Full Text for Galatians- Volume 26 - Would the Galatian Christians would have known of the Scriptures Paul is quoting? (Video)

No. 26. >> I want to ask about the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai, but before I do so, may I ask if the Galatian Christians would have had prior knowledge of the Scriptures Paul is quoting? >>DR. ARTHUR A. JUST, JR.: Eric, this is a great question and one that I probably should have referred to earlier. You know, it's always hard to know how much Paul preached and catechized the Galatian Christians. And even to, you know -- the duration of time that he was there. If what I said is true -- and I firmly believe that it is, namely, that the Galatians who are Gentiles, they certainly would have been familiar with Judaism. But not the Scriptures. And so anything they learned about the Scriptures would have come from Paul. Now, Paul would have been as a rabbi, as a teacher of the Scriptures, as a teacher of the law, would have been intent on teaching the Scriptures to them. And I think that what -- I mean obviously he couldn't teach the whole Old Testament. But he would have given them a full glimpse of what it's like to understand the essence of the Old Testament in terms of its messianic, namely, what it said about Christ and what it said that would have been pertinent for their life. Now, I don't know if you're familiar with these groups that do the Bible in an hour kind of a thing. I mean, if you sit down with somebody intensely and talk to them about the Scriptures, you can communicate quite a bit. I know that in one week of intense, you know, teaching, I can portray an awful lot about the New Testament for example to give people a big glimpse into it. So I think that they were very well versed in the Scriptures. Now, obviously not like Paul or his opponents. But they would have recognized these passages. They would have been able to capture the nuances he was speaking about. They would have heard echoes in what Paul was saying here in his teaching before among them. And I think it's important to recognize that these folks would have been very, very able and agile in getting at the meaning that Paul was after. Now, I think just translating that to our day today, I think everybody says and I think to a certain extent this is true, we live in a biblically illiterate culture. At the same time, however I think we don't give our folks credit enough of their intelligence and their ability to grasp the Scriptures. I think one of the reasons why people don't understand the Scriptures is that people who teach it don't teach it or understand it in such a way that it comes across. I have found that whenever I've been able to open up Scriptures for folks, that they just drink it up. And they remember it, too. And it's a part of their formation as Christians. And I'm talking about people who are being catechized towards baptism or towards entrance into the church. They drink it up. And they remember it. And when I preach on something or when I refer to it, they do recall what was taught to them by me. So I think we need to not only step up the level of our biblical instruction in our churches. But we they'd to give our folks credit for having the capacity to learn these things. Certainly there's a lot more kind of noise out there with all of the media that we're bombarded with so that unlike at the time of Paul where there was really very, very little media, you know Paul would have been the main attraction to a great extent. But at the same time I still believe very strongly that congregations can come to an understanding of Scripture, both then and now, so that they can grasp the meaning of these texts as they are being interpreted to them by Paul and by us.