This year is Galatianspalooza for me.  I’m teaching Paul’s letter over the summer and again in the fall, and I’ll be attending the conference on Galatians and Christian Theology in St. Andrews in July.

I’m thinking of revising a previously-taught course for the fall.  In addition to exercises in working through the text itself, I plan to use the following books as course texts:

I may go with only one of the above commentaries and add another recent work on Galatians, such as Susan Eastman’s, Recovering Paul’s Mother Tongue: Language and Theology in Galatians.

I’ll be employing a number of other readings, too, on interpretive issues related to apocalyptic, pistis Christou, and “works of Law.”

But I’m just wondering, have you taken or taught a course on Galatians and found any resources especially useful?

12 thoughts on “Galatianspalooza!

  1. Jeff Lash

    I took this class online with Dr. Rapa the semester before his passing. I liked The Galatians Debate because it covered several different interpretive issues and raised some good questions for me. I thought that the book by Richard Hays and his thesis about an underlying narrative in Galatians 3-4 was very interesting but it might be a bit technical for many of the students in those classes. Though I liked Silva’s book, I think that his material could be redundant in light of the Hermeneutics class. It’s helpful but it may be a better use of your time to go with something a little different. I really liked the The Faith of Jesus Christ by Sprinkle and Bird. For the pistis Christou debate, it laid out the various views with clarity. You could probably just assign a few of the articles from that book and put them on Odyssey or on reserve.

    I have been wanting to read Longenecker’s book. I wish it had been assigned when I took that class.

  2. Allen Browne

    Studied Gal last year, Tim. Longenecker is good (used his WBC volume).

    I found Dunn’s commentary very useful. For specific parts, Silva was interesting. And for the rhetorical structure aspects, Witherington was ok. Thats:
    – Dunn, James D. G. “Black’s New Testament Commentary: The Epistle to the Galatians.” London: Continuum, 1993.
    – Silva, Moisés. “Interpreting Galatians: Explorations in Exegetical Method.” 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001.
    – Witherington III, Ben. “Grace in Galatia: A Commentary on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians.” Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998

  3. S Wu

    Recently I came across David A. deSilva’s A Sri Lankan Commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Galatians.

    I haven’t read it in detail. But here is the book description.

    “Reading Scripture with a view to hearing its significance and challenge within its original, foreign context is the essence of exegesis and an anchor point for responsible hermeneutics. Reading Scripture alongside others from a significantly different social location also helps us see fresh aspects of the meaning of the text itself, as well as fresh angles on its challenge to Christian discipleship. This innovative commentary by respected New Testament scholar David deSilva is grounded in both approaches: a careful exegesis of Galatians as a basis for discerning the challenge of Scripture in any social location; and a reading of Galatians from the viewpoint of the challenges to living out its message among the churches in Sri Lanka, the result of extensive interaction with Christian leaders in Sri Lanka. Seeing the text afresh from within its ancient context and a different, modern social location will challenge readers in the West to consider once more Paul’s message of transformation through the Spirit, with implications for Western Christians in their own context and in the larger global matrix of the Church universal.”

    When I did some research on the Spirit in Galatians in the 90s, I found Gordon Fee’s God’s Empowering Presence very useful. I liked Fee’s emphasis on the community.

  4. Ryan M. Mahoney

    I a sure you are aware of Hay’s book on pistis; I found it very helpful. His commentary on Galatians is my favorite Galatians commentary.

  5. S Wu

    Tim, I am sure you are aware of John Barclay’s monograph Obeying the Truth. It’s been a very long time since I read it. But Barclay has emerged to be a solid scholar, and will be presenting a paper at St Andrews at the conference. It’s worth checking it out.

    1. timgombis

      Barclay’s book is brilliant, and I may indeed have to consider it. It’s just difficult to require a monograph for students to read. At the same time, it does cover a sizable chunk of the letter, along with many of Galatians’s theological dynamics.

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