Paul's letter to the Galatians, sometimes known as the Magna Carta of Christian liberty, is central to the understanding of the relation of Paul and the Law and is packed with crucial historical, social and theological material.Philip F. Esler provides a detailed and accessible interpretation of the text, which draws on contemporary and modern literary models. He outlines the problems often associated with reading Galatians, the context of the text, the rhetoric of the text and the intercultural and social implications of Galatians. Galatians includes comprehensive indices of ancient sources and modern sources, detailed references and an appendix discussing Paul's attitude to the Law in Romans 5.20-21. Galatians presents a succinct and emminently readable analysis of a dense and important New Testament text.


This volume has every right to stand on its own, as a significant contribution to the study of the book of the New Testament with which it is concerned. But equally it is a volume in a series entitled New Testament Readings. Each volume in this series deals with an individual book among the early Christian writings within, or close to the borders of, the New Testament. the series is not another set of traditional commentaries, but is designed as a group of individual interpretations or ‘readings’ of the texts, offering fresh and stimulating methods of approach. While the contributors may be provocative in their choice of a certain perspective, they also seek to do justice to a range of modern methods and provide a context for the study of each particular text.

The collective object of the series is to share with the widest readership the extensive range of recent approaches to Scripture. There is no doubt that literary methods have presented what amounts to a ‘new look’ to the Bible in recent years. But we should not neglect to ask some historical questions or apply suitable methods of criticism from the Social Sciences. the origins of this series are in a practical research programme at the University of Kent, with an inclusive concern about ways of using the Bible. It is to be hoped that our series will offer fresh insights to all who, for any reason, study or use these books of the early Christians.

John M. Court

Series Editor

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