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.
seemingly simple statement cannot not contain in it the reason for zeal and jealousy on the part of the group identified by the new term ‘oi( Ioudai=oi’ — these latter will not agree that God wants offered to ta_ e!qnh more than what has been offered to Godfearers.
IV. oi( 'Ioudai=oi
The term oi( 'Ioudai=oi appears in Acts8, but offers little help in precise understanding of the group that Luke signals to us here. The immediate context has its own contribution and is decisive9. One notices that Jewish believers in Antioch are, before v. 44, referred to explicitly as a!ndrej 'Israhli=tai and a!ndrej a)delfoi/, ui(oi_ ge/nouj 'Abraa_m; as a unit they are called to_n lao/n (v. 15); none of these terms is associated with hostility characterized by jealousy and zeal, nor are they repeated when the account turns to opposition and persecution. Nor can polloi_ tw=n 'Ioudai/wn (v. 43), who are so enthusiastic about Paul and Barnabas, be synonymous with ‘the Jews’ of v. 4510.
‘The Jews’ has existence (and hence meaning) only in the context of zeal and jealousy in regard to the pagans over ‘the word of the Lord’. From this story one would not rule out the possibility that oi( 'Ioudai=oi of v. 45 includes at least some, if few, of ‘the Godfearers’. In other words, Luke’s story suggests that the term ‘the Jews’ is characterized by religious persuasion about religious truths, not by ethnic identity11. Thus, one can conclude, in this context, that not all