Abraham, Faith, And Works: Paul’s Use Of Scripture In Galatians 3:6-14 -- By: Moisés Silva

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 063:2 (Fall 2001)
Article: Abraham, Faith, And Works: Paul’s Use Of Scripture In Galatians 3:6-14
Author: Moisés Silva

Abraham, Faith, And Works:
Paul’s Use Of Scripture In Galatians 3:6-14

Moisés Silvaa

Few passages in the Pauline literature have received as much attention as vv. 10–14 in chapter 3 of Galatians. Thus the numerous exegetical problems we face here are greatly compounded by the increasingly large number of attempts to solve them. If I hope to say anything meaningful at all, selectivity is key. And beyond selectivity, an effort must be made to have as well-focused a goal as possible. Oddly enough, my decision to extend the limits of the passage by including vv. 6–9 helps to define the discussion more narrowly, for it makes even clearer that I cannot hope to treat all the questions that surface here like bristles on a porcupine. Although some of those details must be carefully considered, my primary purpose is to focus on the basic question of how and why Paul brings these quotations together as he does.1

I. The Structure of the Passage

6Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” [Gen 15:6] 7Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.” [Gen 12:3; 18:18] 9So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

10All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” [Deut 27:26] 11Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” [Hab 2:4] 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” [Lev 18:5] 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” [Deut 21:23] 14He redeemed us...

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