Chapter 8: Interview the Fourth.—Peter at Antioch.—Deputies to Antioch From Jerusalem, Judas and Silas.—Paul Disagrees With Peter and Barnabas, Quits Antioch, and on a Missionary Excursion Takes With Him Silas. What Concerns the Partition Treaty, Down to This Period, Reviewed.—Peter and the Apostles Justified
Seection 1: Paul's Account of This Interview Quoted.—Acts Account of What Followed Upon It
We now come to the last of the four different and more or less distant occasions on which a personal intercourse, in some way or other, is recorded as having had place, between Paul on the one part, and the Apostles or some of them on the other, antecedently to that, on which Paul's history, so far as any tolerably clear, distinct, and material, information has descended to us, closes. Of this interview, the scene lies at Antioch: Peter having, for some consideration no otherwise to be looked for than by conjecture, been led to pay a visit, to that place of Paul's then habitual abode, after, and, as seems probable, in consequence of, Paul's third recorded visit to Jerusalem—his Deputation Visit.
Let us now cast an eye on the documents. Respecting Paul's disagreement with Peter, the only one we have, is that which has been furnished us by Paul himself. It consists of the following passage in his Epistle to his Galatians.
Let us now see the account, given in the Acts, of what passed in Antioch, in relation to Paul, Barnabas and Silas,—during a period, which seems to be either the same, or one in contiguity with it, probably antecedent to it.
With regard to Paul's separation from Barnabas, departure from Antioch, and taking Silas for a companion,—we have nothing from Paul himself: nothing, from any other source, than, as above, the Acts.
In Paul's account, however, may be seen a passage,(Galatians 2:13.) by which some light is thrown upon the breach of Paul with Barnabas. In the Acts, though the "contention" is said to be "sharp," no cause is stated for it, other than a difference respecting the choice of a companion: namely, on an excursion, which they are represented as having agreed to make, in the company of each other, as before.
But, according to Paul, he had had cause of complaint, against his old friend Barnabas, on another account. Barnabas had sided with the Apostles: Barnabas had been "carried away with their dissimulation"; by the dissimulation of those Apostles of Jesus, the virtuous simplicity of the self-constituted Apostle, so he desires his Galatian disciples to believe, had been foiled.