It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Galatians; The purpose of the Law

page: 1
4
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Feb, 5 2016 @ 05:05 PM
link   
The epistle to the Galatians is the text which Browning’s monk “in a Spanish cloister” was hoping to use to tempt his enemy into heretical conclusions.
Certainly this letter stands out among the letters of Paul as presenting the contrast between faith and legalism
Over the first couple of chapters, Paul was explaining to the Galatians his reasons for unwillingness to compromise on the gospel.
In the third chapter, he went on to explain why the gospel of Christ needs to be centred upon faith.
He showed that God’s promise to Abraham established faith as the means to righteousness, a means which cannot be combined with or superseded by the demands of the law.

Then we may well ask- “What purpose does the law serve?”
The answer which Paul gives is that the law was provided to meet a specific need, for a limited period of time.
It was added “because of transgressions”.
It was added “until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made” (v19)

Paul also observes that the law was “ordained by angels through an intermediary”.
Stephen, in Acts, refers to the idea that Israel had received the law “as delivered by angels”, which must have been a common understanding at the time.
It comes into Stephen’s argument as a reason why the law should have been kept (Acts ch7 v55).
But in this case, Paul’s point is that a law which was received from God at second hand has a lower status than a promise which was received directly.

When Paul says “for the sake of [CHARIN] transgressions”, the most obvious meaning is that the law serves the purpose of restraining the tendency to transgress.
It holds transgressions in check.
Paul’s comments elsewhere suggest a further possibility; that one of the functions of the law is to expose transgression, to identify it as one of the features of human life.

The explanation of the purpose of the law continues in v23 (vv21-22 are an alternative summary of the general argument).
These transgressions made it necessary for us to be kept under some kind of restraint until the time came when faith should be “revealed” to us.
We are “kept under guard” under the law, until that time arrived.
We are “enclosed”; not so much “shut up in prison” as “penned in”, like babies.

For Paul then says that the function of the law was to be our “schoolmaster” (AV), our “custodian” (RSV), “like a slave serving us” (Jerusalem Bible) until Christ came(v24).
These various translations are rendering the Greek word PAIDAGOGOS.
The PAIDAGOGOS was a family slave entrusted with the daily guardianship and education of a child.
He was a male version of Mary Poppins, except that he had a lower social status (even lower than the status of a real Victorian governess, who would normally be paid less than a good cook).
His disciplinary methods might be very harsh, because a slave would not otherwise find it easy to hold the attention of the free-born son of the household.
But the child was released from the slave’s charge, of course, once he came of age.
So that was the effect of the law.
It kept the people under obedience while it prepared their minds for a more mature understanding of God’s purposes.

In Paul’s analogy, the moment of “coming of age” is defined in two different ways; “until Christ came”, and “until faith came”.
But they go together, “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith” (v26).

This introduces a new metaphor.
We become “sons of God” by belonging to Christ.
Once we have been baptised by faith “into Christ”, we are all “in” Christ.
In fact we have been “clothed” in Christ (v27).
The act of baptism is a symbolic death-and-resurrection.
It’s acting out and representing the believer’s faith that he has “died with Christ” and lives out a new life “in Christ”.
So this passage is a re-statement of Paul’s personal declaration in the previous chapter;
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (ch2 v20).
Thus we become “sons of God” by sharing in the sonship status of Christ Jesus.

Paul is now running two different metaphors at the same time.
The first is about ceasing to be a child and becoming an adult. This one is particularly appropriate for the condition of Jewish Christians, who were brought up under the law. It is an aspiration for the Jewish people as a whole.
The second is about ceasing to be an outsider and becoming a true member of the family, which is particularly appropriate for the condition of Gentile converts and the world at large.
In fact the second one follows on better from the original definition of the time-limit, “till the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made” (v19).
Those who are sons of God by faith are the true “offspring” within that definition.
Paul identifies the two in the final verse of the chapter;
“And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (v29).

