In yesterday’s post I indicated that I really very much wish that we could have some of the writings produced by Paul’s opponents in Galatia. They believed that in order to be a follower of Jesus, a person had to accept and follow the Law of Moses as laid out in the Jewish Scriptures. Men were to be circumcised to join the people of God; men and women were, evidently, to adopt a Jewish lifestyle. Presumably that meant keeping kosher, observing the Sabbath, and so on. Anyone who didn’t do this was not really a member of the people of God, since to be one of God’s people meant following the law that God had given.
Paul was incensed at this interpretation of the faith and insisted with extraordinary vehemence that it was completely wrong. The gentile followers of Jesus were not, absolutely not, supposed to become Jewish. Anyone who thought so rendered the death of Jesus worthless. It was only that death, and the resurrection, that made a person right with God. Nothing else. Certainly not following the Torah.
I often wonder whether Paul and the author of the Gospel of Matthew would have gotten along.
Matthew’s Gospel was probably…
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