Paul went further north and west to Derbe and Lystra, where he'd been opposed
by Mosaic law followers in teaching
salvation by faith before (Acts 14:6-21).
After having Timothy circumcised "because of the Jews" nearby who would accept
him better that way, Paul has
Timothy help him spread the news of how the Jeru-
salem meeting of apostles, etc., handled the Antioch, etc./Mosaic law
problem with its decisions, and they encouraged faith. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=acts%2016;&version=49
The common view of the four rules of the Council of Jerusalem sees this as
Luke, the author, using the immediate
context to make sure you don't miss the
point of the four rules at Acts 15 being sent to the Gentiles to make it easier
the Jewish law followers to accept them socially--"Because Moses is
taught...." Likewise, Paul has Timothy circumcised
"because of the Jews" with
no further explanation.
Apostle Paul and some disciples went to Jerusalem and shared greetings with
James and all the elders.
Paul told of the accomplishments God made among the
Gentiles through his teaching. James and other Christians told
Paul there were
thousands of believers among the Jews, but many were zealous about a need for
Christians to follow Jewish
law. These followers were upset about hearing that
Paul taught the Jews who were among the Gentiles to forsake Moses,
not be cir-
cumcised, and not follow Jewish customs, and they would hear that Paul was vis-
Because of them, James and his group told Paul to take four others and go
through a Jewish cleansing ritual
with them for all to know about. The upset
followers would see that Paul keeps the law (at least in respecting what
required for socialization). As for the Gentile believers, they've been sent a
letter to abstain from things
offered to idols, blood, things strangled, and
The common view of the Council of Jerusalem (p.35) sees this as another exam-
ple of context making sure the
reader sees how to interpret the four rules sent
to the Gentiles "Because Moses is taught...." (See the section on
above.) Paul is told by James and the others in Jerusalem to go through a Jew-
ish cleansing ritual
because of the Jews zealous for the law, etc., "but as for
the Gentiles...." we send them the four rules of the council.
The next chapters include apostle Paul's writings about what a Christian's
views about food should be,
the only substantial explanations about that in the
Bible. A notable thing about them is he doesn't mention a blood
ently bled animal meat ban, but instead writes like he has no absolute ban of
eating a food, even when
giving some other reason for not eating a food.
Fornication is a sin.
Paul here teaches the proper Christian view of the obligation some Christians
felt to obey Jewish laws about
holy days (Lev.23) and caused them to eat just
vegetables. Most likely those vegetarians were following Jewish law
avoiding the meat available locally because it predominantly came from idol
temple sacrifices--it was considered
to be meat from an animal slaughtered by a
Gentile so it was unclean and wasn't koshered of blood. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%2014;&version=49
The crucifixion had the result of Christians being free of those concerns, so
isn't obliged to obey them--such
obedience is an arbitrary matter of personal
conscience. Most important is faith in the Lord (in the JWs leaders'
of the "Lord"s of Romans are changed to "Jehovah"s; see p.4), and to be diplo-
matic about the Jewish law
followers and not alienate them from Christian faith
over the matter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_to_the_Romans http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_the_Apostle
This diplomacy includes not eating or drinking certain things around them
(esp. verse 21). Christians
must serve the Lord before themselves or each oth-
er, and such diplomacy is better for bringing the faithful to him.
eats or abstains from eating without proper confident faith, the lack of proper
faith is the sin. (Rom.14:2,3,6,15,17,20,21,23).
By the common view of the four rules of the Council of Jerusalem, Paul here
wrote that Christians have
no blanket ban of meat because they didn't have one.
He wrote about abstaining circumstantially around Jewish law followers,
was a concern Christians had to gain Jewish law followers to Jesus.
By the JWs leaders' stance, their stance on the degree of blood removal would
be implied since most meat in
Rome wasn't koshered of blood. But if Paul had
the JWs leaders' view of food bans, this would have been a good opportunity
explain it, but he wrote as if it wasn't a consideration.