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2. Semantic Paragraphs

The analytical process was begun by searching out grammatical and lexical evidence for the boundary markers of the paragraphs as presented within the text. This was done by comparing the paragraph divisions of various versions and as a result of this comparison discovering to some extent the various translators' justifications within the Greek text for the divisions of the paragraphs. (See Chart V for this comparison.) After such evidence was gathered the text was again searched for these boundary markers which did not mark paragraph divisions, and consideration was given as to whether these instances might not also legitimately be labeled as semantic paragraphs. Next, lexical spans were considered in an attempt to discover it shared lexical information might indicate paragraph or larger units. Third, coherence spans were examined, mainly the subordination of verbs, in order to determine if this factor also might have some bearing on paragraph divisions within the book. Paragraphs were then posited and theme (genre) statements abstracted. After this, relationships between paragraphs were posited using the relationships presented in the previous chapter.

Grammatical Paragraph Markers

Several features upon examination were found to consistently mark paragraph divisions within the book. These include: a speaker orienter (qaumavzw 1:6, gnwrivzw 1:11, levgw 3:15, 4:1, 5:1, 5:16), the vocative (adelfoiv 1:11, 3:15, 4:12, 4:13, 6:1, ojv anovntoi Galavtai 3:1), the imperative (levgete 4:21, ivde 5:2, peripateivte 5:16, ijvdete 6:1) and the rhetorical question (1:10, 3:21, 4:21). In the first two chapters of the book the temporal conjunction ejvpeita is prominent as a paragraph marker (1:18, 2:1, 2:11). It was discovered that while any one of these signals was not necessarily a paragraph division marker, when these markers were grouped together a break was very definitely indicated. In addition it was discovered that when these indicators did occur at points which were not marked as paragraph divisions by the UBS text that new semantic paragraphs were very often justified. These occurrences will be discussed in sections listing evidence for the breaks of individual paragraphs.

Lexical Spans

Shared lexical information, the repeating of words and phrases within a specific given span of text was found to be a significant factor in determining some paragraph divisions, but it was especially helpful on the higher levels These too will be discussed as they occur within the paragraphs and hi her level units within the book.

Coherence Spans

The chain of verb subordination was a key factor in determining where to posit paragraph divisions. As with the previous two factors, these will be discussed as they occur throughout the book.

Discussion of the Semantic Paragraphs

Before the actual discussion of the semantic paragraphs of Galatians is begun, two further words of explanation are in order. The first has to do with Table I, the Paragraph Display. This table summarizes the results of the analysis presented in this chapter and the proposed paragraph relationships so as to trace the argument of the book through all the paragraphs. For the sake of clarity the sub-section sections and division boundaries are included although the evidence for these is not presented until the later chapters of this thesis. The second explanation has to do with the arrangement of the material throughout the rest of the chapter; four aspects of each of the semantic paragraphs are discussed. (1) The theme statement for each paragraph is proposed and then the evidence for that statement is presented. (2) The lexical and grammatical and other evidence is stated for the unity and cohesion of the paragraph. (3) The grammatical, lexical and implicit evidence for the division between the paragraph under discussion and the previous one is presented. (4) The relationship of the paragraph to he context is discussed.

Table I

Paragraph Display

Introduction (1:1-5)

      P1 I Paul and all the brothers with me, greet you the Churches of Galatia.

Body (1:6--6:17)

Division I (1:6-10)

      P2 (1:6-9) I marvel that you are so quickly deserting the only Gospel.

      P3 (1:10) (The reason why I am "talking" this way is because) I am seeking to please God not man.--reason for P2.

Division II (1:11-3:6)

Section I

Subsection 1

      P4 (1:11-12) I make known to you that my Gospel is not from man but from Jesus Christ.

        Subsection 2 Here is proof of that fact from my life!

      P5 (1:13-14) You have heard that I was formerly persecuting the Church and was advancing in Judaism.

        (BUT THEN)

      P6 (1:15-17) When God revealed His Son in me, I did not seek human confirmation.--sequence to P5.

        (AND THEN)

      P7 (1:18-20) After three years I went up to Jerusalem to get to know Cephas, but I stayed only 15 days.--sequence to P6.

        (AND THEN)

      P8 (1:21-24) When I went to Syria and Cilicia the Churches of Judea only knew about me indirectly.--sequence of P7.

          (AND THEN)

      P9 (2:1-10) When after fourteen years I went up to Jerusalem again, the apostles accepted me and my message.--sequence of P8.

        (BUT THEN)

      P10 (2:11-13) Later at Antioch, I rebuked Cephas.--contrast to and sequence of P9.

      P11 (2:14) I said to Cephas it is wrong to compel Gentiles to live as Jews.--specific of P10.

Section 2

Abstracted theme: It is wrong to trust the Law since all men, even Jews, are justified in Christ.

      P12 (2:15-16) Even we Jews trust Christ, not Law for justification.


      P13 (2:17) If we as Christ's ministers are found to be sinners, we make Christ a minister of sin, and that is intolerable.--matched support with P12.


      P14 (2:18-21) If I rebuild the things I destroyed I prove myself a transgressor.--reason for P13.


Section 3

      P15 (3:1-6) You Galatians are foolish and bewitched to trust in the Law rather than to believe.

    Division III

    Section I

      P16 (3:7) Know then, the ones who believe are the sons of Abraham.

      P17 (3:8-9) Those who believe are blessed with Abraham.--equivalent to P16.


      P18 (3:10-12) Those who follow the Law are cursed.--contrast to P17.

      P19 (3:13-14) Christ redeemed us Jews from the curse of the Law.--reason for P17.

      P20 (3:15-18) The inheritance to Abraham and his seed is by promise not Law.--reason for P17.

      P21 (3:19-20) The Law was added because of transgression.--comment on Law.

      P22 (3:21-22) The Law is not contrary to the promise of God.--comment on Law.

      P23 (3:23-25) The Law served as a "child leader" to bring us Jews to Christ until faith came.--comment on Law.

      P24 (3:26-29) You are Abraham's seed.--equivalent to P16.

Section 2

      P25 (4:1-7) Now I say: You are no longer slaves but you are all sons and heirs of God through Christ.--grounds of P26.


      P26 (4:8-11) You should not turn again to the weak and worthless elementary principles.

Section 3

Subsection 1

      P27 (4:12) I urge you, become as I am (without the Law) even as you formerly were.


Subsection 2

      Abstracted theme: We really are good friends.--reason for P27.

      P28 (4:12b-16) We are good friends.--equivalent to sub. 2 theme.


      P29 (4:17-19a) They are really your enemies.--contrast to P28.

      P30 (4:19b-20) I am concerned about you.--equivalent to P28.

Section 4

      P31 (4:21-23) The Law says Abraham had two sons, one of the bondwoman and one of the free.--grounds of P34.

      P32 (4:24-27) These two sons illustrate freedom and bondage.--amplification of P31.

      P33 (4:28-30) We, as Isaac, are children of promise.--grounds of P34.


      P34 (4:31) We do not belong to the Law, but are free.

Section 5

      Subsection 1

      P35 (5:1) Stand and do not be subject to the yoke of bondage.

      Subsection 2 theme: Don't be circumcised--specific of don't be subject P35.

      P36 (5:2-6) If you are circumcised Christ will profit nothing.--reason for sub. theme.


      Those who are teaching circumcision are disreputable.--matched support with P36.

      Subsection 3

      Abstraction theme: Don't become involved with the flesh.--specific of stand P35.


      P38 (5:13-Serve one another through love.--contrast to sub. 3 theme.

      P39 (5:16-18) Walk by the Spirit and you will not do the desires of the flesh.--means of sub. 3 theme.

      P40 (5:19-21) These are the words of the flesh.--amplification of P39.

      P41 (5:22-23) This is the fruit of the Spirit.--amplification of P39.

      P42 (5:24-26) Let us follow the Spirit and not exalt ourselves.--equivalent of P39.

      P43 (6:1) Restore those who sin.--specific of P42.

