You are on page 1of 35

1

EXEGETICAL PROCESS NOTEBOOK


C. E. Hill, Greek Exegesis N601, rev. Spring 2017

NAME: Matt Marino

PASSAGE: Galatians 2:15-21

STEP 1. SURVEY THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT IN GENERAL.


1.1 Read the entire document through in English in one sitting.

1.1.1 AUTHOR.
What are your observations about the identity of the author and his circumstances?
What else do you know about the life of the author and his situation at the time of
the writing (place, company, former epistles, travels, relationship with other
apostles, etc.) which might influence the exegesis of this text?)

Paul is recognized to be the author of Galatians, even by many liberals: e. g.


Kmmel1. If the South Galatian theory is correct,2 then this may very well be the
earliest of the Apostles letters (see chronology in 1.2). Pauls protg Timothy came
from one of the cities of this southern region, Lystra. It was during the first
missionary journey of Paul that this region was evangelized and the churches were
planted. This early / southern view makes more sense of the personal care that Paul
seemed to have for this group. Otherwise we would have to suspect Paul of being
dishonest in the aections he expressed for them not only his zeal, but in calling
them my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until
Christ is formed in you! (4:19)

Pauls former way of life is crucial to this letter. For one thing, he makes it part of
his argument in the first chapter. It had been claimed that he was some sort of
second-hand apostle, in the sense that he was not among the inner circle of the
Jerusalem church. He had not spent time with Jesus, as had Peter, James, and John.
In reply the Apostle does something interesting. On the one hand, he wants to
argue that his apostleship is no less than theirs, and yet on the other hand he wants
to distance himself from the authority of the pillars of Jerusalem. He
accomplishes both in one Person: Jesus Christ. It is because Paul had been
encountered by the resurrected Lord that he was invested with the same right of

1 cf. Carson & Moo, 457


2cf. Cole, 18-25, for a treatment of this controversy favoring the South Galatian theory. A more thorough
examination, favoring the South, can be found in Ridderbos, 22-35
2

apostleship as they (cf. 1:11-24). This revelation of Jesus also gives Paul something
greater than mere equality with the other Apostles. It means that his gospel is not
mans gospel at all. It is straight from God.

Another reason that Pauls former way of life carries weight in this letter is by way
of contrast with the Judaizer error. The contrast is eective because Paul could
speak from a position of intellectual expertise. He knew the law and he knew what
it meant to try to attain righteousness by it. But he could also speak from a position
of emotional attachment to the Jewish interpretation. Here a scholarly indierence
or attempt to show detachment from the subject would have been less eective,
not more. Indeed no one find a more zealous Jew than Paul was (cf. 1:14, cf. Phi.
3:4-6). If this Apostle could formerly persecute Christians because of what regarded
to be their threat to Judaism, then these Judaizers were amateur law-defenders by
comparison!

A word about Pauls disposition, or his psychological makeup. Much like Luther, the
Apostle Paul did not suer from the false humility that characterizes our
generation. In his Notes on Galatians, J. Gresham Machen called the Apostle A man
who could say No, for this very reason. What he meant was not primarily
something about tone, but rather about the importance of contours in what we
believe and what we will stand for. Paul knew where to draw a line and where to let
others walk on both sides. Galatians is an example of the former; Romans 14 is an
example of the latter. In this way Paul was master at both polemics and charity at
once. Consequently this epistle must be unintelligible to those who pit Christian
freedom and unity against the insistence that some hills are worth dying on.

1.1.2.
Note here your observations about the recipients. Is only one congregation being
addressed, or are many? Are there identifiable factions in the congregation(s)?
What has happened among them to occasion this letter from Paul? How has Paul
learned of their situation? What is his relationship to the addressees? What are
their needs? Etc. (Fee, 18)

Recipients. The text itself speaks of the churches of Galatia (1:2) indicating several.
And yet there is still the question: Which Galatians? Could it have been the
evolved form of the name for ethnic Gauls who had migrated to Asia Minor in the
third century B.C.? Or does it refer merely to those many dierent people groups
assimilated in the Roman province by that name? If the former, then these churches
were in the north; if the latter, then in the south. Most scholars have opted for the
latter for some of the reasons discussed within chronology below. By the south,
3

we mean the region including cities such as Pisidian Antioch, Lystra, Iconium, and
Derbe.

Occasion. A controversy had broken out in the churches sometime after Paul had left
them. We know this as the Judaizer controversy, though some have called it the
controversy over circumcision. The name is used for a group of Jewish believers
or, at least, professing believerswho had infected many of the Greek churches
with the notion that one had to keep the Old Covenant rite of circumcision in
addition to having faith in Christ. Not long after Paul had established these
churches, certain false teachers distorted the one true gospel, and also seemed to
attack the Apostle on a personal level. It was not only circumcision which provided
the occasion for this controversy about the role of works in justification. The
practice of table fellowship with Gentiles, from which the Jews had formerly
restricted themselves, had corrupted the Antioch church that had previously
championed the unity of all people groups in Christ. Ryken puts it concisely and
practically: By trying to base their justification on their sanctification, the
Galatians were in danger of exchanging Gods grace in the gospel for performance-
based Christianity.3

Of all of the epistles of the New Testament, identifying factions in the church
would seem easiest to do in this case. At the very least we can identify Judaizers and
Gentile believers being pressured to conform. Then there was the pressure on
Jewish Christians, such as what intimidated Peter. One commentator speculates
that it may well be that it was the sheer force of pressure from non-Christian Jews
that was the ultimate motivation for the Judaizers.4

1.1.3 Note here your observations about the purpose of the epistle (explicit and
implied).

Purpose. Aside from calling this the Judaizer controversy and recognizing the prevelance of
circumcision and table fellowship, there remains some debate about the purpose of this letter. The
chief reason for disagreement in our day results from the New Perspective on Paul. Since there is
diversity of opinion among the New Perspective(s) we will interact only with N. T. Wright, as he is
the one who has gotten all the press among American seminarians anyway. In his book on
Justification he asks, Why would a Jew of Pauls pedigree have come to think that belonging to the
ethnic people of God, and living under its ancestral law, was a matter of slavery?5 His answer begins

3 Ryken, xiii
4 Marshall, 211
5 Wright, 113
4

with the food fight of Chapter 2 in Antioch and works out from there. In other words, Wright does
not see the ethnic barrier between Jews and Gentiles as a manifestation of the more fundamental
barrier between God and the sinner. The solution that is called justification is not about how an
individual gets right with God, but is about who all have the right to be called the people of God. It
is eccelsiological and not soteriological. The new perspective (of Wright at least) is that justification
should be defined as Gods declaration of who is in Christ.6 In order to pull all of this o, Wright has
to recast the phrase works of the law to mean exclusively those marks of being an ethnic Jew, as in
the ceremonial law. Thus, for Paul, to be justified by works of the law would only mean to be
declared Gods people by virtue of being a Jew.

Against this new perspective, this paper will be in agreement with the majority Reformed tradition
on the meaning of Galatians. Could we say that Galatians is not about justification? In one sense I
suppose we can say thatif what we mean is that Pauls whole chief end is not to uphold that
doctrine, or that one is not saved by getting the doctrine of sola fide correct. However no reputable
Reformed scholar has ever claimed, as N. T. Wright seems to imply, that justification is the summum
bonum of the Christian journey or that one is justified by correct profession of the doctrine. These
are caricatures. Instead justification is central to Galatians insofar as the Judaizing error threatened
Christian liberty and unity. And this error was an error precisely over the doctrine of justification.
Consequently this epistle just is about justification by faith alone in that polemical and instrumental
sense. Galatians 3:3 is, I believe, crucial for understanding the way in which the correct doctrine was
being threatened: Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? It would
seem that Galatian Christians knew the doctrine, or at least had once known it. It must be that
there are ways to compromise sola fide along the path, by confusing elements of sanctification with
justification. In other words this was a more subtle errorand therefore very probably a recurring
errorthat we may realize at first glance. For this church it may have been circumcision and kosher
eating that functioned as the occasion. Today, others things will substitute with great stealth.

1.2 Place this document in New Testament chronology (you may use sources) and
then reflect on its place in redemptive history (where does it fit in terms of the historical
outworking of Gods redemptive purpose in Christ?).

1 Thessalonians is a candidate to be earlier. Otherwise Galatians is the oldest of the NT books. In


any event it must fit within the years 48 and 55 AD, and the theory of it being written in either 48 or
49 is most plausible. The key early events to factor in are the arrival of Paul in the Galatian region
(47 / 48) and the Jerusalem Council (48 / 49). There is a good case to be made of the letter fitting
within those two dates. Why is this?

