Thursday, October 14, 2010

Galatians 1:6-10, No Other Gospel

Γαλάτας 1·6 Θαυμάζω ὅτι οὕτως ταχέως μετατίθεσθε ἀπὸ τοῦ καλέσαντος ὑμᾶς ἐν χάριτι [Χριστοῦ] εἰς ἕτερον εὐαγγέλιον,  7 ὃ οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλο, εἰ μή τινές εἰσιν οἱ ταράσσοντες ὑμᾶς καὶ θέλοντες μεταστρέψαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Χριστοῦ.  8 ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐὰν ἡμεῖς ἢ ἄγγελος ἐξ οὐρανοῦ εὐαγγελίζηται [ὑμῖν] παρ᾿ ὃ εὐηγγελισάμεθα ὑμῖν, ἀνάθεμα ἔστω.  9 ὡς προειρήκαμεν καὶ ἄρτι πάλιν λέγω· εἴ τις ὑμᾶς εὐαγγελίζεται παρ᾿ ὃ παρελάβετε, ἀνάθεμα ἔστω.
Γαλάτας 1·10 Ἄρτι γὰρ ἀνθρώπους πείθω ἢ τὸν θεόν; ἢ ζητῶ ἀνθρώποις ἀρέσκειν; εἰ ἔτι ἀνθρώποις ἤρεσκον, Χριστοῦ δοῦλος οὐκ ἂν ἤμην.
I marvel that you are so quickly removed from the one who called you in the grace of Christ into a different gospel, which there is not another gospel, except there are certain people who are stirring you up and are willing to transform the gospel of Christ.  But even if we or an angel (messenger) from heaven may proclaim a gospel to you besides (different from) what we proclaimed to you, let him be accursed!  As we have said before and now I say again, If anyone proclaims to you a gospel besides (different from) what you have received, let him be accursed!
For do I now persuade people or God? Or do I seek to please people?  If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a slave of Christ.  Galatians 1:6-10
Paul now gets into the reason why he set up his introduction the way he did.  He explained that his message or gospel was from Jesus Christ and not from people and that it was not invented by people.  We see here that the Church of Galatia was starting to be embrace “another” gospel.
ἀπὸ τοῦ καλέσαντος ὑμᾶς (from the one who called you)
Who is this?  In the context, it is God.
εἰς ἕτερον εὐαγγέλιον (into a different gospel)
This may seem to be a little strange in construction, but the whole sentence must be taken together.  The church had removed themselves or separated themselves from the gospel of God that Paul was preaching and exchanged it for a different gospel that someone else was preaching.  Notice how Paul links God with the gospel that he preached himself.  He really sets this up in the introduction to the letter by stating what an apostle is.  Later on in the letter, Paul will start giving us the idea of what he says the gospel is.
τινές (some, some people, or certain people)
I chose “certain people” because we’ll find out who those people are later on in the letter.
ἀνάθεμα (accursed)
Literally ἀνάθεμα means “cursed”.  You can let you imagination flow as to what it means, but it is pretty clear that Paul meant for it to be separation from God.  He meant it so strongly, he repeated it.
πείθω (I persuade)
This may seem to be an strange verb that Paul uses, but he is trying to say, “Should I curry favor with people or should I curry favor with God?”  In other words, persuade would be used here as “persuading” someone to like me or respect me. 
εἰ ἔτι ἀνθρώποις ἤρεσκον (If I were still pleasing people)
This may be a reference to Paul’s past life as a pharisee who went around persecuting christians.  By doing so, he would have been “pleasing” the ones who had given him the authority to do it.  As long as he was doing that, he would not be able to become a christian himself.  Paul uses “a slave of Christ” in this letter.  This should put into perspective how Paul viewed what being a Christian was all about.  

If you missed part one, check it out here.

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