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Bible Commentaries

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker


- Galatians

by Joseph Parker


"Paul and Silas travelled through this region about a.d. 51, and formed churches in it, which Paul visited again in his second journey three years afterwards. This Epistle was probably written soon after his first visit: see Acts 16:6 : Acts 18:23 : Galatians 1:6 , Galatians 1:8 : Galatians 4:13 , Galatians 4:19 .

"This Epistle resembles both the Epistles to the Corinthians and that addressed to the Romans. Like the first it defends Paul's apostolic authority and shows that he was taught immediately by Christ. Like the lasts it treats of justification by faith alone, from which the Galatians very soon after Paul left them, and greatly to his surprise, had been seduced by false teachers, who insisted on submission to the Mosaic law as essential to salvation, and probably insinuated that elsewhere Paul himself had urged the same doctrine. Mark the sharpness and tenderness of his rebuke (Galatians 3:1 : Gal 4:19 ): the place assigned to holiness, not as the ground but as the fruit of salvation, and inseparable from it (Galatians 5:6 , Gal 5:22 ). Mark also how little we can depend on ardour of religious feeling as proof of the strength of religious principle (Galatians 4:15 , Gal 4:20 ).

"It is interesting to remark that the persons to whom this Epistle was addressed were Gauls (whose name in Greek is Galatians), both in name and in character. They manifest all the susceptibility of impression and fondness for change which authors from Cæsar to Thierry have ascribed to that race. They received the Apostle as an angel, and would have plucked out their eyes and given them to him; but were 'soon removed' by false teachers to another gospel,' and then under the influence of the same ardour began to 'bite and devour one another' (Galatians 4:14-15 : Gal 5:15 )." Angus's Bible Handbook.]