Acts 15:36
And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.
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(36) And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas.—The commonly received chronology of the Acts makes the interval between the Council of Jerusalem and St. Paul’s second missionary journey somewhat more than a year.

Let us go again.—The proposal was characteristic of one whose heart was ever full of “the care of all the churches” (2Corinthians 11:28), ever making mention of them in his prayers night and day (Romans 1:9; Ephesians 1:16; Philippians 1:3). We may well believe that it was a desire to know, not only the general condition of the churches, but the spiritual growth of each individual member.

Acts 15:36. And some days after — After they had continued a considerable number of days at Antioch; Paul — Whose active spirit was ever forming some new scheme for the advancement of Christianity; said to Barnabas — His former associate; Let us go again and visit our brethren — The churches we have planted; in every city — Wherever we have preached the word of the Lord; let us go and water the seed sown. Those who have preached the gospel should visit those to whom they have preached it; that they may see what effect their ministry has had, and whether any real and lasting fruit has been produced by it. And see how they do — How their souls prosper; how they grow in faith, hope, love; and what is the state of religion among them. And what else ought to be the grand and constant inquiry in every ecclesiastical visitation? As the apostle could not but be sensible of the great danger in which the Gentile converts, in distant countries, were of being perverted by the Jews, and as his zeal for the purity of the gospel would lead him to consider by what means they might most probably be confirmed in the truth, it is likely that another end which he had in view in proposing this journey was, to make these Gentiles acquainted with the decrees which had been ordained by the apostles, elders, and brethren in Judea. For no expedient could appear to him more proper than this, to preserve them from being misled. Accordingly, as we find chap. Acts 16:4, he and his fellow-traveller delivered these decrees to them as they went through the cities.

15:36-41 Here we have a private quarrel between two ministers, no less than Paul and Barnabas, yet made to end well. Barnabas wished his nephew John Mark to go with them. We should suspect ourselves of being partial, and guard against this in putting our relations forward. Paul did not think him worthy of the honour, nor fit for the service, who had departed from them without their knowledge, or without their consent: see ch.Let us go again and visit our brethren - That is, in the churches which they had established in Asia Minor, Acts 13:14. This was a natural wish, and was an enterprise that might be attended with important advantages to those feeble churches. Ac 15:36-46. Dissension between Paul and Barnabas—They Part Company to Prosecute Separate Missionary Tours.

36. And some days after—How long is a matter of conjecture.

Paul said to Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren—the true reading is, "the brethren."

in every city where we have preached … and see how they do—whether they were advancing or declining, &c.: a pattern for churches and successful missionaries in every age. ("Reader, how stands it with thee?") [Bengel]. "Paul felt that he was not called to spend a peaceful, though laborious life at Antioch, but that his true work was far off among the Gentiles." We notice here, for the first time, a trace of that tender solicitude for his converts, that earnest longing to see their faces, which appears in the letters which he wrote afterwards, as one of the most remarkable and attractive features of his character. He thought, doubtless, of the Pisidians and Lycaonians, as he thought afterwards at Athens and Corinth of the Thessalonians, from whom he had been lately "taken in presence, not in heart, night and day praying exceedingly that he might see their face and perfect that which was lacking in their faith" [Howson].

It is not enough that they had sown good seed, but they must take care lest it be plucked up, and tares sown in the stead of it, by the wicked one, Matthew 13:19. A husbandman’s work is never at an end, neither is the labourer’s in God’s vineyard.

See how they do; not so much looking after their bodily welfare, as how their souls fared, whether they continued in the faith, and integrity of life.

And some days after,.... That Judas was gone to Jerusalem, and which they had spent in teaching and preaching the word of the Lord at Antioch:

Paul said to Barnabas, let us go again and visit our brethren in every city, where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do; by the "brethren in every city", the apostle means the believers in Syria, Pamphylia, Pisidia, and Lycaonia; where he and Barnabas had preached the Gospel with success; where churches were planted and elders were ordained; of which an account is given in the two preceding chapters: and it may be observed, what an affection the apostle had for the young converts, and members of these churches; he calls them "brethren", they being partakers of the same grace, and of the same faith and family with himself, though they were not in the same office, nor had the same gifts; as also what care he took of them, and of those new planted churches: and which shows, that such are to be visited and looked after, and their cases inspected into; and inquiries should be made of them, how they do, how they go on; whether they continue in the faith, and grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ; and whether they are lively in the exercise of the graces of faith, hope, love, humility, &c. and diligent and fervent in the discharge of duty; and this is a work becoming the ministers of the Gospel; and the example of the apostle is worthy of imitation.

{14} And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.

(14) Congregations or churches easily degenerate unless they are diligently watched over, and therefore these apostles went to oversee the churches they had planted, and for this reason also synods were instituted and appointed.

Acts 15:36. Δή] see on Acts 13:2.

ἐν αἷς] because πᾶσαν πόλιν contains a distributive plurality. Winer, p. 134 [E. T. 177].

πῶς ἔχουσι how their state is, their internal and external Christian condition. The reference to ἐπισκεψ. τοὺς ἀδελφ. depends on well-known attraction. Moreover, Bengel well remarks that πῶς ἔχουσι is the nervus visitationis ecclesiasticae.

Acts 15:36. μετὰ δέ: second missionary journey commences, ending Acts 18:22.—ἐπιστρέψαντες, reversi, cf. Luke 2:39, W.H[291], Acts 17:31. The word is so used in LXX, and in modern Greek (Kennedy, p. 155).—δὴ, see on Acts 13:2.—ἐπισκεψ., see above on Acts 6:3. The word was characteristic of a man like St. Paul, whose heart was the heart of the world, and who daily sustained the care of all the churches.—πῶς ἔχουσι: “in fide, amore, spe … nervus visitationis ecclesiasticæ” Bengel.

[291] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.

36. visit our brethren] The oldest MSS. omit the pronoun, and read the brethren only. So R. V.

36–41. A new Mission-journey proposed. Contention between Paul and Barnabas. They separate, and Paul with Silas goes through Syria and Cilicia

Acts 15:36. Ἐπιστρέψαντες, having returned) A most wholesome plan: and yet Paul was then (afterwards) led even farther, and more and more towards the west.—δὴ) A particle of exciting.—πῶς ἔχουσι, how they have themselves [in what state they are]) in respect to faith, love, and hope. [Paul also afterwards had the same care: 1 Thessalonians 3:5.—V. g.] The strength (what ought to be the main point) of an ecclesiastical visitation. Reader, How hast thou thyself, in what state art thou?

Verse 36. - After some days for some days after, A.V.; return now for go again, A.V.; the brethren for our brethren, A.V. and T.R.; wherein we proclaimed for where we have preached, A.V.; fare for do, A.V. After some days is hardly equivalent to μετά τινας ἡμέρας. The expression in Greek is quite indefinite as to time, and may cover months as well as days. That it does cover a considerable length of time we gather from the expression in ver. 33, that Judas and Silas "tarried some time at Jerusalem," followed by that in ver. 35, that after their departure "Paul and Barnabas tarried (διέτριβον) in Antioch." We can hardly suppose the two periods together to have included much less than a year. Let us return, etc. The singular loving care of Paul for his young converts appears here (comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:7, 8; 1 Thessalonians 3:5-8; 2 Corinthians 1:14, etc.). Acts 15:36Let us go again and visit (ἐπιστρέψαντες δὴ ἐπισκεψῶμεθα)

Lit., Having returned, let us now visit. The A. V. omits now. See on Acts 13:2.

In every city (κατὰ πᾶσαν πόλιν)

Κατά has the force of city by city.

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