      P44 (6:2-3) Bear one another's burdens.--specific of P42.

      P45 (6:4-5) Let each one examine his work.--specific of P42.

      P46 (6:6-10) Share with your teachers.--specific of P42.

Division IV

      P47 (6:11-16) I glory in the cross of Christ, not in circumcision as others do.

      P48 (6:17) Let no one cause trouble for me.--grounds of P47.


      P49 (6:18) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Paragraph Analysis

Introduction (1:1-5)


While there are two major propositions in this paragraph and several minor ones this statement was chosen as the theme for this paragraph because: (1) the minor propositions are, on the whole, comment propositions and other major propositions developed from those comments, (2) the other major proposition in this paragraph is, "may grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." It was felt that this epistolary introduction is a variation on the common opening formula used throughout the Ptolomaic and Roman periods,45 and has the same form as "Dear . . ." in a letter written in modern culture. To elevate this proposition to a paragraph level would be in error. It was also felt that the generic term "greet" conveyed the intent of this proposition.

The unity of this paragraph is attested by the standard epistolary form. The blessing as noted above is the content of "greet" and the statements of Christ's work are comments upon Christ. The doxology ends this paragraph with ajmhvn amen.

Division I

Section 1


The introductory speaker orienter, qaumavzw, the fact that metativqsqe (you are deserting) is the logically nonsubordinated finite verb in this section the repetition of eujaggevlion [gospel (or its verb form to preach the gospel)] all give evidence that the Galatians' turning away from the gospel is in view in this paragraph. The twice repeated curse, ajnavqema ejvstw (let him be anathema), upon those who would change the gospel, gives prominence to the fact that there is but one gospel, hence the "only" of the theme statement.

The unity of this paragraph is shown lexically by the seven repetitions of eujaggevlion, its verbal cognates and pronomial references to the gospel, and the second person plural pronoun which is repeated five times within this span of text. The paragraph is held together grammatically with only one logically non-subordinated finite verb. The other verbs in this section can be seen to be comments upon "another gospel" or those who would preach "another gospel".

This paragraph is separated from the previous by the ajmhvn at the end of verse 5, the speaker orienter qaumavzw oJti at the beginning of verse 6, and a change in semantic domain from God and Christ (v. 4-5) to the Galatians and the gospel.

Division I

Section 2


The fact that the four verbs are in the first person singular establishes "I" as the subject of this paragraph. In addition, all the verbs but one deal with pleasing someone or courting someone's favor, establishing this as the event. Anqrwvpo" (man) is mentioned three times in the verse and is prominent also. The implicit answer to the rhetorical questions establish the fact that Paul was seeking to please God, not man. The first part of this proposition is implicit and is that to which gavr (for, illative) refers, since there is no logical referent for gavr in the text.

Lexical unity through this paragraph is shown by the thrice repeated concept of pleasing (peivqw v. 10, ajreskein v. 10 twice) and the thrice repeated Anqrwvpos. Cohesion is shown by the first person singular of the verbs, and logical subordination of the verbs to the main proposition.

The paragraph is separated from paragraph two by the two rhetorical questions which introduce verse ten and by a change in semantic domain, from the Galatians and the gospel to pleasing God.

This paragraph stands in support to the previous, as is evidenced by the gavr and gives a reason or justification for Paul's harsh sounding words.

Division II

Section I

Subsection 1


The proposed theme statement of this paragraph is the only non-subordinate proposition in the paragraph, thus it is of necessity the theme statement. The other three propositions found in verse 12 are in a support relationship, giving reasons for this theme statement. ToV eujaggevlion tov eujaggelisqeVn uJp’ evmou (gospel which is preached by me) has been condensed into "my gospel" chiefly for the sake of brevity and because in the context of this paragraph the gospel was uniquely "my gospel" to Paul since he received it as a direct revelation from Christ.

The lexical unity of this paragraph is not overwhelming. Eujaggelivon or a derivative is used twice in verse 11. The first person singular of the verb is used three times in verse 12. The cohesion of this paragraph is shown by the logical subordination of the verbs as mentioned above.

This paragraph is marked off from the preceding by the speaker orienter gnwrivzw oJvti, the transitional de, and the vocative ajdelfoi. There is also a change in semantic domain, from pleasing God to the source of Paul's gospel.

This paragraph is related lexically to the previous by the shared usage of ajvnqrwpo" (man) which has three occurrences in paragraph three and two in paragraph four. However, there is no direct relationship between these paragraphs on this level.

Division II

Section 2


The content orienter hjkouvsate (you have heard) is reflected in the theme statement. However the content of "you have heard" is a topic (my former manner of life in Judaism) rather than a proposition. So it is necessary to analyze the paragraph propositionally in order to determine the theme. Such analysis yields three propositions, "I was persecuting the Church . . .", "I was destroying it", and "I was advancing in Judaism". Of these three propositions the first two can be seen to be near equivalents. The third can also, be seen to show opposition to the gospel when one knows Paul's background. However, from the information presented in this text, it is not a necessary inference (albeit a logical one). Therefore it was felt that the theme statement should reflect both aspects of Paul's former life.

Lexical unity in this paragraph, as in the last one, is slight. The term Ioudavismw (Judaism) is twice repeated. The unity of this section is found in the subordination of the three main propositions to the content orienter hjkouvsate oJvti and the fact that these three propositions are fused together by the coordinating conjunction kai.

This paragraph is marked as separate from the preceding by the use of the content orienter as noted above, and the change in semantic domain from the source of the gospel to Paul's former life in Judaism.

Although this paragraph is introduced by gavr it is related only indirectly to this preceding paragraph. This phenomenon will be discussed at the subsection level


The contrast in this paragraph between what Paul did and did not do seems to be in focus; two non-subordinate negative propositions and two non-subordinate positive propositions placed in juxtaposition against one another. These propositions all speak of not consulting with man (with the exception of the last one which completes the sequence of activities). Thus the idea of "human confirmation" has been abstracted from these three propositions in light of the theme statement for 1:11. God's work is included in the theme statement because of the large portion of text which is devoted to His call of Paul.

Lexical factors play little role in determining this paragraph division. It is again the coherence factor which is crucial. This paragraph contains a temporal clause followed by three independent clauses joined by the coordinating conjunctions ojudev, ajllav, and kavi respectively. Another interesting factor is that in the sequence presented within this paragraph, he twice uses a compound of ejvrxomai (I go).

This paragraph is separated from the preceding by the temporal conjunction oJvte, the transitional conjunction dev, which in this case appears to have a slightly adversative force, and a change in semantic domain, from Paul's former life to the activities surrounding his conversion.

This paragraph can be seen to be related to the preceding, primarily in a sequential type of relationship. How ever, there also seems to be a slightly adversative relationship as evidenced by the dev and the change that took place in Paul's life.


The forefronted time element (ejvpeita) within the paragraph places it in a place of prominence. The verbs of the main proposition ajnh'lqon (I went up), ejpevmeina (I stayed), eij'don (I saw), are all in the first person singular, thus establishing "I" (Paul) as the subject. The comment is explicit in verse 18 with the exception that the kaiv which joins the final clause to the preceding, has been changed to a "but" in the theme statement and the idea "only" has been added. These two changes were made because of what was understood to be the author's point of his argument. After stating in the previous paragraph h that he did not consult flesh and blood, in this paragraph he states that he did meet Peter. However, he qualifies this by saying that it was three years later and that he stayed fifteen days, which is hardly enough time to receive a thorough theological training. It was because of the brevity of this time period that the adversative "but" was used in the theme statement.

Lexical unity is found within this paragraph by the use of names Khqa'n (Cephas) and 'Iavkwbon (James). Again the cohesion is given by the use of the coordinating conjunction kaiv and dev. While verse 20 is grammatically independent it is logically subordinate giving attestation to the truthfulness of what has been stated.

This paragraph is separated from the previous by the use of ejvpeitw (then), metaV triva ejvth (after three years) a temporal phrase, and the use of ajnh'lqon which marks a new event in the sequence started in the preceding paragraph. In addition there is a change of setting from Damascus to Jerusalem.

