So was it a bribe? Was Paul attempting to use the generosity of the Gentile churches as a way to get approval from the Jerusalem authorities for his Gentile mission? Was this what Paul means in Galatians 2:9-10 when he recounts that James and John endorsed his mission, with the proviso that he "remember the poor"? Was it a polite bribe? That is how some New Testament scholars have described it. And now it is the basis of a new film about the Apostle Paul.
Robert Orlando is the writer and director of the soon to be released A Polite Bribe. This movie/documentary looks at the story of Paul and the collection that he gathered for the Jerusalem church. It features a wide selection of New Testament scholars from across the theological spectrum.
Below is a trailer for the film. The promotional web site also contains a number of short video clips featuring some of the scholars interviewed in the film. The trailer says it is being released in "select theaters" on December 29th. Somehow I don't think Ashland will be one of those "select theaters." I will post more as information becomes available.