Dec 19, 2009

James, Peter, Acts, and Canon

“One of Acts’ decisive guidelines that arises for the reader of the canon is the apostles’ community with each other. The model of the community between the apostles is drawn in Acts 15 by means of an example. Here, Peter and James appear as spokesman of the Jerusalem church when the meet Paul and Barnabas as emissaries from the church of Antioch. Both pairs of spokesman are portrayed as being in agreement with each other, as well as against differing positions. The fundamental agreement of the apostles, in spite of varying attitudes about and strategies of mission, building up churches, or expressing belief, is the precondition for introducing and arranging their writings into the canon, as well as for their reception.”

Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr, “James in the Minds of the Recipients,” in The Catholic Epistles and Apostolic Tradition: A New Perspective on James and Jude, ed. Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr and Robert W. Wall (Waco, TX Baylor University Press, 2009), 51–2.

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