Re: Gal 4:14

From: lakr (
Date: Tue Aug 11 1998 - 11:41:27 EDT

> On Tue, 11 Aug 1998 03:52:34 -0400 (EDT), you wrote:
> >
> >(Gal 4:14 NASB) and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition
> >you did not despise or loathe, but you received me
> >as an angel of God
> >as Christ Jesus Himself.
> >
> >I would like to know if there is any relation with 'as an angel' and 'as
> >Christ'
> I took this as hyberbole. Obviously the people would recieve Jesus
> with more enthusiasm than they welcomed Paul. He is exagerating to
> make the point that the Galatians welcomed him well.
> It is similar to 1:8. even if an angel preach another gospel, don't
> believe it.
> Phillip J. Long
> Asst. Prof. Bible & Greek
> Grace Bible College

Dear B-Greek'ers,

I read through the first part of Galatians after reading the responses
so far and it strikes me that Ga 4:4 might have some bearing on 4:14 :

        Ga 4:4
        But when the full limit of the time arrived,
        God sent [ ECAPESTEILEN ] forth his Son,
        who came to be out of a woman
        and who came to be under law,

It seems, too, that the phrase 'ANNGELON QEOU', in Paul's usage does
refer not to a human messenger, but to a heavanly one, as the
comentary "The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians" by
Lukyn Williams indicates with the comment on this verse on page 97:

        ''Probably "angel" (not "messenger") as always in St Paul,
        though the commonness of the word prevents our laying stress
        on this fact.''

Williams goes on to compare this verse to Mal 3:1 and says in reference
to this verse:

       ''The connexion in St. Pauls mind was probably due
       to his reminiscence of Mal iii.1. IDOU EGW ECAPOSTELLW TON AGGELON
       here, ANNGELOS suggests both it's meanings. St. Paul means that
       they could not have received him better if he had been an angel,
       yes, if he had been Christ Himself.''

In "Critical and Exegetical Commentary on The New Testament" by
Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer, page 246 he says of the phrase :

       ''---WS XRISTON IHSOUN] a climax added asyndetically in
       the excitement of feeling, and presenting to a still greater
       extent than WS AGGEL. QEOU (Heb 1:4; Phil 2:10; Col 1:16) the high
       reverence and love with which he had been received by them, and
       that as a divine messenger. Comp. Matt. x.40; John xiii. 20.''

It looks like there is an escalation of sorts in this verse, as
'an angel of God' (anarthrous), not just any "angel/messenger of God",
but as if Paul were the one that God sent forth (cf Ga 4:4).

Personally, I am not sure what basis there is in making a distinction
between "angel" and "messenger". I always thought it refered to a
function rather than a "species".

Larry Kruper

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