Epistle to the Galatians

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The Epistle of Paul to the Galatians (actually Paul's letter to the churches of Galatia ) is a book of the New Testament of the Christian Bible.


The modern biblical scholarship sees in accordance with the tradition as certain that the Apostle Paul of Tarsus is the author of Galatians. Galatians is an excellent autobiographical source, as Paul says here about the most important stations on his way as a Christian.


The Galatians were a since 278 BC at Ancyra (now Ankara), in Asia Minor (modern Turkey ) based Celtic tribe; the word is cognate with Celtic Galatians. Your own name was Galatai. From Roman authors, however, they were called Gallo - Greeks. The region of Galatia was a plateau north of Ankara. The Roman province of Galatia handed over the region of Galatia addition and included, inter alia, the land of Phrygia, Pisidia, and Lycaonia, where visited on Paul's first missionary journey cities Antioch were in Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe. Maybe at that time also included Attalia Perge and the province of Galatia, Paul, according to Acts 13:15 EU; Has visited 14,25, but this can be seen is not clear from the ancient sources.

It is not clear whether Paul addressed the letter to Christians in the province or the region of Galatia. From the contents, however, it is clear that it is in the addressee to Gentile Christians who were pushed by Jewish Christians to accept circumcision. The fact that in the region of Galatia Jews are demonstrated only in the 5th century, speaks for the country's hypothesis.


According to Acts. Paul 16.6 and 18.23 has been twice in the landscape or province of Galatia, but he was, according to Acts. 14.5-20 and 16.1-5 already in the Roman province of Galatia belonging cities of Lystra and Derbe. In Galatians 4:13 Paul refers to at least two visits. This diminishes the landscape hypothesis suggests that the letter was written in the period 54-57 from Ephesus. After the province assumption, it could have been written about 48-51 early in the year 50 on the way to Corinth as early as the second missionary journey, or even between the first and second missionary journey by 48

Style of the letter

Galatians is the most sharply worded letter, which is preserved to us by Paul. There is neither the beginning nor at the usual thanks greetings at the end, but expressions like I'm surprised that no one in the future ... or I 'll keep trouble!

Reason and theology

Occasion of the letter was an alarming message that Jewish-Christian missionaries had occurred in the Galatian churches, the circumcision and observance of the Jewish ceremonial laws demanded that the Gentile Christians and so sought a compromise between the proclaimed by Paul free grace of God and the law of Moses. This approach contradicted negotiated by Paul and the other apostles on the so-called Apostolic Council in Jerusalem agreement, according to the believing of the Christ and baptized non- Jews adhering to the dietary laws only in its core provisions (no blood, no carrion, not a pagan sacrificial meat ) be required should. Paul states in his letter explains how the agreement was reached, and condemns the new requirements to the Galatians as heresy.

The book of Galatians is a big commitment of perfect salvation of the sinner through faith in Jesus Christ and a sharp confrontation with the assertion that the way to salvation could be based on something other than the work of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. Here Paul was first formulated his doctrine of justification, he should shape systematically in Romans. Therefore, the construction of which he leaned on the Constitution of the Romans in the first chapters also very reminiscent of Galatia model. As there he emphasizes in Galatians that the Christian is no longer stand under the power of sin, but was free to live by the possession of the Holy Spirit without the law as a mediator between God and man as it corresponds to the love.

As an example against the legalism he cites Abraham. Non- compliance of the law have Abraham justified before God, but his faith in the God-given promise ( Gal. 3). The fact that Abraham's free wife Sarah and his slave Hagar have both given birth to a child, but only Sarah's son Isaac received the promise, Paul serves as a written proof that only those children of the promise who are free from the bondage of the law.


  • Preface ( 1:1-5 )
  • Conversion of Paul as an apostle, preaching the Gospel received from God ( 1.6 to 2.10 )
  • Conflict between Paul and Peter at Antioch ( Antioch incident ) ( 2:11-21 )
  • Salvation is not from the law, but by faith ( 3:1-5:12 )
  • Exhortations and warnings with the call to live the gift of Jesus Christ in freedom of the Spirit ( 5.12 to 6.10 ) Fruit of the Holy Spirit ( 5:22-23 )


The Galatians had already begun to extensively commented, so by Marius Victorinus (c. 362), Ambrosiaster ( between 366-384 ), Jerome (c. 384 ) and Augustine of Hippo ( 394-395 ).