The Berean Expositor
Volume 50 - Page 76 of 185
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We do not think it necessary to go into more detail of the southern and northern
theories in these articles, but for those who wish to pursue the matter further we would
recommend Mr. 100: H. Welch's comments in The Apostle of the Reconciliation, pp. 75-86
and those of Dr. Donald Guthrie in the second volume of his New Testament
Introduction, pp. 72-79. Mr. Welch's summary of the advantages of the south Galatian
theory are as follows:
By this view no visit of Paul to Jerusalem is suppressed.
The most forcible arguments that could be used at the time are used.
No inconsistency is intruded into the Acts.
Every phrase which bears upon the date is simply and naturally explained.
The authority of the Council at Jerusalem, and the decree made, remain unimpaired.
The epistle was written from Antioch or the neighbourhood.
The churches of Galatia were those of Pisidia, Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe.
The epistle is probably the earliest book in the New Testament.
(The Apostle of the Reconciliation, p.86).
Accordingly we adopt to south Galatian position.
The object of this letter is clear. The Apostle had heard of serious trouble in the
Galatian churches which was twofold, just as it was at Corinth. Judaizers claiming
authority from Jerusalem, were trying to place the yoke of the Mosaic law on Gentile
believers, and their method was to deny Paul's apostolic standing and discredit his
teaching. The rapidity with which the Galatians had departed from the freedom of the
gospel served as a goad to the Apostle and the urgency of the situation caused him to
dispense with formalities and write in a style that was burning with deep feeling and
He therefore sets out in this epistle what was destined to become the charter of
Christian liberty through the subsequent history of the professing church. Dean Farrar
"St. Paul saw that it was time to speak out, and he did speak out. The matter
at issue was one of vital importance. The very essence of the Gospel, the very
liberty which Christ had given, the very redemption for which He had died, was
at stake. The fate of the battle hung apparently upon his single arm. He alone
was the Apostle of the Gentiles. To him alone had it been granted to see the full
bearings of this question. A new faith must not be choked at its birth by the past
prejudices of its nominal adherents. The hour had come when concession was
impossible, and there must be no facing both ways in the character of his
conciliatoriness. Accordingly he flung all reticence and all compromise to the
winds. Hot with righteous anger, he wrote the epistle to the Galatians. It was his
trumpet note of defiance to all the Pharisees of Christianity, and it gave no
uncertain sound" (The Life and Work of St. Paul, pp. 427-428).