Galatians is often read by Christians as being primarily concerned with the traditional doctrine of justification through faith, but it is also a text focused deeply on the political concerns of its specific historical moment. This commentary from N. T. Wright—the inaugural volume of the Commentaries for Christian Formation series—offers a theological interpretation of Galatians that puts that historical context of the book in dialogue with present questions, so that readers can understand both what Paul meant and what his writing might mean for us today.
Each section of verse-by-verse commentary in this volume is followed by Wright’s reflections on what the text says about Christian formation today, making this an excellent resource for individual readers and those preparing to teach or preach on Galatians. The focus on formation is especially appropriate for this biblical letter, in which Paul wrote to his fellow early Christians, “My children—I seem to be in labor with you all over again, until the Messiah is fully formed in you!”
The Commentaries for Christian Formation (CCF) series serves a central purpose of the Word of God for the people of God: faith formation. Some series focus on exegesis, some on preaching, some on teaching, and some on application. This new series integrates all these aims, serving the church by showing how sound theological exegesis can underwrite preaching and teaching, which in turn forms believers in the faith.
Uniting these volumes is a shared conviction that interpreting Scripture is not an end in itself. Faithful belief, prayer, and practice, deeper love of God and neighbor: these are ends of scriptural interpretation for Christians. The volumes in Commentaries for Christian Formation interpret Scripture in ways aimed at ordering readers’ lives and worship in imitation of Christ, informing their understanding of God, and animating their participation in the church’s global mission with a deepened sense of calling.
“The great drama of Scripture is not fundamentally about ‘how we can leave ‘earth’ and go to live with God in ‘heaven,’ ’ but how God gets to come and live with us. The final scene in Scripture is not (as in the medieval mystery plays) about ‘saved souls’ going up to ‘heaven,’ but about the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven to earth, so that ‘the dwelling of God is with humans’ (Rev 21:3).” (Page 12)
“This is, after all, in line with Jesus’s own practice and teaching, based on passages such as the messianic agenda of Psalm 72. The reason God’s glory fills the whole world, at the end of that psalm, is that the king has done justice for the poor and the oppressed. Just as the king is to build the temple so that the divine glory may dwell there, so the ideal king will do justice and mercy for the poor and needy so that the divine glory may dwell in all the earth.” (Page 103)
“The great strength of this is that it is giving a biblical answer to the medieval question. The great weakness is that it is giving a biblical answer to the medieval question. And that question loomed so large at the time that it was assumed to be the only question that really mattered: How do I get to heaven? How can I be sure? How do I know I’ve done enough? How do I know I won’t go to hell, and won’t have to go to purgatory either?” (Page 11)
“Here, his emphasis is that Messiah-believers, all of them, are the new-creation people in whom the ancient Abrahamic promises have come true, and who must therefore live as a single family, sharing table fellowship, and not allow themselves to be bullied into stepping back into the ‘present age’ where Israel’s Torah would still hold sway.” (Page 40)
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.