Galatians 5  

The churches in Galatia were formed partly of converted Jews and partly of Gentile converts, as was generally the case.

Paul asserts his apostolic character and the doctrines he taught, that he might confirm the Galatian churches in the faith of Christ, especially with respect to the important point of justification by faith alone.

In this epistle, particular attention is directed at justifying faith without the works of the Law of Moses. Galatians was not written as an essay in contemporary history. It was a protest against corruption of the gospel of Jesus.

The essential truth of justification by faith rather than by the works of the law had been obscured by the Judaizersí insistence that believers in Christ must keep the law if they expected to be perfect before God. When Paul learned that this teaching had begun to penetrate the Galatian churches and that it had alienated them from their heritage of liberty, he wrote the impassioned remonstrance contained in this epistle.
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Authorship: (Assumed)
Pliny the Younger (circa 100-103 AD)

The True Authorship of the New Testament, by Abelard Reuchlin 1986
[source]
Year Written: (Assumed)
48-55 AD
Manuscript: (Earliest Available)
175-225 AD - Fragment - Papyrus(46)
Scripture Type:
Letters - Paul
An epistle (or letter) is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal didactic letter. Pauls Epistles (or letters) are the 13 New Testament books which have the name Paul as the first word, hence claiming authorship by Paul. As some of the earliest Christian documents, they provide an insight into the beliefs and controversies of early Christianity and as part of the canon of the New Testament they are foundational texts for both Christian theology and ethics.
Further Reading:
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   VIDEO (6 ) | GALATIANS
BIBLE CANONS (5) | GALATIANS
BIBLE CANON
A list of Texts a particular religious community regard as authoritative scripture
1. Marcion Canon (140 AD)
Marcionism was a religious movement based on the teachings of the 2nd-century Marcion of Sinope. Marcions Canon lists 14 books out of the 27 books in the New Testament. More specifically, these were Luke and Paul's 13 writings. Marcion even rejected the entire Old Testament of 39 books.

bible.ca/marcion
W Marcion_of_Sinope

Galatians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Marcion Canon
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
2. Muratorian Canon (170 AD)
The Muratorian Canon is an ancient list of New Testament books - the oldest such list we have found and lists 22 of the 27 books that were later included in the New Testament of the Christian Bible.

It is noteworthy that the Muratorian Canon omits several epistles that later did win acceptance in the Christian New Testament such as the books of James and 2 Peter.

gotquestions.org/muratorian
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Galatians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Muratorian Canon
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
3. Apostolic Canon (300 AD)
Apostolic Canons or Ecclesiastical Canons
W Canons_of_the_Apostles

Galatians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Apostolic Canon
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
4. Cheltenham/ Mommsen List (360 AD)
The Cheltenham or Mommsen List is a Latin manuscript discovered by the German classical scholar Theodor Mommsen (published 1886) which probably originated in North Africa in the 4th century.

It has 24-book Old Testament and 24-book New Testament which omits Jude and James, and perhaps Hebrews, and questions the epistles of John and Peter.

bible-researcher.com/cheltenham
W Theodor_Mommsen

Galatians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Cheltenham/ Mommsen List
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
5. Council of Rome (382 AD)
The Council of Rome was a meeting of Catholic Church officials and theologians which took place in 382 under the authority of Pope Damasus I, bishop of Rome.

According to a document appended to some manuscripts, the Council of Rome affirmed the authority of the Old and New Testament canon in a decretal or damasine list.
W Council_of_Rome

Galatians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Council of Rome
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
Bible Canon (367 AD)
In 367 AD, Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria, first gave a list of the 27-books to become the New Testament 'Bible Canon'
W Development_of_the_New_Testament_canon

CHURCH FATHERS (17) | GALATIANS
Bible Canon (367 AD)
In 367 AD, Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria, first gave a list of the 27-books to become the New Testament 'Bible Canon'
W Development_of_the_New_Testament_canon

TEXTUAL CRITICISM | GALATIANS
CHURCH FATHER
Ancient and generally influential Christian theologians, eminent teachers and great bishops
1. Clement of Rome (97 AD)

Galatians was Rejected (0%) by Clement of Rome
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
2. Ignatius of Antioch (110 AD)

Galatians was Rejected (0%) by Ignatius of Antioch
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
3. Barnabas (130 AD)

Galatians was Rejected (0%) by Barnabas
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
4. Hermas (140 AD)

Galatians was Rejected (0%) by Hermas
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
5. Papias of Hierapolis (140 AD)

Galatians was Rejected (0%) by Papias of Hierapolis
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
6. Polycarp (150 AD)

Galatians was Approved (75%) by Polycarp
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
7. Didache (150 AD)

Galatians was Rejected (0%) by Didache
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
8. Diognetus (150 AD)

Galatians was Approved (75%) by Diognetus
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
9. Justin Martyr (155 AD)

Galatians was Approved (75%) by Justin Martyr
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
10. Irenaeous (202 AD)

Galatians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Irenaeous
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
11. Clement of Alexandria (215 AD)

Galatians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Clement of Alexandria
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
12. Tertullian (220 AD)

Galatians was Approved (75%) by Tertullian
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
13. Origen (254 AD)

Galatians was Approved (75%) by Origen
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
14. Eusebius of Caesarea (340 AD)

Galatians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Eusebius of Caesarea
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
15. Athanasius of Alexandria (367 AD)

Galatians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Athanasius of Alexandria
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
16. Cyril of Jerusalem (386 AD)

Galatians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Cyril of Jerusalem
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
17. Augustine of Hippo (400 AD)

