The purpose of this article is to focus attention on the emphasis Paul gives to his report on the Jerusalem Council relative to the framework of the Letter to the Galatians. In this way, a more accurate evaluation of the events in Jerusalem may be reached. Schmithals rejects the view that what was at stake was a demand for the circumcision of Gentile Christians. The agenda for the Jerusalem Council was determined by Paul,
who got his way by means of the cooperation of the congregation in Jerusalem.
In terms of a division in work responsibilities, Paul would go to the Gentiles in order to establish Gentile-Christian congregations, while Peter would, in a parallel mission, concentrate on establishing and ensuring the survival of Jewish-Christian congregations. The Jewish-Christian congregations would continue paying the temple tax, while this arrangement would not apply to the Gentile-Christian congregations.
The leaders of the congregation in Jerusalem expected nothing more from Paul. In tum, Paul undertook to ensure that his congregations would support financially the Jewish-Christian congregation in Jerusalem.
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