Skip to main content

Galatians 1:11-12 and the Overall Argument in Galatians

11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any human source, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. (TNIV)
These two verses are the main thesis that Paul argues from here through the end of chapter 2. The Teachers claimed that Paul had been taught the gospel by the apostles in Jerusalem and that he was guilty of abbreviating the gospel that he had received by either (depending on how you come down on the New Perspective on Paul – an issue we’ll address later in Galatians) not requiring the Gentiles to follow the Mosaic Law or not requiring Gentiles to become like ethnic Jews by not forcing them to be circumcised and follow sabbath and food laws. Luther grasped the force of the Teachers arguments well:
They were saying that Paul was inferior to the rest of the apostles’ followers, who had received what they taught from the apostles; they had also observed their behavior for a long time, and Paul had received the same things from them, they claimed…Why then would the Galatians choose to obey an inferior authority and despise that of the apostles themselves, who were the prime elders and teachers not only of the Galatians but also of all the churches throughout the whole world? (Luther p. 57).
Many would have found such a claim to be very persuasive. However, it was not the truth. Paul contradicts the Teachers, stating that what he received was a revelation of Jesus Christ. [1] It did not come via any human agency. The crucified and risen Christ himself was revealed to Paul on the Damascus road. That was the source of Paul’s knowledge of the gospel. In the following sections Paul will develop this thought more.

[1] Pace the TNIV and following Hays (p. 211) I take the genitive ‘of Jesus Christ’ as an objective genitive on the basis of vs. 16.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Commentary Series Overview

When I write commentary reviews, one of my main goals is to assess how well the commentator hit the intended audience of the commentary and utilized the format of the commentary. This often necessitates cluttering up the post discussing issues of format. To eliminate that, I thought that I would make some general remarks about the format and audience of each of the series that appear in my reviews. Terms like liberal, conservative, etc. are not used pejoratively but simply as descriptors. Many of you are familiar with Jeremy Pierce's commentary series overview. If you don't see a particular series covered here, check out his post to see if it's reviewed there. I am making no attempt at covering every series, just the series that I use. Additionally, new series (such as the NCCS) have been started in the five years since he wrote his very helpful guide, so I thought that it might not be completely out of order to have another person tackle commentary series overviews. This…

Paul's Argument in Galatians 3:15-29

15 Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. 19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one. 21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! Fo…

Doctor Who: Rose Tyler - Traitor?

The end of season four was very, very controversial. When I first saw it, I felt cheated. I was angry. The more I think about it, the more I think I see what Russell Davies was doing. He is too good of a writer and the show is too carefully crafted for him to screw up Rose's character and the end of a four season storyline. So while the ending isn't strictly part of our series, it is tangentially related, and I've agonized over that scene in Bad Wolf Bay so much that I have to write about it. :)

To briefly set things up, near the end of the final episode of season four, there is a meta-crisis, that results in a part human. part Time Lord Doctor being generated. He has all of the Doctor's memories, and thinks and acts like the Doctor. However, importantly, he only has one heart and cannot regenerate. He only has one life to live. The meta-crisis Doctor brought full resolution to the battle fought against the Daleks, and in the process, wiped them out. Thus, the real Doc…