As just noted, this paragraph is related to paragraph six in a sequential type of relationship.


The focal point of this paragraph is quite difficult to establish. Verbs occur in both the first singular and third plural. It was concluded that since the proportion of material devoted to the churches of Judea was greater than that devoted directly to Paul, that the churches should be the subject. Once the passive of verse 22 hjvmhn ajgnosuvmeno" (I was unknown) is converted to an active, the major part of the theme statement appears--"they did not know me personally". Verse 23 while presented in the form of an exception is not a true exception to what Paul has just stated but rather gives further information, "they heard good reports about him". Hence, the "indirectly" idea. While verse 24 is prominent as a result within the paragraph in the context this does not seem to bear on the focus of the argument. This leaves the problem of how to relate verse 21 to 22. Verse 21 presents a new event in the time sequence which is apparent through this series of paragraphs, and as such it is prominent. However, as discussed above, this did not see to be the focus of the paragraph, but rather seemed to present a time setting for the events of the paragraph; thus it was subordinated under the temporal "when".

Again there is a great diversity within this paragraph. The real coherence within this section is seen by subordination and coordination. As mentioned, verse 21 is logically subordinate to verse 22 although grammatically coordinated, 66 being the conjunction used. Verse 23 is best understood as an amplification of verse 22 and is thus subordinate to it. Verse 24 gives the result of ajkouvote" hjvsan (they were hearing) as ejdocavzon (they were glorifying) and can so be seen to be connected logically to the preceding.

In relationship with the preceding paragraph this unit gives another step in the sequence of Paul's life being related.


The structure of this paragraph is parallel to paragraph eight in that while the sequential-temporal proposition introducing this paragraph is grammatically coordinate to several other propositions within the paragraph, it serves as temporal orientation within the paragraph. The discussion of the paragraph centers around Paul's presentation of his gospel to the "pillar-apostles" (ajneqevmhn aujtoi'" toV eujaggevlion) and the result of that meeting, ejmoiV oiJ dokou'nte" oujdeVn prosanevqento (the ones who had a reputation added nothing to me), alla . . . deciaV" ejvdwkan ejmoiV kaiV barnaba/' koinwniva" (but they gave the right hand of fellowship to me and Barnabas). The discussion of the circumcision in verses 3 through 5, while significant, does not bear on the theme of this paragraph but is placed in an antithetical relationship (ajllav) with the possibility of his work proving fruitless (mhv pw" eij" kenoVn trevxw hjv ejvdramon, "lest I was running or had run in vain," verse 2) which is in turn subordinated as a reason under ajneqevmhn (I submitted, verse 2). The "did not add" and "gave the right hand of fellowship" have been combined under the more generic "accepted me and my message."

Lexical unity in this paragraph is found in the repetition of eujaggevlion (gospel; verses 2, 5, and 7), peritomhv (circumcision; verses 3, 7, 8, and 9), ejvqno" (Gentiles; verses 2, 3, 8, and 10; also ajkrobustiva verse 7, uncircumcision), the frequent occurrence of names ’Iakwvbo", barnaba'", Tivto", Kefa'"; and the repetition of the personal pronoun ejmov" (verses 3, 6 bis, 8 and 9 bis). Cohesion in this paragraph is not as easy to detect because of the very involved nature of the thoughts. However, by using a rough propositional display, it was possible to trace a logical subordination of the verbs down through verse 10 with the sequence mentioned above having the most prominence.

This paragraph is separated from the preceding by the use of ejvpeita (then), diaV dekatessavrwn (after fourteen years) and ajnevbhn (I went up). These signals mark a new event in the sequence being related. Other markers include the change in setting, from Syria and Cilicia (for Paul) to Jerusalem, and a new semantic domain, from the reports of Paul's ministry to his official acceptance by the apostles at Jerusalem.

As noted above, this paragraph is related to the preceding in a sequential relationship.


This is the only non-subordinated proposition in this paragraph, the others are subordinated by ojvti (because) and gavr (for) which introduces a long propositional string giving evidence or grounds for the theme statement.

There are very few repeated words in this paragraph. There are three repeated names: Cephas, James, and Barnabas This paragraph is held together by the verb subordination chain.

This paragraph is separated from the previous one by the use of ojvti dev (but when) and the use of ejvrxomai. In addition there is a change of setting from Jerusalem to

In its relationship to the preceding paragraph, paragraph ten presents a further event in the sequence and as such furthers Paul's activities. However, there are some other factors which make this unit more difficult to classify than the previous five. In paragraph ten it is Peter, not Paul, who is the principal actor. Another change is seen in the fact that there is no temporal phrase stating the time between this event and the events of paragraph nine, whereas previously in the narrative, the temporal phrase has been a prominent feature. In addition to these factors, the dev of verse 11 seems to have more of an adversative function setting this paragraph in juxtaposition with paragraph nine, contrasting Paul's acceptance by the “pillar-apostles” at Jerusalem to the fact that he found it necessary (and felt he had the authority) to rebuke one of those very same men. The fact that Paul did this seems to emphasize that he was at least on an equal level with Peter.46


The first clause of this paragraph is a circumstance orienter (or possibly time). It is not included in the theme statement because although there is a parallel construction with the preceding paragraphs (the "when" idea), the preceding paragraphs have an unquestionable temporal flavor, whereas this paragraph has neither a temporal phrase (as seen in paragraphs seven and nine) nor is it coupled with a form of ejvrxomai or baivnw as occurs in the other paragraphs. The content orienter eij'pon is included because of its precedence over content. The content of the theme statement is what has been interpreted as the intent of the rhetorical question.47

The evidence for the unity and cohesion of this paragraph comes from the fact that there is only one propositional string involved. The circumstantial clause and the content of the rhetorical question are subordinated under eij'pon (I said).

The evidence for the separation of this paragraph from paragraph ten is found in the ojvti coupled with ajllav which serve as a contrast to what the Jews should have done and what they actually did. In addition to this there is a shift in the focus of the action from the hypocrisy of the Jews to the response of Paul to that situation. In addition the use of the rhetorical question makes a paragraph break likely at this point.

This paragraph can be clearly seen to give the kataV provsopon autw/V ajntevsthn (I withstood him to his face) in paragraph ten as eij'pon (I said).


The theme of paragraph twelve has been determined from the four main propositions of the paragraph which can be related thus:

15a we are by nature Jews and not sinners from among the Gentiles. Concession of 16a.

16a (we) know that a man is not justified by Law but by faith in Christ. Grounds of 16b.

16b Even we have believed in Christ to be justified.

16c Because by works of the Law no flesh will be justified. Reason of 16b.

It is then apparent that the theme stated (16b) is the most prominent proposition within this paragraph.

This paragraph can be seen as a unity by the proposition string which is related above. Within this paragraph the term dikaiovw (I justify) is thrice repeated, and a form Of pivsti" (faith) is repeated twice. Ergwn novmou (works of the Law) is also found three times in verse 16. In addition to these factors there is also the occurrence of synonymous terms ajvnqrwpo" (man), and savrc (flesh). So one can see very strong evidence for positing paragraph boundaries at this point.

The separation of this paragraph from the preceding is not clearly marked by grammatical signals. Rather there is at this juncture a case of asyndeton. This serves two purposes: (1) to separate what has gone before from what follows, (2) often this construction ties two paragraphs closely together, at least on a low level.

This paragraph can be seen on a low level to introduce a reason for the statement of paragraph eleven.


