Thursday, September 19, 2019
Biblical Essay: Analysis of Pauls Letter To The Galatians
Biblical Essay: Analysis of Paul's Letter To The Galatians When Paul attended the Jerusalem Conference in 48 or 49, a decision was made that gentiles would be allowed to become Christians without becoming Jews first (ie. have a circumcision, and follow the Jewish Laws). Paul, being the one that defended the gentile's right to be Christians, became the apostle to the gentiles. Why would Paul, a Jew, want to be an apostle to gentiles? According to him, Jesus appeared to him in AD 32 or 36, and told him to preach the good news to the gentiles (Gal 1:16). Paul uses scripture to explain why gentiles should not be required to be circumcised, or obey Jewish Law; however, there are no direct quotes in scripture that say this. One would wonder why Paul, someone who grew-up in a "good" Jewish family, would not follow in the footsteps of Jewish Christian Missionaries, and require Christian converts to become Jews first. He certainly had to fight to have his belief accepted! In my opinion, Paul tried to follow the example of the original apostles (who knew Jesus) by "converting the multitudes." I think Paul understood human nature better than the other apostles preaching circumcision to the gentiles. Perhaps he thought that gentiles would accept Christianity more easily if it was natural to their lifestyle --I'm sure that the thought of circumcision, and strict dietary laws scared gentiles from Christianity! It seems that the "Judaziers" preached a God that was hard to please. Paul's major problem confronted in his letter to the Galatians is the preachings of the Judaziers. Apparently, men who preach circumcision and the Law had been trying to "pervert" the Galatians, and change their belief... ...is area is full of rules/laws for the Galatians to live by. Of course, he justifies that Christians live by these laws because they "Walk in the Spirit of Christ." (Gal 5:16) If Christians are to "imitate" Jesus' actions & morals, then why should they decide to follow some, and not others? This is more evidence of Peter trying to create a "convenient" religion. The problem of acceptance of Jewish Law, I believe, is the fundamental split in Christianity. It can still be seen today: Catholicism represents Paul's view of Christianity, while Seventh Day Adventist Christians keep Jewish Law. However, if Paul had preached the Law, I don't believe that Christianity would even be present today (especially among the gentiles). He did much to advance Christianity; however, Gentile Christianity became a religion of Paul, rather than a religion of Jesus.