Bill Heroman’s blog has a nice extension of the question I raised yesterday about Peter and Corinth. He gives five good reasons to think that Peter did in fact go to Corinth, three of which are quite convincing.
Here’s his “thought experiment.”
If Peter had innocently assumed all the gentile issues had really been fixed by Jerusalem’s letter (an assumption easier to maintain from Jerusalem, but one which Paul’s entire career proves is false) – then Peter probably went in unprepared; overconfident that all was well. The controversies were all taken care of. In that mindset, Peter casually mentions Jerusalem’s letter. At that point, most likely, someone in Corinth says, “What letter?”
Good question — what evidence do we have that Paul ever distributed the letter from the Apostolic council? He never refers to it in his letters, even if there is good reason that he might. Perhaps Peter went to Corinth in order to “check out” the Pauline mission to Gentiles as he did with Philip’s mission in Antioch, or even the diaspora situation in Antioch. (I think Barnabas went first for that reason, but quickly gave way to Paul). This is (for me) the best explanation for Peter’s presence in Corinth.