Thursday, April 24, 2014

Notes on Galatians 1:11-24

The first two chapters of Galatians consist of a review of Paul’s own life story, especially his past as a Jew, his conversion, and the early years of his apostleship. But why does Paul begin with such a personal argument?
  • Some have suggested that Paul’s opponents were attacking his apostleship. And while it is true that he did have many personal critics, I am not sure that is the point in Galatians.
  • It could also be that Paul is simply defending his understanding of the gospel versus that of the Judaizers, and in order to do so he must begin with the origin of his understanding of the gospel message.
  • If anything, Paul’s critics would have argued that he is not a true apostle because he does not preach a true gospel, rather than the reverse. It was his practice that created this controversy (Acts 15:1).

Notes on Galatians 1:6-10

In these first two chapters Paul makes it clear that his gospel is independent from:
  • Man (1:6-17)
  • The churches of Judea (1:18-24)
  • The pillars in Jerusalem (2:1-10)
  • Peter (2:11-21)

Normal conventions of letter writing in the first century included a prayer for the readers (as in nearly all of Paul's other letters). Paul departs from that in striking fashion.