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Galatians and Christian Theology: Justification, the Gospel, and Ethics in Paul’s Letter

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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.

The stellar list of contributors includes N.T. Wright, Mark W. Elliott, John Barclay, Beverly Gaventa, Richard Hays, Bruce McCormack, and Oliver O'Donovan. As they emphasize the contribution of Galatians to Christian theology and ethics, the contributors explore how exegesis and theology meet, critique, and inform each other.

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.

Looking for still another take on Galatians? Check out Douglass Moo’s Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Galatians.

Resource Experts
  • Explores the relationship between justification and ethics in Galatians
  • Provides thorough exegesis of key texts as well as theological interpretation
  • Identifies how Christian’s should live in light on the New Testament
  • Justification
    • “Messiahship in Galatians?” by N.T. Wright
    • “Paul’s Former Occupation in Ioudaismos” by Matthew V. Novenson
    • “Galatians in the Early Church: Five Case Studies” by Karla Pollmann and Mark W. Elliott
    • “Justification and Participation: Ecumenical Dimensions of Galatians” by Thomas Söding
    • “Arguing with Scripture in Galatia: Galatians 3:10–14 as a Series of Ad Hoc Arguments” by Timothy G. Gombis
    • “Martin Luther on Galatians 3:6–14: Justification by Curses and Blessings” by Timothy Wengert
    • “Yaein: Yes and No to Luther’s Reading of Galatians 3:6–14” by Scott Hafemann
    • “‘Not an Idle Quality or an Empty Husk in the Heart’: A Critique of Tuomo Mannermaa on Luther and Galatians” by Javier A. Garcia
    • “Judaism, Reformation Theology, and Justification” by Mark W. Elliott
    • “Can We Still Speak of “Justification by Faith”? An In-House Debate with Apocalyptic Readings of Paul” by Bruce McCormack
  • Gospel
    • “The Singularity of the Gospel Revisited” by Beverly Roberts Gaventa
    • “Apocalyptic Poiēsis in Galatians: Paternity, Passion, and Participation” by Richard B. Hays
    • “‘Now and Above; Then and Now’ (Gal. 4:21–31): Platonizing and Apocalyptic Polarities in Paul’s Eschatology” by Michael B. Cover
    • “Christ in Paul’s Narrative: Salvation History, Apocalyptic Invasion, and Supralapsarian Theology” by Edwin Chr. van Driel
    • “‘In the Fullness of Time’ (Gal. 4:4): Chronology and Theology in Galatians” by Todd D. Still
    • “Karl Barth and “The Fullness of Time”: Eternity and Divine Intent in the Epistle to the Galatians” by Darren O. Sumner
    • “‘Heirs through God’: Galatians 4:4–7 and the Doctrine of the Trinity” by Scott R. Swain
  • Ethics
    • “Flesh and Spirit” by Oliver O’Donovan
    • “‘Indicative and Imperative’ as the Substructure of Paul’s Theology-and-Ethics in Galatians? A Discussion of Divine and Human Agency in Paul” by Volker Rabens
    • “Grace and the Countercultural Reckoning of Worth: Community Construction in Galatians 5–6” by John M.G. Barclay
    • “Paul’s Exhortations in Galatians 5:16–25: From the Apostle’s Techniques to His Theology” by Jean-Noël Aletti
    • “The Drama of Agency: Affective Augustinianism and Galatians” by Simeon Zahl
    • “Life in the Spirit and Life in Wisdom: Reading Galatians and James as a Dialogue” by Mariam J. Kamell

Top Highlights

“To summarize the argument to this point: the verb ἰουδαΐζω means for non-Jews to observe Jewish customs, whereas the cognate noun Ἰουδαϊσμός means the defense and promotion of Jewish customs by Jewish people. This phenomenon runs contrary to the rules of etymology, but it is the case.” (Page 33)

“He makes the further and more radical claim that this one gospel produces one humanity, a humanity that belongs to Christ, and a humanity in which the divisions that mark all humanity no longer exist.” (Page 196)

“His statements have exclusive relevance to the local crisis in Galatia. Paul uses Scripture to argue against the specific gospel perversion in Galatia, not to critique Judaism, the Mosaic law, or Jewish identity.” (Page 83)

“The phrase ἐν νόμῳ in verse 11 does not refer to the Mosaic law in the abstract: instead, it is theological shorthand for the influencers’ persuasion that the Galatians must respond to the gospel by judaizing.” (Page 87)

“Something more is at stake than justification, for Christ is not simply the one who justifies; now Christ is the one with whom ‘I’ am crucified, the one who lives ‘in me.’ Here the gospel’s singularity comes to expression in a form that is frightening: the gospel gives life by taking it away.” (Page 194)

The essays are grouped under three headings that reflect the content of Galatians: the question of justification by faith, the Gospel message proclaimed by Paul and defended in this letter, and the role of ethics in Paul’s theology and pastoral exhortations. Some of the essays push beyond a focus on Galatians itself and consider its impact on later theological, particularly Reformation, traditions. This is a feast for students of Paul!

Donald Senior, CP, The Bible Today

Mark W. Elliott is reader in church history and head of the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews.

Scott J. Hafemann is reader in New Testament studies at the University of St. Andrews. He is the author of Paul, Moses, and the History of Israel; The God of Promise and the Life of Faith; Understanding the Heart of the Bible; and a commentary on 2 Corinthians. He is also the editor of Biblical Theology: Retrospect and Prospect.

N.T. Wright is research professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews. He is the author of numerousy books, including Paul and the Faithfulness of God, Pauline Perspectives: Essays on Paul 1978–2013, as well as all the books in the Works of N.T. Wright (48 vols.) collection.

John Frederick, a PhD candidate at St. Andrews, is assistant professor and worship coordinator in the College of Theology at Grand Canyon University.


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  1. Alessandro



  2. Zhenhua Zhang

    Zhenhua Zhang


    An excellent series of articles on Galatians theology from some fine scholars.


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