“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”~Ephesians 2:8-9
In Acts 15, there are four groups that are identified:
- The first century leadership (Acts 15:4. Apostles and elders in Jerusalem)
- The legalists (Acts 15:1. This group is NOT defined as believers, and they taught that salvation is by the observance of the law)
- The believing Pharisees (Acts 15:5. This group IS specifically defined as believers, they are saved. Thus, they must know that salvation is by faith. BUT, they still keep the Law (as Paul does))
- Gentile converts (Acts 15:20 (and obviously, other places). This group consists of the new converts; however, they are still practicing that which is ungodly (idolatry, temple prostitution, the drinking of blood, etc).
So, WHAT IS THE DEBATE ABOUT?
We have 2 groups each having their own position:
- The first group believes that the Law is NECESSARY for salvation (Acts 15:1)
- The second group believes that salvation is through faith, but that the Law should be obeyed out of a love for God. (Acts 15:5)
These are TWO groups from TWO geographical locations with TWO different doctrines. They both want their position to be projected upon the Gentile converts; the debate decides who is right. The answer to this debate will show clearly who is wrong and who is correct.
There are several parties at the Jerusalem Council:
- The Leadership
- The Legalists
- Greek converts
It is ESSENTIAL to realize that the Legalists were NOT believers (Acts 15:1). It is ESSENTIAL to realize the Believers WERE TRUE BELIEVERS (Acts 15:5), AND they kept the Law.
Unfortunately, too often, people glance at this passage and think that it is about whether the Law is to be kept. This is clearly not the meaning of the passage. From the positions of the parties above, it is obvious that the meaning of this passage/debate is about whether the Gentile converts need to keep the Law for salvation.
In other words, people try to create a new debate with new context.
Nowhere in this passage does it present the position that the Law of God (which is clearly synonymous with the Law of Moses (see Luke 2:22-24)) is abolished!
Evidently, the Greek converts weren’t keeping the Law very well OR AT ALL, because otherwise, there would have been no need for the debate.
So what happens in the rest of the passage?
- Acts 15:8-9
- Peter stands up and gives testimony that the Gentiles were able to be saved ONLY by FAITH!
POINT 1 AGAINST THE LEGALISTS!!!!
- Acts 15:10
- Peter stands up and says that people were never able to be saved through works. It’s impossible – a yoke. Thus, salvation must be by some other means.
We know that the “yoke” referred to in this verse is NOT the Law, because GOD HIMSELF SAID that the Law was easy and light (Deuteronomy 30:11-16 and John 5:3). We know that Peter cannot be contradicting God.
POINT 2 AGAINST THE LEGALISTS!!!!
Peter blows up Position number 1’s view (the Legalistic view). He just shreds it. However, he says nothing against Position number 2. Peter clearly supports the view that the Believers in the faith should still keep the Law of Moses in obedience, but not for salvation, but BECAUSE of their salvation.
NO NEW DEBATE HAS BEEN INTRODUCED! ALL HAS SO FAR BEEN CONSISTENT WITH THE DEBATE IN ACTS 15:1, AND ACTS 15:5.
What happens next?
- Paul and Barnabas share stories of miracles among the Gentiles.
- James suggests a solution:
“It is my judgment…that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 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. For the Law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”~Acts 15:19-21
Now, the Law is not a yoke. We have already established that. The Law ONLY becomes a yoke when one thinks they can keep it for salvation. So why does James think that we should go easy on the Gentiles?
James is saying that it would be difficult to force the Gentiles to keep, and understand, the Law right away. No one can understand all of God’s ways right away. Thus, he says that they should stop doing those acts which are linked with pagan idolatry, and over time, they will learn about the other Laws because God’s Law is “preached in every city and is read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
James proposes that, to make it easier on the Gentile converts, they should encourage the new believers to stop engaging in pagan cultic worship practices. He states that over time, the Gentiles will eventually come to understand other ways that God wants to be loved.
Unfortunately, many Christians think that James was saying that those four things (to abstain from food polluted by idols, to abstain from sexual immorality, to abstain from the meat of strangled animals, and to abstain from blood) are all that Gentile Christians are required to keep. However, this is certainly not what James was saying:
- Because of context
- Because it would make no sense
- I would have to abstain from those four things, but I can go murder and steal?! No!
- Are we to assume that James directly quoted Laws out of the Law, to go and state that we do not need to keep the Law?! No!
