Jews and Greeks

This entry is part 158 of 323 in the series Inquiring Minds
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Who was Paul talking to when he said, “Neither Jew or Greek”? Was it Israelites following after Greek gods or other nations?

This quote comes from Galatians 3:28. The book of Galatians was written to the region of Galatia. All of the churches in that region passed this circular letter around so that they could all read it.

The audience of the book of Galatians was Jews and Gentiles in that area who became believers in Jesus Christ. It was to the Saints in the churches of the Galatia region. One of the problems Paul had was a group called the Judaizers.

Judaizers were Jews from the region in Palestine of Judea. They followed Paul around and after he left one of his found in churches they would come in and teach the people that Jesus wasn’t enough. They needed more than Jesus. They needed to follow parts of the Mosaic law to be true Christians.

They teach things like kneading circumcision to be part of God’s people. This is why Paul throws a fit against it in the book of Galatians. He calls their teaching, “another gospel” (Galatians 1:6). The whole message of Galatians is that Jesus is enough for salvation and no one, Jew or Gentile, needs anything else but him.

The Gentiles and Greeks in Galatia took this message of the Judaizers to heart. They were asking Paul questions about circumcision, following Mosaic feasts and festivals, etc. they thought they had to do more than just believe in Jesus.

Paul’s argument in the book of Galatians is that they need nothing else. Jesus has done the complete work of salvation and all they need to do is accept his sacrifice. He includes a lot of material on the Holy Spirit and life in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26). All of that follows because Jesus has made Christians free with sacrifice (Galatians 5:1).

So this quotation tells the Galatians it’s not about becoming Jewish to be a Christian or anything else. Because Jesus has made everyone who believes in him one people belonging to God there is no Jew or Greek or slave or free. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, part of the same family of God.

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