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Paul's Use of the Promise Theme in Galatians and Romans

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Chapter Summary

This chapter establishes the context for Paul's interpretation of the Abraham tradition in Romans 4:I3-22. It starts with a survey of his use of this tradition in an earlier letter, Galatians 3 and 4. The chapter then turns to passages in Romans, in particular I: 2 and I5: 8, in which Paul speaks non-polemically of the promise, apparently accepting a traditional use of it among Christian Jews. It introduces chapter 4, and the dialogue-form reveals a controversy which sets the tone for Paul's use of the tradition of the promise made to Abraham. Paul speaks of the promise to Abraham in Galatians 3 as well as in Romans 4, but there are marked differences in his application of the theme in the two letters. Compared with the use of the tradition of the promise in Hebrews II and Romans 4 for example, Galatians 3 is a very free adaptation.

Keywords: Abraham tradition; Christian Jews; Galatians; Hebrews; Paul; Romans



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