Solving the Galatians 3:16 Mystery Part 1

<<Part 2>> which is actually part 10 in the series

Replacement Theology hangs its hat on one verse primarily in order to say that all of God’s promises to Abraham’s seed were to one person only—the Messiah.

The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”meaning one person, who is Messiah. (Gal. 3:16)

This is part nine in a series we are doing exposing the problems in Fulfillment Theology as was taught specifically by Dr. Gary Burge in February 2014 at the Christ at the Checkpoint conference in Bethlehem.

Burge and other adherents of Fulfillment Theology argue that the promise was never to Abraham’s decedents, but to Yeshua alone. In Him, they say, all the promises of Abraham are fulfilled.

Israel’s Calling—One Big Joke?

Does not such a theory make the entire calling of Israel, 400 years of slavery, the Temple, the sacrifices, the exiles, the judgments, one big joke?

They base this primarily on this one verse in Galatians, while ignoring others that clearly contradict their interpretation. Again, I refer to Dan Juster’s statement in rebuttal to Dr. Burge, regarding the need of the Old Covenant to understand the New. Dr. Burge takes Galatians 3:16 as if it is floating alone on its own, without any connection to the rest of the Bible. This is a dangerous exegesis—form of interpretation. Galatians must not only be seen in light of the Old Covenant, but in light of Paul’s promises to Israel in Romans, written several years later!

Is vs. Was

Clearly, Paul was not referring to seed as singular in every aspect, as he affirms the calling on ethnic Israel even in unbelief. (Rom. 3:1-4, Rom. 11:29). In Romans 9 where Paul intercedes for Israel—to the point of being willing to trade his salvation for theirs, he says:

Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! (Rom. 9:4-5).

In all these statements, as Dan Juster pointed out, Paul uses the present tense “is” and “are” as opposed to “was” and “were”.

Paul Continues to be an “Israelite”

And look what the apostle says in Romans 11!