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BC Weekly Digest
Monday, May 24 1999

In this issue:

	Galatians 1:1
	Galatians 1:1
	Galatians 1:1-5
	Galatians 1:1-5

Galatians 1:1

Galatians 1:1
  This epistle may be Paul's first inspired writing, 
written around 48-49 AD. It is unique in that it was 
written to a group of churches - those in the Roman 
province of Galatia. Paul and Barnabas visited there on 
their first missionary journey with unforgettable results 
- - being driven out of Antioch and fleeing to Iconium, then 
to Lystra where Paul was stoned (Acts 13-14).
  Yet, churches were formed, where later certain false 
teachers came in with a perverted gospel. When the apostle 
heard of this, he was deeply disturbed and wrote to remedy 
the situation.
  When we begin a study of this epistle, without much 
knowledge of the problems involved, we start something 
like a person hearing only one side of a telephone 
conversation. Yet as we read, we can begin to see the 
major issues treated: these false apostles were saying 
that Paul's message was without authority and was not 
sufficient for salvation without keeping parts of the 
Mosaic Law.(We assume they were teaching that Gentiles had 
to first become children of Abraham by being circumcised 
before they could be saved.)
 Paul's defense will show that he was an accredited 
spokesman of God, an apostle, and that his message came, 
not from men, but directly from the Lord by revelation, 
and that obedience to this gospel message made one a true 
son of Abraham (and of God) through faith in Christ Jesus. 
  It is in his epistle to the Galatians that Paul will 
begin outlining the righteousness that comes from a living 
faith in Christ - a theme he will continue to develop in 
other writings, especially in his letter to the Romans.
J. Lee Roberts


Galatians 1:1

This introduction to Galatians is
from "New Testament in Survey"
Copyright 1958 by Paul Southern
Used by permission
Published in book form by Quality Printing Co., Inc. 
Abilene, Texas

I. The Title
  This book is called Galatians because it is addressed to 
"the churches in Galatia" (Galatians 1:2, 3:1; I 
Corinthians 16:1).

II. The Writer
  From Galatians 1:1 we learn that Paul the apostle was 
the writer.

III. Time and Place of Writing
  Since the date and place of writing are indefinite, we 
shall not attempt a lengthy discussion of these matters. 
Scholars have suggested several dates ranging from A.D. 50 
to A.D. 58; and three different places of writing: 
Ephesus, Macedonia and Corinth. We have no data in the 
epistle indicating the exact date of writing.

IV. The Country of Galatia
  Politically it was the Roman province of Central Asia 
Minor, and included Lycaonia, Isauria and parts of Phrygia 
and Pisidia. Geographically it was the center of the 
Celtic tribes. The exact location is a moot question 
between two schools of thought. Exponents of the South 
Galatian theory make it include churches founded by Paul 
on his first mission tour: Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and 
Derbe (Acts 13:14 to 14:24). The North Galatian school 
interprets the term to mean a strip of country in the 
north of Asia Minor, occupied by the Celts. Again, we are 
more concerned with the contents of the epistle than with 
exact locations of the ones addressed.

V. The Celtic Tribes
  Celtic tribes from Northern Europe invaded Asia Minor 
about 280 B.C. They were subdued by the Romans in 189 B.C. 
and incorporated into the Roman province of Galatia in 25 
B.C. Galatia means "the land of the Gauls" (Celtae-
Galatae-Galli). The people were impulsive, quick-tempered, 
hospitable and fickle. They received impressions quickly, 
and just as hastily gave them up. After receiving Paul 
enthusiastically, they suddenly turned away from him, and 
from the gospel (1:6-9; Colossians 4:13-15).

VI. Establishment of the Churches
  The origin of the churches of Galatia is indefinite. As 
indicated above, some think that the Galatians of this 
letter were people of Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe. 
If so, Paul converted them on his first mission tour (Acts 
13,14). However, Acts 16:6 indicates that the term Galatia 
meant something besides the foregoing places. It has been 
suggested that Europeans returning home after Pentecost 
established churches in Galatia. Others think that Paul 
might have evangelized the country while he was in Tarsus 
before going to Antioch. At any rate, we know that he 
visited them on his second tour (Acts 16:6); that he 
became sick and preached while there (Galatians 4:13-15), 
and the he also visited them while on his third journey 
(Acts 18:23).

VII. Occasion for the Letter
  Paul left the churches running well (Galatians 5:7). 
Shortly afterwards, Judaizing teachers crept in teaching 
that the Jewish law was binding upon Christians (Ch. 3). 
They accepted Jesus as the Messiah, but claimed that 
salvation is reached through the works of the law, and 
that Gentiles should be circumcised (5:1-6). In order to 
carry their point, they tried to undermine Paul's 
apostolic authority by saying that he was not one of the 
apostles, and the he received his doctrines from men and 
not from the Lord (Chs. 1 and 2).

VIII. Purpose of the Letter
  The purpose of the letter was to correct these errors, 
and show that salvation is a matter of faithful obedience 
to the gospel of Christ and not to the law of Moses.
Paul Southern

[Note: Paul Southern, a retired professor of Bible, had 
his 98th birthday on April 16, 1999. His wife, Margaret 
will be 90 on May 24th, Lord willing. We appreciate 
brother Southern's willingness for his "New Testament in 
Survey" to be placed in The Old Paths Archive, which will 
be done when we can get it all into electronic form. R.D.]


