Summary Galatians 3:1-10

In Galatians 3:1-10, a lot of time was spent discussing the Greek. In some ways, this may seem pedantic; anyone familiar with “Life of Brian”, the scene when the Roman soldier teaches Brian his Latin grammar, can, perhaps, appreciate this. However, the actual meaning of the “original”* Greek can be important. Even if scholars and translators have come to a general agreement that certain passages should be taken a certain way in cases where the Greek version is not exactly clear, is sort of the point of this exercise. The idea is to find out if we can trust a lot of translations or not. Remember, the choice of the word(s) used often has a huge impact on how the theology and implications ultimately work. The great example of this, IMO, is the Latin use of ‘gratia’, which became our ‘grace.’ That ‘gratia’ includes the sense of ‘free’ had a huge impact on the development of the concept of ‘grace’. Augustine had a big role in this, and Augustine did not read Greek. He was working from a Latin translation.

*”original” in quotes because there is no one, single source of The Greek NT. There are numerous textual traditions, not all of them agreeing with each other/

In addition, we came across these topics:

    • The existence of another gospel, or another set of teachings.
    • The distinction between flesh and spirit; is the concept ultimately Greek? Had it penetrated into Judaic thinking?
    • This is very important: the beginning of Paul’s case that faith in Jesus the Christ is what matters, not following the Jewish law
    • Concept of “justification”. This will become a very significant theme.
    • The covenant with Abraham extends also to the Gentiles
    • If one follows Jewish Law, one must follow all of it. Therefore, none of it is valid (?). How does this square with Matthew

About James, brother of Jesus

I have a BA from the University of Toronto in Greek and Roman History. For this, I had to learn classical Greek and Latin. In seminar-style classes, we discussed both the meaning of the text and the language. U of T has a great Classics Dept. One of the professors I took a Senior Seminar with is now at Harvard. I started reading the New Testament as a way to brush up on my Greek, and the process grew into this. I plan to comment on as much of the NT as possible, starting with some of Paul's letters. After that, I'll start in on the Gospels, starting with Mark.

Posted on October 11, 2012, in epistles, Galatians, Paul's Letters, Summary and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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