Galatians 6 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 701)

Galatians 6 Good News Translation (GNT)

Bear One Another’s Burdens

My friends, if someone is caught in any kind of wrongdoing, those of you who are spiritual should set him right; but you must do it in a gentle way. And keep an eye on yourselves, so that you will not be tempted, too. Help carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will obey[a]the law of Christ. If you think you are something when you really are nothing, you are only deceiving yourself. You should each judge your own conduct. If it is good, then you can be proud of what you yourself have done, without having to compare it with what someone else has done. For each of you have to carry your own load.

If you are being taught the Christian message, you should share all the good things you have with your teacher.

Do not deceive yourselves; no one makes a fool of God. You will reap exactly what you plant. If you plant in the field of your natural desires, from it you will gather the harvest of death; if you plant in the field of the Spirit, from the Spirit you will gather the harvest of eternal life. So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest. 10 So then, as often as we have the chance, we should do good to everyone, and especially to those who belong to our family in the faith.

Final Warning and Greeting

11 See what big letters I make as I write to you now with my own hand! 12 The people who are trying to force you to be circumcised are the ones who want to show off and boast about external matters. They do it, however, only so that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Even those who practice circumcision do not obey the Law; they want you to be circumcised so that they can boast that you submitted to this physical ceremony. 14 As for me, however, I will boast only about the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; for by means of his cross the world is dead to me, and I am dead to the world. 15 It does not matter at all whether or not one is circumcised; what does matter is being a new creature. 16 As for those who follow this rule in their lives, may peace and mercy be with them—with them and with all of God’s people!

17 To conclude: let no one give me any more trouble, because the scars I have on my body show that I am the slave of Jesus.

18 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, my friends. Amen.

Footnotes:

  1. Galatians 6:2 you will obey; some manuscripts have obey.

Galatians 5 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 700)

Galatians 5 Good News Translation (GNT)

Preserve Your Freedom

Freedom is what we have—Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again.

Listen! I, Paul, tell you that if you allow yourselves to be circumcised, it means that Christ is of no use to you at all. Once more I warn any man who allows himself to be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the whole Law. Those of you who try to be put right with God by obeying the Law have cut yourselves off from Christ. You are outside God’s grace. As for us, our hope is that God will put us right with him; and this is what we wait for by the power of God’s Spirit working through our faith. For when we are in union with Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor the lack of it makes any difference at all; what matters is faith that works through love.

You were doing so well! Who made you stop obeying the truth? How did he persuade you? It was not done by God, who calls you. “It takes only a little yeast to make the whole batch of dough rise,” as they say. 10 But I still feel confident about you. Our life in union with the Lord makes me confident that you will not take a different view and that whoever is upsetting you will be punished by God.

11 But as for me, my friends, if I continue to preach that circumcision is necessary, why am I still being persecuted? If that were true, then my preaching about the cross of Christ would cause no trouble. 12 I wish that the people who are upsetting you would go all the way; let them go on and castrate themselves!

13 As for you, my friends, you were called to be free. But do not let this freedom become an excuse for letting your physical desires control you. Instead, let love make you serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is summed up in one commandment: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” 15 But if you act like wild animals, hurting and harming each other, then watch out, or you will completely destroy one another.

The Spirit and Human Nature

16 What I say is this: let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature. 17 For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to what our human nature wants. These two are enemies, and this means that you cannot do what you want to do. 18 If the Spirit leads you, then you are not subject to the Law.

19 What human nature does is quite plain. It shows itself in immoral, filthy, and indecent actions; 20 in worship of idols and witchcraft. People become enemies and they fight; they become jealous, angry, and ambitious. They separate into parties and groups; 21 they are envious, get drunk, have orgies, and do other things like these. I warn you now as I have before: those who do these things will not possess the Kingdom of God.

22 But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature with all its passions and desires. 25 The Spirit has given us life; he must also control our lives. 26 We must not be proud or irritate one another or be jealous of one another.

Galatians 4 (TBRM Day 699)

Galatians 4 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 4

God’s Free Children in Christ.[a] I mean that as long as the heir is not of age,[b] he is no different from a slave, although he is the owner of everything, but he is under the supervision of guardians and administrators until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were not of age, were enslaved to the elemental powers of the world.[c] But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. As proof that you are children,[d] God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

Do Not Throw This Freedom Away.[e] At a time when you did not know God, you became slaves to things that by nature are not gods;[f]but now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and destitute elemental powers? Do you want to be slaves to them all over again? 10 You are observing days, months, seasons, and years.[g] 11 I am afraid on your account that perhaps I have labored for you in vain.[h]

Appeal to Former Loyalty.[i] 12 I implore you, brothers, be as I am, because I have also become as you are.[j] You did me no wrong; 13 you know that it was because of a physical illness[k] that I originally preached the gospel to you, 14 and you did not show disdain or contempt because of the trial caused you by my physical condition, but rather you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 Where now is that blessedness of yours?[l] Indeed, I can testify to you that, if it had been possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 So now have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They show interest in you, but not in a good way; they want to isolate you,[m] so that you may show interest in them. 18 Now it is good to be shown interest for good reason at all times, and not only when I am with you. 19 My children, for whom I am again in labor until Christ be formed in you! 20 I would like to be with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed because of you.

