The decision of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 clarified the identity and mission of the church. James's speech in 15:13–21 is the most crucial and controversial part of the discussion at the Council, because he gives the scriptural basis for the decision of the Council. According to Acts 15, James resolves the controversy at the Council by appealing to an adapted and conflated text of the Septuagint of Amos 9:11–12. This essay addresses some of the issues concerning the meaning, exegetical basis, and historical credibility of James's scriptural argument, as reported in Acts 15. In making its decision, the Council employed Jewish hermeneutical methodology, the Septuagint and MT texts, and testimony concerning God's recent work among the Gentiles. This essay argues that the scriptural basis in Amos 9:11–12 for the inclusion of Gentiles, as Gentiles, in the end-time people of God is the restoration of the "tent of David," which is the reign of the Davidic dynasty in the person of Jesus Christ. This Messianic reign is not as it would have been envisioned in the time of Amos; it is the reign of Messiah Jesus as universal Lord at God's right hand, and it involves the administration of new covenant blessings.

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