The purpose of Paul's letter to the Galatians was to make it clear that becoming adopted descendants of Judah, nicknamed Jews, through circumcision offered to gentiles nothing in regard to salvation. Paul stated that even circumcised Jews had to be justified through the blood of Christ and afterwards live a Spirt-led life.
But the people of Galatia were either impressed or intimidated by the circumcision argument. They saw this as a reasonable way to change their ambiguous social identity as neither idolaters nor Jews.
Paul understood that this path of reasoning would have clouded the Galatians' understanding that justification is by the grace of God through faith in Christ's shed blood and the faithful obedience that comes through Christ's indwelling by the Holy Spirit.
Paul pointed out to the people that they did not need to be adopted by the Jews to become 'sons of God (Galatians 3:26) and receive eternal life.
At Galatians 1:6 Paul says: " I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel...".Christianity was brand new at this time, and Paul was working with ALL congregations, instructing and organizing them, correcting misunderstandings and falsehoods, providing scriptural reminders of Christ's teachings, helping to keep everyone united in the same thinking(1 Corinthians 1:10). The congregations in Galatia (including the cities of Iconium, Lystra, Derbe and Antioch) were a mixed group made up of formerly pagan Celts (coming from a fierce and superstitious background) and converts from Judaism (passionately attached to the Law), many of whom had not yet completely rid themselves of previous attitudes, attachments and behaviors. Because of these tendencies, they were easily led astray by 'Judaizers' (enemies of truth) who spoke against the apostles and subverted their faith for their own profit (Acts 15:1/Galatians 2:4/Galatians 4:17). Many of these 'false brothers' had filled the congregations with accusations against Paul and the apostles, and confused the thinking of the congregations. Paul took time to refute the accusations(Galatians 1:1,13-24), reprimand the Galatians for listening to false teachings (Galatians 4:9+10) and build up their faith(Acts 18:23)
According to Alain Badiou, Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism, page 18, there are only 6 Pauline letters that can be attributed to Paul. They are: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, and 1 Thessalonians.I have also heard from a discussion among bible scholars that the story of Jesus not condemning the woman was apocryphal. But I don't have a more reliable source than that, which is why I had the same question which led me to this site. But I thought I would offer what I have.
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