The theme of this paragraph is extremely difficult to discover because of the inability to discover with certainty what Paul is actually saying in this verse. Light foot states that there are a myriad of different interpretations of this verse.48 Three of these seem really worthy of consideration. These interpretations center around the interpretation of aj'ra, which, depending upon its accent, can function either as an interrogative or as an inferential particle. Many commentators take the aj'ra as interrogative and see verse 17 as a question in which the mhV gevnoito negates the conclusion as faulty even though drawn from a sound premise.49 An alternative is to take aj'ra as inferential. Verse 17 would then function as a statement and the mhV gevnoito would then negate the whole preceding statement. However, this solution presents a problem in that this would be the only place in the New Testament where mhV gevnoito did not negate a faulty conclusion drawn from a correct premise.50 There is a third interpretation which would see the situation being spoken of in this paragraph as referring specifically to Peter. This view sees the aj'ra as interrogative and the implied answer to the question as "yes." The mhV gevnoito then would function to show that this situation, while existing, is an intolerable situation; because Peter as an official minister of Christ has involved Christ in sin by compelling Gentiles to live by the Law.51 This interpretation has been adopted because it seems best to fit into the development of the argument. This view, it is admitted, is not without problems.

This paragraph has a very tight-knit structure even though it has little lexical unity. The conditional statement forms the basis for the inference that Christ is a minister of sin and the mhV gevnoito emphatically underscores the intolerability of the situation. There is the repeated idea ajmartolov"/ajmartiva (sinner/sin) within this paragraph which gives lexical unity.

The markers which separate this paragraph from the preceding are the transitional dev, the rhetorical question, and a new semantic domain. The evidence at this point is admittedly slim for making a paragraph division. The deciding factor was this author's present understanding of Paul's point of this paragraph.

This paragraph can be seen to present further grounds for the rebuke of paragraph eleven by showing the implications of Peter's act.


This theme statement is the only non-subordinate statement in this paragraph. Verses 19 through 21 present evidence for this statement and are introduced by gavr. One proves himself a transgressor because he has already realized that the Law is unable to justify him and turned to faith in Christ. By turning back to the Law, a man again brings himself under the condemnation of the Law.

The unity of this paragraph is seen primarily through the subordination of the verbs. As noted above, verses 19 through 21 are subordinated by gavr and introduce reasons. The verb zw' (I live) is repeated five times in verses 19 and 20. Xrivsto" and Qevo" are mentioned six times.

The evidence for breaking the paragraph at verse 18 comes from the change of the person of the verb form, first plural to first singular, and the gavr which seemed to function on a higher level to subordinate 18 through 20 to verse 17.

As noted, this paragraph gives a reason for the state of verse 17.

Division II

Section 3


The vocative at the beginning of this paragraph includes the predicated idea of foolishness. This idea is repeated in verse 3 ouJvtw" ajnovhtoi ejste (are you so foolish). Under this idea of foolishness the rest of the rhetorical questions can be seen as specific examples of their deception.

There is a great deal of lexical unity within this paragraph. ’Anovhtoi (foolish) is twice repeated, pivsti" is found in verses 2, 5, and 6; pneu'ma (spirit) occurs in verses 2, 3, and 4 and the phrase ejc ejvrgwn novmou hjv ejc ajkoh'" pivstew" is twice repeated. There is little grammatical coherence within the paragraph. But there is parallelism in the repetition of the rhetorical questions. One problem in positing the boundary to this paragraph is verse 6. On the one hand it breaks the pattern of rhetorical questions, and brings a new character into the picture. But on the other hand it was felt that it would be highly unlikely to begin a new paragraph with kaqwv" (just as). In addition, verse 6 gives amplification to the implied answer to the question of verse 5. It was on the basis of the unlikelyhood of the beginning of a new paragraph with kaqwv" and the close tie semantically with verse 5, that it was decided that verse 6 belonged to paragraph fifteen.

This paragraph is sharply distinguished by the vocative 'jW ajnovhtoi Galavtai (O, foolish Galatians), the rhetorical question, the change in person from the first singular to second plural, and the change in semantic domain.

This paragraph can function in one of at least three ways. First, it can function as the conclusion of Paragraphs four through fourteen. Second, paragraph fifteen can function as the introduction to the new section of material which begins with 3:7. A third option is to see this as a new higher level section. In weighing these arguments the objective criteria have little bearing because they only signal a change of some type, not what the change is. it is unlikely that paragraph fifteen functions as the introduction to the new section of material. If it were to function as an introduction it would probably present a theme statement or a topic statement of what was to follow. However, it does not. It could be seen to function as a summation of paragraphs four through fourteen in this way:

4-11. My gospel is not from man but Jesus Christ. GROUNDS.

12-14. It is wrong to trust the Law since all men, even Jews, are justified in Christ. GROUNDS.

15.You are foolish and bewitched to trust in the Law rather than believe (my gospel). CONCLUSION.

On the other hand this paragraph may represent a new higher level unit. This would be supported by the plethora of grammatical signals. So many signals (the vocative and several rhetorical questions) may well indicate a new high level unit. In addition, the semantic domain has shifted radically, from the authority and message of Paul to the experience of the Galatians. Either of the latter two options is viable. This writer leans toward understanding this paragraph as the conclusion of the argument Paul has been building in 1;11-2:21.

Division 3

Section 1


There is but one proposition within this paragraph and so it is of necessity the theme.

The paragraph is a unity since it only has one proposition. The reason that this short span of text has been elevated to paragraph level is that verse 7 combined with verse 29 form a lexical sandwich or inclusion which is by its definition more prominent than what supports it.

That this paragraph is distinct from the preceding one, is evidenced by the imperative ginwuvskete (know) and the hook-eye connection of Abraham with what preceded.

On a low level this paragraph is related to the preceding one, especially the preceding proposition, in a grounds-conclusion type of a relationship. However, as will be discussed later, on a higher level a division break has been posited at this juncture.


This paragraph contains two grammatically non-subordinate propositions:

8. "The Scripture 'evangelized' Abraham beforehand saying . . . REASON.

9. All those who believe are blessed with Abraham. RESULT.

Since the result is more prominent than the reason, it became the theme statement.

Lexical unity within this paragraph is seen in the repetition of ejulogevw (I bless; 8 and 9), ejvqno" (Gentiles; 8 bis), pivsti" (faith; 8 and 9 bis). Cohesion can be seen in the logical subordination of the verbs. Proi>dou'sa oJvti [(The Scripture) foreseeing that] is a circumstance orientation proposition to verse 8 above. Then, as shown above, verse 8 is subordinate to verse 9.

Paragraph seventeen functions in a generic-specific type of relationship with paragraph sixteen.


Verses 10 through 12 form a paragraph in which there is only one non-subordinate proposition, the first proposition in verse 10. The propositions in the paragraph are related thus:

10a. As many as are the works of the Law are under a curse.

10b. It stands written that, "cursed is everyone . . ." REASON of 10a.

11a. It is clear that no one will be justified by Law before God. EQUIVALENT to 10a.

11b. Because the righteous shall live by faith. REASON of 11a.

12a. The Law is not from faith. CONTRAST to 11b.

12b. The one who does these things shall live in them. CONTRAST to 12a.

So the theme statement of this paragraph has been abstracted from 10a and 11a.

The coherence of this paragraph has been demonstrated above. Lexically the term novmo" (Law) occurs four times within this paragraph. Kavtara (curse) occurs twice, zavw (live) occurs twice, divkaio"/dikaivsw twice.

This paragraph is marked off from the preceding by the introductory gavr and a change in semantic domain, from blessings in faith to cursing under Law.

This paragraph then very obviously stands in contrast to paragraph seventeen and shows that righteousness cannot be from the Law.


The theme statement of this paragraph is easily discernible since all the other propositions are in a support relationship.

13a. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law.

13b. Becoming a curse on our behalf. MEANS of 13a.

13c. Because it stands written "cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree." REASON of 13b.

14a. In order that the blessing of Abraham might be to the Gentiles in Christ. PURPOSE of 13a.

14b. In order that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. PURPOSE of 13a.

"Jews" is included in the theme statement because it was only Jews who were under the curse of the Law. Paul makes it clear in Romans 2:12-15 that the Gentiles were not under the Law and would not be judged by it. "For as many as sinned without the Law shall perish without the Law."

There is little lexical unity within this paragraph. Katavra (curse) is repeated three times but this is not very significant since it was repeated twice in the preceding paragraph. The coherence of this paragraph is shown in the subordination of the verbs to the theme statement.

