Did Paul's Words to the Galatians Contradict His Actions?

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Did Paul's Words to the Galatians Contradict His Actions?

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Many theologians believe these were the days to which Paul referred when he wrote: "How is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years" (Galatians 4:9-10 Galatians 4:9-10 [9] But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? [10] You observe days, and months, and times, and years.
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Is Paul criticizing observing the Sabbath and Holy Days here? The book of Acts provides important facts showing this clearly wasn't the case.

Paul visited several cities within the Roman province of Galatia (in what is today central Turkey) during his first journey around A.D. 46-48. He wrote his epistle to the Galatians at some point after that journey.

But notice what Luke records in Acts 13 concerning Paul's actions during his actual visit to Antioch in Pisidia, a region in the province of Galatia:

• Paul participates in Sabbath services at the local synagogue (Acts 13:14 Acts 13:14But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.
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• Paul, as a guest and scholar, teaches in the synagogue (Acts 13:15-41 Acts 13:15-41 [15] And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, You men and brothers, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. [16] Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and you that fear God, give audience. [17] The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelled as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it. [18] And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness. [19] And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot. [20] And after that he gave to them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. [21] And afterward they desired a king: and God gave to them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. [22] And when he had removed him, he raised up to them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, which shall fulfill all my will. [23] Of this man's seed has God according to his promise raised to Israel a Savior, Jesus: [24] When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. [25] And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think you that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there comes one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose. [26] Men and brothers, children of the stock of Abraham, and whoever among you fears God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. [27] For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. [28] And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. [29] And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulcher. [30] But God raised him from the dead: [31] And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses to the people. [32] And we declare to you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made to the fathers, [33] God has fulfilled the same to us their children, in that he has raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you. [34] And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. [35] Why he said also in another psalm, You shall not suffer your Holy One to see corruption. [36] For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid to his fathers, and saw corruption: [37] But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. [38] Be it known to you therefore, men and brothers, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins: [39] And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. [40] Beware therefore, lest that come on you, which is spoken of in the prophets; [41] Behold, you despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which you shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it to you.
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• At the conclusion of the service, "the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath" (Acts 13:42 Acts 13:42And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles sought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
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• When that next Sabbath arrived, "almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God" from Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:44 Acts 13:44And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
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If one assumes that Galatians 4:9-10 Galatians 4:9-10 [9] But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? [10] You observe days, and months, and times, and years.
American King James Version×
condemns Sabbath-keeping, an obvious question is, why would Paul teach gentiles and Jews on the Sabbath while visiting the Galatian churches and then, after departing, write a letter reprimanding them for observing the Sabbath day?

We should also ask, if Paul believed keeping the Sabbath and biblical Holy Days was "bondage," why didn't he take the opportunity to tell these Sabbath-keeping Jews and gentiles this when he had such a perfect opportunity?

When they "begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath," why didn't Paul simply tell them he would teach them the very next day—Sunday—or any other day? Instead, "almost the whole city came together" a week later to hear Paul and Barnabas—on the Sabbath day!

If in Galatians 4:9-10 Galatians 4:9-10 [9] But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? [10] You observe days, and months, and times, and years.
American King James Version×
Paul was attempting to condemn Sabbath-keeping as bondage, his actions as recorded in the book of Acts show that he was either very confused or very hypocritical. On the other hand, if we really understand the true intent of Paul's words, both his actions and words are consistent and make perfect sense.

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