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St Paul's Letter to The Galatians


The Epistle to the Galatians is the ninth book of the New Testament. It is a letter from Paul the Apostle to a number of Early Christian communities in Galatia. Scholars have suggested that this is either the Roman province of Galatia in southern Anatolia, or a large region defined by Galatians, an ethnic group of Celtic people in central Anatolia. The language the letter was originally written in was Koine Greek and later translated into other languages including Latin, English, German etc. In this letter, Paul is principally concerned with the controversy surrounding Gentile Christians and the Mosaic Law during the Apostolic Age. Paul argues that the Gentile Galatians do not need to adhere to the tenets of the Mosaic Law, particularly religious male circumcision, by contextualizing the role of the law in light of the revelation of Christ. The Epistle to the Galatians has exerted enormous influence on the history of Christianity, the development of Christian theology, and the study of the Apostle Paul. The central dispute in the letter concerns the question of whether and how Gentiles could convert to Christianity, which shows that this letter was written at a very early stage in church history, when the vast majority of Christians were either Jewish or Jewish proselytes, i.e. gentiles who had converted to Judaism, and were bound to all the doctrines and precepts of the Jewish religion, and were considered a full member of the Jewish people, and whom later historians refer to as the Jewish Christians. Another indicator that the letter is early is that there is no hint in the letter of a developed organization within the Christian community at large. This puts it during the lifetime of Paul himself. As with all the books of the Bible, the original of the letter (autograph) is not known to survive. Papyrus 46, the earliest reasonably complete version available to scholars today, dates to approximately AD 200, around 150 years after the original was presumably drafted. This papyrus is fragmented in a few areas, causing some of the original text to be missing. However, through careful research relating to paper construction, handwriting development, and the established principles of textual criticism, scholars can be rather certain about where these errors and changes appeared and what the original text probably said. Currently, biblical scholars agree that Galatians is a true example of Paul's writing. The main arguments in favour of the authenticity of Galatians include its style and themes, which are common to the core letters of the Pauline corpus. A majority of scholars agree that Galatians was written between the late 40’s and early 50’s, although some date the original composition later to c. 50–60. It would have been enormously helpful to Paul's argument if he could have mentioned the decision of the Council of Jerusalem that Gentiles need not be circumcised. The absence of this argument from Paul strongly implies Galatians was written prior to the council. Since the council took place in 48-49 AD, and Paul evangelized South Galatia in 47-48 AD, the most plausible date for the writing of Galatians is 48 AD. Paul's letter is addressed "to the churches of Galatia", but the location of these churches is a matter of ongoing research. Most scholars agree that it is a geographical reference to the Roman province in central Asia Minor, which had been settled by immigrant Celts in the 270s BC and retained Gaulish features of culture and language in Paul's day. Acts records Paul traveling to the "region of Galatia and Phrygia", which lies immediately west of Galatia. Some scholars have argued that "Galatia" is also an ethnic reference to Galatians, a Celtic people living in northern Asia Minor. Intriguingly, Luther after he stopped being a monk, married a former nun named Katie von Bora. They had a family and lived a happy life together. But, Luther had a second wife in the form of the New Testament Epistle to the Galatians that was written by St Paul to the churches of Galatia. Luther said, “The Epistle to the Galatians is my own epistle. I have betrothed myself to it. It is my Katie von Bora.” In this Commentary Dr Daffern uses the methodology of transpersonal history to get to the bottom of the mystery behind this letter – what are its implications for history, for theology and for us who are alive today? As a Druid-Christian, Dr Daffern is particularly fascinated by the fact that it was the Celtic churches of Galatia to whom the letter was addressed. These would have been the very first “Celtic Christians” known to history. What on earth were they doing in Asia Minor? How had they got there? Is it really true that it was these the Galatians who founded the later city of Ankara? These and other questions are also examined in depth in the Commentary.

Title File Contents File Number
St Paul's Letter to The Galatians - Part 1 VN556774.mp3
St Paul's Letter to The Galatians - Part 2 VN556779.mp3
St Paul's Letter to The Galatians - Part 3 VN556784.mp3
St Paul's Letter to The Galatians - Part 4 VN556789.mp3
St Paul's Letter to The Galatians - Part 5 VN556793.mp3
St Paul's Letter to The Galatians - Part 6 VN556809.mp3
St Paul's Letter to The Galatians - Part 7 VN556837.mp3
St Paul's Letter to The Galatians - Part 8 VN556869.mp3
St Paul's Letter to The Galatians - Part 9 VN556898.mp3
St Paul's Letter to The Galatians - Part 10 VN556925.mp3
St Paul's Letter to The Galatians - Part 11 VN556940.mp3