THE JERUSALEM DECREE, PAUL, AND THE GENTILE ANALOGY TO HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS

Authors


Jon C. Olson, a Mennonite, is Clinical Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts, School of Public Health. His ethical writings include “Chutzpah and Gelassenheit,” The Mennonite 107:22 (Nov. 24, 1992) and “Reflections on Michael Wyschogrod's Critique of Jewish Christianity,” Kesher: A Journal of Messianic Judaism 18 (Winter 2005). Jon C. Olson, School of Public Health, University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA 01003, jcolson@schoolph.umass.edu

ABSTRACT

Revisionists and traditionalists appeal to Acts 15, welcoming the Gentiles, for analogies directing the church's response to homosexual persons. John Perry has analyzed the major positions. He faults revisionists for inadequate attention to the Jerusalem Decree and faults one traditionalist for using the Decree literally rather than through analogy. I argue that analogical use of the Decree must supplement rather than displace the plain sense. The Decree has been neglected due to assumptions that Paul opposed it, that it expired, or because Gentiles wanted non-kosher meat. I argue that Paul continued to observe the Torah and supported the Decree, that it has not expired, and that Gentile desire for non-kosher meat is not a firm obstacle. Affirming the plain sense of the Decree, I develop the analogy from Acts 15 to homosexual persons.

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