Ezra and Nehemiah: Galatians 1:11-17

Ezra and Nehemiah: Galatians 1:11-17


Some scholars have suggested that Paul had the Book Ezra in mind when he wrote Galatians. As we read through parts of Galatians and Acts, let’s look at the similarities between Paul and Ezra.


Galatians 1:11 I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.


Acts 22:1 “Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”

2 When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet.

Then Paul said: 3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.

21 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ”


Ezra listed his credentials to show he came from the proper family and that he had the proper training for his position. God called Ezra through the means God had established. In Galatians, Paul provided similar credentials to Ezra: he was raised in Judaism and was taught in the tradition of the fathers. Paul was a Hebrew of the Hebrews, having been trained in the Law. Even more importantly, however, Paul was called not through the mediation of men, but immediately by Jesus Christ (Acts 22).