Richard, you are a jewel, for sure.
Galatians 1:1-5 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead; ) 2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: 3 ¶ Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
After quoting the verses above, you commented;
"I do not anticipate any disagreements on the interpretation of the first five verses, but who knows? In any case, comments are welcome."
So, I will make some comments that I believe apply, and, in so doing, realize that from the outset of this noble task, we may surely encounter a disagreement, in spite of Richard's anticipation of the mutual agreement.
1.) Paul, formerly known as Saul, ravaged the church in his zeal as a Pharisee, and in his determination to fulfill every aspect of the law of Moses. So, when he opens the letter he makes a definitve statement as to his apostleship......it does not come from men. Nor was it received by him through a man. (This method of conveyance of truth, I would assume you agree, is the common way we all receive the truth......through someone else who received it before us). But, Paul's ministry is unique.
Paul's apostleship came through Jesus Christ, and God, the Father, Who raised Him from the dead.
Therefore, based on these facts, his authority is of the highest order.
2.) The grace and the peace from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ focuses on....."(Jesus)....Who gives Himself for our sins, so that He might extricate us out of the present wicked eon."
Let us note that the KJV renders the word aion as "world". However, it may be more appropriate to refer to "aion" as a period of time, "eon", rather than a physical place, "world".
To extricate is to "pluck out". And at this juncture, we may have to come back later in order to arrive at the true meaning of what he is saying. Is it a "spiritual" extrication, or, is it an actual "physical" deliverance such as that which is believed by some (myself included) to refer to the "snatching out" physically that will occur in the future, at the end of "eon"?
If, we see "aion" as an eon, and the extrication as a literal plucking out, then, Richard, and others who may join in, we may not all be on the "same page" concerning this opening section. (Probably, by now, Richard, you are wondering if we who are now a part of your "cyber" family will ever agree on anything!)
So, that being said;
Galatians 1:6-9 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Question: What is the "other Gospel" that Paul is so concerned about?
We all would agree (so I am bold to presume) that we are all under one gospel. Called "into the grace of Christ" indicates that we are in the same realm of God's grace as was declared by Paul in Romans 5.
It was the gospel that Paul presented to the Romans that he was making mention. There is not another gospel for any of us now. There was no other gospel applicable to them at that time.
To be anathema is to be moved out of place. If we are standing in the realm of God's grace due to the justification of faith in His blood, to be placed under a different evangel would be to be affect our proper standing with another. Anyone who brings forth a "good news" message which is contrary to that which Paul delivered is affecting the standing of those who hear, as well as the standing of the one who delivers such a message. We will hear more of this when we hear of "falling from grace" which is given in this Galatian letter.
It was the evangel delivered by Paul that was preached unto the Galatians.
The gospel which they received from Paul was the gospel that they were to retain.
Before we move along, can we agree that;
1.) the gospel for believers today is that which was received by Paul, and delivered to others, by Paul.
2.) when that gospel is believed, any other gospel which is contrary, is not to be received, nor believed.
Either way, a departure results in "anathema", a movement away from a proper standing.