Dec 29, 2009

Two Churches in Acts 15

“The narrated events of 15:l–35 focus on the two dominant churches mentioned thus far in the narrative: the Jerusalem church and the Antioch church. The structure of this literary section reflects these two settings. On the one hand, the section begins and ends with scenes in the Antioch church (15:l–5, 30–35). On the other hand, the section’s central part (15:6–29) includes the discussions and decisions of the Jerusalem church, as Paul, Barnabas, and others from Antioch travel to Jerusalem and meet with the Jerusalem Christian leaders — a meeting frequently called the Apostolic Council or the Jerusalem Counci1. Thus, both churches function as significant characters in this narrative section, and the interaction between them, depicted typically as representatives from one group interact with the other church, is a potentially significant aspect of the characterization of the Christian churches in the book of Acts.”

Richard P. Thompson, Keeping the Church in its Place: The Church as Narrative Character in Acts (New York: T & T Clark, 2006), 182–83.

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