Paul versus Peter: Glaring Hypocrisy

In another post, we considered if Paul was a Nicolaitan,[1] or someone who exerted undue power over others. The conclusion was that he did, in some way or another. This chapter is going to elaborate some more on this idea by considering Paul and Peter’s relationship and an event that allegedly took place between them.

Everyone can recall the dispute between Peter and Paul. Supposedly, Peter was compelling Gentile converts to live like Jews. He would sit with them and teach them the Torah. But when the Jews who were with James, an elder at Jerusalem, would come around, Peter would switch seats and sit with the Jews. This upset Paul who "bravely rebuked" Peter publicly, never mind Jesus’ own teaching on such things.[2]


Gal 2:11-14  But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Remember, mainstream Evangelicals and Dispensationalists want us to believe there are a number of Gospels, one for the Jews and another for the Gentiles. For Paul, Peter was endangering the Gentiles by instructing them in the law. For Paul, this was "another Gospel." For Paul, Peter was technically “accursed” for teaching such to Gentiles.[3] I must ask: do you see the antagonism; do you see the rift?[4]

What’s more, you’ll notice that there are no other witnesses to this event. We have to take Paul at his word. One thing we know for certain, it’s that Paul was against the counsel of the church at Jerusalem concerning Gentiles in the faith.[5]

If you’re discerning, you’ll notice the church’s decision in Acts 15, then you’ll see that the decision was written down, and it was entrusted to Paul, Barnabus, and Silas (vv. 22), but you’ll also notice that Paul never gave that exact counsel in his epistles.


Now, if you can suspend pre-conceived ideas, you’ll notice Paul’s staggering hypocrisy in light of the previous dispute. We only need to go to two more places to discover the issue.

1Co 9:19-23  For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

1Co 10:31-33  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

Here, we see Paul doing the exact thing he supposedly rebuked Peter for. I don’t think much else needs to be said. But what can you expect from someone who thinks the apostles of the Messiah are “nothing” and can’t add anything to his own personal revelation?


A discerning person would notice and accept the reality that Paul is a hypocrite. Peter isn’t allowed to compel Gentiles to live as Jews, but Paul is allowed to “please all men in all things”? To some, this is noticeable but it’s excused. But for the skeptic, I’ll say again that Paul’s method was synchronism, ecumenicism. It mattered not to Paul, as long as people believed “his gospel,” that is. Otherwise, they weren’t under grace. But then what of the twelve and their “Gospel of the circumcision” in contrast to his? Such distinctions shouldn’t be made if we want all men to follow Jesus. Yet, Paul stands as a veritable roadblock to the one we must all come to. 


[1] "All in Asia..."

[2] Matthew 18:15-20

[3] Galatians 1:8,9

[4] Antagonism

[5] Acts 15:13-21


This is an on going study and is subject to revisions.