Barnabas was a highly respected Jewish Christian. According to the Acts of the Apostles, his first name was Joseph, but the apostles gave him the nickname Barnabas („Son of Encouragement“) because of his gift for promoting the award-winning Church (Acts 4,36). When Paul was expelled from the Church of Jerusalem after his conversion, Barnabas was the only one who was ready to go to this dangerous ancient persecutor of the Church, to bring him into the circle of the apostles and to believe in God`s grace in his life (Acts 9:27). Later, the church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to Antioch to oversee the mission to the pagans. Barnabas was also old enough to accept the radical new practice of welcoming the pagan converts into the Church, for he focused on the grace of God (Acts 11,22). Barnabas chose Paul to join him in this ministry at Antioch (Acts 11:25). The Christians of Antioch sent Barnabas and Paul back to the poor church of Jerusalem with a gift of famine (Acts 11,27-30). Some time after his return from Jerusalem, the Church of Antioch sent Barnabas and Paul on a mission to Cyprus and southern Galatia (Acts 13, 1-14, 28). Returning from this trip, they were sent back to Jerusalem to solve the problem of Jewish relations in the Church (Acts 15,1-35). This brief retrospective of Barnabas` account in the Acts of the Apostles leads us to the Jerusalem Conference, which is the subject of this section of Paul`s autobiography. It is important for us to see from this report that a member of Paul`s team was an eminent Jewish Christian leader in the early Church, known for his ability to be a bridge builder between the different factions of the Church. Our attempts to build the unity of the Church will fail if we are overwhelmed by the impressive appeal of Church leaders. Let us not forget that God does not measure men by their public calling, but by their response to the Gospel.

Let us not be afraid to do the same. One day, I heard an artist say, „Great works of art, „originals,“ are not judged by us; we are judged by them. Similarly, the Gospel is not judged by the great leaders; Great leaders are addressed there. And they agreed: Peter would go to the Jews, and Paul to the heathens. But the plan did not address a circumstance: what should be done in churches that contained both Jews and pagans? This is the next step in history. Paul`s words are: „When Cephas arrived in Antioch… Paul presents this theme as if readers already knew that Peter had gone to Antioch and that they knew what Peter had done there. Paul`s opponents had probably told the story; Paul now says to his side: „I challenged him before his face, because he was doomed“ (1:11). Other scholars say that it is unlikely that Paul visited Jerusalem during the famine visit, without meeting anyone and discussing this subject, and to answer the objections, Paul should have included all his visits to Jerusalem, no matter what was said. In Gal 2:2 he explicitly states that the discussions were private, whereas the Council of the 15th Acts of the Apostles was a public debate. He says he is responding to a revelation that is well associated with Acts 11:28. And Galatians 2:10 said that the apostles wanted him to continue to remember the poor, as if he had already done something for the poor – aiding in starvation. In a controversy like this, it probably needed more than a discussion. This means that Paul wrote Galatien before the Council of Jerusalem and that Paul wrote to the inhabitants of Pisidia, Lystra, Derbe and Iconium in South Galatia.

These cities were in the province of Galatie, although the people were not galatians of ethnic origin.