If you have been following my summaries of Jerome Murphy-O’Connor’s Paul: A Critical Life, you have become aware of his comprehensive theory that Paul broke decisively with his base church at Antioch after his confrontation with Peter there. Furthermore, the Antioch church then plagued Paul by sending people to subvert his Gentile mission in Galatia, at Philippi, and as far as Corinth.
This theory of the break with Antioch and the continuing opposition of Judaizers representing that church shaped Murphy-O’Connor’s position on several things. Today I want to point out how it affects two issues and causes him to hold a distinctive view on those.
First, is the issue of Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”. Paul mentioned this in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10:
Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me – so that I…
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