BEN: I am wondering whether you think Paul’s collection for the saints in Jerusalem successfully achieved Paul’s goals for it, as listed in Rom. 15 and elsewhere, or whether it was not well received, or at least received without the outcomes Paul hoped for. What do we make of Paul’s post-Romans correspondence where he is totally silent about the outcome, nor does Luke give any positive hints in Acts, really.
SCOT: Brother, I wish I knew. I read Acts and I sometimes think that offering almost for his people is about the collection and other times I’m not sure, and it is the absence of Jewish help for Paul when in prison in Caesarea Maritima and it makes me wonder if they rejected his collection. I believe Paul was in tension with some Jerusalem leaders from the outset of his gentile mission and so when I think they may have rejected his collection, I think, “Well, I’m not surprised.” When I think of this through the grid of Paul’s amazing vision of bringing gentiles into the covenant, I think “They should have embraced that collection as a man of good faith.” I wish I knew but the evidence of Acts doesn’t convince me either way, and Romans 15 suggests he’s not 100% confident.BEN: Do you think when Paul speaks of a mysterion in Romans 11, he is referring to a vision he had which reversed the order of things Jews assumed when it came to the end things?? Jewish belief was based on Zechariah and Isaiah etc. They assumed Diaspora Jews would come streaming up to Zion and Gentiles begging to go with them grabbing their coat tails. No says Paul, the full number of Gentiles will be saved first, and then when the Redeemer returns from heavenly Zion ‘he will turn away the impiety of Jacob’ and all Israel will be saved…. By grace through faith in Jesus. Comments?
SCOT: I’m not sure I could say the mystery is a vision but a conceptual understanding of the inclusion of gentiles in the one people of God. On the flocking of gentiles to Zion, the discussion of missionary literature is whether it is flowing to and that Paul reversed it to a flowing toward them. So, I think your point has merit.