The paragraph is separated from the preceding one by the introduction of a new subject, Xrivsto", and a new semantic domain, redemption from the curse.

This paragraph can be seen as a logical extension of paragraph eighteen. However, it seems that its primary relationship is with paragraph seventeen, giving a reason why those who believe are blessed with Abraham. The reason is really stated in the two purpose clauses of verse 15.

Division 3

Subsection 2


This paragraph is set in the form of a logical syllogism. There are three independent propositions and several which are subordinate. The syllogistic pattern is readily apparent:

Major premise: once a covenant has been established no one takes away or adds conditions.

Minor premise: the promises were given to Abraham. Conclusion: the Law which came later did not annul the promise.

Verse 18 is introduced by gavr and gives further support for the conclusion. The ouj levgei (it does not say) of verse 16 introduces a comment on seed. From these propositions one can see that the theme statement encompasses the major points of this paragraph.

This paragraph is lexically unified by the use of diaqhvkh (covenant; 15 and 17), novmo" (Law; 17 and 18), ejpaggevlion (promise; 16, 17 and 18 bis), and spevrma (seed; 16 ter). The verb subordination was noted above.

The paragraph is marked off very distinctly from the preceding by the use of the vocative ajdelfoiv (brothers) and the speaker orienter levgw. There is a hook-eye connection with the previous paragraph in the use of ejpaggevlion which occurs once at the end of verse 14 and then four times in paragraph twenty. It should be noted that levgw also occurs in verse 17 in combination with dev. However, it was felt, due to contextual considerations, the syllogistic argument, that a paragraph division was not warranted at this point.

This paragraph serves to give a further reason for paragraph seventeen. Those who believe are blessed together with Abraham because the inheritance is based not upon Law but promise.


The theme of this paragraph is easily seen as the theme because, outside of the rhetorical question, it is the only logically non-subordinated proposition. Verse 20 can be seen to be a comment on mesivths (intermediary).

The unity and coherence of this paragraph is seen by the repetition of eiJ'" (twice in verse 20) and mesivth" (19 and 20), and in the subordination of the verbs.

This paragraph is separated from the preceding by the rhetorical question Tiv ouj'n oJ novmo" (why then the Law) and a change in semantic domain, from the contrast between Law and promise to the purpose of the Law.

This paragraph serves as a comment on Law, paragraph twenty giving the reason why the Law was given.


Once the rhetorical question and the mhV gevnoito is unskewed, the theme statement of this paragraph appears. What follows can be seen to be support because of the gavr (illative) in verse 21 and the ajllav (but) of verse 22 which contrast verse 22 to 21b.

Lexically this paragraph is unified by the novmo" (Law; 21) repeated thrice and ejpaggevlia (promise; 21 and 22) Cohesion is seen in the subordination of the propositions as seen above.

The rhetorical question and the emphatic mark mhV gevnoito off this paragraph from the one which precedes.

This paragraph functions as a further comment on the Law mentioned in paragraph twenty.


The theme of this paragraph is taken from verses 24 and 25. Verse 24 introduced by wJvste, gives the result of verse 23. Verse 25, introduced by dev, serves as a proposition grammatically coordinate with verse 24. However, it has been subsumed in the theme statement as a temporal clause because of the author's understanding of the focus of this paragraph. It seems primarily to be stating the function of the Law and only incidentally mentioning that the Law is now inoperative.

Lexically, pivsti" (faith) is repeated four times in these three verses; however, this is not very significant since it is also mentioned twice in verse 22. It is the coherence span discussed above which is the determining factor in establishing the paragraph boundaries in this instance.

This paragraph is marked as distinct from the preceding by the transitional dev and a change in semantic domain from the condemnation of all men, to the Law leading men (Jews) to Christ.

This paragraph serves as yet another comment on the Law.


This paragraph poses a problem which must be resolved before an adequate theme statement can be determined. To what does the gavr of verse 26 refer? The easiest solution would be to make verse 26 a justification for verse 25. However, the change in persons from first plural to second plural makes this unlikely. The reason for this is that Paul in verses 23 through 25, appears to have been speaking again of the situation of the Jew (cf. P21)-- So then verses 26 and following could not be support for verses 23 through 25 since the Galatians were not all Jews. Even if verses 19 through 25 are regarded as a digression, one has difficulty relating 26 through 29 to the rest of the chapter. Something seems to be missing. Perhaps the best solution to this problem has been proposed by Burton.52 There is an implicit statement linking verse 26 with the preceding paragraphs which would be stated as, "Therefore, all of what I've been saying about the Law applied to you, for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ." Verse 27 then introduces support for this as evidenced by gavr. Verse 23 gives further support by amplification. Verse 29, then, would give the final conclusion of this paragraph, "If you are of Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, heirs according to the promise." The final conclusion of the paragraph would be the most prominent and become the theme statement because an explicit conclusion is more prominent than an implicit conclusion.

Lexical unity in this paragraph is seen by the repetition of Xrivsto" twice in verse 26, twice in 27 and three times in verse 28, once in 29. The free pronoun uJmei'" found in verse 28, once also in 29. The coherence of this paragraph has been noted above. One additional fact that should be noted is that the protasis of verse 29 (eiv dev uJmei'" Xristou', "if you are of Christ") can be taken as a summary statement of the rest of the paragraph which then becomes the basis of the final conclusion.

This paragraph can be seen to be distinct from the preceding one because of the implicit "therefore" as noted above, the abrupt change in the person of the verbs and the change in the semantic domain, from the purpose of the Law to the fact that all who belong to Christ are Abraham's seed.

The best way to see this paragraph seems to be in an equivalent relationship with paragraph fourteen, thus closing the lexical sandwich, or inclusion, begun in 3:7. However, it is possible (although in this author's mind more difficult) to see this paragraph as a conclusion to the entire chapter.

Another possibility considered for 3:19-29 was to see paragraph twenty in contrast to twenty-two, paragraph twenty-two as a supplementary alternative to paragraph twenty, paragraph twenty-three as grounds for twenty-four, and paragraph twenty-four (verses 26 through 28) as grounds for another paragraph consisting of verse 29 which was then equivalent to paragraph sixteen. However, to this author, this outlook seemed more forced than the one adopted.

Division III

Section 2

Subsection = Paragraph


This paragraph develops an argument under the same figure as the previous two but develops it in a different way. Whereas the previous section has stated the fact that inheritance is by promise not Law, this paragraph shows the superiority of faith (the present system) to Law (the old system), stating the principle that a child is kept under a steward until the time appointed by his father. Then, Paul pictures the Law as a steward until Christ came. This paragraph is one instance where the generic, the principle of a steward, is less prominent than the specific situation which Paul develops. The reason is that the proportion of the text devoted to the specific situation (verses 3 through 7) and because of the great detail in which Paul develops the coming of Christ and the resultant adoption as sons. In addition to these facts the paragraph ends in two result propositions (wJvste) which are very prominent.

The theme of this paragraph has then been abstracted from the final result clauses of paragraph twenty-five. Klhronovmo" (heir) forms a sandwich in this verse and as such is prominent. For this reason it has been included in the theme statement. There is also an inclusion with douvlo" (slave) so it too is included in the theme statement. The idea of sonship is included because of the repetition of uiJov" (six times) throughout this passage. The "through Christ" idea is included because of the proportion of text (verses 4 through 5) which is devoted to this.

The lexical unity within this paragraph involving uiJov" has been noted as has the lexical sandwich involving klhronovmo". In addition to these two features, douvlo" (slave, servant) is repeated three times (verses 1, 3 and 7

This paragraph is sharply divided from the preceding by the use of the speaker orienter levgw (I say), plus the transitional dev. Klhronovmo" (heir) forms a hook-eye connection with the previous paragraph.

This paragraph begins a new subsection, thus it is not related directly to what precedes, but rather gives the grounds for the appeal of paragraph twenty-six.

This paragraph has several troubling features: the difficulty in determining a theme statement, the difficulty in relating the propositions to one another, and the seemingly indiscriminate change in the person of the verb in verse 3 onward, from the first plural to second plural to second singular. Nevertheless even with these troubling features the point of this passage remains clear.


