Galatians 4:10 in context

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Gerhard Ebersoehn, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. Gerhard Ebersoehn

    Gerhard Ebersoehn
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    Proposition:
    Galatians 4:10 supposes heathen and pagan "observation" of "days, months, seasons, and years" - NOT 'Jewish' or 'Old Testament' 'institutions'!
     
  2. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    Indeed. Galatians 4:8-11 zeroes in on the "Specific" problems of the gentile church in Galatia. Gentiles that USED to observe the "days, months, seasons and years" according to the practice of "Emperor" worship common at that time among the pagans of the Roman empire.

    Paul goes from the general problem of "mankind" regarding sin and the Law in vs 1-7 to the SPECIFIC problem of the Galatian Christians that were going BACK to those things that "by nature are no gods at all".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  3. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    Paul has already stated in Romans 3 that ALL are under the law and ALL are condemned by it – hence our need of a Savior.

    Clearly “in the fullness of time” points to the fact of Daniel 9 and Mark 1:15 showing the time of the Messiah’s ministry “The time is fulfilled” Mark 1:15.

    Paul makes the argument that instead of Christ coming and “dumping God’s Law so that people would follow a different law” – Christ comes “under the LAW” of God and perfectly complies with it. In fact in Matt 5 Christ condemns anyone who “teaches others” to ignore the Law of God. Certainly something we might expect God to be saying in Gospel as Christ perfectly serving “under the Law” to redeem those who are under the condemnation of the Law discussed in chapter 3.

    The problem solved is a global problem for all mankind. And the solution is “one” it is the Gospel solution for ALL mankind.

    This is the “conversion” moment – when the lost becomes born again – an adopted child of God. It is a ‘contrast in faith’ between the lost state and the saved stated. It is not a contrast between the saved OT saint and the saved NT saint as many have vainly hoped in recent years.

    This ends the section applicable to all mankind “in general” apart from anything specific at Galatia.

    But then Paul starts to focus “specifically” on the condition of the pagans-turned-Christian IN the church of Galatia. Comparing their condition before salvation with their condition afterwards and the errors they were starting to lapse BACK into.

    Lets take a look at Gal 4 again where it specifically focuses on the error of the gentiles in Galatia worshipping pagan idols.

    Gentiles who "did not even KNOW the ONE true creator God".

    Gentiles who worshipped "THINGS" that were "BY NATURE" not gods at all.

    Gentiles who are "turning back AGAIN" to the "Weak and elemental things of the WORLD"

    Gentiles who USED to observe "days and months and seasons and years." in their old system of emperor worship and are now introducing something like it mixed with Christianity.

    Obviously the problem with these Galatians pre-conversion is not about Gentiles in Galatia being obedient to the Law of God prior to being a Christian!

    Clearly Paul addresses the gentile churches in Galatia and mentions that in their lost state - before becoming Christian they were worshipping false gods. The Hebrew nation-church by contrast was established by the one true God of creation who was to send his only son as messiah-Christ-savior was known by the Hebrews and Paul agrees to this in Romans 3:1-3 as well as his reference to Timothy's up-bringing.

    Clearly Paul refers to going back to practices of the pagan system - returning to be enslaved by the pagan superstitious practices - again.

    1. There is no place where Paul (or any Bible author) calls obedience to God’s Word – “Slavery”. Yet some Christians today prefer to think of it that way.
    2. There is no place where Paul (or any Bible author) refers to God’s Word as “The weak and elemental things of this World” – yet some Christians do.
    3. There is no place where Paul (or any Bible author) says that the Word of God is “worthless” and “pertaining to that “which by nature is not God”.

    Rather – when it comes to abuses of the Word of God – Paul speaks of God’s Word as “Holy Just and Perfect” and as “condemning the sinner” – it is not the Law or the Word of God that he condemns – it is always the sinner that IT condemns. Yet some Christians today – want to so much to abolish Christ the Creator’s Law – that they are willing to turn the text of Gal 4 as it addresses the pagan lifestyle of the gentiles in Galatia and their practices – and attribute to God – the authoring of paganism..

    NOTE: . This pagan practice is also condemned in the OT

    Bible scholars have long recognized the pagan system being referenced here.

    Even authors that “insist” on using Gal 4 as a method to attack Christ the Creator’s memorial of His creative act – and given as His holy day in Gen 2:3 (a blessing for all mankind Mark 2:27) – admit that their blind use of 4:10 as a reference to God’s Ordinances in His Word – is merely a preference not a fact dictated by the text.

    Even those that presume that the only influence on the Galatian Christians are Jews – hoping even to limit it to orthodox Jews we find..
    #1 The Greek term for "observe" in Gal 4 is NOT the term used in Romans 14 that is also translated "observe". Rather in the unique Gal 4 case it means" to "watch with evil intent" and refers to something like the astrology practices seen today.

