But because this heresy did then seem the more powerful to seduce men, and the whole Church was in danger,
The reason why the Holy Spirit did, when the apostles at that time were consulting, relax the bond and yoke for us,
For certain men likewise went down from Judea to Antioch, and taught the brethren who were there, saying: "Unless ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, and walk according to the other customs which he ordained, ye cannot be saved."
of this epistle, how that certain persons interposed, and said that men ought to be circumcised, and that the law of Moses was to be observed; and how the apostles, when consulted, determined, by the authority of the Holy Ghost, that "a yoke should not be put upon men's necks which their fathers even had not been able to bear."
Moreover, in that dispute about the observance or non-observance of the Law, Peter was the first of all to be endued with the Spirit, and, after making preface touching the calling of the nations, to say, "And now why are ye tempting the Lord, concerning the imposition upon the brethren of a yoke which neither we nor our fathers were able to support? But however, through the grace of Jesus we believe that we shall be saved in the same way as they."
And God, who knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as He did unto us."
And when some said one thing, and some another, I Peter stood up, and said unto them: "Men and brethren, ye know how that from ancient days God made choice among you that the Gentiles should hear the word of the Gospel by my mouth, and believe; and God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness.
Even as Peter also subsequently most abundantly taught us about the same Gentiles, saying: "And He put no difference between us and them, their hearts being purified by faith."
Now therefore why tempt ye God, to lay an heavy yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear? But by the grace of the Lord, we believe we shall be saved, even as they.
sometimes catch at such parts of the law as they choose; plainly do we too assert that the law has deceased in this sense, that its burdens-according to the sentence of the apostles-which not even the fathers were able to sustain,
For it is the "burdens" of the law which were "until John," not the remedial virtues. It is the "yokes" of "works" that have been rejected, not those of disciplines.
With which sin and crime God was offended, and justly visited the impious and ungrateful people with severe punishments, and made them subject to the law
Cyprian of Carthage said: The letter which was written to our colleague Jubaianus very fully expresses my opinion, that, according to evangelical and apostolic testimony, heretics, who are called adversaries of Christ and Antichrists, when they come to the Church, must be baptized with the one baptism of the Church, that they may be made of adversaries, friends, and of Antichrists, Christians.
And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will raise it up anew; that the residue of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called upon them, saith the Lord, who doeth these things."
Wherefore my sentence is, that we do not trouble those who from among the Gentiles turn unto God: but to charge them that they abstain from the pollutions of the Gentiles, and from what is sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; which laws were given to the ancients who lived before the law, under the law of nature, Enos, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Job, and if there be any other of the same sort."
they wish not to be done to themselves, let them not do to others."
Now therefore why tempt ye God, to impose a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are to be saved, even as they."
that is, the men who are upon the earth; and from men of this stamp it will be God's good pleasure to take out
bear what thou art able; but against that which is sacrificed to idols
And the things which pollute at once the soul and the body are these: to partake of the table of demons, that is, to taste things sacrificed, or blood, or a carcase which is strangled,
"And this is the service He has appointed: To worship Him only, and trust only in the Prophet of truth, and to be baptized for the remission of sins, and thus by this pure baptism to be born again unto God by saving water; to abstain from the table of devils, that is, from food offered to idols, from dead carcases, from animals which have been suffocated or caught by wild beasts, and from blood;
He then eats in faith who believes that that which is eaten has not been sacrificed in the temples of idols, and that it is not strangled nor blood;
The public service of God shall be extinguished, psalmody shall cease, the reading of the Scriptures shall not be heard;
In ordinations of the clergy, beloved brethren, we usually consult you beforehand, and weigh the character and deserts of individuals, with the general advice.
And the apostles themselves, writing to the brethren at Antioch, and in Syria and Cilicia, said: "It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no other burden than these necessary things, to abstain from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication, from which, if you keep yourselves, ye shall do well."
For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay no other burden upon you than these necessary things; that ye abstain from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which things if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well."
For the apostle says, "All other things buy out of the shambles, asking no questions," with the exception of the things mentioned in the Catholic epistle of all the apostles,
e, when dispute was being held on the question of retaining or not the Law; this is the first rule which the apostles, on the authority of the Holy Spirit, send out to those who were already beginning to be gathered to their side out of the nations: "It has seemed (good)," say they, "to the Holy Spirit and to us to cast upon you no ampler weight than (that) of those (things) from which it is necessary that abstinence be observed; from sacrifices, and from fornications, and from blood:
Wherefore, as there is some obscurity about this matter, without some explanation is given, it seemed good to the apostles of Jesus and the elders assembled together at Antioch,
and also, as they themselves say, to the Holy Spirit, to write a letter to the Gentile believers, forbidding them to partake of those things from which alone they say it is necessary to abstain, namely, "things offered to idols, things strangled, and blood."
Acts 15:28 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Also in the Acts of the Apostles: "It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to impose upon you no other burden than those things which are of necessity, that you should abstain from idolatries, from shedding of blood, and from fornication. And whatsoever you would not to be done unto you, do not to others."
Of the latest Testament the condition is ever immutable; and, of course the public recitation of that decree,
But Barnabas urged that they should go to Cyprus, and pass the winter, and then that they should go to Jerusalem at the feast. Great contention, therefore, arose between them.
Go to the Chronological List of all Early Christian Writings
Please buy the CD to support the site, view it without ads, and get bonus stuff!