Category Archives: Dissertation

Narrative Rhetoric of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians

I was recently re-reading some old comments on my post about rhetoric in Galatians and noticed that Richard Adams had mentioned he was writing his dissertation on that topic. A quick Google search confirmed that he finished it and graduated in 2012. What’s more it is available online from Emory. Here is the citation:

Adams, Richard Manly. “The Israel of God”: The Narrative Rhetoric of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. PhD; Emory, 2012.

Dr. Adams is now a librarian at his alma mater so congratulations to him on his new job as well.

Congratulations to Dr. Stephen Carlson

Stephen Carlson has successfully defended his dissertation on Galatians and now must be addressed as Dr. Carlson, I presume. It is titled “The Text of Galatians and Its History” and you can read the abstract over on his blog: You may remember that I posted a number of links to his blog listing errata related to the collation of Galatians’ manuscripts. Hopefully his dissertation will be available soon on DukeSpace

P.S. I’m sorry about all the hyperlinks being posted like this but WordPress hasn’t been working properly for me for several months and I don’t have time to figure out why. I can’t add tags either so it’s rather annoying.

Two more additions to EThOS

EThOS has now added the pdf files for two more dissertations on Galatians:

Yon-Gyong Kwon, Eschatology in Galatians. PhD; University of London, 2000.

Boon-Leong Oh, The Social and Religious Setting of Galatians. PhD; University of London, 2001.

Both dissertations were supervised by the late Graham Stanton, even after his move to Cambridge. Douglas Campbell served as second reader and prime helper after Stanton’s move.

Matthew S. Harmon, She Must and Shall Go Free

Those who are interested in the use of the Old Testament in the New will want to save their pennies so they can buy Harmon’s book to be released March, 2010. It will take a lot of pennies, so start saving now! You can read the abstract on the publisher’s website. Not surprisingly, this is his PhD dissertation which he produced under Douglas Moo at Wheaton College in 2006. He is currently teaching at Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. He’s a fellow blogger so may I say congratulations on having your dissertation published. That’s the end result of a long process.

Harmon, Matthew S. She Must and Shall Go Free: Paul’s Isaianic Gospel in Galatians. (Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der älteren Kirche, 168) Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. 2010. $140. 3110221756, 9783110221756.

Jason Meyer on Galatians 3:10

Jason Meyer began a four part series today discussing “Galatians 3:10 and the ‘Works of the Law’ (ex ergōn nomou).” He introduces it as a slightly revised version of a discussion in his forthcoming book: The End of the Law: Mosaic Covenant in Pauline Theology. Nashville: B & H Academic, 2009. 080544842X, 9780805448429.

The first post is concerned with the meaning of “from the works of the law” (ex ergōn nomou eisin). He argues that it should be taken in a purely descriptive way; i.e. as “works demanded by the law.” In this he positions himself within the stream of Douglas Moo and Moises Silva. I will be interested to see where he takes this series in the next three sections.

June 5 The second post looks at the inferences of his conclusion about the interpretation “works demanded by the law.” According to this conclusion 3:10 should be translated as “for as many as are ‘of the works commanded by the law’ are under a curse.” The natural question is “why does a curse come to those who are of the works of the law?” This post looks at some of the ways in which scholars have dealt with the logic of 3:10. He promises that the next post will look at how to asses the various answers to the logic of 3:10.

June 7 Meyer’s third post claims that “Neither the traditional nor the redemptive-historical view goes far enough in its analysis of the law. The problem with the Law is three-fold: (1) anthropology, (2) ontology, and (3) chronology.” He then looks at the first two of these issues. He concludes with charting the law/flesh and faith/spirit contrast, concluding, “The joining of the Law and flesh highlights the two problems we have been discussing. The Law (though good and spiritual) does not have the power (ontological problem) to overcome the flesh (anthropological problem).”

June 8 Meyer completed his series on Galatians 3:10 today by discussing whether or not Paul implied that the Law requires perfect obedience. Not surprisingly, Meyer disagrees with Sanders and others of the NPP persuasion. He ends by hoping that this discussion will continue in the blogosphere.

Meyer seems to be solidly Baptist; currently assistant professor of Religion (New Testament and Greek) at Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana and holding degrees from Oklahoma Wesleyan University (BS) and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv, PhD). His PhD was earned under Tom Schreiner and his dissertation is being published later this year as the book mentioned above.

Update on EThOS

It took more than ten days but EThOS today posted the first of the dissertations I requested. The following is now available for download.

