Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The Structure of Galatians: Bipartite Or Tripartite?

 Class prepping this morning at Brig's restaurant. 

Parunak's essay is excellent. Yet I can't agree with his conclusion: Galatians has a bipartite structure rather than a tripartite one. He says the book is about (1) the Messenger (Paul's authority) and (2) the Message (Paul's gospel). 

Based on my own discourse analysis of the letter, I am more inclined to see Paul as dealing with three themes in Galatians, as outlined for us in Gal. 1:1-5: 

These are:

(1) Whose authority to follow?

(2) Which gospel to believe?

(3) What lifestyle to pursue?

These three themes are treated in chapters 1-2, 3-4, and 5-6 respectively. 

In short, the answer to the question of authority is Christ through his word, the answer to the question of salvation is Christ through his cross, and the answer to the question of holiness is Christ through his Spirit

These three themes are "telegraphed" to us by Paul in the letter's first 5 verses (see this). Unique to me? No. But I did arrive at this conclusion only after personal study. 

Not a very profound blog post, but just something that dawned on me.