It’s obvious that the last sentence “For Moses is read…” was part of their plan for the gentiles! It’s the,
“Do this now, then come and learn,” idea.
Acts 15 is a debate. There are two parties in the debate:
- The Legalists (Acts 15:1)
- The Believers (Acts 15:5)
The first party believes that you need to keep the Law for salvation. The second party, specifically noted as believers, believes that one should keep the Law after salvation. These are the ONLY two points addressed in this passage.
In the end, the leadership sides with party number 2: The Believers. They say that all are saved through faith, but that one should keep the Law in obedience.
Here are the steps discussed as the proper road of salvation:
Step 1: Faith in God (Acts 15:7)
After you have faith…
Step 2: Leave Cultic False God Worship (Acts 15:20)
Step 3: Learn the Law (Acts 15:21)
Step 4: Obey God’s Law (Acts 15:5)
Despite the clear stating of these points, many Christians refuse to realize their presence, and instead, choose to believe that Acts 15 abolished the Law.
However, to reach such a conclusion, they have to do the following:
- Ignore the purpose and the positions in the debate (Acts 15:1 and Acts 15:5)
- Create a new debate by interjecting a made-up new position.
- Ignore the fact that valid believers existed that taught and believed that, after salvation in faith, one should keep the Law.
- Ignore the fact that NOBODY corrected the Believers in the Acts debate, but instead, supported them!
- Ignore that the commands that James presented to give to the Gentiles came directly out of the Law.
- Ignore that Acts 15:21 is part of the decision for the Gentiles to follow.
- Ignore that Jesus said that, until heaven and earth pass away, the Law will NOT be abolished (Mathew 5:17).
- Ignore that Jesus said that those who teach that the Law has been abolished will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven (Mathew 5:17-20).
- Ignore that Jesus said that those who teach – and practice – the Law will be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven (Mathew 5:17-20).
- Ignore that Scripture calls the Law:
- Perfect (Psalm 19:7)
- Just (Nehemiah 9:13)
- Good (Proverbs 4:2)
- Life (Proverbs 6:23)
- Truth (Psalm 119:142)
- Light (Isaiah 8:20)
- The Way (Malachi 2:8)
- Freedom (Psalm 119:45)
- Holy (Romans 7:12)
Thus, it would be a VERY bad thing to abolish God’s Law. Taking Laws from a PERFECT Law, would only render it un-perfect, and incomplete.
Finally, check this out!
Immediately after the Jerusalem Council, Paul, Silas and Timothy take the decision of the Jerusalem Council to the churches in Galatia.
“Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.”~Acts 16:1-4
Okay, let’s just think this though:
- IF the Jerusalem Council DID in fact meet to discuss whether the Law should be kept
- And IF the Jerusalem Council DID in fact decide that the Law should not be kept
- Then why in the world did Paul CIRCUMCISE Timothy…to go and deliver the message that you don’t need to be circumcised?
Doesn’t make sense right?
Let me know what you think. Please keep your comments relative to the subject matter presented.
24 thoughts on “Acts 15 – Obedience or Legalism?”
Reblogged this on Kellan's Blog and commented:
This is a very interesting post from a fellow blogger who has a very firm belief in the WHOLE Bible. I found this post a great read! By the way if you don’t already follow him you should really check him out!
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Great post SonofYHWH!! i’ll admit i always found these epistles slightly confusing thanks for clearing this one up!
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Your welcome! Glad you found it helpful!
Wow, you have tons of info! Though I’m not religious, it was interesting to read about the two different groups beliefs (the group who thought the Law was NECCESSARY and the other who thought it should be obeyed out of love for God). You supported literally everything within the essay (a lot of people don’t). It was great.
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Spot on …. Same thing happens in Acts 10…. They want to change the laws of God to suit their needs
I have been unraveling the lies of the 501c3 for 6 years now and I won’t stop…
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Indeed; thank-you for your encouragement.
I don’t know that much about 501(c)(3)…have you shared your knowledge about this anywhere yet?
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All the time … this is the protection of the incorporated church … used by the government to further the illusion of religious freedom
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Where can I go to learn more about this?
