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Table Fellowship in Antioch: Resources

According to Galatians 2:11-14, Cephas (i.e. the Aramaic equivalent of the Greek nickname Petros or Peter) was pressured by emissaries from James to withdraw from his earlier practice of freely eating with non-Jews. Paul rebukes Cephas for behaving hypocritically in formerly living like a Gentile (ethnikōs) while demanding that non-Jews Judaize (ioudaizein) by adopting Jewish customs. Did the issue revolve around what one could eat (e.g., unclean food or clean food not prepared according to appropriate standards?) or with whom one could eat (e.g., was mixed table fellowship perceived by some as erasing social distinctions with regards to who was a member of the covenant people?). If you are interested in researching this question further, you may be interested in this edition of the Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters dedicated to the incident at Antioch. A few other articles of note include James D. G. Dunn’s “The Incident at Antioch (Gal. 2:11-18)” JSNT 18 (1983): 3-57 and Paula Fredriksen’s “Judaism, the Circumcision of Gentiles, and Apocalyptic Hope: Another Look at Galatians 1 and 2” JTS 42 (1991): 532-564.

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