Slide 1


Gal 2:1-10= Acts 11:30/12:25 (W.M. Ramsay, W.L. Knox)

Gal 2:1-10= Acts 15 (J.B. Lightfoot and others)

Gal 2:1-10 = both Acts 11 and 15 (2 sources recounting it differently)

Some reject Acts altogether (Gal 2:1-10 not either)

Gal 2:1-10 = Acts 15 + added elements

Slide 2

Favoring Acts 11:30

1.    Paul would not have omitted the famine visit (Acts 11:30; 12:25) in Galatians

-       No reason to mention in Galatians

-       Emphasizing independence from apostles

. They may have been in hiding (12:2-3, 17)

. If delivered to elders, no reason to mention

Slide 3

2.    Why not mention the decree?

-       Not just in Galatians (regardless of date)

-       Also true in 1 Corinthians and Romans, which surely postdate the Council

-       Acts specifies the range of the decree to Syria- Cilicia

-       Further from Jerusalem, appeal to first principles more valuable than to centralized authority

Slide 4

3.    Too many discrepancies

Worse with 11:30/12:25!

-       So brief that one can make comparisons only from silence

Nothing in common with 11:30/12:25 except that both Barnabas and Saul present- as also in Acts 15

Why ask them to remember poor (Gal 2:10) during a famine visit?!!

Slide 5

4.    “Revelation” of Gal 2:2

Fits Acts 11:28-30

But “revelation” in Gal 1:12, 16 refer to Paul’s own encounter with Christ

Is it not his gospel that he is defending in Gal 2:1-10?

Slide 6

5.    Allows for earlier date of Galatians

-       Sounds more like it is from the period in Paul’s life as Romans (albeit somewhat earlier)- not 1-2 Thessalonians

In Acts 15, conflict had just reached Antioch (Acts 14:26-15:1)- but not yet Galatia

Thus decrees addressed only to Syria-Cilicia

Slide 7

6.    Maybe Acts 15 revisits earlier subject

-       Ockham’s Razor: simpler solution is that Gal 2 and Acts 14, which address the same topic, are the same visit

Slide 8

7.    Gal 2:1-10 = Acts 15

1.    Tutus (Gal 2:1-3)

-       Paul mentions him as known to Galatians

-       Probably Titus was Galatian

-       Acts 11/12 was before Paul’s missionary journeys (Acts 13-14)

-       Titus therefore probably not yet converted in Acts 11/12

Slide 9

8.    Granted, some omissions

-       But cannot argue from silence

-       Luke knows Paul’s collection (24:17), but almost completely omits it as not relevant to his story


-       None of the differences is “significant enough to undermine the substantial agreement of the two reports”

-       Multiple attestation

Slide 10

            Returning to the Mission Field (15:35-41)

-       God uses real- fallible- people

-       Israelite literature reported failings of heroes even during epic period

-       By now, standard for Greco- Roman biographers to admit heroes’ weaknesses

-       God’s blessing

. on the new Paul- Silas team (15:40, cf. 16:37)

. not on dispute- so unlike the council in 15:22

Slide 11


-       Judeans: intermarriage invited God’s wrath

-       Some Diaspora Jews less strict


-       Uncircumcised: Timothy’s Gentile probably forbade

-       Jewish people view him as Gentile


-       Much of Phrygia in S. Roman province of Galatia

-       N. Galatia less populated

-       Doesn’t appear in Acts- or Galatians

Slide 12

16:6-7: forbidden

Asia (16:6)

-       Major road W. to Roman Asia

Over against Mysia (16:7)

-       Could turn right to Bithynia (in N), or left to Mysia, Asia (W)

Through Mysia (16:8)

-       Proceeded NW through Mysia

-       Troas was in NW Mysia

Slide 13


-       Alexandria Troas: maybe 100,000

-       Roman colony

-       Near old Troy

-       Trojan War, Alexander: Greece invades “Asia”

-       Now Asian faith spreading into Europe

Confusing guidance

-       HS forbade: dream and interpretation

-       Later could go to Asia

-       Guidance mattered when beaten in Philippi

Slide 14




mountainous Samothrace:

-       Visible

-       1st port

-       about ½ way


-       1 or 2 best ports of south Macedonia (other was Thessalonica)

-       directly serving Philippi

-       2- day voyage indicated favorable winds (contrast 20:6), probably from NE

-       Except during winter, sea travel quicker and less expensive

-       Moving perhaps 100 miles a day

Slide 15

Neapolis, Philippi’s port city (16:12)

-       Philippi: c. 10 miles to NW across Mount Symbolum

-       E. end of the Egnatian Way (W. was Adriatic port Dyrrhachium, from which one could sail to Italy)

-       Philippi:

. proud Roman colony since 42 BC

. honorary citizens of Rome (Phil 3:20)

-       More an agricultural than commercial center, unlike many urban areas Paul visited

-       Thessalonica was Macedonia’s capital, but:

-       Philippi a “first” city of the province—one of the most eminent there (alongside Thessalonica)

Slide 16

Place of prayer (16:13)

-       In Diaspora, could = synagogue

-       But no building here

-       Maybe no quorum of 10 Jewish men

-       At least pure place near water (excavations show importance)

-       Ritual handwashing before prayer

Slide 17

River (16:13)


-       Nearest: Gangites (a tributary of the Strymon): about 1¼ miles (over 2km) from Philippi

-       Thus more than a “Sabbath day’s journey” by Pharisaic standards

-       Some others think creek Krenides

“outside the city gate”: probably colonial archway, through which the Via Egnatia went out to Gangites

Slide 18


Women more open to Asian faiths

-       Conservative Romans complained: women pursued E. religions

-       Josephus: far more women than men followed Judaism

Religion and women:

-       The one sphere where Greeks gave women any public responsibility

-       Diana cult in Philippi

Macedonian women freer than Greek

Paul’s teaching women: Judeans would deem suspicious

Slide 19

Lydia from Thyatira (16:14)


-       Common name

-       But esp. fits Thyatira in ancient Lydia

Thyatira: dyers-guilds and textiles

-       Inscriptions: other Thyatiran business agents also sold purple dye in Macedonia

-       Becoming prosperous (although most Macedonians were poor)

-       Name and trade: maybe a freedwoman

-       Many traders in purple dye: freedwomen working as agents of their former master’s businesses

Slide 20


By this period, women were sometimes engaged in business

Even slave women could become managers, just like slave men

Prob. wee-to-do as a seller of purple

-       Luxury good for over 1000 years

-       Murex shellfish, but maybe different in Macedonia

Well-to-do women:

-       Sometimes patrons of religious associations

-       Sometimes synagogue donors


-       Paul maybe staying at inn till then

-       Lydia’s hospitality patron (cf. 2 Kings 4:8-11; 1 Kings 17:13-24)

Apparently head of the household- perhaps mainly servants

Slide 21

Exorcisms and Economics


Slave girl

Cf. Peter’s critic (luke 22:56)

Contrast Rhoda (Acts 12:13)

Also cf. women proclaimers at tomb (Luke 24)

Cf. Lydia and her household

Paul initially does nothing

-       Then he spiritually liberates her

-       Worthiness to her masters afterward, so perhaps Lydia and others would physically liberate her

Slide 22

Spirit of a pythoness (16:16)

Delphic oracle of Apollo

Delphic priestess: pythoness

-       Mantic: prophesied

-       Famous (even Croesus)

-       Virgin (young)

. contrast virgins of Acts 21

-       Tripod; vapors?

-       Priests interpreted- arranged wording

-       After the “Pythian Apollo,” slayer of Python

-       Cf. Lucan’s depiction of his possession

No minor demon here!

Slide 23

Most High God (16:17)

-       “most High God”: common in Jewish texts

-       but also pagan sources: Zeus or Jewish God

-       Magic: supreme God (often = Jewish God) as most powerful

“Way of salvation”: later the jailor asks how to be “saved”

Slide 24


Exorcists often tried to use names of higher spirits to evict lower spirits (see 19:13)

But Paul uses Jesus’ name, as his agent (shaliach)

Slide 25

Spirits and spirit- possession

Slide 26

74% of societies

Have spirit possession beliefs- Bourguigon

88% in Pacific

77% around Mediterranean

Forms vary from one culture to another, but consistent psychophysiological substrate when trance states occur

Slide 27

Anthropologists typically define as:

“any altered state of consciousness indigenously interpreted in terms of the influence of an alien spirit”- Crapanzaro

Slide 28

Violent Behavior

Banging head, jumping into fire

Cutting themselves

Fire-walking or immunity to pain

Sometimes violent toward others

Slide 29

Occult phenomena

Many supposed cases may be merely personality disorders

But some more extreme:

-       Objects moving without being touched, or flying through room

-       Crucifix on wall fell, hot to the touch

Slide 30

Exorcism in anthropological literature

In some cultures, only cure for possession illness

Those who do not believe in spirits debate whether to accommodate local beliefs

Slide 31

Among Christians

E.g., 74% of Christians in Ethiopia claim to have witnessed exorcisms

My student Paul Mokake (Baptist from Cameroon):

-       Woman writhed like serpent as “sea spirits” cast out

-       Another case: blindness healed

Slide 32

Nepali pastor Mina KC

Three sisters mute for three years

Healed during exorcism

Slide 33

Robin Snelgar

Head of the department of Industrial Psychology at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth

Recounts his own former experience of an alien personality controlling him

Nothing effective until spontaneously exorcised through a Christian

Slide 34

Eusbarina Acosta Estevez

Invoking spirits: too sick to walk

Pastors prayed for her, 1988

Fell back, chairs around her thrown back

Severe heart and kidney malfunctions ended instantly

Slide 35

Reality of spirits?

Edith Turner

-       Widow of Victor Turner

-       Lecture in anthropology at the University of Virginia

-       Editor of the journal Anthropology and Humanism

Witnessed “spirit substance” ejecting during Zambian ritual

Teachers her students to experience spirits

Slide 36

Anthropologist Solon Kimball

During fieldwork in Ireland, apparition began moving toward him

His hand went through it

Discovered later that many others had seen the same figure in the area at times independently

Slide 37


Most Majority World Christians accept the reality of spirits

Have convinced increasing number of Westerners

Our proper Enlightenment reaction to superstition threw out spirits altogether

A more critical approach is to look at evidence for each case

Slide 38

 Psychiatrist Scott Peck

Most supposed “demons” are psychological problems

But he encountered two cases that could be explained only as demons

So William P. Wilson

-       Professor emeritus of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center

And many others

Slide 39

David Van Gelder, professor of counseling

16-year-old, acting like animal

Crucifix fell from fall, nails melted

“You fools, he can’t say that!”

Cast out

But professionals present: not epilepsy, psychosis, etc

All agreed this was a real spirit

Last modified: Thursday, April 11, 2019, 10:08 PM