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Subsections of the Book

Introduction

The preceding chapter has set forth the semantic paragraphs of Galatians, and interrelated them on the paragraph level. The next step in the analysis is to combine these paragraphs into groups of paragraphs which function as a single unit on a higher level semantically. These grouped paragraphs are referred to as subsections.

As analyzed by this author, the book of Galatians has relatively few subsections. This is probably due to the highly emotional nature of the material which did-not allow for as intricate a structure as, for example, the book of Romans. It is because of the scarcity of subsections that no subsection display has been included. What follows in this chapter is the grouping of the paragraphs into subsections and the interrelation of those subsections. Several paragraphs function on the subsection level. Since they have been previously discussed it was felt that it was superfluous to repeat the information delineated in the previous chapter.

Subsection Analysis

Division II

Section 1

Subsection 1 (P4) I MAKE KNOWN TO YOU THAT MY GOSPEL IS NOT FROM MAN BUT FROM JESUS CHRIST.

This subsection which consists of one paragraph, has been discussed on the paragraph level.

Subsection 2 (PP5-11) HERE IS PROOF FROM MY LIFE.

This subsection consists of six paragraphs which function as matched support relation. As noted in the paragraph discussion, the relation between these six paragraphs is sequential. This author understands that Paul is, in recounting his experiences from his conversion until his acceptance by the apostles, demonstrating that he had no opportunity to receive his gospel from the apostles. By adding his confrontation of Peter with this, he proves that he is at least equal with the preeminent spokesman of the early church, Peter.

Any one of the six paragraphs comprising the subsection does not prove the assertion of paragraph four. However, the interrelationship of these paragraphs in sequential relationship does powerfully argue for the validity of that assertion. Hence, the abstracted theme for this subsection has been stated in terms of Paul's life.

The cohesion of this subsection is clearly indicated by the sequential relationship of the paragraphs.

Division III

Section 3

Subsection 1 (P27) I URGE YOU, BECOME AS I AM, WITHOUT THE LAW, EVEN AS YOU FORMERLY WERE.

This subsection consists of paragraph twenty-seven and has been discussed on the paragraph level.

Subsection 2 (PP28-30) BECAUSE WE ARE SUCH GOOD FRIENDS--reason for subsection one.

Paragraphs twenty-eight through thirty form a perplexing sequence within the epistle. As can be seen, on the paragraph display, two of these three paragraphs (twenty-eight and thirty) deal with friendship. The third paragraph deals with the true nature of the Judaizers as enemies of the Galatians which is in stark contrast to the intimate nature of Paul's friendship with them.

Due to the proportion of text devoted to Paul's relationship and the fact that the Judaizers' relationship is a support by contrast to Paul's concern for the Galatians, the abstracted theme for this subsection reflects that relationship.

Cohesion within this subsection is seen in the personal nature of the material within these paragraphs as compared with the didactic material of the surrounding paragraphs.

Section 5

Subsection 1 (P35) STAND AND DO NOT BE SUBJECT AGAIN TO THE YOKE OF BONDAGE.

This subsection has been discussed on the paragraph level.

Subsection 2 (PP36-37) DO NOT BE CIRCUMCISED--specific of "do not be subject" of subsection one.

The theme of this subsection has been abstracted from the two paragraphs involved. Paragraph thirty-six deals directly with this theme. Paragraph thirty-seven deals wit it indirectly by attacking those who preach circumcision. This theme can be seen as a specific of the "do not be subject to the yoke of bondage" of subsection one.

Subsection 3 (PP38-46) DON'T BECOME INVOLVED IN THE FLESH--specific of subsection one "stand."

This subsection's theme has been abstracted from paragraph thirty-eight through forty-six, especially the first proposition of paragraph thirty-eight. This imperative has been related back to the sthvkete of subsection one This has been done on the basis of a study of the use of sthvkete in the New Testament. This imperative is used six times in the New Testament (1 Cor. 16:13, Gal.. 5:1, Phil. 1:27, 4:1, 1 Thess. 3:8, 2 Thess. 2:15). It is in a majority of its occurrences, found in a moral context and never occurs in reference exclusively to standing against heresy.60 Therefore, this entire section has been viewed in a chiastic arrangement.

    A. Stand.

      B. Do not be subject to the yoke of bondage.

      B1. Do not be circumcised.

    A1. Do not get involved with the flesh

The internal structure of this subsection has been seen to be the most involved in the book, because paragraph forty-two through forty-six seem to function on a level between the paragraph and the subsection.61 This "super-paragraph" then would function in a generic-specific relationship with the theme of subsection three.


60 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): 636-653.

61 See the Paragraph Display.

Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines