Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gal 2:11-21

The depth of the drama between Paul and seems-like-everybody at Antioch (Peter, men from James, the rest of the Jews, Barnabas) can probably not be decided since we don't know if Paul spoke 2:15-21 on that occasion.  But this drama is practically the drama that defines how the newness of the New Testament was fought for by Paul.

"They were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel" (2:14).  The truth of the gospel makes it wrong and false to "compel the Gentiles to live like Jews" (2:14).    Paul tells Peter "in the presence of all" -- all these groups at Antioch above -- "you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews."  Peter's two acts were: 1) holding himself aloof, beginning to withdraw (2:12), though he "used to eat with the Gentiles" (2:12); 2) compelling the Gentiles to live like Jews (2:14).

Notice the movement: from eating with, to not eating with.  Paul calls this "compelling the Gentiles to live like Jews."  What?  Just eating separately from Gentiles when the Jewish brothers came?  Doesn't that come under "hospitality"?  Why not?

Paul says Peter "stood condemned" in his actions.  The Galatians get a letter, but Peter got it from Paul's face.


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