My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.



Saturday, September 15, 2007

Acts 15

Jerusalem I

Summary:
So some people thought that you had to follow Jewish law to be a Christian, but Paul disagreed, so they had a chat in Jerusalem with the Apostles. There, Peter declared that people were saved by grace, and people don't have to change their culture. Paul told of his miracles. James agreed with Peter and they decided that people should only avoid eating blood, or idol-stained food, or sexual immorality. Judas and Silas were sent to give the message to the Christians around the world.

Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement, so Barnabas took Mark to Cyprus, and Paul took Silas to visit some churches.

Key verse:
11. We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.

My thoughts:
That's a cool and clear verse despite the bizarre grammar. So lots of interesting stuff in this chapter.

First is the first council of Christianity, with all the Apostles present (maybe). Pretty sweet.

Also, we have this character James, but the Apostle James is dead by now, right? It appears that he is James the brother of Jesus, and author of James. By this stage he seems to be counted among the Apostles, which is interesting. It certainly seemed that the Apostles were just the tight twelve.

So the Jewish law wittles down to three things for Gentile Christians. Not eating blood, not eating food offered to idols, and the sexual morality law. So those parts of the OT seems to be relevant, so the laws about homosexuality in the Old Testament are relevant, in the sense that everything the OT declares sexually immoral we shouldn't do.

Salami had blood in it.

Other parts of the NT say that we can eat food offered to idols. So I dunno. It seems a little bit confused.

Also, Paul and Barnabas disagreed. I'm pretty sure that from then all, everyone in the church just agreed and this was just a one off.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Deane said...

The prohibition of the 4 things (idols, fornication, food strangled, blood) coincides with the laws of Torah that the alien in the midst of Israel (the 'ger') must follow. These are set out in Lev 17-18. As it was now being accepted that the gentiles could come into the Assembly of Israel, James applied the appropriate laws to them, and no more. It's a fine piece of 'Christian' halakhah, mixing Amos 9.11-12 & Lev 17-18.

I think Richard Bauckham(?) wrote a good article on this not all that long ago. Hmmmm... yep. 'James & the Gentiles'.

3:12 pm

 
Blogger Pete W said...

absolutely.

2:28 pm

 

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