Galatians 1:1-5

Galatians 1:1-5 (OPV)
1 Paul, an apostle (neither from men, nor through man, 
but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him 
from the dead),
2 and all the brethren with me, to the churches of 
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the 
Lord Jesus Christ,
4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might rescue 
us from this present evil age, according to the will of 
our God and Father,
5 to whom [be] the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1:1 "Paul, an apostle"
  The Greek word for 'apostle' means 'emissary' or 
"missionary" (one who is sent with a mission). The word is 
used in the general sense of 'missionary' for example in 
Acts 14:14 (Barnabas was not one of the twelve) and in 
Romans 16:7. Some translations use a different word in 
such cases and reserve the word 'apostle' for the inspired 
apostles of Christ, the twelve and Paul.
1:1 "Neither from men, nor through man"
  Although Paul did not include himself among the twelve 
(see 1 Corinthians 15:5-9) he had the same commission, 
power and authority.
  He will discuss this in greater detail later, but he now 
affirms that his apostleship was not of human origin, but 
that he had been made an apostle by the Lord himself.
1:2 "And all the brethren with me"
  We do not know where Paul was when he wrote, so we do 
not know who these brethren were. The Christians in 
Galatia probably knew where he was.
1:2 "To the churches of Galatia"
  Galatia was in what is now Turkey. We do not know which 
congregations are being addressed.
  The disgrace of denominationalism had not yet developed. 
Paul is simply writing to the congregations of believers 
in Christ in that geographic area. As it was then, so it 
should be now.
1:3 "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the 
Lord Jesus Christ"
  This is a common greeting of Paul, who was ever mindful 
of the grace of God in his own life and in the lives of 
all Christians. "Peace" was the common greeting among the 
Jews. But true peace can only come through the grace of 
God in Christ Jesus.
1:4 "Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might rescue 
us from this present evil age"
  We are under the penalty of death because of our own 
sins. Christ paid the price for our sins on the cross. 
Notice that we are rescued, not only from our own sins, 
but from the evil age in which we find ourselves, a world 
that is corrupted by evil. Through the resurrection of 
Christ, which Paul mentioned in verse 1, we can look 
forward to a better age after this world has passed away 
(2 Peter 3:11-13).
1:4,5 "According to the will of our God and Father, to 
whom [be] the glory for ever and ever. Amen."
  The Father loved us so much that He sent His Son to save 
us (John 3:16). He wants people to repent and be saved 
(2 Peter 3:9).
  God deserves our praise. And He shall be praised by the 
redeemed for ever and ever.
Roy Davison


Galatians 1:1-5

Galatians 1:1-5 (OPV)
1 Paul, an apostle (neither from men, nor through man, 
but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him 
from the dead),
2 and all the brethren with me, to the churches of 
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the 
Lord Jesus Christ,
4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might rescue 
us from this present evil age, according to the will of 
our God and Father,
5 to whom [be] the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
  When Paul began his ministry to the Gentiles, he started 
using his non-Jewish name of Paul rather than Saul (Acts 
"An apostle"
  An apostle is 'one sent forth' or 'a messenger'. The 
Greek word is used in the New Testament for five groups of 
'those sent forth'.
(1) Christ as the Apostle of God (Hebrews 3:1).
(2) Apostles of Christ:
* "The twelve" (listed in Matt 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 
6:12-16); minus Judas: Acts 1:13; plus Matthias: Acts 
* Paul qualifies as an apostle of Christ "as of one born 
out of due time" having been the last to witness the risen 
Lord (1 Cor 15:8). See 2 Cor 12:11,12; 1 Cor 9:1; 1 Cor 
15:7-9 and compare with Acts 1:21,22.
(3) Messengers sent by the churches (Acts 14:14; Rom 16:7; 
2 Cor 8:23; Gal 1:19; Phil 2:25).
(4) Messengers in general (John 13:16).
(5) False apostles (2 Cor 11:13; Rev 2:2).
"Neither from men, nor through man"
  Paul denies that his apostleship originated from any man 
or group of men!. He was chosen (from his birth - Gal 
1:15) and put in place as an apostle by both the Father 
and the Son. As he will explain later, he received his 
Gospel by direct revelation. 
"And all the brethren with me"
  Although his calling was divine and based on 
resurrection power, he did not work in isolation and had 
no problem associating his ministry with fellow 
"To the churches of Galatia"
  Paul addresses this epistle not to an individual, or to 
a single congregation, but to all the churches of Galatia.

"Grace to you and peace"
  This is Paul's standard greeting in all his epistles, 
probably referring to God's covenant favor to Israel seen 
in Num 6:24-26, and now extended to His new Israel, the 
church, containing both Jew and Gentile. Read Paul's 
marvelous account of the breaking down of the barrier 
between the two and making peace by joining both into one 
body - making Jew and Gentile into a spiritual temple for 
the dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Eph 2:11-3:6). 
This is the great truth preached to Abraham - that God's 
good news would bring blessings to all nations (Galatians 
  This "mystery of God's purpose and will," hidden for 
ages past, is now revealed to us in writing through the 
apostolic message to all who will hear and come to the 
obedience of faith (Rom 1:5; 16:25,26; Eph 3:3-6; Tit 
2:11-14; 3:4-7). Hidden until God's marvelous grace was 
revealed to us through Christ whom He sent to die in our 
place- to give His life in place of our life - to become 
our sin-bearer and our Savior. Our peace came at the price 
paid at the cross -- THIS is the message of His grace!!
  While we walked in the darkness of spiritual death, 
following the course of this present evil world, God in 
His overwhelming love for us, made it possible for us to 
be made spiritually alive by the redemption He bought in 
Christ's blood (Ephesians 1:7-13; 2:1-8).

"Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might rescue us 
from this present evil age"
  Paul asserts that the Christian's victory over the 
present evil age is assured by the saving death and 
resurrection of Christ.

"To whom [be] the glory for ever and ever"
  Compare with Eph 1:11-14.
J. Lee Roberts