In Paul's day, letters that were written to rebuke someone for misbehavior often ended with a request for a renewal of friendship and a change of behavior. For example, one short papyrus letter from Paul's time reads: "I am surprised that you did not see your way to let me have what I asked you to send by Corbolon, especially when I wanted it for a festival. I beg you to buy me a silver seal and send it to me with all speed." Here we see the same form as Paul's letter to the Galatians. First there is an expression of rebuke ("I am surprised . . ."—see Gal 1:6) and a statement of the cause of rebuke ("that you did not see your way to let me have . . ."). Second there is an expression of request ("I beg you . . ."—see Gal 4:12) followed by imperatives ("buy . . . send").
At 4:12 Paul turns from rebuke to request: I plead with you, brothers, become like me, for I became like you. Become like me is the first imperative in Galatians. It sets the focus for the rest of the request section of the letter. This personal appeal (4:12-20) is followed by a scriptural appeal (4:21-31). Then Paul sets forth his authoritative appeal (5:1-12) followed by his ethical appeal (5:13—6:10).
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.