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Galatians

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The Epistle to the Galatians is a letter written by St Paul to the early Christians in Galatia (part of modern-day Turkey). It is included in the Bible, in the New Testament.

The letter appears to have been written at a time when the people of Galatia were turning away from the Gospel that had been preached to them by Paul and towards beliefs more based on the traditional Jewish faith, including circumcision: it begins with an exhortation not to do so, and to remain faithful to the true word of God as Paul understood it; and continues with an account of Paul's conversion and acceptance by the other Apostles offered as testament to the authenticity of his teaching.

This is followed by a strong and categorical advocacy for the preeminence of faith over the observance of the Jewish (or any other) law, mingled with warnings not to stray from the straight path and general advice on leading a successful, moral Christian life. Its central message is that faith and acceptance of the Holy Spirit are the surest path to righteousness and salvation, and that the Pharisee-like observation of a fixed code of laws can in fact be a distraction from what is truly right (Galatians 5:4).



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