6 cf. Wright, 116


5

First there is the matter of reconciling chronology of Acts and Galatians in general. For example,
how do Galatians and Acts line up in terms of the number of visits that Paul made to Jerusalem? A
chart depicting the common way of lining up the events could look as follows:

Texts in Galatians Descriptions of Visit Texts in Acts Descriptions of Visit

1:18 with Cephas 9:26-30 Earliest preaching


2:1-10 with Pillars 11:27-30 Famine relief
? ? 15:1-29 Jerusalem Council

Many resolve this by concluding that the second visit of Galatians refers to 2 and 3 in Acts. Hill
matches only 2 with 2, and infers from this that the letter was written before the Council.7 If Paul
wrote Galatians after the Council it would be odd to not cite the Councils decision. What could be
more powerful to his argument! Naturally this is a rationale for the early view of 48 / 49. However it
is objected that Timothys circumcision occurs in the same region as the Galatians were, and this
after the Council. Hill replies that this was to minister in Jewish synagogues. Paul was quite willing
to make concessions to be all things to all people. This is nothing other than balancing these two
complementary virtues in the Apostles ministry: that is, the polemical necessity of Galatians with
the call to charitable, liberating maturity in Romans 14.

Now what can we say about the place of Galatians in relation to Pauls other letters, the other New
Testament books, and therefore in the whole realm of New Testament theology? The first thing we
can do is answer the recurring liberal supposition that Galatians is basically reactionary. In other
words we are told that this is Paul at his worst such is the way I hear the suggestion, anyway
and thus we cannot form our understanding of the gospel upon it. Cole responds to this by saying,
If it is argued that this centrality of justification by faith is only so because the letter to the
Galatians was written in controversy, the answer was that it was written in a controversy about the
very nature of the gospel.8

In the first place, Pauls peculiarities about justification were not unique to the controversy in
Galatia. Acts 13 gives us a clue. There Paul is preaching in Pisidion Antioch, and he contrasts true
justification against the works of the law of Moses (v. 44). This shows us that justificaiton by faith
alone, apart from works of the law, was central to the early preaching. The Galatians would have
been exposed to this message from the time of his first missionary journey there. If they were not,
then, once again, it would make Pauls astonishment at them for departing from it (cf. 1:6-7)
wholly unintelligible. One is given the impression that because it is a diatribe, because Paul is
passionate, that he could not possibly be in any careful, reasoned, teaching mode. But one might as

7 cf. Dr. Hill, class lecture on 2.9.17


8 Cole, 44
6

well make the same judgment about Jesus words in Matthew 23 when he is verbally torching the
Pharisees.

Pauls itinerary across the region may be tracked in the book of Acts (cf. 13-14, 16:6, 18:23). Some
would say confidentally that this epistle was written from Antioch.9

What is the place of this letter in redemptive history? One good way to view it is in relation to the
gospel opening up to the Gentiles in the book of Acts. This may be nothing but a curious byproduct
of the birth of Christianityif it had not been foretold in the Prophets.

STEP 2. CONFIRM THE LIMITS OF YOUR PASSAGE.


2.1. Decide where your pericope begins and ends. Does your decision dier from
the presentations in NA27 and UBS 4? If so, why?

It begins at verse 15 and ends at verse 21 in both the UBS and NA27. There is even the heading Jews,
like Gentiles, are Saved by Faith. Recognizing that such headings are no more inspired than the
verse numbers, it is nevertheless evidence of the reasoning of the UBS editors. I see no reason to
disagree with these boundaries.

STEP 3. ESTABLISH THE TEXT.


3.1. Using the apparati of both the UBS and the N/A editions, choose the most
significant text-critical problem in your text (you may work on others too, but do this one
here.) If your passage has no text-critical problem in it, you may choose one from a text
nearby.

(a) First, write out here each of the individual textual variants in the Variants column.
(b) Then write each witness to that variant in the Witness column.
(c) Next set out the dates of the witnesses for each variant in the Date column.
(d) Now write out the text-type (Fee, 66, 2.3.3; Metzger, Textual Commentary 2nd edn., 4*-7*,
15*-16*; and your handout).
(e) Now note any pertinent comments about that witness.

VERSE: __v. 20________________

VARIANT WITNESS DATE TEXT-TYPE Comments


_____________________________________________________________________________

9 Tenney, 270
7

(1) | |Fourth10 |Alexandrian |Cat. I


|A |5th |Alexandrian |Cat. I
|C |5th |Alexandrian (mixed) |Cat. II
|D |9th | |Cat. IV
| |8-9th |Alexandrian |Cat. I
|075 |10th | |Cat. III
|0150 |9th | |Cat. III
|6 |6th | |Cat. III
|33 |9th |Alexandrian |Cat. I
|81 |6th |Alexandrian |Cat. I
|104 |1087 |Alexandrian |Cat. III
|256 |9th-11th | |Cat. II
|263 |13th | |Cat. III
|365 |12th | |Cat. III
|424 |11th | |Cat. III
|436 |11th-12th | |Cat. III
|459 |1092 | |Cat. III
|1175 |10th | |Cat. I
|1241 |12th | |Cat. III
|1319 |12th | |Cat. III
|1573 |12th-13th | |Cat. III
|1739 |10th | |Cat. III
|1852 |13th | |Cat. III
|1881 |14th | |Cat. II
|1912 |10th | |Cat. III
|1962 |11th-12th | |Cat. II
|2127 |12th | |Cat. II
|2200 |15th | |Cat. II
|2464 |9th | |Cat. II
|Byz [K, L, P] |9th |Byzantine |Cat. V
|Lect
|it , ,
|vg |4th - 5th |Western (mixed) |
|syr , |5th - 6th |
|cop , |about 500 |
|arm |5th |

10 The word fourth is typed out because my computer would not allow me to paste an without it switching
places with the number 4.
8

|eth |about 500 |


|geo |5th |
|slav |9th |
|Marcion |4th |
|Clement Didymus |3rd |
|Chrysostom |4th | |
|Severian |after 408 |
|Theodore |355 |
|Cyril |444 |
|Theodoret |about 466 |
|Ambrosiaster |after 384 |
|Jerome |419/420 |
|Pelagius |after 418 |
|Augustine |430 |
|Varimadum |445/480 |

(2) |46 |c. 200 |Proto-Alexandrian |Cat. I


|B |4th |Proto-Alexandrian |Cat. I
|D* | |Western |
|F11 |9th |Western |
|G |9th |Western |
|it(), , |5th - 9th |Western |
|Victorinus-Rome |after 363 |Western |

3.2. Evaluate the EXTERNAL EVIDENCE using the following procedures:


3.2.1. Date. Does one variant have the majority of early witnesses?

Yes. Even though has the support of 46 and B, both from before the fifth
century, the preferred reading has more.

11 Aland lists this as written in 547 (192) even though other sources have it as 9th century.
9

3.2.2. Text Type. Using the categories of Egyptian (Proto-Alexandrian,


Alexandrian), Western, (Caesarean), and Byzantine, determine whether the witnesses for
each variant are from the same text type, or whether they are spread out among several.

Both variants are supported from the Alexandrian (or Proto-Alexandrian) text type, though the
below note will balance this out with Allands thesis.

3.2.3. Quality. Evaluate the quality of the variants. Refer to Aland and
Aland, Metzger, Comfort, or other reading on text criticism. In general, Alexandrian (or
Proto-Al.) is considered the highest quality. But be aware that Westcott and Hort thought
that B, though usually superior, in the Pauline epistles was contaminated with Western
readings. So, a reading of B where it agrees with Western texts may not be truly
Alexandrian. Does the quality of the witnesses favor one variant over the others?

B does agree with Western texts in the variant so that we must allow for the
possibility of Western influence.

3.3.Evaluate the INTERNAL EVIDENCE using the following procedures:


3.3.1. Evaluate each variant on the basis of the authors style and vocabulary
(intrinsic probability). (Fee, 67-68)

Stephen Carlson points to the immediate contextthe participial phrase of 2:20, who loved me and
gave himself for meas it epexegetically restates what the Son of Gods faithfulness is.12 Paul
speaks elsewhere in Galatians of faith in Christ, though the idea of faith in/of the Son of God is
unique to Paul, and the fully articulated postpositive genitive phrase is found
only here in this exact form among the undisputed Paulines.13 So much for his reasoning against the
Nestle-Aland reading. Against the variant, the objective genitive would
presumably leave us with two separate faiths: one in God and the other in Christ. Carlson has no
problem with two separate faithfulnessesone of God and the other of Christand yet he oers no
argument that this problem does not cut both ways. He simply assumes it.

