Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Peter Tomson on Gal. 2.11-14
The two most persuasive cases that I've read on Gal. 2.11-14 are by Mark Nanos and Peter Tomson. Note these quotes from Tomson (pp. 222-30):
"The agreement involved mutual trust and respect: neither party would interfere with the commission of the other. Paul could expect the others not to intervene in his 'Law-free gospel' for gentiles, just as James and Peter could count on his non-involvement with their Law-abiding gospel to the Jews. This conclusion is utterly important: Paul implies here that his 'Law-free gospel' for Galatian gentiles was founded on his respect for Law-observance by Jewish Christians. All would be well as long as two separate domains remained. Problems might arise where they overlapped, or in other words, where Jews and gentiles were living and eating together, as at Antioch. Thus the question was: can Jews and gentiles eat together without endangering either the Law-observance of the former or the freedom from the Law of the latter? James' representatives apparently thought they could not, but Paul and Barnabas, as well as other Antioch Jews and Peter, thought they could. According to Gal 2:11-13 the majority of Jews of Antioch, as Peter and Barnabas and also Paul, thought it possible for Jews and gentiles to eat together without transgressing the Jewish Law."
"The conclusion is that here Paul does not urge Peter to join him again in a non-Jewish way of life. On the contrary: he urges for a Jewish life which does not force gentiles to judaize, in line with the agreement."
"If Paul really would have violated the food laws and induced others to do so in the presence of Barnabas, Peter and the Antioch Jews, he would have made the agreement [Gal. 2.1-10] null and void and his apostolate impossible."