Monday, March 17, 2014

The Epistle to the 'Galatians' - Written by Agrippa to the Prophets of Judea

The Epistle to the 'Galatians' - Written by Agrippa from Rome to the Prophets of Judea

The situation was deteriorating in Judea.  Eleazar (Barabbas), the son of Caiaphas, was on the rampage, and his rebel priests were causing trouble for the prophets. This was a sure sign that the Roman provincial Governors were supporting the priests in opposition to Agrippa and the prophets.

"All the brothers with me" (1.2) were in Rome.  Agrippa wrote this epistle from Rome to the prophets of Judea who gathered in synagogues or assemblies.  The Spirit calls and cleanses. (1.6).  The so-called "different gospel" was sacrifice.  "Some people" (1.7) is a non-descript term for specific people, such as Eleazar.  Some prophets were trying to please priests (1.10) and not following the Spirit.  

Agrippa received the Spirit from God (1.10,11,12), not from priests.  "Received" is explicit in 1.12.  The Church Fathers dissimulate.  They have the fictitious Paul unknown to the Judean assemblies, despite saying Paul persecuted them.They know that Agrippa himself wrote this epistle from Rome, so the they have Paul seeing only the fictitious James and Peter in Jerusalem.   “They only heard the report” of his conversion.  Paul is sent away to remote Syria and Cilicia. (1.13-24) 

Fourteen years before Agrippa wrote his letter, Nero had been staying with king Agrippa (The Great, ie Agrippa I) in his Palace at Ein Gedi.  Barnabas was fabricated.   Eleazar, eventually to be Agrippa's executioner, went to Rome to challenge what Agrippa was teaching.  The men who opposed the fictitious Paul were apparently sent by James in Jerusalem.

[ ] = read out, { } = read in

Chapter 1
1.1.[Paul] {Agrippa},

[an apostle – not sent from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead]

1.2.and all the brothers with me, to the [churches] {assemblies} in [Galatia] {Judea}:

1.3.[Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
1.4.who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of God and Father, whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.]

1.6.I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the [one] {Spirit} who called you [by the grace of Christ] {and cleansed you}, and are turning to [a different gospel] {sacrifice}.

1.7.[- which is no gospel at all].

Evidently [some people] {Eleazar and his fellow priests} are throwing you into confusion
and are trying to pervert the [gospel of Christ] {Spirit of God}.

1.8.[But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!
1.9.As we have already said,
So now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! 
1.10.Am I now trying to win the approval of God? 
Or am I] 

{Are you} trying to please [men] {priests}?
If I were still trying to please [men] {priests}, I would not be a servant of [Christ] {the Spirit}.

1.11.I want you to know, brothers, that the [gospel] {Spirit} I [preached] {proclaimed} is not [something that man made up] {a spirit of man}.

1.12.I did not receive [it] {the Spirit} from any [man] {priest}

[, nor was I taught it];

rather I received it [by revelation] from [Jesus Christ] {the Lord}.

1.13.[For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God.
1.14.I was advancing in reputation beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
1.15.But when God, who set me apart before I was born and called me by his grace, was pleased reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the gentiles, I did not consult any man,
1.17.nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was but I went immediately into Arabia, and later returned to Damascus.
1.18.Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem
to become acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days.
1.19.I saw none of the other apostles – only James, the Lord’s brother.
1.20.I assure you before God, that what I am writing to you is no lie.
1.21.Later I went to Syria and Cilicia.
1.22.I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.
1.23.They only heard the report: that the man who formerly persecuted us is was now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.

1.24.And they praised God because of me.]

Chapter 2

2.1.Fourteen years [later] {ago}, I went up again to [Jerusalem] {Rome} this time with [Barnabas] {Nero}.

[ I took Titus along also].

2.2.I went in response to [a revelation] {an invitation from the Emperor Claudius}, and set before them the [gospel] {Spirit} that I [preached] {proclaimed} among the [Gentiles] {Jews}.

[But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders,
for fear that I was running, or had run my race in vain.
2.3.Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek.
2.4.This matter arose previously because some false brothers tried to take away the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.
2.5.We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.
2.6.As for those who seemed to be important
– whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance – these men added nothing to my message.
2.7.On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews.
2.8.For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles.
2.9.James, Peter and John, those reputed pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognised the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews.
2.10.All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor -- the very thing I was eager to do -- and to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.]


2.11.When [Peter] {Eleazar} came to [Antioch] {Rome}, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.

2.12.[Before certain men came from James, he ate with Gentile sinners. 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.
2.13.The Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
2.14.When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth],

I said to [Peter] {Eleazar} in front of them all,

["You are a Jew, yet you act like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?]

2.15.“We who are [Jews] {prophets} by birth 
[and not Gentile sinners]

2.16.know that a man is not [justified] {cleansed} by [observing the law] {sacrifice}, but by [faith] {obedience} in [Jesus Christ] {the Spirit}".