Where he speaks of the believer relating to God and Christ, the sense is of God in Christ. While
other letters speaks of the equality of the Son with the Father (and this letter can certainly give
hints), the greater emphasis in Pauls writing is of relating to God with the Son as our Mediator. This
is relevant in this passage because Paul is describing living by faith in the One who gave himself for

12 Carlson, 97
13 Carlson, 98
10

him. This cannot be said of the Father and so there is a theological consideration weighing against
the rendering.

3.3.2. Evaluate each variant by the criteria of transcriptional probability (Fee,


68-70; cf. Metzger, Text.Comm. 2nd edn., 3*-4*; Aland & Aland, 280-82). Pay close attention
to the phenomenon of skipping from like to like.

What is a later scribe (or scribes) likely to have done? The rule here preferes the reading that best
explains how the others came into existence. However it is not obvious to me how either God and
Christ or in the Son of God is more likely to have given rise to the other. Diculties for both
readings exist. But the rationale given by Carlson concerning the subjective genitive versus objective
genitive debate (cf. 3.3.1) seems more weighted by that authors theological axe than by the intrinsic
probability of either construction.

3.4. Can one reading explain the rise of any others? How?

Certainly one reading may explain the rise of others. The principle of lectio dicilior potior tells us
that the more dicult reading is the stronger. The reason is that a scribe encountering a grammatical
or syntactical ambiguity, particularly where he senses something doctrinally embarassing, is more
likely to smooth out the rough edges with something he perceives to be a simpler solution. Perhaps a
more orthodox solution. Closely associated with this principle is that of lectio brevior which says that
when a scribe ammended a text it is much more likely that he did so by addition than by subtraction.
Thus the shorter reading is to be preferred.

In this case, however, neither rendering is clearly shorter, and an equal amount of diculties seem to
be presented by both sides.

3.5. What is your final decision on the variants?

The rendering of the UBS and NA-28, , seems preferable on the basis of external and
internal evidence.

STEP 4. PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION


4.1 Give here your provisional translation (see Fee, pp. 10-11).

15 We by nature are Jews and not of Gentile sinners. 16 But knowing that no man is justified by
works of the law if not through faith in Jesus Christ, and we in Christ Jesus have believed, so that we
11

might be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, since by works of the law no flesh
will be justified. 17 But if seeking to be justified in Christ, we also have been found [to be] sinners,
then is Christ a servant of sin? May it never be! 18 For if I build up again these things I had torn
down, I prove [establish] myself a transgressor. 19 For through the law, I died to the law, in order that
I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I [who] live, but Christ lives
in me; and that which I now live in the flesh, I live through faith [in] the Son of God, the one having
loved me and having given himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness
[were] through the law, then Christ died for nothing.14

4.2. Give here a provisional list of exegetical diculties (Fee, 11).

1. In verse 16 there is the question of whether this is a subjective genitive or an objective?


2. In verse 18 what is meant by if I rebuild what I tore down, then I prove myself to be a
transgressor?
3. What is meant by nullify the grace of God (v. 21)?
4. Is it significant that Paul is said to not use faith in the Son of God (v. 20) elsewhere, and / or
that it may not be the original because of the variant? (cf. Step 3)

4.3. Read the paragraph through in 3-5 translations and note here any exegetically
significant dierences among the translations. Are they matters of textual criticism,
grammar, lexicography, or theology?

Fee calls this a substitute step,15 but that it is still helpful for those who study Greek. I will use the
ESV, NIV, NASB, KJV and RSV.

cites as an example of an accusative adverb, or adverb in the accusative, which would


14 Wallace

woodenly mean freely, saying that it frequently used this way. But that would be confusing here: cf. 89-90
15 Fee, 11
12

ESV NIV NASB KJV RSV

15 We ourselves are 15 We who are Jews 15 We are Jews by 15 We who are Jews 15 We ourselves, who
Jews by birth and not by birth and not sinful nature and not sinners by nature, and not are Jews by birth and
Gentile sinners; 16 Gentiles 16 know that from among the sinners of the not Gentile sinners,
yet we know that a a person is not Gentiles 16 Gentiles 16 Knowing 16 yet who know that
person is not justified justified by the works nevertheless knowing that a man is not a man is not justified
by works of the law of the law, but by faith that a man is not justified by the works by works of the law
but through faith in in Jesus Christ. So we, justified by the works of the law, but by the but through faith in
Jesus Christ, so we too, have put our faith of the Law but faith of Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, even we
also have believed in in Christ Jesus that through faith in even we have believed have believed in
Christ Jesus, in order we may be justified by Christ Jesus, even we in Jesus Christ, that Christ Jesus, in order
to be justified by faith faith in Christ and have believed in we might be justified to be justified by faith
in Christ and not by not by the works of Christ Jesus, so that by the faith of Christ, in Christ, and not by
works of the law, the law, because by we may be justified by and not by the works works of the law,
because by works of the works of the law faith in Christ and of the law: for by the because by works of
the law no one will be no one will be not by the works of works of the law shall the law shall no one
justified. justified. 17 But if, in the Law; since by the no flesh be justified 17 be justified. 17 But if,
17 But if, in our seeking to be justified works of the Law no But if, while we seek in our endeavor to be
endeavor to be in Christ, we Jews flesh will be justified. to be justified by justified in Christ, we
justified in Christ, we find ourselves also 17 But if, while Christ, we ourselves ourselves were found
too were found to be among the sinners, seeking to be justified also are found sinners, to be sinners, is
sinners, is Christ then doesnt that mean in Christ, we is therefore Christ the Christ then an agent
a servant of sin? that Christ promotes ourselves have also minister of sin? God of sin? Certainly not!
Certainly not! 18 For sin? Absolutely not! been found sinners, is forbid. 18 For if I 18 But if I build up
if I rebuild what I 18 If I rebuild what I Christ then a minister build again the things again those things
tore down, I prove destroyed, then I of sin? May it never which I destroyed, I which I tore down,
myself to be a really would be a be! 18 For if I rebuild make myself a then I prove myself a
transgressor. 19 For lawbreaker. 19 For what I have once transgressor. 19 For I transgressor. 19 For I
through the law I died through the law I died destroyed, I prove through the law am through the law died
to the law, so that I to the law so that I myself to be a dead to the law, that I to the law, that I
might live to God. 20 might live for God. transgressor. 19 For might live unto God. might live to God. 20
I have been crucified 20 I have been through the Law I 20 I am crucified with I have been crucified
with Christ. It is no crucified with Christ died to the Law, so Christ: nevertheless I with Christ; it is no
longer I who live, but and I no longer live, that I might live to live; yet not I, but longer I who live, but
Christ who lives in but Christ lives in me. God. 20 I have been Christ liveth in me: Christ who lives in
me. And the life I The life I now live in crucified with Christ; and the life which I me; and the life I now
now live in the flesh I the body, I live by and it is no longer I now live in the flesh I live in the flesh I live
live by faith in the faith in the Son of who live, but Christ live by the faith of the by faith in the Son of
Son of God, who God, who loved me lives in me; and the Son of God, who God, who loved me
loved me and gave and gave himself for life which I now live loved me, and gave and gave himself for
himself for me. 21 I me. 21 I do not set in the flesh I live by himself for me. 21 I me. 21 I do not nullify
do not nullify the aside the grace of faith in the Son of do not frustrate the the grace of God; for
grace of God, for if God, for if God, who loved me grace of God: for if if justification were
righteousness were righteousness could and gave Himself up righteousness come through the law, then
through the law, then be gained through the for me. 21 I do not by the law, then Christ died to no
Christ died for no law, Christ died for nullify the grace of Christ is dead in vain. purpose.
purpose. nothing! God, for if
righteousness comes
through the Law, then
Christ died needlessly.

Interestingly the KJV renders verse 16 in the subjective genitive. The NIV rendering of verse 17
could seem to give grounds for the NPP understanding of the controversy: namely, that justification
was primarily a declaration of who is to be numbered among the people of God. There Paul would
13

be a Jew found among the Gentiles (or sinners). In all other respects I find these translations
remarkably uniform. Although it may be worth noting that the RSV renders (v. 21) as
justification rather than righteousness. Since these two English forms are from the same Greek
word, and since they are both in a noun form, this is no problem.

STEP 5. LITERARY CONTEXT.


5.1. Describe the particular literary character of the document (Gospel, History,
Epistle, Apocalypse, etc.) For Epistles, to what extent is it ad hoc, formal, casual, more like
a treatise than a letter, etc. (Fee, 17)

Galatians is an epistle. It is the most polemical of Pauls letters. Tenney describes the tone of the
letter as warlike.16 This letter is no so easy to force into one style. Because it is an epistle it has the
structure of a sustained argumentand we reject the notion that because it is highly passionate that
it must therefore lack this logical qualitybut because there is enflamed reaction, there are caustic
elements that we cannot ignore. He uses biting sarcasm in 3:1 about them being bewitched, and in
5:12 about the troublemakers hopefully emasculating themselves, and hyperbole about the Galatians
gouging their own eyes out (4:15) as a gesture of love! He uses practical imagery of a last will and
testament, a tudor-child relationship, and an allegory of two mothers, who also happen to be two
mountains, two cities, and ultimately two covenants: two ways of relating to God. All of that to say
that in Galatians, the quality of a diabtribe and that of a personal letter and that of a logic treatise
never cancel out each other. They all come together.

