Galatians – 5

We are still in the Covenant Ethics section of  Galatians. Not having looked too far ahead, I’m not yet certain of the overall structure of this section. So until this becomes clear we will stick with the secondary cycles. I have no doubt that the structure will become clear in hindsight, because it always does.

The first Ethics cycle concerned the purpose of the Law, communicated through a symbolic overview of Israel’s history. That cycle is perhaps the Transcendence of this cycle. The second Ethics cycle focusses on the Galatians’ response to the Law, so it appears Paul has moved from Ethical Transcendence to Ethical Hierarchy. This is the “circumcision” cycle, the sign that sets Israel apart, so Paul will be hammering home the death of the Christ as its fulfillment.
This post has been refined by fire and included in a new book, The Shape of Galatians.

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