by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 8 August 22, 2010 Dayton, Texas
2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:
3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1901 ASV Translation:
2 and all the brethren that are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:
3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ,
4 who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil world, according to the will of our God and Father:
5 to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
I. From the Authorial Side.
A. Author: Paul.
B. Associates: all the brethren.
1. Under the "not one jot or tittle" perception of inspired revelation, the question is this: what difference does it make that Paul had associates who were invested in the situation in Galatia?
a. Interestingly, the reference to these associates is a comment on a most fundamental interpretive principle. There is a reason that the nation of Israel had been so completely subverted that, though it had in its possession a revelation from God that was "jot and tittle" accurate, it could not see Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ and, reflexively, put Him to death. That reason is this: the interpretive principle that undergirded the subversion was "mechanistic". What I mean is that the universe was conceived of as a machine, created by a Machine. In that kind of universe, "overt obedience" is the only concern. As such, it led directly to the "tithing of the mint, anise, and cummin" and ignoring "judgment, mercy, and faith" (Matthew 23:23). This is externalism, deliberately detached from inner motivational issues. In this view of the universe, God does not see what drives the action, nor does He care. The only thing that matters is whether the prescribed action took place. This is the universe reduced to a machine where the only thing that matters is whether the proper coin was inserted into the slot. In this view, neither "love", nor "faith" have any proper place and, thus, a "loving" Son of God could be accused of being Satanic and put to death for perceived violations of the Machine.
b. Alternatively, in a relational universe, the major significance of actions is whether, at root, they were intended to enhance the life experience of those whom they touched, and, at fruit, they were actuallycapable of such enhancement. In such a universe, all "revelation" is interpreted under this thesis of "Love". Thus, the very small principles of "Love" do not lose their significance, nor do the weightier principles get ignored (Matthew 23:23, at the end of the verse).
2. What is the primary impact of "all the brethren with me"?
a. In a "relational universe", relationships matter. In a mechanistic universe, machines matter. Paul fully inhabited a relational universe in which the primary methodological principle is "knowing" people. Jesus, in John 17:3, identified "eternal life" in terms of its chief mechanism: "...that they might know Thee and the One Whom Thou hast sent...". The operative word is "know".
b. That there are "others" who are invested with Paul in the situation concerning the Galatians is simply a "relational universe" reality. Paul's "truth" hangs on his "apostleship", not his "associations with brethren". However, "apostleship" is fundamentally a "relationship" term. It identifies a person "in relationship" to Another. Therefore, though "truth" does not hang upon Paul's human "associations", those associations are a revelation of the type of universe Paul inhabits.
c. That these "associates" are "brothers" is a direct subset of the identification of God as "the Father".
1) So far in Galatians, the "Father" thesis is one of the subversion of the agenda and methodology of those who oppose the "Son/sons".
2) Under this thesis, all "brethren" fall into the category of those whose cases the "Father" always finally addresses with hyper-blessing. If the Galatians are aware of the "Father/brethren" principle, they can be pulled back from the brink of the "all is 'machine'" perversion of the universe.
d. That these "associates" are "together with me" is the main idea of this segment of his introduction. In the Greek, Paul calls these "associates", "the together with me all brothers". Linguistically, the definite article "the" is tied to the noun "brothers", and the "all" is a "unifier" that says, in effect, "we are all in agreement on this end". In other words, there does exist a community of "brethren" who see God and His creation as "personal" rather than simply "objects of the rules".