Full Text for Galatians- Volume 18 - Why did Paul make a second trip to Jerusalem and what happened then? (Video)

No. 18. >> I see that Paul made a second trip to Jerusalem. Why? Who were the major players at this meeting? >>DR. ARTHUR A. JUST, JR.: This is a good point to just pause before we get more deeply embedded in the epistle to the Galatians to reflect a little bit about what's going on now. I think you can see that this is a deeply historical book. I mean, if you look at a lot of the epistles of Paul, there are no real historical references until the end when he refers to people and places. But this book of Galatians is embedded in the church's earliest history. Now, up until this point we can see that Paul is defending his apostleship. He's talked about his conversion. He's talked about the early years. And now we're coming to a point, the beginning of Chapter 2, where we see what many people believe is the report by Paul of what happened in Acts 15 and the Apostolic Council. Now, if that is the case, that means that this letter to the Galatians was written after the Apostolic Council, say in 49 or 50. And that could very well be the case. Many, many scholars believe in a later dating of Galatians. But in teaching this class and in teaching Galatians over the last ten years, I have come to believe -- and it took me awhile to come to this point. And this is I think you'll see if you look at the literature what is the more conservative position. Or at least it used to be. But I have come to believe that the letter to Galatians was written before the Apostolic Council. And that here in Chapter 2, this is not a record of the Apostolic Council. But is a private meeting between Paul, Barnabas, representing the church in Antioch and Peter and James representing the church in Jerusalem. Now, I did mention before at the Apostolic Council that the whole church was represented. And that's true here, as well. Now, let's walk through this. Paul, John, Peter, James. I've included John here as the son of Zebedee. Because we know he's referenced in Verse 9 I believe. These are the major players in Jerusalem at this time. And as I said, they really represent in terms of authorship 21 out of the 27 New Testament books. And 24 out of the 27 if you include influence. So let's just walk through that. Paul wrote 13 letters. John wrote three letters, Revelation and the Gospel. So that's 18. Peter wrote two epistles, that's 20. And James one epistle. That's 21. So 21 out of the 27 books are represented here by the authors of those books. Now, if you believe as I do that Paul influenced Luke and Acts and that Peter influenced Mark, you can add really three others by influence. So 24 out of the 27 books are represented. And as I said before only Matthew, Hebrews and Jude are not represented. Now, that's the New Testament. I mean, this is a major meeting of the great minds and the great leaders of the early Christian church. Now, this perhaps the second trip to Jerusalem. But it's not the final trip. The final trip is going to be the trip, of course, when he's arrested. And before that the Apostolic Council. So these are a number of different trips that Paul takes to Jerusalem. It shows you how important Jerusalem is. But when he goes to this private meeting, I believe this is a result of what happened in Antioch and a result of his missionary journeys. And I think you can see very clearly here that he wants to lay before the apostles the Gospel that he has preached with Barnabas on his first missionary journey. Now, look at what he does. At the very beginning he says: Then after 14 years again I went up into Jerusalem with Barnabas taking along also with me Titus. Now, this is important. 14 years. Now, if you take 14 from 36, that's about the year 50. And if you actually count you know the year 36, you're in the area that we're talking about. 49, 50. And when most people kind of date the Jerusalem Council. I'm claiming that this is right before that. Now that puts us into a little bit difficulty in dating this. But I think if you actually look at the way they added years, you can see that this Council occurred perhaps at the end of 48, the beginning of 49, before the Apostolic Council. What I'm suggesting to you is this: That these two meetings, the private meeting recorded here in Galatians 2 and the public meeting in Acts 15 occurred within a very short period of time in reference to each other I should say. So one may have been -- this is just an example. But the private meeting may have been in January of 49. And the Apostolic Council may have been in the fall of 49. Something like that. Within six months or even less. Now, what's interesting is what Paul goes onto say here. And I think it's important that he says he went up -- and here is that same word again -- according to revelation, the Apocalyptic revelation. So in other words, this wasn't as it says in Acts 15 that the churches got together and particularly Antioch said hey we better send Paul and Barnabas. This is something that's revealed to Paul. And I think it happened to him while he was on the second missionary journey. That he says: You know I think Jerusalem needs to hear about the successes we are having with the Gentiles so we have a clear sail in preaching this Gospel. And God revealed this to him. He said: Go to Jerusalem and tell them. And that's exactly what he does. It says: He lays before them the Gospel which I was preaching among the Gentiles. Notice, again, the Gospel is a preached event. The Gospel is something that happens in the preaching of it. So as Paul went from church to church, from town to town preaching the Gospel, people were being converted and that happened, also, I think in that first missionary journey in Galatia. And notice that in Verse 2 -- and here I think is the key to distinguishing this meeting from Acts 15 -- he went up privately to those who seemed to be something lest somehow in vain I am running or had run. Now, Paul is not worried about the apostles in Jerusalem as persuading him to change the Gospel that he preaches. What Paul is worried about is a split in the church. Paul is deeply, deeply concerned that because the Gospel he is preaching to the Gentiles might be controversial amongst some of the Jews in Jerusalem, that they would cause the church to split. So that there would be a church of the Gentiles and a church of the Jews. And for Paul, because the Gospel is inclusive, in other words, it includes and embraces all people as he's going to say in Galatians 3, slave or free, male and female, you know, rich and poor. It embraces all of them. Paul is just very, very concerned that this Gospel is somehow going to be broken into two different churches. I think it's very, very important to see that it's not that this church has a Gospel and this church has a Gospel. In other words, the Gospel, salvation by grace alone through faith to the Gentiles. Salvation by grace through faith plus the law for the Jews. But for Paul there's one Gospel. There may be two missions. One Gospel. One church. Two missions. And he says very clearly that not even Titus -- this is Verse 3 of Chapter 2 -- not even Titus, the one who was with me, even though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. Now, I think -- I mean, you've got to see this for what it is. Titus is not a Jew. He is a Greek. He is uncircumcised. Paul brings an uncircumcised Gentile to this private meeting with Peter and James. And if they felt it was absolutely necessary that circumcision be part of the Gospel, they would have insisted, they would have compelled. And notice that language because he's going to use it again. They would have compelled Titus to be circumcised. But Titus is an object lesson that the Gospel is for Gentiles. Titus comes and confesses the faith that Peter and James confess. And they do not force him to be circumcised. So Titus there who really is a wonderful example of the freedom of the Gospel to reach to Gentiles without requiring circumcision is an opportunity for Paul to place before the apostles the fruit of his preaching. And so Titus goes along with Barnabas and Paul. Because he shows that the Gospel is for the uncircumcised.