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Fall 2007, Vol. 4, No. 1

Toward Placing Galatians 2:11-14 Within its Forensic Rhetorical Context

Aaron M. Lawton (M.A. 2007)
Master of Arts in Theological Studies Paper, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary

In partial fulfillment of BNT 646 Theological Studies Seminar for the Master of Arts in Theological Studies Program

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In recent years, Hans Dieter Betz has been frequently credited as the developer of biblical rhetorical criticism. However, Betz is not without predecessors in the field of rhetoric. During the early centuries of the Christian church, Marius Victorinus Rhetor and John Chrysostom provided commentaries on Galatians which included some rhetorical analysis. This thread was taken up again during the Protestant Reformation and following with the writings of Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon. Throughout the generations rhetoric served as an important consideration for biblical interpretation. Although the educational system had begun to de-emphasize classical learning, rhetorical criticism has made a comeback in the past few decades. Revitalization in the field focuses on the prevalence of rhetoric in the culture of first-century Christianity.

A rhetorical examination of Galatians can provide insight which has not been fully developed to date. Such an analysis looks to the flow of argument in order to evaluate it in light of known rhetorical conventions. These evaluations will then place the overall work within a greater context. No single episode in any book can be treated separate from its context. It is imperative to analyze Galatians 2:11-14 within the context of the larger units, with specific attention to rhetorical criticism. These considerations will help to illuminate the role of the text within the larger work and demonstrate an overall development of ideas.

Galatians 2:11-14 is a unique confrontation within the New Testament. These verses recount a heated incident between two of the main figures in Christianity (Paul and Peter) following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Apostle to the Gentiles confronts the Apostle to the Jews over Peter’s withdrawal from table fellowship with Gentiles. The skirmish did not occur independently within time, but had events which led up to it. Paul provided a history of his travels and meetings preceding this event. Each of the earlier episodes works to lay the groundwork for the eventual epic confrontation. As such, it is my belief that Galatians 2:11-14 should be seen as the climax of the narrative section in Galatians 1 and 21 and the rhetoric which is presented in this section. The established rhetorical scheme and analysis of Galatians will be accomplished by means of comparison to ancient rhetorical textbooks. Further, analysis of Galatians 2:11-14 will be conducted to show it as the climax of its rhetorical section through both lexical and contextual analysis.

I. Rhetoric in History

Rhetoric has been variously viewed over time; philosophers have often vilified it and orators praised it. Closer to the time of the New Testament ancient orators penned descriptions of rhetoric. Aristotle originally declared the definition of rhetoric to be the art “of discovering in the particular case all the available means of persuasion.”2 Marcus Tullius Cicero also declared rhetoric to be an art with its end being “to persuade by language.”3 Quintilian described it as “the science of speaking well.”4 The pseudonymous author of Rhetorica Ad Herennium asserted that it sought “to secure as far as possible the agreement of his hearers.”5 George Kennedy summarized these ancient opinions when he described it as “that quality by which a speaker or writer seeks to accomplish his [or her] purpose.”6 The core of rhetoric has always been persuasion.7 The author or speaker seeks to convince the audience of a certain course of action or way of thinking. Techniques were developed to aid in the process and these have come down to the present day through rhetorical textbooks. Nonetheless, the classical understanding of rhetoric and Paul’s application are some distance apart. Paul was certainly concerned with some sort of persuasion when he sent a letter to the Galatians, but could he have known the rules of Greco-Roman rhetoric and then utilize them in the epistolary form?

Various hypotheses have been set forth to explain Paul’s understanding of rhetoric. From an inductive perspective, Carl Joachim Classen asserts that Paul integrated applied rhetoric he had encountered in texts of his day. Because of the level of Paul’s Greek, Classen believed Paul likely read a number of works written in Greek.8 Further, the careful study of the Old Testament Paul certainly undertook exhibited particular rhetorical qualities he would later emulate.9 Through extensive reading and literary study, any person in the ancient Roman empire could attain an adequate grasp of rhetoric.

In addition, rhetoric and oratory functioned as the tapestry of daily life during the first century.10 It was endemic to the culture, extending its influence from the emperor to the common person.11 The first-century person, no matter their position in the social hierarchy, would be inundated with instances of oratory in daily interaction and observation of rhetorical experts. One example of the pervasiveness of rhetoric regardless of social distinction was the presence of rhetoric in Greek-speaking synagogues.12 Even Palestinian Judaism, which is arguably purest branch of Judaism, remained strongly influenced by the general Hellenistic environment.13 Separatism of the Jews did not extend to persuasion; they utilized the cultural forms in their studies and presentations. Neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, rich nor poor could escape the influence of rhetoric.

Simply living in a culture saturated with oratory would result in a general understanding of rhetoric. Along these lines, attending law courts and public gatherings could inculcate a good deal of oratory. With this comes the possibility that, prior to his conversion on the road to Damascus, Paul may have worked as a prosecutor.14 If one accepted this thought, it would be inconceivable to understand his persecuting efforts as not having a legal aspect as well. In fact, the Greek term diokein does not provide a distinction between the two activities of persecuting and prosecuting.15 Viewing Paul as a prosecutor is also not essential; Paul could have acquired knowledge of rhetoric simply by observing the abundance of examples which would repeatedly present themselves in everyday life.

Deductively, Paul may have learned rhetoric by means of formal education. Hellenized cities in the eastern Roman Empire during the first century CE frequently contained rhetorical schools.16 Paul could have attended such a school or university while in Tarsus before beginning his religious instruction. Others have speculated that school of Gamaliel I may have included curriculum which provided exposure to rhetoric.17  Hillel, the grandfather of Gamaliel I, set a precedent by introducing ideas which likely had their origin in Greek dialectical history.18 In later years, the grandson of Gamaliel I, Gamaliel II, was said to have instructed half his students in Greek philosophy and half in the Law.19 It would not be presumptuous to assert that
Gamaliel I allowed some accommodation to Alexandrian culture since he was both preceded and followed by relatives who did that very thing.20

Even if he had not been instructed in a formal school, Paul could have learned rhetoric from numerous handbooks in common circulation at that time.21 Four such texts exist in present times to support such an assertion: Aristotle’s The Rhetoric of Aristotle, Cicero’s De Inventione, Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria, and a pseudonymous Rhetorica Ad Herennium. Paul may have had access to these texts and used them as instruction manuals for developing arguments. His introduction to these works could have occurred in connection to others or completely independent.22 Although they may disagree over the means by which Paul acquired knowledge of Greco-Roman rhetoric, scholars believe he did possess an understanding of the “rhetorical conventions of speeches in Roman law courts, the oral teachings of Greek philosophers, and the conventions of Greek letter writing.”23 The task of delimiting Paul’s exact means of understanding rhetoric is a grossly speculative. There does not appear to be a single answer which best describes the means of possible instruction; there even remains the option of multiple means of rhetorical education. The number of prospects for learning demonstrates the overall influence of rhetoric on the Greco-Roman culture.24 Paul had no shortage of chances for instruction in such matters. With all the opportunities present for Paul, it would be more difficult to suppose he had no knowledge of rhetoric. The letters which are attributed to him suggest an education in rhetoric, whether formal or informal.

