So it was claimed that the resolution issued by the meeting at Jerusalem was issued by the Holy Spirit (Acts 15), yet................

by deegee 13 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • deegee

    Thanks for the comments.

    Whether Acts 15 was written before or after 1 Corinthians, a person reading Acts 15 and 1 Corinthians 8 & 10 for the first time and taking the scriptures at face value would note that:

    - Acts 15:28, 29:
    The Holy Spirit required that Gentile Christians abstain from foods sacrificed to idols.

    - 1 Corinthians 8 & 10:
    Paul told Gentile Christians the opposite: it did not matter if food offered to idols was eaten.

    Reading these scriptures at face value, a person would conclude that Paul went against the Holy Spirit's requirement and in so doing went against Jesus and God since Jesus declared:

    John 16:7,13 - 15:
    "But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
    But when he, the Spirit of TRUTH, comes, he will guide you into all the TRUTH. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because IT IS FROM ME THAT HE WILL RECEIVE WHAT HE WILL MAKE KNOWN TO YOU. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said THE SPIRIT WILL RECEIVE FROM ME WHAT HE WILL MAKE KNOWN TO YOU."

    It certainly doesn't seem that the Holy Spirit & Jesus led the Jerusalem elders to the truth as far as Paul was concerned.

    Why didn't the Holy Spirit just instruct the Jerusalem elders to give the same instructions to the Gentile Christians as Paul did ?

    The conflicting statements reveal that there was conflict between the Jerusalem elders and Paul. It’s patently not clear direction from any God, but men,
    different factions of early Christianity contending for their own way.

  • deegee

    According to Paul, the gospel he preached is not of human origin as he received his revelation from Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:11,12).

    The Jewish elders declared that the requirement to abstain from food sacrificed to idols was from the Holy Spirit. According to Jesus:
    "The Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you (John 16:7,13 - 15).

    So Jesus contradicted himself by issuing opposing/conflicting statements to Paul and the Jerusalem elders.

  • Phizzy

    I agree Deegee that their is an obvious dispute between the two texts, but the vast majority of scholars who are independent, in the sense of not actually being firstly "christians", but pursuing their studies in a detached , almost scientific way, are agreed that Acts was written very late, and written by the author of the Gospel of Luke, a guy who was prone to terrible historical inaccuracy, and even fiction of the most blatant kind. ( note the Census story).

    So why should we believe the event in Acts 15 actually took place, or if it did, how can we place it chronologically with any certainty ?

    It would seem there is little to support Paul being in Jerusalem after writing 2 Cor. until 57 A.D

  • deegee
    So why should we believe the event in Acts 15 actually took place, or if it did, how can we place it chronologically with any certainty ?

    I agree with your conclusion Phizzy.

    It certainly is doubtful that the Jerusalem meeting in Acts 15 took place.

    According to Acts 15:2, 12, 22 - 26, 35, Paul was at the meeting in Jerusalem at which the Holy Spirit issued the requirement to abstain from foods offered to idols etc. However, in Paul's writings in Galatians etc, there is no mention of any such meeting taking place which Paul attended.

    It seems the Jewish Christians were just trying to find a way to legitimize the continued observance of the law of Moses - they went so far as to declare that their decree in Acts 15 had the backing of the Holy Spirit.

    The Jewish Christians however, had reason to insist on the continued observance of the Law of Moses:

    They couldn't see how a covenant given by their perfect God Yahweh could be flawed as claimed by Paul. Paul stated that there was need for a second covenant to replace the first covenant because the first covenant was flawed:

    Hebrews 8:7 (NIV):

    "For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another."

    Apparently it was difficult for the Jewish Christians to understand how the first covenant could have been flawed if Yahweh, the perfect one, had given it to the Hebrews.

    This is one of the reasons why the Jews to this day have not accepted the New Testament or Christianity - how could a perfect God have given them a flawed covenant which needs to be replaced?

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