An Allegory on Christian Freedom.[n] 21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the freeborn woman. 23 The son of the slave woman was born naturally, the son of the freeborn through a promise. 24 Now this is an allegory. These women represent two covenants. One was from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar. 25 Hagar represents Sinai,[o] a mountain in Arabia; it corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery along with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is freeborn, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written:

“Rejoice, you barren one who bore no children;
    break forth and shout, you who were not in labor;
for more numerous are the children of the deserted one
    than of her who has a husband.”[p]

28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of the promise. 29 But just as then the child of the flesh persecuted the child of the spirit, it is the same now. 30 But what does the scripture say?

“Drive out the slave woman and her son!
    For the son of the slave woman shall not share the inheritance with the son”

of the freeborn. 31 Therefore, brothers, we are children not of the slave woman but of the freeborn woman.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1–7 What Paul has argued in Gal 3:26–29 is now elaborated in terms of the Christian as the heir (Gal 4:1, 7; cf. Gal 3:18, 29) freed from control by others. Again, as in Gal 3:2–5, the proof that Christians are children of God is the gift of the Spirit of Christ relating them intimately to God.
  2. 4:1, 3 Not of age: an infant or minor.
  3. 4:3 The elemental powers of the world: while the term can refer to the “elements” like earth, air, fire, and water or to elementary forms of religion, the sense here is more likely that of celestial beings that were thought in pagan circles to control the world; cf. Gal 4:8; Col 2:8, 20.
  4. 4:6 Children: see note on Gal 3:26; here in contrast to the infant or young person not of age (Gal 3:1, 3). Abba: cf. Mk 14:36 and the note; Rom 8:15.
  5. 4:8–11 On the basis of the arguments advanced from Gal 3:1 through Gal 4:7, Paul now launches his appeal to the Galatians with the question, how can you turn back to the slavery of the law (Gal 4:9)? The question is posed with reference to bondage to the elemental powers (see note on Gal 4:3) because the Galatians had originally been converted to Christianity from paganism, not Judaism (Gal 4:8). The use of the direct question is like Gal 3:3–5.
  6. 4:8 Things that by nature are not gods: or “gods that by nature do not exist.”
  7. 4:10 This is likely a reference to ritual observances from the Old Testament, promoted by opponents: sabbaths or Yom Kippur, new moon, Passover or Pentecost, sabbatical years.
  8. 4:11 Cf. Gal 2:2. If the Galatians become slaves…all over again to the law (Gal 4:9), Paul will have worked in vain among them.
  9. 4:12–20 A strongly personal section. Paul appeals to past ties between the Galatians and himself. He speaks sharply of the opponents (Gal 4:17–18) and pastorally to the Galatians (Gal 4:19–20).
  10. 4:12 Because I have also become as you are: a terse phrase in Greek, meaning “Be as I, Paul, am,” i.e., living by faith, independent of the law, for, in spite of my background in Judaism (Gal 1:13), I have become as you Galatians are now, a brother in Christ.
  11. 4:13 Physical illness: because its nature is not described, some assume an eye disease (Gal 4:15); others, epilepsy; some relate it to 2 Cor 12:7–9. Originally: this may also be translated “formerly” or “on the first (of two) visit(s)”; cf. Acts 16:6; 18:23.
  12. 4:15 That blessedness of yours: possibly a reference to the Galatians’ initial happy reception of Paul (Gal 4:14) and of his gospel (Gal 1:6; 3:1–4) and their felicitation at such blessedness, but the phrase could also refer ironically to earlier praise by Paul of the Galatians, no longer possible when they turn from the gospel to the claims of the opponents (Gal 4:17–18; 1:7). If the word is a more literal reference to a beatitude, Gal 3:26–28 may be in view.
  13. 4:17 Isolate you: that is, from the blessings of the gospel and/or from Paul.
  14. 4:21–31 Paul supports his appeal for the gospel (Gal 4:9; 1:6–9; 2:16; 3:2) by a further argument from scripture (cf. Gal 3:6–18). It involves the relationship of Abraham (Gal 3:6–16) to his wife, Sarah, the freeborn woman, and to Hagar, the slave woman, and the contrast between the sons born to each, Isaac, child of promise, and Ishmael, son of Hagar (Gn 16; 21). Only through Isaac is the promise of God preserved. This allegory (Gal 4:24), with its equation of the Sinai covenant and Mosaic law with slavery and of the promise of God with freedom, Paul uses only in light of previous arguments. His quotation of Gn 21:10 at Gal 4:30 suggests on a scriptural basis that the Galatians should expel those who are troubling them (Gal 1:7).
  15. 4:25 Hagar represents Sinai…: some manuscripts have what seems a geographical note, “For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia.”
  16. 4:27 Is 54:1 in the Septuagint translation is applied to Sarah as the barren one (in Gn 15) who ultimately becomes the mother not only of Isaac but now of numerous children, i.e., of all those who believe, the children of the promise (Gal 4:28).

