Please explain why "nowhere in his writings does Paul appeal to the decisions of such a Council, which were clearly so completely in his favour, nor does he ever appear in the slightest allusion or reference to be conscious of their existence." (S G F Brandon p.131).
Galatians 2 speaks of no Council, only a private meeting with the acknowledged leaders, who he then goes on to denigrate in verses 6 & 7. If there is unity in the early church, who is Paul arguing with in Galatians ?
As you clearly know, lack of evidence is not evidence of lack. There are innumerable things which Paul does not mention. He does not mention the weather, yet certainly there was weather. He does not mention that Jesus fed the 5000, but that does not mean that it did not happen. Your quote from Brandon proves nothing at all. I suppose it is worth noting, but Paul raised points relevant to the issues he was dealing with at the time. Basically, the decision was for Paul to be able to continue doing what he was already doing anyway. It is not clear at all that he needed to mention it in, say, the book of Colossians. What would he have said?There was unity but there were also disputes. That is the way it is in any functioning, working, effective group of people. Paul disputed with Barnabus, but they remained life-long friends. Paul opposed the presence of Mark on his trip, but later called him one of his most reliable disciples. Paul and Peter had strong disagreements, but because they were brothers in Christ, they worked it out and formed a united front to bring the gospel to the Gentiles.People are looking for a reason to conclude that the theology of Paul and Peter disagreed, but Peter himself publicly supported the theology of Paul. Yes, they disagreed. The council in Jerusalem included some tough conversations, but the church came together and supported the work of Paul. It is not all a Polyanna story. Demas left. The church in Corinth had a terrible sin issue, as well as arguments over who was following whom. Paul said that wolves from their own number would come in and attack the church. Nevertheless, the gospel was recorded, the New Testament was written, and we have the influence and the inspiration of God to thank for that.Galatians 2 mentions a private meeting. How is that a contradiction with regard to the council? I assume that this private meeting actually happened. Are you prepared to insinuate that Paul is lying about this meeting? Are you prepared to insinuate that Luke is making up the Jerusalem Council out of whole cloth? This is completely illogical stuff created, not because of any evidence, but because of a predisposition to find fault with the Bible.John Oakes