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Galatians; The two sons of Abraham

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posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 05:15 PM
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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
In the first part of the fourth chapter, he’s appealing to the Galatians to ignore the advocates of obedience to the Law.
In the middle of this appeal, he thinks of another line of argument to convince them that they are making the wrong choice.

v21 “You who desire to be under law, do you not hear the Law?”
In fact the story he’s going to use comes from the history in Genesis, so “the Law” must mean the whole Pentateuch document.

vv22-23 He draws his analogy from the two sons of Abraham (or at least the two most prominent sons of Abraham, because obscure paragraphs in Genesis will reveal others).
There was Ishmael, son of the slave-woman Hagar, and Isaac son of Sarah.
The analogy will work by aligning this distinction with the contrast between KATA PNEUMA (“according to the Spirit”) and KATA SARKA (“according to the flesh”), which runs through Paul’s teaching in the other letters.

The slave-woman had a son who was born according to the flesh alone.
But the son of the free woman was born “through promise”.
There was the general promise of descendants in Genesis ch15, and the more specific promise of a child to Sarah in ch17 and ch18.
Paul has already associated this promise with “the promise of the Spirit through faith” (ch3 v14)

He goes on to identify the two mothers with the two forms of covenant (vv24-25).
Mount Sinai is located in Arabia (as defined in the geography of the time), and Arabia is the land of the children of Ishmael.
Therefore Hagar, mother of Ishmael, represents the Sinai covenant, and also the “present” Jerusalem, which holds to the Sinai covenant.
So her state of slavery is a confirmation that the old covenant is a condition of slavery, just as Paul was arguing in the first part of the chapter.
Hagar was, and remains, a “mother of slaves”.

This means that the “free woman” must represent “the Jerusalem above… our mother”, the community of those who belong to Christ.
The contrast with “the present Jerusalem” implies that she is also “the Jerusalem to come”.
In other words, the same image that we find at the end of Revelation, when the heavenly Jerusalem descends.
Paul claims for this Jerusalem the prophecy of Isaiah, that the barren mother would rejoice to find herself blessed with a multitude of children.
That prophecy follows on from the injunction;
“Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you;
For when he was but one I called him, and I blessed him and made him many” (Isaiah ch51 v2).
These prophecies are being fulfilled through the Christian evangelism which Paul represents (vv26-27).

Paul now turns from the mothers to the children (vv28-30).
“We” are children of promise, like Isaac.
That is, we have been become sons of God (see v4) through faith, in accordance with the promise given to Abraham (see ch3 v7).
In other words, we have been born “according to the Spirit” (see v6).
Whereas those who hold to the Sinai covenant are, like Ishmael, children of Abraham only “according to the flesh”.

Then Paul draws a moral from the relationship between the two sons, as described in Genesis.
“He who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit”.
He refers to the time when the family were celebrating the weaning of Isaac and Ishmael was observed to be “mocking”, which aroused Sarah’s anger.
That is being matched in Paul’s time by the persecution which the Jews, the “children of slavery”, are directing against the Christians, “the children of promise”.

But the final outcome was the other way round. Sarah’s demand was that “the slave and her son” should be cast out, so that the son should not gain part of the inheritance which the free-born son would receive.
In the same way, the Christians have the consolation of knowing that the slaves of the Law, as long as they remain slaves of the Law, will not share in the inheritance which God has promised.

The allegory of Isaac and Ishmael is not really a new argument for this letter, but a dramatized version of the arguments he was presenting earlier.
It has a practical moral which our chapter divisions have pushed forward into the first verse of the next chapter.
Since we are children of the free woman, not children of the slave, we owe it to ourselves to hold fast to that freedom.
We must not allow ourselves to be pulled back into Ishmael’s condition of slavery.
And that will be the state of the Galatians if they allow themselves to be persuaded into submission to the Law.




posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 08:13 PM
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I enjoyed reading this.

Kudo's




posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 08:30 PM
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This should be nailed to the door of John Hagee's church. What's this about Abraham having more children?



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 08:58 PM
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Are you sure that is Gods promise?, or is it Paul's? Does Paul's authority supercede Jesus' teachings? Because Jesus was a Jew and practiced the Jewish religion he kept the Sabbath, the holy days, festivals etc. until the day he died. (Matt. 5:17), "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill." He lived under the Law.

If I came to you and said I had a vision, of Jesus and He told me that everything He believed in and taught, on Earth was a bunch of BS, and instead of worshiping and believing the way that He believed and taught on earth everything must be changed. He further told me to redefine what He said, and refashion it to reflect the popular beliefs in the world today. Would you listen to me? What if my writings were chosen for the most holy book instead of the accounts of the many gospels that were available, rejecting books like Enoch, and Juballees, and the other books of Adam and Eve and the other Apostles? What if it was mostly my teachings that you read your whole life, would you believe in me then? Cause that's basically what happened with Paul.

