John Kilgallen, «Hostility to Paul in Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13,45) — Why?», Vol. 84 (2003) 1-15
Throughout Acts 13–14 Luke brings to the reader’s knowledge opponents of Paul who are called " the Jews" . The present essay attempts to clarify the meaning of this short-hand identification of Paul’s Jewish opponents. It seems best to understand these particular Jews in the light of zealotry which has its roots in centuries of vigorous defense of Jewish religious convictions.
inclined to hostile persecution for the sake of preserving their heritage. Luke is not ignorant of their strong convictions, but he is convinced that they were wrong and a source of extreme, but insuperable difficulty for the spread of the word of the Lord.
On the other hand, Luke shows, in his championing the Pauline theology of an earlier time, that this zeal and its consequent opposition and persecution made ever clearer the hand of God in history: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. Acts 13 and 14 incorporate this theology as it explains ever more clearly the gracious willingness of God to grant first to Jew, then to the Gentiles ‘the holy things entrusted to David for Israel’.
In reflecting on the sense of ‘the word of the Lord’, for which almost all the town gathered to here, I concluded that, short of any other explanation, the content of the ‘word’ is essentially what Paul preached in his homily in the synagogue of Antioch. This being the most likely case, one draws the further conclusion that the essence of what Christianity had to give to the pagans was the ‘good news’ (eu)aggelizo/meqa) or the ‘promise’ (e)paggeli/a) assured to ‘our fathers’. Ultimately, this is translated into ‘the holy things’, ‘forgiveness of sins’ and ‘justification’. There need be no other preaching described here. Thus, what is thoroughly Jewish in content and form is to be understood to be what best fits the needs and desires of the pagans36.
One might find this Lucan way of combining the messages to Jews and Gentiles strange. Yet, it follows the Lucan scheme: what Jesus, then the apostles preach is nothing more than what completes the hopes and promises of the Old Testament, what Paul preaches is essentially what Peter preaches37, and what Peter (as well as the