A few random observations as I read through Galatians using the Holman Christian Standard Bible:
1:1 – Paul is an apostle not ordained by men, but by God. In fact, later in chapter 1 he goes on to mention that he did not seek out the other apostles after Christ reveals himself to Paul. I wonder if this tells us anything about the ordination of people and how this differs from other NT passages that seem to support the ordination of elders through the laying on of hands. Perhaps here the emphasis is that ordination is a community affirming and recognizing that a person has been called an apostle by God and is thus putting their “seal of approval” upon him or her.
1:6ff – No other “gospel.” The key to really understanding this whole book seems to lie in figuring out what a.) the original gospel Paul preached was and b.) what the new “gospel” involved. More research will be necessary here.
1:15 – Paul was set apart in the womb. Clearly Paul was not what we would consider a Christian until after his conversion, yet he was set apart from birth. Again, interesting implications for the doctrine of election. The same can be said for v. 16 where Paul talks about how God decided in his own time to reveal his Son in Paul, not to Paul, as if Christ was always in Paul, he just hadn’t been revealed yet. It’s amazing how much predestination can be found in the language of Paul that I had not noticed for the majority of my life simply because I was raised a good Pelagian.
Chapter 4 – I’m still getting the feeling that Paul is saying on one hand that we were children of God, but were no different than a slave, but then he says we were both slaves and children. A closer look at the words used might clarify this some more. Based off of Paul’s language in chapter 1, it appears that my initial hypothesis might still be correct.
5:12 – The HCSB is the only one to translate “castration” so far. The NIV and NASB both say circumcision, I believe.
5:23 – “Against such things there is no law.” Put into the context of the whole book, this phrase has new meaning compared to most decontextualized references to the verse.