emendation of Dr. Bentley, is not supported by one MS. or version in existence.

At the close of this verse, the Codex Bezae, and several others, add a fifth thing, And not to do to others what they would not have done to themselves. Though this is a very ancient reading, it does not appear to be genuine.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

from pollutions.

Acts 15:29 That you abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication...

Genesis 35:2 Then Jacob said to his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean...

Exodus 20:3-5,23 You shall have no other gods before me...

Exodus 34:15,16 Lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice to their gods...

Numbers 25:2 And they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.

Psalm 106:37-39 Yes, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to devils...

Ezekiel 20:30,31 Why say to the house of Israel, Thus said the Lord GOD; Are you polluted after the manner of your fathers...

1 Corinthians 8:1,4-13 Now as touching things offered to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but charity edifies...

1 Corinthians 10:20-22,28 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God...

Revelation 2:14,20 But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam...

Revelation 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands...

Revelation 10:2,8 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the earth...

fornication.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written to you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater...

1 Corinthians 6:9,13,18 Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters...

1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

2 Corinthians 12:21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall mourn many which have sinned already...

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becomes saints;

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are on the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence...

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication:

Hebrews 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

1 Peter 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have worked the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts...

things.

Acts 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing...

Genesis 9:4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall you not eat.

Leviticus 3:17 It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that you eat neither fat nor blood.

Leviticus 7:23-27 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, You shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat...

Leviticus 17:10-14 And whatever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eats any manner of blood...

Deuteronomy 12:16,23-25 Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it on the earth as water...

Deuteronomy 14:21 You shall not eat of anything that dies of itself: you shall give it to the stranger that is in your gates, that he may eat it...

Deuteronomy 15:23 Only you shall not eat the blood thereof; you shall pour it on the ground as water.

1 Samuel 14:32 And the people flew on the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground...

Ezekiel 4:14 Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! behold, my soul has not been polluted...

Ezekiel 33:25 Why say to them, Thus said the Lord GOD; You eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood...

1 Timothy 4:4,5 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving...

Library
The Breaking Out of Discord
'And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 2. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. 3. And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles:
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

A Message from the Crowned Christ
(Revelation, Chapters ii and iii) "The glory of love is brightest when the glory of self is dim, And they have the most compelled me who most have pointed to Him. They have held me, stirred me, swayed me,--I have hung on their every word, Till I fain would arise and follow, not them, not them,--but their Lord!"[64] Patmos Spells Patience. Patience is strength at its strongest, using all its strength in holding back from doing something. Patience is love at flood pleading with strength to hold steady
by S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation

The Figurative Language of Scripture.
1. When the psalmist says: "The Lord God is a sun and shield" (Psa. 84:11), he means that God is to all his creatures the source of life and blessedness, and their almighty protector; but this meaning he conveys under the figure of a sun and a shield. When, again, the apostle James says that Moses is read in the synagogues every Sabbath-day (Acts 15:21), he signifies the writings of Moses under the figure of his name. In these examples the figure lies in particular words. But it may be embodied
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

The Council at Jerusalem.
(Comp. § 34, pp. 835 sqq. and 346 sq.) The most complete outward representation of the apostolic church as a teaching and legislative body was the council convened at Jerusalem in the year 50, to decide as to the authority of the law of Moses, and adjust the difference between Jewish and Gentile Christianity. [743] We notice it here simply in its connection with the organization of the church. It consisted not of the apostles alone, but of apostles, elders, and brethren. We know that Peter,
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

Cross References
Genesis 9:4
"But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.

Exodus 34:15
"Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices.

Leviticus 3:17
"'This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.'"

Leviticus 7:26
And wherever you live, you must not eat the blood of any bird or animal.

Leviticus 17:10
"'I will set my face against any Israelite or any foreigner residing among them who eats blood, and I will cut them off from the people.

Leviticus 17:14
because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, "You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off."

Leviticus 18:6
"'No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the LORD.

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