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Naked Bible 94: The Sin of the Watchers and Galatians 3-4
April 2, 2016
80 min
Biblical scholars know that Paul subordinates the Law to Christ (Gal 3:1-18). He writes about how the Law could not result in the fruition of the promises given to Abraham (and, by extension, to all nations; Gen 12:1-3). Paul then asks “Why then was the law given?” He answers that it was “added because of transgressions” (Gal 3:19). The most common assumption is that this (somehow) means the Law was a response to Adam’s sin, or human sins. But, and Adam sinned only once so far as the Bible tells us. Opting for the law being added in response to human sins doesn’t address why humanity became so wicked that it needed the law. Most Christians would defer to Adam’s transgression at this point, but there is no Romans 5:12 in Galatians (Romans is a later epistle). This episode takes a minority view of Paul’s statement about the addition of the law—at least among Christians. This view, however, reflects the viewpoint of nearly every Second Temple Jewish text (Paul’s era) known to exist that comments on human depravity:  that the Law was added to restrain human evil, which proliferated not because of Adam, but because of the sin of the Watchers in Gen 6:1-4.
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