Thursday, 7 May 2015

Susan Griffith: Apostolic authority and the ‘incident at Antioch’: Chrysostom on Galatians 2:11-14

Paul’s confrontation of Peter in Antioch, as related in Galatians 2:11-14, caused much consternation for the exegetes of the early church. Controversy over how these two foundational apostles could clash produced multiple divergent theories, and even provided fodder for pagan critics. Chrysostom’s interpretation of the passage is often incorrectly lumped with that of other fathers. This paper looks closely at Chrysostom’s elaborate explanation in his occasional homily on the pericope (In illud: In faciem ei restiti), and compares this to the exegesis found in his better-known sermon series on Galatians (In epistulam ad Galatas commentarius). Chrysostom’s interpretations are placed in the context of other patristic and pagan understandings and deployments of the Pauline text, as well as the history of the development of concepts of authority in the early church.

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