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Tag Archives: Barnabas

Paul’s Second Argument with Peter

from Google Images

from Google Images

Obviously, we cannot know who the men from James really were, but in another blog[1] I wrote some time ago I argue that they were probably very notable men, perhaps powerful Jews who worshiped with the brethren at Jerusalem. It is unlikely that either Peter or Barnabas would have been seduced doctrinally. That may have been a problem at Galatia with the new believers, as well as the new gentile believers at Antioch, but Peter and Barnabas were teachers of the word of God. Their seduction came by way of pleasing men. In other words, they were intimidated in the presence of men from James. They changed their behavior, not their doctrinal understanding. They acted hypocritically, that is, not according to what they knew to be correct. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Who Received the Apostolic Decrees

Since Luke seems to place great importance upon the Jerusalem Council, it should be asked who received the letter from James, and more importantly, who received the Apostolic Decrees, if James’ four abstentions were required of all gentiles, if fellowship between them and Jewish believers was an issue. This letter from the Jerusalem Council, signed by James and perhaps other elders from the Jerusalem church, is never mentioned again in the New Testament. Is the great controversy upon which Luke places such importance nothing more than a ‘flash in the pan’ so to speak? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Gospel, Jerusalem Council

 

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The Council’s Sequence of Events

We know that the Jerusalem Council was convened as a result of the heated debate in Antioch by Barnabas and Paul with the men from James (Acts 15:1). I hardly believe that a few Sunday school teachers (like me) could create such a controversy in our denomination of Christianity, just because we disagree with our pastor or the pastor of another body of believers in our denomination. However, if several leading men in my denomination had a disagreement with other leading men, such a conference would inevitably occur to avert a schism within our denomination. Would this be a logical conclusion? If so, shouldn’t we see the men from James as high ranking men at the Jerusalem church as well? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2012 in Gospel, Jerusalem Council

 

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Circumcision ~ What’s at Stake?

Jews were not the only people who practiced circumcision. Some of the men in Arabia practiced it as well. They were among Abraham’s sons, and circumcision was among their traditional customs, just as it was for the Jew, but only the Jews took it so seriously as to draw their identity from its practice. Anyone among the Jews who was not circumcised was cut off from his people. Eventually, the practice of circumcision came to include the whole Mosaic Law. So, to be circumcised, according to Judaism, meant that one embraced the Torah, as well. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2012 in circumcision, Jerusalem Council

 

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The ‘Men from James’

Awhile back (HERE), I wrote about these men from James who came to Antioch claiming the gentiles there couldn’t be saved, unless they were circumcised (Acts 15:1). In the next few blog posts I wish to offer a slightly different but a more dangerous perspective on the efforts of these men. First of all, their argument made logical sense, and this only made the danger of their scheme more difficult to detect. Nevertheless, logic is only as good as the knowledge upon which it is based. Think about it, the Jewish religion was the only religion on the face of the earth that was begun by God. Why shouldn’t the Jews believe gentiles needed to become Jews to be saved? Isn’t that similar to what is believed by Christians today? Don’t we believe one must become a Christian to be saved? If we believe this way, why would it be so unreasonable for Jews to believe that way too? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Jerusalem Council, Paul

 

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The Jerusalem Council

Paul and Barnabas went up to Jerusalem cir. spring of 49 CE to discuss the matter of gentile circumcision with James and the other elders of the believing community there. This was Paul’s second visit to Jerusalem, since his meeting with Jesus on the Damascus road, and he and Barnabas came not only to discuss the issue of circumcision with the church elders, but also to bring the gentile famine-relief offering for the poor in Judea (see HERE and HERE for the details). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in circumcision, Jerusalem Council

 

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Barnabas and Paul in Lystra

After fleeing Iconium, Barnabas and Paul came to Lystra, one of the major cities of Lycaonia. Since Luke never mentions that the apostles enter a synagogue in Lystra, there probably aren’t enough Jews there to warrant one. Therefore, they began preaching to or perhaps conversing with the locals about God. Exactly where they were in the city is not clear, but it was near the city gates (cp. Acts 14:13), where a beggar was probably placed hoping for alms (Acts 14:8), and he listened attentively. Actually, though, Luke never says the man hoped for alms; I suppose it is possible the man knew a trade in which he could labor with his hands, but if this is true, it would be surprising that Luke doesn’t mention the oddity, for back then most people who had a serious impairment weren’t trained to become financially independent. On the other hand, it wouldn’t surprise the reader to discover a man who was never able to walk was a beggar in the first century CE. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Gospel, Paul First Missionary Journey

 

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