Gilthvedt, Gary Earl. Dying ‘Through the Law to the Law’ (Gal 2.19). PhD; University of St Andrews, 1989.

This study focuses on Galatians 2:19, “For I through the law died unto the law, that I might live unto God,” as the juxtaposition of law and cross in Paul’s thinking. The law and the cross represent the “before and after” of Paul’s life. He concludes that the law brings death and that Paul viewed faith in Christ as the only “life-bringer.”


With reference to 3:19 he says, “[Paul] means that the law was added to the human situation for a purpose different from that of the promise” (235). His abstract stated that the law killed Christ so doesn’t that mean that the law was required for the promise to be fulfilled?

Concerning the issue of a mediator (Moses) and angels giving the law he says “Paul’s point seems not so much to be that of disparaging the origin of law by denying divine authorship, but rather to contrast its inferior nature to the direct gift and revelation of gospel-promise” (240).
The irony of this is that the gospel-promise is meditated to us through the NT authors. Is the gospel any more direct for us than the law was for first century Jews? They had Moses and messengers, we have the apostles and the thousands of scribes who copied out the manuscripts and the messengers who delivered it.

More Galatians dissertations

Thanks to Rod Decker’s NT Resources blog I discovered the British Library EThOS today. There are 17 dissertations listed for Galatians but only one of them is currently available for download. Two are marked as such but Kok’s is actually not. BUT never fear, I’m here. I requested the digitisation of a further six which should be available in 10 days. The service is free as long as the dissertation is already digitised or the institution has funding to do it. They are provided in pdf format and Culvert’s is quite high quality so I am looking forward to receiving the rest. The documents are limited to personal use only and cannot be shared with anyone, but given that they are free downloads I don’t see that as a hindrance – go get ’em!

Available immediately is:
Calvert, Nancy Lynn. Abraham Traditions in Middle Jewish Literature: Implications for the Interpretation of Galatians and Romans. PhD; University of Sheffield, 1993.

Available in approximately ten days are:

Han, Kyuseok. Pauline Soteriology in Galatians with Special Reference to ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ. PhD; University of Birmingham, 2007.

Ciampa, Roy E.What Does the Scripture Say?: An Analysis of the Presence and Function of Scripture in Galatians 1-2. PhD; University of Aberdeen, 1996.

Gilthvedt, Gary Earl. Dying ‘Through the Law to the Law’ (Gal 2.19). PhD; University of St Andrews, 1989.

Kwon, Yon-Gyong. Eschatology in Galatians. PhD; University of London, 2001.

Oh, Boon-Leong. The Social and Religious Setting of Galatians. PhD; University of London, 2001.

Tsang, Sam. Symbolic Universe, Metaphor and Conviction: A Study of the Slave Metaphor in Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. PhD; University of Sheffield, 2001.

and listed but not available from EThOS are:

Asano, Atsuhiro. The Context and the Patterns of Community-Identity Construction: Exegetical, Social-Anthropological and Socio-Historical Studies in the Letter to the Galatians. PhD; University of Oxford, 2003.

Barclay, J.M.G. Obeying the Truth : A Study of Paul’s Exhortation in Galatians 5-6. PhD; University of Cambridge, 1985.

Bonnington, Mark. The Antioch Episode in Historical and Cultural Context. PhD; University of Nottingham, 1994.

Carver, Andrew Hall. Means of Meaning: The Logic of Paul’s Rhetoric in Galatians. PhD; University of Durham, 2000.

Choi, Hung-Sik. ‘The Truth of the Gospel’: An Exegetical and Theological Study of the Antitheses in Galatians 5.2-6. PhD; University of Durham, 2002.

Cummins, Stephen Anthony. Paul and the Crucified Christ in Antioch: Maccabean Martyrdom and Galatians 1 and 2. PhD; University of Oxford, 1994. [My former NT prof. Go Tony!!]

Goh, David T. Creation and the People of God: Creation Tradition and the Boundaries of the Covenant in Second Temple Jewish Writings and in Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. PhD; University of Durham, 1994.

Hooper, D.J. The Continuity of the Abrahamic Covenant from the Old Testament to the New Testament with Special Reference to Galatians and Romans. ThM; University College, 1986.

Keesmaat, Sylvia C. Paul’s Use of the Exodus Tradition in Romans and Galatians. PhD; University of Oxford, 1994.

Kok, Ezra Hon-Seng. The Truth of the Gospel: A Study in Galatians 2.15-21. PhD; University of Durham, 1993.

Mitchell, S. The History and Archaeology of Galatia. PhD; University of Oxford, 1974.