Info

employ in his letters.34 This was an important means by which Paul created a self-consciousness among his converts of being part of an empire-wide movement with local outposts called ekklesiai.35

Arabia, Syria and Cilicia We have no details about Paul's first missionary years in Arabia (Gal 1:17). Likely he forged here his strategy of seeking out Gentiles in Hellenised urban centres (such as Bostra and Petra). Afterwards he proclaimed the gospel in Syria and Cilicia in Asia Minor, in cities like Damascus and Antioch (Gal 1:172:2). He did not engage in missionary work in Judaea (1:22), but journeyed to Jerusalem just twice for brief consultations with the 'pillars', with whom he entered into the parallel gospels concordat authorising him to go to Gentiles (Gal 2:9; 1:17; 2:7). A territorial understanding of this agreement could not, by definition, account for mixed churches. Hence Paul was furious when representatives of James36 came to Antioch (Gentile territory) and treated it as an extension of their apostolate, 'compelling Gentiles to ioudaizein' ('live like Jews', Gal 2:14). He publicly accused Cephas (Peter) of hypocrisy for vacillating in Law observance there (Gal 2:11-14).37

Galatia and Asia Proconsularis Probably because he failed in the showdown with Cephas at Antioch, and lost Barnabas as his partner, Paul struck out on his own into the territories of Asia Minor, travelling long distances despite physical infirmity and hardships (Gal 4:13-14; cf. 2 Cor 1:8; 11:26). The 'ekklesiai of Galatia' (1:2; cf. 3:1) he founded were probably in the Roman province by that name formed by Augustus in 25 bce.38 Paul did not stop in every small village along the way in this vast province, but likely walked or rode on the major Roman road, the Via Sebaste, concentrating his attention on Hellenised, urban centres, such as Perge, the Roman veteran colony of Pisidian Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, maybe reaching as far north as

34 With Riesner, Paul's early period, 289. Even if Paul has some concept of the Table of Nations of Genesis 10 (so Scott, Paul and the Nations), tellingly he does not invoke it.

35 Whether Paul saw his mission as a deliberate challenge or alternative to the Roman imperium is currently a matter of intense interest (see e.g. Horsley, Paul and empire; Elliott, Liberating Paul).

36 This picture ofJames' viewpoint is at odds with Acts 15:13-21, a later attempt to reconcile him to Pauline teaching (Haenchen, Acts, 447-64).

37 Betz, Galatians, 105-112; further essays in Nannos, Galatians Debate.

38 On the 'north Galatian' or 'south Galatian' hypothesis see Lightfoot, Galatians, 18-21; Betz, Galatians, 1-5; Martyn, Galatians, 15-17. Decisive for me is the fact that Paul in general does overwhelmingly use Roman provincial terminology in his letters (Asia, Macedonia, Achaea, Judaea, Syria, Spania/Hispania, Illyricum).

0 0

Post a comment