Galatians 3 (TBRM Day 698)

Galatians 3 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

IV. Faith and Liberty

Chapter 3

Justification by Faith.[a] O stupid[b] Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?I want to learn only this from you: did you receive the Spirit from works of the law, or from faith in what you heard?[c] Are you so stupid?After beginning with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?[d]Did you experience so many things[e] in vain?—if indeed it was in vain. Does, then, the one who supplies the Spirit to you and works mighty deeds among you do so from works of the law or from faith in what you heard? Thus Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[f]

[g]Realize then that it is those who have faith who are children of Abraham. Scripture, which saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, foretold the good news to Abraham, saying, “Through you shall all the nations be blessed.” Consequently, those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham who had faith. 10 [h]For all who depend on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not persevere in doing all the things written in the book of the law.” 11 And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear, for “the one who is righteous by faith will live.” 12 But the law does not depend on faith; rather, “the one who does these things will live by them.” 13 Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree,” 14 that the blessing of Abraham might be extended to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

The Law Did Not Nullify the Promise. 15 [i]Brothers, in human terms I say that no one can annul or amend even a human will once ratified.16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his descendant.[j] It does not say, “And to descendants,” as referring to many, but as referring to one, “And to your descendant,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came four hundred and thirty years afterward,[k]does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to cancel the promise. 18 For if the inheritance comes from the law, it is no longer from a promise; but God bestowed it on Abraham through a promise.[l]

19 [m]Why, then, the law? It was added for transgressions, until the descendant[n] came to whom the promise had been made; it was promulgated by angels at the hand of a mediator. 20 Now there is no mediator when only one party is involved, and God is one. 21 Is the law then opposed to the promises [of God]? Of course not! For if a law had been given that could bring life, then righteousness would in reality come from the law. 22 But scripture confined all things under the power of sin, that through faith in Jesus Christ the promise might be given to those who believe.