II. Rhetorical Criticism Addressed

Since rhetoric constitutes a ubiquitous presence in first-century life, it seems an appropriate place to begin analysis. The prevalence of argumentation suggests that dialogue in general would be infused with elements of persuasion. However, the primary analyses of Galatians have instead focused on historical concerns. One specific instance of historical concern is the Antioch incident recorded in Gal. 2:11-14.25 Additionally, care has been taken to associate the ministry timeline suggested in Galatians with what is contained in Acts.26 These concerns are of course important, but are unfortunately allowed to eclipse the larger elements of persuasion. The focus on historical concerns in Galatians frequently results in the isolation of chapters 1 and 2 from the rest of the letter, specifically alienating the historical narrative from the theological concerns.27 Rhetorical criticism stands in this gap and seeks to provide a more holistic approach to interpretation. This kind of appeal to Galatians has been historically labeled as literary criticism.

In the past, literary criticism has encompassed both rhetoric and epistolography. And yet epistolographical concerns frequently trumped those of rhetoric. The two elements almost became disparate views on the same texts. Classen, consonant with the more accepted bifurcation, argued that rhetoric and epistolography must be analyzed separately because in antiquity they were regarded as different fields.28 Scholars have repeatedly proposed models for harmonizing the two criticisms yet no single model has received wide acclaim.29 The history of failing short of success should not dampen the zeal for further investigation. Rhetorical criticism contains unique promise for unifying various disciplines within biblical studies. The potential for a rhetorical analysis of New Testament texts to unite both the literary concerns and social history concerns of the social scientist argues most strongly for the importance of such a study.30 Rhetorical analysis evaluates the components of the text in order to establish a larger scheme. This would help to connect the historical reality of the text and its form.

With regard to Galatians, a rhetorical analysis is essential on several grounds. The prevalence of rhetoric in the first-century world creates the impetus for studies of argumentation in the New Testament canon. An important and pervasive element of culture like rhetoric should not be neglected in attempts at interpretation. Paul, as a product of his culture, would likely utilize rhetoric in his letter to the Galatians. Additionally, attention to rhetoric provides the opportunity to unify the various works which have attempted to understand the historical data and the social dynamics along with literary analyses. Rhetoric potentially serves as a major innovation in the study of Galatians and biblical studies in general.

Rhetorical criticism has taken two forms in recent years of attention, universal and culturally specific. While attempts at persuasion are universal and may be analyzed in this larger context, Greco-Roman culture developed distinctive modes and manners of persuasion which remain particular to the understanding it. Some scholars have contested whether rhetoric is best understood in terms of the universal or the particular.31 Scholars like Richard Longenecker have undertaken the task of analyzing both the universal and particular aspects of rhetoric in Galatians. However, for the study of Galatians the main emphasis is on the contextual rhetoric of Paul’s day. Paul’s exposure and proposed adoption of contemporary styles of argumentation requires attention be paid to Greco-Roman rhetoric.

The primary sources for Greco-Roman rhetoric are extant letters and rhetorical handbooks. Beginning with Betz, handbooks have served as the major resource for rhetorical analysis. Bernard Brinsmead describes these texts as providing “evidence for the structure and dynamics [of rhetoric], as well as representing the theory of rhetoric as it was in Paul’s own day.”32 Others suggest that the assumption of Paul falling in accordance with the strict regulations found in writings of ancient rhetoricians serves to hamper analysis.33 In other words, a formal association between Pauline literature and ancient rhetorical models found in textbooks will prove unhelpful. However, reservations such as these overstate the hazards. Rhetorical textbooks provide a unique insight into the ideal forms of argumentation. Fairweather sounds an essential reminder when she called for readers to recall that “theory rises out of practice and not normally, vice versa.”34 The theoretical forms and rules proposed in the works of Aristotle, Cicero, and others did not originate in an abstract realm. Rather, argumentation was applied to life and the eventual distillation of ideas and theories can now be found in textbooks. Rhetorical handbooks serve both a prescriptive and descriptive role; to eliminate either of the uses would be to misconstrue the nature of the works.

Rhetorical textbooks operate as a rudimentary point of comparison for Greco-Roman literature.35 These works include a broad array of information of rhetoric: presentation, models, appearance, etc. The essential focus for rhetorical criticism concerns the distinctive genres of rhetoric. As such, the models of rhetoric found in the textbooks help to characterize the nature of Pauline literature.36 When a portion of text can be associated with a particular style, the major thrusts and emphases can be highlighted. There exists a dynamic relationship between the texts and handbooks where the texts are compared to discover possible compliance with the handbooks and the handbooks help to illuminate the texts in portions where there is compliance.37

III. Rhetorical Genre

Paul could draw from three general categories of Greco-Roman rhetoric which existed in the classical tradition: forensic, epideictic, and deliberative. Forensic rhetoric is often imagined as a courtroom address intending to defend or accuse someone concerning previous actions. Epideictic rhetoric is a spectator address intending to reinforce communal values through praise or blame. Deliberative rhetoric is a public address intending to exhort or dissuade the hearers concerning future actions.38 These categories have been applied in a variety of ways to the study of Galatians. In the years immediately following Betz’s commentary, the entire text of Galatians was described as belonging to only one of the rhetorical genres. However, criticism soon followed and the various elements within Galatians received more attention. Each species of rhetoric occurs in some way in Galatians, but that does not mean the book is characterized by that approach.

Betz’s commentary became the face for all who wished to identify Galatians as forensic. Brinsmead published his dissertation before Betz, but is often lumped together with Betz’s ideas.39 Many have noted the extreme detail with which Betz set forth the rhetorical units of the text.40 Great care was taken to identify each unit within the Galatians with forensic rhetoric;41 and yet this was the greatest criticism of his work. Aune denounces the attempt to artificially force Gal. 3-6 into a forensic model.42 The primary focus of this model is the association of Paul’s autobiographical section with a defense of Paul’s apostolicity. Forensic rhetoric is often envisioned in a court of law where the defendant provides a defense for previous actions. Further, instead of just the truth of a person, forensic rhetoric can also attempt to defend the truth of a position. Paul begins Galatians with an assertion of the divine origin of his apostolic authority (Gal. 1:1) and quickly returns to his preoccupation with divine acceptance rather than human (1:10). In what has been seen as his thesis (1:12), Paul declares forthrightly the divine origin of his authority. The remainder of the first two chapters set about demonstrating that claim. The rest of the book belongs to the continuation and ethical components of that thought.

