Paul’s letter to the Galatians is the Declaration of Independence for Christians. While it is a short document – 150 verses compared to 1,000 in Acts, 870 in the Gospel of John, and 303 in Hebrews – it is one of the most profound documents we have in explaining our faith.
This is clearly one of the writings of Paul, not disputed by any scholars. It was written to Galatians, originally Celts who migrated to Asia Minor around 285 B.C. We’re not exactly certain where these people were that he was writing to, though we do know where the Roman province of Galatia was. Since it covered a broad territory in central Asia Minor, the letter could be to any or all of the churches in that area.
The congregation was predominately Gentile, but they have been taught by some Jewish Christians that they must first conform to the Jewish law if they are ever to be “real Christians.” There were probably some dietary restrictions but the primary area of conflict was over circumcision. Paul never says who these missionaries were, but he rails against their teachings. And that is the substance of the letter, that what these Jewish Christians were teaching was false. Paul attacks them with emotion and intensity not really seen anywhere else in his writings. Continue reading Bible Study Series: The Book of Galatians (Week One Notes)