Acts 15:38
But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.But Paul thought not good - Did not think it proper. Because he could not confide in his perseverance with them in the toils and perils of their journey.

Who departed from them ... - Acts 13:13. Why he did this is not known. It was evidently, however, for some cause which Paul did not consider satisfactory, and which, in his view, disqualified him from being their attendant again.

To the work - Of preaching the gospel.

38. But Paul thought not good to take him with them who departed from them—that is, who had departed; but the word is stronger than this—"who stood aloof" or "turned away" from them.

from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work—the work yet before them. The allusion is to what is recorded in Ac 13:13 (see on [2027]Ac 13:13).

This deserting of Paul and Barnabas by John, is mentioned Acts 13:13.

To the work; the work unto which the Spirit had called them, Acts 13:2, which was to offer life and salvation unto the Gentiles, and to gather them into the fold of Jesus Christ. This objection was very considerable, and ought to have weighed more than this John’s propinquity, or nearness in blood, unto Barnabas. But Paul thought not good to take him with them,.... He did not think him worthy, or a fit and proper person to go with them, as the word used seems to signify, and therefore he refused to take him: the Syriac version renders it, "but Paul would not take him with them"; and, the Ethiopic version is very expressive, though it renders it in softer language, "Paul prayed, or entreated Barnabas that he would leave Mark"; that is, behind them at Antioch: his reasons were as follow:

who departed from them from Pamphylia; see Gill on Acts 13:13; either through the fatigue of the journey, or fear of danger, or weariness in his work, or affection to his mother; or be it what it will, it seems in the apostle's opinion of the matter, he was very blameworthy, and on account of it very undeserving, at least at present, of being a companion of theirs in their travels:

and went not with them to the work; the Arabic version adds, "of preaching"; that is, the Gospel, in the several places whither they went, and to which the Holy Ghost had called them, and for which the church at Antioch had separated, and sent them forth; but in the midst of this John deserted them; and which the apostle resented, he having, as yet, not given any evidence of his sense of his evil, and of his repentance for it, to his satisfaction; though it seems as if he afterwards did, since in Colossians 4:10 he speaks of him with great respect, as one of his fellow workers, and who had been a comfort to him.

But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 15:38-39. But Paul judged it not right (ἠξίου, comp. Acts 28:22; Xen. Anab. v. 5. 9; Mem. ii. 1. 9) to take with them this one who had fallen away from them from Pamphylia, etc. (comp. Acts 13:13).[45] Observe the μὴ συμπαραλαβεῖν standing in sharp opposition to the συμπαραλαβεῖν of Acts 15:37, and the τοῦτον significantly repeated at the close. The purposely chosen ἀποστάντα, and the decisive rejection which Paul founded on this falling away, even in opposition to the highly esteemed Barnabas, who did not wish to discard his cousin (Colossians 4:10), proves that the matter was not without grave fault on the part of Mark. Fickleness in the service of Christ (Mark had been οὐ Χριστὸν ἀρνησάμενος, ἀλλὰ τὸν δρόμον τὸν πολὺν καὶ βαρὺν παραιτησάμενος, Oecumenius) was to Paul’s bold and decided strength of character and firmness in his vocation the foreign element, with which he could not enter into any union either abstractly or for the sake of public example.

This separation was beneficial for the church, because Barnabas now chose a sphere of operation for himself. Acts 15:39; 1 Corinthians 9:6. And as to Mark, certainly both the severity of Paul and the kind reception given to him by Barnabas were alike beneficial for his ministerial fidelity, Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11. Τὸ μὲν γὰρ Παύλου φοβερὸν ἐπέστρεψεν αὐτόν· τὸ δὲ Βαρνάβα χρηστὸν ἐποίει μηκέτι ἀπολειφθῆναι. Ὥστε μάχονται μὲν, πρὸς ἓν δὲ τέλος ἀπαντᾷ τὸ κέρδος (Chrysostom).

παροξυσμός] an exasperation. Dem. 1105. 24; Deuteronomy 29:28; Jeremiah 32:37. The expression is purposely chosen; it was οὐκ ἔχθρα οὐδὲ φιλονεικία (Chrysostom). But the thing itself had its ground in the ἀνθρωπίνῃ διανοίᾳ according to its relation to the difference of the character confronting it (οὐ γὰρ ἦσαν λίθοι ἢ ξύλοι, Chrysostom).

[45] Luke does not mention the later reunion (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 1:24; 2 Timothy 4:11), which, if the view as to the book being intended as a reconciliation of Paulinism and Petrinism were correct, must occasion great surprise, as Mark was a disciple of Peter.Acts 15:38. ἠξίου, cf. Acts 28:22 (Luke 7:7), and cf. 1Ma 11:28, 2Ma 2:8, etc.—ἐβούλ. is a mild word compared with this.—συμπαραλαβεῖν, cf. Acts 12:25, used also by Paul in Galatians 2:1 of taking Titus with him to Jerusalem, and nowhere else in N.T. except in this passage, cf. Job 1:4, 3Ma 1:1, so in classical Greek.—τὸν ἀποστάντα ἀπʼ αὐτῶν: the neutral word ἀποχωρεῖν ἀπʼ αὐτῶν, Acts 13:13, is not used here, but a word which may denote not disloyalty in the sense of apostasy from Christ, but to the mission, 1 Timothy 4:1 (Rendall); it is doubtful, however, whether we can press this (see Weiss, in loco).—τοῦτον: significant at the end of the verse, and note also decisive contradiction between συμπαραλ., Acts 15:37, and μὴ συμπαραλ. here.38. who departed from them] See above Acts 13:14. He turned back to Jerusalem from Perga.Acts 15:38. Παῦλος δὲ, but Paul) Barnabas had been in Christ before Paul: but Paul now in this instance walks more uprightly than Barnabas.—ἠξίου, thought fit) This has more reason in it [ἀξιόω from ἄξιος, worthy] than the ἐβουλεύσατο, determined, of Barnabas: Acts 15:37. See Luke 9:62.Verse 38. - Take with them him for take him with them, A.V.; withdrew for departed, A.V. Withdrew. The Greek word ἀποστάντα (from which comes the substantive apostasy) is a strong one, and denotes decided blame, as does the indication of the opposite course, by way of contrast, which he did not take. "He did not go with them to the work" to which God called them, as he ought to have done. The whole phrase, too, which follows is strongly worded. "Paul thought good," as regards one who had turned back from the work, "not to take that man." The μὴ συμπαραλαβεῖν of ver. 38 is, as Meyer observes, sharply opposed to the συμπαραλαβεῖν of ver. 37. Luke evidently sides strongly with Paul, and almost reproduces the ipsis-sima verba of the "sharp contention." One would infer that this passage was penned by Luke before the reconciliation which appears in 2 Timothy 4:11, and that we have here an indication of the early date of the publication of "The Acts." Perhaps also there is an indication in the narrative, coupled with Mark's subsequent attach-merit to Peter, that Mark rather leant at this time to Judaizing views, and that his previous departure "from the work" was partly owing to a want of complete sympathy with St. Paul's doctrine. St. Paul would have no half-hearted helper in his grand and arduous work. Him (τοῦτον)

Lit., that one. It marks him very strongly, and is an emphatic position at the end of the sentence.

Departed (ἀποστάντα)

Rev., withdrew. It furnishes the derivation of our word apostatize.

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