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Galatians 4:8 However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods.

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Galatians 4:8 >

      8-11. Appeal to them not to turn back from their privileges as free sons, to legal bondage again.
      then--when ye were "servants" (Ga 4:7).
      ye knew not God--not opposed to Ro 1:21. The heathen originally knew God, as Ro 1:21 states, but did not choose to retain God in their knowledge, and so corrupted the original truth. They might still have known Him, in a measure, from His works, but as a matter of fact they knew Him not, so far as His eternity, His power as the Creator, and His holiness, are concerned.
      are no gods--that is, have no existence, such as their worshippers attribute to them, in the nature of things, but only in the corrupt imaginations of their worshippers (see on 1Co 8:4; 1Co 10:19, 20; 2Ch 13:9). Your "service" was a different bondage from that of the Jews, which was a true service. Yet theirs, like yours, was a burdensome yoke; how then is it ye wish to resume the yoke after that God has transferred both Jews and Gentiles to a free service?

JFB.


Questions Related to this Verse

Where in Scripture does it talk about spiritual blindness?

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Galatians Images and Notes

The Book of Galatians

Galatians 1:11-12 - But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 4:4 - But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Galatians in The New Testament - A Brief Overview

Painting of the Apostle Paul by Rembrandt - 1657
Painting of Paul the Apostle by Rembrandt - 1657

Introduction to The Book of Galatians

Brief Summary. Paul instructs the churches that he established in Galatia. He defends his apostleship against the Judaizers who wanted to mix Christianity with the Law of Moses. Paul says that salvation is by grace and not by law.

Summary of The Book of Galatians

Purpose. Paul was so well received by the Galatians that they even looked upon him as an angel or God himself (Galatians 4:14). The churches that he established had become strong churches, yet they were severely affected by the false teaching of the Judaizers. Paul deals with their false doctrines and their attacks at his apostleship, and shows clearly how Christianity cannot be mingled with Jewish laws and circumcision. He reminds them that his authority and ministry was not passed on through the other apostles, but came directly through Jesus Christ. Regarding Christianity he uses sound doctrine, Scripture, and allegory to show how Christianity is greater than the law. The true purpose of the law was to point to Jesus Christ, and the gospel does not see any difference between the Jew, the Greek, the free man, the slave, nor male nor female. Paul's message in the book of Galatians regarding Christianity and its relationship to the law of Moses is theologically brilliant, and some have referred to it as the Christian Declaration of Independence.

Audience. Scholars agree that paul was writing to the churches in Galatia which he established on his  first missionary journey.

Authorship. Paul the Apostle was the author of the book of Galatians. Scholars agree that Paul was the author of the epistle to the Galatians. Paul refers to his own name as "Paul" twice in Galatians (Galatians 1:1 and 5:2). The second reference is very conclusive that it was Paul writing. There were several references to the life of Paul which can easily be harmonized with the Book of Acts.

Date. it is very difficult to be certain about the date of the epistle to the Galatians. Most scholars give it a 50 or 55 AD date.

Place Written. It is also difficult to be certain about the location where Paul wrote his epistle to the Galatians. Most likely it was written from either Syrian Antioch before the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) or it could have been written from Ephesus on Paul's second or third missionary journey.

Outline of the Book of Galatians

Paul's Message of the Gospel - Chapter 1:1-10
Paul Defends Justification by Faith -  Chapters 1:11-2:21
Paul Explains Justification by Faith - Chapters 3:1-4:31
Paul Explains Applying Justification by Faith 5:1-6:18

Jesus written in Hebrew
The Name Jesus In Ancient Hebrew Text
"Yeshua" in First Century Hebrew Text. This is how the name "Jesus" would have been written in ancient Hebrew documents. The four letters or consonants from right to left are Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A). Jesus is the Greek name for the Hebrew name Joshua or Y'shua which means "The LORD or Yahweh is Salvation".

Galatians Maps and Resources

Map of the Roman Empire (14 A.D.) - This map reveals the Roman Empire during the time shortly after the birth of Jesus, in 14 AD at the time of the death of Augustus. The order which prevailed in this extensive empire, the good military roads, and the use of Koine Greek as the general language of culture throughout the area were among the factors which multiplied the rapid spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's First Missionary Journey (48 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia Minor where Paul visited in his first missionary journey. Around 48 AD, in the springtime, Paul and his companions Barnabas and Mark were sent on a mission from the church in Antioch. This would be the first of Paul's Missionary Journey's. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's Second Missionary Journey (51 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his second missionary journey. Paul re-visits a couple cities in Asia, one of which was Lystra where he was stoned and left for dead a few years earlier. He later has a vision that leads him over to Greece and Paul and his companions travel and minister in various cities in Greece (Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens and Corinth. Later Paul returns to Ephesus and finally to Caesarea and Antioch. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's Third Missionary Journey (54 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his third missionary journey. On Paul's third missionary journey he returned to the cities he had first visited on his first missionary journey. During this time he decided to remain in Ephesus for about 3 years, and this city was the main focus of his activities and an important Christian community (Acts 19). (Color Map)

Map of the New Testament World - This map reveals the "Nations" within the ancient world during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the areas of Israel, Asia, Greece, and Italy. (Color Map)

Map of New Testament Asia - This map shows the cities within Asia Minor during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the principal cities of Asia including Tarsus, Ephesus, and Colossae, and provinces like Galatia and Pamphilia. (Color Map)