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First reading: Read Galatians 2. What word, phrase, or verse stands out to you? Does it bring up a question? Speak to a question you’ve been having? Just resonate somehow? Is it confusing? Disturbing? Comforting? Make a note of it.
Comprehension & Reflection: Read the chapter again, answering the following:
What do we know about Paul’s traveling companions, Barnabas and Titus, and what light do they shed on Paul’s ministry?
Why did Paul go to Jerusalem and what were the results of his visit? Describe Paul’s attitude toward the other apostles.
When Paul states his concern of “running in vain” in verse 2, what do you think he was worried about?
What is the larger significance of Titus not being compelled to be circumcised? What does Paul call those would have compelled him?
In verse 7, are there different gospels for the circumcised and the uncircumcised? Why might there be different apostles for the Jews and the Gentiles?
Why does Paul accuse Peter of hypocrisy? What led to it?
Try making some kind of visual outline of the distinctions Paul draws in verses 15-21 of justification through the law and through Christ (draw a picture or sketch a diagram or divide into columns). What do you notice?
What parts do grace and faith play in this chapter? In verse 16 the phrase “faith in Christ” could also be translated “the faith (or faithfulness) of Christ.” Read verses 15-21 again replacing “faith in” with “the faithfulness of.” Does it add anything to your reading?
Most of us cannot relate to the strong emotional, social, racial, and political divisions between Jew and Gentile at this time. Along what lines do we see the church dividing itself today?
Galatians details some rather unattractive struggles within the leadership of the early church. Why do you think these are included in our scriptures?
In this chapter, what are the signs of the true gospel and of the false?
Prayerful Reading (lectio divina): Ask 4 people in the group to be ready to read from the last few verses of the chapter.
Before the first reading take a moment as a group to quiet yourselves and prepare to listen deeply to the words being read and for the voice of God. Pray for God’s word to enter and work more deeply in your minds, hearts, and spirits. Read verses 19-21. Let the words soak in. Give them time.
For the second reading try to move from the intellectual exercise of study and enter into the truth of the words. Stop wrestling with them. Trust them and let them act on you. Read verses 19b(“I am crucified with Christ…)-20.
Let the third reading mark a time of silent prayer. Let your heart speak to God. Read verses 19b-20.
On the final reading rest in God’s presence. Let the Holy Spirit speak and transform your heart. Read verses 19b-20.
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