To get a better understanding of what Jesus actually believed and what he actually taught, read the most ancient texts and read up on his brother James. Not much was written about Jesus, but there is a lot of historical accounts of James. I suggest the work of Robert Eisenman, he basically smuggled the dead sea scrolls out and made them available to the world. He has done a huge amount of research on James the brother of Jesus, and the dead sea scrolls. The historical information he has amassed is mind boggling. And if you take the time to go back to these ancient texts you will see a different Jesus. www.youtube.com... www.youtube.com...

Paul was a Roman, and the story he tells and teaches, reflects all that the Romans believed and taught about a god named mithra. www.youtube.com...

Dont forget who is responsible for the "Canon of Scripture" we have today. Read up on the historical accounts of the motives behind the "Holy Roman Empire". The Catholic Church. When the Council was chosen to pick which books would be made into holy scripture.

In my opinion, most Christians are grandchildren of the Vatican. Because, many years ago the Church decided what books were to be in the bible, and if we dont challenging that decision, and read all that is available, we limit our understanding of who Jesus was/is to Paul's definition. And if you take the historical information available about Paul, you might question his motives for writing all the disinfo that he wrote.



posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 02:31 AM
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originally posted by: Josephus
This should be nailed to the door of John Hagee's church. What's this about Abraham having more children?

Genesis ch25 vv1-6 The tribes of the east country.
I don't know John Hagee, but I think many modern Christians are forgetting what Paul was trying to teach in ths letter.
edit on 27-2-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 08:43 AM
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originally posted by: misskat1
Are you sure that is Gods promise?, or is it Paul's?

Paul is quoting the promises of God made in Genesis ch15 v6 and Habakkuk ch2 v4.
Paul did not write either Genesis or Habakkuk.

(Matt. 5:17), "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill." He lived under the Law.

And why do you think Jesus needed to make that declaration? It ws necessary to reassure some of his critics, because his attitude to the written law was already coming under suspicion. He is recorded in the gospels as criticising some of the details of the written law, such as allowing husbands to divorce their wives to suit their own convenience. That was not God's true intention, but a concession to their "hardness of heart".

When Jesus and James talk about the importance of the law, they don't (if we look closely) mean the "written code", which Paul criticises.
They mean the basic principles of the law, as outlined in the sermon on the mount, and Paul actually agrees with those basic principles.
Once we get past the different ways these people use the expression "the law", we find they are all saying the same thing.

This thread on the theology of Galatians ch4 is not the place to argue out the question of the canon, but I will just say this;
The final canon was the result of a growing consensus within the church, which developed even before the Roman empire had ceased persecuting the church, so it was hardly happening under government control. The government was only interested in destroying the church altogether.
This was also happening long before there was such as thing as "the Roman Catholic Church", an institution which developed much later. There was a bishop of Rome in those days, but he was nowhere near the centre of things in that Greek-dominated church, and certainly not "in charge".
The Vatican itself was not built until a thousand years later, making the current habit of calling the early church leadership "the Vatican" doubly absurd.

edit on 27-2-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 02:17 PM
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originally posted by: Josephus
This should be nailed to the door of John Hagee's church. What's this about Abraham having more children?


Yes it is true after Sarah died, and later he sent them East so that they are out of the land of Promise for that was only for the line of Isaac.


Gen 25:1 ¶ Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.
2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah
.
3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.
4 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.
5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.
6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.


Oh and about John Hagee I wouldn't give him a plug nickle, I was a missionary over seas and I wrote to ask for 2 CD's of his so we could show them at evangelistic film showing, his multi-billion dollar a year ministry wrote back and said no. I lived lived by faith for 15 years in the mission field not once asking for Money from any one or the church I planted. I didn't have the money to buy them at $20 suggest donation price. They also told me a Christian should not be poor but they would pray for my prosperity.



edit on 27-2-2016 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 03:51 AM
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"Presenting the contrast between faith and 'legalism'(a word not in scripture)." Sayith the OP.

Legalism is a term used to make the true followers of Jesus, followers of Faith and good work, look like they/we are into crazy rule making. That is a lie of Satan

Love God with all your heart
Love your neighbors as yourself

Those are the only rules, in addition to dont blaspheme the holy spirit, that matter. You do those 3 and your good.

Jesus never taught, nor his disciples, the fallacy of legalism.

That's actually Paul's writings that have the most legalism, even though Disraeli would decieve you into thinking it's the other way around.

I hope you can see this with own your eyes.



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 04:11 AM
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Paul is the author of legalism. After Christs ascension there is no more to learn, message received. Paul or Saul, is a Pharisee, and Jesus said "beware of the leaven of the Pharisees."

So excuse me if I don't buy the words of a wolf like Balaam I mean Saul.

Paul teaches the doctrine of Balaam, Book of Revelation excplicitly says, per Jesus, whoever teaches it's OK to eat meat sacrificed to Idols is teaching the doctrine of Balaam.

