What does the Scripture say? : an analysis of the presence and function of Scripture in Galatians 1-2
This is a study of the presence and function of Scripture within the first two chapters of Paul's letter to the Galatians. The study takes a broad, comprehensive look at the intertextual relationships that exist between Paul's presuppositions, statements and arguments and the Scriptures of Israel. These relationships go beyond the use of citations and allusions (which are not conspicuous in these chapters) and include implicit and intuitive uses which are recognized and which function in ways quite distinct from more formal and explicit uses of Scripture. These more subtle and implicit uses of Scripture are detected by reading Paul's discourse in the light of the Old Testament Scriptures which were read in his churches and of those Jewish interpretative traditions of the period that may have informed his (and his churches') understanding of those Scriptures. The concern of this study goes beyond the detection of scriptural presence to the investigation of the function of that scriptural material within the framework of the discourse in which it is found. To this end the investigation has been conducted on the basis of a comprehensive analysis of the semantic and rhetorical structure of the letter as a whole and of the various units out of which it is constructed. The study concludes: that Paul describes the situation facing the Galatians as one of impending apostasy, in distinctly Jewish terms; that the function of Scripture within these two chapters tends to mirror the rhetorical function of the chapters themselves; that Paul uses Scripture as a tool for redescribing people, situations and things around him; and that there is an apocalyptic-restorationist theological orientation that guides him in his reading and use of Scripture.