5.2. To what formal aspect of a letter does your particular text belong? Will this
aect your exegesis in any way? (Fee, 17)

There is a clear transition point here from narrative to didactic. It is certainly didactic, but Paul
never leaves the personalized tone. It is not only diadactic, but it introduces the very core doctrine
that remains at the heart of the entire doctrinal section. The main way that this transition aspect
aects exegesis of the passage is in how the narrative directly preceding informs the sense Paul gives
to justification either by faith in Christ or by our works of the law. It is even suggested by Moo that
this text relays to us the substance of what Paul had told Peter when they were at odds.17 He derives
this from the syntactical relation between the two verses (14 and 15).

5.3. Give an outline of the whole book and note the placement of your text within
the outline.

16 Tenney, 271
17 Moo, 156
14

I. INTRODUCTION
A. Greeting 1:1-5
B. Backdrop of the Controversy 1:6-10

II. BIOGRAPHY
A. Pauls Calling from God 1:11-17
B. Pauls Independence from Jerusalem 1:17-2:10
C. Pauls Stand Against Jerusalem 2:11-14

III. DOCTRINE
A. Justification by Faith Alone 2:15-21*
B. Faith Alone versus Works of the Law 3:1-14
C. Faith Alone Receives the Promise 3:15-4:8
D. Pauls Personal Appeal 4:9-20
E. The Allegory of the Slave and Free 4:21-31

IV. APPLICATION
A. Our Freedom in Christ 5:1-15
B. The Fruit of the Spirit 5:16-26
C. Practical Applications 6:1-18

* The text of this paper in red.

STEP 6. LITERARY ANALYSIS. STRUCTURE and SYNTAX, ARGUMENT,


RHETORIC, GRAMMAR AND LEXICOGRAPHY
6.1. STRUCTURE, SYNTAX, AND LOGIC OF ARGUMENT.
6.1.1 Analyze the structure of your pericope. You may use a sentence flow
or sentence diagram method (cf. Fee, 41-58). The idea is to clarify the flow of the authors
argument or story. Highlight (or color code) repeated words or concepts; pay attention of
syntactical relationships; look for chiastic or any other types of organizing structures. (i.e.,
show here the structure you have arrived at)

The words highlighted in red are logical connectives. There is a clear series of if then
components to an argument. The kind of conditional statements may vary. For example, verse 16 is
making a positive conditional argument, whereas verse 19 is imagining a scenario that Paul knows to
be false, but it is like a reductio ad absurdum. It is as if Paul should say, If I rebuild the ediface of
lawkeeping, then I really would be a transgressorlike these Judaizers!
15

I. 15

A. a. 2.16 []
b. ,

B. a. ,
b. ,
c. .

C. a. 2.17 ,
b.
c. .

D. a. 2.18 ,
b. [implied] .

E. a. 2.19 ,
b. .

F. a.
b. 2.20 ,
c. ,
1. .

II. 2.21

A. a. ,
b. .

6.1. 2 Write a summary here of the information you can derive from your
structure above. What lexical, syntactical or other structural indicators are important and
why? (i.e., what is it that reveals the structure of your passage?)

STRUCTURE OF 2:15-21. Justification is in Christ by faith apart from works of the law.

Verse 15 and 21 are two main summaries. Verse 15 summarizes the background knowledge that the
Jewish Christians had of themselves. Verse 21 summarizes the upshot of the argument. What comes
in between are two sets of arguments contrasting faith and works as the means of justification (Set 1
is in verse 16; Set 2 is verses 17 and 18, and then in verses 19 and 20 we have the grounding of Pauls
ability to hold faith over works of the lawnamely that Christ has killed the Paul that was legally
16

bound, and the new has risen in faith inside Christ. So Pauls doctrine of our union with Christ in
the cross and resurrection (though the latter is not explicit in this text), functions as the ground for
Pauls doctrine of justification by faith apart from works of the law.

The argument progresses from 16 to 20 and then finds its summation in 21.

6.1.3 Set out briefly the logic and content of your text (how does the author
weigh each step in his argument, etc.), and show the significance of your paragraph in the
overall argument/exhortation, etc.? (Fee 19-20) (i.e, what is the significance of the structure
of your passage?)

The conjunctions are paramount here. And they are not always explicit. Consider the following
breakdown. By antecedent and consequent here I only mean the little word that is functioning
(conjunctively) to signal the antecedent and consequent.

Antecedent Consequent Implication

Verse 16a b Knowing so also We trust Christ for justification, not our works
because no one is justified by works of the law.

Verse 16c b since so also We trust Christ for justification, not our works
because no one is justified by works of the law.

Verse 17 if then If faith in Christ leaves me in the class of


(Hypothetical) sinner, then this justification justifies sin!

Verse 18 for if (then) If I rebuild the notion of justification by works,


(Corrective) then I really would be justifying sin!

Verse 16 may be structured chiastically. You will note that the beginning of the verse and end of the
verse gives antecedents for a consequent in the middle of the verse. In other words Knowing and
since are both followed by the doctrine underneath believers right action of believing in Christ.
The implication is the same running both directions. Verse 17 is a question and so some may think
that it cannot be subjected to logic. But it is a rhetorical question, as the makes plain.
The logic of verse 18 is connected to 17 in a corrective way. Verse 17 presented a Class 1 conditional
sentence. Paul is putting this suspicion in the mouth of someone who misconstrues his doctrine. The
reason that Paul would be justifying sin if he rebuilt the doctrine of justification by works, after
having torn it down, is that all of our works are tainted by sin (cf. Is. 64:6, Rom. 3:10-12, 14:23).

Consequently, the transition from verses 16 and 17 to 18 and 19 is not a movement from a contrast
between faith alone and works of the law to some other point of comparison. Is the same argument
from another anglewe might say the angle of consistency and/or hypocrisy. What we are addressing
here is the question: What does Paul mean, in verse 18, by if I rebuild what I tore down, then I
17

prove myself to be a transgressor? Is my above understanding correct? There are four views that I
am aware of:

View 1. Wrights view. He is talking about ethnic identity, and about the practices that go
with that. And he is about to show that in the gospel this ethnic identity is dismantled, so
that a new identity may be constructed, in which the things that separated Jew and Gentile
no longer matter. This, and only this, is the context in which we can read the famous and
dense verse 2:16 with some hope of success.18 Now he mentions 2:16, but he is clearly
applying the principle across the board. What was rightly torn down was the sinful
distinctions in ethnicity (cf. 119).

View 2. Another solution is to see Paul rebuilding the faith of the believers, when previously
he had torn down the church. The word is used previously for this action (1:13, 23).

View 3. Bruce mentions as a possibility that It could refer to Peters attempt to rebuild the
social partition between Jews and Gentiles which he had earlier broken down.19 I do not
think this idea is exclusive to View 4. They could both be true, 3 being a subset of 4.

View 4. The historic position, at least in the Reformed tradition, is to see Paul maintaining
the same contrast of faith versus works (from verses 16 and 17) by another angle.

Silva hears Paul saying, the reason that I would become a transgressor (of the law) if I were to begin
rebuilding the law (which I formerly destroyed when I sought justification through faith rather than
by works of the law) is that the law itself led me to die to it.20 Marshall holds the same position with
one nuance: that if people go back to keeping the requirements of circumcision, Jewish festivals and
so on, they are not going to be able to do so fully and completely but in some respects will fall short
and will thereby be sinners in terms of the laws requirements.21 In that case Paul would be making
Christ a servant of sin by his gospel allowing people to think they can do the works of the law, thus
causing them to sin in all that they do.

Silva speaks of the eschatological dimension of justification, dying to the law, and being raised in
Christ. Each of the three concepts are spoken of as if rooted in the objective reality of the eternal
work of Christ.22 Pauls claim that he has already diedby crucifixion no lessand yet has been

18 Wright, 115-116
19 Bruce, 142
20 Silva, 174
21 Marshall, 216
22 cf. Silva, 173-175
18

raised to life (how else could he continue to live?) is unabashedly eschatological. Moreover, note that
the apostle contrasts the law with his new mode of existence.23

6.2. RHETORIC. What rhetorical features (hyperbole; questions; commands;


irony; parable; allegory; allusion, etc.) does your text display (Fee, 17-18)? How are they
important for the exegesis?

