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Galatians 1:2,3 – Address and greeting

09-05-2022 - Posted by Hans

…and all the brethren with me, to the ecclesias of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ..

The sender and address of the Galatian letter are clear. The dating, on the other hand, is more difficult. The most important point of reference is the visit to Jerusalem to which Paul refers in Galatians 2:1, which coincides with the apostle meeting in Acts 15. So the letter must have been written somewhere between chapters 17 and 20 of “Acts”. That roughly corresponds to the time between 50 and 55 AD. The Galatians letter does not provide any indication of where Paul wrote from, so actually all the places he visited during that time qualify (Corinth, Ephesus, Macedonia, etc.).

The letter is addressed to “the ecclesias of Galatia”, that is the region where Paul labored together with Barnabas (2:1,9,13). Luke describes this in Acts 13 and 14, where place names such as Antioch (in Pisidia), Iconium, Lystra and Derbe are mentioned.

The greeting of grace and peace is the usual greeting with which Paul always begins his letters. Yet this has an extra dimension in this letter, because it will soon become apparent that it was precisely the grace that the readers were so quickly distracted from. While everything (including peace!) stands or falls with: GRACE.