and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Galatians 2:9

koinónia n def that which is shared in common, a partnership

pronounced koy-nohn-ee’-ah

The right hand of fellowship was given by James, Cephas (Peter), and John to Paul and Barnabas. This signified to the Jerusalem church and others at the church council referred to here in Galatians and in Acts 15 that Paul’s preaching of the gospel agreed with their preaching of the gospel. The gesture also assured that Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles was on equal footing with Peter’s ministry to the Jews.

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  • […] Although Paul stressed his independence from the twelve apostles he also recognized their leadership. They weren't superior to him, but he describes Peter, James and John as "pillars" of the Jerusalem church. They recognized Paul's leadership in his ministry to the Gentiles as being equal the Peter's ministry to the Jews. Paul and his commission are affirmed and symbolized by the three apostle leaders giving to Paul and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship. […]

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