[So we too have put our faith in Christ, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no-one will be justified.
2.17.If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not!
2.18.If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a law-breaker.
2.19.For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.
2.20.I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
2.21.I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"]

Chapter 3


3.1.You foolish [Galatians] {prophets}! [Who] {Eleazar} has bewitched you ? Before your very eyes, [Jesus Christ] {the Spirit} was clearly portrayed as [crucified] {God}.

3.2.I would like to learn just one thing from you:  Did you receive the Spirit by [observing the law] {sacrifice}, or by [believing] {obeying} [what] {him} you heard?

3.3.Are you so foolish? After [beginning with] {obeying} the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your [goal] {cleansing} by [human effort] {sacrifice}?

3.4.Have you suffered so much for nothing -- if it really was for nothing?

3.5.Does God give you his Spirit [and work miracles among you] because you [observe the law] {sacrifice}, or because you [believe] {obey} [what] {him} you heard?

3.6.[Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
3.7.Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.
3.8.The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced in advance the gospel to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you."
3.9.So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
3.10.All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."
3.11.Clearly no-one is justified before God by the law, because “The righteous will live by faith.” 3.12.The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them."
3.13.Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
3.14.He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
3.15.Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life.
Just as no-one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.
3.16.The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The scripture does not say “and to seeds”, meaning many people, but “and to your seed”, meaning one person, who is Christ.
3.17.What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise.
3.18.For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
3.19.What, then, was the purpose of the law?
It was added because of Israel’s transgressions until the seed to whom the promise referred had come.  The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator.
3.20.A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.
3.21.Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.
3.22.But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
3.23.Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.
3.24.So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.
3.25.Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
3.26.You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
3.27.for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
3.28.There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
3.29.If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.]

Chapter 5


5.1.It is for [freedom] {glory} that [Christ] {the Spirit} has [set us free] {cleansed us}.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of [slavery] {sacrifice}.

5.2.Mark my words! I [Paul,] {Agrippa} tell you that if you [let yourselves be circumcised, Christ] {sacrifice}, {the Spirit} will be of no value to you at all.

5.3.[Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is required to obey the whole law.
5.4.You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
5.5.But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
5.6.For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
5.7.You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth. 
5.8.That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.
5.9."A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough."
5.10.I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view.
The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty ,whoever he may be.
5.11.Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted?
5.12.As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
5.13.You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
5.14.The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbour as yourself."
5.15.If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.]


5.16.So I say, [live by] {obey} the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the [sinful nature] {spirit of deceit}.

5.17.For the [sinful nature] {spirit of deceit} desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the [sinful nature] {spirit of deceit}. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

5.18.But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the [law] {spirit of deceit}.

5.19.The [acts] {spirits} of [the sinful nature] {deceit} are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery,

5.20.idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who [do] {obey} these [things] {spirits} will not [inherit] {receive} the [kingdom] {Spirit} of God.

5.21.But the [fruit of the Spirit is] {spirits of truth are} love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

5.23.gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

5.24.[Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.]

5.25.Since we [live] {are cleansed} by the Spirit, let us [keep in step with] {obey} the Spirit.

5.26.[Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.]

Chapter 6

6.1.Brothers, if someone is caught in a [sin] {spirit of deceit}, you who are [spiritual] {in the Spirit} should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

6.2.Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will [fulfil] {obey} the [law] {Spirit} of God.

6.3.If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives [himself] {his own spirit}.

6.4.Each one should test his own [actions] {spirit}.  Then he can [take pride] {glory} in [himself] {the Spirit}, without comparing himself to somebody else,

6.5.for each one should [carry] {be responsible for} his own [load] {spirit}.

6.6.Anyone who receives instruction in the [word] {Spirit} must share all good things with his [instructor] {brothers}.

6.7.Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

6.8.The one who sows to please his [sinful nature] {spirit of deceit}, from that [nature] {spirit} will reap [destruction] {condemnation}; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap [eternal life] {glory}.

6.9.Let us not become weary in [doing good] {the Spirit}, for at the proper time we will reap [a harvest if we do not give up] {glory} .

6.10.[Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.]


6.11.See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!

6.12.[Those who want to make a good impression outwardly] {Eleazar and his fellow priests} are trying to compel you to [be circumcised] {sacrifice}.

[The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.]

6.13.[Not even] Those who [are circumcised] {sacrifice} obey the [law] {spirit of deceit}, yet they want you to [be circumcised] {sacrifice} that they may boast about your [flesh] {cleansing}.

6.14.May I never boast, except in the [cross] {Spirit} of our Lord

[Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me].

6.15.[Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision] {Sacrifice} [means] {counts for} [anything] {nothing}; what counts is a [new] {cleansed} [creation] {spirit}.

6.16.Peace [and mercy] to all who follow [this rule, even to] the [Israel] {Spirit} of God.

6.17.Finally, let no-one cause me trouble just because I bear in my body the [marks of Jesus] {Spirit of God}. 

6.18.The [grace] {Spirit} of our Lord [Jesus Christ] be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.