Acts 15:20
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.

New Living Translation
Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood.

English Standard Version
but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.

Berean Study Bible
Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals, and from blood.

Berean Literal Bible
but to write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols, and sexual immorality, and that which is strangled, 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.

New King James Version
but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.

New American Standard Bible
but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols, from acts of sexual immorality, from what has been strangled, and from blood.

NASB 1995
but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.

NASB 1977
but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.

Amplified Bible
but that we write to them that they are to abstain from anything that has been contaminated by [being offered to] idols and from sexual impurity and from [eating the meat of] what has been strangled and from [the consumption of] blood.

Christian Standard Bible
but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood.

American Standard Version
but that we write unto them, that they abstain from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from what is strangled, and from blood.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“But let it be sent to them that they separate from the defilement of sacrifices and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.”

Contemporary English Version
We should simply write and tell them not to eat anything that has been offered to idols. They should be told not to eat the meat of any animal that has been strangled or that still has blood in it. They must also not commit any terrible sexual sins.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But that we write unto them, that they refrain themselves from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

English Revised Version
but that we write unto them, that they abstain from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from what is strangled, and from blood.

Good News Translation
Instead, we should write a letter telling them not to eat any food that is ritually unclean because it has been offered to idols; to keep themselves from sexual immorality; and not to eat any animal that has been strangled, or any blood.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Instead, we should write a letter telling them to keep away from things polluted by false gods, from sexual sins, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from eating bloody meat.

International Standard Version
Instead, we should write to them to keep away from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from anything strangled, and from blood. 21

Literal Standard Version
but to write to them to abstain from the defilements of the idols, and the whoredom, and the strangled thing, and the blood;

NET Bible
but that we should write them a letter telling them to abstain from things defiled by idols and from sexual immorality and from what has been strangled and from blood.

New Heart English Bible
but that we write to them that they abstain from things defiled by idols, from sexual immorality, from what is strangled, and from blood.

Weymouth New Testament
Yet let us send them written instructions to abstain from things polluted by connexion with idolatry, from fornication, from meat killed by strangling, 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;

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Council at Jerusalem
19It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not cause trouble for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals, and from blood. 21For Moses has been proclaimed in every city from ancient times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”…

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

Exodus 34:15
Do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of 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 permanent statute for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood."

Leviticus 7:26
You must not eat the blood of any bird or animal in any of your dwellings.

Leviticus 17:10
If anyone from the house of Israel or a foreigner living among them eats any blood, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from among his people.

Leviticus 17:14
For the life of all flesh is its blood. Therefore I have told the Israelites, 'You must not eat the blood of any living thing, because the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it must be cut off.'

Leviticus 18:6
None of you are to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the LORD.


Treasury of Scripture

But that we write to them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

from pollutions.

Acts 15:29
That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

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

Exodus 20:3-5,23
Thou shalt have no other gods before me…

fornication.

1 Corinthians 5:11
But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

1 Corinthians 6:9,13,18
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, …

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

things.

Acts 21:25
As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

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

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









(20) But that we write unto them.--The grounds on which the measure thus defined was proposed are not far to seek. (1) It was of the nature of a compromise. The Gentiles could not complain that the burden imposed on them was anything very grievous. The Pharisee section of the Church could not refuse admission to those who fulfilled these conditions, when they had admitted the proselytes of the gate on like conditions to their synagogues, and had so treated them as no longer unclean. (2) The rules on which stress was now laid found a place among the seven precepts traditionally ascribed to Noah, and based upon the commands recorded in Genesis 9:5. These were held to be binding upon all mankind; while the Law, as such, was binding on Israel only. These, therefore, had been thought sufficient for the proselytes of the gate before, and were urged now as sufficient for the Gentile converts by the teacher who represented the most rigid type of Judaism. (See, once more, the history of Ananias and Izates in the Note on Acts 9:10.) Special reasons attached, as will be seen, to each precept.

From pollutions of idols.--The Greek of the first noun is found only in the LXX. and the New Testament; and perhaps its primary idea is that of "wallowing" in blood and mire, and so incurring pollution. As distinguished from the acts that follow, it indicates any participation, publicly or privately, in idolatrous rites. One who acted on the rule would have to refrain from entering a temple, and to dislodge busts or statues of the gods from his house and gardens. The presence of such things, when they presented themselves on entering a house, was a great stumbling-block to devout Jews, and the Gentile convert who, left to himself, might have been disposed to keep them, though no longer as objects of worship, but as works of art, was required to renounce them. The statues of Zeus and Artemis and Hermes were to be to him henceforth as abominations. In the decree itself, however, we find "things sacrificed to idols" instead of the more general term, and we may accordingly deal here with that question also. So interpreted, the rule brings before us a new phase of the life of the early Christian converts. Under the religion of Greece and Rome, sacrifices were so common that it might fairly be taken for granted that the flesh at any festive meal had been so offered. But a small portion of the flesh was burnt upon the altar, and the rest was cooked for the household meal, or sent to the market for sale. Such meat was, in the eyes of the strict Jews, polluted, and the history of Daniel and his companions (Daniel 1:8) was regarded as a precedent to avoiding it. Partly on this ground, partly on that referred to in the next Note but one, the Jew never bought meat in the market, nor of other than a Jewish butcher. He travelled with his cophinus, or basket, on his back, and carried his provisions with him. So Juvenal (Sat. iii. 14) speaks of--

"Judaeis, quorum cophinus f?numque supellex."