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On YouTube- The Way Biblical Fellowship / Triumph in Truth / and others … 119 ministries and obviously my blog has over 600 such teachings
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Truth-Watch is another one I follow… full of deep study
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Thank-you! I might check them out…
So you’re saying that the Gentiles were allowed to sin against the laws of God, just not some of them? just because they weren’t used to it?
doesn’t make sense……
For Jesus said constantly that only the people who obey him are Christians.
Matthew 7: 24-27
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall”
Matthew 7: 21-23
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
and many other passages…
No, this is not what I am saying at all.
What I am saying is that the apostles did not believe that the gentile converts must first – in order to convert and receive salvation – be circumcised. Instead, they believed that the gentiles could come to synagogue, hear the Law of Moses read, and then they would hear what it is that they are required to do. It LITERALLY says that right in the text.
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Where in the passage does it say that the people you labeled “legalists” are different that the believing Pharisees, both of them said the same thing that you need to obey the laws of Moses.
“Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.”
“The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”
They were both the same group of people. They were people who were right in their understanding that to be a follower of God you need to obey God, but they were wrong in thinking that God still commands the laws of Moses in the New Covenant. For Christians are under the Law of Liberty, the Law of Christ.
No, they were not the same group.
Acts 15 verse 1 says that “some men” came down and started to teach the believers. It then says that the apostles disagreed with them. It never says that “these men” were believers; in fact, they couldn’t have been believers since they believed in a works-based salvation. It also never says that they were Pharisees.
In Acts 15:5 “some believers belonging to the sect of the Pharisees” stood up and insisted that the gentiles should keep the law. These are believers. This means that they have faith in Jesus and understand Him to be the only way to salvation. Still, this group recognizes that the gentile converts need to keep the Law of God. Turns out, James agreed with the second crew.
“They were people who were right in their understanding that to be a follower of God you need to obey God, but they were wrong in thinking that God still commands the laws of Moses in the New Covenant.”
Really? So then you disagree with Peter and James and the other elders who said that the gentile converts should go and hear the Law of Moses read, and thus learn the Law they are to follow?
The “Law of Christ”, the “Law of Moses”, and the “Law of God” are one and the same.
Throughout God’s relationship with His people, covenants were made and broken. Made and broken. Re-made and broken.
The Law remained constant. Morality has never changed in God’s mind (and thank goodness, for how would we know that it wouldn’t change again?). What God once considered to be sin has not become “not sin,” or “good.” Jesus did not “keep the law so that we didn’t have to”, as some Christians claim; He did not not-sin, so that we could sin. He died to restore the covenant with Israel into which we – as gentiles – were ALWAYS accepted with open arms (e.g., the mixed multitude of Egypt, Rahab and her family, Ruth, etc.)
Speaking of Covenants, I sure am looking foreword to the New Covenant (that is to say, IT HAS NOT YET COME), wherein we won’t have teach our brother to “know the Lord”, because everyone will.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 describes the New Covenant, wherein God will give us a new heart and spirit that will lead us to follow His decrees and make us careful to keep His Law. Not abolish the Law or give us a new law.
Jeremiah 31:33 prophesies about the future New Covenant as well, wherein God will put His Law on their minds and write it on their hearts! Again, the NC will not abolish the Law, it affirms it and inscribes it into our being.
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The Law of Moses is a yoke, a slavish yoke…..
As Christians, we are free from that yoke and we have received Jesus’ light and freeing yoke.
Galatians 5: 1-3
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.
3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.
Paul called it a yoke Son of YHWH………..but we as followers of Christ receive a light and easy yoke.
Matthew 11: 28-30
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
so Yes the Yoke in Acts 15:10 means what it means……
10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?
Ah, yes! A slavish yoke! God simply got mixed up when He said this in Deuteronomy 30:11-16,
“For this commandment which I command you this day is not too difficult for you, nor is it far off. It is not [a secret laid up] in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to heaven and bring it to us, that we may hear and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear and do it? But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your mind and in your heart, so that you can do it. See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil. [If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which] I command you today, to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land into which you go to possess.” Tbh, it actually sounds a lot like the promise of the New Covenant.
Yes, what God REALLY meant was, “My Law sucks. It’s really hard, nobody can do it and that means YOU too. I’m going to make this covenant with you (which I know you will break, since you simply can’t keep it), but don’t worry! I’ll send my son in a few thousand years who will make everything better. He’ll usurp me and this law and establish a new law and a new covenant better than this one. Yes, you’ll simply have to wait and be content with this one, cause it’s all you’re going to get.”
