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.
“Chrysostom and Calvin—the two most notable exceptions to the rule—and ‘juicy” (Page 19)
“As already suggested, interpretations of verbal aspect are of little or no value unless they can be clearly established from the context. Indeed, since it is the context that tells us what a passage means, the use of aspect should function at best as a secondary and supporting piece of evidence.” (Page 79)
“Similarly, pastors and professional exegetes should be very cautious in exploiting the Greek aspectual system for interpretive and homiletical purposes. It is doubtful whether native Greek speakers themselves understood the grammatical subtleties of that system.” (Page 79)
“For one thing, we should not make interpretive decisions on the basis merely of who held which interpretation; we should be moved primarily by the reasons that informed the interpretive process.” (Page 16)
“could the interpretation of the relevant passages be sustained even if we did not have the theory in question?” (Page 107)
Many books are written today on how to do exegesis, and yet students are often frustrated by their abstract character. Silva's work is distinctive, for he shows how to interpret the text by using Galatians as a case study. He offers sage advice on interpretive philosophy, textual criticism, Greek syntax, historical background, Pauline theology, and more! I learned much from this wise book, and I commend it enthusiastically to others.
—Thomas R. Schreiner, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
This volume is packed with information seasoned with sound advice. 'Exegetical method' carries a very wide sense—not just instructions on word study and sentence diagramming, but 'explorations' into mirror reading, linguistic theory, discourse analysis, and history of interpretation. Silva's survey maintains the big picture but avoids oversimplifications and abstraction by concentrating on Galatians as a test case. Take up and read—you'll learn a lot about Galatians, and much else too.
—Robert H. Gundry, Westmont College
New Testament scholars are confronted by many and diverse approaches to the text—linguistic, literary, historical, and theological. All too often such methods are uncritically or separately applied. In this well-written yet detailed book, Silva introduces the ways in which these approaches should be harnessed for our understanding of what the biblical authors intended. We are given hands-on experience with examples taken from Galatians. Readers are encouraged to apply his insights and critical judgments to other New Testament texts. Silva's timely book will help students and pastors. It is warmly welcomed.
—J. K. Elliott, University of Leeds
Silva has mastered the literature on Galatians from Aquinas to Zuntz and offers wisdom from his years of research that the scholar will find invaluable. Students will also breathe a sigh of relief over his clear style and unpretentious, often humorous, approach to the subject. Both scholar and student will benefit from the example of erudition and humility characteristic of everything Silva writes.
—Frank Thielman, Beeson Divinity School