The Jerusalem visits in Acts and Galatians
Exploring the Bible
October 27, 2011
“Both Acts 15 and Galatians 2:1-10 detail a meeting in Jerusalem. Although the two accounts include many similarities, significant differences in details suggest that the two passages, in fact, record two different events.”
Luke shows Paul preaching in Jerusalem after he meets the apostles (Acts 9:28-29). Paul experienced rejection and threats that resulted from preaching to the Jews, this was the main reason for Paul’s departure to Tarsus (Acts 9:20).
There is a precise evidence that the visit to Jerusalem in Acts 9:26-30 is similar to visit in Gal 1:18-24. Comparison among other visits in Acts provides no concrete evidence for identification with Gal 1:18-24. The two accounts reveal Paul’s first visit to Jerusalem, but Paul’s second journey to Jerusalem causes more problems and disagreement between scholars compared to the first visit.
Many scholars support the view that Acts 15 and Gal 2:1-10 describe the same event. In both accounts, there is clear evidence that both Paul and Barnabas coming to Jerusalem and holding official meeting with the apostles (Acts 15:6; Gal 2:2). In their meetings, they came across many problems with a Judaizing section of Jerusalem church (Acts 15:5; Gal 2:4). Although the two accounts show similarities, this does not mean sameness. Therefore, there are many problems in assuming that these two visits in Jerusalem are the same.
Galatians lists the account 2:1-10 as the second visit for Paul in Jerusalem, and the first visit being 1:18-24. Paul appears to be giving the events coming after his conversation in sequential order. The word epeita may be applied to mark the orderly succession of Paul’s trips to Jerusalem, he went to Arabia, returned to Damascus and later he went to Jerusalem (Cole, 1989, p. 73). It is only...
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