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  1. #1
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    Galatians verse by verse

    This thread is dedicated to a verse by verse discussion of the Book of Galatians. The goal is to come to a consensus at each major break in the text concerning our agreements, disagreements, unanswered questions, and whatever other issues remain to be settled. I am not expecting that we will come to a perfect agreement on the interpretation of every point (though that would be wonderful indeed!), but I am expecting that each point of view will be heard, respected, and evaluated in light of the rest of Scripture, and that each of us will have a clearer understanding of where we agree and disagree. All to the Glory of God.

    Let me begin:

    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.
    I do not anticipate any disagreements on the interpretation of the first five verses, but who knows? In any case, comments are welcome.

    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?

    I'll let someone else answer first.

    Richard

  2. #2
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    Richard, you are a jewel, for sure.

    Quote:
    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;

    You, continued;

    Quote:
    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.

    Joel

  3. #3
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    This is going to be fun

    I love this kind of Bible study

    Thanks Joel,for your insights

    The way I look at verse 4) "who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us form this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father"

    is that from the time Jesus gave Himself for our sins, up to present time (the times we all live in), we have a way of deliverance from evil through Jesus. This present age, meant at that time, as well as the time we live in.

    on to the next point:
    Question: What is the "other Gospel" that Paul is so concerned about?

    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.

    Joel
    I would like to add one more point to yours Joel

    3.) the reason I think Paul said ....you are turning away...to a different gospel which is not another, is because Paul was making the point, that what they were turning to, should not even be called "gospel" there is only one "Gospel" '"the good news" and that is Jesus Christ.

    Rose

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    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    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.
    Amen! I strongly agree with that deduction. And this comment is important to set the tone for how we approach the letter to the Galatians.

    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    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".
    Absolutely correct. There is a "world" of confusion over that word "aion." I intend on opening a thread on it, if someone else doesn't beat me to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    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!)
    Hey Joel, I can tell this is going to be both fun and fruitful.

    But as for the word "delivered" literally meaning "plucked out" ... it sounds like you are reading a "rapture" idea into this passage, which seems a little unlikely since Paul included himself amongst those who were so "raptured" by Christ's sacrifice. It makes me think of a similar passage in Col 1:13:

    Who hath delivered [4506 rhoumai: Meaning: 1) to draw to one's self, to rescue, to deliver ] us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

    So it sounds like Paul is talking about the spiritual effect of Christ's salvation. Nothing strikes me as "physical" at all, especially since nothing "physical" like you suggest has happened to any believers in the last 2000 years or so (as far as I know).


    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    So, that being said;

    You, continued;

    Quote:
    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.
    Actually, there is a form of dispensationalism that distinguishes between the "Gospel to the Gentiles' vs the "Gospel to the Jews." I strongly oppose that idea. If anyone in our community believes it to be true, it would benefit us all if he or she started a thread on that topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    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.
    OK - but I think we can be more specific, though we need to read more of the letter to get the details. But that's how we are supposed to study the Bible anyway. Read the book all the way through a few times for context, and to get the big picture, then analyze the pieces in extreme detail.

    I think the answer is obvious. The "other Gospel" is the Gospel that says we need to be under the Jewish Law (circumcision, dietary, etc). The first explicit statement of this is in

    Galatians 2:4-5 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage [to the Law]: 5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

    I won't bother proving this point further unless someone disagrees with it. I therefore request that all posters in this thread make their opinion on the "first question" known to the rest of us, since it is fundamental to the interpretation of the whole book.

    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    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.

    Joel
    I agree with both points. But I disagree with the meaning of anathema as "moving away" or "wrong standing." I agree with Thayer's definition:

    331 anathema
    Meaning: 1) a thing set up or laid by in order to be kept 1a) specifically, an offering resulting from a vow, which after being consecrated to a god was hung upon the walls or columns of the temple, or put in some other conspicuous place 2) a thing devoted to God without hope of being redeemed, and if an animal, to be slain; therefore a person or thing doomed to destruction 2a) a curse 2b) a man accursed, devoted to the direst of woes

    Good post Joel! We are on our way to a very enlightening discussion!

    Richard

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    This is going to be fun

    I love this kind of Bible study

    Thanks Joel,for your insights
    Me too!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    The way I look at verse 4) "who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us form this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father"

    is that from the time Jesus gave Himself for our sins, up to present time (the times we all live in), we have a way of deliverance from evil through Jesus. This present age, meant at that time, as well as the time we live in.
    Actually, that is a really important point. It seems to me that its primary meaning must be the deliverance Christ has brought to all believers through His sacrifice. That is, after all, the fundamental Gospel message. I suppose it is not impossible that it could apply to a future rapture event, but that meaning seems quite a stretch, and it wouldn't mean much to believers in Paul's time since it didn't apply to them, and it also seems to detract from the glory of its true Christ-centered meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    on to the next point:
    Question: What is the "other Gospel" that Paul is so concerned about?

    I would like to add one more point to yours Joel

    3.) the reason I think Paul said ....you are turning away...to a different gospel which is not another, is because Paul was making the point, that what they were turning to, should not even be called "gospel" there is only one "Gospel" '"the good news" and that is Jesus Christ.

