Thursday: The Origin of Paul’s Gospel
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The Origin of Paul’s Gospel The troublemakers in Galatia were claiming that Paul’s gospel was really driven by his desire to obtain the approval of others. What might Paul have done differently in his letter if he were merely seeking human approval? Consider Gal. 1:6–9, 11–24.  Why did Paul not require Gentile converts to be circumcised? Paul’s opponents … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: No Other Gospel
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What normally follows the opening greeting in Paul’s letters? How is Galatians different? Compare Gal. 1:6 with Rom. 1:8, 1 Cor. 1:4, Phil. 1:3, and 1 Thess. 1:2.  Although Paul addresses all kinds of local challenges and problems in his letters to the churches, he still made it a practice to follow his opening greeting with a word of prayer or thanksgiving to … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: Paul’s Gospel
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In addition to defending his apostleship, what else does Paul emphasize in his opening greeting to the Galatians? Compare Gal. 1:3–5 with Eph. 1:2, Phil. 1:2, and Col. 1:2. One of the unique features of Paul’s letters is the way he links the words grace and peace in the greetings. The combination of these two words is a modification of the most … [Click to read more …]

Monday: Paul’s Calling
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Though Paul’s epistles generally follow the basic format of ancient letters, Galatians contains a number of unique features not found in Paul’s other epistles. When recognized, these differences can help us better understand the situation Paul was addressing. Compare Paul’s opening salutation in Galatians 1:1, 2 with what he writes in Ephesians 1:1, Philippians 1:1, and 2 Thessalonians 1:1. In what … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: Paul, the Letter Writer
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Read 2 Peter 3:15, 16. What do these verses tell us about how the early church viewed Paul’s writing? What does this teach us about how inspiration works?  When Paul wrote to the Galatians, he was not trying to produce a literary masterpiece. Instead, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Paul was addressing specific situations … [Click to read more …]

How Did Paul Get His Knowledge
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Bible students know from Paul’s own testimony that he was well educated. “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel” (Act 22:3 NKJV). Luke also has this comment concerning Gamaliel, “Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a … [Click to read more …]

Further Study: Paul: Apostle to the Gentiles
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For the relationship between personal conversion and the church, read Ellen G. White, “Individual Independence,” pp. 430–434, in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3. For a helpful map of the early life of Paul and commentary on his conversion, see The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, pp. 226–234. “Paul had formerly been known as a zealous defender of the Jewish … [Click to read more …]