Sorry for the delay in getting back to the blog. Arrived home late Sunday night from New York, and the day after you get home is always very busy. Anymore it takes you an hour just to delete all the spam in your mailbox….
Very briefly: the “blog wars” have devolved to the level of “oh yeah!” I shall allow the various folks out there to slap each other on the back and congratulate each other on their ability to repeat their a-contextual traditions ad nauseum. Those who desire to be subject to Scripture and derive their beliefs from the text have already come to their conclusions on the meaning of Galatians 2:4-5. Here is a tremendous example of how tradition can overthrow exegesis. Oh, by the way, did anyone else notice that no one bothered, in offering allegedly sound meanings for “false brethren,” to note the only other place it is used in Scripture? The only other reference is 2 Corinthians 11:26:
I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren;
The context makes it plain that Paul was not using the term in a favorable light here, just as in Galatians 2:4. What kind of dangers would false (but actually covenantally true) brethren offer to Paul? But looking at cross-references is really irrelevant when, in the final analysis, the Scripture is subject to your inescapable traditions anyway. Let the wise person take note.