Summary Galatians 4:1-10

Much of this section was taken up with an extended metaphor about how the Law was our tutor while we were spiritual minors.  Then, upon reaching spiritual maturity, faith in Jesus liberated us from the need for a tutor.

Again, a clever metaphor, good rhetoric, and a meaningful message.

The most significant theological issues were the use of the word ‘adoption’, and whether << ἐξαγοράσῃ >> should be translated as ‘redeem’ or simply as ‘purchase’.

Adoption leads us to ask how it was, exactly, that Paul perceived Jesus.  He only very rarely mentions Jesus as a person, the historical Jesus; he’s only concerned with Jesus as the Christ.  When did Paul see Jesus become the Christ?  At birth?  Probably not.  However, this is an argument that needs to be developed from all of Paul’s authentic letters.

And the redeem/purchase question is a matter of some theological subtlety.  In fact, we have to ask if it’s so subtle that there really isn’t a difference.  I believe there is, but admit that this may be due to what came later.  Paul may have chosen–or coined–the word without a lot of thought.

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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 16, 2012, in epistles, Galatians, Paul's Letters, Summary and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I hope people don’t argue for hundreds of years about whether I said something in exactly the same way I meant it. Or was I just using an inside joke?

  2. Well, this is the price one pays for being well-known. People argue about what you said.

    You know, this is how I sense that Economics is not the rigid science that Economists like to fancy it is. Too much time is spent arguing over what Adam Smith, or Keynes, or Hayek said. Scientists don’t argue about what Einstein said; they argue about whether he was right.

    Or have I missed the boat on that?

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