Paul says that he believes everything that is written in the Law and the prophets.
Reconcile your beliefs by calling Paul a schizophrenic, but I prefer to understand Paul (difficult as he is to understand) in context.
(Btw, Peter agrees with me that Paul is hard to understand:
“…as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.” – 2 Peter 3:16)
Besides, I like his teachings. However, if I believed as you do that he taught that the Law was abolished, I’d have to do away with his writings as he would be a false prophet.
Actually, we’d have to get rid of Jesus too.
The Bible says that the measuring stick against which we were supposed to judge a false prophet or teacher was Deuteronomy 13. Deut 13 says that if any teacher suggests that you add or take away from the Law of God, then he is a false teacher and you are to put him to death. If Jesus and Paul indeed taught these things, then they deserved death. Are you to cry with the Pharisees that Jesus should be crucified?
In fact, if Jesus did teach that the Law was abolished, he would have sinned. In this case, he could not have been our blameless sacrifice.
It’s funny how we’ve always been saved the same way: by faith.
Read Hebrews 11. In verse 13 it says this, “These (our forefathers) all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” No, they had not received the better promises, but they saw them from afar, had faith, and it was counted unto them as righteousness. Seems to me that the only differences between us and them are promises and a renewed covenant.
I have just this one last thing to say: Do you believe that the 4 things James commands the gentile converts to abstain from are the ONLY 4 things that Christians are required to do? If not, then it is just as reasonable for me to believe likewise.
Only, my belief is more scriptural. I believe that the additional laws that are to be kept are the one’s that are read from Moses’ seat: The Mosaic Law/The Law of God/The Law of Christ.
James is saying what Jesus said in Mathew 23:2-3, thus fulfilling the Great Commission in Mathew 28:19-20 wherein Jesus commanded the disciples teach ALL the things that He had taught (included 23:2-3, that is, practicing the Law of Moses).
You need to perform some serious eisegesis here to end up at your conclusion. I’ll stick with exegesis.
The yoke spoken of in Acts 15:10 was this: Salvation by works (something that neither Peter nor his forefathers were able to bear).
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Paul obeyed the Law of Moses only when he was with the Jews, for he was not under the law of Moses, but the law of Christ.
1 Corinthians 9: 19-23
19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became AS a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those WHO are UNDER the LAW, AS under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, AS without law NOT being WITHOUT LAW toward God, but UNDER LAW TOWARD CHRIST, that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak.
I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
So Paul became under the Law when he was with people under the Law, but when he was with people not under the Law he became as not under the Law, NOT being without Law, but being under the Law of Christ.
So your question at the end about Acts 16: 1-4 was a perfect illustration…….
The reason why Paul Circumcise Timothy is because of the Jews who lived in the area.
“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; And to the Jews, I became as a Jew, that I might win the Jews”
Thus why Timothy circumcised……….
Maybe you didn’t understand my point. Let my rephrase it:
1. Some people go to the new converts and tell them that they need to be circumcised (to be saved, but you don’t believe that that point matters)
2. The Apostles get all angry at them
3. The Jerusalem Council holds a meeting wherein (you believe) that they established that circumcision does NOT need to be abolished.
4. Paul goes to deliver the message that you don’t need to be circumcised with Timothy….but first, Paul circumcises Timothy. …say WHAT?!
Isn’t this the same Paul that said that – if you become circumcised – Christ will become of no worth to you?
I mean, circumcising oneself to be “all to all people” is one thing. But forcing another to become circumcised (thereby forfeiting Christ’s worth to that person) only to deliver a message which states that you don’t have to be circumcised is complete hypocrisy, fallacious and makes logically no sense!
Thank goodness there is an alternative belief!
Acts 21:15-26 is good passage. Paul comes back to meet with James and the other elders again.
…but all is not well. They inform Paul that some people think that he (Paul) is teaching that the Law of Moses is done away with, that circumcision does not need to be done!
Now, Paul could have been like, “Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I AM teaching that.”
But he doesn’t say that. James instead advices him to go and participate in a Nazarite vow AND pay for the expenses of 4 other dudes (which, btw, would have been a small fortune) also participating in the vow, so that everyone would know that “there is nothing to these accusations.” So Paul goes and does it…well, almost. James was wrong; Paul was so desperately inarticulate that even after announcing that he was participating in a vow, the people still thought that he didn’t teach the law. He get’s arrested before it is totally completed. But he tried.
