Is Galatians 1:9 Misunderstood?

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Van, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,515
    Likes Received:
    49
    Although some of the word choices are different, pretty much every English translation of Galatians 1:9 reads the same. Here are a few examples:

    “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!” (NIV)

    “As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” (ESV)

    “as we have said before, and now say again, If any one to you may proclaim good news different from what ye did receive -- anathema let him be!” (YLT)

    “As we have said before, I now say again: if anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!” (HCSB)

    “As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” (NKJV)

    “As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (NASB)


    Collectively then, hundreds of well studied scholars with considerable knowledge both of Greek words/grammar and biblical knowledge to provide insight on the probable meaning based on the principle of contextual consistency, have all come to a similar conclusion as to what Paul was saying in Galatians 1:9.

    However, James 3:1-2 indicates it is possible that well-meaning and well-studied teachers can stumble, so it seems biblical to me that they might be wrong, not in their translation but in their understanding of the passage. Of course, it is far more likely that I am wrong, so read what comes next critically.

    If you look at the Greek text from the Nestle/Aland, here is how the transliterated Greek reads:

    hos proeirEkamen kai arti palin lego ei tis humas euaggelizetai par ho parelabete anathema esto.

    If you do a word/meaning in English direct substitution, here is how the text reads in English:

    As we said before and now again say if any to you preach beside that you received anathema let him be.

    When I look at this, and remember I am clueless as to Greek grammar construction, I do not see the idea of someone else preaching to the Galatians, all I see is Paul addressing the behavior of those to whom he is speaking. The doers of the preaching do not seem like outsiders; rather they are folks who have knowledge from Paul of the gospel of grace. Is the “different gospel” different from the one those preaching received, or different from the one those being preached to received or different from what both received? In other words should it be understood to mean, “beside that they received” or “beside that you received” or “beside that you and they received?” The question is not based on attacking the translation, you received is what it says; the question is based on contextual consistency.

    I believe “if any among you preach to you beside that you and they received, anathema let him be” is a more contextually consistent understanding of the verse than "if anybody preach to you beside that you received.” This alternate understanding of the verse is based on what the passage and other passages imply. Here is the NASB version of the passage, Galatians 1:6-9.

    “6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;
    7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
    8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!
    9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”


    In verse 6, Paul is amazed because the Galatians are deserting God for a message from men. In verse 7, we see that whoever is disturbing them wants to distort the gospel, so they had to have received the gospel of grace, and now are knowingly distorting it. Whoever they are - they are trying to distort it, they are not distorting it unwittingly. In verse 8 Paul says truth is superior to personality, it is the message and not the messenger that is important. Using hyperbole, Paul says that even a messenger from heaven, who would definitely know God’s gospel of grace, should be damned if the Angel presents another gospel. Thus, I believe in verse 9, Paul is addressing the same thing (distorting the gospel on purpose) and applying it to the audience - if any of you who know the gospel of grace because you were called by the gospel of grace (verse 6) preach another gospel, let him be anathema. To point the curse at people who did not receive the true gospel and therefore are unwittingly passing on a distortion misses the point of the passage in my opinion.

    Popular understanding also misses the mark when it holds that “another gospel” only refers to legalism, rather than anything different from the pure gospel of grace. Anything “beside that you received” - the pure gospel of grace – is what Paul is saying is a different or another gospel in my opinion. So based on internal evidence from the passage, the verse should be understood to say, “As we said before and now again say if any (among you) preach to you beside that you (and they) received, let him be anathema!” The curse is reserved for only those who have received the pure gospel of grace and knowingly preach a distortion to others. Thus if an Ariminian or a Calvinist or a Catholic or anybody else preaches a distortion they received, or mistakenly derived from scripture, the curse is not applicable to them.

    In addition, I think this understanding is more consistent with other passages such as James 3:1-2; Acts 20:28-30; and 2 Thessalonians 3:6. James did not say teachers who stumble and thus present a message that is off target in some respect should be anathema. They will be judged by God, but as Jesus told Peter, if you love Me, feed my sheep, so we are to teach even though we have not reached maturity (John 21). In Acts 20:28-30 we see that Paul addresses two threats to the flock of believers, savage wolves that come in from outside the flock, and “from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.” So the second threat – perversion from within – had been addressed before and so in Galatians 1:9, Paul says it again. If you received the pure gospel and you knowingly turn it into something else, you have a corrupt perversion and then if you present what you know is a perversion to others, you should be condemned according to Paul.

    In 2 Thessalonians 3:6 Paul addresses another deviation from the message received, this time loose living instead of preaching, but the parallel provides insight.

    “But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which they received from us.”

