Letters To The Galatians Analysis

Decent Essays
The New Testament contains texts that are successful in converting many to Christianity. Paul the Apostle is one of its writers and one of his texts, the Letters to the Galatians, exemplifies Christianity’s persuasiveness. In Paul’s Letters to the Galatians, he explains to the Galatians that having faith in Jesus Christ is the only law they should be following in order to live an earthly life benefiting from the Holy Spirit. Paul effectively does this by dissuading against Judaism and its traditions as they do not hold up to Jesus Christ and his teachings. Paul’s goal is unquestionably to convert his audience to Christianity. Paul sets up the ultimate reward for following Jesus Christ by writing about an attainable life of pleasure not through …show more content…
Peter, referred to as Cephas in the text, came to Paul in Antioch and was of the stance that a Jewish law such as circumcision was required for all Christians no matter their previous faith. With Peter being another apostle, he is an established source for God’s Gospel and his word is valued highly due to his status. However, when coming to Paul’s domain, he displays hypocritical behavior as he avoids the already circumcised people. Paul questions him with, “But when I saw that they were not acting consistently with the truth of the Gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, ‘If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?’” (Galatians, 2:14). Peter’s stance of necessary circumcision becomes void as he hypocritically avoids those who have gone through it. Paul’s stance is that such a Judaic law is not required and uses Peter’s hypocrisy to undermine whatever authority Peter had on the subject. If readers do recognize Peter as a significant figure, Paul shows them that he cannot be a valid reason for following Judaic laws since he himself lives “like a Gentile and not like a Jew.” Peter may be an apostle, but his behavior not only invalidates his idea of a necessary Judaic law for Christianity, but even strengthens Paul’s case. Paul shows readers that if a high authority such as Peter does not rely on Judaic laws, then they truly …show more content…
In fact, Paul recognizes the question of his authority as he writes, “You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it.” (Galatians, 1:13). Without context, this surely would make anyone question why Paul should be allowed to teach the Gospel. However, Paul uses his own honesty as a way to get his audience to trust him and understand the idea of faith in Jesus Christ alone. By showing that he was once such a dedicated Jew, he lets readers see that there was something so powerful to turn him away from Judaism. That force is as Paul writes, “But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles…” (Galatians, 1:15). Not only does Paul show that God supports him, but also that it all it took was the coming of Jesus Christ to convert him from a devoted Jew into a Christian. For Paul’s audience, whatever possible doubt of Paul’s authority is negated because of Paul’s claim of God’s support and also due to his conversion. Paul makes his audience understand that it must have taken a strong force to have converted himself, and that force must come from God for it to change into a hypocrite of his old ways. And

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Reflection On Judaism

    • 923 Words
    • 4 Pages

    While comparing the Old Testament to the New testament it became clear Christians are so different. One of the major problems is that we assume to understand Judaism because we believe and read the Old Testament, in our journey to become stronger in our own relationship with Jesus Christ. Misunderstanding that they need to have a savoir, as the Christian faith needs to over the sin of man, in order to enter heaven. In Judaism there is not a need or a plan of salvation. The ideal of Judaism is more of what are you doing with your life and what difference did you make in the world through a righteous life.…

    • 923 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The general impression of the first sections of Romans leaves me with the idea Paul was trying to get the point across of how much trouble we as the human race are in with God. He was making very clear how all humans have taken God’s gift of creation and turned our backs on him. He wants us to understand that we in no way deserve the grace God has bestowed on us. Another impression I have is the new community of believers appear torn between what Jews are entitled to and what Gentiles are entitled too as well as what laws they should now follow. Paul makes a case for many specifics regarding the Jew and Gentiles are the same in God’s eyes.…

    • 973 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Paul uses this as an example to call out the church in Galatia; faith in Christ in the only way to be justified, not by works of the Law. God 's promise to bless Abraham 's seed meant that all people were going to be saved through Jesus. The Law was there as a guardian, until Jesus came. Paul can 't understand why the Galatians want to go back to the strict rules of the Law, when they…

