1 2 3 4 5 6

Galatians 3 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Galatians 3 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

"O foolish Galatians"
Paul calls the Galatians "foolish" and thus makes himself worthy of hell fire. (Mt.5:22)
Is it OK to call someone a fool?

2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

"As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse."
Are those who obey the law cursed?
The author of the SAB has not read this verse correctly. What Paul means is that if you seek salvation by the law, you must fulfil its obligations: be perfect and if you sin, the punishment is death. That is the curse of the law. Deut. 27:26 says exactly the same thing: if you seek salvation by the law and do not do all it says, its curse will be upon you.

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

(3:11-12) "The just shall live by faith."
Is Salvation by faith alone?
Has the ever been a just person?
On if salvation is by faith alone, the topic of this letter, yes. See also Rom. 2:6.
On the phrase “just person”, see Matthew 1:19.

12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

"Christ ..., being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."
Jesus was cursed by God.
Sin is cursed by God. Jesus was not cursed outside his office as priest, the sin bearer. John Gill explains:

the sense of which is, not only that he was like an accursed person, looked upon as such by the men of that wicked generation, who hid and turned away their faces from as an abominable execrable person, calling him a sinner, a Samaritan, and a devil; but was even accursed by the law; becoming the surety of his people, he was made under the law, stood in their legal place and stead and having the sins of them all imputed to him, and answerable for them, the law finding them on him, charges him with them, and curses him for them; yea, he was treated as such by the justice of God, even by his Father, who spared him not, awoke the sword of justice against him, and gave him up into his hands; delivered him up to death, even the accursed death of the cross, whereby it appeared that he was made a curse:
“made”, by the will, counsel, and determination of God, and not without his own will and free consent; for he freely laid down his life, and gave himself, and made his soul an offering for sin:

14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

"Abraham ... and to they seed, which is Christ"
Was Jesus a descendent of Abraham?
Yes, Jesus was a descendant of Abraham. The Jews blood line is according to the mother, not the father. So you're a Jew if your mother is a Jew, that's the definition actually. In Jesus case, both his mother and Josef were of the seed of Abraham.

17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

"There is neither male nor female."
Should women have the same rights as men?
BOM: 2 Nephi 10:16, 26:33, 4 Nephi 3
Paul does not discuss ecclesiastical hierarchy here, nor political matters, nor women's rights. What he discusses is that in Christ we are all Abraham's seed regardless of our state in this world. This is not a call to arms, but a description of every member of Christ's church. And in heaven there will be truly no distinction anymore. On earth this distinction is visible in that all have the same rights to the Gospel ordinances: there is no separate table for slaves or women, all sit at one table.
See also 1 Cor. 11:3.

29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.