Book of Acts Chapter 15 - Christogenea Internet Radio 09-27-2013
The end of Acts chapter 14 leaves us with Paul and Barnabas in Antioch in Syria after having returned from their first Christian missionary journey in Anatolia. On their first journey they did not venture far, travelling through the island of Cyprus and the Anatolian provinces of Pamphylia, Pisidia and Lycaonia. Western and Central Anatolia at this time was ruled by Romans, predominately settled by Greeks, and also contained populations of Phrygians, Phoenicians, Lydians, Galatians, and other White but non-Greek peoples.
Luke, the author of Acts, is said by the earliest Christian writers to have been a Greek from Antioch, which certainly seems to be true. Therefore he may have been with Paul on his first missionary journey, since the point of departure for that journey was Antioch, however it cannot be told from the accounts provided. It is even more likely that Luke was an actual eyewitness to the events described here in Acts chapter 15, since with all certainty Luke is in the company of Paul in Acts chapter 16, where he writes in the first person in Acts 16:10. That account describes Paul's second missionary journey, for which Antioch was the point of departure once again.
XV 1 And some had come down from Judaea teaching the brethren that if you would not be circumcised in the custom of Moses, you are not able to be saved.
The Codex Bezae (D) has “be circumcised and walk in the customs of Moses”, making the admonition to keep the Mosaic code which is given by these men even more complete. While this is certainly an interpolation, in verse 5 the fulness of the demand is manifest in all of the manuscripts.