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Q161 : Gentile Salvation and the Great Commission

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Q161 : Gentile Salvation and the Great Commission

If Peter and his fellow apostles understood that, during the period covered by the first chapters in the Book of Acts, the Great Commissions (Matthew 28:19-20 and Mark 16:14-18) authorized them to preach the gospel to Gentiles as well as Jews, why did Peter's fellow apostles find fault with Peter for preaching to Cornelius? (Acts 11:1-6).

A161 : by Tony Garland

As you observe, the Scriptures indicate that Gentile participation in the Great Commission was not initially understood by many Jews. This seems to be the primary purpose of the vision given to Peter on the rooftop in Acts 10:9-16 (compare with Acts 10:34-35). This is further clarified by Peter's reference to the event in his own defense of Gentile evangelization before fellow Jews (Acts 11:1-18).

Your question could be interpreted as implying that perhaps you understood me to teach otherwise - perhaps in some of my comments in relation to mid-Acts dispensationalism? If so, that has not been my intent. My opposition to mid-Acts dispensationalism is founded on its failure to appreciate the unique nature and historical timing of the creation of the body of Christ (Acts 2) and not on when or what any of the Apostles happened to understand or teach. Thus, I find no inconsistency in the fact that God had to clarify the nature of Gentile salvation to Peter after the coming of the Holy Spirit to form the Church, the body of Christ, composed of both Jews and Gentiles (1Cor. 12:13).

I hope this helps clarify my views.

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