In the past 2000 years the followers of Jesus have been debating the standards of Christian living. Did the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 make the law obsolete? Do we need to keep the old dietary and other laws we find in the Old Testament? Modern Christianity seems to be divided between those who still believe in Ten Commandments and the so-called antinomians who believe the “new covenant” Christians no longer need them. What could look like a minor theological disagreement could have profound influence on churches in the western world, which in turn set the moral standards for the community at large. Often religious dogmas and preconceived ideas are imposed on the meaning of the biblical text. The modern seekers of truth are looking for the clear exposition of scriptures that would be unbiased and presented with scholarly integrity. This thesis is a feeble but passionate attempt to look at the statements of the apostles in Acts 15 with their own eyes. It aims at opening a new horizon of understanding how the early Christians understood and implemented their new faith, how they endeavored to build unity and good relationships between the Jewish “fathers” of the church and the converts from the Gentiles who would later become a majority in Christendom.
Elena Butova completed her graduate diploma in pediatric medicine in 2000. In later years she discovered a gift in biblical exegesis and successfully did her Master of Theology from the University of Wales in 2005?2011 and PhD in biblical studies from Avondale College in Australia in 2011?2016. As a Christian theologian Elena believes that modern society including both scholars and common readers expects sound and well-argued biblical research as well as its relevancy to the present needs of humanity. Elena currently works as a church pastor in Pakenham lakeside church in Melbourne, Australia, and teaches New Testament studies by invitation in Europe and the U.S.