30 “So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words. 33 And after they had spent some time, they were sent off in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them. 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.” (Acts 15:30–35)
The Jerusalem Church, and its leadership, sent Paul, Barnabas, Judas and Silas to Antioch. We do not know much about Judas except that he was a prophet (v. 32). Silas was also known as Silvanus. He accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey (v. 40; 16:19, 25, 29; 17:4, 10, 14–15; 18:5) and later was Peter’s amanuensis (scribe) for his first epistle (1 Peter 5:12).
When they gathered the church together, they formally delivered and read the letter from the Jerusalem Council. The church rejoiced because of the letter’s encouraging words.
Judas and Silas encouraged and strengthened the believers in Antioch. The text does not specifically inform us as to how long Judas and Silas stayed in Antioch. It only says that they spent some time there and then returned to Jerusalem.
However, Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch. While there, they continued to do what they always did. They taught and preached the Word of God. Luke records that others joined them in this task and responsibility.
Acts 15:34 says, “But it seemed good to Silas to remain there.” This verse is not found in the best ancient Greek manuscripts. Therefore, it remains a textual variant.
It is most likely that the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write to the Churches of Galatia at this time about the central issue considered by the Jerusalem Council. The Letter to the Galatians was written to oppose the Judaizing false teachers who attempted to undermine the central New Testament doctrine of justification by faith alone.
We will do a brief survey of Galatians when next we meet. Until then, I encourage you to read the Book of Galatians.
Soli deo Gloria!