Galatians 1.2

24 05 2009

P46

P46

καὶ οἱ (σὺν ἐμοὶ) πάντες ἀδελφοὶ ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις τῆς Γαλατίας,

Paul includes all the ‘brothers’ with him [οἱ (σὺν ἐμοὶ) πάντες ἀδελφοὶ] as senders of the epistle to the churches in Galatia. He does not indicate elsewhere in the letter who these brothers are. This verse appears as an almost irrelevant aside, and yet it subtly underscores two things. First, Paul is not alone. Having established his apostolic authority in the previous verse, the reader is reminded here that he has companions who likewise affirm his authority; he is not a lone wolf claiming something that others do not recognize. Second, having said that, Paul’s companions do not share in his apostolic authority. He has already deliberately pointed out his own credentials (and will continue to do so later in the chapter); yet he makes no effort whatsoever to commend his companions in the same way. Both these elements subliminally sharpen Paul’s opening salvo in verse one.

Additionally, we read in this verse that the epistle is addressed to congregations (ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις) in Galatia. Paul will go on to address serious issues that are shared among multiple groups in the region. The uniformity with which he will do so might suggest that he is targeting one group, but here we see that there are groups in cahoots. The problems they share are so uniform that Paul may address his harshest epistle to them as though they are one.

Posted by Con Campbell

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