What Faith Has Brought Us.[o] 23 Before faith came, we were held in custody under law, confined for the faith that was to be revealed.24 Consequently, the law was our disciplinarian[p] for Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a disciplinarian. 26 For through faith you are all children of God[q] in Christ Jesus. 27 [r]For all of you who were baptized into Christhave clothed yourselves with Christ.[s] 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendant, heirs according to the promise.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:1–14 Paul’s contention that justification comes not through the law or the works of the law but by faith in Christ and in his death (Gal 2:16, 21) is supported by appeals to Christian experience (Gal 3:1–5) and to scripture (Gal 3:6–14). The gift of God’s Spirit to the Galatians came from the gospel received in faith, not from doing what the law enjoins. The story of Abraham shows that faith in God brings righteousness (Gal 3:6; Gn 15:6). The promise to Abraham (Gal 3:8; Gn 12:3) extends to the Gentiles (Gal 3:14).
  2. 3:1 Stupid: not just senseless, for they were in danger of deserting their salvation.
  3. 3:2 Faith in what you heard: Paul’s message received with faith. The Greek can also mean “the proclamation of the faith” or “a hearing that comes from faith.”
  4. 3:3 On the contrast of Spirit and flesh, cf. Rom 8:1–11. Having received the Spirit, they need not be circumcised now.
  5. 3:4 Experience so many things: probably the mighty deeds of Gal 1:5 but possibly the experience of sufferings.
  6. 3:6 Abraham…righteousness: see Gn 15:6; Rom 4:3. The Galatians like Abraham heard with faith and experienced justification. This first argument forms the basis for the further scriptural evidence that follows.
  7. 3:7–9 Faith is what matters, for Abraham and the children of Abraham, in contrast to the claims of the opponents that circumcision and observance of the law are needed to bring the promised blessing of Gn 12:3; cf. Gn 18:18; Sir 44:21; Acts 3:25.
  8. 3:10–14 Those who depend not on promise and faith but on works of the law are under a curse because they do not persevere in doing all the things written in the book of the law (Gal 3:10; Dt 27:26) in order to gain life (Gal 3:12; Lv 18:5; cf. Rom 10:5). But scripture teaches that no one is justified before God by the law (Gal 3:11; Hb 2:4, adapted from the Greek version of Habakkuk; cf. Rom 1:17; Hb 10:38). Salvation, then, depends on faith in Christ who died on the cross (Gal 3:13), taking upon himself a curse found in Dt 21:23 (about executed criminals hanged in public view), to free us from the curse of the law (Gal 3:13). That the Gentile Galatians have received the promised Spirit (Gal 3:14) by faith and in no other way returns the argument to the experience cited in Gal 3:1–5.
  9. 3:15–18 A third argument to support Paul’s position that salvation is not through the law but by promise (Gal 3:1–14) comes from legal practice and scriptural history. A legal agreement or human will, duly ratified, is unalterable (Gal 3:15). God’s covenant with Abraham and its repeated promises (Gn 12:2–3, 7; 13:15; 17:7–8; 22:16–18; 24:7) is not superseded by the law, which came much later, in the time of Moses. The inheritance (of the Spirit and the blessings) is by promise, not by law (Gal 3:18). Paul’s argument hinges on the fact that the same Greek word, diathēkē, can be rendered as will or testament (Gal 3:15) and as covenant (Gal 3:17).
  10. 3:16 Descendant: literally, “and to his seed.” The Hebrew, as in Gn 12:7; 15:18; 22:17–18, is a collective singular, traditionally rendered as a plural, descendants, but taken by Paul in its literal number to refer to Christ as descendant of Abraham.
  11. 3:17 Four hundred and thirty years afterward: follows Ex 12:40 in the Greek (Septuagint) version, in contrast to Gn 15:13 and Acts 7:6, for chronology.
  12. 3:18 This refutes the opponents’ contention that the promises of God are fulfilled only as a reward for human observance of the law.
  13. 3:19–22 A digression: if the Mosaic law, then, does not save or bring life, why was it given? Elsewhere, Paul says the law served to show what sin is (Rom 3:20; 7:7–8). Here the further implication is that the law in effect served to produce transgressions. Moreover, it was received at second hand by angels, through a mediator, not directly from God (Gal 3:19). The law does not, however, oppose God’s purposes, for it carries out its function (Gal 3:22), so that righteousness comes by faith and promise, not by human works of the law.
  14. 3:19 The descendant: Christ (Gal 3:16). By angels: Dt 33:2–4 stressed their presence as enhancing the importance of the law; Paul uses their role to diminish its significance (cf. Acts 7:38, 53). A mediator: Moses. But in a covenant of promise, where all depends on the one God, no mediator is needed (Gal 3:20).
  15. 3:23–29 Paul adds a further argument in support of righteousness or justification by faith and through God’s promise rather than by works of the law (Gal 2:16; 3:22): as children of God, baptized into Christ, the Galatians are all Abraham’s descendant and heirs of the promise to Abraham (Gal 3:8, 14, 16–18, 29). The teaching in Gal 3:23–25, that since faith (Christianity) has come, we are no longer under the law, could be taken with the previous paragraph on the role of the Mosaic law, but it also fits here as a contrast between the situation before faith (Gal 3:23) and the results after faith has come (Gal 3:25–29).
  16. 3:24–25 Disciplinarian: the Greek paidagōgos referred to a slave who escorted a child to school but did not teach or tutor; hence, a guardian or monitor. Applying this to the law fits the role of the law described in Gal 3:19–25.
  17. 3:26 Children of God: literally “sons,” in contrast to the young child under the disciplinarian in Gal 3:24–25. The term includes males and females (Gal 3:28).
  18. 3:27–28 Likely a formula used at baptism that expresses racial, social-economic, and sexual equality in Christ (cf. Col 3:11).
  19. 3:27 Clothed you

Galatians 2 (TBRM Day 697)

Galatians 2 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 2

The Council of Jerusalem.[a] Then after fourteen years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas,[b] taking Titus along also. I went up in accord with a revelation,[c] and I presented to them the gospel that I preach to the Gentiles—but privately to those of repute—so that I might not be running, or have run, in vain. Moreover, not even[d] Titus, who was with me, although he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised, but because of the false brothers[e] secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy on our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, that they might enslave us— to them we did not submit even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel[f] might remain intact for you. But from those who were reputed to be important (what they once were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those of repute made me add nothing. [g]On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter to the circumcised, for the one who worked in Peter for an apostolate to the circumcised worked also in me for the Gentiles, and when they recognized the grace bestowed upon me, James and Cephas and John,[h]who were reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas their right hands in partnership, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, we were to be mindful of the poor,[i] which is the very thing I was eager to do.

