In his letter to the Galatians, Paul discusses what it means to be God’s people. Although many groups have special conditions for membership, the family of God is open to everyone. As Paul explains, there is incredible freedom in Christ—yet, at the same, his followers are called to live like him through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus has set us free, and we are to use our freedom to love others (Gal 5:1).
—Faithlife Study Bible, Lexham Press
Best Commentaries on Galatians
Richard N. Longenecker, Word Biblical Commentary (WBC), Thomas Nelson, 1990, 444 pp.
One of the most influential volumes on Galatians, Richard Longenecker offers a fresh translation of Galatians and gives the reader a thorough discussion of such matters as authorship, date, and textual problems, while also addressing the problems Paul faced within his Galatian churches. Longenecker reviews the message of Paul’s opponents and the impact of Paul’s thought on Christianity.
- Level: Advanced
- Type: Technical
F. F. Bruce, New International Greek Testament Commentary (NIGTC), Eerdmans, 1982, 325 pp.
Through phrase-by-phrase exegesis of the Greek text, consistent awareness of the historical and geographical context, and balanced dialogue with virtually every scholar who has ever written on the subject, Bruce successfully bridges the hermeneutical gap and makes the text of Galatians come alive for both scholars and students today. Primarily theological in character, this commentary places special emphasis throughout on Paul’s insistence on justification before God by faith apart from works of the law, and on Paul’s presentation of the Spirit as the principle of the new life in Christ.
- Level: Advanced
- Type: Technical
Timothy George, New American Commentary (NAC), B&H, 1994, 443 pp.
This is not only a commentary on one of the most important books in the Bible. It is a theological treatise in its own right, a tract for our times with a message that can renew the life of a Church beginning to blend into the worldly spirit of the age. Dr. George herein speaks prophetically as he lays bare the heart and spirit of the modern Church with this sharp, double-edged sword of the Lord. Like the Old Testament prophets, he has eaten this powerful scroll, placed it on his heart, and then shaped it into a lighthouse that can guide God's Church through the turbulent times ahead. It must be read.
- Level: Intermediate
- Type: Expository
John Stott, Bible Speaks Today (BST), InterVarsity Press, 1968, 204 pp.
In this book John Stott helps us to understand and apply the message of Galatians in the face of contemporary challenges to our faith.
- Level: Basic
- Type: Devotional
Ronald Fung, New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT), Eerdmans, 1988, 375 pp.
Begun under the mentorship of F. F. Bruce at the University of Manchester, England, Fung’s work on Galatians offers solid, reliable exposition of the text while also providing a fresh assessment of the large number of interpretive questions—past and present—raised by Paul’s letter. This work also examines Galatians specifically as Paul’s most direct defense and exposition of justification by faith, which Fung says is the central motif of Paul’s understanding of the gospel.
- Level: Intermediate
- Type: Expository
Best Books on Galatians
Paul’s main concern in his letter to the Galatians is conveying the message that a person can be justified only by faith in Christ—nothing more and nothing less. Paul addresses these concerns in the letter by defending his apostleship in the face of opposition and applying the true gospel, with its emphasis on freedom in Christ and living by the Spirit, to the Galatian believers.Learn more
Interpreting Galatians addresses the key issues surrounding the exegesis of Galatians and the other Pauline Epistles, exploring how literary, historical, and theological factors influence interpretation. The first edition appeared as Explorations in Exegetical Method. This second edition features a new appendix and will be welcomed by all those studying the Pauline Epistles.Learn more
How can the task of biblical exegesis be fruitful and meaningful when commentaries and lexicons provide contradictory interpretations and seem to support opposing translations? The Exegetical Summaries Series asks important exegetical and interpretive questions—phrase by phrase—and summarizes and organizes the content from every major Bible commentary and dozens of lexicons.Learn more
The letter to the Galatians is a key source for Pauline theology as it presents Paul’s understanding of justification, the gospel, and many topics of keen contemporary interest. In this volume, some of the world’s top Christian scholars offer cutting-edge scholarship on how Galatians relates to theology and ethics.Learn more
Brigitte Kahl brings to this insightful reading of Galatians a deep knowledge of the classical world and especially of Roman imperial ideology. The first wave of scholarship on the Roman imperial context of Paul's letters raised important questions that only thorough treatments of individual letters can answer. Kahl sets the letter to the Galatians in the context of Roman perceptions of vanquished peoples as represented in the Great Altar at Pergamum. Beginning with a perceptive discussion of the Great Altar, Kahl describes imperial representations of Roman power as well as the characteristics officially imputed to conquered peoples, including the "savage" Galatians (Gauls).Learn more
Best Courses on Galatians
Dr. Douglas Moo, known for his commentaries on Romans and Galatians, lays out his research on this much-debated text. He explores the theme of justification by faith and explains its importance to the Protestant Reformation and the Protestant church today. He discusses the new perspective on Paul and how it relates to Galatians. You’ll also learn important contextual information about who the Galatians were, why Paul wrote to them, and how they might have understood Paul’s letter. Dr. Moo guides you through the text, explaining the major themes and theological elements toward the goal of understanding how Paul’s letter to the Galatians applies to our lives and to the Church.Learn more
Mobile Ed: NT340 Book Study: Paul’s Letter to the Galatians: The Gospel for Jew and Gentile (9 hour course)
Join Dr. Joel Willitts, as he explores what he describes as Paul’s “most passionate piece of writing”—his letter to the Galatians. Learn how Paul wrote Galatians with rhetorical flair, sarcasm, and hyperbole. You will come to understand the issues Paul was addressing in his letter and gain insight into how the book can be applied today. This course addresses some of the most controversial topics in Pauline theology, as Dr. Willitts dives into the works of the law, justification by faith, righteousness, and faith itself.Learn more
In NT276 Pauline Theology, Dr. Douglas J. Moo organizes Paul’s theology within the new realm of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the lives of Jesus’ followers. After comparing the new realm to the old realm of the law, Dr. Moo takes you on a journey from the inauguration of the new realm to its culmination, stopping to discuss the people of the new realm and how Jesus’ followers enter into, live within, and enjoy this new realm. This course provides you with a foundation to read, study, teach, and preach the message of the apostle Paul.Learn more
Gain a better understanding of the New Testament's structure and themes with New Testament scholar Dr. Lynn Cohick. You'll examine elements such as historical context, writing techniques of the Gospels' authors, developments in the early Church, the settings of the Epistles, the genre of the book of Revelation, and the life of Jesus.Learn more