From Pentecost – Council of Jerusalem

When Jesus was crucified, the disciples
were afraid and were hiding
 After Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples are
still hiding but they are not as afraid
 Jesus appears to the disciples and tells
them that He will return (Ascend) to the
Father but that He is going to be sending
the Holy Spirit.
10 days after the Ascension, the disciples gathered for
Shavuot (Jewish Pentecost)
oTo commemorate Moses’ reception of the Ten
They are celebrating
Shavuot when, suddenly:
o A violent wind blew
through the room
o Tongues of fire
appeared above their
o All were filled with the
Holy Spirit
o All began to speak
other languages (in
o The disciples
experienced first hand
the power of God –
Holy Spirit
Result of this experience: the disciples …
oKnew that God was calling them to a special mission
oWere no longer afraid of persecution or death.
oRenewed their identity as followers of Jesus – The Way
oEvent known as the Birthday of the Church (Christianity)
Even though the followers of
Christ were baptized in his
name, they still saw
themselves as “Jews”.
 Worshipped in temple,
synagogue, and homes
Many Gentiles are
converting to The Way
› Worship idols
› Eat meat
› Pagan customs
Jews(Christians) want
Gentiles to become Jews
› Circumcision
 Sign of the covenant
 Chosen people
On the way from
Lydda to Joppa
(north & west of
Has a vision of food
› Lowered on a sheet
are all kinds of
foods: all sorts of
“four footed animals
and birds of the air”
 Unclean animals (see
› A voice tells him to
kill and eat them
God makes them pure
Peter learns from his
dream that God has
no favorites
Peter explains his
vision to the disciples
Peter has also
witnessed the Holy
Spirit coming down
upon all Gentiles
Most of the disciples
accept Peter’s
Council of Jerusalem: the issue of
Circumcision continues
› Certain followers of the Way,
who were Pharisees, said,
“Unless you are circumcised
according to the custom of
Moses, you cannot be saved.”
(Acts 15:1)
› Disciples now had to address
the problem head on:
 Should Gentiles become
Jewish in order to be Christian?
› The council of Jerusalem
allowed the church leaders to
voice their opinions.
What was said:
Peter argued:
God gave the gentiles the
Holy Spirit
Their hearts were clean
They only need to have faith
in Jesus, no other rules
Paul and Barnabas testified
to the miracles and healing
they had done among
James decided
Gentiles OK w/out
circumcision & Mosaic Law
They must abstain from
Eating food sacrificed to idols
(Geek or Roman gods)
Eating meat not killed in a
kosher way: “strangled”
Eating the blood of an animal
Council of Jerusalem cont.
Council of Jerusalem:
the Sequel
All settled?
Certain followers of the Way
in Jerusalem still insisted that
all Gentiles
be circumcised and
keep the 613 Laws
of Moses
Jerusalem Church very
› Strong Jewish-Christian identity.
› Gentile converts expected to attend
synagogue, study Torah, and be Jewish –
like the rest of the Christians
For them, being “Christian” means being
Different from Jerusalem:
› Very accepting of Gentiles from the
 “God Fearers” in the Synagogues
 “God Fearers” refers to Gentiles who have
converted to Christianity but have not
become Jews- no circumcision
Gentile Converts accepted “As Is”
› 1st community to use the name
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