Peter’s Inconsistency at Antioch.[j] 11 And when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong.[k]12 For, until some people came from James,[l] he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to draw back and separated himself, because he was afraid of the circumcised. 13 And the rest of the Jews[m] [also] acted hypocritically along with him, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not on the right road in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of all, “If you, though a Jew, are living like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”[n]

Faith and Works.[o] 15 We, who are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles, 16 [yet] who know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.[p] 17 But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves are found to be sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin?[q] Of course not! 18 But if I am building up again those things that I tore down, then I show myself to be a transgressor.[r] 19 For through the law I died to the law,[s] that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ; 20 yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.

Footnotes:

  1. 2:1–10 Paul’s second journey to Jerusalem, according to Galatians, involved a private meeting with those of repute (Gal 2:2). At issue was a Gentile, Titus, and the question of circumcision, which false brothers (Gal 2:4) evidently demanded for him. Paul insists that the gospel he preaches (Gal 2:2; cf. Gal 1:9, 11) remained intact with no addition by those of repute (Gal 2:6); that Titus was not compelled to accept circumcision (Gal 2:3); and that he and the reputed pillars in Jerusalem agreed on how each would advance the missionary task (Gal 1:7–10). Usually, Gal 1:1–10 is equated with the “Council of Jerusalem,” as it is called, described in Acts 15. See notes on Acts 15:6–12, 13–35, the latter concerning the “decree” that Paul does not mention.
  2. 2:1 After fourteen years: thirteen or more years, probably reckoned from the return to Syria and Cilicia (Gal 1:21), though possibly from Paul’s calling as a Christian (Gal 1:15). Barnabas: cf. Gal 2:9, 13; 1 Cor 9:6. A Jewish Christian missionary, with whom Paul worked (Acts 4:36–37; 11:22, 25, 30; 12:25; 13:1–3; 15:2). Titus: a missionary companion of Paul (2 Cor 2:13; 7:6, 13–15; 8:6, 16, 23; 12:18), non-Jewish (Gal 2:3), never mentioned in Acts.
  3. 2:2 A revelation: cf. Gal 1:1, 12. Paul emphasizes it was God’s will, not Jerusalem authority, that led to the journey. Acts 15:2 states that the church in Antioch appointed Paul and Barnabas for the task. Those of repute: leaders of the Jerusalem church; the term, while positive, may be slightly ironic (cf. Gal 1:6, 9). Run, in vain: while Paul presents a positive picture in what follows, his missionary work in Galatia would have been to no purpose if his opponents were correct that circumcision is needed for complete faith in Christ.
  4. 2:3 Not even a Gentile Christian like Titus was compelled to receive the rite of circumcision. The Greek text could be interpreted that he voluntarily accepted circumcision, but this is unlikely in the overall argument.
  5. 2:4 False brothers: Jewish Christians who took the position that Gentile Christians must first become Jews through circumcision and observance of the Mosaic law in order to become Christians; cf. Acts 15:1.
  6. 2:5 The truth of the gospel: the true gospel, in contrast to the false one of the opponents (Gal 1:6–9); the gospel of grace, used as a norm (Gal 2:14).
  7. 2:7–9 Some think that actual “minutes” of the meeting are here quoted. Paul’s apostleship to the Gentiles (Gal 1:16) is recognized alongside that of Peter to the Jews. Moreover, the right to proclaim the gospel without requiring circumcision and the Jewish law is sealed by a handshake. That Paul and colleagues should go to the Gentiles did not exclude his preaching to the Jews as well (Rom 1:13–16) or Cephas to Gentile areas.
