1. Galatians 2:14 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Why does Paul say Peter is forcing Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

Galatians 2:14 (ESV)

14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

Peter’s example put pressure on Gentile converts to adopt Jewish customs and norms.1 The specific Greek word that he uses has the meaning to live in a Jewish way. The Jewish historian Josephus would use this word to describe how a Roman soldier captured by the Jews during the revolt (66–70 AD) avoided execution by promising to be circumcised and live as a Jew.