Galatians determines its title
from the district in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey) where the churches tended
to were found. In Galatians 1:1, it was said that Paul composed the book of
Galatians. Paul was initially known as Saul. He was born in Tarsus, a city in
the territory of Cilicia, which was not a long way from Galatia. At a particular
age, he was sent by his parents to the famous rabbi, Gamaliel, from whom he got
from a careful teaching in the Old Testament and joined the Jewish conventions
in Jerusalem (Acts 22:3). He was a part of the Pharisees (Acts 23:6). After the
death of Stephen, his life was changed. When he was headed to Damascus to
persecute believers, Jesus appeared to him (Acts 9:1-22). That experience with
the Lord diverted Paul from being a persecutor of Christians to become one of
the apostles. His three missions and to Rome make Christianity from a faith
that constitutes just a couple of believers into a world phenomenon. The Book
of Galatians is one of the letters that he wrote to the Gentile believers.
Galatia was the district of Asia
Minor populated by the Galatians. They were a group of Celtic people who had
moved to that district from Gaul (current France) in the 3rd B.C.
The Romans vanquished the Galatians in 189 B.C. be that as it may, allowed them
to have some measure of autonomy until 25 B.C. at the point when Galatia turned
into a Roman area, consolidating a few areas not possessed by ethnic Galatians
(e.g., parts of Lycaonia, Phrygia, and Pisidia). Paul established temples in
the southern Galatian urban areas of Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe (Acts
13:14– 14:23). These urban areas, in spite of the fact that inside the Roman
territory of Galatia, were not in the ethnic Galatian district. Since neither
Acts nor Galatians specifies any urban communities or individuals from northern
(ethnic) Galatia, it is sensible to trust that Paul tended to this epistle to
holy places situated in the southern piece of the Roman area, yet outside of
the ethnic Galatian district. Acts records the witness’ establishing of such
houses of worship at Pisidian Antioch (13:14– 50), Iconium (13:51– 14:7; cf.
16:2), Lystra (14:8– 19; cf. 16:2), and Derbe (14:20, 21; cf. 16:1). Moreover,
the places of worship Paul tended to had evidently been built up before the
Jerusalem Council (2:5), and the houses of worship of southern Galatia fit that
model, having been established amid Paul’s first teacher travel before the
Council met. Paul did not visit northern (ethnic) Galatia until after the
Jerusalem Council (Acts 16:6).
There are two perspectives
about the dating of the letter. The primary view was known as the
Northern-Galatian view which stated that the epistle was composed after Paul’s
second excursion to Galatia (Acts 18:23). The visitation to Jerusalem, which
was specified in the two Galatians 2:1-10 and Acts 15, mentioned as a thing of
the past. Most likely, the epistle was composed after the Jerusalem Council.
The similarities in Galatians and Romans lead to the conclusion that both were
composed around a similar time, amid Paul’s stay in Macedonia which dated
around AD. 56-57. A researcher by the name of John P. Meier, proposed that
Galatians was composed in the mid or late 50s, which was after the Antiochene
incident. Even the biblical researcher Helmut Koester consented to the
Northern-Galatian idea. He brought up that the urban areas of Galatia were
comprised of Ankyra, Pessinus, and Gordium. Most researchers seemed to contend
that the letter was composed to Northern-Galatia. However, the contention loses
its viability when we understood that Southern-Galatia was isolated from the
Northern-Galatia, it was fused into Pisida in AD. 74. At the point when Paul
composed the letter, both the Southern and Northen Galatia were parts of a
similar area. Hence, this may clarify why was the possibility of
Northern-Galatia being commanded by researchers.
