Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters (Fall 2012)

JSPL_logoThe latest Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters (Fall 2012) arrived today. The theme of the issue is Galatians. The Journal opens with two articles on Salvation History in Galatians, Bruce Longenecker, “Salvation History in Galatians and the Making of a Pauline Discourse,” and Jason Maston, “The Nature of Salvation History in Galatians.” Both these articles argue that Paul does in fact have some idea of “salvation history” in Galatians, Matson is especially focused on Martyn’s classic commentary on Galatians and the more recent contribution by Martinus De Boer on the NTL series. De Boer responds to both articles, arguing that “In his letter to the Galatians, Paul has no interest or stake in saying positive things about the law” (114) nor is Paul interested in “articulating a notion or theory of salvation history with respect to the people of the law, Israel” (105).

The issue also contains an article on the Lev19:18 as a Christological witness in Gal 5:14 by Michael Suh. The article argues for an intertextual reading of the verse which “resonates with the larger context of Lev 19” (115). By alluding to the verse and omitting the phrase “I am the Lord,” Paul is able to claim that Jesus is the Lord of Lev 19:18.

Todd Still contributes a short article on Galatians as an apocalyptic story, combining the apocalyptic reading of Galatians found in Martyn’s 1997 commentary with the narrative substructure approach found in Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ. All apocalyptic literature asks., “what time is it,” Paul’s answer in galatians is that it is time to start living out the Gospel. Still comments that Paul is “gob-smacked that the Galatians, who have been baptized into and had ut on Christ (3:27), would even contemplate, much less commit, to living in a B.C. way in an A.D. day” (141).

Joel Willitts interacts with the proposal of Matthew Novenson that the word “Christ” in Galatians ought to be understood as Messiah (“Davidic Messiahship in Galatians: Clearing the Decks for a Study of the Theme in Galatians.”) After reviewing Novenson’s Christ Among the Messiahs (Oxford, 2012), Willitts attempts to clarify and extend Novenson’s argument, testing the proposal in an exegetical study of Gal 1:1-4. “When we read Galatians with Davidic eyes,” says Willitts, “Gal 1:1-4 brims with Davidic elements” (160). Novenson briefly responds to Willitts in the following article, although the two are largely in agreement.

The journal includes a summary of Stephen Carlson’s dissertation on the Txt of Galatians and a review article of two recent Galatians commentaries (Martinus de Boer and Thomas Schreiner), by Peter Oakes and Roy Ciampa.

If you have not subscribed to Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters, you are missing out on a wealth of quality scholarship. This issue contained seven serious articles on Galatians, 184 pages in all. If this was a volume of essays published by Brill it would cost ten times as much.

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