Richard Hays on Lou Martyn’s Galatians Commentary

For our Galatians course this fall, we’ll be reading and critically engaging Lou Martyn’s landmark commentary.  I’m looking forward to some lively discussions and new discoveries as we work through it together.

Here’s what Richard Hays had to say about Martyn’s work:

In sum, Lou Martyn has written what I take to be the most profound and powerful biblical commentary since Karl Barth’s Römerbrief. It will demand, and richly repay, repeated readings and wrestlings with its subject matter. It will demand the sustained attention of all who care about the historical interpretation of Paul’s career and thought; equally, it will demand the sustained attention of all who care about the integrity of Christian proclamation, as well as those who labor in serious Jewish-Christian dialogue.

At the end of the preface to the English edition of his paradigm-shattering commentary, Barth asks whom his book should serve. Here is his reply: “No doubt it should be of service to those who read it. But, primarily, and above all else, it must serve that other Book where Jesus Christ is present in his church. Theology is ministerium verbi divini. It is nothing more nor less” (The Epistle to the Romans [London: Oxford University Press, 1933]). In that sense, Martyn has given us a true and rare work of theology, nothing more nor less, the fruit of waiting faithfully on the word for many years, listening.

*See Hays’s full review, along with several others, here.

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