Potential Irony. In saying so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, the Apostle may be, in a sense,
putting Gentiles first in line to the cross. That is ironic because Paul knows very well the order of to
the Jew first and also the Greek (Rom. 1:16, 2:9, 10). I remember hearing this once from Spurgeon. I
do not think this is conclusive, but I list it here only to suggest its possibility. This may not just be a
helpful pastoral application. Moo turns the point toward the NPP controversy: He is not arguing
that Gentiles should be included, with Jews, in the people of God; he is arguing, rather, that Jews
should be included, with Gentiles, in the mass of ordinary humanity.24

Rhetorical Question. Paul asks, But if seeking to be justified in Christ, we also have been found
sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? (v. 17) This is not an ordinary question.

Metaphor. If I rebuild what I tore down (v. 19). Obviously the importance of this metaphor depends
on its true interpretation. As the resolution in 6.1.3 indicates, my view is that the thing which is torn
down is a law-keeping relationship to God. Paul had been building a tower to the heavens as it
were through obeying the law. His subsequent death in the death of Christ is what tore that down.
Thus we actually have two figurative relationships in one. The metaphor of tearing down is
grounded in the reality of being crucified with Christ (v. 20). But was Paul literally crucified with
Christ in history? Certainly not. In what sense then was Paul crucified?

I do not think that we can properly call this latter figure either metaphor or hyperbole. It would be
nearer to metaphor; but the point is not about the physical manner of the execution. The point is
rather about judgment through death. Pauls old man was punished in the body of Christ instead of
on the flesh and blood and soul Paul. Neither is this hyperboleas if crucifixion is something much
more intense than the kind of judgment that stands behind it, that of the pouring out of divine
wrath.

23 Silva, 175
24 Moo, 157
19

Silva speaks of a clear allusion to the LXX rendering of Ps. 143:2 (142:2 LXX) Do not come into
judgment with your servant, because no living thing will be justified before you.25

6.3. GRAMMAR.
6.3.1. List here any dicult or unusual grammatical features of your text
(Fee, 72-73).

Reference Text Form Lexical Form Grammatical Descr. Meaning/Usage


______________________________________________________________________________

2:15 DSF26 by nature or by birth


2:16 (2x) GSF faith or faithfulness
2:16 (2x) GSM in Christ or of Christ
2:16 (2x) GPM works

6.3.2. Determine the senses of any questionable use of cases, giving the
reasons for your choices. (Beware of overexegeting here - see Fee, 76: Deciding that
there is no special meaning to be found in some usages is also part of the exegetical
process).

Cases of Nouns/Adjectives

1. For it is my conclusion that this is the objective genitive.

Richard B. Hays is said to give the weightiest argument in favor of the subjective genitive. In favor
of being the objective, Bruces statement is the best I have found,

The principle and, indeed, conclusive argument for taking the genitive to be
objective here is that, when Paul expresses himself by the verb , and not by
the noun , Christ is the undoubted object of the faith, as in the clause
immediately following: (even we have believed in Christ Jesus). This determines the

25 Silva, 173
26 dative of respect? cf. Moo, 156
20

sense of the preceding and of in


the next clause.27

It is the persistent contrast between works of the law and faith that undoes the view toward the
subjective genitive. Not only are the two constantly being pit against each other by Paul, but in some
cases there is a nearby meaning of faith in an uncontested verbal form. In other words Paul
understands faith to be the believing performed by the believer in these contexts.

After having opposed works of the law and hearing with faith in one form or anothertwice in
2:16, then again in 3:2, 3:5, 3:9, and 3:10in verse 12 equates the works of the law to doing. By now
there is a double-equation that is complete. Paul has equated faith to belief, and then he has
equated works with doing. It stretches the bounds of credulity to see as
ones faithfulness, even if Christs, and as simply the Jewish ceremonial boundaries.
Even if the subjective genitive in 2:16 is not taken to make the NPP point, it seems an unnatural
veering from the steady contrast between believing versus doing that is maintained from 2:16 to
3:12.

The works of the law in these passages are clearly done by those other than Christ. In Pauls logic,
the noun form (pistis) derives from the verb form, as in Gen. 15:6 (pisteuo)cf. Rom. 3:28, 4:4-5, 10:4,
Gal. 3:5.

Some may choose to opt for the subjective genitive but resist the NPP doctrine. In other words, one
could say that this is Christs faithfulness, which is, after all, that righteousness which our faith it in.
However there is a problem with this. If we say that we are justified by Christs faithfulness, then
there is still a sense in which we are justified by works of the law. Hence we would lose the contrast
that Paul keeps making between this pistis and the works of the law. That would seem to make it
more of an all or nothing choice.

Voices and Moods of Verbs.

Verse Verb Mood Voice


16 Perfect Active

Knowing sounds present, but this time aspect relates to what is known when they had believed,
which was not technically present.

20 Aorist Active
20 Aorist Active

27 Bruce, 139
21

Both of these participles we will treat here, rather than in the participle section below because of
the verbal element. The ESV renders these who loved me and gave himself for me. I suppose that
is cleaner English.

Conjunctive Signals (conjunctions and particles).

In 2:17 is an interrogative particle28 and could be rendered Is then or else in that case.

Prepositions

In 2:15 must be something like of or from, but in either case, it makes for cumbersome
English.

Participles and infinitives

In 2:17, as has already been indicated, is functioning as an implied logical antecedent, even
though it is a participle and not a connective like if or since or because. It is a present active
participle and so the sense of it is something which Paul (and he expects his reader) now knows.

In 2:17 the infinitive to be justified is in the passive, indicating that it is


something done to the one justified.

6.3.7. Indicate here which grammatical decisions you now think will need
discussion in your paper [which you are not assigned - hypothetical].

The obvious example is in 2:16. Is it a subjective or objective genitive?

6.4. LEXICOGRAPHY. (Note well Fees warnings, pp. 79-80. On this whole
section consult closely Fees Sect. II.4 and pay particular attention to 82-93).

6.4.1. Note here any words which are theologically loaded, ambiguous,
repeated or emphasized by the author.

The word in the phrase is not one of the above grammar diculties. Rather it
is controversial because of its wider theological meaning. I place this word works with the genitive
of law because of its predominant usage in Paulnot only in Galatians but in all of his letters.

28 Bruce, 141
22

BDAG breaks down the meaning of accordingly:

1. that which displays itself in activity of any kind, deed, actiona. in contrast to rest Hb
4:3, 4 (Gen 2:2) freq. used to describe people of exceptional merit b. manifestation, practical
proof c. deed, accomplishment.
2. that which one does as regular activity, work, occupation, task.
3. that which is brought into being by work, product, undertaking, work.
4. someth. having to do with someth. under discussion, thing, matter.29

Wright must recast these works of the law as the mere ethnic badges of being Jewish. The reason
that they were falsely thought to justify is that they were the means by which one could be
identified as belonging to Gods people. In this way works of the law are transformed from
primarilily soteriological to ecclesiological in meaningnot about how one gets in but about
whether one is in.

One colossal problem with this is Romans 3:19-20. There the very same Paul uses the same phrase to
clearly speak of the entire human race under the scope of Gods law. He says, Now we know that
whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped,
and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20For by works of the law no human being
will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. Paul treats the speech
from the law and the people under that same law as co-extensive; then he lists that scope of people
as every mouth and the whole world. How then can Wright claim that the phrase in Paul always
means the ethinic boundaries between Jew and Gentile?

The more immediate problem with Wrights thesis is the whole fabric of Galatians. As Moo states,
Much of the rest of Galatians is devoted to elaborating this fundamental contrast30 namely,
between works of the law and faith in Christ.

Bruce goes as far to say that was Pauls best option for our word legalism, since there
was no such word in the Greek.31 Longenecker makes a distinction between legalism and nomism as if
the former were amassing merit to get saved, while the latter was remaining faithful to stay
saved. He accepts E. P. Sanders basic thesis that First Century Judaism was not legalistic. It was the
latter appeal to nomism that set the Mosaic law against the message of the gospel.32 However sound

29 BDAG, 390, 391


30 Moo, 157
31 cf. Bruce, 137
32 cf. Longenecker, 86
23

that distinction might be, it does not change the fact that works of the law has a broad enough
sense to encompass everyone on both sidesGentiles coming in and Jews staying in.

6.4.2. For this notebook choose one (you may do more on your own) of the
words you listed in 6.5.1 and carry out the following exercises. First, establish the history of
the word up until its use in your author (Fee calls this study of a word vertical. It is often
called diachronic). Besides BAGD, you may use TDNT; C. Spicq, Theological Lexicon of
the New Testament, etc.

