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Why did Paul go to Jerusalem the first time?


Galatians 2:1 - 10

ESV - 1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain.

Clarify Share Report Asked May 10 2013 Mini Maria Diaz

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Mini John Appelt
To answer this question, it would be helpful to reconstruct the timeline of events following the conversion of Paul, known then as Saul.

Saul met the Lord on the road to Damascus, Acts 9:1-7, 22:6-8, and 26:11-18.

Saul was led into Damascus, Acts 9:8, and spent some days with the disciples at Damascus, Acts 9:19. 

Saul then went to Arabia. Paul’s point in Galatians 1:15-20 was that his commission came from the Lord, not by conferring with flesh and blood or by the apostles in Jerusalem. Instead, he went to Arabia where likely he was alone with God in the manner of Elijah to do some soul searching. This would have been the place to unlearn the legalism he had been brought up under and unlearn the strong feelings that Pharisees had against the Gentiles. This would be where he received revelation and learned his New Testament theology.

Saul returned again to Damascus, Galatians 1:17, Acts 26:20, where he preached Christ likely for a few months and then escaped down the wall in a basket, Acts 9:19-23, II Corinthians 11:32-33. (This dates before King Aretas IV of Nabatea died in AD 40. He was the father of Herod (the tetrarch) Antipas’ first wife.)

Saul went to Jerusalem for the first time in the third year from his conversion, probably concerned about his people, the Jews, that they might know Christ. There he saw Peter (but none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother) and spent 15 days there, Galatians 1:18, 19. Acts 9:26-30 seems to fit here. Barnabas reassured the disciples that Saul was a believer. Saul moved about in Jerusalem debating with Hellenistic Jews until they attempted to put him to death. Believers whisked him away sending him to Tarsus. Acts 26:20 adds he went throughout the region of Judea and then to the Gentiles. Acts 22:17-21 says he was praying in the temple when the Lord told him to hurry out of Jerusalem, for they would not receive his testimony. The Lord said, “Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.” 

Saul went and preached in the regions of Syria and Cilicia, Galatians 1:21, Acts 9:30. See Acts 15:23. 

Saul was invited by Barnabas to minister with him in Antioch, Acts 11:19-26.

Saul and Barnabas went out on the first missionary journey, Acts 13-14, returning to Antioch.

Saul with Barnabas and Titus went the second time to Jerusalem fourteen years after the first visit to Jerusalem, Galatians 2:1. Some say fourteen years from his conversion, but the interval from the first visit is the natural sense of the Greek. They shared God’s working among the Gentiles at the Council of Jerusalem, Acts 15:12. (This was about AD 49, which dates his conversion about AD 32).

Suggested timeline:
30 – crucifixion of Jesus
31-32 – conversion of Saul
32-34 – Arabia and Damascus
35 – first visit to Jerusalem
46 or 47 – famine relief visit 
47-49 – first missionary journey 
49 – second visit to Jerusalem at the Council

February 04 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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