    Lev 19 describes it in other Bile translations as –

    So “instead” of the Gal 4 text addressing the popular notion of “obeying God’s Word when you don’t really have to if you don’t feel like it” – the Gal 4 text is condemning “observe” as in the pagan practice “...to inspect alongside" (i.e. to note insidiously). Where "Insidious" can be to "intended to entrap or beguile", or "stealthily treacherous or deceitful.
    #2. God's Word did not command His people to "observe seasons or months".

    #3. Using another word for “observance” -- The "observances of days" is mentioned in Romans 14 and the "Condemnation" there is against anyone who would "condemn" the "observances". Bending Gal 4 to point at the very practices employed in Romans 14 is a abusive example of eisegesis.

    #4. In this case months and seasons are lumped in with days. The indication of a pagan system of practice is clearly - and repeatedly brought to view. Nothing here is ordained by God - established by God - given by God as a practice for God's people. It is utterly condemned as originating from pagan worship alone.

    #5. Paul says this is “a return” and that they are “enslaved all over AGAIN” – these gentiles, these converted pagans – were never Jews. They are not returning to “salvation by keeping the Law of God” as something they “used to do”. This is simply “another” problem Paul is identifying among the Galatians that is in “Addition” to their problem with Judaizers


    11 I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.


    Here is the ultimate proof - this is a practice never to be defended (so it is not anything like the practices being defended in Romans 14) . It is a practice that invalidates the gospel, salvation lost for those who engage in returning to those pagan systems of worship - pagan practices.

    The speculation that Paul defended this practice is Romans 14 as a practice not to be condemned - only shows the lengths to which some will go to launch an attack on the creator's own holy day (made holy by him when he created earth) - as he calls it the Sabbath day (not merely leaving it with a day-number God tells us the 7th day is the Sabbath of God).

    Of course the fact that the Jews themselves - who lived in these pagan centers - had begun to incorporate these pagan practices into the Hebrew faith, only made the problem more difficult for gentile Christians.
     
  4. Gerhard Ebersoehn

    Gerhard Ebersoehn
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    Dear Bob Ryan,
    I have had a VERY quick glance at your post, and am glad to say, I like what I've seen!
    I will now take my time to ponder on it at my leasure.
    In fact, I thought I would never find someone else actively engaged in promoting the very same ideas!
    I did my study in isolation - I'm only a hand labourer with very difficult access to libraries, and thus you could say I came to my conclusions single handedly. I strongly believe what Barth said, that to believe is to listen to one another (as the Church). For me there scarsely is something like 'The Bible and the Bible only', because in that case it must always be 'The Bible and my own ideas only!' I believe to test my own views against what the Church teaches by the mouth of its true professors and great thinkers. Before one has listened to Calvin, and perhaps to Luther, and later to men like Spurgeon and Barth and Schilder and all the Puritans etc. etc., one CANNOT claim that his views had been TESTED!
    So to come to a contradictory conclusion than the 'normative', is a trying task!
    But it exactly happened with 'the Bible only' and Wigram' Englishman's Concordance, and much later, with affirmation from truly great scholars, that I reached what I now in your post see is also the conclusion of surprisingly a lot and respected more!
     
  5. Eric B

    Eric B
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    CONTEXT? Once again (from the other thread); here's the whole "context" (not just four verses in isolation!)

    2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
    2:2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the
    Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
    2:3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
    2:4 And that because of false brethren unexpectedly brought in, who came in privately to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into BONDAGE:
    2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
    2:6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it makes no matter to me: God accepts no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:
    2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
    2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
    2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
    2:10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
    2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
    2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
    2:13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
    2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If you, being a Jew, live after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compell you the Gentiles to LIVE AS DO THE JEWS?
    2:15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
    2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
    2:18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
    2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
    2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
    2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
    3:1 O foolish Galatians, WHO HAS BEWITCHED YOU--[WHO has be been talking about so far?], that all of you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
    3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received all of you the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
    3:3 Are all of you so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are all of you now made perfect by the flesh?
    3:4 Have all of you suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
    3:5 He therefore that ministers to you the Spirit, and works miracles among you, does he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
    3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
    3:7 Know all of you therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
    3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In you shall all nations be blessed.
    3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
    3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the CURSE: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. [i.e. keeps sabbaths but not sacrifices; etc. does not keep the rest of the Law ABSOLUTELY PERFECTLY]
    3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
    3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that does them shall live in them.
    3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:
    3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
    3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man nullifies, or adds thereto.
    3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He says not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to your seed, which is Christ.
    3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot nullify, that it should make the promise of no effect.
    3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
    3:19 Wherefore then serves the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
    3:20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
    3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
    3:22 But the scripture has concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
    3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
    3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
    3:25 But after that faith has come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
    3:26 For all of you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
    3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
    3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for all of you are all one in Christ Jesus.
    3:29 And if all of you be Christ's, then are all of you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
    4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
    4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
    4:3 Even so WE, when we were children, were in bondage under the ELEMENTS of the world:
    4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
    4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
    4:6 And because all of you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts,
    crying, Abba, Father.
    4:7 Wherefore you are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
    4:8 Nevertheless then, when all of you knew not God, all of you did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
    4:9 But now, after that all of you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn all of you again to the weak and beggarly elements, unto which all of you desire again to be in bondage?
    4:10 All of you observe days, and months, and times, and years.
    4:11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
    (Updated King James Version)

    Here, we see the WHOLE THEME is Paul's past under THE LAW, and his current dealings with people trying to bring the gentiles under THE LAW!
    This is no DISCUSSION ("specifically"; let alone!) of the "paganism" they were once under, before becoming Christians. Paul USES that as a comparison with the bondage they were being brought under.