  8. 2:9 James and Cephas and John: see notes on Gal 1:18, 19; on Peter and John as leaders in the Jerusalem church, cf. Acts 3:1 and Acts 8:14. The order here, with James first, may reflect his prominence in Jerusalem after Peter (Cephas) departed (Acts 12:17).
  9. 2:10 The poor: Jerusalem Christians or a group within the church there (cf. Rom 15:26). The collection for them was extremely important in Paul’s thought and labor (cf. Rom 15:25–28; 1 Cor 16:1–4; 2 Cor 8–9).
  10. 2:11–14 The decision reached in Jerusalem (Gal 2:3–7) recognized the freedom of Gentile Christians from the Jewish law. But the problem of table fellowship between Jewish Christians, who possibly still kept kosher food regulations, and Gentile believers was not yet settled. When Cephas first came to the racially mixed community of Jewish and Gentile Christians in Antioch (Gal 2:12), he ate with non-Jews. Pressure from persons arriving later from Jerusalem caused him and Barnabas to draw back. Paul therefore publicly rebuked Peter’s inconsistency toward the gospel (Gal 2:14). Some think that what Paul said on that occasion extends through Gal 2:16, 21.
  11. 2:11 Clearly was wrong: literally, “stood condemned,” by himself and also by Paul. His action in breaking table fellowship was especially grievous if the eating involved the meal at the Lord’s supper (cf. 1 Cor 11:17–25).
  12. 2:12 Some people came from James: strict Jewish Christians (cf. Acts 15:1, 5; 21:20–21), either sent by James (Gal 1:19; 2:9) or claiming to be from the leader of the Jerusalem church. The circumcised: presumably Jewish Christians, not Jews.
  13. 2:13 The Jews: Jewish Christians, like Barnabas. Hypocrisy: literally, “pretense,” “play-acting”; moral insincerity.
  14. 2:14 Compel the Gentiles to live like Jews: that is, conform to Jewish practices, such as circumcision (Gal 2:3–5) or regulations about food (Gal 2:12).
  15. 2:15–21 Following on the series of incidents cited above, Paul’s argument, whether spoken to Cephas at Antioch or only now articulated, is pertinent to the Galatian situation, where believers were having themselves circumcised (Gal 6:12–13) and obeying other aspects of Jewish law (Gal 4:9–10; 5:1–4). He insists that salvation is by faith in Christ, not by works of the law. His teaching on the gospel concerns justification by faith (Gal 2:16) in relation to sin (Gal 2:17), law (Gal 2:19), life in Christ (Gal 2:19–20), and grace (Gal 2:21).
  16. 2:16 No one will be justified: Ps 143:2 is reflected.
  17. 2:17 A minister of sin: literally, “a servant of sin” (cf. Rom 15:8), an agent of sin, one who promotes it. This is possibly a claim by opponents that justification on the basis of faith in Christ makes Christ an abettor of sin when Christians are found to be sinners. Paul denies the conclusion (cf. Rom 6:1–4).
  18. 2:18 To return to observance of the law as the means to salvation would entangle one not only in inevitable transgressions of it but also in the admission that it was wrong to have abandoned the law in the first place.
  19. 2:19 Through the law I died to the law: this is variously explained: the law revealed sin (Rom 7:7–9) and led to death and then to belief in Christ; or, the law itself brought the insight that law cannot justify (Gal 2:16; Ps 143:2); or, the “law of Christ” (Gal 6:2) led to abandoning the Mosaic law; or, the law put Christ to death (cf. Gal 3:13) and so provided a way to our salvation, through baptism into Christ, through which we die (crucified with Christ; see Rom 6:6). Cf. also Gal 3:19–25 on the role of the law in reference to salvation.

