The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians is sometimes neglected on account of its more famous cousin, Paul’s letter to the Romans. Yet Paul’s intensely passionate and controversial personality comes out far more clearly in the earlier Galatian letter than it does in the more measured and diplomatic Roman letter. In Galatians, Paul is surprised, disturbed, and angry. He is lashing out at Christian leaders whose behavior he regards as a betrayal of the radical message of Jesus. In this course, we will examine the text of Galatians and discuss the various historical, hermeneutical, theological, and social issues that it raises. We will also explore the contemporary relevance of Paul’s letter, particularly its insistence that the gospel must be embodied in diverse, inclusive communities.
- Know the basic outline of Galatians;
- Be familiar with contemporary scholarship as regards Galatians;
- Know the main theological and ethical teachings of Galatians;
- Better understand how Greek grammar enables the creation of coherent Greek texts (NT 2G03);
- Assume a receptive and diligent posture towards the Bible;
- Become self-aware as a modern reader of the Bible, recognizing both the antiquity of the texts and the various ways in which contemporary life influences our understanding of it;
- Dispense with over-confidence (or lack of confidence) concerning knowledge of the Bible, adopting instead an attitude of life-long learning;
- Have the ability to quickly locate reliable scholarly resources that discuss a particular NT passage;
- Have the ability to ask key questions in order to explore the meaning of a text;
- Have the ability to reflect canonically, theologically, and contextually so as to explore how people can/should understand the New Testament today;
- Have the ability to exegete a Greek text in a way that responsibly relates its grammar to all of the other things that are significant for interpretation (NT 2G03).