Galatians in Chronological Order

A post, putting Galatians in chronological order, hoping that it helps sort out some of the knots in the arguments.

3:6-9: God preaches the Gospel to Abraham, telling him that all of the nations of the world will be blessed in him. Abraham receives this message by faith, and God justifies him.

3:15-16: God makes a promise with Abraham and his seed, Jesus Christ.

4:21-27: Abraham has two children. The first, Ishmael, is the son of a slave woman, Hagar. He is born by the power of the flesh. The second, Isaac, is the child of the promise, born through the promise of God with Sarah.

3:17-22: 430 years later, because of Israel’s sin, God gives Israel the Torah. The Torah imprisons everything under sin, but does not annul the promise that God made with Abraham. Torah is mediated by angels, not God, a huge distinction between the promise and Torah.

3:10-12: All who live under Torah are under a curse, because no one can live under Torah and live by its standards. Israel is treated as a slave, in that they are under a guardian. They await maturity and freedom in the Spirit.

4:4: Jesus is born under Torah in the fullness of time.

3:12-14, 25-29: Jesus is hung on a tree, bearing the curse of Torah. On the tree, Jesus opens up the promised Spirit to the entire world, anyone who receives him by faith. Israel is brought into full maturity, being released from Torah to receive freedom from the Spirit through faith.

4:1-3, 5: Those who have faith in Jesus are adopted into the family of God by faith through the Spirit in the resurrection of the Messiah.

4:27-29: Israel now corresponds to the slave woman, Hagar, and Mount Sinai as Israel continues to live under sin and Torah. The Church, the Israel of God, now corresponds to Sarah, and Mount Zion, as the church lives in the freedom of the Spirit, freed from captivity to Torah.

1:11-17: Jesus knocks Paul off his feet on the road to Damascus, revealing himself as the telos of Israel’s faith. Paul travels to Arabia to get insight on what’s going on anymore. Here, God continues to teach him the gospel of Christ, without the influence of other apostles or teachers.

1:18-24: After three years, Paul travels from Arabia and meets with Peter and James in Jerusalem. He then travels to Syria and Cilicia. People here don’t know Paul by his face, but start to learn about his conversion.

2:1-10: After another fourteen years, Paul returns to Jerusalem to have his ministry approved by the influential apostles, traveling with Barnabus and Titus. Titus is not forced to be circumcised, even though he isn’t a Jew. The Christian leaders, specifically Cephas, James, John, approve Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles, sensing that it is similar in kind to Peter’s ministry to the Jews.

2:11-14: certain men come from James and influence the Jewish party at Antioch. They influence Peter, and he ceases table fellowship with Gentiles. Paul rebukes him sharply in public.

3:3: Christ is portrayed publicly as crucified in the midst of the Galatians, and they receive the gospel in faith.

1:1-11, 2:15-3:2, 4:8-20, 5-6: Paul writes to the Galatians as it seems like they are moving away from the gospel Christ revealed to him into a different gospel.

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