The idea that Galatians belongs to deliberative rhetoric began as a reaction to Betz’s suggestion. Kennedy headlined the opposition to the forensic designation primarily pointing to the repeated exhortations found in Gal. 5-6; he argued that advocacy for a particular action which is in the best interest of the audience belongs to deliberative rhetoric.43 David Aune points to the lack of clear charges against Paul, a characteristic he sees as essential for forensic rhetoric, as discrediting Betz’s hypothesis.44 The determination of Galatians as deliberative rhetoric finally supposes that the basic argument of Galatians is whether Paul’s gospel or that of his opponents is preferable.45

The claims of the proponents of the deliberative distinction are not without criticism. While deliberative elements are more substantial in Gal. 5 and 6, the argument is not as strong for the initial two chapters. Aune, even though he describes the overall letter as deliberative, admits Gal. 1 and 2 contain significant forensic elements.46 Aune’s accusation about the absence of charges bears little significance on determination of genre.47 Stanley Stowers declared that forensic rhetoric usually begins with charges, but this does not necessarily need to be the case; the writer may allude to the charges or even anticipate possible charges.48 The contest between the two gospels does demand a decision by the readers, but whether this is the thrust of the narrative section can be questioned. The more basic idea is an attack on the validity of Paul’s gospel. Paul’s defense begins with his initial description as an apostle dia Iesou Christou kai theou patros.49 Gal. 1:6-9 describe the abandonment of the true Gospel for a false one. Paul then defends the divine origin of the Gospel in Gal. 1:11-12. This defense serves as the major impetus of the narrative passage. Such an apologetic defense differs from the deliberative approach in that it seeks to prove rather than advocate action. The following narrative section (1:15-2:14) establishes the divine origin of Paul’s gospel through incidents related to the church. The application of the narrative section occurs later in the text and should not be read into this part yet.50

Both of the forensic and deliberative descriptions have been assailed for their hard-line stances. Betz’s thoughts were criticized for not sufficiently allowing for alternative rhetorical conventions.51 Hansen denounced forensic rhetoric as too restrictive to entirely describe Paul’s rhetorical eclecticism in Galatians.52 In like manner, Aune, noting Paul’s eclecticism and creativity, warned against forcing the Pauline letters into an exclusive rhetorical model.53 Richard N. Longenecker averred that Galatians cannot be viewed as a “replica of some classical model,” but instead contains elements of those models.54 Even so, Galatians 1 and 2 have significant parallels with forensic literature.55 According to Aune, an analysis of the entire book reveals forensic oratory in Galatians 1 and 2 and deliberative oratory in the remaining chapters.56 The rhetoric within epistolary models has been suggested as one possibility for moving toward resolution of the rhetorical tension.

IV. Epistolary Genre

Closely connected to discussions of rhetoric have been the descriptions of the type of epistle. Betz has argued, largely on the basis of his identification of Galatians as forensic rhetoric, that the letter is an example of the “apologetic letter.”57 One ancient pseudonymous work which describes 21 types of letters describes an apologetic address as “that which adduces, with proof, arguments, which contradicts charges that are being made.”58 Brinsmead has similarly argued for this genre, pointing to the literary form of “apologetic speeches” such as Plato’s Apology, Demosthenes’ De Corona, Isocrates’ autobiography, and Cicero’s Brutus.59 Additional examples of apologetic address can be found in Acts.60 The defense speeches of Paul exhibit 5 major characteristics of this type of discourse: a trial scene with charges, the identification of the speech as apology, direct address, address of charges, and rhetorical questions.61 Many of these characteristics can be found in the first two chapters of Galatians, but the more deliberative sections do not follow.62

The treatment of the “apologetic letter” has come under fire. Betz’s failure to provide an example of this literary genre, with which to compare Galatians, draws the entire genre into question.63 The insinuation is that Betz created a genre to explain his letter. However, Stowers adeptly addresses the “apologetic letter”64 and others have provided support where Betz neglected to do so.65 Betz’s hypothesis is possible, but it still has problems. The primary difficulty with the suggestion of a literary genre for Galatians is the association with rhetoric. The assertion of Galatians as an “apologetic letter” focuses more on the rhetoric rather than epistolary structure.66 Ancient letter writing gradually attached itself to rhetorical systems so that rhetorical genres were associated with literary genres.67 As noted earlier, Galatians does not fully align with any single model for rhetoric. The apologetic genre is connected with forensic rhetoric and therefore cannot describe all of Galatians. Paul utilizes an eclectic approach which drew on a variety of methods of persuasion and which defies simple characterizations.68

V. Model for Galatians

Galatians is a unified letter with a single purpose by Paul. Literarily, he used a variety of techniques to accomplish his purpose. For the purpose of rhetorical analysis, Galatians can be generally broken into two sections, the forensic and the deliberative. The vast majority of scholars will recognize the distinction in these two sections, although they may describe them by other means. The repeated criticisms of the hard-line, single rhetorical identification beg for some synthesis. Focus has concentrated on Galatians 3 and 4 as the turning point of the letter; Betz himself declared “an analysis of these chapters in terms of rhetoric is extremely difficult.”69Hansen suggests that the shift between forensic and deliberative rhetoric occurs at Galatians 4:12, with Paul’s advocacy of new behaviors.70Aune disagrees, choosing instead to identify the shift as occurring at the beginning of Galatians 3.71 Both scholars point in the correct direction by noting a rhetorical change between Galatians 1 and 2 and the following chapters.

Aune directs a cogent argument with his designation of Galatians 3 as the turning point of the book. The first two chapters have a distinctly different character than the rest of the work. The forensic rhetoric can be seen throughout these chapters by means of Paul’s defense. He chooses to quickly enter the narrative of his past actions.72 It does not take much to imagine this as occurring within a law-court. Paul systematically presents significant events which characterize the nature of his ministry. The imagery of forensic rhetoric describes what is being done here and illuminates its expressions. However, Gal. 3 moves the focus from Paul’s previous life to the current actions of the Galatians.73 He quickly moves to the story of Abraham, which appears not to fit into forensic rhetoric. This same narrative has caused some to question if it belongs to deliberative rhetoric.74 Aune concentrates on the clear ending point of the forensic rhetoric and Hansen on the clear beginning point of deliberative. Paul has combined a variety of style which result in Gal. 3-4 serving as the turning point, however one wishes to define it.

Rhetorical arguments, regardless of genre, adhered to a standard organization to the argument. Oratory in classical style consisted of six parts: introduction (exordium) “which defines the character of the speaker and the central issue he addresses,” narration (narratio) “which is a statement of facts related to the issues of the case,” proposition (propositio) “which states the points of agreement, disagreement, and the central theses to be proved,” conformation (probatio) “which develops the central arguments,” refutation (refutatio) “which is a rebuttal of the opponents’ arguments,” and conclusion (peroratio) “which summarizes the case and evokes a sympathetic response.”75 Such an overall outline serves to provide an overarching element of design despite the varying rhetorical techniques. These approaches are utilized in accordance with historic rhetorical standards.

The forensic elements of Galatians are broken down into the exordium (1:6-11), narratio (1:12-2:14), and the propositio (2:15-21).76 In line with epistolary analysis as opposed to rhetorical analysis, Gal. 1:1-5 can be understood as an epistolary prescript.77 The prescript contains the expected information of author, recipients, and a salutation. This is the type of necessary information for a letter. Paul quickly turns to the exordium, the first part of the body of the letter. The exordium serves as “an introduction to the subject on which the orator has to speak.”78 Within this section he discredits his adversaries (vv. 6-7), announces a conditional double curse (vv. 8-9).79 The following two verses in this section ought to be viewed as a transitus or transgressio.80 Such a transition serves to smooth the shift from the exordium to the narratio.81 In a concise manner, Paul introduced what it was he would be speaking about and shifted to that very content, the narratio.

