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Bible Commentaries

Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT


- Galatians

by Manly Luscombe

GALATIANS Liberty in Christ

1. Outline

I. Personal: Grace and the Gospel (Chapters 1-2)

A. Grace declared in Paul's message. 1:1-10

B. Grace demonstrated in Paul's life 1:11-24

C. Grace defended in Paul's ministry 2:1-21

1. Before the church collectively 1-10

2. Before Peter personally 11-21

II. Doctrinal: Grace and Law (Chapters 3-4)

A. The personal argument 3:1-5

B. The scriptural argument 3:6-14

C. The logical argument 3:15-29

D. The historical argument 4:1-11

E. The sentimental argument 4:12-18

F. The allegorical arugment 4:19-31

III. Practical: Grace and the Christian Life (Chapters 5-6)

A. Liberty, not bondage 5:1-12

B. The Spirit, not the flesh 5:13-26

C. Others, not self 6:1-10

D. God's glory, not man's praise 6:22-18

2. Background

1. Differs from other epistles.

A. Not written to an individual or a single church.

B. This was written to all churches in a district.

2. Church Plantings.

A. During the second missionary journey, about 51 AD, Paul, Silas and Timothy went from Lyconia to Phrygia and then Galatia. ( Act_16:6 )

B. On the 3rd mission trip, about 54 or 55 AD, he "went over all the country of Galatia" and strengthened the disciples. ( Act_18:23 )

3. Purpose of the letter.

A. Combat false teachers.

1. The Judiazing teachers were defeated at Jerusalem. ( Act_15:1-41 )

2. They were still at work.

3. Paul spends a major portion of this letter in protest against and refutation of these false teachers.

B. A second purpose for the letter was to deal with the misunderstandings about the salvation of a living faith and the danger of becoming a slave to legalism.

4. The Place and Date.

A. It must have been written after Paul's two visits, the last of which was 54 or 55 AD. ( Gal_4:13 )

B. It must have been shortly after this second visit. ( Gal_1:6 )

C. This letter has many points similar to the Roman letter. This would indicate they were written about the same time.

D. All of this points to a date of about 57 AD.

E. During this period of time Paul was in Ephesus, Macedonia and Corinth. It must have been written from one of these cities.

5. Genuineness.

A. No scholar has denied or doubted this letter.

B. It is "Paul" from beginning to end.