    Sorry; but your dichotomy of "all man in general" versus "the pagans" is just not there! Paul is talking first about the Jews. THEN, he mentions the gentiles' past in comparison. BOTH were "bondage", and taken TOGETHER they would comprise "all men in general (Rom.3:9, 23, Gal.3:22).
    But the ultimate disproof of this universal boundary of scope in verse 7 is that Paul then CONTINUES talking about Jews:

    Picking up in Galatians:
    4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
    4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; [there go any ideas you may have of "flesh" only possibly referring to paganism!] but he of the freewoman was by promise.
    4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two COVENANTS; the one from the mount Sinai, which genders to BONDAGE, which is Agar.
    4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in BONDAGE with her children.
    4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
    4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, you barren that bear not; break forth and cry, you that travail not: for the desolate has many more children than she which has an husband.
    4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
    4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh PERSECUTED him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. [Once again; Bob AND GE; these persecutors are NOT "pagans"!]
    4:30 Nevertheless what says the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the
    bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
    4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
    5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled AGAIN with the yoke of bondage. [NOW what does "again" refer to? It refers back to the subject he has returned to: the practices of the Jews! So are you STILL going to say this refers to paganism?]
    5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if all of you be CIRCUMSISED, Christ shall profit you nothing.
    5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
    5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; all of you are fallen from grace.


    (STILL say that is paganism?)
    All of this is so clear, I do not see how a argument like this could even go on for so long. (and now spill over into yet a NEW thread! :rolleyes: ) I guess that's why the only recourse is to try to twist my argument into "the Law is paganism/weak elemental things of the world". So you need to argue with Paul, instead of with me. Why not accuse him of "teaching God's Law is paganism"; and while you're at it; you might as well just go on and become a modern-day Ebionite!
     
  6. Eric B

    Eric B
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    There is NO MENTION of emperor worship there. You cannot just add this to the text.
    AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING! But you keep ignoring this; to cast my argument as "the Law is the problem"; so you can dismiss me on that false ground.
    UNTIL "all be fulfilled"; meaning until His death and resurrection were complete. Once again; taking verses in isolation of everything else.
    But then again; argue that with Paul!

    I give you the entire BODY of the context in the surrounding THREE chapters (a total of 75 verses!); and rather than "proving" it; these four verses wipe all of that away? I guess the argument is really between Paul and himself, then! :eek: Before you make some claims like this; you have to deal with all the rest of that passage and prove that all those references to Jews trying to get gentiles to live like Jews, and how this was seen as "bondage" somehow has nothing to do with v.8-11. And if you can; you have just justified ripping those four verses right out of the epistle! They should have been their own separate book, then!
    No; the only way it fits together is what I have been saying: it is a COMPARISON, that the gentiles allowing themselves to be brought under the bondage of legalistic Judaism would SPIRITUALLY be the same as a return to paganism. Once again; the Jews were NO BETTER (Rom.3:9ff) than anyone else; just because they had Laws that originally came from the true God! (In fact, they were worse off, because "to whom more is given; more is expected"!)

    So still; all of this does prove that not only pagans had "days and months and seasons and years". The fact that the "formulas" were so similar shows a parallel between the state of the Jews and the pagans. Though the Jews' "times" may have been authorized by God; they still had no more merit in salvation than the forbidden practices of the pagans, and could become a stumblingblock or barrier to the freedom they had in Christ; if they were done for the wrong reason; hence "Observe"="watch with evil intent"!
    I never tried to compare the WORD "observe" in Romans with the one here. (yet another red herring!) But while we're at this; the word here (In the GREEK) is not the same as the HEBREW in Leviticus!

    Once again; we should have gone to the old thread from last year. There; I showed all the other uses of paratero--"inspect alongside"; or "note insidiously"; which is also translated "watched" in Mk.3:2, Luke 6:7, 14:1, 20:20; Acts 9:24. NONE of these have anything to do with "pagan no-gods" or the emperor. (But most do involve the sabbath, though indirectly, and all involve the Jews!)
    So sorry; you can't just take the statement "observe days, months, seasons and years" and just move it over to the pagans just because they have similar practices; when neither the context, not even the word used fits.
    And all of that scholarship quoted cannot change this. They are subject to what the Bible says; not the other way around.
    And several scriptures show that returning to the Law would "invalidate the gospel" and result in "salvation lost". Remember the REST of this text:
    5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled AGAIN with the yoke of bondage. [NOW what does "again" refer to? It refers back to the subject he has returned to: the practices of the Jews!]
    5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if all of you be CIRCUMSISED, Christ shall profit you nothing."
    Why?
    5:3 "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. [which no man can do. Therefore, "salvation lost"]
    5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; all of you are FALLEN FROM GRACE.

