Summary Galatians Chapter 5
Summarizing Galatians Chapter 5.
Paul continues the metaphor of the Judaic Law as slavery. Since this was a large part of Chapter 4, he apparently feels pretty strongly about this. He’s not going to let go until he’s browbeaten his listeners into agreement. In contrast, Christ represents freedom.
The most reasonable conclusion to draw from all of this is that the Galatians had become subjected to an attempt to “convert” them to becoming Jewish Christians in the manner of the Jerusalem Assembly. Already in 1:6, we are told of the ‘new gospel’. Given all the anti-Jewish argument that followed, and that is continued here, I don’t see what else we could be talking about.
In fact, followers of the law, we are told, have fallen out of God’s grace. What, exactly, he means by that, is an open question. It should be noted that the base meaning of the Greek term “charis/charitas” is, really, “favour”. Now, technically, falling out of grace, and falling out of favour can refer to identical situations. However, the first has at least a level of religious implication that is, IMO, completely lacking in the latter. Or, The second can be either wholly secular, or wholly religious, but “grace” has, at a minimum, an implied religious connotation.
Should verse 5 be “spirit”? Or “Spirit” (Holy implied). I suggest the former.
Paul can’t decide if circumcision is of no value, or actively bad.
And, once again, Paul stresses that he is ‘from God’, while the others are not.
The major concept of the section 5:11-26 is the distinction between flesh and spirit. This is, largely, a Greek concept, with a very long history in Greek thought. It is not, to the best of my knowledge, derived from the OT. Paul concludes the chapter with a fairly lengthy catalog of the vices attendant upon the flesh, and the virtues that follow from the spirit (not necessarily The (Holy) Spirit.
Posted on November 5, 2012, in epistles, Galatians, Paul's Letters, Summary and tagged Bible, Bible commentary, Bible scholarship, biblical scholarship, commenting, epistles, Galatians, New Testament, religion, St Paul, theology. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.