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Who bewitched the Galatians? And are they still around?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Saint Steven, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Chapter three of the epistle to the Galatians begins with this sobering question.

    Galatians 3:1
    You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    What foolishness are we talking about here? And who are these bewitchers?
    But first, how do we define "bewitched"?

    Definition: bewitched
    transitive verb. 1 a : to influence or affect especially injuriously by witchcraft. b : to cast a spell over. 2. : to attract as if by the power of witchcraft : enchant, fascinate. bewitched by her beauty.

    Someone cast a spell over the Galatians. An injurious influence to enchant and gain power over them. The Apostle Paul is furious. He calls them foolish!

    So, who are these spellcasting monsters that are trying to devour the church at Galatia? And are they still around today? Let's review the context.

    Galatians 3:1-6
    You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    There are several questions asked of the Galatians by the Apostle:
    1) Who has bewitched you?
    2) Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?
    3) Are you so foolish?
    4) After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?
    5) Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain?
    6) -- question #2 is repeated here, thus giving it extra emphasis.

    This doesn't identify the perpetrators, but identifies the problem. Someone was trying to get them under the law. To entice them to do the fleshly works of the law instead of continue as they had begun, by the Spirit.

    To find the perpetrators, we need to back up to the pervious chapter which ends with this.

    Galatians 2:21
    I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    In chapter two the offenders are named in the situation with Peter (Cephas) and the Circumcision Group. (Sabbatarians in today's terminology)

    Galatians 2:11-14
    When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. 14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
     
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  2. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    Likely a group of Jewish converts who insisted the Galatians keep the Jewish law.

    And yes, Jews are still around today.
     
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  3. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    You changed horses midstream.
    You said, "Jewish converts" (who insisted the Galatians keep the Jewish law)
    Then you said, "Jews" (are still around today)
     
  4. Ken Rank

    Ken Rank Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Posts like this almost make me want to pull my hair out. When you say, "Jewish law," do you mean the Torah, God's law... or the additions to it made by rabbis? Because the additions to it are "Jewish law," but "it" is God's law... He is the author... and since He is the author it is a good thing. Otherwise, you are inferring that God wrote/created something that wasn't "good?"

    And yes, there are lots of Jews around today. And there is also a lot of anti-Semitism around today as well. God has a plan for them... I could show it to you in Scripture but I am not sure you'll care to hear anything. But hear this... Yeshua haMashiach...Jesus the Messiah... is Jewish. He returns as the Lion of the Tribe of JEWdah. Yes, we get the word Jew from Judah. He returns as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah... the New Jerusalem doesn't have a gate for Gentiles (just the 12 tribes)... I have a feeling you will be one in for a rather large surprise when he returns.

    Take care.
     
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  5. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    To the question of Who;

    Those who argue that we are still under the law.

    There are a number of people out here that argue the following:

    P1 The Law was given by God and is good.
    P2 God's goodness doesn't have a time-limit.
    A Whatever was good in the OT is still good in the NT.

    They consist of some Fundamentalists, some Oneness Pentecostals, some Apostolic churches, some messianic churches,etc.

    They inveigh against those who drink alcohol, don't cover their heads in church, eat foods like pork, etc. They are as dangerous as any cult group and they sow division among the brothers and stumble the weak-minded and immature believers into legalism and away from being led by the spirit.

    You can see them in posts like:

    https://www.christianforums.com/thr...ed-to-obey-any-ot-laws.8011041/#post-71345136
     
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  6. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    This is certainly the case but the post seems to be asking more.

    Would Gal. 3 apply to groups today who are not Jewish? Would this warning apply to all legalists?
     
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  7. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    I see no reason for your hostility. A question was asked as to who had convinced the Galatians they had to return to the law. The Jewish law.
     
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  8. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Right.
    The questions in verses 2 and 3 still apply. A litmus test?

    1) Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?
    2) Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?

