24. Meat sacrificed to idols
"But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood self-condemned; for until certain people came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But after they came, he drew back and kept himself separate for fear of the circumcision faction. And the other Jews joined him in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not acting consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?" We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ" (Gal 2:11-16a NRS). It is questionable whether the Jews had any additional food restrictions by law, apart from those that the Apostolic Council had committed the gentile Christians to observe. This conflict seems to have arisen because Paul did not accept the commitments imposed by the Apostolic Council, as narrated in the Acts, which is why the gentile Christians did not adhere to them. Towards the end of his life, Paul seems to have become more conciliatory. The following sentence can only refer to food that the Apostolic Council had forbidden: if Jewish Christians also observed the food laws that extended beyond this resolution, they...
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