    So if you think only "paganism" is serious enough to warrant a fall from grace; you need to read this again and again. Rather than being "not so bad", or even "good, as obedience to God"; it is a total slap in the face to Christ and His work.
     
  7. BobRyan

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    Fine there is no mention of the emperor but there IS mention of the system of worship that they used in emperor worship "which the quotes show" and there IS reference to the fact that this was a RETURN for thise pagan-turned-gentile christian to their old pagan worship practices.

    (so how hard can this be to get??)

    BUT if you want to stick with the rule that "Emperor" is no listed - so neither is Christ the Creator's Seventh-day Sabbath.

    Next.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  8. BobRyan

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    GE you have done well in this - I salute you. I was also pressed into this position on the subject of Gal 4 until I found the distinctive focus change in vs 8-11 from the previous general focus of vs 1-7.

    And then as I found other authors that saw vs 8-11 applying to very real problems encountered by the Christian churches in the pagan/gentile nations of Rome - what a huge explanation that provides for the "formula" of "days, months, seasons and years" (something we see no where else in scripture).

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. Eric B

    Eric B
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    This "formula" or "system of worship" involving sacred periods of time IN ITSELF can be EITHER pagan or Judastic. For both religions had sacred "days, months, seasons and years". It's the CONTEXT that shows us which it is; and as I have just shown above on BOTH SIDES of v.8-11 we see Jewish practices done by the people Paul is talking to, and called "bondage". The subject was a "Return" to BONDAGE; not a return to paganism; because paganism is not mentioned in the REST of the passage; but Judaism is! Once again; you have to go and show how all those other 71 verses have nothing to do with the 4 you focus on, before you can plug "paganism" in there.
     
  10. Gerhard Ebersoehn

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    Eric B,

    I've just lost a post I've work long on by some one little key pressed wrongly I can't fathom how, and am terribly tired now. So I'll just say this, it is very convenient to be an anti-nomian. It's like the Scotts as the saying goes, whoever is the Government I vote against the Government. It is easy, lazy and downright cowardly to just deny everything. But say something positive and take a stand for something solid and defendable for a change, and see how you fare! In a word, deal honestly with the Word of God, and remember, not a single anti-nomian or anti-Sabbatharian has ever made a contribution for the better to the Christian Faith - never! They were Sabbatharians - Law-believers - whoever had something upbuilding to offer the Church, no matter whether Sundaydarian or Sabbatharian; believers in the Principle of Divine Law as well as in the Principle of the Christian Sabbath they were.
     
  11. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    I "suppose" if you ignore enough of the details in Gal 4 - you could finally come around to making yourself believe what you said.

    In the mean time we "do" have the facts - quite to the contrary of your post above.

    #1. THERE IS NO formula for "Days, months, seasons and years" in the Word of God. So trying to pin this on God's Word "is not possible".

    #2. There IS the EXACT formula of "observe days and months and seasons and years" WAS used among those accused of Emperor worship!

    S. Mitchell writes
    So the MAJOR PROBLEM facing the NT Christians in pagan nations had to do with days, months, seasons and years!!

    Wow! Let's "pretend" we don't notice that - ok?

    #1 God's Word did not command His people to "observe a formula of the form "days, months, seasons and years". (Though some like to "try" to make this a problem in God's Word RATHER than a refernce to the ACTUAL formula used by the pagans practicing Emperor worship... And so attempt to equate the Word of God with paganism!)

    #2. Using another word for “observance” -- The "observances of days" is mentioned in Romans 14 and the "Condemnation" there is against anyone who would "condemn" the "observances".

    Bending Gal 4 to point at the very practices employed in Romans 14 is an abusive example of eisegesis.

    #3. In this case months and seasons are lumped in with days. The indication of a pagan system of practice is clearly - and repeatedly brought to view.

    Nothing here is ordained by God - established by God - given by God as a practice for God's people.

    It is utterly condemned as originating from pagan worship alone.

    #5. Paul says this is “a return” to the worship of thing which "by nature are no gods at all". He says these pagans-turned-Christian are “enslaved all over AGAIN” – these gentiles, these converted pagans – were never Jews. They are not returning to “salvation by keeping the Law of God” as something they “used to do”. This is simply “another” problem Paul is identifying among the Galatians that is in “Addition” to their problem with Judaizers

    How many ways are there to ignore these blatant and obvious facts??