    In summary, the accepted understanding of Galatians 1:9 seems to me to be in error because Paul directed the curse at those who knowingly pervert the gospel rather than at anyone who preaches a gospel that misses the mark in some respect. Acts 18:24-26 demonstrates the proper response to someone who unwittingly preaches a message that misses the mark. No curse is mentioned in this account of Apollos preaching a “different gospel.”
     
  2. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    Think the context of the letter tot he galatians defines for us just what and who paul is addressing here!

    He is rebuking them for following after, and heeding the Judaizers in their midst, who desired to co mingle the Law and grace as means to save sinners, and Paul said that mixture will not work, for its the Gospel to have Grace alone/faith alone saves!
     
  3. Judith

    Judith
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    982
    Likes Received:
    10
    I would say the translators have it right as well as the understanding being that those who lead others astray are accursed. Sincerity nor zeal is enough when preaching the word. There has to be truth. The answer is to keep our mouth shut if we are not positive about what we are saying, and just as important that positive attitude must agree with scripture.

    Jesus said this which agrees with the Gal passage.
    Mat 18:6
    But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

    Paul is saying the same thing.
     
  4. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    thought Van was somehow trying to tie into here us "bad calvinists" as being the false teachers Paul was addressing!
     
  5. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,515
    Likes Received:
    49
    Hi Judith, your view does not fit with treating Apollos with love and kindness. Doctrine must be based on all scripture, not selected verses. In Matthew 18:6 it is difficult to tell whether the person causing the little one to stumble is doing it on purpose See Luke 17:2-3 which advocates teaching those who err.
     
    #5 Van, Aug 31, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2013
  6. DocTrinsoGrace

    DocTrinsoGrace
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, Van...

    Just a few thoughts that immediately come to mind from your post.

    1. James 3:1-2 also indicates there are perfect men. Thus, those same teachers you refer to might be men who do not stumble. Not much help applying this passage other than that we ourselves are apt to stumble. Good reminder for our own exposition.

    2. This pattern of anathematizing false teachers has its roots in Moses (Deuteronomy 13:1-11) and in the prophets. The pattern is used in the primitive church, as we see from the verse in question. That pattern is also used in a variety of ecumenical councils in the early church. It is also applied in councils and canons all the way up into modern times. That would suggest that the orthodox understanding of Paul's anathema -- church discipline -- has been pretty consistent.

    3. You do not tell us which teachers have failed in their exegesis. Particulars might be helpful to render a proper evaluation.

    4. Acts 18:24-26, 20:28-30, 2 Thessalonians 3:6, James 3:1-2 -- passages you cite -- have nothing to do with disciplining false teachers in the church. None of these passages are directly dealing with the false prophet the way that Paul is doing in Galatians. Perhaps the Sermon on the Mount, the epistles to the Corinthians, Jude, and Peter's second epistle would be better sources from which to derive a more soundly Kerygmatic understanding of the doctrine

    5. Just a reminder: Any good exegete of Scripture will use the context. Every word is in the context of a sentence, every sentence in the context of a pericope, every pericope in the context of a passage, and every passage in the context of a book. The analogy of faith, an important exegetical approach, comes into play after that sweat of the contextual analysis has taken place.

    6. Just a final note: All Biblical discipline has an ultimate aim of being restorative.

    I apologize for simply transcribing my initial thoughts without ordering them in a superior fashion. I just deemed that these points were worth consideration.

    In Him, Doc
     
  7. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,515
    Likes Received:
    49
    Lets Discuss

    No, the idea is "we all stumble in many ways." So here is a reference to a teacher who will suffer God's judgment who stumbles - does not always hit the mark.
    This verse does indeed address teachers who stumble and teach other than the pure gospel.

    My point is that it may be off the mark. Note Deuteronomy 13:1-11 is addressing those that come from outside the flock. Like the noble bereans, we must check the orthodox understanding found in past writings against scripture.

    I addressed that they were presenting something different than what they had been taught. So the number one candidate would be adding to scripture through speculation. Speculation is the mother of false doctrine.

    I think you are asserting a fact not in evidence. These teachers are teaching a gospel different from the one they received. Apollos was teaching some things (about Jesus) accurately but was missing the mark in other areas, i.e. the baptism of the Spirit. Acts 20:30 specifically addresses the same issue as Paul in Galatians, perverse teachings arising from within.

    That is what I was endeavoring to do. :)

    I took a stab at that. :)

    Yes, the gospel of Christ is aimed at restorative change of mind!
     
  8. preacher4truth

    preacher4truth
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    8,121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Van, you should consider following N. T. Wright. He reminds me of you as one who is 'still thirsty'. He has claimed that the church has had the gospel wrong for 2000+ years, and has come to set the record straight.

    You seem to be on the same trek as him, rejecting orthodox truth while believing ones self to be a maverick of all truth in latter times.
     
  9. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    Van,

    I would indeed second the motion to read NT Wright. He is a very articulate biblical scholar. We could all learn much from his teaching.
     