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I just found the keystone verse that dispels ALL doubt that the first group was Christian Judaizers, NOT unbelievers.
Acts 15: 1-2
And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.
These people are IDENTIFIED several verses later:
Acts 15: 24-26
24 Since we have heard that SOME WHO WENT OUT FROM US have troubled YOU with words, unsettling your souls, SAYING, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”—to whom we gave no such commandment— 25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And what are the things they were sent out to say with one accord:
Acts 15: 27-29
27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you NO greater burden than these NECESSARY things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.
Not the unnecessary things that were said to be necessary by the party of the Pharisees who were the troublemakers from the BEGINNING:
Acts 15: 5
5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is NECESSARY to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”
SO yeah………the first and second group of pharisee troublemakers is undeniably the SAME! proven from the context!
I don’t know how I missed that earlier LOL
Hey bro, I had a moment today so I thought I’d take the time to respond to you. Sorry about the wait. : )
Excellent catch! Thank you for pointing that out. You’re right, they do seem to be the same people. I don’t know how I missed that either.
I do want to point out a few things, though:
1. If one is consuming blood, food sacrificed to idols, and strangled meat, one can still be saved. It’s about belief and the heart condition. So, these things referred to as “necessary”, are really not “necessary,” but they are a good starting place and are certainly a good thing for them to stop doing if they want to be accepted by the other believers who detest such acts.
2. They aren’t supposed to murder and steal, but those things weren’t commanded. Thus, it is not an exhaustive list of things that God wants them to abstain from.
I think you agree with me so far.
Verse 21 says that – during the Jerusalem Council – it was the leaders’ intention that they learn the rest of the law by going to the synagogues to here Moses being read.
That is, having put aside a number of their most repulsive pagan practices, they would be able to understand what else they needed to do. Again, not for salvation, but because of their salvation.
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You see in my view Paul would have taught them the Law of Christ which is basically the words of Jesus on the sermon on the mount, the 9 commandments out of the 10, such things which are sometimes dubbed as the “moral laws”. So when the Judaizers came and command them to circumcise, eat kosher, and etc, they caused a stir because Paul would have said you don’t have to do those things.
You see I don’t see verse 21 the same way as you do, sorry.
19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 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. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”
For me verse 19 was saying that we shouldn’t make it difficult for the Gentiles with loads that even our fathers cannot bear, Then in verse 20 it said, instead we should tell them to abstain from this certain things, why? In verse 21 It said because the law of Moses have been preached and teached from the earliest times to the Jews in the synagogues, so it is better for the gentiles to abstain from these certain things to not offend the Jews who has been brought up in these way from the earliest of times.
You probably have never heard of this view, but this view just seems natural to me when I read it. Verse 21 was saying why they shouldn’t do those things, not why they only have to do those things, for now!
Oh well……we learn each others views!
I have not seen sufficient proof that the Law which Jesus taught was any different than the Law which His Father gave, so Christ’s Law is the same as God’s Law – including the Sabbath.
“Paul would have said you don’t have to do those things (circumcise, eat kosher).”
I know that you think that, and I know why you think that. Paul can be hard to understand, and Peter actually admits this in 2 Peter 3:14-17; in fact, Peter warns the believers of this so that they are “not carried away by the error of LAWLESS men…”, knowing that people twist Paul’s words to “their own destruction.”
James also knew that people misunderstood Paul and thought that he was preaching against the Law and he commands Paul to take the Nazarite vow in Acts 21:20-24. James says that he should take it so that, “…all will know that there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you live in obedience to the Law.”
Interestingly, the situation we are discussing (Acts 15) is actually referenced in verse 25, so it’s clearly related.
So, it seems to me that your opinion is just not congruent with descriptions of Paul elsewhere.
“For me, it is saying (that)…it is better for the gentiles to abstain from these certain things to not offend the Jews who has been brought up in these way from the earliest of times.”
So, your opinion is that, if it weren’t for the fact that it would offend the Jews, it would be A-OK for gentiles to commit sexual immorality and to drink blood and to do those other two things?
Btw, the “burden that our forefathers were unable to bear” is not the Law itself, but rather having to keep the Law for salvation. The context shows that the people were arguing that they must keep the law to be saved, and that’s what the Jerusalem Council had to refute.