"Bearing Thorough Witness", page 115, paragraph 19

by sd-7 1 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • sd-7

    "Bearing Thorough Witness About God's Kingdom", page 115, paragraph 19:

    "That peace and unity now existed in the Antioch congregation was clearly evident. Rather than contending with the brothers from Jerusalem, the brothers in Antioch treasured the visit of Judas and Silas, for it was only after "they had passed some time, they were let go in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them out," that is, back to Jerusalem. * (Acts 15:33) We can be sure that the brothers in Jerusalem also rejoiced when they heard what the two men had to say about their journey. Thanks to Jehovah's undeserved kindness, their mission was happily accomplished!"

    Footnote reads: "In verse 34, some Bible translations insert words to the effect that Silas chose to remain in Antioch. (King James Version) However, such words appear to be later additions." [Can they cite a source on that statement? Just being curious here, not critical, because I don't know.]

    Acts 15:40: "Paul selected Silas and went off after he had been entrusted by the brothers to the undeserved kindness of Jehovah." Guess the issue is, did this 'entrusting by the brothers' occur in Antioch or Jerusalem?

    Note that the 'bt' book, as it is called in shorthand, says Silas went back to Jerusalem. If this is true, then in order for Paul to have selected Silas to come with him on his missionary tour thereafter, assuming Paul was still in Antioch (which clearly he was 'after some days', according to verse 36--likely the Bible would've mentioned it if he went back to Jerusalem) he either would have had to (a) go back to Jerusalem to pick him up or (b) wait for him to come all the way from Jerusalem. Unless (c) Silas went to Jerusalem and came back 'after some days' and was on hand to join Paul.

    The context of Acts 15:35-41 makes it clear that Paul was still in Antioch, hence how he could get right into heading to Syria and Cilicia, which would have been a long journey from Jerusalem. It seems more logical that Silas really did stay in Antioch. Any thoughts on this? Is the Society just stretching it to make it look like everybody has to report back to Jerusalem (or shall we say, Brooklyn)? Or did Silas more likely go back to Jerusalem after all?


  • donuthole

    Good catch.

    Acts 13:1-3 - Under the direction of the Holy Spirit Antioch sends out Paul and Barnabus as apostles. Acts 15 takes place after this missionary journey by Paul and again it the congregation of Antioch that sends Paul and Barnabus to deal with a problem stemming from Jerusalem. After the problem is dealt with at Jerusalem Paul and Barnabus return to Antioch. Jerusalem sends two prophets of their local congregation, Judas and Silas to accompany Paul and Barnabus to Antioch. Vs 33 reports that after they had spent some time there, the Antioch congregation sent "them", apparently Judas and Silas, back to their home congregation of Jerusalem. The difficulty is that vs 40 has Paul departing from Antioch with Silas for another missionary journey. The alternate wording of Vs 34 has Silas remaining behind.

    If you look at these scriptures Antioch does not really appear as a subordinate church to Jerusalem. Under the direction of the Holy Spirit they had authority to send Paul out as an apostle and later dispatch him to sort out a problem caused by some from the Jerusalem church. Antioch received emissaries Jerusalem, Judas and Silas, and also dispatched at least one of them back.

    From the New Testament writings it doesn't appear that Paul returned to Jerusalem again until just before his arrest. This would mean that either Silas elected to stay behind or returned to Antioch some time later. I would go with the first.

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