Galatians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Augustine of Hippo
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
Textual Criticism
EVIDENCE: Was Paul the Author?
Today, it is assumed Paul is the author. However, it is known that Paul extensively used Scribes ('Amanuensis') to write his letters. Paul dictated his thoughts and the Scribe wrote the letter as they saw fit. Therefore, all, if not the majority of Paul's Epistles (letters) in the New Testament Bible are authored by unknown Scribes.
EVIDENCE: Paul had a troubling 'Thorn'
In his Corinthians letter, Paul speaks of a 'Thorn In My Flesh' troubling him. Bible scholars have 4 theories on the 'thorn':

    1 Physical Sickness - The 'thorn' is a physical sickness (i.e. malaria, malta fever, epilepsy, convulsive attacks, chronic ophthalmia etc.). Many of these illnesses affect the eye-sight and would explain why Paul suffered from poor vision.
    2 Mental Illness - The 'thorn' is a mental illness (i.e. brain disorder, hallucination, schizophrenia, depression etc.)
    3 Spiritual Problem - The 'thorn' is a spiritual or moral problem (i.e. demon, evil-spirit, devil possession etc.)
    4 Ministerial Opposition - The 'thorn' is the Jewish persecution, opposition and resistance to Paul's ministry. This is considered a weak theory because if Paul was referring to a opposing person or movement, he would have referred to such individuals by name.

EVIDENCE: Paul had Eye-Sight Problems
It is known that Paul used Scribes ('Amanuensis') to write his letters as he suffered from poor eye-sight and was unable to write. According to early sources, Paul was 'a short, bony, little Jew with constant running eyes from his eye problems, squinting with a very large angular nose'.

    See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand [Paul's eyesight was defective and he needed help to write]

    As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.

    Paul replied, Brothers, I did not know [due to bad eye-sight] that he was the high priest; for it is written: 'Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.'

EVIDENCE: Church was aware of Paul's Eye-Sight problem
In Galatians, Paul confirms the Galatian Church was aware of his eye-sight problem. So much so, they would have 'plucked out their own eyes and given them to him' were it possible.

    Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.

EVIDENCE: Paul used Scribes to write his Epistles (Letters)
Paul composed his letters in accordance with the writing conventions of his time. Scribes were essential as the skills required for writing with primitive pens and paper made writing legibly a challenge.

Tertius was one Roman Scribe ('Amanuensis') who wrote on behalf of Paul. Tertius wrote Paul's Epistles (letters), either from notes, ideas or direct from Paul's mouth. At the end of the Epistle (letter), Paul would conclude with personal greetings in his own writing. [John Gill's commentary]

Timothy is present as Paul and Tertius write Romans. Did Timothy have any influence over the final text? If so, what was that influence? Was any text in Romans written by Timothy?

    I, Tertius, the one writing this letter for Paul, send my greetings, too, as one of the Lord's followers

    Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

    I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand, which is the distinguishing mark in all my letters. This is how I write.

    I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.

    Timothy, my co-worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my fellow Jews.

EVIDENCE: Bible Scholars who consider Paul's Letter GALATIANS forged and interpolated
'Interpolation' is where a Word, Verse, Passage or even entire Chapter was added to Paul's Letter, often many years after Paul had written, disseminated it or died. Bible Scholars who hold the view that Paul's Letter is interpolated include:

  • Burton (1921: lxix-lxx) notes those who doubt the epistle as a whole. They include (NOT Evanson), Bauer (1850-52); Loman (1882); Pierson (1878); Pierson and Naber (1886: 26f.); Steck (1888); van Manen; Friedrich (1891); Kalthoff (1904); Johnson (1887); and Robertson. O'Neill (1972) suggests extensive interpolations: see Murphy-O'Connor in RB 82 (1975: 143f.).
  • 2:3-8, Warner (1951).
  • 2:7b-8, Straatman, van Manen (1890: 513ff.); Volter (1890: 90); Barnikol (1931a); Schenke and Fischer (1978: 79-81); O'Neill (1972).
  • 2:18, Schmithals (1973).
  • 3:16b, Burton (1921: 509f.).
  • 3:19a, not in text of P46; it contradicts the context, and can be explained from Romans 5:20. See Gaston (1982); Eshbaugh (1979); and Walker (1988).
  • 3:20, Burton (1921: 190-92. "possibly").
  • 4:25a, Schmithals (1973); Schenke; O'Neill (1975); Bentley (1962); Mace (1729, who omits it from Sinaiticus); Mill; Schott; Prins (1872); Naber (1878, "insertion work of an ass"); Holsten (1880: 17lf.); van de Sande Bakhuyzen {1880}; Baljon {1889: 185}; Thijm (1890}; Cramer {1890}; Clemen; Burton {1921: 259f.).
  • 5:7, whole verse Scott.
  • 5:7b, Semler; Koppe; Holsten {1880: 175}.
  • 5:16-24, [Sturdy asks how Pauline this really sounds].
SCRIPTURE TEXT (26) | GALATIANS
Galatians   |   Chapter: 5   |   Verses: 26
Chapter:
1 2 3 4 5 6
Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
1 of 26
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
2 of 26
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
3 of 26
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
4 of 26
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
5 of 26
Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
6 of 26
This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
7 of 26
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
8 of 26
I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
9 of 26
And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
10 of 26
I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
11 of 26
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
12 of 26
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
13 of 26
But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
14 of 26
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
15 of 26
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
16 of 26
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
17 of 26
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
18 of 26
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
19 of 26
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
20 of 26
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
21 of 26
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
22 of 26
And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
23 of 26
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
24 of 26
Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
25 of 26
Galatians   |   Chapter: 5   |   Verses: 26
Chapter:
1 2 3 4 5 6


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1. Literal Meaning - What the Text says
2. Historical Setting - The story events; how the Text was understood in its time
3. Grammar - The surrounding sentence and paragraph; textual context
4. Synthesis - A comparison with similar Texts to give a better contextual understanding

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