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Galatians 1:4 - I imagine this means the then current history. Also, does "this present evil world" only refer to the happenings within the region of Galatia?

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Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: —Galatians 1:4

“The present evil age” is the focus of God’s purpose of salvation. Classic Jewish thought, being apocalyptic, presents two ages in which a present sinful, decaying age is placed in juxtaposition to a future age of blessing and peace. For the apostle Paul, Yeshua’s death and resurrection accentuated the traditional Jewish timeline. The Christian is viewed as living in a pronounced tension between what No Longer Is, and what is Yet To Come.

The coming of Messiah has placed former requirements such as circumcision, food laws, and feast days in a totally new perspective. Messiah has rescued believers from this “present evil age” through justification by faith and the outpouring of his Spirit in the lives of those believers. This is not a theory, but an accomplished fact; believers are warned not to be drawn back into “a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). Even though Messiah has rescued (delivered) believers from this "present evil age," he has not taken them out of it. So believers find themselves "in" the "present evil age," but not "of" it (John 17:14, 16).Therefore, liberation must not degenerate into license nor the gift of the Spirit be abused by selfish carnal behavior (Galatians 5:16–26), as that would, once again, lead one back into "the present evil age."

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Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange! Be sure to take our site tour to learn more about us. We're a little different from other sites. Using first person plural language when referencing the audiences of ancient texts moves from describing the text itself to prescribing norms that are expressed as binding on readers and therefore imposes this application upon the reader. This post has my downvote for this reason. – Dan Feb 24 '14 at 16:44
Thanks for the tip, Dan. I have made a note of my transgression, edited it out of my answer, and will be more watchful for this type of imposition in the future. – DrFry Feb 24 '14 at 16:51
sounds good. You don't have to edit just because of my opinion, but I like to explain why I DV something when I do so people know why I did it. I've removed my DV. I'm still not a fan of using 'Messiah' in this answer as this is theological claim about Jesus, but it's not so bad since in the preceding verse/context Jesus is called Lord and Christ. Even so, 'believers' still applies this text to (presumably) Christians. My preference is that this would focus on Christians in first-century Galatia, not apply it to modern readers/believers. – Dan Feb 24 '14 at 16:58
To earn my upvote, you'd need to cite a reliable and verifiable source for your assertion about the Jewish belief in two ages, and you'd need to remove the religious language not present in the text itself. But again, this is my preference - you are under no obligation to edit to make me happy. Although we do expect answers to show their work, so you should add a source for your statement about two ages. – Dan Feb 24 '14 at 16:58
I honestly did not have your happiness in mind ;-). Your point was valid and well taken. I prefer to be viewed as a source of information rather than a theological despot. I made the edit selfishly for my own sake and my own reputation here. The fact that you may be a little happier...well, a man cannot have too many friends. :-) – DrFry Feb 24 '14 at 17:02

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