4. Paul and the Galatian Believers

  1. Stephen Westerholm
  1. Stephen Chester

Published Online: 20 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444395778.ch4

The Blackwell Companion to Paul

The Blackwell Companion to Paul

How to Cite

Chester, S. (2011) Paul and the Galatian Believers, in The Blackwell Companion to Paul (ed S. Westerholm), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444395778.ch4

Editor Information

  1. McMaster University, Canada

Author Information

  1. North Park Theological Seminary, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: 29 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405188449

Online ISBN: 9781444395778



  • Paul and the Galatian Believers;
  • reconstructing the Galatian Crisis - more influential texts in human history than Galatians;
  • Paul's attempts, in defining the relationship - between the Galatian believers and Judaism;
  • engaging Paul's text - debates, over the reconstruction of the Galatian crisis;
  • Galatians 1:1–2:21, rebuking the Galatians - and setting the record straight;
  • Key Text, Galatians 2:16, the verse being a storm center of debate between “Lutheran” and “New Perspective” interpreters;
  • majority of Pauline scholars - currently favoring “New Perspective” positions;
  • rhetorical structure of Paul' s argument - from this point on, being much debated;
  • Paul's assertion that law and promise - ultimately complement one another in God's purposes;
  • Galatians and Israel's past - Paul's reflections on Galatian believers' experiences, issues, cutting across the divide between “Lutheran” and “New Perspective” interpreters


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Reconstructing the Galatian Crisis

  • Engaging Paul's Text

  • Galatians 1:1–2:21: Rebuking the Galatians and Setting the Record Straight

  • Key Text: Galatians 2:16

  • Galatians 3:1–4:7: The Galatian Believers' Experience and Scripture (1)

  • Galatians 4:8–5:1: The Galatian Believers' Experience and Scripture (2)

  • Key Issue: Galatians and Israel's Past

  • Key Consensus: The Place of Galatians 5 and 6

  • Galatians 5:2–6:10: The Galatian Believers' Decision and their Common Life

  • Galatians 6:11–18: Cross and New Creation

  • References