But it would make no sense for the adult heir to relapse into a state of childhood, or for the newly adopted son to relapse into slavery and exclusion.
If the main purpose of the law was to prepare us for what we have found in Christ, it ceases to have that purpose for those who belong to Christ already.

edit on 5-2-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 5 2016 @ 06:56 PM
link   
a reply to: DISRAELI

It was interesting that you skipped over these two verses.


Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.


Any reason why?

I think the version you are using doesn't have all the verses so here is the complete Chapter. Look again verse 24 does not say until faith or Jesus comes. Not a verse comes close to that except 23

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

Galatians 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Galatians 3:4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

Galatians 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

Galatians 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

Galatians 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Galatians 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Galatians 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Galatians 3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Galatians 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

Galatians 3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

Galatians 3:20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.



posted on Feb, 5 2016 @ 07:02 PM
link   
a reply to: ChesterJohn
I did NOT skip over vv24-5. They are there, sixth paragraph. Read it again. That long paragraph on the "schoolmaster" image- how could you miss it?

v23 BEFORE FAITH CAME, we were confined under the law
v24 The law was our custodian UNTIL CHRIST CAME.
v25 NOW THAT FAITH HAS COME
All translations from the RSV, but I can double-check the Greek text.


edit on 5-2-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 5 2016 @ 08:31 PM
link   
a reply to: DISRAELI

Yeah I see it.

A schoolmaster and a custodian are different things. Things that are different are not the same.

I like the word WAS in vs 24. Especially for those who would want to put us back under the law especially the observance of the Sabbath day. Next it would be tithing a law given to all Israel by Moses from mount Horeb Mal 4:4.

Good thread by the way, I have enjoyed the series.



posted on Feb, 5 2016 @ 10:52 PM
link   
a reply to: DISRAELI

It serves the same purpose religion does



posted on Feb, 5 2016 @ 11:28 PM
link   

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.


Not one Gentile was kept under the law until Christ came. The law was given only to Israel Mal4:4.

So when he addresses the Galatians (Gentiles) he is telling them what purpose the law had for Israel to bring them to Christ that they Israel might be justified by faith and not in the law. the whole quote of those who would keep the law must keep all the law was a verse written to Israel under the law given them. He sows that God was going to bless the heathen (the Gentile) by faith and not by the law.

Justification by faith cross reference that with

Romans 4:23 ¶ Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
5:1 ¶ Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.


Sot he whole discourse is telling the Gentiles they are not to be placed under the law by those who claim to be sent from the foremost pillars of the church.

The rest of Galatians 3 reveals the truth that all men Jew or Gentile are all saved by faith through Grace. And those who believe are heir of God in Christ.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 02:11 AM
link   
a reply to: Holdup
My guess is that you are responding directly to the title (I meet so many people who do that), and that, not having read the opening post, you are talking about the secular law.
When you go back to read the opening post, you will see that Paul is discussing the Law of Moses.
His point is that it has a purely temporary and limited place within Biblical religion.
Instead of following the Law, they need to be living "in Christ" through faith.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:09 AM
link   

originally posted by: ChesterJohn
A schoolmaster and a custodian are different things.

Both translations offer the wrong picture to modern readers, which is why I was obliged to go down the route of explaining what was being conveyed by the original word.

I like the word WAS in vs 24. Especially for those who would want to put us back under the law especially the observance of the Sabbath day. Next it would be tithing a law given to all Israel by Moses from mount Horeb Mal 4:4.

Yes, exactly. I chose to look at Galatians because I began to see threads on ATS advocating a return to features of Old Testament religion. I think this is the product of excessive literalism, which has the effect of encouraging a legalistic approach.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 07:55 AM
link   
First Disraeli I would like to say I enjoy your threads. I do believe that the old laws such as animal sacrifices are no longer needed as GOD sent JESUS as the sacrifice for all of us who believe.

I do ponder on "man made" laws that go against the teachings of the bible. There's actually an new song I recently heard about such. I think the title is called "Guilty". It's touches on eliminating prayer in school and other places.

I wonder your take on this?



