Interpreting Galatians: Explorations in Exegetical Method

Overview

"New Testament scholars are confronted by many and diverse approaches to the text-linguistic, literary, historical, and theological. All too often such methods are uncritically or separately applied. In this well-written yet detailed book, Silva introduces the ways in which these approaches should be harnessed for our understanding of what the biblical authors intended. We are given hands-on experience with examples taken from Galatians. Readers are encouraged to apply his insights and critical judgments to other New Testament texts. Silva's
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Overview

"New Testament scholars are confronted by many and diverse approaches to the text-linguistic, literary, historical, and theological. All too often such methods are uncritically or separately applied. In this well-written yet detailed book, Silva introduces the ways in which these approaches should be harnessed for our understanding of what the biblical authors intended. We are given hands-on experience with examples taken from Galatians. Readers are encouraged to apply his insights and critical judgments to other New Testament texts. Silva's timely book will help students and pastors. It is warmly welcomed."
-J. K. Elliott, University of Leeds

"This volume is packed with information seasoned with sound advice. 'Exegetical method' carries a very wide sense-not just instructions on word study and sentence diagramming, but 'explorations' into mirror reading, linguistic theory, discourse analysis, and history of interpretation. Silva's survey maintains the big picture but avoids oversimplifications and abstraction by concentrating on Galatians as a test case. Take up and read-you'll learn a lot about Galatians, and much else too."
-Robert H. Gundry, Westmont College

"Silva has mastered the literature on Galatians from Aquinas to Zuntz and offers wisdom from his years of research that the scholar will find invaluable. Students will also breathe a sigh of relief over his clear style and unpretentious, often humorous, approach to the subject. Both scholar and student will benefit from the example of erudition and humility characteristic of everything Silva writes."
-Frank Thielman, Beeson Divinity School

"Many books are written today on how to do exegesis, and yet students are often frustrated by their abstract character. Silva's work is distinctive, for he shows how to interpret the text by using Galatians as a case study. He offers sage advice on interpretive philosophy, textual criticism, Greek syntax, historical background, Pauline theology, and more! I learned much from this wise book, and I commend it enthusiastically to others."
-Thomas R. Schreiner, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Moisés Silva (Ph.D., University of Manchester) has taught New Testament at Westmont College, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801023057
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/2001
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,436,737
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Moisés Silva (Ph.D., University of Manchester) has taught New Testament at Westmont College, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
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Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition 9
Preface to the First Edition 11
List of Abbreviations 14
Introduction: Lessons from the History of Exegesis 15
Original Meaning versus Contextualization 18
Argumentation 26
Part 1 Language and Literature 41
1. Text 43
2. Vocabulary 51
Semantic Distinctions 52
Semantic Ambiguity 57
3. Syntax 63
Genitives and All That 64
Verbal Tense and Aspect 68
4. Discourse and Literary Structure 81
Paul's Use of Conjunctions 82
The Semantics of Discourse Structure 87
Literary Analysis 90
Part 2 History 101
5. The Task of Reconstruction 103
Mirror Reading 104
Sociological Perspectives 108
6. Acts and Galatians 113
Baur's Answer 115
Presuppositions 117
Lightfoot versus Tubingen 121
Conclusion 125
7. The Date of Galatians 129
Clarifying the Debate 129
Assessing the Evidence 132
Understanding Paul's Argument 136
Postscript 138
Part 3 Pauline Theology 141
8. The Distinctiveness of Paul's Message 143
Was Paul Coherent? 143
Was Paul's Gospel Different from Peter's? 150
9. Paul and His Bible 159
General Considerations 161
Habakkuk 2:4 165
10. Eschatology in Galatians 169
11. The Function of the Law 187
Galatians 3:21 187
Galatians 3:18 189
Galatians 3:12 192
Epilogue: Reader and Relevance 197
Practical Theology and Contextualization 199
Exegesis and Systematic Theology 204
And Where Is the Holy Spirit in All This? 210
Appendix Paul's Use of Scripture: Interpreting Galatians 3:6-14 217
The Structure of the Passage 218
Light from Paul's Hermeneutical Milieu 222
"As Many as Are of the Works of the Law" 226
The Riddle of Galatians 3:10 229
Justification and Faith 232
Conclusion 234
Selected Bibliography 237
Name Index 245
Subject Index 249
Scripture Index 253
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