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Divisions of the Book

Division Analysis

Division I (1:6-10) I MARVEL THAT YOU ARE DESERTING THE GOSPEL

This division marks the occasion for the epistle. In the material presented there is the clear implication that they should not be deserting. So this division can be seen as grounds for division three.

It was debated as to whether this span of text should actually be raised to division status or whether it should be assigned section status. While it is possible to see these paragraphs as a section, this span of text attacks the problem of the Judaizers head on and the rest of the paragraphs (four through sixteen) are a defense of Paul's apostleship and a brief exposition of his gospel. Because verses 6 through 10 parallel very closely 6:11-17, it was felt that this text should be raised to division status.

Concerning the parallels between 1:6-10 and 6:11-17, one presents the problem, the other presents the answer. One presents the curse, the other a blessing. In one, Paul makes an assertion of his ambition to lease God in the other he offers proof that he does this, taV stivgmata tou' Ihsou'(the marks of Jesus).

Table III

Division Display

Division I (1:6-10) I marvel that you are deserting the Gospel. Grounds of division 3.

Division II (1:11-3:6) You are foolish and bewitched to trust the Law rather than to believe. Grounds of division 3.

Division III (3:7-6:10) Stand and do not be subject to the yoke of bondage.

Division IV (6:11-17) I glory in the cross of Christ, not in circumcision as others do. Equivalence of division

3.

Division II (1:11-3:6) YOU ARE FOOLISH AND BEWITCHED TO TRUST THE LAW RATHER THAN TO BELIEVE.

This division of the book has three sections. The first (1:11-2:14) serves to prove that Paul is a genuine apostle. This section is crucial to the argument of the book since it is evident that his apostleship was questions by the Judaizers. This seems to be hinted at, even in 1:10. Paul could not correct the heresy if the Galatians did not think him to be a credible exponent of the faith. This section serves as rounds for section three.

Division III (3:7-6:10) STAND AND DO NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE YOKE OF BONDAGE.

This division presents the heart of the book. Every section in this division provides a grounds for the imperative of 5:1.64 In addition, section five of which 5:1 is the theme statement, turns the attention from doctrine to application. This hinge type function of 5:1 gives cohesion to this division.

Division IV (6:11-17) I GLORY IN THE CROSS OF CHRIST NOT IN CIRCUMCISION AS DO OTHERS--equivalent of division three.

This division has been posited because of the drastic change in semantic domain. After a chapter of imperative and hortatory material, he again brings up the Judaizers. The personal handwriting is a very significant marker. The parallel structure with division one also was evidence weighed.

This division serves as a sort of summary of the argument of the whole book. It is not circumcision but faith (a new creation) which is important.

While a summary section of text is usually very prominent, it seems in this case that division three is more prominent due to the fact that an imperative is more prominent than an indicative and due also to the fact that the rest of the material in the book relates naturally to division three. It is more forced to relate it to division four.

The equivalence relationship has been posited at this point only because that was the closest that any of the relationships seemed to get to a summary .


64 See the Section Display.

Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines