The Jewish Paul: A Running Commentary on Galatians (Part 5)

David Christian Clausen

This running commentary on Galatians demonstrates that Paul remained an observant Jew throughout his life. He neither advocated the abandonment of Judaism or Torah for himself nor for any Jew, whether they believed that Jesus was the Messiah or not. We complete the commentary on Galatians with this final post, picking up with one of Paul’s two major allegories: the allegory of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar. It probably doesn’t mean what you were told it meant.

4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one [Ishmael] by the slave woman [Hagar, Gen. 16] and the other [Isaac] by the free woman [Sarah, Abraham’s wife, Gen. 17:19]. 23 But one [Ishamel], the son by the slave woman [Hagar], was born by natural descent [sexually], while the other [Isaac], the son by the free woman [Sarah], was born through the promise [i.e., miraculously].

4:24 These things may be…

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