Questions for Galatians, chapter 2

Click here for chapter 1

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.

“Galatians 2:20. The Relinquished Life” by Mark Lawrence http://www.marklawrencegallery.com/products/the-relinquished-life

Click here for chapter 3

 

 

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Questions for Galatians, chapter 1

This blog began as an attempt to make available to others some resources that I’d been involved in making, especially those that had a relatively high holy-sweat to beneficiary ratio the first time around. I’m currently leading a very small group in which exactly one participant really, really likes some concrete guidance as she prepares throughout the week for our Bible study. Now, I’ve been to seminary and you would think I would have some great stuff like that readymade and at my disposal. And I’m sure I do somewhere. In my library in storage on another continent. In a database I think I could still access if I could remember the password. Or my username. On some software on a bricked laptop. You get the picture. So these are for Marion, and – by the power of WordPress – for you, if they’re useful to you. They’re not so original that you should hesitate to bounce off them free-style and make them your own, but they’re original enough that if you are going print them off and hand them around to your own small group you should put my name and a link to this post at the bottom of the page. In teeny tiny print at least. Because you don’t want to go into this study with anything on your conscience – Paul’s in a mood. Enjoy. by Rich Wyld at theologygrams.wordpress.com

First reading: Read Galatians 1. 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. Hold onto it prayerfully and see if it makes more sense to you at the end of this study.

Comprehension & Reflection: Read the chapter again, answering the following:

Who is writing and to whom?

What is an apostle?

How does Paul describe Christ’s work in verse 4?

What does he seem to consider his own work to be?

What has happened to occasion this letter?

What does “gospel” mean?

Paul doesn’t articulate this “different gospel” in this chapter. What can you guess about it based on what he does say?

According to this chapter, what are valid sources of the “gospel” and what are not?

What “traditions” do you think Paul is referring to in verse 14?

What credentials and details of his own life story does Paul present and why does he do so?

What misinformation does he seem to be trying to correct?

What dichotomies does Paul establish in this chapter?

What is the overall tone of this chapter?

Is the issue of “different gospels” still relevant for us today?

FOR ADDITIONAL STUDY/ CONTEXT:

  1. Where else in the Bible can we read about the churches or region of Galatia? Do these passages offer any further insight into Paul’s audience?
  2. Compare the salutation at the beginning of this epistle to some others. What similarities and differences do you notice?
  3. Compare Paul’s account of his travels with those in Acts.
  4. What additional information can you find about the historical background and setting of this letter?
  5. What other passages can you find dealing with teachings contrary to the gospel? How are they defined, described, etc.? What consequences, warnings, and instructions are issued relating to them?

Click here for chapter 2