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BEN: You’ve also chosen to not really deal with the references to Peter in Paul’s letters, particularly Galatians and 1 Corinthians. How come?
GENE: I wanted to focus on those parts of the New Testament where Peter is the one who is speaking, the one who bears witness. Paul talks about Peter in Galatians and 1 Corinthians, and we may add his words about Peter as an additional witness to what Peter thought. My concern in Vox Petri was to follow what we could trace back directly to Peter as the speaker.
Galatians - Peter - Rap - Reading - Conflict
I’m pleased that you brought up Galatians especially. Peter really gets a bad rap in our reading of the conflict between him and Paul at Antioch. Paul’s concern is to make the case to the Galatian churches that his gospel is the real-deal. The fact that Peter, along with the other Pillars, gave him the right hand of fellowship and that Paul could challenge Peter when he was not acting in line with his own teaching underscores, on the one hand, that Paul taught the true gospel but, on the other hand, elevates the role Peter played as a foundational theologian in the early church. Peter is a creative theologian whose primacy is recognized throughout the New Testament. He’s the first to confess that Jesus is the Christ, he’s remembered as the first witness of the resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15), he was the first leader of the early church, the first to open the gospel to the gentiles, and the first to affirm gentile inclusion in the church without cultural conversion. He was also the first to deny the Lord and be restored. I want to affirm with Cullmann that Peter stands at the beginning of Christian theology and that our understanding...
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