    Rose
    Amen! Your intuition is right on, as a little peak into the Greek will show. There are two words translated as "another" in that verse.

    Galatians 1:6-7 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another (heteros) gospel: 7 Which is not another (allos); but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

    These two words are generally synonymous, but Longenecker (Word Biblical Commentary : Galatians Vol. 41 (15) noted that "in context there seems little doubt that he means to suggest a qualitative difference, with ἕτερος signaling “another of a different kind” and ἄλλος ”another of the same kind.”

    Indeed, what Paul was really saying is that the "other Gospel" is not even worthy to be called a "Gospel" at all!




    RAM
    Last edited by RAM; 07-04-2007 at 04:57 PM. Reason: format

  6. #6
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    Richard, Rose, and others who may joining now by observing, or, may be joining now or later by posting, I, too, am eager to discuss these matters as presented in Galatians.

    I would ask you, Richard, to be the one who actually posts the scripture verses. You are able to present them in a suitable format which is helpful to keep them separate from the discussion portions of our posts.

    With that said, please post the verses that remain in chapter 1 when you see that it is time to move on.

    Joel

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    It seems there is a consensus amongst the three posters in this thread on the following fundamental Q & A:

    Q1: What is the 'other Gospel' Galatians 1:6-9 warns of?
    A1: The teaching that Christians are bound by the Jewish Law.

    This answer will be the working assumption unless and until it is challenged (which is may well be, since we have not heard from many of our members yet).

    This exemplifies how we will be conducting this Bible study. We aim to explicitly state all the primary questions and their various answers that are held by our members. Thus, for example, if someone had offered a second answer to Q1 that held up under scrutiny so as to remain a viable possibility, it would have been listed as A2 along with A1, and we all would have known that there were currently two possible answers on the table before we moved on.

    With that, let us continue in the book of Galatians:

    Galatians 1:10-12 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11 ¶ But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
    As noted by Joel in his first post, this passage shows that Paul's "authority is of the highest order." Paul's rhetorical question "do I seek to please men?" pre-shadows his accusation against the Judaisers who "desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh" (Gal 6:13). It shows the difference between his motivation and theirs. Paul was not putting him through all that suffering to "please men." He was fulfilling his call of God.

    RAM

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    Before we move on, please allow an observation concerning spoke 4 of the wheel;
    In Numbers we find Israel moving towards the border of the Promised Land
    (ch. 13), and the spies entering into the land, in anticipation of the invasion to conquer the land.
    As we recall, they found a land of great promise, but, also filled with mighty groups of "strong" people who would resist them. Two spies (Joshua and Caleb) gave a good report, whereas the other 10 gave an "evil" report.
    We know from the account that they were turned back into the desert for 40 years so that the unbelieving generation would die out.

    Paul, in Galatians, is faced with a challenge which can be compared to that event in Numbers.
    In this first chapter of Galatians (the door), we find a new group who are attempting to turn the people around and head them back in the wrong direction.
    If I may take some liberty, the first of 12 spies in Numbers, had two distinct "gospels" which they came back to report. One was appropriate, the other was not.

    Joel

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    Richard, you posted;

    "Galatians 1:6-7 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another (heteros) gospel: 7 Which is not another (allos); but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

    These two words are generally synonymous, but Longenecker (Word Biblical Commentary : Galatians Vol. 41 (15) noted that "in context there seems little doubt that he means to suggest a qualitative difference, with ἕτερος signaling 'another of a different kind' and ἄλλος 'another of the same kind.'
    Amen. There is not "another of a different kind", nor, at present, is there "another of the same kind"

    Indeed, what Paul was really saying is that the "other Gospel" is not even worthy to be called a "Gospel" at all!"

    But, can we be in agreement that during this current time, the above statements are true. However, pertaining to another "time" there may be another gospel? If you closely follow the word "gospel", there have been many different gospels proclaimed throughout the human history as proclaimed in the scriptures. Such "gospels" were "good news" to certain people, at certain times.

    This may help us understand why the word "eon" is so important. During a certain period of time, a gospel may be proclaimed which is applicable to that time, but, which may not be applicable during a different eon. And, if presented, "out of context", may indeed prove to be a hindrance and not a help towards salvation.

    Joel

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    Before we move on, please allow an observation concerning spoke 4 of the wheel;
    In Numbers we find Israel moving towards the border of the Promised Land
    (ch. 13), and the spies entering into the land, in anticipation of the invasion to conquer the land.
    As we recall, they found a land of great promise, but, also filled with mighty groups of "strong" people who would resist them. Two spies (Joshua and Caleb) gave a good report, whereas the other 10 gave an "evil" report.
    We know from the account that they were turned back into the desert for 40 years so that the unbelieving generation would die out.

    Paul, in Galatians, is faced with a challenge which can be compared to that event in Numbers.
    In this first chapter of Galatians (the door), we find a new group who are attempting to turn the people around and head them back in the wrong direction.
    If I may take some liberty, the first of 12 spies in Numbers, had two distinct "gospels" which they came back to report. One was appropriate, the other was not.

    Joel
    Good insight Joel. This link is reflected somewhat in KJV in the phrase "spy out" which appears in five books, the first and last of which are Numbers and Galatians.

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