Bruce, F.F. The Book of Acts Revised. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988. Kindle Electronic Edition. “III. The Acts of Peter and Beginnings of Gentile Christianity (9:32-12:25)” “C. Peter’s Action Endorsed at Jerusalem (11:1-18)” pp. 218-223.
Peter’s behavior in Acts chapter 10 was certainly seen as radical. Upon his return to Jerusalem, those who endorsed conversion to Judaism prior to conversion to Christianity confronted Peter. They didn’t think it appropriate for Christians and Gentiles to associate (Bruce 1988, 220). These people are referred to as “the circumcision party.” The concern specifically included eating together. Jews generally identified food and community. As the foods eaten by Gentiles were not considered ceremonially clean, all the interactions were normally banned.
In response to this critique, Peter told of his vision in Joppa (Bruce 1988, 221). He went on to describe his visit from Cornelius’ messengers. Those who accompanied Peter to Jerusalem were eyewitnesses of the encounter with Cornelius. Bruce notes that Peter gives a number of details here which were not included in chapter ten. The critical message is that salvation came to Cornelius’ house by the proclamation of the Gospel (Bruce 1988, 222). God brought salvation to Gentiles in the same way he brought it to Jews. The circumcision party was amazed. They were turned from critics to supporters of Gentile conversion (Bruce 1988, 223).