Who are Paul’s Opponents in Galatians?


CWoznicki Think Out Loud

Paul Writing a Letter

When Paul first came to the churches in Galatia the gospel he preached was received with much enthusiasm. However, after Paul left Galatia other itinerant missionaries arrived and began to advocate a different message. Although it is obvious that this message was not in line with Paul’s message, the nature of this message as well as the identity of these messengers is not very clear.

The Options:

Longenecker believes that the messengers were Christian Jews who came from Jerusalem stressing the fact that Gentiles needed to be circumcised and to keep the cultic calendar, for full acceptance by God and as a proper Christian lifestyle.[2] “These Christian Jews might have been associated with the ‘circumcision party’ of the Jerusalem Church whose activities are illustrated in Acts 15:1, 24.”[3] Other options as to who these messengers were include: Jewish Christians of Gnostic persuasion, Jewish Christians with no specific support…

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