  10. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,515
    Likes Received:
    49
    I will look up Wright and offer comments. I reject some orthodox teachings, considering those views as non-truths. I certainly do not consider myself the maven of all truth. Not sure what is being asserted with maverick of all truth.
     
  11. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,515
    Likes Received:
    49
    I spent a few minutes trying to find some specific commentary by N.T Wright or Tom Wright on Galatians 1:9 but could not find it. He seems to be advocating views springing from his imagination, rather than from the text.

    I am not sure if he believes we are justified by faithfully following Christ, i.e. an on going process, but if that is his view, it is not orthodox nor biblical. My view of justification is clear and simple, we are justified when God spiritually transfers us from the realm of darkness into the kingdom of His Son. When we are spiritually baptized into Christ, we undergo the circumcision of Christ, our sin burden is removed, and we become holy, blameless and righteous in Him, thus we are justified. God does it all. The statement we are justified by faith simply means when God credits our faith as righteousness, he places us in Christ, thus God justified us through His crediting of our faith.
     
  12. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    He has lots of videos on Youtube you might be interested in;

    http://www.youtube.com/results?sear...6j2.16.0...0.0...1ac.1.11.youtube.F3IwZvGqF4g
     
  13. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,515
    Likes Received:
    49
    I watched two of them, long on generalities and motherhood statements, short on specifics.

    Interestingly, in reading some "bash NT Wright" blog, the orthodox view of Galatians 1:9 was trotted out to condemn Mr. Wright.

    If we treat everyone who teaches differently than we have been taught as anathema, what would we do to Jesus who said we should repent and stop believing as we had understood, and go this new way?

    The orthodox view is mistaken, it misses Paul's message, in my opinion.
     
  14. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    Wright seems to want to make sure that he explains what paul was trying to say in Romans, as if the Apostle imunderstood Grace and the Gospel, and Wright to correct him!
     
  15. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    we are adopted by the father right at moment of rebirth, sealed by the Spirit, and that is due to God's election of us to be found in Christ, which is confirmed by us receiving jesus thru faith...

    he elcts us, choses us in election then we chose jesus

    Not we first chose Jesus, and then God elects us!
     
  16. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,515
    Likes Received:
    49
    Yeshua1 denies God chooses us for salvation through faith in the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 is clear, therefore Yeshua1 denies scriptural truth in favor of man-made doctrine. He also redefines adoption as rebirth, yet another fiction, because Romans 8:23 is also clear, our adoption as sons refers to our bodily resurrection.

    My view of justification is clear and simple, we are justified when God spiritually transfers us from the realm of darkness into the kingdom of His Son, Colossians 1:13. When we are spiritually baptized into Christ, we undergo the circumcision of Christ, our sin burden is removed, and we become holy, blameless and righteous in Him, thus we are justified. God does it all. The statement we are justified by faith simply means when God credits our faith as righteousness, he places us in Christ, thus God justified us through His crediting of our faith.
     
  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    problem is that your theology disagrees with the bible!

    God chose those to be saved by by death of jesus for their sins, so its His will that they would receive him thru faih, and thus confirm that their election from Him was true and sure! Election causes me to have the faith to receive jesus and get saved, not faith and receiving jesus p[roduces election!

    And we are right now adopted as children, NOT waiting until resurrection, as right now we are called the children of God!
     
  18. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,515
    Likes Received:
    49
    My view on salvation agrees with all scripture, yours does not.

    God does indeed choose those to be saved, but He makes that choice through faith in the truth, 2 Thessalonians 2:13. You deny this scripture, and have no scripture to support your man-made doctrine.

    Scripture says we are saved by grace through faith, not saved by grace and given faith. Calvinism is simply unbiblical.

    If we treat everyone who teaches differently than we have been taught as anathema, what would we do to Jesus who said we should repent and stop believing as we had understood, and go this new way?

    The orthodox view is mistaken, it misses Paul's message, in my opinion.
     
  19. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    Again, the Bible clearly teaches that God chooses sinners first to get saved by death of Christ for their behalf, and those so chosen receive jesus thru faith!

    Individual Election unto salvation, as Jesus died for His elect to have sins atoned in full for!
     
  20. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,515
    Likes Received:
    49
    Yet another Calvinist making assertions but providing no scriptural support. And the assertion is unscriptural and false. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 says we are chosen through faith, therefore we are individually chosen based on God crediting our faith as righteousness.

    Next, presenting yet another falsehood, making it two for two, the claim is made that Christ died for only the elect, instead of all mankind from which the elect are chosen based on faith. Does we are saved by grace through faith ring a bell?

    Should a person who openly says scripture can be ignored in the name of supporting man-made doctrine be rebuked using God's word, or treated as anathema?
     

Share This Page

Loading...