“Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised”
Yet not even Titus who was with me,
The reason Paul brought Titus to Jerusalem was to present him to the Council as a test case. This was a bold step on Paul’s part, an open confrontation to the legalists. The heart of the Judaizer’s position was circumcision because that was the true sign of being a Jew. Titus was a living example of someone who became a Christian without circumcision. All the legalists had to do to win their case was to convince the Council to circumcise Titus. This they failed to do.
being a Greek,
The word “Greek” does not mean native people from Greece but a Gentile who participates in the Greek culture and speaks Greek, the Roman Empire’s common language. Greek and Gentile became interchangeable terms. A Gentile is anyone, not a Jew.
was compelled to be circumcised
Certain people put pressure on Titus to become circumcised as a part of becoming a Christian, but the Council concluded that he didn’t need to be circumcised. They affirmed Paul’s position on the gospel of grace. This decision was a crucial watershed of the Christian faith because the Council affirmed Gentile converts as truly Christian. This was also important for the church at Antioch, for it was the center of Gentile ministry throughout the world. Paul’s success at the Jerusalem Council opened the gospel to the Gentiles.
A core value of Christianity is to stand for truth.
It seems that very few people are willing to take a stand on the truth of the gospel these days. Christians have almost concluded that it is wrong to confront false teaching. Both Jesus and the apostles constantly confronted false teaching. Tolerance was not the norm for first-century Christianity.
Dear Dr. Grant,
From the introduction to Galatians, I understood that your position is that this letter was written before the Jerusalem Council. But while reading verses 1-3 in Chapter 2, I get the impression that it was written after the Jerusalem Council. How do I reconcile that?
Rose, thank you for catching this inconsistency. My problem is that I held to one view before the exposition and another after; and I did not correct the Introduction. I will correct this problem in the Intro.
There is a significant debate, and it is also the most difficult problem to resolve among scholars, about whether the book of Galatians was written on Paul’s northern trip to Galatia or his southern trip. Those who identify the recipients of Galatians as the believers in the southern cities of Galatia generally believe that the epistle was written from Antioch of Syria in about A.D. 48 just before the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15). However, this solution does not take into account the strong similarities between Acts 15 and Gal. 2.
The view that the churches in question were located to the north prohibits the southern dating, since Paul did not evangelize the northern region until after the council.
It is possible to argue that both passages refer to the same event and that the differences can be accounted for by recognizing the very different perspectives of Luke and Paul. According to the northern trip view, Galatians must have been written after AD 48 or 49 while Paul was in Ephesus during his third missionary journey.
Thank you Dr. Grant