In the centuries prior to the coming of Christ, the Greek word for work has a consistent meaning.
Thucydides, Herodotus, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Lucianus the Sophist, and Xenophon all treated
as units of human action of whatever kind, though they were often set in distinction to mere words.
Plato, Demosthenes, and Plutarch use it in a more economic sense; Aristophanes in a religious sense;
Aristotle in a political sense; and Polybius in a military sense.33 This was in common use from the
time of Homer and Hesiod.34

This word was not essentially, much less exclusively, religious in the Greek world. Kittel remarked
that, a man is judged by his works, his achievements, his deeds, his total conduct.35 So it is a
mistake to pit religious works against common works as if the latter were somehow outside of
the sphere that is Godward. There is also a passive use which means what is wrought, the result of
work or the produce of the process of work.36 Since works are fundamentally actions, there are
divine works and human works.

6.4.3. Next, determine the range of meanings found in literature


contemporary with the NT. Besides BAGD, you may use TDNT, Spicq, Moulton and
Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek NT; Horsely, New Documents Illustrating Early
Christianity, etc. Synchronic

Josephus in the same century, and Justin Martyr a century later, use this word to refer to that which
is brought into being.37

Carson, OBrien, and Seifrid build a case that First Century Judaism did indeed utilize the concept
of works in an antithetical way to Pauls doctrine. Beginning with the time of Ezra, and utilizing

33 cf. Brill, 814


34 TDNT. II, 635
35 TDNT.II, 636
36 TDNT, 636
37 BDAG, 391
24

non-canonical sources, The remnant are described as those who have works and faith towards the
Almighty (Uriel: 13:23; cf. Ezra: 8:30).38 There is debate among Jewish scholars as to whether or not
this requires perfection. Moreover good works reap a reward, both in this life and the life to come.

6.4.4.. How is the word used in the rest of the NT, and by whom?

In the genitive plural there are 43 occurences in the NT [most of these are from the NASB]:

1. wisdom is vindicated by her deeds. (Matt 11:19); 2. was abounding with deeds of kindness (Acts
9:36); 3. by the works of the Law (Rom. 3:20); 4. what kind of law? Of works? No (Rom. 3:27); 5.
by faith apart from works of the Law (Rom. 3:28); 6. justified by works (Rom. 4:2); 7. righteousness
apart from works (Rom. 4:6); 8. not of works but of (Rom. 9:12); 9. but as though [it were] by
works (Rom. 9:32); 10. on the basis of works (Rom. 11:6a); 11. [if] of works no longer is it (Rom.
11:6b); 12. is not justified by the works of the Law (Gal. 2:16a); 13. in Christ and not by the works of
the Law (Gal. 2:16b); 14. since by the works of the Law (Gal. 2:16c); 15. the Spirit by the works of
the Law (Gal. 3:2); 16. among you, do it by the works of the Law (Gal. 3:5); 17. For as many as are
of the works of the Law (Gal. 3:10); 18. not as a result of works, so that no (Eph. 2:9); 19. of good
works (1 Tim. 2:10); 20. of good deeds, [with] purity (Titus 2:7); 21. zealous for good deeds (Titus
2:14); 22. not on the basis of deeds (Titus 3:5); 23. in good deeds (Titus 3:8); 24. in good deeds (Titus
3:14); 25. although His works were finished (Heb. 4:3); 26. day from all his works (Heb. 4:4); 27.
rested from his works (Heb. 4:10); 28. from dead works and of faith (Heb. 6:1); 29. from dead
works to serve (Heb. 9:14); 30. to love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24); 31. without the works, and I
will show you (Jam. 2:18); 32. you my faith by my works (Jam. 2:18); 33. that faith without works is
useless? (Jam. 2:20); 34. justified by works when he oered (Jam. 2:21); 35. and as a result of the
works (Jam. 2:22); 36. is justified by works and not by faith (Jam. 2:24); 37. justified by works when
she received (Jam. 2:25); 38. faith without works is dead (Jam. 2:26); 39. of your good deeds, as they
observe (1 Pet. 2:12); 40. their ungodly deeds which (Jude 1:15); 41. unless they repent of her
deeds (Rev. 2:22); 42. did not repent of the works of their hands (Rev. 9:20); 43. and they did not
repent of their deeds (Rev. 16:11).

It is abundantly clear that the NT writers, and especially Paul, utilized this word in a way that
contrasted a false way of justification with the true way of faith alone. More to the point of
Galatians 2:17, we will notice that these are precisely works of the law that are meant by works /
deeds. There is a Godward connotation to these human actions or deeds. In the non-Pauline letters,
it is true that the use of works shifts from a judicial to an evidential connotation, but even here
they are ultimately Godward, related to Him through the law.

38 Carson, OBrien, & Seifrid, 172


25

6.4.5. What are the ranges of meaning for this word in the authors own
usage elsewhere? Are any of these usages unique to the NT? What synonyms does he use
for this word? Give any relevant supporting information here.

Paul is known for using works in this legal sense. But does he ever depart from it? One way that he
does so is in using the word law to refer to a literary genre or corpusas for instance, when he asks
the Judaizing Galatians, Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law?
(4:21). There he explains that what he means is a story from Genesis. In other words he is using the
law to mean the Pentateuch as a whole: the writings of Moses. He also speaks of it as a kind of
principleas in a law of faith (Rom. 3:27) or even a law of sin (Rom. 7:23) and law of sin and
death (Rom. 8:2).

While there is only that one kind of departure from the Pauline use, there is certainly nuance. The
most obvious is his way of sometimes dividing the law into moral, ceremonial, and civil. It will of
course be complained that he never does so: that he never uses these labels. But that response is a
kin to objecting words like Trinity are not in the Bible. Romans 2:14-15 is one clear example of Paul
highlighting the moral law in the natural revelation to the Gentiles, and so distinguishing it from the
Mosaic law given to the Jews. He says, For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do
what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. Now how
can they have the law and not have the law at the same time? It is simply that there are two senses of
the law here.

6.4.6. Which meaning is most likely here and why?

The most likely meaning here is the strictly judicial sense that is normal for Paul and not the
evidential sense that is utilized by James and the Catholic epistles. That this use is normative for
Paul is the most persuasive argument for it. This is especially clear in Romans and Galatians. Beyond
that, in the more immediate context that stretches from 2:16 to 3:12 the contrast between works of
the law as human actions and faith in something outside of ourselves, namely in Christ, is never
left behind. Paul does not veer from this subject in that extended text.

6.5. FINAL TRANSLATION. Review your preliminary translation, and revise it


as necessary according to what you have learned.

GREEK TEXT:

15 16 []
,
,
26

, . 17
,
. 18 ,
. 19 , .
20 , ,

. 21 ,
.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

15 We are Jews by nature and not of Gentile sinners. 16 But knowing that a person is not justified by
works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order
that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, since by works of the law no
flesh will be justified. 17 But if seeking to be justified in Christ, we also have been found sinners, is
Christ then a servant of sin? May it never be! 18 For if I build up again these things I had torn down,
I prove myself a transgressor. 19 For through the law, I died to the law, in order that I might live to
God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the
life I now live in the flesh, I live through faith in the Son of God, the one having loved me and
having given himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness were through
the law, then Christ died for nothing.

STEP 7. CULTURAL CONTEXT (for a chance at an A, this section must be completed)


7.1 List features of your text which you suspect might be elucidated by a greater
knowledge of Jewish or Greco-Roman history and culture (e.g., tw`n patrikw`n mou
paradovsewn in Gal. 1.14; paidagwgov" in Gal. 3.24, 25; uiJoqesiva in Gal. 4.5).

1. Jews by birth versus Gentile sinners. This background may seem to press more upon
our passage if Pauls words here are meant to be a continuation of a conversation he had with
Peteri. e. if he is recounting his argument for the readers sake. But in either case, his whole
point is that what applies to the Gentiles applies to the Jews, and vice versa.

2. crucified with. For both the Jewish background and the Greco-Roman background,
execution by crucifixion was a shameful thing. Hence Pauls imagery of identifying with the
crucified one, just with Jesus imagery of giving to us a cross of our own, would not be the kind
of thing that could draw back into the cultural context, except by contrast.That is why Paul pit
the message of the cross in 1 Corinthians 1 against both cultural backdrops as he did. One thing
is worth noting: In Judea at the time of Jesus sentencing to crucifixion and execution was
27

entirely in the hands of the Roman authorities.39 This has biblical significance. The victim was
being handed over into the hands of Gentile sinners (cf. Acts 2:23).

I conclude that neither the Jews nor the pagans had any notion of being united with the person
being crucified; but for that very reason the handing over of Christ to the Gentiles could be fulfilled
and be filled with significance.

