Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Galatians Overview

As I have explained in the past, one of the reasons I am doing this blog is I am curious to see what kind of messages one might get from reading the bible. What might one learn as a take-away. Here is my quick summary of the good and bad from Galatians.

(note: the chapter link takes you to my page on that chapter, the verse link takes you to the verse on biblestudytools.com)


5:14 Love your neighbor as yourself

5:22-26 Focus on love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control [thanks JKerber in comments]

6:1-2 help each other out


3:2-3 Faith is good, works don't matter

4:29 persecution complex

4:30 preemptive strike

4:31 wishful thinking

5:2,3,6,11 ridiculous doublespeak (about circumcision)


  1. It actually didn't really occur to me until reading this summary post. If faith is all that is required to get into heaven, then why even be good to each other? I feel that in this book, the author on one hand says, "be good to your neighbor" but on the other hand "faith is all that matters." I suppose one could say as part of the faith, you must follow the laws but it still does sound like two different things to me. Any thoughts?

    1. Oh yeah, that is definitely a good point. I remember when I was a kid we would talk about that kind of thing in sunday school (I'm assuming some kid brought it up, I really doubt our sunday school teachers made that the topic of the day on purpose). On one hand, we were told that you are supposed to do good things to make God happy, on the other hand the only thing that matters is accepting Jesus. So someone asked why bother being good if it doesn't matter. As I recall, the answer was if you truly accept Jesus into your heart you will want to be good.

      That answer satisfied me for a while, until I started really looking around. I didn't see a lot of Christians that just do good stuff all the time because they wanted to, as that explanation led me to believe. I saw people doing some good things, sure. But I also saw people doing good things because they had to, but they clearly didn't want to. I saw people trying to get away with stuff, I saw people trying to game the system, and I saw plenty of people just doing bad things.

      If accepting Jesus really made you want to be good even though you don't have to, I'd expect to see a bunch of ned flanders running around. This is simply not reality. So we return to the problem, you can do anything you want, have faith (my church expressed that as accepting Jesus) and get into heaven. Seems like a pretty broken system to me, and a terrible thing to teach children. It's obviously not taught in that way to kids, but all of the pieces are there, some of them will put it together in this manner.

    2. apologies for the wall of text

  2. Interesting. I grew up Catholic, so it was supposed to be a combination I think. I think I might have mentioned my girlfriend got kicked out of Sunday school (and was alone on the curb for an hour but that's another story) and Catholic school for asking too many questions. I guess the teachers either didn't have good answers or felt threatened or something.

    Probably one of the biggest things I realised the first time I read the Bible is that just about every faith can really justify their beliefs using the Bible, no matter how different their dogmas are. It has more to do with what stuff you want to read into and what stuff you want to gloss over.

    1. big book of multiple choice. The more I read the bible the more that phrase rings true.


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