VI. Characterization of Narratio

The narratio is most commonly translated into English as “statement of facts.” It offers to the writer the chance to establish the foundation for the rest of the argument.82 This corresponds to the overall thrust of the letter by seeking to establish Paul’s authority; an argument must confirm the trustworthiness of the speaker before moving to the main emphases.83 The narratio lays the groundwork for what is said later in the ethical sections. The conformity of the author with ethical standards is presented before the demands of the audience to conform to the same standards. The point in question does not concern the facts of history, but the interpretation of that known history.84 The goal of the narratio is not a recitation of historical events merely for instruction, but instead to persuade the listener.85 The history is not of Paul’s relation to the Galatians, but instead facts which bear on the case of his apostolicity before them.86 Paul presents the statement of facts/his history in ways which largely correspond to Greco-Roman rhetorical conventions.

Traditionally, the narratio is characterized by three elements: lucidity, brevity, and credibility.87 Lucidity can be achieved by selection of appropriate words and coherent organization of argument.88 Clarity of speech is possible through words which apply and are not unknown to the hearers. Additionally, a thoughtful and organized argument greatly assists in the flow of thought. One other important consideration is that there is an intention to not say anything in a confusing way, or in digression, or in a passing over manner.89 Convoluted statements, even if the vocabulary is clear, will hamper persuasion. Appeal to peripheral issues or items only vaguely connected to the overall purpose result in a complicated structure. There is no need to trace issues back to their remotest beginning nor unnecessarily to its end.90 All pertinent facts must be covered in order to prevent gaps which would weaken the argument. Special attention is paid to the means of comprehension by the hearers. With the point of rhetoric being persuasion, the goal of the orator is to make the argument as clear and convincing as possible; issues with clarity can compromise cogency.91

Issues of brevity concern conciseness rather than the length of argument. The argument begins where it starts to be of importance for the hearers, avoids irrelevance, and removes anything which is extemporaneous.92 The point is not to give an exhaustive study of all which may pertain to the case, but starting where the issue begins. Interacting with the ideas of clarity but with a different end in mind, maintaining focus in the argument eliminates unnecessary length. It is preferable to bypass any thoughts which neither help nor harm the argument.93 The ultimate goal is to provide a concise argument, which includes all that needs to be said and nothing that does not. Cicero resonates with this statement but adds that the speaker should not “go on to a greater length than there is any occasion for.”94 Aristotle summarizes the concern when he said, “The right thing is neither rapidity nor brevity, but the proper mean.”95 While the vocabulary of Aristotle seems to conflict with this point, the thrust of the argument is the overriding idea: the argument should not be longer than it needs to be.96

Credibility can be established by not saying anything contrary to nature, by assigning explanations for the facts of the history, and by depicting the characters in a believable manner.97 Special attention should be paid to ensuring that the presentation of possible facts does not deter from the expected course of things. Outrageous claims or descriptions that are uncharacteristic of individuals greatly detract from the believability of an argument. Rhetoric does not operate in revisionist history, but in the interpretation of history. Credibility can also be built through consideration of the nature of those involved in the case, the known reports of the incidents, and the preconceived conceptions of the listeners.98 The orator seeks to ensure that they do not contradict what is already accepted about the discussion at hand. The speaker works from the established facts of the case and creates a paradigm in which to understand those facts.99

VII. Lexical Analysis

The narratio can have internal indicators to mark where significant shifts begin and end. The methods for movement may not be outlined in a textbook, but they can be identified the contours of a text. In Galatians, epeita is used three times to move Paul’s argument along within the autobiographical section.100 The adverb occurs only sixteen times in the New Testament (ten of those appearing in Pauline literature) and twice in the Septuagint. The term bears a significant sequential connotation. Three primary uses exist for epeita: basic sequential relationship, sequence within a series, and sequence marked with explicit markers.101 In general, epeita lacks chronological implications unless accompanied with explicit indicators of such implications.102 It seems best to characterize Galatians 1:18 and 2:1 as falling under the rubric of the temporal sequence. Galatians 1:21 belongs in the category of basic sequential relationship.103 The primary importance of its usage in the text rests in narrative progression. In each occurrence, it marks a change in location.
It is unclear from Galatians exactly where Paul was at the time of his conversion.104 His exact location is not as important as his traveling, which is recorded in Galatians 1:17; Paul lived outside of Jerusalem.105 Then (epeita) he went up to Jerusalem to visit with Cephas (Gal. 1:18). As Paul argues for the independence of his gospel, the geographical locations and scenes dominate the discussion.106 The next mention of a location occurs in v. 18 and is introduced with the expected epeita. Paul moves away from Jerusalem and his obscurity lifts as the churches praise God for his conversion. The final epeita announces his return to Jerusalem. His significant meeting with the pillars of the Jerusalem church officially recognized Paul as an apostle to the Gentiles. And yet, the narratio does not conclude at this juncture. If it did, it might appear as if Paul’s mission depended on the sanctions of humans. Instead, Galatians 2:11 transports Paul to a new location, a location not introduced by epeita.
The incident at Antioch begins with hote in place of epeita. Commentators have noted this shift to an indeterminate particle.107 When hote functions as a conjunction, it indicates the time of an event in relation to another event.108 This term is frequently combined with an aorist verb while serving as a conjunction,109 as happens in Galatians.110 It appears to shift away from the strong sequential tendencies of epeita while maintaining some temporal relationship. Chronological order with the previously narrated events is not covered by the indeterminate particle. Rather, chronology must be implied through knowledge of rhetoric, historical reconstruction, or some other factor. Concerns for lucidity recommend that the chronological order be maintained;111 thus providing the final word on order.
With the exchange of hote for epeita, Galatians 2:11-14 begins on a decidedly different note. The chronological relationship which was explicit in epeita is absent in hote. This has led some to suggest the Antioch incident precedes Galatians 2:1-10.112 Tampering with the written order is something most contemporary commentators are not willing to do. Ronald Fung and Bruce note that the most natural approach maintains the chronology of the text.113 Surveying the opinions of commentators, Longenecker concludes that the majority take the event to follow Galatians 2:1-10 no matter if they conclude this to be the Jerusalem council or the famine relief visit.114 The understanding with the most credence suggests hote does not disturb the chronological flow of Galatians. Still it provides a “note of discontinuity” within the text.115 The significance rests on the rhetorical rather than the historical.
By beginning with Hote de in Galatians 2:11, Paul harkens back to Galatians 1:15 where he uses the same phrase. In so doing, he creates an inclusio to bracket his argument. He indicates that this geographical reference concludes his autobiographical section. This appears to conflict with Betz’s proposed beginning of the narratio. Betz begins the narratio with a thesis; v. 15 initiates the second section of the narratio, but the first geographical location.116 This statement introduces the autobiographical section but does not begin the full argument. The pairing of a temporal marker with a location117 indicates a major scene in Paul’s argument.118 Instead of simply leaving the last geographical location to mark the end of the narratio, Paul includes Hote de to make the ending explicit.

