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Coming of Age in the First Century AD

KARMA

from Google Images

Paul uses the practice of both Jewish and gentile children coming of age in the first century AD and likens this with how God treats mankind since the coming of Christ. A Jew came of age or received his bar mitzvah about the age of 12. Similarly, “a Roman child became an adult at the sacred family festival known as the Liberalia, held annually on the seventeenth of March. At this time the child was formally adopted by his father as his acknowledged son and heir and received the toga virilis in place of the toga praetexta, which he had previously worn.”[1] The Roman youth came of age at the time appointed of his father, usually between the ages of 14 and 17. In Galatians 4:9 Paul likens the Galatians’ practice of Judaism as an adult returning to the days of his youth in order to live as they did as children under a guardian. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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The Gospel Was Preached to Abraham

Abraham Sacrifices Isaac

from Google Images

Continuing his argument from the point of Scripture, Paul tells us that the Gospel was preached to Abraham (Galatians 3:8). Is this true, and, if so, where do we see the Gospel, which Paul preached in the New Testament, given to Abraham? We find it in Genesis, the twenty-second chapter where Abraham was willing to offer up Isaac, his only son, as a sacrifice to God (Genesis 22:1-2, 18). God promised to bless all nations through Abraham and these blessings came only through Sarah and then through Isaac (Genesis 17:15-16, 19). The ram as a substitute pointed to Christ, and Isaac was received back by Abraham as though he were resurrected (Hebrews 11:17-18). Jesus said that Abraham was able to see his (Jesus) day through this sacrifice (John 8:56) Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Paul’s First Argument with Peter

from Google Images

from Google Images

Paul tells us in Galatians 2 that, while Peter was staying at Antioch, Paul confronted him over an incident that developed over a visit from men sent by James. It may be that after the death of James, the brother of John, in Acts 12 that Peter fled to Antioch, a place out of the jurisdiction of King Herod Agrippa. While Peter was there he had no problem eating with his gentile brethren. However, everything changed, when the men from James arrived. Presumably, they had been sent to alert the Christian communities among the gentiles (viz. at Antioch and the churches in Galatia) that the predicted famine (cp. Acts 11:27-29) had arrived and Jerusalem’s reserves for the poor were dangerously low. They needed help. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Paul and the Men of Reputation

from Google Images

from Google Images

Who were the men of reputation, and why were they so called (Galatians 2:2; cp. verse-9 where they are called pillars)? Those named were James[1] (the Lord’s brother), Peter and John, but there could have been others, but these three were specifically called ‘pillars’ in the Church community. They were called men of reputation, because they were the leaders of the Jerusalem Church. They were called pillars by Paul because they were the supporters and the guardians of the truth of the Gospel (cp. 1Timothy 3:15). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Paul’s Official Meeting with the Apostles

from Google Images

from Google Images

According to Galatians 2, Paul went up to Jerusalem for a second time fourteen years after his conversion (1:18; 2:1; Acts 22:17). Some scholars wonder if Paul went up to Jerusalem fourteen years after his first visit with Peter, but I am wary of this idea. I base my understanding on the fact that Paul’s argument in Galatians appears to be that he had no time to learn his Gospel from any man, especially from the Apostles at Jerusalem. Paul is giving an account of himself from the very moment of his new birth which occurred on his way to Damascus when Jesus appeared to him for the first time. It was three years after his new birth that he came to Jerusalem, where he spent less than three weeks with the Apostles, and fourteen years after his new birth that he returned to Jerusalem. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Paul v/s the Apostles in Jerusalem

from Google Images

from Google Images

According to Paul (Galatians 1:18), who is supported by Luke’s account in Acts 9, Paul was preaching Christ in Damascus and vicinity for a full three years before he ever met with any of the Apostles at Jerusalem! The indications are that Paul wasn’t silent during those three years after his heavenly vision, but began to obey the Lord by preaching the Gospel to those in Damascus and in Arabia (Acts 26:16, 19). If Paul learned the Gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection—that is, that Jesus was the Son of God—by revelation (via his vision on the Damascus Road), this means that his excursions into Arabia imply that he preached the Gospel there among the Ishmaelite people. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Questioning Paul’s Authority

from Google Images

from Google Images

We see from Paul’s opening line in Galatians 1:1 that his authority as an Apostle sent by God was being questioned. From the very beginning Paul seems to emphasize that his authority came not from men but from God. Therefore, the men from James must have sought to undermine Paul’s position as a legitimate Apostle of Christ, before they could have hoped that the Galatians would listen to their doctrine, which removed its adherents from the grace found in Christ (Galatians 1:6). Apparently these men began by saying Paul was a man-pleaser. That is, he sought to please the gentiles of Galatia by not requiring them to be circumcised (Galatians 1:10), which these men taught was necessary for salvation (Acts 15:1). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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