Galatians 1:8-9 Questions (Thursday, June 7, 2012)

Second Week

Questions

(Gal 1:8-9 ESV) 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

1. “Accursed” translates the Greek anathema. Its roots go back to the Torah, where it’s translated as “devoted to destruction” where the context is normally being an abomination in God’s site —

(Num 21:3 ESV) And the LORD heeded the voice of Israel and gave over the Canaanites, and they devoted them and their cities to destruction. So the name of the place was called Hormah.

(Deu 7:26 ESV) And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction.

(Deu 13:15 ESV) you shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, devoting it to destruction, all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword.

What would anathema mean to Paul?

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2. Why does Paul pick this language? Why so harsh? After all, these were Christians who worshiped God and believed in Jesus and were good, moral people. Why speak in these terms?

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