Galatians Quiz


Introductory Note: Our Bible quizzes are based on content rather than theological interpretations. They also attempt to hit the high points and important passages in each book. Paul's letter to the Galatians presents an interesting challenge to these two goals. There are two very important verses in the letter, but they are hotly debated among theologians. The quiz that follows will not have any questions based on these verses. However, I believe it is important to point them out.

The first is Galatians 3:16: "Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, 'And to seeds,' as referring to many, but rather to one, 'And to your seed,' that is, Christ" (NASB). In Hebrew, Greek, and English the words for "seed" are collective nouns. That means the grammatically singular form can be used, and often is used, in a plural sense. For example, "a bag of seed" does not refer to a bag with a single kernel of seed in it. "Deer" is another collective noun. Therefore, the nature of Paul's argument here is debated by theologians. Gen. 13:15 can certainly refer to multiple descendants, and the next verse makes it plain that it is ("I will make your seed like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your seed could be counted"). The best explanation of Paul's argument is found in Willis J. Beecher, The Prophets and the Promise. According to Beecher, because the word is a collective noun, it can be used for a corporate solidarity, an entity that can be viewed either as a collection of individuals or as a single individual incorporating the entire group. Therefore, Paul's argument is that because the collective noun "seed" is used in the singular, it can simultaneously refer both to the individual members of the seed of Abraham (which is the emphasis in Genesis) and also to the corporate head, Jesus Christ (which is what Paul emphasizes).

The second is Galatians 6:16: "And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God" (NASB). At issue is the phrase "Israel of God." Some theologians take this to mean "the church" as "the new Israel" or "spiritual Israel." Taken this way, the verse is one of the leading arguments for "replacement theology," which is the view that the "church" has replaced national, ethnic Israel as the people of God and that the Old Testament promises made to the nation of Israel are fulfilled "spiritually" (as opposed to "literally") within the church. The alternative interpretation of "Israel of God" takes it to be a reference to the believing remnant within national Israel referred to in Rom. 11:1-5. This Web site adamantly holds the latter view. For additional discussion of this issue, see "Does Eschatology Matter in Jewish Evangelism?" Also see our reprint of J. C. Ryle's, Coming Events and Present Duties: Being Miscellaneous Sermons on Prophetical Subjects and our introduction to it.

  1. The gospel that Paul preached to the churches of Galatia was not given to him by man nor taught to him. In what manner was the gospel communicated to him?

  2. In what primary way did which Paul's calling to preach the gospel differ from that of Peter?

  3. How much time elapsed after Paul's conversion before he went to Jerusalem and met with Peter?

  4. Fourteen years after his first visit to Jerusalem, Paul went again. Name the two men he took along.

    Barnabas and Silas
    Luke and Timothy
    Titus and Timothy
    Barnabas and Titus
  5. What prompted this visit by Paul?

  6. What was the controversy in which Paul found himself?

  7. Titus accompanied Paul as a test case in the issue that brought Paul to Jerusalem. In what way?

  8. Describe the confrontation between Paul and Peter when Peter came to Antioch.

  9. According to Paul, what conclusion follows if righteousness comes through keeping the law?

    We are not dead in sin.
    Christ died in vain.
    Abraham was saved by works.
    The Jews are superior to Gentiles.
  10. How does Paul claim that Abraham was made righteous?

  11. Paul argues that the Old Testament Scripture "foresaw" that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and actually "announced the gospel in advance to Abraham." What verse from the Old Testament does Paul quote?

  12. Paul also draws support from the prophets that justification is by faith. From which prophet does Paul quote when he says, "The just shall live by faith"?

  13. In Galatians 3:15 Paul writes, "Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life." What is Paul's example and argument?

  14. Does Paul think the law is opposed to the covenant promises God made to Abraham?

  15. When Paul originally established the churches in Galatia, the Galatians loved him very much. Had it been possible, what would they have been willing to do for Paul?

  16. Paul makes an analogy for the two covenants, the one made with Abraham and the other made with Israel at Mt. Sinai. Which two women from Patriarchal history did he use for this analogy?


  17. Who are the two sons born of these two women?

    Lamech and Noah
    Abraham and Lot
    Isaac and Ishmael
    Jacob and Esau
  18. Why was Paul so greatly concerned over the desire of the Galatians to be circumcised?

    Because their desire to be circumcised would place them under all the requirements of the Mosaic law.
    Because they wished to separate themselves from other Jewish believers as a sign of their own righteousness.
    Because they were in danger of abandoning their faith due to persecution by the Romans.
    Because they were in danger of returning to idolatry by their frequent attendance at pagan festivals.
  19. Paul states that all the law can be summed up in a single commandment. What is it?

  20. Paul contrasts the "acts of the sinful nature" and the "fruit of the Spirit." Give four of the nine "fruits of the Spirit".

  21. Paul cites the main reason why the 'false brothers' wanted the Galatians to be circumcised. What is it?

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