A researcher by the name of W. M. Ramsay
achieved his work in the 1880s-1890s. His research established an archeological
framework for the Southern-Galatian view1. He laid
a few contentions in the support of the Southern-Galatian view. To start with,
he specified Barnabas (Gal. 2:1) who was known toward the South Galatians,
however, he was less known toward the North Galatians. Second, he composed that
Paul utilizes the Roman royal classification, however, then any occupants in
Galatia would have been Galatians to him. Third, the nearness of the Jewish
emissaries is more plausible in South Galatia than in North Galatia, however,
they may make it their business to visit any city where Paul planted a
congregation. Fourth, South Galatian Theory states for
Paul, craving to convey to an inadequately associated gathering of Celts, would
have utilized their local tongue, not Greek, which was utilized by the nation
in general. Their decision sees Paul’s utilization of Greek as a proof that the
target group could be found in Southern Galatia, which would have utilized
Greek with familiarity. Hans Betz finishes up as much expressing,
“the fact that Paul wrote his well—composed
and, both rhetorically and theologically, sophisticated ‘apology’ forces us to
assume that he founded the Galatian churches not among the poor and the
uneducated but among the Hellenized and Romanized city population.2”
Paul to have composed a letter of recognition to a congregation, the
presumption discovers Paul’s own insight into the group more likely than not
originate as a matter of fact as noticeable in the Corinthians and the
Galatians’ letters. No confirmation exists expressing Paul went to North
Galatia, while we have scriptural evidences of Paul’s excursions in South
Galatia. Normally Acts 16:6 and 18:23 have been enrolled as the suggestive
reason for Paul’s evangelist journey to North Galatia yet neither one of the
verses expresses Paul’s specific work if he went there particularly.
great part of the discussion of area revolves around the Jerusalem Council and
whether it occurred earlier or after the synthesis of Galatians. Given the
subject material of Gal 1 and 2, Paul must recognize all visits to Jerusalem if
he wants to separate himself as a missionary picked by God and set apart from
other apostles. Schreiner builds up this idea expressing, if Paul “omitted any
visit, he would open himself to the charge that he failed to mention an
occasion when he was influenced by the apostles in Jerusalem.3” This
disappointment could undo his ministry in Galatia. There remains a probability
that Paul incorporates the choice from the Jerusalem gathering in Gal 2:6
expressing his message discovered acknowledgment by the group.
Ramsay constructs his case with
respect to the actualities of historical geography. In his view, the
Southern-Galtian see concurred with the actualities of the verifiable
topography in Asia Minor. In the event that this was valid, the date would have
been in AD. 49.
is another theory that some scholars hold on to. A third hypothesis is that
Galatians 2:1– 10 depicts Paul and Barnabas’ visit to Jerusalem portrayed in
Acts 11:30 and 12:25. This hypothesis holds that the epistle was composed
before the Council was met, potentially making it the soonest of Paul’s
epistles. According to this hypothesis, the disclosure specified (Gal 2:2)
relates to the prediction of Agabus (Acts 11:27– 28). This view holds that the
private discussion about the gospel shared among the Gentiles precludes the
Acts 15 visit, however, fits flawlessly with Acts 11. It additionally holds
that proceeding to remember the poor people (Gal. 2: 10) fits with the
motivation of the Acts 11 visit, yet not Acts 15.
council of Jerusalem recorded in Acts 15 is dated to have happened in A.D.
In light of the talk at the council, the letter to the Galatians was most
likely composed just before preceding it, since Paul would have without a doubt
utilized the choice of the council as a noteworthy contention for his barrier
in the letter. If so, at that point Paul would most likely have composed the
letter in Antioch (Acts 14:26-28).
after his own particular presentation, the Apostle Paul tends to his letter’s
beneficiaries, “To the churches of Galatia… (???? ?????????? ???
????????).” Who were the Galatian Christians to whom the Apostle
Paul wrote? The houses of worship in Galatia were included both Jewish and
Gentile believers. Paul’s motivation in writing to these places of worship was to
affirm them in the faith, particularly concerning defense by faith alone, aside
from the works of the Law of Moses.
Galatians was written because the churches were facing a
theological issue. The justification by faith was being denied by the Judaizers.
These were the legalistic Jews who demanded that Christians must keep the
Mosaic Law. Specifically, they demanded on circumcision as a
prerequisite for Gentiles who wished to be saved. For them, one will need to
convert to Judaism first. After that you are qualified to become a
Christian. At the point when Paul discovered that this blasphemy was being educated
to the Galatian churches, he wrote a letter to re-emphasize our freedom in
Christ and to counter the depravity of the gospel that the Judaizers had advanced.
These jews spread their hazardous showing that Gentiles
should first become Jewish converts and submit to all the Mosaic law before
they could move toward becoming Christians (Gal. 1:7; 4:17, 21; 5:2– 12; 6:12,
13). Stunned by the Galatians’ receptiveness to the heresy (cf. 1:6), Paul
composed this letter to safeguard defense by confidence, and caution these
churches of the critical outcomes of deserting that basic principle. Galatians
is the main epistle Paul composed that does not contain an acclamation for its
readers—that conspicuous oversight reflects how earnestly he felt about going
up against the abandonment and shielding the basic teaching of justification by
As officially noticed,
the theme of Galatians is justification by faith. Paul defends that teaching
(which is the core of the gospel) both in its theological (chaps. 3, 4) and
practical (chaps. 5, 6) consequences. He additionally safeguards his position
as an apostle (chaps. 1, 2) since, as in Corinth, false teachers had endeavored
to pick up a hearing for their sinful instructing by undermining Paul’s
validity. The primary philosophical topics of Galatians are strikingly like
those of Romans, e.g., the failure of the law to legitimize (2:16; cf. Rom.
3:20); the believers’ deadness to the law (2:19; cf. Rom. 7:4); the believers’
cruxifiction with Christ (2:20; cf. Rom. 6:6); Abraham’s justification by faith
(3:6; cf. Rom. 4:3); that adherents are Abraham’s spritual children (3:7; cf.
Rom. 4:10, 11) and hence honored (3:9; cf. Rom. 4:23, 24); that the law brings
not salvation but rather God’s anger (3:10; cf. Rom. 4:15); that the righteous
might live by faith (3:11; cf. Rom. 1:17); the all inclusiveness of
transgression (3:22; cf. Rom. 11:32); that adherents are profoundly immersed in
Christ (3:27; cf. Rom. 6:3); adherents’ appropriation as God’s children (4:5–
7; cf. Rom. 8:14– 17); that love satisfies the law (5:14; cf. Rom. 13:8– 10);
the significance of strolling in the Spirit (5:16; cf. Rom. 8:4); the walking in
the Holy Spirit (5:17; cf. Rom. 7:23, 25); and the significance of adherents
bearing one anothers’ burdens (6:2; cf. Rom. 15:1).
To start with, Paul
portrayed a visit to Jerusalem and an ensuing gathering with Peter, James, and
John (2:1– 10). There is an inquiry to be settled in that content, with respect
to whether that was his visit to the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15), or his prior
visit conveying starvation help to the Jerusalem church (Acts 11:27– 30).
Second, the individuals who educate baptismal recovery (the false principle
that immersion is vital for salvation) bolster their view from 3:27. Third,
others have utilized this epistle to help their assaults on the biblical roles
of men and women, guaranteeing that the spiritual balance educated in 3:28 is
contradictory with the customary idea of authority and submission. Fourth, the
individuals who dismiss the convention of everlasting security contend that the
expression “you have gone wrong” (5:4) portrays believers who lost
their salvation. Fifth, there is difference whether Paul’s announcement
“see with what substantial letters I have kept in touch with you with my
own particular hand!” alludes to the whole letter, or only the finishing
up verses. At long last, numerous claim that Paul eradicated the line amongst
Israel and the congregation when he recognized the congregation as the
“Israel of God” (6:16). Those difficulties will be tended to in the
notes to the proper sections.
1 F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the
Galatians (The New International Greek Testament Commentary) (Grand Rapids,
Michigan: Eerdmans, 2013), 9.
2 Hans Dieter Benz, Galatians: A
Commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Churches in Galatia-A Classical and
Historical Commentary on the Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1979), 3.
3 Thomas Schreiner, Galatians. Zondervan
Exegetical Commentary Series on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan:
Zondervan, 2010), 27.
4 George Ogg, The Chronology of the Life
of Paul (Oregon, United States: Wipf and Stock, 2016), 200.