Galatians 1:23 – The Faith

By Wayne Jackson

The term “faith” is used in different senses in the New Testament. Frequently the word is employed subjectively, meaning it has to do with one’s personal belief — the faith that abides in the Christian’s heart.

At other times, “faith” is used in an objective sense. In such circumstances it stands for the gospel system — the body of doctrine to which one must submit.

In Galatians 1:23, Paul speaks of “the faith” (note the use of the definite article) which he preached. Since we learn elsewhere that the apostle preached “the gospel” (1 Corinthians 15:1), it is reasonable to conclude that “the faith” refers to the doctrine of the gospel. There are several New Testament references in which the expression is used in this fashion.

In Acts 6:7 Luke records that a great company of priests became obedient to “the faith,” which is equivalent to obeying the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:8). The Christian is to contend earnestly for “the faith” (Jude 3), which is the same as defending the gospel (Philippians 1:16).

Thus, mark the phrase “the faith” in Galatians 1:23, and write: The gospel system; cf. Acts 6:7; Jude 3.

Small f26f621c f6aa 4d2b 853d 24e53c812a17

About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.