It appears that Paul’s letter to the Galatians was written around 48 AD right before or right after the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15). It appears that Paul was writing to the churches he had started in southern Galatia such as Lystra, Derbe, Iconium, etc. The problem in the Galatian churches came from the teaching of Jews, most likely under the influence of the Jerusalem culture, who presented a form of Christianity with a salvation that included Jesus, but which also required obedience to Jewish rituals such as circumcision and Jewish laws such as the dietary code. In fact, these Judaizers presented a “gospel” that demanded obedience to these rituals and laws for salvation and for continued growth in Christianity.
Paul draws attention to this issue and presents it as a very major problem. He calls this Jewish presentation of the Gospel “a different gospel,” and “really no gospel at all.” Any alterations or additions to the message of faith in Jesus Christ as the means of salvation were a perverted gospel that would only be preached by people who were trying to “throw you into confusion.”
“a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ."
- Galatians 1:7
It is understandable that the Jews would feel compelled to link the Gospel of Jesus with the laws
and rituals of Moses just like the Greeks in Corinth tried to view the Gospel of Jesus through the
eyes of Greek philosophy. But, the Gospel of Jesus does not mix with religious laws or Greek philosophy. If the truth of the Gospel is mixed with other things it “is really no gospel at all.”
In very harsh terms Paul says that anyone “should preach a gospel other than the one we preached…let them be under God’s curse.