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 08:57 AM
link   
a reply to: maybee
Of course Paul is concerned about the law which claims to originate from God, and the appeal that would have to religious minds.
The secular law, which doesn't even claim to come from God, is a very different issue.
The problem has always been there, because secular laws are not always governed by religious considerations.
On the whole, we have to learn to live with them, except when they are commanding something God has positively forbidden, or forbidding something which God has positively commanded.
We are told not to be criminals, but if Paul had been held under a law forbidding him to preach the gospel, he would have found a way of evading it.
We just have to play it by ear and look for the right response to the circumstances.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 10:43 AM
link   
a reply to: DISRAELI

do you know what the duty was of a schoolmaster?



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 10:45 AM
link   
a reply to: ChesterJohn
I described the duties of the PAIDAGOGOS (the word translated "schoolmaster") in the sixth paragraph of the opening post (q.v.).


edit on 6-2-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 11:24 AM
link   
a reply to: DISRAELI

Then and in the 1600 a schoolmaster is the one who would go through the town/hamlet/village and gather the children and take them to school. Occasionally a child would be distracted along the way and the schoolmaster would use a switch (small stick) to tap them back into the group. Just like a shepherd would use a staff to keep sheep going in the right direction. The schoolmaster's job was to bring them to school and like such the law was to bring them to Jesus.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 11:32 AM
link   
a reply to: ChesterJohn
That works for 1600, but not so well for 1st century Greece and Rome. In that society, the PAIDAGOGOS was dedicated to one family, a slave in status, and a rigid, even vicious, disciplinarian. All these elements are useful in understanding what Paul is saying about the law.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 03:45 PM
link   
a reply to: DISRAELI

you do realize that the koine Greek word you are using has no way of being verified as meaning what you or scholars say it does?

Remember Koine Greek is a dead language and left no known dictionary of words. many of the meanings that are attributed to Koine Greek are actually from Classical Greek or are proven by SECULAR documents. Generally not a good way to interpret SPIRITUAL words.

But either way we are both correct.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 03:55 PM
link   
a reply to: ChesterJohn
Since Greek is the original language, using the Greek is the only way to get at the original meaning. We CANNOT get at the original meaning in any other way. So the attempt has to be made.
You are forgetting, I think, that Greek has always been a living language. Indeed the koine was not a special religious language, but simply what was spoken currently by the ordinary people of the time. The study of the Greek Testament was a continuous tradition in the Greek-speaking world right up to the point when the Renaissance scholars of the west began to make use of it, so that is our best guarantee that we are getting at the best meanings.

There is no point in quibbling at my translation of the Greek unless you can offer a better way of translating the Greek words in question. So which words that I have quoted do you think ought to be translated in a different way?


edit on 6-2-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 04:10 PM
link   

So which words that I have quoted do you think ought to be translated in a different way?


That is a question you need to put to Jesus and let the Holy Ghost instruct you.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 04:13 PM
link   
a reply to: ChesterJohn
Jesus and the Holy Spirit have not criticised me for the approach I'm adopting. As far as I know, they're quite happy with it.
You are the only one criticising, so it is up to you to suggest a better alternative.



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 05:25 PM
link   
a reply to: DISRAELI

The Law is for: those who have not been spiritually reborn; those who cannot see; those who are spiritually dead/unaware.

What the Law does is leads the spiritually dead/unaware to follow spiritual understandings (follow the spirit) that they otherwise cannot see/understand.

Once you can see the spirit yourself, you no longer need to live by the physical/letter of the Law, but instead, what is the spirit of the Law - which is what the Law is in the image of.

Like so:
These words are the image of my awareness/my concepts,
my awareness/conception is of my spirit/my will,
and my spirit/my will is to show you how my words are images of what is in my spirit/what is in my will, as I conceive it / measure it.
edit on 2/6/2016 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 05:32 PM
link   
a reply to: Bleeeeep
That looks like a good summary of what Paul says, or what he is about to say.
"Adopted as sons" is going to come at the beginning of the next chapter.
Paul tends to talk of death-and-resurrection rather than rebirth, but he means the same thing.
Either way, he agrees with John in making the Holy Spirit central.
Thank you for that contribution.

P.S. "What person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also nobody comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God". 1 Corinthians ch2 v11


edit on 6-2-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)




top topics



 
4
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join