In verses 8 and 9 Paul contrasts the Galatians' former and present-spiritual condition. The more prominent side of this contrast appears to be the present, since it is on the basis of their present condition of being known by God that Paul introduces the rhetorical question, which by definition is prominent. Once this rhetorical question is placed into propositional form the theme statement of this paragraph appears. Verse 10 gives a specific example of the things which they are doing but should not. Verse 11 is a personal interjection of Paul which serves to emphasize the preceding statements (compare 2:20).

Unity and coherence in this paragraph are seen in the repetition of the idea of knowing God (eijdovte" Qeovn, gnovnte" Qeovn, gnwsqente" uJpoV Qeou') and the repetition of douleuvw and in the generic-specific relationships between verses 9 and 10. The comment of verse 11 upon the situation presented in verse 10 is another factor which shows coherence.

This paragraph is unusual in that it begins with ajllav. (but) the strongest disjunctive530 and draws a strong contrast between the Galatians' present state (verse 11) and their former condition (verse 8). The ajlla together with the shift in semantic domain, from their present state to their contemplation of putting themselves under the Law, mark this paragraph as distinct from the preceding.

This paragraph gives a conclusion based upon the grounds of paragraph twenty-six and thus ends this subsection of text.

Section 3

Subsection 1


The imperative of this paragraph has been abstracted as the theme. The speech orienter has been included because of its prominence over context. The "without the Law even a you formerly were" is an interpretation of oJvti kagwV wJ" uJmei'" [because I also (became) as you]. This entreaty is enigmatic until one considers the context. Once the context of returning to "the weak and worthless elements" is considered, it becomes apparent that "I became as you" most probably has reference to the fact that when Paul first preached to the Galatians he made no issue of the fact that he was a Jew and they were Gentiles, but put himself on an equal plane with them. The "become as I" most probably has reference to Paul's freedom from the Law, a case which he has spent a chapter building.

The brevity of this paragraph allows for little lexical repetition. It is significant, though, that the emphatic personal pronoun ejgwv (I) is twice repeated in this short span of text. The cohesion of this paragraph is readily apparent. The speech orienter deovmai uJmw'n (I urge you) plus the content givwesqe wJ" ejgwv (become as I) and the reason oJti kajgwv wJ" uJmei'" (because I also became as you).

This paragraph is sharply divided from paragraph twenty-six by the use of the imperative givwesqe, the vocative ajdelfoiv, and the speech orienter devomai.

This paragraph begins a new section of material which covers verses 12 through 20 and serves as the conclusion to these next three paragraphs.541

Section 3

Subsection 2

P28 (4:12b-16) WE ARE GOOD FRIENDS.

This theme statement was chosen because upon examination of the passage, although the events described speak of the Galatians' reception of the gospel, the point which Paul seems to be making is his close personal relationship with the Galatians. Oujdevn me hjdikhvsate (you did me no wrong) wj" ajvggelon Qeou' ejdevcasqev me (as an angel of God you welcomed me), and the statement that they would have given their eyes for Paul had they been able, all demonstrate this point.

Lexically this unit is held together by the use of ejgwv (I; 14 bis and 15) and the use of uJmei'" (you plural; seven times). There is only one coherence span which runs through this paragraph. It begins with 12b, which is joined by an adversative dev to 13a. Between 13 and 14 a copulative kaiv occurs. Fourteen "a" and 14b are set in juxtaposition to the adversative ajllav. Verse 15 is introduced by oj'un and a rhetorical question. The following clause is introduced by gavr plus a speech orienter marturevw oJvti. Verse 16 is then introduced by the result marker wJvste.

This paragraph can be seen to function as the grounds for paragraph twenty-seven; an appeal based on a personal relationship carries a great deal of emotional weight although very little in the way of actual evidential grounds.


The theme of this paragraph has been abstracted from zhlou'sin uJma'" ouj kalw'" ajllav ejkklei'sai uJma" qevkousin (they are zealous for you not for good but they wish to exclude you). The idea that "they" are "not doing well" and the idea of "exclusion" gave rise to the concept of "them" being in truth the Galatians' enemies.

Lexical unity in the section is seen in the use of Cn,k6w (I am zealous). Coherence can be seen by the fact that there is only one non-subordinated proposition:

17a. They are zealous for you, but not for good.

17b. But they wish to exclude you. CONTRAST to "a."

17c. In order that you may be zealous for them. PURPOSE to "b."

18a. Now it is good to be zealous . . . . COMMENT on zealous.

18b. Not only when I am present with you. CIRCUMSTANCE or TIME of 18a.

The determining factor in positing a new paragraph at this point was the change in the person of the verb from second plural to third plural, the start of a new propositional string, and the change I in semantic domain from Paul' experience with the Galatians to those who were troubling them

This paragraph seems to function best as contrast t twenty-eight and thus emphasizes Paul's relationship with the Galatians.


Within the context of this paragraph this proposition which has been chosen as the theme is not the most prominent but rather the cause (oJvti) of Paul's wish to be present and change his voice. However, since verse 19 conveys such an intense feeling of personal concern, ouJv" pavlin wjdivnw mevxri" ouJ' morfwqh' Xristov" ejn uJmi'n (with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you) and the context is one which related personal concern, this was chosen as the theme of the paragraph.

The brevity of the paragraph affords little lexical repetition; uJmei'" is repeated twice. This paragraph has been divided at the relative pronoun ouJv" and the subordinated statement has been raised to a non-subordinate level because of the change in the person of the verb, the vocative tevkna mou, and the change in semantic domain (being zealous to being in labor until Christ is formed This new non-subordinated statement in verse 19 is related to verse 20a by dev. The kaiv joining 20a and 20b gives a coordinate relationship between these two clauses. The oJvti in 20c introduces the reason for this wish to be present with them.

There is but one explicit grammatical marker separating paragraph thirty and twenty-nine, the vocative. The decision for this paragraph break was based on the change in verb person and the shift in semantic domain, and this vocative

This paragraph can be seen then to function as matched support with paragraph twenty-eight as grounds for paragraph twenty-seven.

Section 4

Subsection = Paragraph


The imperative levgetev moi (tell me) and the rhetorical question have not been included in the theme statement because it was felt that these function on the section level, and in so doing should not be included in a paragraph in a theme. The theme statement is taken from verse 22 and is more prominent than verse 23 because of the contrast (ajllav) and because verse 22 is more generic than 23.

The term paidivskh" (bondwoman) is repeated in verses 22 and 23, as is ejleuqevra" (free woman). Verse 22 functions as grammatical support for verse 21 introducing a reason gavr. The rhetorical question of verse 22 gives the content of the imperative levgetev moi. The grammatical markers which separate this paragraph from the previous one are the imperative levgete, the rhetorical question toVn novmon oujk ajkouvete, and a change in semantic domain from Paul’s personal concern to the Scripture's account of Abraham.

This paragraph functions with the following three paragraphs to form a logical syllogism. Paragraph thirty gives the major premise. This phenomenon will be discussed on the section level.


This theme has been abstracted from verse 24, aJvtinav ejstin ajllhgorouvmena (which things are allegorical), which yields the idea of "illustrate," and the extended discussion of verses 25 through 27 which explains the bondage and freedom of the mothers.

Lexical unity within this paragraph is found in the repetition of Sina' (Sinai), ’Ierousalhvm (Jerusalem), doulevw (or a derivative form) and 'Agavr (Hagar) all of which occur twice. Coherence throughout this paragraph is shown in the subordination of the propositions. There is only one nonsubordinate proposition, "which things are allegorical." This proposition is followed by gavr (explanatory) which subordinates the rest of the paragraph.

This paragraph has been separated at the pronoun DTLVOL, which would then be retranslated as "these things." Although there is no grammatical marker at this point, there is a change in focus from the fact of the two sons to the explanation of their significance as representing two covenants. It was on this basis primarily that a new paragraph here was posited. Another reason for positing this as a, paragraph amplifying the preceding one is that it was difficult to abstract a theme statement for 21 through 27 that was not too unwieldy.


