oa Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary - Interpreting Peter's vision in Acts 10:9-16

Volume 13, Issue 03
  • ISSN : 1996-8167



The paper challenges the traditional Christian interpretation of Peter's vision in Acts 10:9-16. The text, in its biblical context, and together with related developments in early church history, point conclusively to a single interpretation: that the Gentiles have been cleansed by God. The vision does not nullify Jewish dietary laws or the Mosaic Law in general, since there is no support for the interpretation that the vision also pertains to the cleansing of unclean food. This conclusion contradicts the traditional Christian interpretation that the vision has a two-fold meaning, though it is not unique in the literature. The main implication is that Christians need to reassess their reading of the New Testament, and especially Paul, on the Law, in the light of recent literature which challenges traditional interpretations and posits various solutions to age-old disputes.

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