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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 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.


Part 1: Justification
1. Messiahship in Galatians? N. T. Wright
2. Paul's Former Occupation in Ioudaismos Matthew V. Novenson
3. Galatians in the Early Church: Five Case Studies Karla Pollmann and Mark W. Elliott
4. Justification and Participation: Ecumenical Dimensions of Galatians Thomas Söding
5. Arguing with Scripture in Galatia: Galatians 3:10-14 as a Series of Ad Hoc Arguments Timothy G. Gombis
6. Martin Luther on Galatians 3:6-14: Justification by Curses and Blessings Timothy Wengert
7. Yaein: Yes and No to Luther's Reading of Galatians 3:6-14 Scott Hafemann
8. "Not an Idle Quality or an Empty Husk in the Heart": A Critique of Tuomo Mannermaa on Luther and Galatians Javier A. Garcia
9. Judaism, Reformation Theology, and Justification Mark W. Elliott
10. Can We Still Speak of "Justification by Faith"? An In-House Debate with Apocalyptic Readings of Paul Bruce McCormack
Part 2: Gospel
11. The Singularity of the Gospel Revisited Beverly Roberts Gaventa
12. Apocalyptic Poiēsis in Galatians: Paternity, Passion, and Participation Richard B. Hays
13. "Now and Above; Then and Now" (Gal. 4:21-31): Platonizing and Apocalyptic Polarities in Paul's Eschatology Michael B. Cover
14. Christ in Paul's Narrative: Salvation History, Apocalyptic Invasion, and Supralapsarian Theology Edwin Chr. van Driel
15. "In the Fullness of Time" (Gal. 4:4): Chronology and Theology in Galatians Todd D. Still
16. Karl Barth and "The Fullness of Time": Eternity and Divine Intent in the Epistle to the Galatians Darren O. Sumner
17. "Heirs through God": Galatians 4:4-7 and the Doctrine of the Trinity Scott R. Swain
Part 3: Ethics
18. Flesh and Spirit Oliver O'Donovan
19. "Indicative and Imperative" as the Substructure of Paul's Theology-and-Ethics in Galatians?: A Discussion of Divine and Human Agency in Paul Volker Rabens
20. Grace and the Countercultural Reckoning of Worth: Community Construction in Galatians 5-6 John M. G. Barclay
21. Paul's Exhortations in Galatians 5:16-25: From the Apostle's Techniques to His Theology Jean-Noël Aletti
22. The Drama of Agency: Affective Augustinianism and Galatians Simeon Zahl
23. Life in the Spirit and Life in Wisdom: Reading Galatians and James as a Dialogue Mariam J. Kamell

The Authors

  1. Mark W. Elliott

    Mark W. Elliott

    Mark W. Elliott (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of biblical and historical theology at the University of the Highlands and Islands and is a professorial fellow at Wycliffe College in Toronto, Ontario. He previously taught at the University of...

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  2. Scott J. Hafemann

    Scott J. Hafemann

    Scott J. Hafemann (DrTheol, Eberhard-Karls-Universitat Tubingen), now retired, previously served as reader in New Testament studies at the University of St. Andrews. He is the author of numerous articles and of Paul, Moses, and the History of Israel;...

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  3. N. T. Wright

    N. T. Wright

    N. T. Wright (DD, DPhil, University of Oxford), formerly bishop of Durham, is research professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews. He is the author of over forty books, including Jesus and the Victory of...

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  4. John Frederick

    John Frederick

    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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"This is a rich array of essays. . . . [A] substantial contribution to theological engagement with Paul's thought in Galatians. . . . The essays display disjunctions as well as connections between theological and exegetical approaches to Scripture. . . . Perhaps most provocative and fruitful, in my view, are the existential concerns raised by both exegetes and theologians, including Barclay, Gaventa, Wengert, and Zahl: How does the theology of Galatians interface with and powerfully affect the experience of its readers, both ancient and contemporary? This question seems closest to the concerns of Paul himself, missionary and pastor."

Susan Eastman,

Review of Biblical Literature

"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

"The book enjoys high levels of thoughtful scholarship and interdisciplinary, intra-conference dialog. A broad range of topics is covered. . . . This is an important volume for its content and contributors, its near-circumspect awareness of current topics, and its attempt to bridge the 'divide.'. . . I recommend this book highly to the initiated, or to those willing to bring themselves up to speed quickly."

Clifford T. Winters,

Religious Studies Review

"The strengths of this volume are manifold. Most obvious among them is the high quality of the essays, which is demonstrated simply by the number of well-published scholars who contributed to the volume. . . . But the high quality of the work . . . is not denoted merely by name recognition; it is evident in the high level of scholarly interaction and the detailed nature of the arguments. . . . Another positive trait of the book is its interdisciplinary ethos. This volume avoids academic navel-gazing by including an array of essays that span the gap between Scripture and theology. . . . The result is a book that seeks to satisfy both the historian and the theologian. . . . I heartily recommend this book for academics in every theological subdiscipline who have an interest in Galatians, as well as those clergy with some knowledge of Greek."

Ben White,

Restoration Quarterly

"For those interested in the relationship between biblical studies and theology, as well as some of the latest trends in the study of Galatians, this volume will be a valuable resource."

Channing L. Crisler,

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"This volume makes [a rich contribution] to the development of Pauline studies and to the opening up of central issues in theology."

John Riches,

Expository Times

"Those who are eager to see biblical studies and theology in conversation, while also bridging cross-cultural gaps, will applaud the effort of this current volume. . . . Many of the contributors engage with the Christian history of biblical interpretation and theology, aiding to the integration of essays."

Jonathan Salmen,

Review and Expositor

"[This book] assists to add depth to the study of the biblical text and it grounds theological thinking in the Word of God. . . . Even Peter said that not everything Paul wrote was easy to understand, and certainly not everything that scholars write about Paul is easy to understand, but this book is worth the effort of reading, for it throws fresh light on the great Apostle."

Greg Goswell,

New Life