Acts 15:4
And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
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(4) They were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders.—The words imply a general gathering of the Church, members of different synagogues coining together, with the elders who presided over them. The position of the Apostles, though in some degree analogous in their relation to the elders to the later office of bishops, was yet in many ways unique. They had no local diocese, but remained at Jerusalem, guiding the progress of the Church at large, as a kind of central council, calling in the “elders,” or “presbyters,” to consult with them, and submitting the result of their deliberations to the Church at large. The three bodies stood to each other as the Boulè, or council, the Gerusia, or senate, and the Ecclesia, or assembly, in a Greek republic.

They declared all things that God had done with them.—This obviously implied a narrative of considerable length: the history of acts and sufferings, of signs and wonders, of the fruits of the Spirit as seen in the purity, and truth, and love of the Gentile converts. This took place apparently at a preliminary meeting.

15:1-6 Some from Judea taught the Gentile converts at Antioch, that they could not be saved, unless they observed the whole ceremonial law as given by Moses; and thus they sought to destroy Christian liberty. There is a strange proneness in us to think that all do wrong who do not just as we do. Their doctrine was very discouraging. Wise and good men desire to avoid contests and disputes as far as they can; yet when false teachers oppose the main truths of the gospel, or bring in hurtful doctrines, we must not decline to oppose them.They were received of the church - By the church, in a hospitable and friendly manner. They were acknowledged as Christian brethren, and received with Christian kindness. See Galatians 2:9.

And they declared - Paul and Barnabas, and those with them. That is, they stated the case; the remarkable conversion of the Gentiles, the evidence of their piety, and the origin of the present dispute.

4. And when they were come to Jerusalem—This was Paul's Third Visit to Jerusalem after his conversion, and on this occasion took place what is related in Ga 2:1-10. (See there).

were received of the church, and the apostles and elders—evidently at a meeting formally convened for this purpose: the deputation being one so influential, and from a church of such note.

they declared all things that God had done with them—(See on [2018]Ac 14:14-27).

They were received of the church; they were owned with respect and thankfulness, for their great work and labour in the Lord’s vineyard.

All things that God had done with them: see Acts 14:27.

And when they were come to Jerusalem,.... Paul and Barnabas, and the rest that came from Antioch with them:

they were received of the church; that is, that was at Jerusalem, in a very kind and respectful manner; they were received into their houses, and accommodated with everything convenient for them:

and of the apostles; particularly James, and Cephas, and John, who gave to Paul and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, in token of their approbation of them, affection for them, and agreement with them:

and elders: the other ministers of the Gospel who preached in that place:

and they declared all things that God had done with them: just as they did to the church at Antioch, when they returned from their travels; see Gill on Acts 14:27, the Arabic version here adds, as there, "and that God had opened to the Gentiles the door of faith."

And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
Acts 15:4-5. Παρεδέχθησαν (see the critical remarks) denotes, in keeping with the delegation in Acts 15:2 f., the reception, i.e. the formal receiving of the delegates as such. Comp. 2Ma 4:22. Observe the prefixing of ἐκκλησία; comp. Php 1:1.

μετʼ αὐτῶν] see on Acts 14:27; comp. διʼ αὐτῶν, Acts 15:12.

Acts 15:5 belongs to the narrative of Luke, who here records as worthy of remark, that at the very first meeting of the delegates with the church receiving them, the very same thing was maintained by some who rose up in the assembly (ἐξανέστησ.), and was opposed (δέ) to the narration of Paul and Barnabas ὅσα ὁ Θεὸς ἐποίησε μετʼ αὐτῶν, as had been brought forward by Jews at Antioch and had occasioned this mission. Those mentioned in Acts 15:1, and those who here came forward, belonged to one and the same party (the Pharisee-Christians), and therefore Acts 15:5 is unjustly objected to by Schwanbeck. Beza, Piscator, Wakefield, and Heinrichs put Acts 15:5 into the mouth of the delegates; holding that there is a rapid transition from the oblique to the direct form, and that ἔλεγον is to be supplied after ἐξανέστ. δέ. A harsh and arbitrary view, as the change in form of the discourse must naturally and necessarily have been suggested by the words, as in Acts 1:4 and Acts 17:3. That the deputation had already stated the object of their mission, was indeed self-evident from ἀπεδέχθησαν, and hence it was not requisite that Luke should particularly mention it.

αὐτούς] namely, the Gentile-Christians, as those to whom the narrative ὅσα ὁ Θεὸς ἐπ. μ. αὐτ. had chiefly reference; not the τινας ἄλλους, Acts 15:2 (Lekebusch), which is erroneously inferred from Galatians 2

They must be circumcised, etc., has a dictatorial and hierarchical tone.

Acts 15:4. Council at Jerusalem.—παραγεν., Lucan, see above on Acts 5:21.—ἀπεδέχθησαν—if we read παρεδέχ., cf. 2Ma 4:22 (but see Hatch and Redpath); with the idea of receiving with welcome, cf. Mark 4:20, Hebrews 12:6 (quotation); see Syn[280] δέχ. and λαμβ., Grimm-Thayer; in classical Greek = ὑποδέχομαι.—ὑπὸ τῆς ἐκκ.: the whole Church is regarded as concerned in the matter; as present at the public discussion in Acts 15:12 and as concurring in the decision, Acts 15:22 (30); the decree is issued by the Apostles and Elders, see on Acts 15:23.—μετʼ αὐτῶν, see above on Acts 14:27.

[280] synonym, synonymous.

4. they were received of the church] “The church” is perhaps named first because there would on such a visit be an assembly of the whole Christian body to hear the story of the missionary labours of Paul and Barnabas before the question about which they had specially been sent from Antioch came to be discussed. The account of the spreading of the faith was for all, while the question of circumcision would be discussed only by the heads of the church, and those who could speak with authority. This preliminary meeting must have lasted for a considerable time, even if only a mere abstract of the labours, sufferings and success of Paul and Barnabas were given to those who met them. Such a recital was the best introduction that could be conceived for the question which was afterwards to be discussed and legislated on.

God had done with them] The preposition (μετὰ) implies that the Apostles deemed themselves fellow-workers with God (cp. Mark 16:20), but that they were only instruments whom God employed is also shewn below (Acts 15:12) where the same labours are spoken of as “what God had wrought among the Gentiles by (διὰ) them.”

Acts 15:4. Ἀπεδέχθησαν, they were received) in due form.—ἐκκλησίας, the Church) The Church is placed before Peter and the rest of the apostles themselves.—ἀνήγγειλαν, they reported) Jerusalem, whilst the apostles remained there, was the metropolis of the churches, and to it all questions were to be referred: Acts 15:33. By this very expounding (setting forth) of the facts, the way was prepared for the decision.—μετʼ αὐτῶν) δἰ αὐτῶν, Acts 15:12, with them and by them. The apostles were as ministers and as instruments. [What hath God done with thee, O man; what with thee, O minister of the word? Canst thou mention anything at all?—V. g.]

Verse 4. - The apostles for of the apostles, A.V.; the elders for elders, A.V.; rehearsed for declared, A.V. They were received of the Church, etc. Being themselves the formal envoys of the Church of Antioch, they were formally received as such by the Church of Jerusalem, headed by the apostles and elders. Acts 15:4Were received (ἀπεδέχθησαν)

The word implies a cordial welcome, which they were not altogether sure of receiving.

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