I have been considering the opposition to Paul since reading Jerome Murphy-O’Connor’s Paul: A Critical Life. Although I could not totally agree with his theory of Paul’s opponents, his treatment did make this a bigger issue in my mind. Some kind of a counter mission seemed to be going on. Murphy-O’Connor makes a good case for the “thorn in the flesh” being Paul’s recurring opponents.
Of course, all the opponents were not the same. Those in Thessalonica, Colossae, and at least some of those at Corinth were probably local. But those who came to Galatia and those mentioned in Philippians seem to be people engaged in a counter mission against Paul. Murphy-O’Connor adds the external opponents of Paul at Corinth.
The majority opinion among scholars is that these were Judaizers, a term which usually means a party that wanted Gentiles to become Jewish proselytes in order to be welcomed…
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