The Council of Jerusalem: Differences between Paul's and Luke's versions
PAUL (Gal 2:1-10)
LUKE (Acts 15)
When? 14 years after Paul's first visit to the Jerusalem apostles (2:1a).
Some time after Barnabas & Paul had returned to Antioch from their first missionary journey (Acts 13-14).
Paul went with Barnabas, and took Titus along (2:1b).
Paul, Barnabas, "and some others" from the Church at Antioch (15:2).
He went in response to a "revelation" (2:2a).
They were sent by the Antioch Church after some people from Judea had caused a disturbance, preaching the necessity of circumcision (15:1-3).
He presents his gospel "privately to those of repute" (2:2b).
They are welcomed by and report to the whole Jerusalem Church (15:4).
Titus, a Greek, was not compelled to be circumcised (2:3).
[Paul supposedly has Timothy circumcised "on account of the Jews," because "all knew that his father was a Greek" - 16:3]
Paul refused to submit to "false brothers" who wanted to take away
the Gentile converts' freedom and to enslave them (2:4-5).
Some Pharisees insist on the necessity of circumcision and observance of the whole Mosaic law (15:5).
The Christian leaders in Jerusalem made Paul "add nothing" (2:6).
The apostles & elders long debate the issues, with speeches by Peter and James (15:6-18); to conclude, James decides they should "stop troubling" the Gentile converts, but also write a letter telling them to avoid idolatry, fornication, meat from strangled animals, and blood (15:19-21, 28-29).
These leaders (James & Cephas & John) recognized that
Paul was sent (by God) to preach to the uncircumcised/Gentiles,
just as Peter was sent to preach to the circumcised/Jews (2:7-9).
[Acts never mentions this division of labor; on the contrary, both Peter & Paul preach to both Jews & Gentiles; see Acts 2; 10–11; 13–14; 15:7; etc.]
These "reputed pillars" of the Jerusalem community gave
Paul & Barnabas "their right hands in partnership" (2:9b).
The Jerusalem leaders send two representatives with Paul & Barnabas to Antioch to deliver their letter, which is gratefully received (15:22-31).
The only request: They were "to be mindful of the poor" (2:10).
[Remembering the poor is not in Acts 15, but earlier Paul & Barnabas had delivered relief from Antioch to Judean Christians; 11:27-30]
Some Quotable Quotes from Galatians (NRSV translation):
"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed!" (1:6-8)
"For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ." (1:11-12)
"Yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law." (2:16)
"You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified!" (3:1)
"As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." (3:27)
"There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus." (3:28)
"And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise." (3:29)
"And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God." (4:6-7)
"For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." (5:1)
"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love." (5:6)
"For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' " (5:13-14)
"Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (6:2)
"Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher." (6:6)
"May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (6:14)