Let’s talk about Apostolic Authority:
“Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—” -Gal 1:1
Last week we talked about forgeries and how Second Thessalonians is among the “disputed” letters of Paul. I gave some reasons to why we should trust that it actually is from Paul. We now move on to one of the least disputed of any of Paul’s epistles:
Paul comes out swinging in the epistle and doesn’t pull punches the entire letter. And the reason for this is because in the Galatian church there was another attack on Paul’s authenticity. That attack was in the form of questioning his authority as an apostle.
And we see Paul’s personal defense begin right in the very first verse. Paul is not only denying the apparent claim that he had not been established as an apostle(2) by Christ, but he was also contrasting himself against those who actually had been sent by men. Talk about ironic. There will be more opportunity to explore Paul’s defense as we work through this new Theology Thursday series.
Galatians is one of my favorite books and there is plenty of things to talk about. I look forward to spending some time in the book with you. Let me know what your favorite thing about this book is.
"The most uncontroverted matter in the study of Galatians is that the letter was written by Paul, the Christian apostle whose ministry is portrayed in the Acts of the Apostles." - Richard N. Longenecker, Galatians, p. lvii. See also Donald Guthrie, Galatians, pp. 1-7. “... there is not a single letter that is so generally regarded as authentic as is Paul's letter to the Galatians.” - Herman Ridderbos, The Epistle of Paul to the Churches of Galatia, pp. 22
The title “apostle” means, “a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders."
Constable, Thomas. Dr Constable’s Notes On Galatians (2021 Edition) (Pg. 1-4,). https://planobiblechapel.org/tcon/notes/pdf/galatians.pdf