- Gal 2:11-14
- When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him in public, because he was
clearly wrong. 12 Before some men who had been sent by James arrived there,
Peter had been eating with the Gentile brothers and sisters. But after
these men arrived, he drew back and would not eat with the Gentiles, because
he was afraid of those who were in favour of circumcising them. 13 The
other Jewish brothers and sisters also started acting like cowards along
with Peter; and even Barnabas was swept along by their cowardly action.
14 When I saw that they were not walking a straight path in line with
the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, "You
are a Jew, yet you have been living like a Gentile, not like a Jew. How,
then, can you try to force Gentiles to live like Jews?"
- Paul rebukes
Peter in Antioch: Soon after the Jerusalem Conference mentioned
in Act 15:1-35, Paul chastised Peter (Cephas) in Antioch for his hypocrisy.
At the time both Peter and Paul had been in Antioch, and both Peter
and Paul had been eating together with the Gentiles, which was contrary
to Jewish law but consistent with Christian justification by living
faith rather than justification by ritual acts. When the disciples of
James (Jesus' brother) arrived in Antioch, Peter disassociated himself
from his earlier unprejudiced acceptance of the Gentiles of the Antioch
church. In Gal 2:12 Paul said that Peter "drew back and would not
eat with the Gentiles, because he was afraid" of the more Jewish-oriented
followers of James who favored circumcision and strict adherence to
Jewish law. Paul then publicly rebuked Peter for his hypocrisy. As Paul
stated in Gal 2::11 (TEV), "I opposed him in public, because
he was clearly wrong." In Gal 2:13 (TEV) Paul also expressed
disappointment that "even Barnabas was swept along by their cowardly
action." To further explore this, see "Part 2. An illustration
of repeated need for correction of an early church leader" at http://www.bibletexts.com/qa/qa078.htm.
- Paul disagrees
with Barnabas in Antioch, and they then take companions and routes:
Gal 2:13 provides the real explanation of the fallout between Paul and
Barnabas that is mentioned in Act 15:37-39. The sharp contention between
Paul and Barnabas appears to have arisen from Barnabas' following Peter's
lead in distancing himself from the Gentiles. According to Act 15:39-41
Barnabas sailed with his cousin John Mark to Cyprus and Paul took Silas
throughout Syria and Cilicia. (Outside of the Book of Acts, Silas is
known in 2Co 1:19, 1Th 1:1, 2Th 1:1, and 2Pe 5:12 by the Latinized name
- In a direct
display of fellowship with Barnabas, written after they parted ways,
Paul defends Barnabas' rights to be paid for his Christian services:
- 1Co 9:6, TEV
- Are Barnabas and I the only ones who have to work for our living?
- In an indirect
display of fellowship with Peter/Cephas, written after Paul had
publicly chastised Peter, it may be said that Paul recognizes/respects
Peter and Apollos as peers and fellow ministers in Christ:
- 1Co 9:6, TEV
- 21 No one, then, should boast about what human beings can do. Actually
everything belongs to you: 22 Paul, Apollos, and Peter; this world,
life and death, the present and the future—all these are yours, 23
and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
record: It is useful to note that Paul's letter to the Galatians was
written in about 53-54 A.D. and that the Book of Acts was written approximately
30 or 40 years later, somewhere between 85 and 95 A.D.; thus, Paul's own
account is considered to be more reliable.
The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts were written as a single work
in two separate volumes. Though Luke-Acts is traditionally attributed
to "Luke, the beloved physician" (Col 4:14), who is believed
to have traveled with Paul during his later journeys, there is uncertainty
as to who actually wrote this two-volume work. Even if the author of this
work is Luke, he would not have been traveling with Paul at the time of
the events described in Gal 2:1-14. This reaffirms the greater reliability
of Paul's own first hand account of the events.
The man Luke in
the New Testament: The two references to "Luke" in the New
Testament are in Col 4:14 and 2Ti 4:11, both of which are seen by many
scholars as not having been written or composed by Paul. Colossians is
often believed to have been written sometime before 80 A.D. by an actual
disciple of Paul, and 2 Timothy is usually believed to have been written
around 115 A.D. by a later Christian.