Letters To The Galatians Analysis

2034 Words 9 Pages
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