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Solas

Gal 2:15?

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Galatians 2:15 (NASB) "We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles;

 

I'm a bit perplexed about the wording.

More context...

 

Galatians 2:14-17 (NASB) But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, "If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? "We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. "But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be!

 

Any clarification? Is Paul speaking in relative terms?

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Posted (edited)

I’ll start with the easiest part first ...

”We are Jews by nature” ... Paul is saying we (Peter and Paul) were born Jews.

I think part of the point is that a Jew has no more choice about being born a Jew than a Gentile has about being born a Gentile.  The BIG PICTURE is Paul telling Peter to KNOCK IT OFF and stop telling gentiles that they have to live like Jews.

 

Now the harder part ...

”and not sinners from among the gentiles” ... skipping the word “sinners” for just a moment, this fits perfectly with the ‘easy’ part I already mentioned.  We (Peter and Paul) were born Jews and we were not born Gentiles.  The BIG PICTURE point seems to be that it is perfectly reasonable for a Jew to want to live like a Jew and to choose to live like a Jew, and it is perfectly reasonable for a gentile to not live like a Jew and to not want to live like a Jew ... quick show of hands, who wants to be circumcised as an adult “just for fun” and who wants to have surgery to reconstruct a foreskin “just for fun”?  Who would rather leave things just like they are? 🙂

 

Now for that word that I suspect is causing your grief ... “sinners” 😞

Here is my BEST GUESS (I would need to do a LOT more research to confirm my suspicion):  All Paul is contrasting is their starting backgrounds from the perspective of understanding the Holiness of the One True God.  Jews are born with the Torah and the Prophets and the Psalms to teach them about God.  Gentiles are BORN with no access to this information and start out as personal sinners from a culture of sin that is completely ignorant of the Laws of God.  Thus Paul is just saying that We (Peter and Paul) were born Jews (with the Law) and we (Peter and Paul) were not born Gentiles without the Law.  

 

Paul then goes on to explain that the Law does not save anyone, Jesus saves everyone (Jews and Gentiles) so what is to be gained by trying to make Gentiles keep a Law that will not save them after Jesus already has.

Edited by atpollard
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, atpollard said:

Now for that word that I suspect is causing your grief ... “sinners” 😞

Here is my BEST GUESS (I would need to do a LOT more research to confirm my suspicion):  All Paul is contrasting is their starting backgrounds from the perspective of understanding the Holiness of the One True God.  Jews are born with the Torah and the Prophets and the Psalms to teach them about God.  Gentiles are BORN with no access to this information and start out as personal sinners from a culture of sin that is completely ignorant of the Laws of God.  Thus Paul is just saying that We (Peter and Paul) were born Jews (with the Law) and we (Peter and Paul) were not born Gentiles without the Law.  

Yes, this was the section/word 'sinner'.

What came to my mind as I was reading this section was...

Romans 3:20 (NASB) because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

 

Romans 7:13 (KJV) Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

 

So especially from 7:13 you'd think it would be "we Jews who are sinners and not by nature Gentiles".

 

I was thinking maybe Paul was speaking in terms of the common perception amongst Jews.." 'sinner Gentiles' but we are by nature Jews".

I dunno.

 

We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
(Gal 2:15)
 

 

 

Edited by Solas

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