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New Testament Notes
The Epistle to the Galatians
The following notes are intended to supplement, not replace, the readings from the Bible and the text book.
Comments or questions should be sent to: Dr. Rollinson.
Galatia was originally a region in central Turkey, where the Gauls settled for a while (they eventually moved into Europe, and settled in what is now France). At the time of the New Testament, "Galatia" had become a Roman province which encompassed the original region and also other lands to the south, and which included the towns of Iconium (Acts 13:51-14:6, Lystra (Acts 14:6-20, 16:1-3), Derbe (Acts 14:20, 16:1), and Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:14-51, 15:16-41, 16:4)
Almost as soon as gentiles in Galatia became Christians, some Jewish Christians arrived from Jerusalem, and started teaching that it was necessary for Christians to be circumcised as well as baptized (Acts 15:1). Paul and Barnabas disputed that teaching, and eventually traveled to Jerusalem for a council of the Church, which decided that circumcision was not required for salvation (Acts 15:1-29). However, the false teachers evidently remained in Galatia, trying to say that Paul was not a true apostle, and causing confusion and doubt among some of the Christians. Consequently, Paul wrote this Epistle to warn the Galatians and remind them that they did not have to do external works to earn their salvation, and not to be misled by the false teachers.
- Galatians 1:1-5 : Greetings and Prayers
- Galatians 1:6-12 : warning against false teaching
- Galatians 1:11 - 2:10 : Paul's autobiography, and testimony of his apostleship.
- Galatians 2:11-21 : Paul's account of the effects that the false teaching had had, even upon Peter and Barnabas, until Paul rebuked them
- Galatians, chapters 3 - 6 : The contrast between the false teaching of legalistic works, and the Christian Gospel of faith in God's atoning work
- Galatians, chapter 6 : Exhortation to Christian life, warning against false teachers, and final greetings.
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Last Updated : July 12, 2014