'Paul and the law' in John Chrysostom and modern scholarship
I have investigated the situation in Galatia in Paul’s times, the relationship between Judaism and Christianity in general and the situation in Antioch in John Chrysostom’s times. All the evidence cited in my introductory chapter points to the conclusion that the situation in fourth-century Antioch is very similar to that in first-century Galatia. This study, in part two, deals with early Christian exegesis and its methods of exegesis. It appears that early Christianity took over the existing methods of exegesis which were in use in Hellenism and Judaism adapting them to meet its own needs to confront Arianism, Nestorianism and Monophysitism in the fourth century. A special reference was made to Chrysostom outlining his education, his philosophical and spiritual formation, his use of scripture. I have also dealt with Chrysostom’s use of typology and allegory, the main methods of exegesis espoused by the schools of Antioch and of Alexandria, and his system of exegesis of Paul’s letters. Having given Chrysostom’s position within early Christian exegesis, I have proceeded, in part three, to examine Chrysostom’s understanding of Paul’s statements about the Law, comparing it with that of modern scholarship. The similarities between the situation in first–century Galatia and the situation in fourth-century Antioch, are not the only reason for taking Chrysostom’s understanding of Paul seriously. Chrysostom’s ability to analyse Paul’s rhetorical strategies, his extensive knowledge of scripture and his constant interest in searching for the literal historical meaning of scripture, make him also a good reader of Paul. Finally, and more importantly, Chrysostom’s approach to the question of Paul and the Law provides a coherent line of thought and makes sense of Paul’s views as a whole. Thus, Chrysostom might have a better understanding of Paul, and for these reasons his views should be taken seriously by modern scholarship in their effort to re-evaluate and even to revise their views in order to attain a consensus on the question of Paul and the Law.