Skip to main content

Are Acts 15:36-41 and Gal 2:11-13 Describing the Same Event?

Will Willimon in his Interpretation commentary on Acts states,
The reasons that Luke gives for the breakup of the Paul and Barnabas team does not square with Paul's version in Galataians 2:11-13.  Paul's own assertion that he had doctrinal differences does not fit in with Luke's purposes (p133)
But it is surely incorrect to conflate the two events.  Paul gives no hint in Galatians that his disagreement with Peter led to a schism between him and Barnabas, but only expresses surprise that Barnabas should be led astray by Peter's actions (Gal 2:13).  Which statement surely evinces a high regard for Barnabas.  Rather, in this instance I think the criterion of embarrassment suggests that this episode in Acts does not show Paul in the best light, especially given the fact that Barnabas' trust in Mark is eventually proven correct (Col 4:10, Phil 24) and Paul and Barnabas later reconcile (1 Cor 9:6, Col 4:10), and is therefore a reliable account of the reason for the division. 

Is anyone aware of anything that would support Willimon's assertion?  Is there something I have missed?  It seems rather cut and dried to me.  let me know what you think :-)

Comments

  1. Jonathon,

    I am unaware of anyone relating this two situations.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks John, I can't imagine a good reason for how Willimon came up with that idea.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Why Dr Charles Stanley is not a biblical preacher

Unusually for me I was watching the tele early on Sunday morning and I caught an episode of Dr Charles Stanley preaching on his television program. Now I know this guy has come under some criticism for his personal life, and that is not unimportant, but it is also not something i can comment on, not knowing the facts. His preaching is however something I can comment on, at least the one sermon I did watch.

He started off by reading 2 Timothy 1:3-7. Which is a passage from the Bible, so far so good. He then spent the next 30 minutes or so talking about his mum and what a great example of a Christian mother she was. Now nothing he said or suggested was wrong, but none of it actually came from scripture, least of all the scripture he read from at the beginning. It was a lovely talk on how Stanley's mother raised him as a Christian despite considerable difficulties and it contained many useful nuggets of advice on raising Christian kids. All very nice, it might have made a nice…

The false link between suicide and mental illness

One characteristic of human society is the tendency to keep doing something over and over again despite it not working. One example would be our approach to incarcerating criminals to punish them instead of rehabilitating them, compounding their trauma and making it harder for them to live productive law-abiding lives when they get out. But this is the "common-sense" approach, the intuitive human response to the failings of others, punish them and they wont dare do it again. It has never worked, ever, but let's keep doing it. Secular society is screwed because it cannot comprehend that its vision is blurred by sin and therefore knee-jerk, common sense solutions are usually destructive and counter-productive.

So it is with our response to suicide. To kill yourself must be the response of the weak minded and sick - so the thinking goes - so to combat rising suicide we treat individuals medically. Yet suicide is a perfectly rational response to a world as broken as ours and…

The Addictive Power of End Times Speculation

The mighty Rhett Snell has picked up his blog again (I wonder how long he'll last this time), check out his theory on why people get so into annoyingly unbiblical end times nonsense.

I think that where codes-and-calendars end times theology is dangerous, is that it can give a sense of false growth. We read a theory online, or hear it from some bible teacher, and we come to think that we have mastered an area of our faith. A bit like levelling up in a computer game, or Popeye after he’s eaten some spinach. At worst, we begin to believe that we’ve taken a step that other Christians have not; that we’ve entered an elite class of Christianity.