Acts 15:1

“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.”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

And certaine men which came downe from Iudea, taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saued.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

Some men came down from Judea and {began} teaching the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."
- New American Standard Version (1995)

And certain men came down from Judaea and taught the brethren, `saying', Except ye be circumcised after the custom of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
- American Standard Version (1901)

Now certain men came down from Judaea, teaching the brothers and saying that without circumcision, after the rule of Moses, there is no salvation.
- Basic English Bible

And certain persons, having come down from Judaea, taught the brethren, If ye shall not have been circumcised according to the custom of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
- Darby Bible

And certain men who came down from Judea, taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
- Webster's Bible

But certain persons who had come down from Judaea tried to convince the brethren, saying, "Unless you are circumcised in accordance with the Mosaic custom, you cannot be saved."
- Weymouth Bible

Some men came down from Judea and taught the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised after the custom of Moses, you can't be saved."
- World English Bible

And summe camen doun fro Judee, and tauyten britheren, That but ye ben circumcidid after the lawe of Moises, ye moun not be maad saaf.
- Wycliffe Bible

And certain having come down from Judea, were teaching the brethren -- `If ye be not circumcised after the custom of Moses, ye are not able to be saved;'
- Youngs Literal Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for Acts 15:1


15:1 Coming down from Judea - Perhaps to supply what they thought Paul and Barnabas had omitted.


People's Bible Notes for Acts 15:1


Ac 15:1 The Question of Circumcision SUMMARY OF ACTS 15: The Judaizing Teachers at Antioch. Opposed by Paul and Barnabas. The Question Referred to Jerusalem. Paul and Barnabas Report to the Apostles and Elders Their Work. Among the Gentiles. Pharisees Insist That These Gentiles Must Be Circumcised. Paul and Barnabas Show How God Was with Them. The Judgment of James the Lord's Brother. His Views Accepted by All. The Apostolic Letter to the Gentile Christians. The Joy at Antioch When the Letter Is Read. Judas and Silas. Contention Between Paul and Barnabas. Paul and Silas. Certain men which came down from Judaea. This chapter records the first intimation of the great controversy that agitated the apostolic church, and of which we find traces in many of Paul's letters, the question whether Christianity was merely a development and a sort of culmination of Judaism, or was a New Dispensation that had supplanted the Old and taken its place. At first the Christians of Jerusalem and Judea remained strict Jews, still keeping the ordinances of Moses. The Samaritans converted by Philip were a circumcised people. The idea of the apostles, at first, seems to have been that Gentiles might become Christians, but must first be circumcised. It was a matter of astonishment to Peter and the brethren that he was required to baptize the Gentile Cornelius and his friends without circumcision. Then came the formation of the Gentile church at Antioch and the successful labors of Paul and Barnabas in western Asia. The influx of the Gentiles to the church, and their acceptance on the same terms as the old covenanted people of Jehovah, stirred those Jewish brethren of the more bigoted type to bitter opposition, and they began to send their teachers abroad with the declaration. Except ye be circumcised. . . . ye cannot be saved. Thus they came to Antioch; thus, at a later period, they disturbed the churches of Galatia and called out the Galatian letter. In order to destroy their influence, it was needful at once to settle whether they spoke the sentiment of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem, and hence Paul and Barnabas were sent to lay this question before the great mother church. This caused the conference described in this chapter, spoken of in church history as "The Council of Jerusalem". The reader should form some idea of the importance of this question. It was none other than whether Christendom should be Jewish Christian, or delivered from the bondage of the Jewish law into the liberty of the children of God. Paul calls these "certain men" "false brethren" (Ga 2:4).

Discussion for Acts 15:1

  • When you focus on the rules or standards, you end up depending on the standards for victory, instead of Christ. God dependence demands God focus. Therefore, standards focus indicates standards dependence. This monastic styled approach to sanctification may provide an outward show of victory, but it does nothing for true victory which begins in the heart and is expressed in the life. Then when you happen to be away from the monastery walls, because the dependence has been on the standards and not on Christ, you set yourself up for potential failure. Each one must trust and obey the Spirit regarding standards, but the key is in trusting the Spirit, not the standards. The issue here is not standards, because everyone has standards. The issue is practical focus, and therefore, the object of dependence.

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