Thursday, August 30, 2012

Galatians 4

Sons and Heirs

If you are an heir and still a child you might as well be a slave until the time comes for you to take your inheritance.

I guess he is trying to say that even as an heir, you don't have a lot of control so you might as well be a slave? This analogy is terrible.

When the time came God sent his son to redeem those under the law and make them sons, and therefore heir's through God.

I'm either completely misunderstanding this passage or the analogy is just atrocious. He's reusing the words sons, heirs, and slaves but in ways that don't match up and the meanings just don't seem to cross over much.

Paul's Concern for the Galatians

Before you knew Christ you were enslaved to regular people. How can you go back to that after knowing God?

Were the Galatians actually slaves or is this poetic? 

I preached to you before because of a bodily ailment. My condition was a trial for you and yet you accepted me anyway, but after I preached the truth to you I became an enemy which I find puzzling. I wish I could be there with you now so we can sort this out, I am confused about why you changed your tone.

Here we see the problem with these books being a letter written from Paul to a specific group of people. The people have a history with Paul, so I'm sure they know exactly what he's talking about, but I have no idea. 

The reason that Paul started preaching to them was an ailment? That doesn't make a lot of sense to me, he was sick and therefore he started preaching? Did his preaching include asking them for help? His condition was a trial to them, is that because he was contagious or because he was asking them for help? Very strange.

Example of Hagar and Sarah

Abraham had 2 sons with 2 different women, one a slave and one free. The son of the slave was born of the flesh and the son of the free woman was born through promise. As it was at that time, those who were born of the flesh persecute those who are born of the spirit. The scripture says to cast out the slave woman and her son. We are not children of the slave but the free woman.

That is a lot of wrong in one place. First, the scripture is advocating throwing a slave woman out with her child, that is fucked up. As the bible seems to do, it is promoting a persecution complex, but here it is pretty explicitly promoting a preemptive strike, they will persecute you so in anticipation you should throw a slave woman and her child out. Finally, wishful thinking. We don't want to be descendant of the slaves so we aren't (it's possible that there is actual reason that they are descendants of Isaac, but I'm assuming he's just pandering)

For the overview post (If you think I should add or remove stuff from this list please let me know, I think it would make good conversation) 


4:29 persecution complex

4:30 preemptive strike

4:31 wishful thinking


  1. These are confusing passages. I too am a bit lost on the son, heir, slave thing--other than to note that we are supposedly children of god, heirs to heaven (if we do things right) and basically slaves to Yahweh.

    Paul's letters are tough to put in context without historical knowledge of who he was talking to. I lack that knowledge.

    The last bit you discuss is just plain atrocious.

    1. yeah, historical knowledge would really help a lot to get the most out of these letters. I think what these need is a dvd style commentary track by the original authors (whoever that would be)

    2. LoL. I like the idea of the original "commentary" by the authors. "Well, what I meant to say here, though my analogy was pretty bad was.." I think the first analogy is terrible myself. If someone has an inheritance somewhere from a relative, wouldn't it be more important to have them around? Plus, isn't it money that you don't have otherwise? I don't like the idea of waiting around until someone dies to get their stuff. It's kind of sick. Obviously, I know I'm missing the point here.

      In the second part, I wonder if the "slaves" part refers to people being bound by laws. God's laws are better I guess?

      The last part about the slave, I agree is all sorts of messed up. Would this mean that he had sex outside of marriage and should have been murdered? I hate the idea of "oh, I messed up, and I don't want it to tarnish my reputation, so I will shun someone else." Actually, in Hebrews and Genesis it sounds like his other illegitimate son isn't even acknowledged.

    3. love the OT verses you posted. If the OT says he only had 1 son, does that mean that Paul just invented the other son for this story? Does the child with the slave not count? If you had one child with your wife and another one with one of your slaves, would it be normal back then to say you have only 1 child? That seems really screwed up to me, but maybe that was normal when the OT was being written. I don't have the historical knowledge to know whether or not this is a reasonable interpretation.


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