One of the challenges of taking the Jerusalem Council as a historical event is Paul’s apparent silence concerning it in his epistles, even when such a reference might be appropriate (e.g., his discussion of food sacrificed to idols; cf. 1 Cor 8:1––11:1; Acts 15:20, 29; 21:25) and even though Luke states the Paul was present at the Council and even carried its results to the church at Antioch. There are generally two broad approaches concerning this problem.
1. Some interpreters conclude that the Jerusalem Council was a Lukan creation and never actually happened. This view is generally unacceptable for conservative interpreters.
2. Other interpreters affirm the general historicity of the Jerusalem Council. In this position there are at least three variations. (1) The Jerusalem Council did occur, but contrary to Luke’s assertion, Paul was not there. Therefore, Paul does not refer to the decision of the Council either because he is unaware of it or that he does not feel bound by it since he was not present during the proceedings. (2) The Jerusalem Council was attended by Paul as Luke records, but he chooses to ignore the Council’s decision in his correspondence with
“As I have shown earlier, the most likely scenario is that, in his first visit to
“To sum up, I have shown that the arguments advanced against the historical accuracy of Luke’s account of the
I am very sympathetic to Chueng’s conclusions and his position on Paul’s perspective concerning idol food has been echoed by David Garland’s excellent 1 Corinthians commentary in the Baker Exegetical series.