Summary Galatians Chapter 3:11-20

This next section brings us back into the content of the text a bit more.

  • We run right into a quote from Habakkuk, who claimed that justification was by faith before Paul. This leads to the question of when Habakkuk lived; I am extremely skeptical that he lived anywhere near the time he was writing about, which was before the Babylonian Captivity. There are commentaries on his book among the Dead Sea Scrolls, so he lived sometime before Paul, and Jesus, but taking him back any further than the third century BCE seems highly dubious. The point is open to contention, but this sort of assumption that Biblical authors only wrote about contemporary events is a serious failing of much of biblical scholarship. It is this sort of thinking that we are trying to get past. However, the topic is really only peripheral to our primary concern.
  • Leviticus: works of faith?
  • A very long discussion on a word that Paul may have coined. Or, he may have gotten it from contemporary use. The point is, this is the oldest cite of this word that we have, so pretending that we know what it means is really kind of silly. Liddell & Scott have two semi-contrasting meanings. This is truly a case where one’s translation has a major impact on the theology of the passage.
  • Paul ties his (Habakkuk’s?) concept of justification by faith to Abraham. This helps Paul build his case that the coming of the Christ was planned by God from the very beginning of his covenant with Israel.
  • Paul splits hairs with his seed/seeds of Abraham.
  • Note several instances where the modern translations tend to become slightly disconnected to the original.

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 13, 2012, in epistles, Galatians, Paul's Letters, Summary and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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