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Thread: The Identity of the Galatian Preachers

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    tWebber
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    The Identity of the Galatian Preachers

    I shared a paper nearly a year ago on the Identity of the Galatian Preachers.

    The link is: http://mikeswhitney.com/here/PaperMa...lsIdentity.pdf

    The general idea is that Paul never sought to correct the message or behavior of these preachers. This indicates that these preachers weren't Christians.

    Galatians 6:12 has been narrowly interpreted to improperly think that the preachers could only be Christians. The phrase 'persecuted for the sake of the cross' normally is interpreted to be a description of the preachers' Christian viewpoint, however, the text can equally be describing the motives of the persecutors.

    My reconstruction of the situation is that non-Christian Jews were promoting a law-accommodating gospel under pressure from a persecuting group of Jews (mentioned in 6:12). This latter group was pushing for the Jews in Galatia to disrupt the gentile Christians, to trip them up.

    I am developing the idea further to describe what gospel was being preached. But I thought I would go ahead and open up the discussion on this 2017 topic.

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    tWebber Faber's Avatar
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    Note the comments of James to Paul when Paul returned to Jerusalem from this third missionary journey:
    When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs." (Acts 21:20-22, NIV)

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    tWebber
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    Oops. I meant this to be in the Biblical Languages.

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    moved.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faber View Post
    Note the comments of James to Paul when Paul returned to Jerusalem from this third missionary journey:
    I'm not sure if you were revealing that follower of Christ in Jerusalem were sometimes against Paul and that this could mean that the Jewish followers in Galatia could also have been opposing Paul's doctrine. The idea that Paul's opponents in Galatia were Jewish followers of Christ has been the predominant view. As such, many commentators have seen the events as an internal dispute among the Christians. But the common analysis doesn't seem to take into consideration all the evidence within the letter.

    My quick summary of the Acts 21 situation is:
    That seems to be an odd situation where the Jewish followers of Christ were relying on rumours and thought that Paul was against them. But during the purification process, it seems that a broad group of Jews (with no specific mention whether those of the Messianic sect were part of it) forced Paul out of the Temple.

    Beyond that:
    I'm glad you reminded me of this passage since this elaborates James' support of Paul. James had actually recommended the approach to demonstrate that Paul wasn't against Jews. This aspect of James helps point out the balanced perspective he had.

    I am pursuing an analysis of Galatians 5:11 surrounding the idea that Paul preached circumcision. I would like to submit this paper to be shared later this year.
    Last edited by mikewhitney; 01-26-2018 at 12:04 PM.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    moved.
    I glad that you were moved.

    Oops. You just were saying that the thread was moved.

    Thanks Sparko.

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    tWebber Faber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    I'm not sure if you were revealing that follower of Christ in Jerusalem were sometimes against Paul and that this could mean that the Jewish followers in Galatia could also have been opposing Paul's doctrine. The idea that Paul's opponents in Galatia were Jewish followers of Christ has been the predominant view. As such, many commentators have seen the events as an internal dispute among the Christians. But the common analysis doesn't seem to take into consideration all the evidence within the letter.

    My quick summary of the Acts 21 situation is:
    That seems to be an odd situation where the Jewish followers of Christ were relying on rumours and thought that Paul was against them. But during the purification process, it seems that a broad group of Jews (with no specific mention whether those of the Messianic sect were part of it) forced Paul out of the Temple.

    Beyond that:
    I'm glad you reminded me of this passage since this elaborates James' support of Paul. James had actually recommended the approach to demonstrate that Paul wasn't against Jews. This aspect of James helps point out the balanced perspective he had.

    I am pursuing an analysis of Galatians 5:11 surrounding the idea that Paul preached circumcision. I would like to submit this paper to be shared later this year.
    From what I recall, the Jewish Christians were the ones called the Sect of the Nazarenes. They were pretty much ostracized by the Jewish community as well as the gentile christians. They adhered to the OT law, not in order to be save, but because they were saved.

    James was suggesting to Paul the principle of deference. Just like when Paul had Timothy circumcised (Acts 16:1-3) in order to appease the Jews (not that anybody was going to check him out). It's like not being a stumbling block: restrict your freedoms if it's going to cause a fellow Christian to stumble, or become an offense to a non-Christian whom you are trying to reach.

    My understanding of Acts 21 is that Paul had no problem with the Jewish Christians. It was the unbelieving Jews, who had seen him earlier in Ephesus, who mistakenly thought he was bringing Greeks into the temple.

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