Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Galatians 1:8-9 Brief

Belgium, I Eclaircie-trekearth

La Campagna, Italy-trekearth
Sole, Portoferraio, Italy-trekearth

I have been listening to an audio version of Galatians lately...

Galatians 1: 6-10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you [a]by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel [b]contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be [c]accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel [d]contrary to what you received, he is to be [e]accursed! 10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

Greek New Testament

Scrivener 1894 Textus Receptus
wV proeirhkamen kai arti palin legw ei tiV umaV euaggelizetai par o parelabete anaqema estw

Byzantine Majority
wV proeirhkamen kai arti palin legw ei tiV umaV euaggelizetai par o parelabete anaqema estw

Brief Background Of Galatians

Commentator F. Roy Coad makes the quite clear observation from the context, statement that Galatians is free from authorship controversies as it is virtually unanimous that the Apostle Paul wrote the Book. Coad (1986: 1413). Paul is clearly identified as the author.

There are debates on the date of the letter and the location of churches intended. Coad (1986: 1413). Many American and British scholars conclude Paul established on his first missionary journey a church in the southern part of the Roman Province of Galatia. (1986: 1416).

The writer reasons that Galatians was likely the first New Testament text written, in 48-49 AD, and Paul's conversion was likely in approximately 33 AD. Coad (1986: 1416).

Galatians 1: 6-10

Commentators with different views ask 'Was Paul implying that the Judaizers' message was no gospel at all; or that it was not a different message, but merely a perversion of the true?' Coad (1986: 1418).

The Judaizers being those formerly of Hebrew Religion of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible in the early Christian Church that were attempting to live under Old Covenant Law and influencing others to do so.

However the Scriptural context states a different gospel (verse 6), contrary to what you received (verse 9).

Marshall states 'another gospel': eteron euaggelion

Coad states one that preaches such as gospel is 'eternally condemned' -anathema. Coad (1986: 1418).

ἀνάθεμα: Is translated as 'a curse' 'let him be' estw in Alfred Marshall's Greek Lexicon.

Bauer documents ἀνάθεμα: it is the 'object of a curse' in Galatians 1: 8 forward. Bauer (1979: 54).

Strong's documents ἀνάθεμα: A religious ban or excommunicated thing or person-accursed, anathema, curse x great. Strong (1986: 10).

Concepts of being everlastingly condemned, being cursed/anathema seem stronger than simply a perversion of the true gospel, or aberrant theology. It appears from the level of Paul's critical critique it is quite possibly beyond legalistic religion that is actually being discussed.

It is presumptuous to assume that core orthodox doctrines were still held to, although this is a possibility based on scholarship.

Rather in being a different gospel means there is a reasonable possibility the particular Judaizers involved had fallen back into the Law to a point where they had theologically and practically rejected the atoning work and resurrection of Christ in soteriology.

Therefore they may have in fact had a different gospel, a different religion. Paul may not just be criticizing the Judaizers and then stating that those with a different gospel in a hypothetical sense are everlastingly condemned and cursed, but some of those mentioned were in fact in that position with God.

However, I can see from the text how there is some room for debate.

As application, any world religion and worldview regardless of how many or few adherents that seriously disagrees and alters itself from Scriptural views in regard to the Nature of God and soteriology would by implication find itself everlastingly condemned, and cursed as a false gospel by God.

This is true even of religions that claim to have post-New Testament angelic and divine origins, Galatians seemingly anticipating this type of attempt to alter the New Testament gospel, verse 8 forward.

BAUER, W (1979) A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Translated by Eric H. Wahlstrom, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press.

COAD, F. ROY (1986) ‘Galatians’, in F.F. Bruce (gen.ed.), The International Bible Commentary, Grand Rapids, Marshall Pickering/ Zondervan.

MARSHALL, ALFRED (1975)(1996) The Interlinear KJV-NIV, Grand Rapids, Zondervan. 

STRONG, J. (1890)(1986) Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Pickering, Ontario, Welch Publishing Company.


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