Jerusalem conference

Edgar M. Krentz ekrentz at
Fri Aug 30 17:00:15 EDT 2002

>>Bob MacDonald wrote:
>>>  Bob: I don't see any connection between Galatians 2:11 and the Jerusalem
>>>  council of Acts 15.
>>>  If the council had sent the letter from the apostles (Acts 15:23-29), I
>>>  think Paul would have appealed to it in Galatians. This is too long a topic
>>>  for the current window.
>>This has for a long time seemed to me to be a very important point, one
>>that appears to get overlooked.  Acts 15:23-29 gives us the text of "the
>>decrees that had been decided on by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem
>>for the Gentile believers" (Acts 16:4) that were then delivered by Paul
>>and Silas to "every town where we proclaimed the word of the Lord" (Acts
>>15:36).  Therefore, IMHO the best explanation for Paul not mentioning
>>these decrees in Galatians is simply that Galatians pre-dates the decrees!
>>  Any more complicated explanation is, I believe, unnecessary.
>>Dave Inglis
>How about the possibility that Paul simply didn't like the decrees, 
>and did not want to actively support them or spread them in his 
>churches. This is certainly not a "complicated explanation", and is 
>in fact quite straightforward.
>As an aside, complicated explanations are not to be discarded too 
>unduly. It is true that the more complicated a theory is the more 
>uncertain it becomes, yet as we all know - history is in fact often 
>VERY complicated.
>Steve Black

It is curious that neither Paul or subsequent narratives in Acts ever 
speak of the Jerusalem decree being actively used. And the Jerusalem 
leaders also sent along two prophets to make sure that it got 

Paul never refers to the decree in discussing the problems with food 
in Corinth, even though Peter has also been there. Why did Paul not 
mention  The decree in Galatians, if written after the Jerusalem 
meeting? Because there is not record in Galatians of any of the items 
the Jerusalem meeting wanted enforced being a problem, whether diet 
or rules for ritual purity.

I do not see the problem that Dave Inglis thinks he solves above by 
dating Galatians early. Instead his solution raises more issues in 
terms of the linguistic affinities of Galatians to other Pauline 
letters and related to the earlier 1 Thessalonians.

If one dates Galatians earlier, then one must needs revise much more 
of the chronology of Paul, as has been done by some.
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Edgar  Krentz                                                     
Professor Emeritus of New Testament                       
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 East 55th Street
Chicago, IL 60615
Telephone: (773) 256-0773		Home Tel: 773-947-8105
Office e-mail:  ekrentz at	Home e-mail: ekrentz at
  "I grow older, learning many things all the time." [Solon of Athens]
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