This theme statement is essentially the proposition of verse 28. It is the theme for the entire paragraph because verse 29 is introduced by ajllav, placing it in contrast with verse 28. Verse 30, introduced by ajllav plus the rhetorical question, has a prominent position in relation to verse 29; however, it should be regarded as subordinate to verse 28 because it gives further information about what being a child of promise involves. Thus it seems to amplify verse 28.

The forefronted uJmei'", the vocative ajdelfoiv, and the transitional dev all signal a paragraph break at verse 28. This is supported by the change in semantic domain, from the covenants to the fact that "you have" sonship like Isaac.

This paragraph functions as grounds for paragraph thirty-four and gives the minor premise to the syllogism being developed.


The theme of this paragraph is merely a restatement of its one proposition, in more generic terms. Diov, the strongest of the inferential particles, and the vocative ajdelfoiv signal a paragraph division at this point. In addition, the fact that this proposition/paragraph forms a conclusion to the syllogism being built in this section also argues for its paragraph status.552

This paragraph is a unity since it contains but one proposition.


The theme of this paragraph is the explicit conclusion stated in the th' ejleuqeriva hJma'" XristoV" hjleuevrwsen (to freedom, us, Christ set free). Since it is a conclusion it is more prominent than its grounds.

Even in this short paragraph there is an important lexical item repeated, ejleuqriva/hjleuqevrwsen (freedom). The coherence in this two-proposition paragraph is seen by the use of ouj'n (therefore) which 'joins these two propositions.

There were several factors which, combined, gave evidence that this verse should be posited as a paragraph rather than being joined to the preceding one as a further conclusion. These factors include the forefronted dative th' ejleuqeriva, the forefronted hJma'", the inferential ouj'n, the imperatives sthvkete and ejnevxesqe, the change in mood from indicative to imperative, and the change in person from first plural to second plural. In addition a more subjective factor entered into this decision, that was the apparent transitional nature of this verse. It acts as a summary of what has preceded, and also serves as generic introduction for the imperative section which follows in chapters five and six.

On a low level, this verse serves to draw a further conclusion from the material of 4:21-31. On a higher level this paragraph serves as a summary and conclusion of the entire argument from 3:7-4:31, and introduces the material which follows, by the two imperatives.


The theme of this paragraph is taken from verse 2. Verses 2 through 4 present the same idea of the futility and even harmful effects of circumcision: "Christ will profit nothing." A man who is circumcised is debtor to the whole Law, he is separated from Christ, he is fallen from grace. Noted, these four ideas present very similar concepts. The theme statement was selected because it seemed the most generic.

Lexical unity within this paragraph is seen by the repetition of peritevmnhsqe (circumcision), pivsti" (faith), dikaiovw (I justify), and Xristov" (Christ). There is also a contrast between novmo" (Law) and pneu'ma/pivsti"(spirit/faith) The coherence of this paragraph is seen in the four-fold repetition of the idea stated in the theme. Verses 5 and 6 are both introduced by gavr, giving reasons for these assertions.

There is a very sharp division between this paragraph and paragraph thirty-five. The imperative ijvde (behold), the first person pronoun ejgov, Paul's use of his own name Pau'lo", and the speech orienter levgw all signal a break at this point.

This paragraph functions as a reason for the second part of the command of paragraph thirty-five, "don't be circumcised." Another option would be to see the imperative of 5:1 as hendiadys and this reason as related to both imperatives. This will be more fully discussed on the section and subsections levels.


In this paragraph it is most difficult to establish a theme statement because of the highly emotional nature of the material. There are very few grammatical clues as to the subordination of this material. The subject changes at least two and possibly more times in these six verses. Yet one gets a subjective impression as he reads and rereads these verses that they all revolve around the disreputable character of the false teachers, mikraV zuvmh oJvlon toV fuvrama zumoi' (a little leaven leavens the whole lump), bastavsei toV krivma (he will bear judgment), eij peritomhVn ejvti khruvssw (if I still preach circumcision; here then is an inference that they were also liars charging that even Paul taught circumcision). It is on account of these statements that the theme statement has been adopted. It is not without problems since it does not adequately deal with all the material in this paragraph.

Another possible solution is to split this section of text into three paragraphs; verses 7 through 9, 10 through 11 and 12. However, when this was done the same problems remained as mentioned above and the fact that all the theme statements were related to the false teachers influenced this author's thinking in the direction of seeing this unit as one paragraph.

Lexical unity is virtually nil throughout this section Coherence has been nearly impossible to establish because of the extremely short, choppy, uncompleted sentences.

If indeed the theme posited is close to correct, then this paragraph turns attention from the receiving of circumcision to its advocates in an almost ad hominem attack on their character. Then this paragraph would serve as further reason for paragraph thirty-five, based upon the character of the advocate of circumcision.


The theme of this paragraph is taken from verse 13b which gives the positive part of the command of verse 13a, "don't use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh." The positive rather than the negative, was selected as the theme because of the general principle that the positive proposition has more prominence than the negative. In addition the material of verse 14, introduced by gavr, supports specifically the positive command diaV th'" ajgavph" douleuvete (serve one another through love). In addition to these facts it was felt that the "don't use your freedom. . . " was a specific of the positive command of sthkevte (stand) in 5:1. Thus it should be placed on a higher level parallel to the "don't be circumcised" of paragraphs thirty-six through thirty-seven. Upon examination of the use of sthkevte in the New Testament it was found that it is used very often in the context of a moral situation and never in the exclusive sense of standing against heresy.563

Lexical unity within this paragraph is found in the repetition of the terms ejleuqeriva (freedom, 13 bis), ajllhvlou" (one another; 13, 15 bis), and ajgavph (love; 13 and 14). The coherence of this paragraph can be seen as noted above by the contrast (ajllav) of "don't use your freedom" to serve one another" and the subordination of verse 14 by gavr. Thirteen "a" functions as a transitional statement giving a reason for verse 12 and also introducing the new topic, the right use of freedom.

This paragraph is marked as distinct from the preceding by the forefronted emphatic pronoun uJmei'", the use of the vocative ajdelfoiv, the change in person of the verb, and the change of semantic domain.

This paragraph functions, then by giving the means of sthkevte and mhV thVn ejleuqerivan eij" ajformhVn th' sarkiv (stand, and do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh


The theme of this paragraph is readily apparent as one examines verses 16 through 18. This theme statement is explicit in verse 16, and verses 17 and 18 are subordinate by gavr which introduces proof of this statement.

Lexically there are three topics which are repeated throughout this paragraph: pneu'ma (spirit; 16, 17 bis and 18) , sqvrc (flesh, 17 bis) , and ejpiqumiva (desire, 16 and 17 bis). The cohesion of this paragraph can be seen thus:

16a. Walk by the Spirit and you won't fulfill the desires of the flesh.

17a. For the flesh lusts against the spirit. GROUNDS of 16a. And the spirit lusts against the flesh.

17b. For these things are contrary to one another. AMPLIFICATION of 17a.

17c. So that the things which you do not wish, you do. RESULT of 17a.574

18a. Now if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the Law. AMPLIFICATION of 16a.

So the coherence of this paragraph is readily apparent.

This paragraph is marked off from paragraph thirty-eight by the use of the speaker orienter levgw (I say) and the use of the imperative peripatei'te (walk).

This paragraph can be seen to give another means to the imperative sthkevte of 5:1 and to the more generic abstracted theme. "Don't become involved with the flesh."


This paragraph gives a test of specific works which the flesh does. The theme then is abstracted from this test.

Little lexical unity exists in this paragraph due to e nature of the material. The cohesion is shown by the list of the works of the flesh. The final clause of this paragraph appears to function in a comment relationship with the specifics of the paragraph. This is evident by the use of the relative pronoun aJ.

This paragraph serves to amplify paragraph thirty-nine by giving the specific works of the flesh.


