UPDATE May 6, 2009 to reflect Dr. Nanos’ posted comment.
Review of Biblical Literature has posted a second review of Hardin’s book, this time by Mark D. Nanos. Nanos is not convinced that the problems in Galatia are related to the Imperial Cult in quite the way that Hardin proposes and he takes Hardin to task for combining two issues. Hardin remains within the “churches-separate-from-the-Jewish-communities paradigm” while postulating that non-Christian Jews are opposed to Christian Gentiles refusing to become proselytes due to fear of Roman persecution falling on their community. This leaves us with the illogical conclusion that Jews and Jewish communities would be worried about the separate Gentile church communities being a threat to them. This would perhaps be akin to Han Chinese Buddhists worrying about being persecuted because Tibetan Buddhists are rioting.
Justin K. Hardin, Galatians and the Imperial Cult: A Critical Analysis of the First-Century Social Context of Paul’s Letter. (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 2/237) Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008. xiv + 190. 3161495632, 9783161495632.