    The implication is that once we have received the Spirit, we are going backwards to return to the law for guidance. In fact this would be a fleshly endeavor, not of the Spirit.

    It would be like using the manual controls in a jet equipped with an efficient auto pilot system.
     
  9. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    It may have been Jewish converts or simply Jews who lived in Galatia. It may even have been family members of the Galatians.

    But it was someone who convinced the Galatians to return to the law. I can't imagine that it would have been anyone else, such as the gnostics who are roundly condemned in the new testament for leading christians astray, or even the "jezebel" of the Revelation who led at least some of the Thyatirans into outright Roman paganism.
     
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  10. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    There was no sect within Judaism called the "circumcision group". Everyone in Judaism support circumcision and the law. This was the group that was quelled in Acts chapter 15 at the Jerusalem Council.
     
  11. bcbsr

    bcbsr Newbie

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    As I see it, Neo-Circumcision groups have existed in post-Biblical Christianity up to today. Generally these would be liken to the Circumcision in that they.
    1. Make salvation contingent upon one's compliance to law
    2. Make salvation contingent upon one's involvement in religious ceremonies.
     
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  12. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    I suppose it would apply to Seventh Day Adventists, or even to Jews who have family members who convert to Christianity.
     
  13. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    Yes. The adoption as sons to rule and reign with God has nothing to do with keeping the LAW!

    Just as Jesus didn't keep the law as a function of his effort, for it says by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified.

    Jesus paid attention to the Spirit.

    We are called to be Jesus' ambassadors through the power of the Spirit.

    The Law is not just a list of rules. It is a method of approaching God with your own good works in order to gain relationship.

    This is not how God designed us to operate.

    He does require obedience. And because that word is involved in keeping the OT law it stumbles those who have not matured to the point of understanding grace. Paul's passage in Gal. 3 is extremely helpful because there is nothing the legalist can do to equivocate words like bewitched or foolish.
     
  14. FenderTL5

    FenderTL5 864511320 Supporter

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    agree, the Apostle Paul was bedeviled by Judaizers and spent considerable parts of his letter(s) addressing it (Romans, Galatians, it's mentioned in Corinthians) as well as the topic of the first Council, of which we have the story in Acts 15 and 16.
     
  15. Uber Genius

    Uber Genius "Super Genius"

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    Surely, there are pockets of legalist in every church. I used to be known as the "pharisee finder," by my pastor because of my proclivity to smoke a pipe or cigar at outdoor church picnics.

    Legalism infects the immature Christian from the beginning "Thou shalt not x" is significantly easier than, "Life led by the Spirit."
     
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  16. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Thanks. That's interesting. Which ceremonies?
     
  17. Ken Rank

    Ken Rank Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It was said in such a way that to a Jewish person, was offensive. Christianity has blamed many things on Jewish people over the last two millennia when it was a few elitist Jews who really stood against messiah. There is a verse in Acts that shows, in the Greek, that 1/4 of the Jewish population of Jews in Jerusalem in that day believed he was the messiah. The blanket statements about the Jews I see often are uncalled for. "There are still Jews today" means what? That they are all out trying to get you to take part in Passover like our Lord did? Anyway.... that is why I replied as I did. Shalom.
     
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  18. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    No gate for the gentiles? What does that mean?
     
  19. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    I spent two years working for an Israeli company. Of all the conversations and discussions I have ever had with any of the people I worked with, no one was ever offended by anything I ever said and I was never offended by anything any of them ever said. Whenever I said jokingly "would you like to be a Christian" they would simply raise their eyebrows and shake their heads.

    It's an interesting thing to call to a factory for engineer support only to find that the guy you need is at the Western Wall saying his prayers. I simply said I would call back.
     
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  20. Ken Rank

    Ken Rank Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It is certainly not impossible that I over reacted to your comment, I apologize. I am in a position to see anti-Semitism from Christians in ways most people do not see. So, without hearing your tone and or knowing your background, I can only go by what little I see and apparently was wrong.
     
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