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The Galatians lived in north central Anatolia. Their faith evidently had been disturbed by the insistence of some Jewish Christians on close ties to Judaism even for gentile converts to Christianity. Paul replied by developing the theme of the efficacy of salvation in Jesus Christ. In the first two chapters, he defends his apostleship and authority. He then presents arguments from Scripture for the primacy of faith in Jesus as alone essential for salvation (chapters 3 - 4) and continues with an exhortation to true Christian life and freedom (chapters 5 - 6). This epistle and the Epistle to the Romans served as prime sources for the Reformation teaching on justification by faith.
Anthony J Salsarini
J Bligh, Galatians (1969); J D Dunn, Jesus, Paul, and the Law (1990).
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