"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Churches in Galatia
Galatians 1:1-9; 5:1-6, 13-14 Commentary
by Mary Hinkle Shore
I feel certain that the Galatians, when they made their move toward keeping the law of Moses, were not expecting to be remembered by Christians through the centuries as "foolish" and "bewitched."
It is a safe bet that they did not set out to get the whole gospel wrong.
In fact, they probably thought they were doing the right thing, and at no small cost. Among other laws here, we are talking about the law of circumcision, after all, of adult males, in an age before anesthetic or antibiotics. It seems unlikely that the men of a whole community would volunteer for such a marker of inclusion in God's people without lively theological debate beforehand.
Nowadays we make this easy distinction between moral law in the Old Testament and ceremonial law there. We imagine that the moral law -- you know, the ten commandments, for example -- still addresses us, while the ceremonial law -- things like how to observe festivals, and how to be identified as the people of God -- does not apply to us. But God, when God gave the law, does not make such a distinction. Nor do Moses and the prophets when they interpret it. And Jesus, for all of the ways he interprets ...
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2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 040: Churches in Galatia
May 13, 2012
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester for "I Love to Tell the Story," a weekly conversation on the narrative lectionary. This week's reading is Churches in Galatia: Galatians 1:1-9; 5:1-6, 13-14.