Yet what happened soon afterward indicates that he and James were far from reconciled: almost immediately after Paul left Jerusalem, James began sending his own missionaries to Paul’s congregations in Galatia, Corinth, Philippi, and most other places where Paul had built a following, in order to correct Paul’s unorthodox teachings about Jesus. Paul was incensed by these delegations, which he viewed, correctly, as a threat to his authority. Almost all of Paul’s epistles in the New Testament were written after the Apostolic Council and are addressed to congregations that had been visited by these representatives from Jerusalem (Paul’s first letter, to the Thessalonians, was written between 48 and 50 C.E.; his last letter, to the Romans, was written around 56 C.E.). That is why these letters devote so much space to defending Paul’s status as an apostle, touting his direct connection to Jesus, and railing against the leaders in Jerusalem who, “disguising themselves as apostles of Christ,” are, in Paul’s view, actually servants of Satan who have bewitched Paul’s followers (Corinthians 11:13–15). Nevertheless, James’s delegations seem to have had an impact, for Paul repeatedly lambastes his congregations for abandoning him: “I am amazed at how quickly you have deserted the one who called you” (Galatians 1:6). He implores his followers not to listen to these delegations, or to anyone else for that matter, but only to him: “If anyone else preaches a gospel contrary to the gospel you received [from me], let him be damned” (Galatians 1:9). Even if that gospel comes “from an angel in heaven,” Paul writes, his congregations should ignore it (Galatians 1:8). Instead, they should obey Paul and only Paul: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Feeling bitter and no longer tethered to the authority of James and the apostles in Jerusalem (“Whatever they are makes no difference to me”), Paul spent the next few years freely expounding his doctrine of Jesus as Christ. Whether James and the apostles in Jerusalem were fully aware of Paul’s activities during this period is debatable. After all, Paul was writing his letters in Greek, a language neither James nor the apostles could read. Moreover, Barnabas, James’s sole link to Paul, had abandoned him soon after the Apostolic Council for reasons that are unclear (though it bears mentioning that Barnabas was a Levite and as such would probably have been a strict observer of Jewish law). Regardless, by the year 57 C.E., the rumors about Paul’s teachings could no longer be ignored. And so, once again, he is summoned to Jerusalem to answer for himself. This time, James confronts Paul directly, telling him that it has come to his attention that Paul has been teaching believers “to forsake Moses” and “not circumcise their children or observe the customs [of the law]” (Acts 21:21). Paul does not respond to the accusation, though this is exactly what he has been teaching. He has even gone so far as to say that those who let themselves be circumcised will have “cut themselves off from Christ” (Galatians 5:2–4).