["Basket, and wisp of straw to serve as pillow,--

That's the Jew's luggage."]

Here, therefore, was a new stumbling-block, and the Gentile was required to avoid this also. It involved many sacrifices, and what would seem privations. The convert had to refuse invitations to birthday, and marriage, and funeral feasts; or, if present, to refuse to eat at them. A man with a sensitive conscience would refuse to partake of what was set before him in a private house or offered for sale in the market, unless he had satisfied himself that it had not so been offered. It was natural that this restriction, which did not rest directly on a moral ground, should give rise to some resistance, and the controversy connected with it assumed many different phases. At Corinth men claimed the right to eat what they chose, and St. Paul conceded the right in the abstract, but urged abstinence on the ground of charity (1 Corinthians 8-10.). At Pergamos and Thyatira, somewhat later in the apostolic age (Revelation 2:14; Revelation 2:20), the lawfulness of eating things sacrificed to idols was openly maintained in contravention alike of the teaching of St. Paul and of the apostolic decree, and was joined with a like claim to be exempted from the law which forbade illicit sexual intercourse. At Corinth, it would seem from 1Corinthians 8:10, the assertion of freedom had led men so far as not only to eat of the flesh that had been sacrificed, but actually to sit down to a feast in the idol's temple. (Comp. Romans 2:22, as expressing the Jewish feeling.) . . .

Verse 20. - The pollutions for pollutions, A.V.; what is strangled for things strangled, A.V. The pollutions. In the decree itself (ver. 29) this is explained by εἰδωλοθύτων, things offered to idols, though some apply the "pollutions" to all the things here mentioned, not the idols only. Later St. Paul somewhat enlarged the liberty of Gentile converts in respect to meats offered to idols (see 1 Corinthians 8:4-13; 1 Corinthians 10:25-28). What is strangled, etc. The things forbidden are all practices not looked upon as sins by Gentiles, but now enjoined upon them as portions of the Law of Moses which were to be binding upon them, at least for a time, with a view to their living in communion and fellowship with their Jewish brethren. The necessity for some of the prohibitions would cease when the condition of the Church as regards Jews and Gentiles was altered; others were of eternal obligation.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Greek
Instead,
ἀλλὰ (alla)
Conjunction
Strong's 235: But, except, however. Neuter plural of allos; properly, other things, i.e. contrariwise.

we should write
ἐπιστεῖλαι (episteilai)
Verb - Aorist Infinitive Active
Strong's 1989: To write, send by letter to. From epi and stello; to enjoin, i.e. to communicate by letter.

[ and tell] them
αὐτοῖς (autois)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Dative Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Strong's 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

to abstain from
ἀπέχεσθαι (apechesthai)
Verb - Present Infinitive Middle
Strong's 568: To have in full, be far, it is enough. From apo and echo; to have out, i.e. Receive in full; to keep away, i.e. Be distant.

[ food ]
τῶν (tōn)
Article - Genitive Neuter Plural
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

polluted
ἀλισγημάτων (alisgēmatōn)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Plural
Strong's 234: Pollution, perhaps a polluted thing (especially of food). From alisgeo; defilement.

by idols,
εἰδώλων (eidōlōn)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Plural
Strong's 1497: An idol, false god. From eidos; an image; by implication, a heathen god, or the worship of such.

[from]
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's 2532: And, even, also, namely.

sexual immorality,
πορνείας (porneias)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's 4202: Fornication, whoredom; met: idolatry. From porneuo; harlotry; figuratively, idolatry.

[from]
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's 2532: And, even, also, namely.

the
τοῦ (tou)
Article - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

meat of strangled animals,
πνικτοῦ (pniktou)
Adjective - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's 4156: Strangled (i.e. killed without letting out the blood). From pnigo; throttled, i.e. an animal choked to death.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's 2532: And, even, also, namely.

from
τοῦ (tou)
Article - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

blood.
αἵματος (haimatos)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's 129: Blood, literally, figuratively or specially; by implication, bloodshed, also kindred.


Jump to Previous
Abstain Animals Blood Body Connexion Contaminated Death Desires Evil False. Flesh Food Fornication Gods Idolatry Idols Immorality Instead Instructions Killed Lewdness Meat Offered Orders Polluted Pollution Pollutions Sexual Strangled Strangling Telling Unchastity Ways Write Written
Jump to Next
Abstain Animals Blood Body Connexion Contaminated Death Desires Evil False. Flesh Food Fornication Gods Idolatry Idols Immorality Instead Instructions Killed Lewdness Meat Offered Orders Polluted Pollution Pollutions Sexual Strangled Strangling Telling Unchastity Ways Write Written
Links
Acts 15:20 NIV
Acts 15:20 NLT
Acts 15:20 ESV
Acts 15:20 NASB
Acts 15:20 KJV

Acts 15:20 BibleApps.com
Acts 15:20 Biblia Paralela
Acts 15:20 Chinese Bible
Acts 15:20 French Bible
Acts 15:20 Clyx Quotations

NT Apostles: Acts 15:20 But that we write to them that (Acts of the Apostles Ac)
Acts 15:19
Top of Page
Top of Page