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Common Ground? The Role of Galatians 2.16 in Paul's Argument

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 May 2007

Tyndale Seminary, Toronto, Ontario M2M 4B3, Canada


Several scholars have argued that Paul's statements about ‘justification’ in Gal 2.16 are intended to serve as common ground with his Galatian opponents. Yet Paul seems to argue polemically for the same idea in 2.21. Moreover, the structure of Paul's diatribal rhetoric in 2.16–21 suggests that Paul thought his statements in 2.16 would be controversial. When we observe that Paul continues to argue through chs. 3 and 4 for this same understanding of ‘justification’, it becomes clear that the Apostle expected his views in 2.16 to meet stiff resistance in Galatia.

Research Article
© 2007 Cambridge University Press

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I would like to thank Stephen Westerholm and Terence Donaldson for their helpful feedback on earlier drafts of this paper.