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Matt 16:18 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”
John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Whatever else we can say about the historicity of Acts' account of the conference, we can confirm that the tradition available to Luke clearly placed James as the undisputed leader of the Jerusalem church.
Paul's account of the same confirms James pre-eminence. For in describing the "pillars" of Jerusalem, he placed James' name first, ahead of Peter and John:
and when James and Cephas [a] and John, who were acknowledged pillars...
The manner in which the decision was made was not one of consensus, but one in which James made a ruling:
[James speaking] "Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble those Gentiles who are turning to God, but we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from whatever has been strangled and from blood."
originally posted by: BELIEVERpriest
a reply to: windword
Yes, but Peter was the first to confess that Jesus is Christ.
Our first evidence comes from The Gospel of Thomas. The only complete copy of the gospel is dated around fourth century CE. It is in Coptic, an ancient Egyptian language, and was among various gnostic writings found in Nag Hammadi in 1945. Three fragments of the gospels in Greek, known as Papyrus Oxyrynchus 1, 654 and 655, are also extant and have been dated to no later than 200 CE. Thus the original gospel must have been around by the mid second century. Some scholars date it to around 70-90 CE, or almost contemporaneous with the canonical gospels.
What is of interest to us is logion 12 of the gospel:
The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?" Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are, you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."