A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

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A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Read FREE!

Excerpt

When in 1896 I began work upon the Epistle to the Galatians with definite reference to the preparation of this Commentary, it was with a clear conviction that if I was to make any appreciable contribution to the understanding of the epistle, it would be by confining myself to a few of the several lines of study which an interpreter might properly and profitably undertake. I decided not to attempt an exhaustive study of the history of the interpretation of the epistle, or of the rabbinic writings and method of exegesis. Convinced that, despite all that had been done in the study of the vocabulary of the New Testament, much remained still to be done, and strongly inclined to expect that such study would aid materially in the recovery of the primary elements of the thought of the apostle Paul, persuaded also that such lexicographical work would prepare the way for a clearer perception of the course of thought of the epistle, I determined, while not wholly neglecting other lines of study, to give my chief attention, first, to a fresh historical study of the vocabulary of the letter, and then to an endeavour to trace its course of thought with exactness and to state it with clearness.

When the study of the religions of the Roman empire, commonly known as the mystery religions, came into prominence, I gave some study to them, with the result that I became convinced that the contribution which a thorough investigation of them would make to the interpretation of this epistle, would not justify the postponement of the publication of this work for the period of years which such investigation would require.

Meantime, a growing sense of the close relationship between the experiences of the early Christian church, as these are disclosed in the letter, and those through which Christianity of our own day is passing, had greatly increased my sense of the practical value of the letter to the church of to-day, and begotten a strong desire to make this clear to my readers.

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