Paul’s Letters To Galatia and Rome

Two of Paul’s Letters are clearly associated with the relationship between followers of Christ and the Jewish Law. Galatia was a Roman province in what is now the country of Turkey.  Paul founded a Christian community there in the late forties or early fifties of the first century.  The community was primarily Gentile.  Paul instructed them in the gospel of Christ and its connection to Judaism.  The Letter to the Romans addresses tensions which were common in early Christian communities comprised of both Gentiles and Jews.  Jews were living in Rome from at least 139 B.C.E.  Early Christian missionaries convinced some of these Jews to believe in the gospel.  Gentile converts were also made, resulting in a mixed community of Jews and Gentiles believing in Christ.  Paul had never visited the Christian community in Rome, but he knew of its prestige and influence.  In his Letter to the Romans Paul expresses his belief that contact between himself and the Romans would be “mutually encouraging” (Rom 1:12).  He will receive support from them for his planned trip to Jerusalem.  They will find in his experience of the gospel a way to resolve the tensions within their community.

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