Here is a link to an article that just appeared in the Lexington-Herald Leader by Rich Copley. http://www.kentucky.com/2012/10/06/2361867/rich-copley-asbury-professor-featured.html
Two things about this article: 1) I don’t teach at Asbury University (my wife does); 2) It is the view of Robert Orlando that “To put it literally, it was Paul saying, if you’re Jewish, you can follow Jesus because you’re a Jew. You have a birthright to do it. But if you were a Gentile, you had to pay a fee, an entrance fee, to be allowed the same treatment as the Jewish faith.” My view would be that this IS totally incorrect. Paul is making a collection to help the poor in Jerusalem and he hopes it will bind his congregations to the mother church. He never suggests that Gentiles have to pay a fee to follow Jesus. Indeed, Paul would completely repudiate such a notion because in his view salvation and following Jesus comes through believing, not through some fee or even through a direct and cordial connection with the Jerusalem Church.
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