The repetition of hote de further emphasizes Paul’s independence.119 The point of the entire apologetic section at the beginning of Galatians is to emphasize Paul’s independence from human authorities.120 The narratio goes about establishing the authority through numerous means, but the conclusion remains the same. The first hote de indicates Paul’s authority originally came from his divine calling apart from any human intervention. The concluding hote de demonstrates that Paul’s authority is not subordinated to Cephas, James, or those in Jerusalem. Paul has masterfully used an exchange of epeita and hote to structurally mark the beginning and end of his argument and to rhetorically emphasize the independence of his calling. The exchange shelves many of the chronological/temporal concerns in favor of rhetorical argumentation.

Notably, hote reoccurs two more times in 2:11-14.121 However, the initial hote describes all that happens in Antioch.122 The explication of the event described in v. 11 occurs in vv. 12-14, thus indicating a unit of thought. Since this verse is the summation of what happens later, the inclusio can be maintained. The other hote help to move the narrative to its conclusion. Transitional words mark out significant progressions within the narratio.

VIII. Contextual Analysis

Aside from serving as the end of the narratio, many scholars have noted that Galatians 2:11-14 in some way serves as the high point of the larger section. Brinsmead stated, “The narratio is brought to a climax in 2:14.”123 In like manner, Paul Koptak identifies this as the “climax of the narrative [in that] it demonstrates how the consubstantial principles of unity and equality are betrayed when one chooses to base one’s actions on the desire to please humans rather than God.”124 Troy Martin finally concludes, “Paul’s argument concerning his persuasive efforts culminates in his report of an incident at Antioch.”125 Scholars are in widespread agreement about the role of this episode in the larger context. It rightfully should operate as the apex, seeing that it is the final incident in the narratio. Narrative elements of conflict, personalities, and conflict indicate Galatians 2:11-14 functions as the zenith of the narratio.
The climax includes a building up of tension throughout Paul’s travels. As suggested by the lexical study, the historical elements of the narratio can be broken down into five sections:126 Gal. 1:15-17 recounts Paul’s conversion and the events immediately following; Gal. 1:18-20 describes Paul’s visit to Jerusalem; Gal. 1:21-24 tells of Paul’s move away from Jerusalem; Gal. 2:1-10 narrates Paul’s return to Jerusalem; Gal. 2:11-14 relates Paul’s conflict at Antioch. Each of these sections has characterizations which color the crescendo to Antioch. The initial section speaks of hostility from an outsider and then the separation of that person from the established authority. He was independent of the apostles, choosing instead to live in Arabia and Damascus. The following two verses (vv. 18-20) speak of a trip to Jerusalem to meet his eventual interlocutor. Paul presents this as a cordial visit, where Cephas and James confirm what it is that he had already believed. This relatively brief and peaceable episode is followed by the story of his activity outside of Jerusalem (vv. 21-24). This episode provides a spatial marker between Paul’s two visits to Jerusalem; it is absent of confrontation. However, the second visit to Jerusalem sharply increases the tension.
In Gal. 2:1-10, Paul visits Jerusalem at the direction of a revelation. When he arrives there, he has a private meeting with the leaders of the church. Soon afterward or even in connection with that meeting, a conflict over the circumcision of Titus took shape. Paul finds himself in a confrontation with the leaders of the Jerusalem church. Paul did not yield to these leaders, while taking occasion to take a shot at their authority.127 He makes note that they finally acknowledge his authority was on par with that of Peter; Peter was the apostle to the Jews and Paul to the Gentiles. The incident proves to be a misleading event because vv. 9-10 speak of the resolution of the incident. The authorities extend dexias so that Paul is offered acceptance and resumes a position within the inner circle of Christianity. Yet the resolution found between the forces of Christianity will soon be withdrawn.
In Gal. 2:11-14, Paul recounts a full-blown altercation between himself and Cephas. The previous episode in Jerusalem had a private meeting while Paul was now in the midst of a public and personal confrontation.128 By the time v. 14 is finished, no resolution between Paul and Cephas is suggested. There was an open ended, personal confrontation between two leaders of equal authority. Tensions reach a climax at this juncture. There was a gradual creation of conflict throughout the narratio: peace with God to peace with Peter to peace outside Jerusalem to private confrontation in Jerusalem to personal confrontation with a head of the Christian church. The story reaches a fever pitch as Paul concludes his narratio.
An additional element which adds to the climax is the personal contact with each of the supporting roles in the story. Paul plays the same character throughout, as would be expected. If he was really being questioned and was defending himself, he would seek to establish continuity in his own character. The narratio again begins with Paul in personal contact with God, exclusively; Paul is explicit that he did not meet with the apostles. The next episode describes a brief meeting between Cephas, James, and Paul. In this time, he meets with a representation of the church leadership but quickly retreats to the more distant Syria and Cilicia. When Paul visits Jerusalem the second time, he met with the entire Jerusalem leadership. He left that encounter justified in his previous commitments and on his way to a conflict with the head of the Christian church.
Peter (Cephas) is often seen as the head of the Church or the first Pope according to Roman Catholic tradition. It would be far too anachronistic to apply the terminology of the papacy to Peter at the conflict at Antioch.129 However, there are already strands of thought which would identify him as a leader among the Apostles. This primacy can be seen in the Gospels. Peter serves a primary role in many of the narratives of the Gospels.130 Peter was present in limited and exclusive moments in the Jesus’ ministry. Peter, James, and John accompanied Jesus during the time of his transfiguration.131 Only Peter, James and John were allowed to follow Jesus into Jairus’ house.<132 Mark 13:3 speaks of a secret meeting with Jesus attended by only Peter, James, John, and Andrew. Peter was in a core group that found its members very close to Jesus. These members were elevated above the others and yet Peter was still able to find primacy even above the other members of the close group.

Matthew 16:18 contains the most explicit declaration of Peter’s leadership of the church. In a play on words with his name, Peter is described as the foundation of the Church. Jesus singled him out at that time as something of an exemplar or head over the other Apostles. Further in each of the synoptic Gospels, when the Apostles are listed Peter receives the first mention.133 Such separation can be further seen in Mark 16:7, where a report is supposed to be presented to the disciples and Peter. Peter has earned recognition beyond that of the other Apostles. Finally, it was Peter who made the correct evaluation of who Jesus was. Peter identified Jesus as the Messiah while others were not able to do so.134 In these early New Testament documents, he receives a kind of primacy which draws direct attention to who he was. Paul, nonetheless, disregards the high esteem many had for this “pillar.”

