withstood him

Galatians 2:11

2:11 withstood him. This incident is not mentioned in Acts or anywhere else but here. Galatians 2:11-13 indicates that not only Peter but Barnabas also, and possibly James, had been so intimidated by the Judaizers who had come down from Jerusalem to Antioch (Paul called them “false brethren” in Galatians 2:4), that they tried to compromise with them, “fearing them which were of the circumcision” (Galatians 2:12). These apostles all knew better (Acts 10, 11, 15) but, like many modern Christians, were temporarily tempted to compromise the true gospel for the sake of expediency and outward harmony. Paul, therefore, had to rebuke even these leaders, and they evidently accepted his rebuke and abandoned their compromising behavior (in particular, that of refusing to eat with the Gentile Christians). Parenthetically, this clearly indicates that Peter was not infallible, and could hardly have been a “pope,” in the later sense of that title, as some came to believe. Paul clearly here exhibited a superior understanding of God’s will and method.

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