Galatians 1 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 696)

Galatians 1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I. Address

Chapter 1

Greeting.[a] Paul, an apostle[b] not from human beings nor through a human being but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead, [c]and all the brothers who are with me, to the churches of Galatia: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, [d]who gave himself for our sins that he might rescue us from the present evil age in accord with the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

II. Loyalty to the Gospel[e]

I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you[f]by [the] grace [of Christ] for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach [to you] a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed![g] As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!

10 Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.[h]

III. Paul’s Defense of His Gospel and His Authority[i]

His Call by Christ. 11 Now I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel preached by me is not of human origin. 12 For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.[j]

13 [k]For you heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it, 14 and progressed in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my race, since I was even more a zealot for my ancestral traditions. 15 But when [God], who from my mother’s womb had set me apart and called me through his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him to the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult flesh and blood,[l] 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; rather, I went into Arabia[m] and then returned to Damascus.

18 [n]Then after three years[o] I went up to Jerusalem to confer with Cephas and remained with him for fifteen days. 19 But I did not see any other of the apostles, only James the brother of the Lord.[p] 20 (As to what I am writing to you, behold, before God, I am not lying.) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was unknown personally to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; 23 they only kept hearing that “the one who once was persecuting us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 So they glorified God because of me.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1–5 See note on Rom 1:1–7, concerning the greeting.
  2. 1:1 Apostle: because of attacks on his authority in Galatia, Paul defends his apostleship. He is not an apostle commissioned by a congregation (Phil 2:25; 2 Cor 8:23) or even by prophets (1 Tm 1:18; 4:14) but through Jesus Christ and God the Father.
  3. 1:2 All the brothers: fellow believers in Christ, male and female; cf. Gal 3:27–28. Paul usually mentions the co-sender(s) at the start of a letter, but the use of all is unique, adding weight to the letter. Galatia: central Turkey more likely than the Roman province of Galatia; see Introduction.
  4. 1:4 The greeting in v 3 is expanded by a christological formula that stresses deliverance through the Lord Jesus from a world dominated by Satan; cf. 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2; 6:12.
  5. 1:6–10 In place of the usual thanksgiving (see note on Rom 1:8), Paul, with little to be thankful for in the Galatian situation, expresses amazement at the way his converts are deserting the gospel of Christ for a perverted message. He reasserts the one gospel he has preached (Gal 1:7–9) and begins to defend himself (Gal 1:10).
  6. 1:6 The one who called you: God or Christ, though in actuality Paul was the divine instrument to call the Galatians.
  7. 1:8 Accursed: in Greek, anathema; cf. Rom 9:3; 1 Cor 12:3; 16:22.
  8. 1:10 This charge by Paul’s opponents, that he sought to conciliate people with flattery and to curry favor with God, might refer to his mission practices (cf. 1 Cor 9:19–23) but the word still suggests it refers to his pre-Christian days (cf. Gal 1:14; Phil 3:6). The self-description slave of Christ is one Paul often uses in a greeting (Rom 1:1).
  9. 1:11–2:21 Paul’s presentation on behalf of his message and of his apostleship reflects rhetorical forms of his day: he first narrates the facts about certain past events (Gal 1:12–2:14) and then states his contention regarding justification by faith as the gospel message (Gal 2:15–21). Further arguments follow from both experience and scripture in Galatians 3; 4 before he draws out the ethical consequences (Gal 5:1–6:10). The specific facts that he takes up here to show that his gospel is not a human invention (Gal 1:11) but came through a revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal 1:12) deal with his own calling as a Christian missionary (Gal 1:13–17), his initial relations with the apostles in Jerusalem (Gal 1:18–24), a later journey to Jerusalem (Gal 2:1–10), and an incident in Antioch involving Cephas and persons from James (Gal 2:11–14). The content of Paul’s revealed gospel is then set forth in the heart of the letter (Gal 2:15–21).
  10. 1:12 Although Paul received his gospel through a revelation from Christ, this did not exclude his use of early Christian confessional formulations. See note on Gal 1:4.
  11. 1:13–17 Along with Phil 3:4–11, which also moves from autobiography to its climax in a discussion on justification by faith (cf. Gal 2:15–21), this passage is Paul’s chief account of the change from his former way of life (Gal 1:13) to service as a Christian missionary (Gal 1:16); cf. Acts 9:1–22; 22:4–16; 26:9–18. Paul himself does not use the term “conversion” but stresses revelation (Gal 1:12, 16). In Gal 1:15 his language echoes the Old Testament prophetic call of Jeremiah. Unlike the account in Acts (cf. Acts 22:4–16), the calling of Paul here includes the mission to proclaim Christ to the Gentiles (Gal 1:16).
  12. 1:16 Flesh and blood: human authorities (cf. Mt 16:17; 1 Cor 15:50). Paul’s apostleship comes from God (Gal 1:1).
  13. 1:17 Arabia: probably the region of the Nabataean Arabs, east and south of Damascus.
  14. 1:18–24 Paul’s first journey to Jerusalem as a Christian, according to Galatians (cf. Acts 9:23–31 and the note on Acts 12:25). He is quite explicit about contacts there, testifying under oath (Gal 1:20). On returning to Syria (perhaps specifically Damascus, cf. Gal 1:17) and Cilicia (including his home town Tarsus, cf. Acts 9:30; 22:3), Paul most likely engaged in missionary work. He underscores the fact that Christians in Judea knew of him only by reputation.
  15. 1:18 After three years: two years and more, since Paul’s call. To confer with Cephas may mean simply “pay a visit” or more specifically “get information from” him about Jesus, over a two-week period. Cephas: Aramaic name of Simon (Peter); cf. Mt 16:16–18 and the notes there.
  16. 1:19 James the brother of the Lord: not one of the Twelve, but a brother of Jesus (see note on Mk 6:3). He played an important role in the Jerusalem church (see note on Gal 2:9), the leadership of which he took over from Peter (Acts 12:17). Paul may have regarded James as an apostle.

Letter to the Galatians: Introduction (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 695)

BOOK NAME

Letter of Paul to the GALATIANS.

DATE OF WRITING

If it is addressed to the Galatians in the north, the letter was probably written around A.D. 54 or 55, most likely from Ephesus after Paul’s arrival there for a stay of several years on his third missionary journey (Acts 19; 20:31). On the South Galatian theory, the date would be earlier, perhaps A.D. 48–50. Involved is the question of how one relates the events of Gal 2:1–10 to the “Council of Jerusalem” described in Acts 15 (source usccb.org).

BIBLE CATEGORY

The 9th Book of the New Testament.
Is a Pauline epistle and the Ninth book of the New Testament of the Bible.