A final element contributing to the climax of the passage is the content of Paul’s interactions. Paul communicates purposively in both his discussions described in Galatians and in the book itself. Each individual unit often has subject matter different from the other four. He began with interactions concerning general matters of the Gospel until he finally reached the specific issue being addressed in the letter to the Galatians. Paul first received a revelation of God’s son apart from any human intervention (Gal. 1:16-17).135 The revelation he received could justifiably be called Paul’s gospel; for this is what he would preach to others. When Paul does consult with others (Gal. 1:18-20), it may not concern the matters of the Gospel. Remarkably, Paul went to Jerusalem historesai with Peter not didachthenai by him.136 He did not learn anything substantial from Peter about the Gospel, rather he came and left with his message in the same general condition. Paul went away from Jerusalem and proclaimed the Gospel (Gal. 1:21-24).137

Upon his return to Jerusalem in Galatians 2:1-10, Paul began with a presentation of his gospel to the church authorities. As in the previous incidents, no human authority had anything to add to his message (Gal. 2:6). The actual nature of his message is made more explicit; it was directed toward the Gentiles (2:2, 7-9) and did not require circumcision (Gal. 2:3). However, the connection between Paul’s gospel and relations toward Gentiles reaches its climax in Galatians 2:11-14, when Paul confronts Peter’s withdrawal from table-fellowship with Gentiles. Paul accuses Peter of defying the truth of the Gospel by leading others in his hypocrisy (Gal. 2:14). The limitation of the message to a single element has been accomplished; he began with the idea of revelation that led to proclamation that led to a gospel to the Gentiles that led to expectations placed on Gentiles in connection to the Gospel. The most defined subject matter is reached with Paul’s confrontation with Peter.

Paul’s conflicts crescendo in the personal nature of the interactions. He begins with obscurity humanly speaking, leading to brief encounters with representatives of the Jerusalem authority, followed by the meeting with the entire Jerusalem church authority, and finally a conflict with the veritable human head of the Christian church. The interactions suggest a rise to prominence where Paul’s gospel can reach these levels. It also suggests an increasing boldness over time. Paralleling his rise in distinction is a narrowing of Paul’s message; he began with a revelation of Jesus Christ and culminated in a discussion on the expectations of Gentiles within the Christian community. Finally, Paul reaches a climax in his narrative by describing an encounter with the head of Christianity over Gospel-implications for Gentiles. The end result is that Paul can be recognized as an authority able to adjudicate the issues confronting Gentile believers.

IX. Connecting the Propositio
Paul draws the text to the climax and then begins to transition to the next thought. According to Quintilian, the narratio should conclude where the issue begins.138 There exists an intimate relationship between the narratio and propositio, created by summing up the issue.139 The propositio works with what has already been established; it serves to help, not only delineate the issues, but also work toward a solution.140 In relation to the narratio, it provides a helpful conclusion. That is not to say that the issues are resolved, instead it works toward providing an ending to the presentation of the statement of facts. It further serves as a transition between the narratio and the fuller issues which will follow.141 The propositio serves the double function of ending and beginning. In relation to previously stated facts, it draws them to a close; yet it prepares the argument for further developments.
Galatians 2:15-21 represents a significant shift from the tone of the previous verses. First of all, Paul is no longer in narrative. He has ended the presentation of his history after reaching the appropriate climax and has begun a principlizing of the issues. These verses also begin with hemeis rather than ego, which is found in the narratio. Paul has presented the essential facts for his life and what remains are the implications for the lives of his listeners. In all of this, he maintains a focus on the same Christian audience he has engaged previously. His rhetorical questions speak to those who have already received the faith of Jesus.
The issues of Galatians 2:1-14 concern the pertinence of Jewish regulations for Gentile Christianity. In dramatic fashion, Paul breaks with those who would agree with any imposition of outside regulations on non-Jewish Christians. He expresses this belief in abstract speech through the narratio. The reason for his climatic personal conflict with Peter is based on the misunderstanding of the Christianity. The grace of God is available to those who respond in faith to Jesus and that way exclusively. This connects to the opposition of circumcision which will occur later in Galatians. 


The Apostle Paul lived in a world which was thoroughly saturated with rhetoric, extending beyond social classes, location, and religion. He had numerous possibilities to learn rhetoric formally, through academic schools or from the rhetorical textbooks. He could also intuitively grasp conventions through his everyday interactions with others, observation at law courts, or the various other means throughout the ancient world. Paul had no shortage of opportunities and drew on these opportunities to learn the standard ways of constructing and presenting arguments. His letters which are now found in the New Testament can be analyzed which respect to the rhetorical functioning of his work. The application of rhetoric to these letters is not only justified by the prevalence of rhetoric but also by the promise which it contains to unite the varying other types of interpretation. Rhetorical analysis of Galatians has precedent and rests in the unique position of having the potential to encompass other biblical criticisms.

Hans Dieter Betz presented the first widely-recognized, modern study of Galatians with attention paid to rhetoric, but soon had his detractors. George Kennedy and others soon disagreed with his description of the text as forensic rhetoric, instead choosing deliberative to be the more appropriate category. David Aune and G. Walter Hansen have stepped in the middle to provide a necessary balance between the extremes of Betz and Kennedy; they acknowledge that Galatians is an eclectic text with various types of techniques used to argue his point. They suggest that the first two chapters belong to forensic rhetoric, chapters 3 and 4 serve as turning points, and the remainder of the text follows deliberative rhetoric. The strengths of forensic and deliberative are combined in a single text in order to provide a cogent argument to the Galatians.

The forensic section of Galatians contains 3 major portions: exordium, narrati, and propositio. The exordium provides the topic upon which the following sections will elaborate. The narratio, the largest portion of the forensic material, sets for the facts of the case with special attention to the presentation of the facts in a favorable manner. Finally, the propositio summarizes what has been said earlier and begins to transition to the next issues. The narratio is of the most immediate attention because it is the element which contains Galatians 2:11-14. In fact, it is the last episode in the statement of facts.

Galatians 2:11-14 can be understood as the climax of the narratio in two ways. A lexical analysis of the conjunctions of the narratio suggests an intentional effort by Paul to clearly mark out the separate episodes of the section. Additionally, he uses different temporal conjunctions at the beginning and end in order to bracket the section. Galatians 2:11 is highlighted as the end of the section on account of the presence of hote de. The second way the climax is indicated is through the construction of the argument. Paul constructs a growing tension throughout his travels, which eventually culminates in a face-to-face confrontation with Peter. A crescendo is also suggested in the growing personal nature of the interactions. Paul begins with remote contact with leadership only to move to some contact, and then confrontation with the church leadership, and then confrontation with the head of the church leadership of that day. Accompanying these two facets of the climax, he narrows his discussions to the eventual point of the epistle to the Galatians.

The Galatians were likely facing opposition from Jewish Christians who stressed the need for Gentiles to be circumcised and follow other Jewish customs in order to acquire acceptance by God and to live a proper Christian life.142 Paul most voraciously attacks his opponents with his comments in Gal. 5:12. In response to the Judaizing expectations of his opponents, Paul proposed an egalitarian scheme.143 The overriding concern for Christians was not circumcision or uncircumcision, but new creation (Gal. 6:15). The message of Galatians is that Jewish regulations should not be presented as essential for life within the Christian community. Paul’s theology in these matters can be traced back to what happens in Antioch.