7.2. Choose one of these and, using the bibliography in Fee, Sect. II.5 (and any
supplementary bibliography), gather parallel or counterparallel texts (i.e., quotations, if you
can find some) from Jewish or Greco-Roman sources that may aid in understanding the
cultural milieu of the author of your passage. (This may of course overlap with your word
study above. You may focus here on something dierent from what you examined there, or
explore further the cultural background of one of those words.)

Jews by birth versus Gentile sinners.

Keener reminds us that Jewish people regarded Gentiles as dierent by nature, because they
believed that Gentiles ancestors were not freed from the evil impulse at Sinai as Israel was.40
According to Jeremias, by the first century, there was a three-fold breakdown of Jewish descent: (a)
families of legitimate descent: priests, Levites and full Israelites. Only these families had the right to
marry into priestly families. (b) Next, families of illegitimate descent with only a very slight blemish.
These families were not entitled of course to marry into priestly families, but could marry Levites or
illegitimate Israelites. (c) Last, families with grave blemishes of ancestry. They were on no account to
marry into legitimate families, or if they did the marriage was illegitimate, merely concubinage.41
Those of the first family alone made up pure Israel, and a man had to prove these credentials to be
considered for any public oce.

Laws governing the Sabbath, circumcision, food, and purity were interpreted by the sects as
boundary markers that normally served to separate Jew and gentile.42 Although eating with gentiles
was taboo, it seems to have been tolerated if a Jew hosted the dinner or brought his own food to the
Gentiles house (see Jdt. 12:1-4, 19; Add. Esth. 14:17; Josephus, Life 14; Rom. 14:1-2). During these
meals one would dispense with the prayers and libations of the gentiles (Let. Aris. 184-85) and would

39 Brown, 392
40 Keener, 524
41 Jeremias, 272
42 A. Wright in Green & McDonald, 310
28

often sit at a separate table with distinct foods (Jos. Asen. 7.1). The same author describes the
setting up of walls between the Jews and gentiles due to the religious distinctions.43

For Chiltons view of this point in redemptive history: The inevitable question emerged: did the
acceptance of non-Jews imply their full fellowship of Jewish believers? In their response to that
question, Peter, James, and Paul went their separate ways. Paul reports favorably on the practice in
Antioch before emissaries from James came, when meals could be conducted with common
fellowship among Jewish and non-Jewish followers of Jesus (see Gal. 2:12).44

7.3. Evaluate the significance or this background data for the understanding of
your text. Here be very conscious of the kind of background information dealt with, the
date, locality, and diversities in the data, and any other factors which would qualify or limit
the significance of the data. Be extremely cautious before asserting literary dependence.

The background data concerning various ethnic boundaries between Jew and Gentile is very relevant
to 2:15-21. Unfortunately the significance is not necessarily what all of the commentators say it is. For
them, the legitimacy of our definitions of who is in and out is of paramount concern. We have
been seeing that this is not Pauls primary concern. To be sure, ecclesiological definition, church
unity, and racial-ethnic animus, is all in play. However all of these are eectsnot causes, nor
parallelsto the deeper issue of how one becomes in right standing with God.

STEP 8. BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL CONTEXTS


8.1 How does your passage compare to other passages in Scripture which address
similar issues? (Fee, 31-32)

First, how does justification precede the Jew / Gentile separation? The biblical answer is that it
is because we are alienated from God that we are alienated from each other. Ephesians 2:11-20 is a
crucial text in this regard. And it is Pauline. He speaks of reconciling into one body the two dierent
people groups. A few clues emerge that the alienation from God is primarily and the root cause of
the alienation between Jew and Gentile: 1. separation from the commonwealth of Israel is equated
to being separated from Christ and without God in the world (v. 12); 2. the Gentiles who are
reconciled are told they have been brought near by the blood of Christ (v. 13); 3. when it speaks of
Christ himself being our peace, he says that he has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of
hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances (vv. 14-15). In other words,
the thing separating Jew and Gentile was the legal demand. Only if we reduce this to the ceremonial

43 A. Wright, 315
44 Chilton in Evans & Porter, 880
29

law can we still maintain the NPP thesis. Otherwise it is the separation between all sinners and God
that creates the separation from Jew and Gentile. Prior to the Jerusalem Council, Paul was speaking
with a group that included God-fearers (cf. Acts 13:16). He tells them that, through this man
forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything
from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses (vv. 38-39). In other words the law could not
free either Jew or Gentile from something that preceded the law of Moses.

Second, how does Paul understand faith in contrast to works of the law? This question is
addressing all of Pauls letters. The collection of texts on works of the law (6.4.4) is sucient to
show how Paul typically uses that phrase. It is important to note that faith is not contrasted to
works because one is something we do and the other not. Faith is also something we do. We believe.
But, Paul says, the law is not of faith (Gal. 3:12). What does this mean? He tells us in yet one more
contrast in that verse: rather, The one who does them shall live by them. This may seem odd
because we are not antinomians. Neither was Paul. If our faith is also an action, and if we ought to
do works in faith (cf. Eph. 2:10, Rom. 14:23), then why this contrast? A great illustration is given by
Paul elsewhere, where he says,

Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one
who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as
righteousness (Rom. 4:4-5).

Surely Paul is not denying that the man of faith does things, nor that the man of works believes
things! The dierence can be seen in Pauls analogy. The one who comes to God through works of
the law is coming an employee would come to an employer. What he receives he expects on the
ground of his own performance. Not so with the man of faith.

Third, how does Paul understand the laws function to put to death the one under law?
Remember that this is what Paul is saying in 2:19. The first thing that happens is that the law reveals
sin (cf. Rom. 7:7). This is Pauls basic meaning in saying Now the law came in to increase the
tresspass (Rom. 5:20). He is not saying that the law is doing anything sinful! It is not tempting man
to sin. Where it provokes the sinful nature, it is only aggravating pride that is already latent. Now,
second, once sin comes alive, and the moral man decides to do something about it, he is crushed
under the weight of Gods law. As the standard shows itself to be higher, the depths of sin is revealed
to be darker. In saying through the law, I died to the law, he is arguing that it is precisely something
about the design of the law to kill him in this way. The law is supposed to, in a sense, kill the man
bound to it, to weight him down, bury him in its infinite legal demands. The letter kills (2 Cor. 3:3).

But once dead, there is a third thing to see. If the law has done its devastation, then by the Spirit we
are awakened to our need for the Savior. So this is wrapped up in what became known as the
evangelical use of the law. For instance when Paul says that Christ is the end of the law for those
that believe (Rom. 10:4), it is related to Galatians 3:19Why then the law? It was added because of
30

transgressions, until the ospring should come to whom the promise had been made. So the law
does not lead us to Christ in some nebulous way, nor is Pauls statement simply about phases in
redemptive history. It also has application to the laws design on every single one of the elect.

A final thing to see is that, having died to the law, one is no longer under its weight. This is not to say
that the Christian is lawless. There are other uses of the law. But on the other hand there is a death
of the old man that frees the man of faith. Paul says, that the law is binding on a person only as long
as he lives and you also have died to the law ithrough the body of Christ, so that you may belong to
another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God (Rom.
7:2, 4). That brings us to the last theological piece in this passage.

Fourth, how does Paul understand the believers union with Christ to be an eternal act with
present effects? The passage ends with Paul being crucified with Christ (v. 20) and yet living by
faith in the Son of God (v. 20). Romans 6 may be the clearest extended passage. There Paul says,

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into
his death? 4We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as
Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of
life. 5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united
with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him in
order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be
enslaved to sin. 7For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8Now if we have died
with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised
from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10For the death
he died he died to sin, eonce for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11So you also must
consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (6:3-11).

How does this parallel Galatians 2:20-21? In both passages the idea that holds together the believers
death with Christ and new life with Christ is the doctrine of our union with Christ. So there is an
eternal accomplishment of the Son of God that burries our old man of sin in his death and that
raises up our new manour regeneration being inside of the power of his resurrection. So in another
passage of Paul: even when we were dead in our trespasses, [God] made us alive together with
Christby grace you have been savedand raised us up with him and seated us with him in the
heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:5-6, cf. Col. 3:1). And it is not only Paul, but Peter, who says,
he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the
dead (1 Pet. 1:3).

8.2. What would be lost or how would the message of the Bible be less complete if
your passage did not exist?
31

In one sense, not all would be lost apart from Galatians 2:15-21. The equality of Jew and Gentile can
be seen in Acts 15, Ephesians 2, Romans 2 and 11, and other portions of this letter, just to name a few
places. Justification by faith alone, apart from works of the law, would still be prominent in Romans 3
and 4, Philippians 3, and the parable of the tax collector and sinner in Luke 18. And having faith
precisely in the Son of God, though worded dierently elsewhere, is nevertheless pervasive. Being
united to Christ both in his death and his resurrection is taught in Romans 6 and Colossians 3, for
example.

