In this unit students will explore Paul’s letter to the Galatians with a focus on the themes of faith, the law, and the Spirit-inspired love-centred community through examination of the plausible reconstructions of the social and historical contexts of the letter, as well as the different rhetorical structures proposed by scholars. Students will engage with recent scholarship regarding the traditional, salvation-historical and apocalyptic readings of the letter. Exegesis of selected key texts in Galatians will be undertaken, employing a combination of literary, rhetorical and social-scientific approaches. Students will also investigate the christological, ethical, pneumatological, ecclesiological and missiological themes of the letter and explore the implications for the life and mission of the church today.

Unit code: BN9032W

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Critique the social, cultural, religious and historical contexts in which the letter was written


Evaluate the possible identities of the “agitators” in Galatians and how they may influence the interpretation of the key issues of the letter


Articulate Paul’s understanding of faith and the law in the communal life of the Galatian house churches


Analyse the use of the Old Testament in Galatians


Critically analyse selected texts in Galatians using a range of interpretive methodologies


Reflect critically on the implications of Paul’s Christology, ethics, pneumatology and ecclesiology for the life and mission of the church today


Critically evaluate Pauline scholarship on Galatians in relation to faith, the law and Paul’s soteriology


lectures, discussion, tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Barclay, John. Paul and the Gift. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2015.
  • Bird, Michael J. and Preston Sprinkle, eds. The Faith of Jesus Christ: Exegetical, Biblical, and Theological Studies. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2009.
  • de Boer, Martinus. Galatians: A Commentary. NTL. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2011.
  • Elliott, Mark W., Scott Hafemann, N. T. Wright and John Frederick, eds. Galatians and Christian Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2014.
  • Hays, Richard B. The Faith of Jesus Christ. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002.
  • Longenecker, Bruce, ed. Narrative Dynamics in Paul. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2002.
  • Longenecker, Bruce. The Triumph of Abraham’s God. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1998.
  • Lopez, Davina. The Apostle to the Conquered: Reimagining Paul's Mission. Minneapolis, MN: fortress, 2010.
  • Martyn, J. Louis. Galatians. Anchor Bible. New York, NY: Doubleday, 1997.
  • Moo, Douglas. Galatians. BECNT, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2013.
  • Nanos, Mark D. ed. The Galatians Debate: Contemporary Issues in Rhetorical and Historical Interpretation. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2002.
  • Oakes, Peter. Galatians. Paideia. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2015.
  • Witherington, Ben. Grace in Galatia. A Commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

3,500-word thematic essay

3500 40.0
Exegetical Essay

3500-word exegetical essay

3500 40.0
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper

1,000-word thematic tutorial paper

1000 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 8 Oct, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:49 +1000