Mark D. Nanos

in Biblical Studies

ISBN: 9780195393361
Published online September 2010 | | DOI:


Galatians is central to Christian theology and to Christian conceptualizations of Judaism. Paul aggressively combats the notion that non-Jews who turn from idols to the worship of Israel’s God as the one God of all humankind should or even may undertake to become proselyte Jews. Instead, they must remain members from the other nations who live righteously but do so as Christ followers who represent non-Jews (non-Israelites). In this effort to persuade and dissuade, Paul enlists ironic rebuke, narratives of prior experiences, theological lessons from Abraham (the forefather of the faithful), allegory, threats, and admonitions to faithfulness. The autobiographical narratives found here are fundamental to constructions of Paul and Christian origins. Central to Reformation theology, Galatians is now also central to new challenges being mounted to traditional ways of interpreting Paul, such as in the New Perspective on Paul (as well as for critics of the New Perspective), and the Paul within the Judaism perspective. And similarly, Galatians plays a key role in feminist, empire-critical, Jewish-Christian relations, and postcolonial criticism.

Article.  12325 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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