Frescoes of Paul’s Ministry, Part 7: Counsil of Jerusalem

Counsil of Jerusalem, Nicola Consoni Acts 9:26 - 28

Counsil of Jerusalem, Nicola Consoni, Acts 9:26 – 28

Acts 9: 26 – 28

When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to  join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.  But Barnabas took him and brought him to the Apostles.  He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he has preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.  So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.


This scene appears to be at the entrance of the building where the Christians of Jerusalem meet.  Columns can be seen to the left, and an entrance to the building on the right.  A strong light is cast against the columns from the left, suggesting that they are near an outside light source.  Barnabas is bringing Saul toward the group.  About seven are seated along the walls with hand and facial gestures which appear to question whether Saul is truly converted to be Christ’ disciple.  Several other people stand in the doorway, looking at the interaction and each other.

One face, just in the shadow of the doorway appears to be a woman, by the length and style of her hair.  If so, this is the first woman to appear in these frescoes.  Of note, most religious traditions at this time, including Judaism, segregated men and women.  Later on, we will see that Saul, just as Jesus had, appealed to all people.  Women would become prominent in the church… not just serving coffee and muffins between services.


About hermitsdoor

Up here in the mountains, we have a saying, "You can't get there from here", which really means "We wouldn't go the trouble to do that". Another concept is that "If you don't know, we ain't telling." For the rest, you'll have to read between the lines.
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8 Responses to Frescoes of Paul’s Ministry, Part 7: Counsil of Jerusalem

  1. Laurie says:

    That does appear to be a woman at the back. Interesting.

  2. I would not have noticed that woman in the background if you hadn’t mentioned her. And you are so right: Paul specifically affirmed the role of the powerful women who helped to build the Christian church: Phoebe, Chloe, Junia and others. His view of women as church leaders is debated, but I am always pleased that he singled out these women for praise and respect.

    • hermitsdoor says:

      I doubt that the 19th century fresco painter was making a statement. Thus, I thought that I would.

      Speaking of powerful women, I was privileged to have your memoir to finish reading on the flight home the other day. I thoroughly enjoyed your stories, and their over-arching theme about relationships. Of course, it could also be my parallel path (and, therefore identificiation) with moving far from home, living in different environments, finding paradise in the countryside, working through trauma (I’m actually on the therapist side, and often work with clients who have had head injuries), and even have an Akita. I’m blessed that you came by and have stayed around for the conversation.

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