Galatians 1:1-5 (KJV)
1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:
3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Galatians begins with an introduction which is common in letter writing of the day. In this introduction Paul is identified as the author and he stated that he was an apostle. The definition of an apostle according to Free Merriam-Webster online is "someone sent on a mission, as a : one of an authoritative New Testament group sent out to preach the gospel and made up especially of Christ's 12 original disciples and Paul." The question as to whether or not there were other apostles besides these listed, as well as whether there are apostles today is beyond the scope of this discussion and will be left to another time.Verse 1 also informs the reader that Paul became an apostle based on the authority of Yeshua the Messiah and of God the Father and not by the authority of any man. It is stated that God the Father raised Yeshua from the dead.
Verse 2 gives us further information that this letter was not only from Paul, but from the brothers in Yeshua that were with him. He wrote this letter to the churches of Galatia. Galatia is located in central Turkey where Paul had established several churches (Act 13:51-14:23). The word translated "churches" is the Greek "ekklesiai" which refers to the Messianic congregations that Paul had established. (See map below.)
Roman Province of Galatia
25 B.C. 137 A.D.
Paul greeted the congregations in verse 3 by expressing his desire that grace and peace from God the Father and Yeshua the Messiah would be given to them. Verse 4 sums up what Yeshua had done for the believers. He gave Himself for their sins in order to deliver them from the evil world in which they lived. This was according to the will of God, who is their Father. Verse 5 gives God the recognition that glory belongs to Him forever and ever. Paul ended with "Amen" which is a solemn ratification or agreement of what had been said (Dictionary.com).
The introduction that Paul gave sets the tone for what is to follow. He stated what the true Gospel message is and we will see its contrast in the next verses.