In Galatians 2:11-14, Paul personally deals with an individual who adheres to the Judaizing position, Peter. The previous episodes within the narratio have led up to this single, culminating event. The forensic rhetoric of Galatians seeks to defend the gospel of Paul as independent of influence from others. At Antioch, Paul’s place within the Christian church has been established. The material of the letter has been introduced. Antioch further serves as precedent of Paul’s ability to preside over such discussions. The remainder of the text shifts to an explanation and explication of Paul’s theology that informed his decision at Antioch and following. Galatians 2:11-14 represents the climax of the forensic rhetorical section of Galatians in that it most strongly establishes Paul’s authority as coming from God, introduces the subject matter of the entire book, and argues for Paul’s ability to arbitrate issues concerning Gentiles’ place within the Christian community.


1. i.e. Galatians 1:12-2:14.

2. Aristotle, The Rhetoric of Aristotle, trans. and ed. Lane Cooper (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1960), 1.1.

3. Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Inventione [Internet]. Available from http://www.print.google.com. Accessed 25 January 2007. 1.V

4. Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, trans. H. E. Butler (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1966), II.xv.38.

5. Rhetorica Ad Herennium, trans. Harry Caplan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1977), 1.1.2.

6. George Kennedy, New Testament Interpretation through Rhetorical Criticism (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1984), 3.

7. Duane Liftin, St. Paul’s Theology of Proclamation: 1 Corinthians 1-4 and Greco-Roman Rhetoric (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 112.

8. Carl Joachim Classen, Rhetorical Criticism of the New Testament (Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2002), 29-44. Classen tries to establish lexical similarities between Pauline writings and ancient Greek rhetorical terminology. Even Paul’s neologisms adhere to rules of the Greek language. Upon these thoughts he concludes that Paul thoroughly read Greek literature and applied it to his writings.

9. Ibid., 6. Richard Lemmer, “Why Should the Possibility of Rabbinic Rhetorical Elements in Pauline Writings (e.g. Galatians) Be Reconsidered?” in Rhetoric, Scripture, and Theology, ed. Stanley E Porter and Thomas H. Olbricht (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993), 161-177. Both authors point to Rabbinic methods of interpretation which they assert later colored Paul’s writings.

10. Liftin, Paul’s Theology of Proclamation, 137.

11. Ibid, 124.

12. Martin Dibelius, Paul, trans. Frank Clark, ed. Werner George Kümmel (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1966), 31.

13. Martin Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism, vol. 1trans. John Bowden (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1974), 311-312.

14. Janet Fairweather, “The Epistle to the Galatians and Classic Rhetoric,” Tyndale Bulletin 45.1-2 (1994): 27

15. Ibid.

16. George A. Kennedy, Classical Rhetoric and Its Christian and Secular Tradition from Ancient to Modern Times (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1980), 130.

17. Paul claims to have attended the school of Gamaliel I in a speech recorded in Acts 22:3.

18. David Daube, “Rabbinic Methods of Interpretation and Hellenistic Rhetoric,” Hebrew Union College Annual 22 (1949): 239-264. Saul Lieberman, “Rabbinic Interpretation of Scripture,” in Essays in Greco-Roman and Related Talmudic Literature, ed. Henry A. Fischel (New York: KTAV Publishing House, 1977), 295-310.

19. Saul Lieberman, Greek in Jewish Palestine (New York: P. Feldheim, 1965), 20.

20. Gamaliel I appears one additional time in the New Testament in Acts 5:34. In that account, he appears to take a more tolerant stance toward the Christian opposition. Instead of advocating the execution of Peter as the masses had, he suggested that the matter would work itself out in God’s providence. This does not appear to be a hard-line stance toward outsiders. If this narrative is understood as accurate, the image of an accommodating school can not be forthrightly rejected.

21. Kennedy, NT Interpretation, 10.

22. Gal. 1:14 speaks of Paul’s individual zeal which led him to advance beyond his peers. His passion and commitment could have and likely did translate into study that exceeded others. His commitment may not have been limited to only Ioudaismo.

23. Kennedy, Classical Rhetoric, 130.

24. For a more developed history and analysis of rhetoric in the Greco-Roman world, cf. Liftin 21-133. He adeptly traces rhetoric from its beginnings in Athens and among the sophists through attacks and later adoption by philosophers and finally to rhetoric during the first century. Kennedy’s Classical Rhetoric and Its Christian and Secular Tradition from Ancient to Modern Times provides a broader scope analysis of rhetoric beginning at the same point as Liftin but tracing it into modern times.

25. Michael Goulder declares kosher meat to be the grounds for disagreement in St. Paul versus St. Peter: A Tale of Two Missions (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1994), 1-2. James D. G Dunn has suggested that the reason for the conflict concerned observance of dietary laws in “Incident at Antioch (Gal. 2:11-18),” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 18.01: 4. E.P. Sanders provided a rebuttal when he identified the conflict as occurring over excessive fraternization with Jews in “Jewish Association with Gentiles and Galatians 2:11-14,” in The Conversation Continues: Studies in Paul & John, ed. Robert T. Fortuna and Beverly R Gaventa, (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1990), 171.

26. Robert Jewett, A Chronology of Paul’s Life (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1979), 63-94.

27. B. R. Gaventa, “Galatians 1 and 2: Autobiography as Paradigm,” Novum Testamentum 28 (1986): 312.

28. Classen, Rhetorical Criticism in the NT, 26.

29. Stanley E. Porter, “The Theoretical Justification for Application of Rhetorical Categories to Pauline Epistolary Literature,” in Rhetoric and the New Testament, ed. Stanley E Porter and Thomas H. Olbricht (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993), 100.

30. Burton L. Mack, Rhetoric and the New Testament (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990), 93.

31. Stanley Porter (“The Theoretical Justification for Application of Rhetorical Categories,” 122) points out the need for distinction between universal sense of rhetoric and the formal sense. Rhetorical criticism cannot be appropriately addressed without a distinction between the two elements. The universal sense identifies analytical models which bypass time and space. The formal sense limits itself to cultural-specific means of argumentation. Such delineation underlies the very discussion of rhetoric.

32. Galatians – Dialogical Response to Opponents. Th.D. diss., Andrews University, 1979. 43-44

33. J. Louis Martyn, Galatians, in the Anchor Bible series, vol 33A (New York: Doubleday, 1997), 21.

34. Fairweather, “The Epistle to the Galatians and Classic Rhetoric,” 23.

35. The four textbooks are also the sources from which Paul may have received his rhetorical instruction, as mentioned earlier: Aristotle’s Art of Rhetoric, Cicero’s De Inventione, and Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria, and a pseudonymous Rhetorica Ad Herennium.

36. Returning to the idea of the descriptive and prescriptive roles of the rhetorical conventions, the rhetorical textbooks outline the accepted means of argumentation. When analyzing a particular text such as Galatians, comparisons can be made between the writings and the conventions. If sufficient similarity can be established, then conventions can begin to illuminate the text. The rhetorical textbooks ascribe the appropriate qualities to individual textual units. The assessments may be able to explain why certain elements were included and how they function within the larger context.

37. An example of the application of this interaction can be most clearly found in the section titled, “Characterization of the Narratio.”