Again as in the preceding paragraph a list is presented. This theme statement has been abstracted from the specifics of this list.

Again, there is little lexical unity and the cohesion ,is shown by the list.

The grammatical marker in this paragraph is dev, which in this case has an adversative form contrasting 'it to the works of the flesh. In addition, the change in semantic domain, from the flesh to the spirit, is evidence for a new paragraph.

This paragraph serves as amplification of paragraph thirty-nine by giving the specific fruit of the spirit.


Verses 24 and 25 have been interpreted as near equivalents; verse 2.4 by giving the results of belonging to Christ, of walking by the Spirit, verse 25 then gives an exhortation to follow the Spirit. Since an exhortation, the hortatory stoixw'men, is more prominent than an indicative, it is reflected in the theme statement. The negative idea exalting ourselves" has been abstracted from mhV ginwvmeqa kenovdocoi, ajllhvlou" prokalouvmenoi, ajllhvloi" fqonou'nte" (let us not become boastful/conceited, provoking one another, challenging one another). This idea has been included in the theme statement because of the repetition of a similar idea in 6:3 (eij gavr dokei' ti" eij'naiv ti mhdeVn wjvn, frenapata' eJautovn, "if anyone thinks that he is something when he is nothing he deceives himself").

Through this paragraph there is again no real lexical unity. The coherence between verse 24 and 25 has been discussed above. Verse 25 and 26 are related by way of contrast ,This paragraph serves as an introduction to the final imperative section of material in this division and-gives specific instructions concerning the spiritual life.


The theme of this paragraph is taken from the imperative. The ejan gives the hypothetical situation and the other propositions relate conditions surrounding the "restoring." The ajdelfoiv of verse 1 seems to separate this paragraph from paragraph forty.

This paragraph functions as a specific of paragraph forty-two.


In this paragraph the means is more prominent than the result because of the imperative bastavzete (bear). Verse 3, introduced by gavr, presents a reason for this command, and implies conceit. "Thinking one's self to the something more than he really is, tends to make one unwilling to share one another's burden."585

The break between this paragraph and paragraph forty-one was made on the basis of a change in semantic domain.

There are no grammatical markers, but rather there is a case of asyndeton at this point.

This paragraph serves as another specific of paragraph forty-two.


This paragraph has a similar construction to paragraph forty-four. An imperative plus a result clause is used. As in paragraph forty-four the imperative dokimazevtw (examine) is more prominent and so it is the theme.

This paragraph introduced by dev stands as yet another specific of paragraph forty-two.


This theme statement has been abstracted from verse 6. As presently understood, verse 7 is a proverbial type of statement which introduces a reason for verse 6.

This paragraph is marked by the forefronted imperative koinwnevetw (share) and the transitional dev.

This paragraph functions as yet another specific of paragraph forty-two.

Division IV


The theme of this paragraph has been abstracted from verses 12 through 15. Here Paul has set up a contrast between himself and those who are preaching circumcision (an adversative dev, 14a). The positive side of this contrast has been chosen as the central point of the theme because a positive is generally more prominent than a negative. What Paul says about the Judaizers is most definitely negative, but it has been included in the theme statement due to the proportion of text which it occupies. Verse 15 introduces grounds (gavr) for Paul to glory in the death of Christ and not in circumcision, oujvte gavr teritomhv tiv evstin oujvte ajkrobustiva ajllaV kainhV ktivsi" (for neither is circumcision anything nor is uncircumcision, but a new creation). Verse 16 then gives a blessing to those who agree with the statement of verse 15. At this point verse 16 has been classified as comment. Verse 11, while grammatically unsubordinate, is logically subordinate since its function is to call attention to the material which follows.

This paragraph upon some reflection seems to closely parallel the occasion for writing in paragraph three. Verses 8 and 9 of chapter one pronounced a curse upon those who would prevent the gospel. Verse 16 of chapter six pronounces a blessing upon those who hold to the gospel.

Lexical unity within this paragraph is shown by the repetition of teritomhv (Circumcision; 12, 13 bis, and 15), staurov" (cross; 12 and 14) , kovsmo" (world, 14 bis) , kauxaovmai (boast, 13 and 14), and savrc (flesh, 12 and 13). The coherence is seen in the subordination of the verbs and has' been noted above.

There is a very distinct division between this paragraph and the previous one, ijvdete plhivkoi" uvmi'n gravmmasin ejvgraxa th' emh' xeiriv (behold, with what large letters I write to you by my own hand). There is also a change in person, first plural to third plural; a change in mood, subjunctive to indicative; and a change in semantic domain.

This paragraph functions on a very high level as a summary of the whole book. As noted this section seems to parallel paragraph three when one considers the curse mentioned there and the blessing mentioned here.


In this paragraph there are two propositions, the theme statement and its grounds; evgwV gaVr taV stivgmata tou' Ihsou' ejn tw' swvmativmou bastavzw (for I bear in my body the marks of Jesus .

There are no repeated lexical items in this paragraph. The cohesion is shown by the subordination of the grounds by gavr to the conclusion.

This paragraph has been separated from the preceding because of the use of tou' loipou' (finally), the change in the mood, an implicit optative to an explicit indicative, the change in person (third plural to first singular), and a change in semantic domain.

This paragraph seems to function in a grounds-conclusion relationship with paragraph forty-four in much the same manner as paragraph three functions with paragraph two. The fact that Paul bears on his body the marks of Jesus, adds weight to his final statement concerning circumcision and the gospel in paragraph forty-seven.


This final paragraph gives the benediction to the book and a variation of the standard epistolary form, but form that is common to the apostle.596

44 For the sake of brevity the symbol “P” will be used as an abbreviation for “paragraph”.

45 John Lee White, The Body of the Greek Letter, (Missoula, Montana: Society of Biblical Literature, 1972), p. 7.

46 John Eadie, Commentary on the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1884; reprint ed. Minneapolis: James and Klock, 1977), p. 146. Ernest DeWitt Burton, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1921), pp. 100-02.

47 According to Beekman, a rhetorical question can function “to make an evaluation or a command”, John Beekman and John Callow, Translating the Word of God (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1974), p. 244. These questions are not demanding information but rather supplying it and must be “unscrambled” to determine the meaning which is being conveyed.

48 J. B. Lightfoot, St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (London: Macmillan, 1865; reprint ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974), p. 116.

49 For examples see Lightfoot, Galatians, p. 116, Eadie, Commentary on Epistle of Paul, p. 175; Burton, Galatians p. 125 reads ajvra but sees this sentence as a question due to the force of mhV gevnoito rather than the interrogative use of ajvra.

50 Burton, Galatians, p. 127.

51 J. Harold Greenlee suggested this solution in a meeting with this writer.

52 Burton, Galatians, p. 202.

53 0 F. Blass and A. Debrunner, A Greek Grammar of the New Testament, trans. R. Funk (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961), p. 448.

54 1 Paragraphs twenty-eight through thirty-one have been tentatively divided for reasons which follow in the development of those paragraphs. However, it is possible to see 12-20 as one paragraph. The extreme brevity of the posited paragraphs might make this a very attractive alternative. But when this author attempted to adopt that solution he found some difficulty in a theme statement which reflected adequately the thought development of this “paragraph.”

55 2 It might be objected that this last reason is circular. This author admits that there is a degree of circular reasoning involved here. However, the weight of the evidence for this paragraph break was not placed upon this one questionable reason.

56 3 Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, eds. Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich, trans. and ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, s.v. “sthvkw,” by Walter Grundmann, VII (1973): 636-638. Compare also 1 Corinthians 16:13, Philippians 1:27, 4:1, I Thessalonians 3:8, 2 Thessalonians 2:15, and Galatians 5:1.

57 4 Burton denies the possibility of the iJna of verse 17 being result, actual or conceived. Rather he understands it as purpose. For a full discussion of his reasons see Burton, Galatians, p. 301.

58 5 Burton, Galatians, p. 330.

59 6 John Lee White, The Body of the Greek Letter, (Missoula, Montana: Society of Biblical Literature, 1972), p. 8.

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