Acts 15:28–29 (NIV):

It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.

Matthew 11:28:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest".

The word 'burden' in Acts witnessed by Holy Spirit and used by Jesus in Matthew seems to mean the same thing, though I haven't done a Greek word study yet.

Wouldn't the combination of these scriptures give license to sin (in human meaning) if it is not violating human rights and legal demands?

  • Kindly do not recommend me to refer this Reformed perspective on “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us” since it doesn't focus on my question.
    – nehem
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 13:35
  • 2
    You should specify what perspective from which you would like to receive answers in your question then; otherwise you'll get a wide variety of opinions (and probably end up with a closed post).
    – Ryan Frame
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 13:38
  • 2
    Welcome to Christianity SE, by the way.
    – Ryan Frame
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 13:38
  • Thanks for pointing it out. I belong to a new covenant church who believes in salvation is by faith and grace alone. So I asked in the perspective of the current legalism churches who force tithing, head-covering & other rituals.
    – nehem
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 6:55
  • "legalism churches" is painting with a pretty broad brush. Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 20:34

1 Answer 1


Well, actually in Greek Bible these words are different.

In Acts 15:28-29:

ἔδοξεν γὰρ τω̨̃ πνεύματι τω̨̃ ἁγίω̨ καὶ ἡμι̃ν μηδὲν πλέον ἐπιτίθεσθαι ὑμι̃ν βάρος πλὴν τούτων τω̃ν ἐπάναγκες

i.e. word βάρος, that could mean also "weight"

and in Matthew 11:28:

δευ̃τε πρός με πάντες οἱ κοπιω̃ντες καὶ πεφορτισμένοι κἀγὼ ἀναπαύσω ὑμα̃ς

where word πεφορτισμένοι could be translated as to be "overburden".

So the meaning of word "burdened" in your variant of translation is actually different. If In Acts 15:28 it means some kind of obedience, while in Matthew 11:28 it means a state of man, when he is overburden, too loaded, when he is in troubles, sins and sorrow.

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