    I think we are seeing that effort in all of its glory.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. Eric B

    Eric B
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    Ignore blatant and obvious facts? "Details"? You have not even TOUCHED all of that detailed proof I gave from the context of the surrounding chapters. You just repeat the same claims and quotes from some scholar, as if that wipes away all I have shown.
    You're creating "truth" by fiat!
    You're getting hung up on "formula". That really is a word you introduced (and maybe some of those scholors you cite); but Paul does not SAY "you observe a FORMULA of days, months, seasons and years that God has never taught us". So that's another red herring/straw man we could stand to get rid of.
    And THIS is your only proof! I gave you the entire BODY of the surrounding text of scripture showing the context; and you cannot even address that; but only cite what some scholar says, and presume to dismiss it all in one swipe with that. This is your ultimate proof; then, not God's Word; so just admit that your doctrine is scholarly, but unbiblical. It's just some human theory that has no bearing on what God really said or expects from us. Fine for you; but I don't have time to argue the shifting sands of man's theories. I'm interested in what the Bible says on its own. So I don't have to notice it. It does not carry the weight of scripture. God is not going to judge me for not keeping the sabbath based on what this man says. (which still does not even contradict that Paul was addressing problems of the Jews here. Before AD70; the major problem in the Church was the Jews).
    No; God did not command the people to obseve a "formula"; they just did it on their own! That was precisely one of the problems with them! Once again; you keep slanderously twisting my intent to impugn the Word of God. I have kept saying it is NOT the Word of God; it is the people's inability to keep it right (either adding to the letter or neglecting the spiritual aspect of it) that made them condemned. So they made "formulas" out of the observances God commanded; and then tried to push them on the gentile converts. Yet you keep repeating this lie.
    You're leaving out the rest of it. The condemnation is against anyone who condemns the observance OR non-observance. The latter is what you are guilty of. And you have to ignore or twist scripture, as well as my statements to do it!
    Paul condemns observance only because the Galatians were not doing it unto the Lord, as he instructed; but rather to justify themselves. THAT IS CONDEMNED! For they would then be "debtors to do the WHOLE Law". And we see in the following text how these "observances" Paul condemns even extended to circumcision--a distinctively Jewish; not "pagan" practice; commanded by GOD; not the emperor! So once again; why don't you accuse Paul of teaching "Obedience to God's Law is condemned".
    I don't see how that is "clearly brought into view". That in itself specifies neither pagan nor Jewish; and you cannpot show that it is pagan only; except through your scholars. God even did condemn practices He gave the Israelites.
    "where is the house that
    all of you build unto Me? and where is the place of my rest?" (Is.66:1)[didn't He instruct them to build the Temple?) "He that kills an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrifices a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that
    offers an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burns incense, as if he blessed an idol." (v.3ff) Then, ch.1:11-14 "To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? says the LORD: I am full of the burnt
    offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
    1:12 When all of you come to appear before me, who has required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
    1:13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. [Didn't He command them to do these things?]
    1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them". This and Amos 5:21-23 some try to say was "pagan practices" also; but clealy, we see sacrifices that God did command them. The problem in all of these cases was once again; that they, while keeping all of those pracitces, was neglecting other commands, such as "justice". So even the things God did command them became "abomination" (condemned). This is what happened again in the NT. The Jews never repented after all the preaching of the prophets. So they remained condemned in all their practices. A Christian could continue to keep some of them "unto the Lord". But neither were they to judge others for not keeping it. But we see that God does conemn things He commanded, and the problem lies in man; not in the commandment itself. (Are you STILL going to keep saying I "intend to condemn God's word as paganism"?)
    And there you start twisting the order of the text again! He does not SAY "return to what by nature are not gods". He says they came FROM the BONDAGE of "not gods", and now "return" to the same type of BONDAGE to "elements" through ANOTHER VEHICLE; which as we see in the following verse includes circumcision! God commanded it; but as Israel depended on it to justify themselves, (while breaking other commandments) TO THEM, it was "of the world"; and they were in "BONDAGE" to it, and trying to bring the gentile converts into bondage!
    Read the rest of the passage (which I have quoted more than once, above), and see what "problem" he is dwelling on. I see a passing mention to their past background. What the focus was THEN; we see to be entirely from the Jews; but nevertheless "enslavement all over AGAIN". They did not have to be Jews. Jews were just as much under bondage, so to go from pagan to Christian and then to Judastic; would be a "return" to basically the same state of "bondage" they were in before. You think that just because the Jews had the Law of God they were free of bondage or something. (Then you give a token admission that "some were lost". No, most were; except what was always called a "remnant"!)
    So once again; deal with the rest of the passage; and stop taking those four verse in isolation, and backing it up only with extrabiblical sources!

