Silas

Who is Silas?

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Silas
ACTS 15 COMMENTARY
Acts 15:20 Sexual Immorality
Acts 15:20-21 Food Sacrificed to Idols

Acts 15:22-36 Silas

Acts 15:37-41 John Mark
ACTS 15:22  22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.

Who accompanied Paul and Barnabas back to Antioch?
"Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas" (Acts 15:22).

Who is "Silas" (Acts 15:22)?
Along with Judas/Barsabas, a "leading" man "among the brethren" (Acts 15:22) in Jerusalem, so Silas was one of the leaders of the Jerusalem church. Silas is also called "Silvanus" (1 & 2 Thessalonians 1:1), spent some time ministering to the young church in Antioch, and then accompanied Paul on his next missionary journey.

Why did Barsabas and Silas accompany Paul and Barnabas to Antioch?
A letter carried and presented by only Paul and Barnabas to the church in Antioch potentially could have been accused by their opponents as having been forged or altered. Barsabas and Silas, "leading men" (Acts 15:22) of the Jerusalem church that sent the letter could vouch for its authenticity.

ACTS 15:23-29  23 They wrote this letter by them: The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, To the brethren who are of the gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. 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. 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. Farewell.

Whom did the Jerusalem church discredit to the gentile church in and around "Antioch" (Acts 15:23) of Syria?
The "certain men" (Acts 15:1) from Judea who had commanded circumcision: "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" (Acts 15:24).

Whom did the Jerusalem church affirm as servants of Christ?
"Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 15:25-26).

ACTS 15:30-35  30 So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement. 32 Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words. 33 And after they had stayed there for a time, they were sent back with greetings from the brethren to the apostles. 34 However, it seemed good to Silas to remain there. 35 Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

Did the gentile Christians understand the letter as it was intended?
"When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement" (Acts 15:31).

How else were they encouraged?
By the ministries of Judas and Silas who had come with Paul and Barnabas: "Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words" (Acts 15:32).

Who returned to Jerusalem "with greetings" (Acts 15:33) from the gentile church in Antioch?
All of the emissaries from Jerusalem who had escorted Paul and Barnabas to Antioch, except "Silas" (Acts 15:34), whom the Lord had lined up as Paul's partner for the next missionary journey (see John Mark).

ACTS 15:36  36 Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.”

What did Paul propose to Barnabas "after some days" (Acts 15:36)?
To revisit the churches they had planted during their first missionary journey.

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