By W. M. Ramsay
The Introductory Address1
IN any judicious system of interpretation, great stress must be laid on the introductory address of this Epistle. It should be compared with the address prefixed to the Epistle to the Romans, a letter which presents marked analogies in sentiment and topics. In each case Paul puts in his introduction the marrow of the whole letter. He says at first in a few words what he is going to say at length in the body of the letter, to repeat over and over, to emphasise from various points of view, and to drive home into the minds of his correspondents.
The important fact, upon which the whole letter turns, is that Paul had been a messenger straight from God to the Galatians. His message, as delivered originally to them, had been a message coming from God. No subsequent variation or change of message on the part of any person, himself or others, could affect that fundamental truth; and that fact has to be made to live and burn in their minds. Hence he begins by calling himself “an apostle, not from men, neither through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the father”.
Next he mentions those who join with him as the authors of the Epistle. He often quotes one or two individuals as joint-senders of a letter. Here, and here alone, he states that all the brethren who are with him are sending the letter to the Churches of Galatia. This important point calls for special consideration in § II.
Thereafter he introduces the second leading thought of the whole Epistle — that the action and person of Christ is sufficient for salvation. And so he adds “who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil world”.
 In the first draft of this Commentary, reference was frequently made to Lightfoot and to Zöckler, as representatives of English and German opinion. Subsequently, a few references have been added to the latest edition of Meyer’s Commentary by Professor Sieffert, 1899.