    [ March 19, 2005, 05:53 PM: Message edited by: Eric B ]
     
  13. Eric B

    Eric B
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    "Convenient"? "Lazy"??? I don't think it is lazy having to argue with you on this issue; argue with the fundies and traditionalists on other issues, etc.
    I don't just "deny everything". The New Testament teaches that these isses of "days" and other practices are a matter of "Faith" and conscience. Just because people decide to make up their own ideas of "The Law"; and then fight each other (As you and Bob), and then me (as I stand against both) doesn't mean they are right. Talk about all the "contributions"; all your mindset and these sabbath dispures has contrinuted is more strife; and all the other things we see condemned in 2 co.12:20 1 Tim.6:4, 2 Tim.2:23, etc.
    Rather than maintaining peace by "choosing" one group and following whatever they say; if everyone was willing to admit that their group could be wrong, and just read the Bible in its proper contexts for themselves (without the filter of traditions); then, ironically, we would see less of these strifes, or at least they would not carry on as firecely nd stubbornly as this. (where people have to ignore a whole body of text and substitute some scholar as proof, and twist the opponent's words or intentions; because whatever they do; they cannot just admit their tradition was wrong. I guess that would be "antinomian"; right?)
     
  14. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    Simply doing a copy paste of 70 verses does not from a kind of "proof" in actually dealing with the "Details" of vs 8-11 in Chapter 4.

    You need to actually "do some work" to show your point.

    Deal with the "details". Admit to the specifics. Observe the points that are IN those texts as I pointed them out.

    Igoring them and then reposting chapter 2 and chapter 3 of Galatians verbatim is pointless.

    If you wont address the points - I will simply re-post them until you run out of ways to ignore the point of the discussion.

    The problem is that you have not actaully "shown" anything.

    But I have shown that Paul goes from a global problem perspective down to the specific problem in Galatia with pagan practices regarding those things that are themselves "The weak elemental things of this world".

    (And in case you think I mean "scripture" when I talk about the "weak elemental things of this world" please re-read my posts)


    Here is a "detail" you are freely ignoring. The TEXT of Gal 4 DOES use that formula! It IS getting at the VERY thing that the historians agree is the BIG problem for the NT church in pagan nations.

    How much more obvious can this be??

    See? Details!

    Wouldn't it be great to "pay attention to them"?

    That is a big part of reading the Bible and getting what it is talking about.

    True. He says

    YOU Worshipped THAT which by nature is NOT GOD AT ALL.

    He says you were as a pagan "ENSLAVED to the weak and elemental things of THIS world".

    And you like to "pretend" this is Paul's way of speaking about "The Word of God".

    It is not.

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    S. Mitchell writes
    quote: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    the major obstacle which stood in the way of the progress of Christianity, and the force which would have drawn new adherents back to conformity with the prevailing paganism, was the public worship of he Emperor.

    The packed calendar of the ruler cult dragooned the citizens…into observing days, months, seasons and years which it laid down for special recognition and celebration”
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    That just isn't that "hard to get".

    Hey you did a pretty good job of pretending not to notice that point! :rolleyes:

    That was a great 3 chapter copy paste!

    Is that how you want to do this? Shall I just quote huge chuncks of scripture as my response??

    Clearly you are trying to avoid the "specifics" of Gal 4 vs 8-11 as Paul zeros in on problems specific to gentiles who came from paganism worshipping that which "by nature is no god at all".

    Obviously.

    I show IN The text that the issue is the pagan system from which they left.

    I show that they are returning to it.

    I show that EVEN historians admit that this was the MAJOR PROBLEM for the NT authors to be addressing with gentiles in Galatia.

    And you simply want to "Read something else" as your response.

    How instructive.


    If that were true you would not be so focused on ignoring Gal 4:8-11.

    Clearly you are just trying to find a way to prop up your negative views of God's Word in the OT and you are trying to pin this problem of paganism listed in GAl 4:8-11 onto God's Word and the people that read it.


    #1. Paul is a Jew.

    #2. The Acts 15 council were all Jews

    #3. All the NT Bible writers except one are Jews.

    #4. Christ was a Jew.

    #5. Paul argues that Gentiles are now included AS are the Jews into the kingdom of God -

    #6. Paul NEVER says that the scriptures of the Jews are "The weak and elemental things of this world".

    #7. Paul NEVER says that to obey the scriptures of the Jews OR The Law of God is "to worship that which is not of god at all".

    So... you make it up.

    How instructive.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  15. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    quote: Bob said
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    #1 God's Word did not command His people to "observe a formula of the form "days, months, seasons and years". (Though some like to "try" to make this a problem in God's Word RATHER than a refernce to the ACTUAL formula used by the pagans practicing Emperor worship... And so attempt to equate the Word of God with paganism!)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    More specifically
    "days months seasons and years".

    This is not something we can possibly pin on scripture NOR is it a writing of Jewish tradition.

    But we DO find it as pagan worship.

    So what shall we do? Just "make it up" for God's Word??

    Recall that in Galatia Paul writes to gentiles!

