Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Galatians 2

Paul Accepted by the Apostles

After 14 years Paul had a revelation and went back toward the apostles. They saw that he proclaimed the gospel to the gentiles and they were impressed that God entrusted the gospels to him. They trusted him and asked him to remember the poor, which is what he wanted to do anyway. Also there was something about false brothers being put into their midst who were trying to make them slaves.

The 14 year thing is interesting to me. It would be interesting to see how the timing of this works together with other stories in the bible. 

Paul Opposes Peter

This section is "Paul opposes Peter", but it seems to be about Paul opposing Cephas. Is Cephas the same person as Peter? Why does the bible do so much of this multiple name stuff?

Cephas wanted everyone following the gospel to get circumcised, but this was keeping people away and Paul didn't like that. He told Cephas that he is a Jew living as a Gentile, how can he tell Gentiles they should live like Jews?

Once again, God seems way to interested in penises.

Justified by Faith

We are justified by faith, not by works, if we were justified by works Jesus would have died for nothing. I died with Christ and how I don't live in flesh but through faith Jesus lives through me.

I guess when this is basically different letter Paul has sent to a bunch of different churches, it isn't surprising that the big points will come up over and over again. I never quite know how to take the idea that we are dead and Christ is living through us. This is obviously not supposed to be taken literally (right?) but then what does it mean?


  1. Interesting point on the time gap of 14 years. I too would be curious to learn more on that. God, penises, and sex....the amount of energy focused on those topics is stunning. Truthfully, it is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for religions today. Most of us just do not care what our neighbors are doing, and I certainly do not care about their circumcision or lack thereof.

    1. "I certainly do not care about their circumcision or lack thereof."

      That totally reminds me of the episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where a guy asks David if he's really Jewish because he is listening to Wagner. I just love his response to the question. :)

    2. Great clip. I love that show.

  2. "Once again, God seems way to interested in penises." I have yet to hear this sentence come up in my daily conversations.

  3. I think the part I really like about this chapter is verse 10, where he reminds people to take care of the poor. For how much it would take to end world hunger each year, I've found figures between $30bil and $40 bil by a quick google search. It's sad with all the wealth the churches raise, (I'm thinking of the megachurches and those 6 and 7 figure salaries of those pastors), that they seem to forget about this problem. Any type of human suffering should be something to tackle, no matter what ethnic or religious background of people.

    A glaring contradiction in this chapter that really sticks out among my notes is the last verse. Does righteousness come from through the Law?. I guess a loose interpretation might put some plausibility on the differences, but they seem to be a bit different to me.

    1. I agree with the sentiment, if the church would act on what they preach they could help a huge number of poor and needy people. But after looking again, I'm not sure I think this verse applies. I read it again, and it seems to be talking about who they are going to preach to,

      "...they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Only they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do."

      It doesn't sound like they are telling him to help out the poor, but rather make sure you include them in your conversion efforts.

      As far as the whole law vs faith thing, I have read a few things about that and I just find myself confused. It seems to me they had 2 ideas that don't mesh together, before Jesus it is all about following rules and afterwards it is only about faith. I try to understand the way people try to reconcile but it always seems clumsy and confusing to me.

    2. On a second reading, I think you might be right. Unfortunately, it sounds like I was taking the poor thing out of context. It's too bad though. I like the idea of helping the poor rather than spending all that time preaching to them.

    3. I think the point still stands, certainly there are places in the bible telling people they should help the poor, this verse just isn't one of them.

      A quick search got me to this one



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