Means or meaning : the logic of Paul's rhetoric in Galatians 3:10-14
Gal. 3:10-14 is still one of the most controversial and challenging passages in Paul's letters. The logic of Paul's rhetoric is that which mainly baffles. Study of this text has been hampered by an inadequate appreciation of the ranges of possible meanings, at all semantic levels. We seek to redress this lack m chapter 2. We survey the science of logic. We discover overlooked semantic possibilities for three key word-groups in Paul's rhetoric. and could be "discourse" lexical concepts. By Paul very possibly intends "accomplishments" rather than "endeavour." Chapter 3 finds the indicated senses Paul’s. Effectively multiplying our data via sociolinguistic cognizance that identical words may denote different "realities" for speaker and hearer, we discover that Paul's usage implies a three-fold working semantic hypothesis: For Paul "faith" believes in a covenantal condition besides itself, namely obedience (endeavour to fulfil God's commands); Paul is basically denying that justification depends upon any particular amount of accomplishment of God’s commands; and the issue Paul is addressing is not that of die true means of justification, but that of the true meaning of ("righteousness" and thereby of) "justification" in the context of God’s covenant. The remainder of the thesis confirms and elaborates this overall meaning for Gal. 3:10-14. In verse 10 Paul points out that logically those who hold to the theory of "justification" have circumstances which contradict that theory; thus he is arguing by a "circumstantial" ad hominem type of argument. In verses 11-12 he circumstantially undermines his opponents' "accomplishments" righteousness-criterion by its incompatibility with Hab. 2:4. In verses 13-14, the "rescue" works entirely by causa cognoscendi: it is not a means of propitiation or repayment, either for man or for God. Our findings support our hypothesis.