    • 859 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Calvinist view does not emphasize God’s grace that saves us, but it emphasizes God’s will having little to do with our choices or faith. One observable flaw to the Calvinistic view of man’s role in salvation, is that it is void of being saved by faith through grace alone. While in a sense, man has been chosen by God, it is also critical to understand that Christ’s gift of salvation is available for anyone who comes to the Father through him. While both theological views make valid arguments, man should understand that he is given free will and though his works do not lead to salvation, his faith through…

    • 1368 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Consequently, we should listen to Paul’s message because he is an Apostle of Christ warning us not to be dissuaded by others. Through Paul’s use of various rhetorical strategies, he is able to persuade the audience into believing his claim against the teachings of the Galatians, which suggests the significance Galatians holds to the Christian community when understanding the human relationship with God. Now, Galatians serves as an artifact from antiquity that can be examined within the context of contemporary life today. One example is when Paul notes that the Galatians have “submit again to a yoke slavery” (5.1) by submitting themselves to Jewish Law. This applies to society today given that our relationship with God has been misled through the materialistic deception we are subjected to on a daily basis in this capitalistic society, which Paul has already warned us about.…

    • 996 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The letter to the Romans was written by Paul in order to address and clarify his theology. Paul wanted the Romans to have a clear understanding of his Gospel which was from God. The Letter was written around fifty five and fifty eight AD (Gorman 340). Around this time it was believed that Claudius expelled the Jews because of their fighting regarding “Chrestus” a debate about the Messiah (Gorman 340). With the Jews gone the Gentiles took over the Roman church and advanced their leadership skills, mission and theology.…

    • 1572 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Jesus Is The Messiah Essay

    • 1569 Words
    • 7 Pages

    He thinks that the historical Jesus was a traveller whose mode of teaching can be understood on analogy with the pessimistic sage but who was nonetheless a Jew who believed that the kingdom was being made reachable by God. The life-changing message of Jesus Christ was seen to be subversive to the Roman vision of order and led to the fateful death of Jesus by Pontius Pilate on a hill outside of Jerusalem. This whole paragraph is saying that Jesus was born and became a carpenter and then he found God and started to preach the word. To me, it really belittles Jesus. It makes him look like man which…

    • 1569 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    I. The opposition of the believed Pharisees V.5 In the first century some of religious group like “believing” sect of the Pharisees were converted and accept Jesus as their personal savior. Even though, they converted to Christianity but they were very conservative for the laws of Moses or Torah. This verse (v.5) speaks about the believing Pharisees who belonged to the party of Pharisees. They argue for the need of circumcision and the necessity of keeping the law as Carter and others explained the Pharisees position in the following ways “the Pharisees requirements of the Gentiles disciples for church membership it is needful to circumcise them and to charge them to keep the Law of Moses are even more demanding here than as stated at Antioch,…

    • 867 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Paul had founded the all of the churches of Galatia, but he now finds that his work has been jeopardized by anonymous Jewish-Christian teachers. These Jewish teachers, were urging former Pagans, who had converted to Paul’s views, to now convert their views to their Jewish-Christian beliefs. Paul main problem with this situation, is that it is of great threat to “the truth of the gospel.” Paul states, “As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed!” Paul is obviously trying to remind the Galatians there is no other Gospel, then the one he has told to them that came from God, himself. As a result, Paul writes a sincere letter to try to make the Galatians stray away from these religious…

    • 1283 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It guides the Christian faith by affecting the community’s transformation into “fully mature children of God”( Mackie, 2009). The hostility of the Jewish Christian allude that the suffering comes from God, James reminded the Christians to restraint from their sin and the saints should speak properly to those who backslide into sin ( James 5:19-20). Peter gave examples of Christ being persecuted, ( 1Peter 2:23) yet, Christ was “insulted and He did not retaliate.” Therefore man should come together in peace, not wavering in their faith. The church should not follow false teaching, and to remain steadfast and…

    • 1214 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays