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6. The Theme of the Book

After an examination of the higher level semantic unity of Galatians, it became readily apparent that the structure of the book hinged around one verse, 5:1. In this verse the theme of the book is found stated explicitly, albeit in terms which Paul has been using in his allegory of Hagar and Sarah. Even these terms, however, he has equated with Law and faith by obvious references in argument up to this point. Therefore, 5:1 has been chosen as the theme statement of the book.

However, it was felt that it would be wise to restate this theme in terms more generic and universal. Hence, this author proposes the following for the theme statement for the epistle to the Galatians: Stand in the freedom of the gospel of Christ and do not again become enslaved to the Law and the flesh.

In the theme statement the phrase "the gospel of Christ" has been included to clarify the Christian's freedom and has been drawn from the whole tenor of the book. The phrase "the Law and the flesh" has been substituted for "the yoke of bondage" since the yoke Paul is speaking of here is the yoke of Law, and the results of that Law are the works of the flesh delineated in the following chapter.


As this study of Galatians is completed, this author is left with mixed emotions. This study has been a rewarding one and it has been exciting to see the intricate structure of the book unfold. However, it is now apparent that a discourse analysis of a book, even on the larger semantic units, is too broad a topic to be adequately covered in the limited scope of a thesis.

Further studies which need to be undertaken include detailed interaction of the results of this study with commentaries, a full propositional analysis of each paragraph t validate these tentative results, and a revision of this author's conclusions based u on these further studies.

Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines

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