Chapter

Acts 15:36

ESV And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.”
NIV Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, 'Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.'
NASB After some days Paul said to Barnabas, 'Let’s return and visit the brothers and sisters in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.'
CSB After some time had passed, Paul said to Barnabas, "Let's go back and visit the brothers and sisters in every town where we have preached the word of the Lord and see how they're doing."
NLT After some time Paul said to Barnabas, 'Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.'
KJV And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.

What does Acts 15:36 mean?

Paul and Barnabas have settled once again into life in Syrian Antioch, even heading off a spiritual attack that would have divided the Gentile and Jewish Jesus-followers (Acts 15:1–21). Now, they decide to travel through the churches they planted on their first missionary journey, including Cyprus (Acts 13:4–12), Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:13–52), Iconium (Acts 14:1–7), Lystra (Acts 14:8–23), and Perga (Acts 14:25).

Part of the reason for their return is the attack they witnessed in Antioch. A group of Jewish Christian Pharisees had come from Judea and insisted Gentiles be circumcised and follow the Mosaic law (Acts 15:1). They framed the issue as if Gentiles needed to convert to Judaism before they could follow the Jewish Messiah. However, their real motivation was selfish. They wanted to worship Jesus in church while still maintaining their respected standing in the non-Christian Jewish community (Matthew 23:5–7; Galatians 6:12). They wanted all the benefits of Jesus' grace without the persecution He had promised to anyone who followed Him (John 15:18–20).

When questioned, the leadership of the church in Jerusalem confirmed that the Pharisees were wrong. Circumcision wasn't required for salvation and wouldn't be imposed on the Gentiles. Even the Jews couldn't follow the Mosaic law (Galatians 6:13; Acts 15:10)—if they could, Jesus wouldn't have had to sacrifice Himself on the cross. But the apostles and elders in Jerusalem did require the Gentiles to be sexually pure and make minor changes to their eating habits—not for salvation, but so the Jewish Christians would feel freer to eat with them and live life together. The church in Jerusalem wrote these things in a letter (Acts 15:22–29), and Paul intends to share the letter with the churches he and Barnabas planted (Acts 16:4).

Paul will travel to Syria and Cilicia (Acts 15:41), Derbe and Lystra (Acts 16:1), Phrygia and Galatia (Acts 16:6), Macedonia, Greece, and Asia (Acts 16:9–18:21), but he will not go with Barnabas. Barnabas wants to give John Mark another chance after he abandoned the pair in Perga (Acts 13:13). Paul doesn't trust Mark. After a "sharp disagreement," Barnabas takes Mark to Cyprus, and Paul strikes up a new partnership with Silas (Acts 15:39–40).
Expand
Expand
Expand
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: