The Conflict Between Jerusalem and Antioch

272B The Conflict Between Jerusalem and Antioch

First-century Christianity should not be viewed as a monolithic institution.  The Church was diverse from its very inception.  Paul’s congregations differed in doctrine and practice from congregations in Judea.  The Antiochene Church differed from both Jerusalem and the Pauline congregations.  One of the most glaring encounters between Antioch and Jerusalem was the Antinomian conflict.  New Testament scholar F. C. Baur was the first to propose that there were two evangelistic campaigns in the early Christian community.  The Jerusalem Church organized the first campaign.  Paul organized the second campaign.  Observance of the Torah was at the center of the antinomian controversy.  Should new Gentile converts to Christianity be compelled to convert to Judaism and observe the Torah?  Both the Book of Acts and the Epistle to the Galatians help us understand this early theological controversy.

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