I recently heard someone use Galatians 1:6 to attempt to prove there is only one gospel in the Bible. This was accomplished in the usual way. The verse was read, and then explained in a way different than the words actually say. This is the standard procedure when people are tied closer to their denomination than the Bible itself. Well scripted explanations and references to commentators or scholars make the people in the pews easily ignore the fact that the ACTUAL WORDS often don’t convey the meaning being orated by the speaker. The book of Galatians was written in part to explain the OUTCOME of the Acts 15 Jerusalem council. The Jerusalem council was convened for the sole purpose of settling the dispute between PAUL and the ELDERS IN JERUSALEM as to the content of the gospel. This fact proves that there was a vast difference between the gospel being preached by Paul and the gospel that was STILL being preached by the 12. Peter in Acts 15:11 settles the matter by stating that “WE (Israel) shall be saved even as THEY (Gentiles)”. Peter had finally realized after the exhortation from Paul that his gospel of the earthly kingdom was set aside and God was now dealing with everyone in grace and by faith alone. The words themselves in Galatians 1:6 prove that there were different gospels. The phrase “another gospel” proves the point. Paul knows, at this time, that Israel has been set aside in unbelief. Paul tells us his gospel in verse 7 is the “gospel of Christ” and goes on to tell us in verses 8 and 9 that no other gospel should be preached other than HIS gospel, the gospel of Christ. This, once again, proves there was more than one gospel at the time! Pay close attention to the little word “YE” in verse 9! Words matter! Paul was talking to the Galatians. None of the 12 nor Jesus himself had a ministry to the Galatians! The Galatians had heard and received PAUL’S gospel! Most of the book of Galatians is about Paul telling these Gentiles NOT to be drawn back to the gospel Jesus and the 12 had been preaching which involved FAITH AND WORKS. Jesus over and over in Matthew through John required works along with faith. These are the verses your church probably changes to match your chosen denominational agenda. Paul goes on in verses 10-12 making sure his readers know his gospel did not come from men which separated him from the 12. Paul tells us in 15-16 that he was separated from his mother’s womb to “reveal his son in me”. Notice the words “in me”? Only Paul tells us of our position “in Christ” and only Paul explains that Christ is in us solely by the grace of God. Now read verse 20. Paul is making it very clear that his readers know he is not lying. This is quite a strange choice of words don’t you think? Paul says similar things several times. Would it make any sense at all for Paul to say this if he was preaching the same thing as the 12? This verse would make no sense whatsoever if Paul is preaching the same gospel as the 12. He would have all the backing of Peter and the 11, and there would have been no reason whatsoever for the Jerusalem council or much of the book of Galatians for that matter. Verse 20 proves Paul was preaching a different gospel than Peter. Paul feels the need to verbalize he is not lying because he is preaching grace alone apart from the faith plus works message that Jesus and the 12 preached. Paul goes on to tell his readers in 2:2 about “that gospel” that he preached among the gentiles as he explains the outcome of the Jerusalem council. Verses 2:7-9 clearly shows that the different gospels are going to different audiences AT THAT TIME. You must remember Peter’s remarks at the end of the Jerusalem council when he stated everyone now will be saved under PAUL’S GOSPEL. Galatians 2:11 through the end of the chapter explains Paul’s open rebuke of Peter because Peter was “NOT WALKING UPRRIGHTLY ACCORDING TO THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL” How could Peter, who walked with Jesus himself, not be walking according to the truth of the gospel? You that are loyal to your denomination and not scripture alone please answer me. I’ll tell you how he isn’t. Peter DOES NOT KNOW the gospel Paul is preaching! Peter has only known the Gospel of the kingdom and has never heard the gospel of the grace of God beyond what Paul had instructed him previously. The book of Galatians cannot be used to prove there is only one gospel in the Bible because this book proves to a Bible believer that Paul is preaching a gospel of faith ALONE, apart from the law. Jesus never taught a gospel of faith alone and the content of his gospel is that the earthly prophesied kingdom in AT HAND. Paul tells us NOT to go back to what the believers in Jerusalem were preaching. Why? Because the believers in Jerusalem had believed in Jesus’ gospel of faith plus works and repentance and baptism, but Paul knows that the gospel of the kingdom is over just like Peter now does. Galatians is clear! Your commentaries are written based on the writers chosen theological position, and most often this leans to a Covenant position with a few Dispensational phrases here or there where it doesn’t contradict their point. You can choose to believe the Bible as it stands, or you can choose to believe the Bible the way it gets “explained” to you. The choice is yours.
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul