The book of Galatians starts like most of Paul’s letters and other Greco-Roman letters. The author is identified, then the recipients, and then the salutation. It is straightforward to identify these three areas in Galatians 1:1-5. The author is Paul, the recipients are the churches of Galatia, and the salutation is “grace and peace.” However, when we carefully read the introduction to the letter, we learn so much more.
Galatians 1:1 starts with “Paul, an apostle,” but what follows gives important information about Paul’s apostleship. His apostleship derives from God rather than humans. He was divinely appointed and commissioned. Therefore, His teachings (what he will write about in the letter) come from Jesus, not man. The point Paul wants to make clear is his apostolic authority. In verse two, Paul gives more confirmation of his teaching by including the fellow believers with him as affirming Paul and this letter.