    Indeed - the returned "BACK AGAIN" to the weak and elemental pagan practice of emperor worship of what the text clearly identifies as "days, months, seasons and years"

    So "again" you need to insert God's Word into the "problem" saying that this is a case of Jews pushing Gentiles to keep God's Word without thinking of it right.

    You completely ignore the fact that the TEXT says this is in fact a RETURN to paganism and a RETURN to the same slavery these pagans were in prior to becoming Christians.

    A RETURN to those things "which are by nature not gods at all"

    A RETURN to the weak and elemental things of this world that these pagans were ALREADY engaged in prior to coming to Christ.

    Recall - that Paul is writing to GENTILES!

    Get it??


    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    #2. Using another word for “observance” -- The "observances of days" is mentioned in Romans 14 and the "Condemnation" there is against anyone who would "condemn" the "observances".

    Bending Gal 4 to point at the very practices employed in Romans 14 is an abusive example of eisegesis.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In your argument above you admit you are thinking of this as the REAL annual holy days of the OT - and in Romans 14 Paul argues that they are CONDEMNED who would condemn God's people for choosing to keep those days.

    Your argument is hopelessly floundering.

    AGain you leave the subject and are off onto another rabbit trail.

    The point remains - Romans 14 forbids condemnation of anyone choose to keep one of those annual Sabbath feastivals. In your ceaseless efforts to bend Gal 4 to speak of the Word of God INSTEAD of addressing the obvious problems in paganism - you make Gal 4 contradict Romans 14.

    Your argument could not be any worse to defend.

    I don't know why you stick to it.

    Here again your refusal to actually read vs 8-11 and pay attention to the details gets you into trouble.

    Paul does NOT argue "you COULD KEEP observing days, months, seasons and years as long as you do it thinking well and to the Lord".

    No such opening is provided in Gal 4.

    In Gal 4 IT IS THE PRACTICE ITSELF that is condemned!

    NO Mention of doing the SAME thing but "unto the LORD".

    The practice ITSELF is "the weak and elemental thing of this world".

    The practice ITSELF is the thing which is by nature not god at all.

    In Romans 14 the PRACTICE is PROTECTED as done "to the Lord".

    In Gal 4 the PRACTICE is condemned - only condemned. And the only solution is to STOP the practice.

    You seem to "pretend" that the solution in Gal 4 is to GO AHEAD with the PRACTICE but start thinking of it "differently"!!

    You have surely bent the text to an indefensible point!

    And by that you mean "distinctively GOD's WORD" since Jews did not author the OT - God did.

    There is no doubt that in OTHER texts Paul does address OTHER problems - but that does not get you out of the hopeless spot your argument falls into with vs 8-11.


    But in those cases Paul does NOT argue that Circumcision is "NOT of GOD" and of that which "by nature is not god at all" NOR that God gave in HIS WORD "the weak elemental things of this world". ALL of THOSE condemnations are reserved ONLY for the PAGAN practice of vs 8-11.

    See?

    How easy this would be if you would just let the Bible speak as it is written.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  16. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    In pulling this text from Isaiah you have gone too far. Here you condemn EVEN meeting - meeting AT ALL - meeting in church is to be condemned in Galatia (inserted into the text where Paul condemens the observance of "days, months, seasons and years")

    So lets go ahead and do that substitution of GOD ORDAINED instruction into Gal 4:8-11 as you "So wish it to be inserted"

    Already it makes NO sense since the PAGANs were NOT observing God's commands BEFORE finding out about God.

    Your argument is hopeless at this point.

    I can't believe you would need to go that far in your attacks against Christ the Creator's Holy day.

    But apparently - you feel the need.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  17. Eric B

