A Common Objection to the Anglo-Israel Message #1:
By: Matthew Dyer
But the Bible says in Galatians 3:28-29 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Does being a blood Israelite matter then?
Galatians 3:28 is a scripture that is one of the first brought up as a question or objection concerning the Anglo-Israel message, because it is often used to promote a “spiritual Israel” doctrine which teaches the New Covenant was not made with the physical people Israel, and God is now working with a spiritualize Israel made up of all people. This mindset is incorrect. In order to understand this passage, we must first understand who it was written too, and the context. So we have to ask ourselves, who were the Galatians that Paul was writing too?
Philip Schaff’s Popular Commentary on the New Testament said in the introduction of the Epistle of the Galatians this about who the Galatians were.
“GALATIA or GALLO-GRÆCIA was a mountainous but fertile province in the interior of Asia Minor. It had its name from the Gallic or Celtic tribes which inhabited it. Their ancestors, on invitation of Nicomedes, king of Bithynia, had come from the left banks of the Rhine and the Moselle, and, in company with a small number of Germans, settled in Asia about 280 before Christ…. Galatians, Gauls, Celts, are often used synonymously by ancient writers. The Scotch Highlanders still call their own country Galatia (Gaëldachd), the land of the Gauls (Gaels).
The Galatians were Celtic people! I bet you didn’t know there was a book of the Bible written to Celtic people. So some may say “So what? They were still not Israelites or Judeans, the scriptures says there were Greeks there also!” Maybe so, let’s take a look at Galatians 3:7.
“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham”
Verse 7 is often quoted to prove a spiritualize Israel in the Bible as well, but this verse taken alone does not prove this concept. If the word “they” spoken of in this verse refers to Non-Israelite Gentiles, then one must come to the conclusion that all Children of Abraham throughout the Bible are spiritual children, and not a physical people. Now on the other hand, if the word “they” is referring to literal flesh and blood Israelites from either the house of Judah or the house of Israel, then we have to come to the conclusion that only those physical Israelites who are of faith are to be considered TRUE children of Abraham. This means any Israelite in the world who were not Christian and followed Jesus Christ are not TRUE children of Abraham, and were just like the House of Israel that God divorced.
And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. Jeremiah 3:8
We find the Apostle Peter saying something similar to dispersed Israelites in 1 Peter 3:6.
“Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”
Now these people he was writing to in 1 Peter 1:1 were flesh and blood Israelites already. So what Peter was saying could be understood to say: “…you (who are the physical daughters of Sarah) have (truly) become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.”
So could Paul and Peter both be saying in these passages that in order to be a TRUE Israelite one must be Christian first? Indeed! The scriptures don’t teach you are saved by race, and not grace. So an Israelite is not simply saved or a true child of Abraham because they are a faithless Israelite, but has to become Christian and be obedient to the Master to become the fullness of what they are supposed to be. But how do we know the Greeks in this passage were actually Israelites?
“But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. – Galatians 3:23-27
Let us ask ourselves who the “we” that Paul is speaking too in verse 23-25? These have to be the same people that Paul is speaking too in verse 26 and 27 wouldn’t you think? Of course, it would only make sense. So it would also be safe to say that the “ye” in verse 26 and 27 are the “Jew” and “Greek” in verse 28; thus we can also understand that the “we” in verses 23-25 are both Jews and Greeks, correct?
Now let us ask ourselves who in scriptures was given the law and considered “under the law”? This description fits only one group of people in the Bible, and that is the Israel people.
“These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the Lord made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.” Leviticus 26:46
“Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritance (Possession) of the congregation of Jacob.” Deuteronomy 33:4
“For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children” Psalm 78:5
No one can deny that the law was given to the Israelites and it belonged to them, and they were under its requirements. So this identifies both the Jews and the Greeks in Galatians 3 as flesh and blood racial Israelites. But now let’s read what Peter had to say about the Galatians.
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”
This letter is written to the people of Galatia as well as others. The word Peter used here that is translated “scattered” in the King James translation is the Greek word “diaspora”, and means Israelites from the dispersion in other countries. Here are a few other translations that translate this verse a little better.
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,” NKJV
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” ESV
This word “diaspora” is also used in James 1:1 where he said:
“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.”
There is no doubt that both Peter, James, and Paul knew the people of Galatia, who were both Jew (Judean) from the southern nation of Judah, and the Greek from the northern nation of Israel that was sent into Assyrian captivity and divorced by God for their sin, were in fact both flesh and blood Israelites. They were of the same race. Galatians 3:28-29 is Paul explaining to both groups of Israelites that being a Judean Israelite or a Israelite from the dispersion isn’t what makes you a TRUE child of Abraham but also becoming Christian and following Jesus Christ. Being a child of Abraham and under the new covenant is still exclusive to Israel.
“For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah” Hebrews 8:8
For more a in-depth study concerning the migrations of the Israelites during and before their captivity, I would recommend the following material:
Missing Links Discovered In Assyrian Tablets
By: Biblical Archeologist E. Raymond Capt
Discover the Story of Your Biblical Heritage
& Identifying Biblical Israel Today
Both books by: Dr. Lawrence Blanchard
Mystery of the Lost Tribes Documentary
Mistaken Identity – Who is True Israel? Sermon Series
Bible Studies Concerning the Israelites