Paul's doctrine is the doctrine of Balaam.
edit on 28-2-2016 by Othello420 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 04:42 AM
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a reply to: Othello420
You are using two different lines of argument which contradict one another.
You are saying;
a) Legalism (insistence on following the details of the law) is a good thing, the teaching of Jesus.
That makes Paul a bad man for opposing it.
b) Legalism is a bad thing, which makes Paul a bad man for supporting it.
If we put your two lines together, we get;
1) Legalism is a good thing.
2) Paul was a legalist.
3) therefore Paul was a good man for being a legalist.
As a whole, then, your argument itself leads to the conclusion that Paul was right.

Paul's position is that he criticises and opposes dependence on the detailed observance of the law.
That dependence on detailed observance is what we mean by legalism.
You are not going to get anywhere until you can make up your mind whether you think legalism is a good thing or a bad thing.

(Incidentally, the attitude of Pharisees was one of detailed observance of the law. Paul was a Pharisee until he met Jesus at Damascus, and then ceased to be one)


edit on 28-2-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 04:43 AM
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James and his brother JESUS, taught that "faith without good works is dead." Meaning yes, you must do good deeds in addition to faith. Is that so hard?

Apparently, to Saul, it is. Not only does he teach faith alone justifies, lying in the name of Jesus, but he turn 'good works' into "Works of law."

Works of law is a term only found in the letters of Saul. Obeying 2 commandments that encompass all ten is not a work of law, it is a work of Faith and Love for God.

Only a Pharisee would make his own rules, then turn around and lie that the Apostles are "puffed up" from having known Jesus and that they are teaching "works of law." A blatant lie on Sauls part.

These men spent 3 years with Jesus. They learned about faith, love and good works from Jesus himself. What the 12 Apostles taught was from Jesus. Why would Saul have a problem with what they learned if they learned it from Jesus?

Saul was jealous and started his own heretical church among the Roman citizens because the Messianic Jews of Israel rejected him. He was envious of the title apostle, and apportioned it for himself.

He never knew Jesus. If you follow the doctrine of Balaam/Paul, you are no better than the citizens of Pergamum who Jesus told to stop teaching this false doctrine.



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 04:44 AM
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Ia reply to: DISRAELI
No, your entitled to your opinion, but I am correct you are teaching the doctrine of Balaam.



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 04:47 AM
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a reply to: Othello420
I won't go into the teaching of James here, but the comparison between Paul and James is adequately covered in this thread;
James; Faith and works



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 04:49 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: Othello420
You are using two different lines of argument which contradict one another.
You are saying;
a) Legalism (insistence on following the details of the law) is a good thing, the teaching of Jesus.
That makes Paul a bad man for opposing it.
b) Legalism is a bad thing, which makes Paul a bad man for supporting it.
If we put your two lines together, we get;
1) Legalism is a good thing.
2) Paul was a legalist.
3) therefore Paul was a good man for being a legalist.
As a whole, then, your argument itself leads to the conclusion that Paul was right.

Paul's position is that he critcises and opposes dependence on the detailed observance of the law.
That dependence on detailed observance is what we mean by legalism.
You are not going to get anywhere until you can make up your mind whether you think legalism is a good thing or a bad thing.

(Incidentally, the attitude of Pharisees was one of detailed observance of the law. Paul was a Pharisee until he met Jesus at Damascus, and then ceased to be one)



And you lie, I never said legalism was good, your doing the same thing Saul did to the 12 Apostles.

I said it's a term invented to slander the true followers of Jesus. You proved me correct by lying that I said legalism was good. I didn't.

I said legalism is not in the bible, except the letters of Saul, the doctrine of Balaam that you are teaching people. The word itself is slanderous and not even in the bible.

I love it that you have to lie to save face.
edit on 28-2-2016 by Othello420 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 04:52 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: Othello420
I won't go into the teaching of James here, but the comparison between Paul and James is adequately covered in this thread;
James; Faith and works



All set chief I have a bible I don't need your corrupt opinions.



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 04:55 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI
You claim Saul was not a Pharisee after Damascus, another lie.

Saul swore under oath in front of Caesar, "I am a Pharisee." Not once did he claim to be an apostle under oath in front of Caesar.

His words prove you wrong.



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 04:59 AM
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a reply to: Othello420
There is no New Testament record of Paul appearing before Caesar or saying anything on oath in front of him.



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 05:05 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: Othello420
There is no New Testament record of Paul appearing before Caesar or saying anything on oath in front of him.



Blatant lie. Paul appels to Caesar and is taken in front of the Sanhedrin and judged. Caesar may or may not have been present, but to Caesar he appealed he was told he would get his wish. So I say he was present as a silent observer if nothing else.

You are not going to get out of this with trickery.



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 05:07 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI
It was a Roman province, Caesar doesn't even need to be present, Rome is Caesar, Caesar is Rome.



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 05:08 AM
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a reply to: Othello420
You seem to be referring to a scene which took place before Paul appealed to Caesar.
It is not recorded that Paul was making his statements under oath.


edit on 28-2-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



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