Abraham and the exile in Galatians 3:1--14
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SubjectChurch -- Biblical teaching.
Theology, Doctrinal -- History -- Early church, ca. 30-600.
Worship -- History -- Early church, ca. 30-600.
God -- Worship and love.
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This dissertation examines the thesis that Paul, in Galatians 3:1-14, is making a prophetic statement to the Galatians in which he interprets the story of Israel from Abraham through the Exile to provide an historical example of the fact that entrance into the people of God is gained only through faith in the Messiah, whose death is described in terms of the restoration from the Exile, and that curse of the Exile, that was fundamentally separation from God, awaits those who live by the works of the Law. Chapter 1 examines the place of the Exile in first-century Judaism and the presence of Heilsgeschichte in Galatians. Chapter 2 focuses on developing a brief sketch of Paul's narrative thought world and establishing the hermeneutical method for interpreting Paul's use of Scripture that will be employed in the course of the dissertation. Chapter 3 establishes that Paul understood his encounter with the risen Lord on the Damascus Road, through which he was both converted and called to ministry, in terms of the call of an Old Testament prophet. This reality then provides the basis for the thesis that Paul is arguing in a prophetic manner in Galatians 3:1-14. Chapter 4 demonstrates that the background for Paul's use of the terms euangelion and euangelizomai comes from the Old Testament Scripture and that the good news concerning the eschatological action of God in the death and resurrection of Jesus can be understood in terms of the restoration from the Exile. Chapter 5 then carefully examines Paul's arguments in Galatians 3:1-14 and demonstrates that the apostle theologically interprets Israel's history in order to teach the Galatians that God's ultimate act of eschatological deliverance has taken place in the death of Jesus the Messiah, which he describes in terms of the redemption from the Exile, in fulfillment of the promise of Abraham. Additionally, this interpretation of the history of Israel also serves to warn the Galatian believers of the dangers associated with ordering their lives according to the works of the Law. Chapter 6 summarizes the arguments made and restates the conclusions drawn from the research.