Peter The Apostle


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peter the apostle Pauls letter to the Galatians




Paul's Letter To The GalatiansA Humanities Essay That Teaches
The Study of The Bible AsA Historical DocumentPAUL'S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS:
When Paul attended the Jerusalem Conference in 48 or 49, a decision
was made that gentiles would be allowed to become Christians without
becoming Jews first (ie. have a circumcision, and follow the Jewish
Laws).  Paul, being the one that defended the gentile's right to be
Christians, became the apostle to the gentiles.  Why would Paul, a Jew,
want to be an apostle to gentiles?  According to him, Jesus appeared to
him in AD 32 or 36, and told him to preach the good news to the
  Paul uses scripture to explain why gentiles should not be required
to be circumcised, or obey Jewish Law; however, there are no direct
quotes in scripture that say this.  One would wonder why Paul, someone
who grew-up in a "good" Jewish family, would not follow in the
footsteps of Jewish Christian Missionaries, and require Christian
converts to become Jews first.  He certainly had to fight to have his
belief accepted!  In my opinion, Paul tried to follow the example of
the original apostles (who knew Jesus) by "converting the multitudes."
I think Paul understood human nature better than the other apostles
preaching circumcision to the gentiles.  Perhaps he thought that
gentiles would accept Christianity more easily if it was natural to
their lifestyle --I'm sure that the thought of circumcision, and strict
dietary laws scared gentiles from Christianity!  It seems that the
"Judaziers" preached a God that was hard to please.
  Paul's major problem confronted in his letter to the Galatians is
the preachings of the Judaziers.  Apparently, men who preach
circumcision and the Law had been trying to "pervert" the Galatians,
and change their beliefs away from Paul's preachings (Gal 1:7).  Paul
is so angered that the Galatians are so easily convinced (Gal 1:6),
that he actually wishes the Judaziers to mutilate themselves (Gal
5:12)!  So, the letter to Galatians uses 4 specific tactics to make
Galatians come back to the teachings according to Paul.
  Paul begins by defending his credibility as an apostle.  He writes a
brief autobiographical history, stressing that he once persecuted
Christians, and then converted when Jesus appeared to him.  Also, he
tells the outcome of the Jerusalem Conference, probably to convince
them that other apostles have accepted his theology.  This part of the
letter is a bit like a resume of qualifications.  I could imagine that
the Judiazers who came to Galatia after Paul, denounced him as an
apostle: that he never met Jesus, and was not truly educated to be anapostle.
  Next, Paul writes that "obedience to the Law could not earn approval
by God; approval is possible only through faith in Christ" (Perrin, pg.
184).  Faith in the crucified Christ will bring righteousness, not the
Law (Gal 2:21).  Having circumcision will do nothing to make one better
  Then, Paul uses an allegory of The Two Covenants: Abraham's child of
a slave woman represents Jerusalem living under the Law, and the child
of the free woman represents Jerusalem being free!  This tactic, along
with Paul's use of familiar Jewish argument style, quoting scripture
after scripture to prove a point (Gal 3), are common preaching styles;
probably taught to him during whatever rabbinic training he got
(perhaps when he spent time with Peter).  Paul also tries to appeal to
the Helenistic enthusiasm in Christianity in Gal 3:1-5.
  Although Paul makes some very convincing arguments in favor of his
beliefs, I cannot agree with his interpretation of Christ Jesus
Christianity.  Compare these two quotes from New Testament Scripture
(The first is by Paul in Galations.  The second is a quote of Jesus in
"knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but
by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus,
that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works
of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets.  I
did not come to destroy but to fulfill ....  Whoever therefore
breaks one of the least of these commandments,
shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.." (Matt 5: 17 & 19)
  Although I realize the Book of Matthew was written after Galatians,
the preachings of Jesus were made before Matthew was even a Christian!
Points to consider before accusing Paul of defying Jesus would be to
find out if ... more

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Exegesis Of Rev. 1:1-20

Revelation as a whole is often viewed as a very hard book to understand. However, if taken in small sections and really studied closely, the meaning of the text can come through. The first step to understand the book is to understand when it was written and the occasion and purpose for which it was written.
Revelation was written at a point when Christians were under great persecution by Rome. Most scholars believe it was written somewhere around A.D. 95 by the apostle John. The book was written to encourage the new Christians at the seven churches to hold fast and not give in the emperor worship that was beginning to be enforced. John had already been exiled to the island of Patmos (1:9) and others were coming under great persecution. John writes this letter to encourage the believers that Christs return is imminent and that they should not be dispirited by the persecution they are going through now. Instead, he echoes Matthew 5:10, that Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
There are many interesting things about Revelation 1. The first verse itself is somewhat interesting. It reads, The revelation of Jesus Christ This is intriguing in that were not quite sure what is meant by a revelation of Jesus. The Greek word for revelation is apokalupsis, which means used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all. (Strongs Concordance) The strange thing about the use of this word is that in the context of the verse, it is not made clear whether John means that it is a revelation of Jesus Christ, or about Jesus Christ, or both.
As we move on in the chapter, we come to verse 3, where it is written, Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy... This verse is worthy of note because of it is the first beatitude of the seven that are contained in Revelation. By saying that the person who reads this book is blessed, John is saying that the reader is much more than happy, but he is favored by God. As the verse continues, we read that the time is near. This is a reference to Christs return and the judgment that will come with it. This is a theme that is echoed by almost all of the New Testament, as in James 5:9, which says, The Judge is standing at the door!
Revelation 1:4 provides yet another intriguing aspect of the book in general. John, to the seven churches in the province of Asiafrom the seven spirits before his throne. This demonstrates one of the distinctive features of Revelation, the repetitive use of the number seven. In totality, it is used 52 times throughout the entire book. There are seven churches (1:4), seven spirits (1:4), seven golden lampstands (1:12), seven stars (1:16), and many others.
Verse 1:7 produces a bit of a conundrum. It states, all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. Jesus is of course the him being referred to here. However, the problem at first glance is that all people will mourn. Christians believe that Christs second coming will be a time of great celebration and a time eagerly awaited. Yet this verse says that it will be a time of mourning. Upon closer inspection however, and good cross-referencing, we find that it does not mean we will mourn him coming. Instead, it can mean one of two things. First of all, it could mean that all humanity will mourn what was done to Jesus on the cross. Secondly, there could be a limitation on all. In Revelation 13:8 it says, And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life. This states that all means all who are not saved. This could also be what 1:7 means when it says all, instead of meaning all people on earth.
Eventually, we come to find out how John had this revelation. It says that On the Lords Day I was in the Spirit (1:10) This terminology is somewhat interesting. As ... more

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