CH101 - The First Century

The Primitive Church - 30 - 100 A.D.

Greeks - Seleucids - Romans
Hellenization & Maccabean Revolt
Introduction - Primitive Christianity
The Initial "Jesus" Movement
Christianity in Conflict
Outreach to the Gentiles
Conversion of the Apostle Paul
Jerusalem Council
James, brother of Jesus
The beginning of persecution
The destruction of the Temple
Post-Apostolic writings
New Testament Canon, Part 1
New Testament Canon, Part 2

The Jerusalem Council
Next we find this same sentiment directed at Paul after he and Barnabas have had success reaching Gentiles:

Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved." This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.  - Acts 15:1-2

This is what led to the Jerusalem Council, the first known formal gathering of the most strategic leaders in the Church. The issue is to define the expectations for the growing Gentile church. According to Luke, Peter reminds the Council of how God had used him to bring the first Gentiles into the fold. Then Paul and Barnabas shared some of their stories. Next James speaks. Outside of some vague references in the gospels and one quick reference in Acts 12:17, this is the first mention of James, the brother of Jesus. Yet it seems that James is in charge rather than Peter, the "rock." It is James who states the decision of the Council: Gentiles would be expected to avoid three types of unclean meat, and to avoid sexual immorality.

July 23, 2012
James also seems to be saying that Gentiles could continue hearing the word of GOD preached in the synagogues on the Sabbath. (Acts 15:21) After all this is what they were already doing. (Acts 13:42) If Acts 15:20 is the only requirement for us Gentiles would this please the apostles, the elders, and the whole church?

There are several comments to be made here:
First, saying that Moses was being read around the Roman world did not mean that Gentiles were commonly present. There were Gentile proselytes, but they would certainly not be the majority in the synagogues - most likely they were indeed a small minority.

Secondly, Paul always preached in the synagogues: "FIRST to the Jew," then he would go into the streets if/when they refused to listen and respond: "Then to the Greek."

Lastly, the Jerusalem Council mandate was the universal "rule" until the Pauline letters (and other NT writings) were circulated. But it is important to understand that it is likely that Gentiles had other local traditions: the Lord's Supper, oral creeds, and principles from Jesus teachings and parables. To assume that the Jerusalem Council mandate is the ONLY "rule" is likely to be a poor assumption.

Al Baker, CH101

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First Century Christian Church History
ist Century Church History
The conversion of the apostle Paul
Early Church History of Galatians
James Just brother of Jesus in the Bible
1st Century Christian Church Struggles
Christian History - conversion Apostle Paul
Palestine - Philo, Josephus, Strabo, Aristotle
Apollos NT Hebrews in Ancient Rome
Apollos NT Hebrews in the Bible
Wine in Bible Alcoholic?
James the Just and Jesus in the Bible

Hellenized Jews First Century Christianity

Hellenized Jews Gentile Christians
Hellenized Jews New Testament
Jews and the conversion of the apostle Paul
Conflict in the Early Christian Church
Palestine vs Israel Zola Levitt Dr. McCall
Palestine in the Bible and the Ancient World
Apollos NT Hebrews in the Bible
Apollos NT Hebrews - Ancient Roman World
Palestine Israel in Ancient Greece Rome
Alcoholic Wine - New Testament
James the Just Paul and Jesus in the NT
First Century Christian Church History Issues
How the New Testament was formed
How the NT Canon was formed or canonized
Questions about Wine in the Ancient World
Wine Alcohol in the Bible - New Testament
Early Church Catechesis - Catechetical Training
Questions regarding Christian Issues
Palestine - Israel Map Ancient World
Apollos Alexandria Hebrews in the Bible
Apollos Paul Corinthians - Bible
James the Just the brother of Jesus

First Century Christian Persecution

1st Century Persecution of Christians
Gnosticism in the 1st Century Early Church
Early Church History of Galations
Early Christianity War and Conflict
Early Christianity Constantine and War
Important Issues in Early Christianity
Palestine Israel in Greek Roman World
Apollos Alexandria Hebrews - Bible
Apollos Paul Corinthians NT