On the other other hand, since All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable (2 Tim. 3:16), we
must infer that there is something very unique here as well.

There is a link between the substitution of Christ on our behalf and justification by faith alone. Of
course one can get this in Romans 3:21-28, but there is a more intense contrast here in Galatians
2:15-21 between relying on works of the law as opposed to relying on what Christ has done for us.
There are certainly clearer passages on the substitutionary atonement and on our being raised with
Christ. But what is unique about this passage is that Paul uses this inclusion into Christs death and
new life as an exclamation point on the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Since Reformed
theology is often attacked for compartmentalizing sola fide, it seems to me that we could do a better
job drawing forth the connection that Paul makes here in a very short space.

8.3. What is the theological importance of your passage?

The doctrine of justification by faith alone is explicitly up for debate here. On an implicit level, the
doctrine of the substitutionary atonement of Christ and the relationship between law and gospel are
also in play. All of the doctrinal controversy have wide ranging pastoral implications. Assurance of
salvation, legalism, and church unity follow from our exegetical conclusions.

See below (9.2) for another theological importanceone which goes better with the section on
scholars who take a dierent approach than my own.

My focus has tended to be on the meaning of the works of the law and whether Paul was speaking
of the believers faith in Christ or Christs faithfulness. Some allow the Christ faith. But if we agree
that this is indeed the believers faith, it has not been established just what is the nature of that faith.
Part of the reason for that is that faith is usually considered to be very simple, and this is an
academic paper. However we might want to consider whether or not this is part of the problem for
many of the scholars involved. In what sense would we be believing in Jesus if it is not our faith
that is the instrument God uses to declare us righteous and forgive us of our sins.

STEP 9. ACCUMULATE A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SECONDARY SOURCES AND


READ WIDELY.
32

9.1. Find at least 10 commentaries, books or journal articles which deal with your
passage and read the contributions of other scholars. List the sources here (for
commentaries you may simply give the names of the commentators; for others please give
complete bibliographical information).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Aland, Kurt and Barbara Aland. The Text of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans
Publishing Co., 1989

Aquinas, Thomas. Commentary of Saint Pauls Epistle to the Galatians. Albany, NY: Magi Books, 1966

BDAG, A Greek Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, Third Ed. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 2000

Brown, Colin, ed., The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. Grand Rapids, MI:
Zondervan Publishing House, 1980

Bruce, F. F. The Epistle to the Galatians. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1982

Calvin, John. Calvins Commentaries, Vol. XXI. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1979

Carlson, Stephen C. The Text of Galatians and its History. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum
Neuen Testament, 2. Reihe, 2015

Carson, D. A. & Douglas J. Moo, An Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI:
Zondervan, 2005

Carson, D. A., Peter T. OBrien, & Mark A. Seifrid. Justification & Variegated Nomism, Volume 1. Grand
Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001

Cole, R. Alan. Galatians: an Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press,
1989

Evans, Craig A. & Stanley E. Porter, ed. Dictionary of New Testament Background. Downers Grove, IL:
InterVarsity Press, 2000

Fee, Gordon. New Testament Exegesis, 3rd ed. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002

Green, Joel & Lee Martin McDonald, ed. The World of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker
Books, 2013
33

Henry, Matthew. Commentary on the Whole Bible. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishing, 1991

Jeremias, Joachim. Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1969

Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993

Kittel, Gerhard. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Volume II. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans
Publishing Co., 1964

Longenecker, Richard N. Galatians: Word Biblical Commentary. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1990

Luther, Martin. Galatians. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1998

Machen, J. Gresham. Notes on Galatians. Birmingham, AL: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2006

Marshall, I. Howard. New Testament Theology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004

Montanari, Franco. The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek. Leiden: Brill, 2015

Moo, Douglas J. Galatians. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013

Ridderbos, Herman. The Epistle of Paul to the Churches of Galatia. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans
Publishing Co., 1953

Ryken, Philip Graham. Galatians: Reformed Expository Commentary. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian &
Reformed Publishing, 2005

Silva, Moises. Interpreting Galatians: Explorations in Exegetical Method. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker
Academic, 2001

Stott, John. The Message of Galatians. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986

Tenney, Merrill C. New Testament Survey. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1985

Waters, Guy Prentiss. Justification and the New Perspectives on Paul. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian &
Reformed Publishing, 2004

Wright, N. T. Justification: Gods Plan & Pauls Vision. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009
34

9. 2. What are some of the most significant dierences (presuppositional,


theological, hermeneutical, etc.) between your approach and that of some authors you have
read?

The starkest of all dierences in approach would between myself and proponents of the New
Perspective on Paul.

As we have seen, the phrase works of the law is recast by Wright to mean only ethnic
distinctives. What follows in his thesis is that to be justified is equivalent to being declared to be
a member of the covenant community. In the flow of 2:15, says Wright, Paul is talking about ethnic
identity, and about the practices that go with that. And he is about to show that in the gospel this
ethnic identity is dismantled, so that a new identity may be constructed, in which the things that
separated Jew from Gentile no longer matter.45

There is nuance among NPP advocates: Sanders sees Pauline justification language as a transfer
term, thereby eective a break from its predominant uses in Judaism. Dunn sees the language of
justification as an acknowledgment or declaration that one is already in the community of the saved,
thereby establishing continuity with the use of this term in Judaism.46

Another importance (cf. 8.3) of this passage is in closing loopholes in certain improper
hermeneutical methods. It is customary when discussing Pauls meaning about this or that
controversial issue to meet the response that is expressed in this way: No, I am not saying that I
disagree with that doctrine. I am only saying that this isnt Pauls point here. Since doctrines are
essentially systematic things, a collection of inferences much broader than the ink patterns of any
particular text, it is convenient to define a doctrine right out of biblical existence by saying this. No,
not that text either, and so forth, until finally there are no supporting texts left.

This, I believe, is what is at stake in Galatians 2:16 especially. Some scholars will insist that they are
not attacking the doctrine of justification by faith alone. But they are motivated by eliminating the
actual textual sources.

9.3. State a few places where you will use other scholars work to SUPPORT your
conclusions, indicating some quotations from them worthy of citing in your paper. (On
quotation and notes, review Fee, 33-35).

To be perfectly honest, most of the commentaries used were from a Reformed, or at least
Evangelical perspective. However most of the other secondary literature was not. Of those

45 Wright, 115-116
46 Waters, 104
35

supporting the old perspective on Paul, it could be said that F. F. Bruce has made the strongest
case against this new view. That is impressive considering that the NPP has really come into its own
well after Bruce wrote. He understood justification to be Gods unilateral legal declaration, whereby
God accepts a sinner: forgiving sins and considering righteous: set right with God, pardoned, and
accepted by him.47

In arguing against the subjective genitive of 2:16, Bruce himself also cites Moule, Murray, Barr, and
Cranfield as showing that view to be altogether unconvincing.48 Time and space prohibit me from
exploring those citations further.

Even Thomas Aquinas was closer to the doctrine of the later Reformers than the present advocates
of the NPP. In measuring the clear words of Paul here in Galatians against where Paul says to the
Romans, For not the hearers of the law are just before God; but the doers of the law shall be
justified, Thomas answers by saying, that to be justified can be taken in two senses, namely, doing
what is just, and being made just. But no one is made just save by God through grace.49 In this way
Aquinas was recognizing the distinction between a judicial justification and an evidential
justification.

9.4. State a few places where significant dierences between you and some
scholar(s) demand that you deal with their views in your paper and show why they are wrong
(see Fee, 33). (You need not write your full refutation here.)

There is no close second here2:16 is the crux. The view of Wright and others that this controversy
is essentially about who has the right to number themselves among the people of God. This is not a
tertiary issue. This is not a parallel idea. This is diametrically opposed to the Reformed doctrine,
and, I would say, the biblical doctrine. My refutation is scattered throughout this paper. As a matter
of cultural background and heremeneutical approach, it has already been shown by Piper,
Westerholm, Waters, and Carson, OBrien, and Seifrid, that the NPP has radically misunderstood
the relationship between Second Temple Judaism and Pauls argument.

Although this paper takes exceptions to the interpretations of others on 2:18 and 2:20, it does not
seem to me that major doctrinal error would arise if the opposite position were proven to be correct.

YOU ARE NOW READY TO WRITE THE PAPER (or sermon)!


(Note Fees suggestions 35-37 and other specifications given by instructor.)

47 Bruce, 138
48 Bruce, 139
49 Aquinas, 54