Blog posts on Galatians seem to be feast or famine. We can go a couple of weeks with nothing and then suddenly there are several to report.
Michael F. Bird reports that the two most persuasive arguments he has read regarding Gal. 2.11-14 are by Mark Nanos and Peter Tomson. You can check out the reasons for that here or read Tomson’s book, the details of which are below.
Peter J. Tomson, Paul and the Jewish Law: Halakha in the Letters of the Apostle to the Gentiles. (Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum. Section Three. Jewish Traditions in Early Christian Literature, 1). Assen: Van Gorcum, 1990. 9023224906, 9789023224907. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991. 080062467X, 9780800624675.
Peter M. Head looks at the argument of Angela Standhartinger [“Colossians and the Pauline School” NTS 50 (2004): 571-593] with relation to Galatians and concludes that she overstretches the evidence in making her conclusion that Paul did not anticipate his letters being copied.
Stephen C. Carlson reports on extensive errata in Swanson’s collation of C in Galatians.
Michael F. Bird is writing an essay for a volume in honour of Martin Hengel on “The Incident in Antioch: The Making of Paulinism.” You can surf on over for a summary of what he takes to be the formative factors and decisive events leading up to the incident in Antioch (Galatians 2:11-14).
My title pretty much sums up the story. He looks at the structure of these verses in light of the problem in Galatia. In light of what has been discussed lately with regard to James and the circumcision party I note this statement “Note also that the James Gang are recharacterized as ‘the circumcision,’ further confirming that the Jew/Gentile distinction is the crux of the matter.”
We finally come to ἀλλά in v. 14, which Levinsohn, Brannan and I understand to introduce something the [sic] corrects or replaces some proposition from the preceding context. The question is, what is it? From my view, the proposition that is corrected is v. 12, essentially hanging out with the Gentiles, then deciding it was wrong when distinguished guests arrived. One could argue that v. 13 should be included in the “proposition to be corrected,” but I view it as being an ancillary result of the core issue with Peter. Had he not withdrawn, there is a good chance the others (EVEN Barnabas!) would not have withdrawn either.
Brannan is Ric Brannan, also of Logos Bible Software, who has written extensively on the use of ἀλλά. Head on over for the rest of the post.
As previously mentioned, Richard Fellows has written an interesting piece on Paul’s relationship to the Jerusalem leadership in which he argues that both sides supported Gentiles not having to be circumcised but this was misunderstood by the Galatian church. He has posted again in response to my desire to know how this would work considering that the agitators were “sent from James” who was a Jerusalem pillar. In this response he relies partly on Stephen Carlson’s argument that the textual variant at 2:12 should be read as “he came” rather than “they came” which Fellows argues “makes it probable that the men from James had arrived in Antioch before Paul’s visit to Jerusalem.” Loren Rosson III also wrote on this issue at that time although he arrives at a different conclusion.
Also read the current response of Rosson and Fellows recommends the summary of his argument by Steve of Undeception. I also see that Stephen Carlson has a post asking for input on the meaning of 2:11.
I think that’s enough reading for one day. Enjoy!
On Friday Logos announced several collections of Paternoster Press books including one on Paul. It includes
Mark Bonnington, The Antioch Episode of Galatians 2:11–14 in Historical and Cultural Context. Carlisle: Paternoster Publishing, 2004. 1842270508, 978-1842270509.
Presumably it was published 2004, at any rate. Paternoster’s website says it hasn’t been published yet and Amazon and another place give it a date of 1969 and others of 2003 and 2006. I didn’t have this book in my bibliography yet! So thank you Logos for bringing it to my attention regardless of what year it was published. It’s good to see some of these English books being made more widely available across the ocean.