This commentary by Ronald Y. K. Fung was added to the NICNT series to address significant questions regarding the study of Galatians that arose since the publication of Herman N. Ridderbos’ commentary—the original NICNT volume on Galatians—in 1953.
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.
With Logos, the NICNT will integrate into the Passage Guide. Whenever you enter your passage and click go, results from the NICNT will appear on the text you’re studying. This gives you instant access to exactly what you’re looking for—in far less time than it would take you to walk over to the bookshelf and begin flipping through a print volume, let alone find the information you need.
“A person’s death to the law means that that person ceases to have any relation to the law, so that the law has no further claim or control over that person.” (Page 122)
“Paul will argue that since Christ has, according to God’s will, already rescued believers out of the present aeon (where the law belongs), it is plainly unnecessary for them to add anything—including circumcision and observance of the Torah—to the redemption already accomplished for them by Christ.” (Page 42)
“The most common interpretation may well be the correct one: ‘the law of Christ’ is the commandment of love, first promulgated by Moses (Lev. 19:18) and considered by Jesus to be the greatest of the commandments which speak of human relationships (Mt. 22:36–40), given by him to his disciples as ‘a new commandment’ (Jn. 13:34; 15:12; 1 Jn. 3:23), and exemplified in his own life.27 In conformity with Jesus’ teaching, Paul also regards love as both the summary and the fulfillment of the law (Rom. 13:8–10). The merit of this interpretation of ‘the law of Christ’ is that it reasonably links the ‘law’ with the ‘commandment’ of Jesus and agrees with the emphasis on love in the preceding section of the letter (5:13f., 22; cf. 6:1).” (Pages 288–289)
“This conditional sentence clearly shows that Paul does not regard the believer simply as a helpless spectator or an unwilling pawn in the fierce battle between the flesh and the Spirit; the assumption is rather that the Christian can overcome the flesh by siding with the Spirit.” (Page 251)
“the desires of the flesh cannot be overcome by the Christian remaining under law.” (Page 252)
Here is a rare exegetical feast, combining careful grammatical analysis, balanced judgment on debatable issues, and full notes that reflect acquaintance with a wide range of scholarly literature. It is exciting to have from the pen of an outstanding Chinese New Testament scholar such a splendid commentary that will deservedly take its place alongside the standard commentaries in English by Lightfoot, Burton, Betz, and Bruce.
—Murray J. Harris, professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis and theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Dr. Fung writes in a beautifully clear and simple style with careful attention to detail. Here is sound scholarship and reverent exegesis which will greatly enhanced the distinguished series in which it appears.
—I. Howard Marshall, professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis, University of Aberdeen
This expert and lucid commentary on Galatians will be a very valuable resource to all students grappling with the interpretation of Galatians and with recent scholarly discussion of Paul and Pauline theology.
—David Wenham, vice principal, Trinity College, Bristol
Ronald Y. K. Fung is professor of biblical studies and resident scholar at the China Graduate School of Theology in Hong Kong. He has written several commentaries in Chinese and contributed articles to such volumes as Dictionary of Paul and His Letters.