settings icon
share icon

Who wrote the book of Galatians? Who was the author of Galatians?

author of Galatians

The author of Galatians is Paul, an apostle in the early church. The letter begins with the salutation: “Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—and all the brothers and sisters with me, To the churches in Galatia” (‭‭Galatians 1:1–2). Galatia was a Roman province in central Asia Minor, and the churches there had predominantly Gentile Christians. Paul’s letter to those churches played a crucial role in combating legalism.

‬‬ After receiving the gospel from Paul with joy, the Galatian believers soon faced confusion introduced by false teachers, whom Paul calls “agitators” in Galatians 5:12. These agitators insisted on Gentile circumcision and adherence to the law for salvation. The agitators also questioned Paul’s apostleship, creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and doubt. Paul’s response reflects the gravity of the situation, exposing the seriousness of the agitators’ false gospel (Galatians 1:6–9). He emphasizes that the gospel is complete and should not be altered, cautioning against errors that may arise when grace is deemed insufficient for salvation or spiritual growth (Galatians 3:2–3).

The epistle to the Galatians is one of the least debated Pauline work, but its seeming push against the Torah has led some scholars to erroneously presume that Paul rejected the Jewish law. Paul’s theology is sometimes compared to that of James, with claims of an alleged contradiction. However, Paul regarded the law as holy (Romans 7:12) and was not against circumcision (Acts 16:1–3). Rather, he opposed keeping the law as a requirement for salvation or even for sanctification. Paul’s gospel of grace was endorsed by other apostles, including James (Galatians 2:9–10). The key distinction lies in their emphasis: Paul focuses on being declared righteous before God, while James underscores being shown to be right with God, a theme also found in Paul’s letters (James 2:16–24; cf. Philippians 2:12–13). Both men agree that salvation comes by grace through faith, resulting in good deeds and godly living.

The relationship between faith and good deeds is a theme in the letter to the Galatians, as Paul addresses concerns that grace by faith may lead to licentiousness. Paul clarifies that the purpose of grace is to produce righteous living. Because of grace, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and are called to live daily under His influence (Galatians 5:16).

Galatians serves as a counterbalance to both legalism and licentiousness. Paul emphasizes that the Savior provides redemption and forgiveness from the penalty of our sin. Salvation is not earned but given to those who trust in that Savior. The Christian life should align with the Spirit’s control, guided by God's Word.

Return to:

Questions about the Bible

Who wrote the book of Galatians? Who was the author of Galatians?
Subscribe to the

Question of the Week

Get our Question of the Week delivered right to your inbox!

Follow Us: Facebook icon Twitter icon YouTube icon Pinterest icon Instagram icon
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy
This page last updated: March 14, 2024