The Bible Book by BookThe Country. (1) Politically it was the Roman province which included Lycaonia, Isauria, and parts of Phrygia and Pisidia. (2) Geographically it was the center of the Celtic tribes, and in this sense it seems to be used in this epistle and in Acts (Gal. 1:1; Acts. 13:14; 14:6; 16:6).
The Celtic People. They were descended from the Gauls who sacked Rome in the fourth century B. C. and in the third century B. C. invaded Asia Minor and northern Greece. A part of them remained in Galatia. predominating in the mixed population formed out of the Greek, Roman and Jewish people. They were quick-tempered, impulsive, hospitable and fickle people. They were quick to receive impressions and equally quick to give them up. They received Paul with enthusiastic joy, and were then suddenly turned from him (Gal. 4:13-16).
The Churches of Galatia. Just how and by whom these churches were established we do not know. The great highway from the East to Europe passed through this region, making it possible for some of those present at Pentecost to have sown the seed of the gospel there. It could have sprung up from work done by Paul while at Tarsus from the time of his return from Arabia to his going to Antioch with Barnabas. But the scripture gives us no word about this.
On the second missionary journey Paul visited them (Acts 16:6) and seems to have been taken sick while passing through and to have preached to them while unable to travel (Gal. 4:14-15). They gladly received his teaching, and churches seem to have sprung up. Paul also visited them while on the third missionary journey (Acts 18:23) and instructed and established them in the faith. The churches were running well when Paul left them, but Judaizing teachers had now come in and, acting upon their fickle and unstable nature, had greatly corrupted the simplicity of their faith.
The Occasion of the Epistle. (1) Judaizing teachers had gone among the Galatians, claiming that the Jewish law was binding upon Christians, admitting that Jesus was the Messiah, but claiming that salvation must, nevertheless, be obtained by the works of the law. They especially urged that all Gentiles be circumcised. (2) In order to gain their point and turn the Galatians from their belief, they were trying to weaken their confidence in Paul, their spiritual teacher. They said he was not one of the twelve, and therefore, not one of the apostles, and his teachings were not of binding authority. They suggested that he had learned his doctrine from others, especially from the apostles who were pillars of the church.
The Purpose of the Epistle. The purpose of the epistle was to root out the errors of doctrine introduced by the Judaizers and to hold the Galatians to their earlier faith. To do this it was necessary to establish his apostolic authority and the divine origin of his gospel. He also desired to show the practical value or application of his teaching. He especially shows the value of Christian freedom and at the same time shows that it is not license. In fulfilling these purposes he gave us an inspired classic upon the fundamental doctrine of justification by faith and forever settled the disturbing question of the relation of Christians to the Jewish law.
Author and Date. It was written by Paul, probably from Corinth in A.D. 57.
I. Authoritativeness of Paul's Gospel, 1:11-2 end.
II. Teaching of Paul's Gospel, Chs. 3-4. Justification by faith.
III. Application of Paul's Gospel to Faith and Conduct, 5:1-6:10.
For Study and Discussion. (1) The dangers of fickleness (1:6; 4:9; 15:16). (2) The methods of false teachers: (a) Their chief method is to attack men prominent in the movement, (b) They usually put forward some one else for leader; They would supplant Paul with Peter, (c) One may well consider how a man will often allow the influence of another to be undermined if he is himself exalted. (3) The reasons Paul gives to show that his teaching is not of man, 1:11 end. (4) The confirmation of Paul's divine call, 2:1-10. (5) Difference between one under law and under faith, 4:1-7. (6) The lusts of the flesh, sins of body and mind are included, 5:19-21. (7) The fruits of the spirit, 5:22-23. (8) The words, liberty, lust, flesh, spirit, works of the law, live and die, servant and bondage, justified, righteousness, faith and believe. (9) For more advanced study list and study passages in Galatians that coincide with or correspond to passages in Romans.THE BIBLE BOOK BY BOOK: A MANUAL:
For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books by J.B. TIDELL, A.M., D.D. Professor of Biblical Literature in Baylor University, Waco, Texas
1916 BAYLOR UNIVERSITY PRESS Waco, Texas
ChaptersGalatians 1. Introduction; Galatians Deserting the Gospel; Paul's Ministry
1. Paul's greeting to the Galatians;
6. He wonders why they have so soon left him and the gospel;
8. and accurses those who preach any other gospel than he did.
11. He learned the gospel not from men, but from God;
14. and shows what he was before his calling;
17. and what he did immediately after it.
Galatians 2. Paul at Jerusalem; Dispute with Peter
1. He shows when he went up again to Jerusalem, and for what purpose;
3. and that Titus was not circumcised;
11. and that he resisted Peter, and told him the reason;
14. why he and others, being Jews, believe in Christ to be justified by faith, and not by works;
20. and that they live not in sin, who are so justified.
Galatians 3. Abraham's Faith Credited as Righteousness; Purpose of the Law
1. He asks what moved them to leave the faith, and hold onto the law.
6. Those who believe are justified,
9. and blessed with Abraham.
10. And this he shows by many reasons.
15. The purpose of the Law
26. You are sons of God
Galatians 4. We are not children of the handmaid, but of the free woman
1. We were under the law till Christ came, as the heir is under the guardian till he be of age.
5. But Christ freed us from the law;
7. therefore we are servants no longer to it.
14. Paul remembers the Galatians' good will to him, and his to them;
22. and shows that we are the sons of Abraham by the freewoman.
Galatians 5. Standing Firm; Walking by the Spirit
1. He wills them to stand in their liberty,
3. and not to observe circumcision;
13. but rather love, which is the sum of the law.
19. He lists the works of the flesh,
22. and the fruits of the Spirit,
25. and exhorts to walk in the Spirit.
Galatians 6. Bearing One Another's Burdens; Becoming a New Creation
1. He moves them to deal mildly with a brother who has slipped,
2. and to bear one another's burden;
6. to be generous to their teachers,
9. and not weary of well-doing.
12. He shows what they intend that preach circumcision.
14. He glories in nothing, save in the cross of Christ.