“Early Christian tradition ascribes the companion volumes of the Lucan
gospel and Acts of the Apostles to approximately 75 A.D., and identifies
the author with Luke the physician, friend of St. Paul…” (page 1019)
From The Acts of the Apostles
Council of Jerusalem
Acts 15: 1 Some men came down to Antioch from Judea and began to teach
the brothers: “Unless you are circumcised according to Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved.” 2 This created dissension and much controversy
between them and Paul and Barnabas. Finally it was decided that Paul,
Barnabas, and some others should go up to see the apostles and presbyters
in Jerusalem about this question.
3 The church saw them off and they made their way through Phoenicia and
Samaria, telling everyone about the conversion of the Gentiles as they
went. Their story caused great joy among the brothers. 4 When they
arrived in Jerusalem they were welcomed by that church, as well as by
the apostles and the presbyters, to whom they reported all that God had
helped them accomplish. 5 Some of the converted Pharisees then got up
and demanded that such Gentiles be circumcised and told to keep Mosaic
6 The apostles and the presbyters accordingly convened to look into the
matter. 7 After much discussion, Peter took the floor and said to
them: “Brothers, you know well enough that from the early days God
selected me from your number to be the one from whose lips the Gentiles
would hear the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who reads the
hearts of men, showed his approval by granting the Holy Spirit to them
just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between them and us,
but purified their hearts by means of faith also. 10 Why, then, do you
put God to the test by trying to place on the shoulders of these
converts a yoke which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear? 11
Our belief is rather that we are saved by the favor of the Lord Jesus
and so are they.” 12 At that the whole assembly fell silent. They
listened to Barnabas and Paul as the two described all the signs and
wonders God had worked among the Gentiles through them.
15, 6-12: This gathering is probably the same as that recalled by Paul in
Gal 2: 1-10. Note that in 15, 2 it is only the apostles and presbyters, a
small group, with whom Paul and Barnabas are to meet. Here Luke gives the
meeting a public character because he wishes to emphasize its doctrinal
significance for the entire world; cf v 22.
15, 7ff: Paul’s refusal to impose the Mosaic law on the Gentile Christians
is supported by Peter on the ground that within his own experience God
bestowed the Holy Spirit upon Cornelius and his household without
preconditions concerning the adoption of the Mosaic law; cf 10, 44-47.
15, 10: A devout Jew considered the law a blessing. For the Christian,
however, who understood that in his regard its observance was not a
condition for receiving the divine benefits, such observance could be only
a burden; cf Gal 4, 31.
The New American Bible, Catholic Bible Publishers, Wichita, Kansas, Copyright 1970, 1978-1979 Edition.
Stephen J. Hartdegen, O.F.M., S.S.L.
Christian P. Ceroke, O.Carm., S.T.D.
Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle, D.D., Archbishop of Washington