Biblical Essay: Analysis of Paul's Letter To The Galatians

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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


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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"


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.
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