    Eric B
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    So yes; these four verses, and some scholar's interpretation of them DO wipe out the context from entire surrounding three chapters. :eek: That is some wild exegesis! Why are we even arguing over "scripure" then? It obviouly means nothing to you; except for isolated verses that you take while rejecting the rest as irrelevant. I think you should be studying and learning those scriptures before you come and try to teach us what these handful of verses you pick out mean. (1 Tim.1:7)
    You talk about "doing some work" and "addressing the points"? I have done tow work of studying the overal context of that passage. You focus on four verses in isolation, and refuse to address a single verse outside of that. Who is doing "less work"? Those four verses are to be understood in light of the surrounding 71; and in fact, the whole book, really! You dare to tell me to "Deal with the 'details'. Admit to the specifics. Observe the points that are IN those texts as I pointed them out", and I do show from the surrounding text what they mean. The surrounding God-inspired text is better than me, or some scholar at "addressing the points" and telling us what the four verses mean. But posting 3 entire chapters means nothing to you compared to [your interpretation of] these four verses taken in isolation.
    I should make a poll to see who is proving their point from scripture. Maybe then you won't be so self-confident in your assumptions. (Or maybe then you will just attribute it to a Sunday conspiracy?)
    That is because you refuse to listen to what the rest of the text is showing. You act as if it doesn't exist or is totally irrelevant.
    You have made that dichotomy up. The surrunding text shows Paul dealing with Jewish influence, and a brief comparison in the four verses with the bondage they were under as pagans. Neither would be better, spiritually. So no wonder you have to ignore the rest of the body of the passage. You have your own mind made up at what the theme of the passage is.
    I answered that, and now you don't even quote my answer. You're getting more depearate.
    And my answer was more than that; but once again, you can't admit your theories were disproven.
    And so now with the lies about what I am "pretending" (intending) again. No one is talking about the Word of God. But their attempts to justify themselves through the Works of the LAw were what was the enslavement to the weak and elemental things of the world.
    The scripture SHOULD be the answer, (duh!) instead of my or your or some scholar's interpretation. But you show here that that concept is totally foreign to you! So once again; you should admit that your doctrine is just your own theory or "tradition" (which you are always leveling at us).
    You have shown nothing FROM SCRIPTURE; because the so-called "historians" are your final court of appeal. You are speaking out of both sides of your moth; because you are accusing me of "ignoring scripture"; but then when I give you a whole body of the surrounding text, you DISMISS it as if it were nothing, and say you should not even have to deal with it until (basically) I accept your interpretation of these four verses in isolation. (who's REALLY "Attacking scripture", then? You seem to not respect it at all!)
    If you don't stop these lying accusations; I am going to start reporting it. Once again; I don't even see how you can DARE come around here talking about "commandments"; and think nothing of lying about what my intentions are. You have not even dealt with all these other scriptures I gave showing where God condemns people for following SOME commandments while ignoring others (which is pertinent to both the discussion of why the Judaizers with their OT Laws were seen here as "in bondage", as well as to you and your frequent lying on me while telling me that not one jot nor tittle shall ever pass!). My point in quoting Isaiah and others is that yout do not believe that God would ever condemn anyone for following LAws that He gave, But you do not realize (just as the Jews didn't) that if you don't follow His Law PERFECTLY; He doesn't WANT your observances of other commandments! They become "abomination". Not because the Law is bad; but it's man's inconsistent; pretensive (looks good on the surface) observance that is abomination. Yet still; you keep twisting my words into "attacking" God's Law. Now, if that is not true; and you keep lying; how much do you think god really appreciates your sabbath oservance? He gave the sabbath to do good and serve Him; not to tell LIES (sin) on. Keeping one Law does not make up for breaking another. Instead; the broken commandment renders the 'kept' one null and void, and the person still condemned! The problem is, you really think you are keeping the Law perfectly; but you do not understand how demanding it really is! You bring its standards down (to a level you can "keep"); so you should think about that before accusing someone else of "Attacking" it!
    But the Jews were, and were now tying to influence the gentile converts, as we see inthe rest of the book! To the gentiles, keeping Laws to justify oneeself would be a return to the same bondage as paganism; because ntoerh approach would be any better in actually justifying them! Because no one can keep the Law; not because the Law is bad!
     
  18. Gerhard Ebersoehn

    Gerhard Ebersoehn
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    Sjoe, I wasted a lot of time today on sheer nothing! Could have used it better through participation.
    What I have noticed is a clear dispute here about "details", and I must say, Bob to me seems to reason the straightest. But allow me detail I've never seen attended in Commentaries, and I've read not a few! It is the word I have already referred to, "paratehreoh". Now that's the word Paul uses as verb to describe what the Galatians going astray did. The usual way - in fact the only way it is found 'translated', is "to observe" = 'to keep', holily, religiously, according to (some) Law. That, if it is further assumed that the times listed represented 'Jewish', 'OT', 'feasts' or 'holy days', creates the impression the Galatians "observed days" etc. according to OT 'Law'.
    But this word 'paratehreoh' was specifically used for 'divining', that is, for the observaTION, horoscopically and superstitiously, of the "no-gods" of time, of Hellenistic Paganism! The Greeks had other no-gods like this, like water, fire, earth and sky. These no-gods were in the Greek ming the "first principles of the world" - the precise terms Paul uses.
    What more is needed to show Paul has a "return" of the gentile converts back to their "former", PAGAN, "no-gods", in mind?
    Eric B, what can you say against this simple inference? I would like to hear, in all earnestness.
     
  19. Gerhard Ebersoehn

    Gerhard Ebersoehn
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    What is most interesting about this conclusion of mine, is that I've seen many conclusions to the same effect - to the effect the Christians of Galatia fell back to their former paganism and not into Judaism - that were reached from this context of 4:10, BUT WITHOUT BRINGING INTO ACCOUNT the word 'paratehreoh' at all! Which says a lot for the context generally sustaining the idea of a reurn to paganism. Eric I think you're outweighed by intelligence alone.
     
  20. Gerhard Ebersoehn

    Gerhard Ebersoehn
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    Beg your pardon, not meant personally. Your concept of a falling into Judaism, is outweighed by no more than the information reachable from the context.
     

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