Paul's opposition to Peter initially concerns itself with Peter's refusal to eat with the Gentile members of the believing community. The issue is part of a larger theological concern that is worked out in practical behaviour. Jewish people in the Second Temple period did not typically dine with Gentiles of any description, because of ritual purity concerns. The belief was that “things” could pass on impurity to other people. Gentiles were considered as being perpetually in an impure state. Peter had already “crossed the Rubicon” by eating with Gentiles in Acts 10. “Do not call unclean what God was made clean!” Following the conversion of the centurion Cornelius, Peter went to Jerusalem where he was asked, not about the Holy Spirit falling on Gentiles nor details of angelic visitations but “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them” (Acts 11:3).

Led by Aaron Eime.

Notes for this study can be found at ‎

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