Paul In Jerusalem: A Comparison Of His Visits In Acts And Galatians -- By: Joe Morgado, Jr.

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 37:1 (Mar 1994)
Article: Paul In Jerusalem: A Comparison Of His Visits In Acts And Galatians
Author: Joe Morgado, Jr.


Paul In Jerusalem: A Comparison Of His Visits In Acts And Galatians

Joe Morgado, Jr.*

*Joe Morgado is a freelance writer and researcher living at 209 North President Street, Apartment 1-H, Wheaton, IL 60187.

I. Introduction

In an article written in 1966 W. C. Van Unnik described the position of Luke-Acts studies as “a storm center in contemporary scholarship.”1 Today, approximately two and a half decades later, the situation is basically the same, although new ideas and assessments have entered into the picture.2 The present paper is an attempt to weather the storm and discuss the relationship of the Jerusalem visits of Paul as recorded in Acts and Galatians.

1. Two prepositions. At the outset two presuppositions must be mentioned. First, it is assumed that Luke is an accurate recorder of history. This was what he intended and accomplished. It is common in the contemporary arena of Lukan scholarship to denounce Luke’s historical ability, portraying him as one who has altered and created historical events in order to provide a better framework in which to present his theology. Thus he is generally seen as a theologian rather than an historian. But I. Howard Marshall3 convincingly argues that Luke’s use of the sources that lie behind his writings shows his desire to accurately report historical facts about the life of Jesus and the early Church. Although Luke subjects all his sources to a stylistic revision he remains faithful to content, this being confirmed by the comparison between how he used Mark and Q within his gospel and how Matthew used the same. “He is not the slave of his sources and does not scruple to alter them when he thinks fit, but in general he appears to base himself fairly closely upon them. The resultant picture of Jesus is different from that in his sources, but it is unmistakenly the same Jesus.”4 By analogy it may be concluded that if he is faithful to the sources and traditions that lie behind his gospel (sources that we possess), in all likelihood he is faithful to the sources and traditions

that lie behind Acts (sources that we do not possess with the possible exception of the epistles, as will be shown below). And if Luke gives a different perspective of the same Jesus as of his sources it may also be concluded that he gives a different perspective of the same Paul of the Pauline epistles.

The second presupposition follows from the first: It is assumed that Acts is a valuable source for the history of Paul ...

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