THE AUTHOR

Apostle Paul.
Paul refers to his own name as “Paul” twice in Galatians (Galatians 1:1 and 5:2).

Purpose of Writing:

The churches in Galatia were comprised of both Jewish and Gentile converts. Paul’s purpose in writing to these churches was to confirm them in the faith, especially concerning justification by faith alone, apart from the works of the Law of Moses.

Galatians was written because the churches of that region were facing a theological crisis. The essential truth of justification by faith rather than by human works was being denied by the Judaizers—legalistic Jews who insisted that Christians must keep the Mosaic Law. In particular, the Judaizers insisted on circumcision as a requirement for Gentiles who wished to be saved. In other words, convert to Judaism first, and then you are eligible to become a Christian. When Paul learned that this heresy was being taught to the Galatian churches, he composed an epistle to emphasize our liberty in Christ and to counter the perversion of the gospel that the Judaizers promoted.
(source:gotquesionsdotorg)

The Book

Paul’s authority in these churches was being challenged by a certain set of teachers. These teachers were Jewish Christians who insisted that Gentiles would have to be circumcised and practice the whole Mosaic law in order to be full members of the Christian church. Scholars debate the origin of these teachers and their exact views. The Galatian Christians are mostly Gentile and on hearing the letter they must decide whether to follow the corrupt teachers or return to the authentic Christian understanding which Paul presents.

Paul begins by establishing his authority as an apostle. Apparently, his opponents had accused him of not being a true apostle or of being inferior to the other apostles. Paul explains from his life story how God called him to be an apostle and gave him the revelation of Jesus (1:16). He consulted with Peter (Cephas) and James in Jerusalem and then proclaimed the gospel for 14 years without seeing the other apostles. When he did see them again, they approved of the message he had been preaching to the Gentiles (cf. Acts 15).

But Paul confronted Peter in Antioch because Peter had stopped eating with the Gentiles out of fear of the false Jewish teachers-the “circumcision party.” Paul challenged Peter’s hypocritical behavior. It is significant that Peter and Paul did not have an intellectual or doctrinal dispute, but only an argument about Peter’s actions.

The central theological question of Galatians is justification: How is a person saved? If we forget the original context of the letter and do not read it as a whole, we are bound to get confused by the arguments Paul sets forward. He confronts the false teachers insisting that “all who rely on works of the law are under a curse” (3:10). When he uses the word “law” he is referring to the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, the Law of Moses. So the phrase “works of the law” primarily refers to doing things that the Law of Moses proscribed like circumcision and dietary restrictions. Paul makes it very clear that “a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ” (2:16). We cannot earn our salvation. Jesus won our salvation by his death on the cross. We obtain this salvation by faith, which is a free gift of God.

Though the Law cannot save us (3:11), it does serve a specific function as a schoolmaster or guardian which prepares us for Christ (3:24). The Law prepared the people of Israel for the coming of the Son of God, so that they may be transformed from slaves of the Law to sons of God. Paul announces the great freedom we have in Christ as sons of God. He regards the Law of Moses as a “yoke of slavery” (5:1). Thus if a Gentile Christian accepts circumcision, he is obliged to keep the whole Law because he is trying to justify himself by works of the Law, not by the grace of Christ. He reverts from sonship to slavery.

Galatians introduces a very helpful piece of spiritual wisdom, that we are to walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh (5:16-26). When we become Christians, the desires of the sinful nature (the flesh) are supplanted by the desires of the Spirit. The struggle for holiness is the working out of these opposing desires.

Finally, though Paul emphasizes the free gift of salvation in Christ by faith, he also mentions the importance of doing good (6:9) and constantly acting in love. We are called to accept salvation through faith in Jesus and to pursue holiness by walking in Spirit and doing good.

By Mark Giszczak(source:http://www.catholicnewsagency.com)

THE CONTENT

The six chapters naturally fall into three divisions, consisting of two chapters each.

In the first two chapters, after the general introduction, he shows that he is an Apostle not from men, nor through the teaching of any man, but from Christ; and the gospel he taught is in harmony with the teaching of the great Apostles, who gave him the right hand of fellowship.

He next (iii, iv) shows the inefficacy of circumcision and the Law, and that we owe our redemption to Christ alone. He appeals to the experience of the Galatian converts, and brings forward proofs from Scripture.

He exhorts them (v, vi) not to abuse their freedom from the Law to indulge in crimes, “for they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God.” It is not for love of them he admonishes, that the Judaizers wish the Galatians to be circumcised. If there is virtue in the mere cutting of the flesh, the inference from the argument is that the Judaizers could become still more perfect by making themselves eunuchs — mutilating themselves like the priests of Cybele. He writes the epilogue in large letters with his own hand.
(source: http://www.newadvent.org)