The following English resources, in alphabetical list format below, are included on this page here to accelerate your studies. They are works exclusively focused on Acts 15.
While hundreds of scholars have commented on Acts 15, few resources are devoted exclusively to the Jerusalem Council. The 20th century provided only two books on Acts 15. First, John MacArthur’s “The Salvation Controversy: Law or Grace?” from 1982 was self-published by his ministry, with an emphasis on the grace interpretation. Second, in 1987 Fortress Press published The Quest for Unity in the New Testament Church: A Study in Paul and Acts by the late Paul J. Achtemeier, with an emphasis on the Galatians 2 question, along with a liberal slant towards the historical validity of Acts.
Works from the 21st century include the University of Oxford professor Andrew Goddard’s 2001 booklet on homosexuals and Acts 15. Slee’s 2003 book The Church in Antioch in the First Century CE is focused on Acts 15 in the first half and the historical setting in Antioch in the second half. The 2011 release by Mohr Siebeck of Aposteldekret Und Antikes Vereinswesen edited by Markus Ohler has thirteen articles on Acts 15, ten of which are in German and three in English. Two known self-published works, by Yehoshua in 2011 and McKee in 2012, are also included.
Sixteen unpublished university papers are included since they are substantial works over the past century. Eleven of these were written since 1990, demonstrating the increased interest in Acts 15.
The premiere resource may still be Diffenderfer’s 1986 doctoral dissertation at Durham under the supervision of C.K. Barrett. It provides readers with a monumental work, despite being written in 1986. It is available for free download here – http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/1678/.
If you find current materials from 2017 onward, please Contact Us. These may be books, journal articles, or papers on Acts 15. If you are aware of a significant Work In Progress, we would like to know about those initiatives as well.
We use the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) 2nd Edition citation format (link here). This is neither a statement for or against SBL. Feel free to Contact Us regarding any citation errors on this page.
Achtemeier, Paul J. The Quest for Unity in the New Testament Church: A Study in Paul and Acts. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1987.
Beck, Samuel H. “The Role of the Jerusalem Conference in the Acts of the Apostles.” Doctor of Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1973.
Boeve, Allen. “The Jerusalem Council in Recent Research.” Master of Sacred Theology, Union College of British Columbia, 1970.
Butova, Elena Helen. “The Four Prohibitions of Acts 15 and Their Common Background in Genesis 1-3.” Doctor of Philosophy, Avondale College of Higher Education, 2016.
Copeland, Edgar. “The Church A Covenant Community: As Seen in the Jerusalem Council Implications for the Church Today.” Master of Sacred Theology, Concordia Seminary, 1967.
Diffenderfer, Margaret Ruth. “Conditions of Membership in the People of God: A Study Based on Acts 15 and Other Relevant Passages in Acts.” Doctor of Philosophy, Durham University, 1986. http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/1678/.
Donegan, Susan M. “Acts 15:1-35 Tradition and Composition Within a Dramatic Episode.” Doctor of Philosophy, Fordham University, 1993.
Faulkner, Anne. “The Emergence of Gentile Leadership and the Jerusalem Conference: A Socio-Psychological Approach to the Group Dynamics of the Participation of Gentile Believers in the Early Church.” Doctor of Philosophy, University of Durham, 2009.
Goddard, Andrew. God, Gentiles and Gay Christians: Acts 15 and Change in the Church. Grove Ethics Series 121. Cambridge, England: Grove Books, 2001.
Kohlsmith, Colin. “The Apostolic Decree in Its Cultural Context.” Master of Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary, 1991.
MacArthur, John. The Salvation Controversy: Law or Grace?: Study Notes, Acts 15-16:10. Word of Grace Communications, 1982.
McKee, J. K. Acts 15 for the Practical Messianic. Richardson, TX: TNN Press, 2012.
McLaughlin, Robert. “A Historical Study of the Apostolic Conference at Jerusalem.” Bachelor of Divinity, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1942.
Moulton, Brian K. “The Use of the Davidic Covenant in Acts 15.” Doctor of Philosophy, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1999.
Neilson, Ross A. “Understanding the Council’s Decision in Acts 15 in Light of Old Testament Theology.” Master of Theology, Western Seminary, 2012.
Nixon, David J. “The Text of the Apostolic Decree.” Master of Arts, Harding Graduate School of Religion, 1990.
Ohler, Markus, ed. Aposteldekret Und Antikes Vereinswesen. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011.
Savelle, Charles H. “The Jerusalem Council and the Lukan Perspective of the Law in Acts.” Doctor of Philosophy, Dallas Theological Seminary, 2013.
Savelle, Charles H. “The Origin, Purpose and Significance of the Prohibitions in the Apostolic Decree of Acts 15.” Master of Theology, Dallas Theological Seminary, 2003.
Schmidt, Kara Loraine. “What the Mandate in Acts 15 Contributes to Roman Catholic Sacramental Theology: A Negative Definition.” Master of Arts, Regent University, 2012.
Slee, Michelle. The Church in Antioch in the First Century CE. Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series 244. London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2003.
Tjakrapawira, D. “The Jerusalem Council and Doctrinal Conflict: An Exegetical Study of Acts 15:1-35.” Doctor of Philosophy, Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, 1995.
Yehoshua, Avram. The Lifting of the Veil: Acts 15:20-21. Bloomington, IN: Trafford Publishing, 2011.