38. G. Walter Hansen, Abraham in Galatians: Epistolary and Rhetorical Contexts, in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplements Series, ed. David Hill, Vol. 29 (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1989), 57. The ascription of genres to specific locations is best seen as illustrative rather than literal. The genres occur in variety of settings, but the ideal models are presented here.

39. Brinsmead has received thorough criticism for his inadequate treatment of genre analysis and incorrect citations. The mishandling particularly of genre analysis has relegated Brinsmead to a secondary position behind Betz even though this work preceded Betz’s. Cf. David Aune, Review of Galatians – Dialogical Response to Opponents, by Bernard Brinsmead, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 46 (1984): 145-47. Arthur Droge, Review of Galatians – Dialogical Response to Opponents, by Bernard Brinsmead, Journal of Biblical Literature 104.3 (1985): 551.

40. Paul W. Meyer, Review of Galatians, by Hans Dieter Betz, Religious Studies Review, 7 (1981): 319. David E. Aune, Review of Galatians, by Hans Dieter Betz, Religious Studies Review 7.04 (1981): 323. Wayne A. Meeks, Review of Galatians, by Hans Dieter Betz, Journal of Biblical Literature. 100 (1981): 305.

41. Cf. Betz, Galatians, 16-23.

42. Review of Galatians, 325.

43. Kennedy, NT Interpretation, 144-152.

44. David Aune, The New Testament in Its Literary Environment (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1987), 207.

45. Robert G. Hall, “The Rhetorical Outline for Galatians: A Reconsideration,” Journal of Biblical Literature 106.2 (1987): 280.

46. Aune, NT in its Literary Environment, 207.

47. While it remains true that Paul does not recount the charges, implicit charges against him can be draw from the text. Gal. 1:1 defends Paul’s apostolicity as not coming from human commission or authority but from God. One more time, he defends against accusation of a human origin for his gospel (Gal. 1:11-12). In Gal. 1:10 he asks two rhetorical questions which insinuate allegations against him. Implicit charges can be made against both the origin and motivation for Paul’s preaching.

48. Stanley Stowers, Letter Writing in Greco-Roman Antiquity (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1986), 167.

49. Gal. 1:1

50. For a more complete overview of the varying opinions concerning the rhetorical genre of Galatians cf. Donald Francois Tolmie, “A Rhetorical Analysis of the Letter to the Galatians,” Ph.D. diss., (University of the Free State, 2004), 13-29.

51. Charles K. Barrett, Review of Galatians, by Hans Dieter Betz, Interpretation, 34 (1980): 417.

52. Hansen, Abraham in Galatians, 70.

53. Aune, NT in its Literary Environment, 203.

54. Richard N. Longenecker, Galatians, in the Word Biblical Commentary series, ed. Bruce Metzger, et al, Vol. 41, (Dallas: Word Biblical, 1990), cxii.

55. Ibid.

56. Aune, Review of Galatians, 325.

57. Betz, Galatians, 14-15.

58. Pseudo-Demetrius, “Typoi Epistolikoi,” in Ancient Epistolary Theorists, ed. Abraham J. Malherbe (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988), 41.

59. Brinsmead, Galatians – Dialogical Response to Opponents, 42.

60. For extensive listing of forensic speeches categorized by model, accusatory, defensive, mixed, and letters as in histories or in comedies, cf. Fredrick J. Long, Ancient Rhetoric and Paul’s Apology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 19-22.

61. Long, Ancient Rhetoric and Paul’s Apology, 34. This list is a distillation of the more extensive description provided by Fred Veltman in “Defensive Speeches of Paul in Acts,” in Perspectives on Luke-Acts, ed. Charles H. Talbert (Edinburgh: T&T Clark Ltd., 1978), 252. Veltman provides a lengthy description of defensives speeches while noting a chiastic formula where the body is the focus.

62. Paul does not directly describe this as an apology or place this in a courtroom setting. However the absence of a court scene does not mean it is not an apology; the defense of a position can have multiple manifestations outside legal courts. Still he uses direct address explicitly with the inclusion of hymeis (Gal. 1:3, 6-9, 11, 13) and hemeis (Gal. 1:4). He implicitly addresses charges found in Gal. 1:1, 10-11, 12. Finally, he uses rhetorical questions in Gal. 1:10; 2:14.

63. Meeks, Review of Galatians, 306.

64. Stowers, Letter Writing in Greco-Roman Antiquity, 167.

65. E.g. Brinsmead, Long, and Malherbe

66. Longenecker, Galatians, civ.

67. Abraham J. Malherbe, Ancient Epistolary Theorists (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988), 3.

68. Hansen, Abraham in Galatians, 70. Aune, NT in its Literary Environment, 203.

69. Betz, Galatians, 129.

70. Hansen, Abraham in Galatians, 60.

71. Aune, Review of Galatians, 325-326.

72. Gal. 1:13 begins the narrative of his past actions. The former nature of these actions is highlighted by the inclusion of pote. Forensic is the category of rhetoric which is focused with past actions.

73. Paul begins with the vocatives:  O anoetoi Galatai to highlight the direct address and immediate attention on the situation. The attention is no longer on ego but on hymeis.

74. Longenecker, Galatians, cxi. He describes these chapters as more complying with Jewish rhetorical conventions rather than any Greco-Roman style.

75. Hansen, Abraham in Galatians, 60-1.

76. These three rhetorical units are not the only divisions which can be found within Galatians; the scope of this study focuses on the forensic elements of Galatians and thereby concentrates on Gal. 1 and 2. Additional agreement with the standard rhetorical arrangements can be made outside of the forensic section.

77. Betz, Galatians, 16-19.

78. Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, 4.1.1

79. Betz, Galatians, 44-45.

80. Ibid., 46.

81. Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, 4.1.76

82. Long, Ancient Rhetoric and Paul’s Apology, 82.

83. Aune, NT in its Literary Environment, 207.

84. Brinsmead, Galatians – Dialogical Response to Opponents, 49-50. He specifically points to Akousate as proof of this argument. The recipients would be aware of the facts of the case; the views based on those facts are the point of the rhetoric. Forensic rhetoric argues for a particular view of past actions.

85. Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, 4.2.11

86. Hansen, Abraham in Galatians, 67.

87. Cicero, De Inventione, XX; Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, 4.2.32; Rhetorica Ad Herrenium 1.9.14.

88. Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, 4.2.31.

89. Cicero, De Inventione, XX.

90. Rhetorica Ad Herennium, 1.9.15.

Paul set forward a typical formula for describing each of the events of his post-conversion life for sake of clarity. Each event is described in regard to location, individuals, and often time. Such distinctions help to distinguish the separate incidents. Paul moved from the place of his conversion, outside of Jerusalem (1:15-17), to Jerusalem after three years (1:18-20) to Syria and Cilicia (1:21-24) to Jerusalem after fourteen years (2:1-10) to Antioch (2:11-14).The specific events are addressed as individual units and remain on task throughout. Paul does not digress, except to level a pair of disparaging remarks toward leadership (2:6, 9). Yet even this can be seen as contributing to the characterization of his message as separate from others.

92. Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, 4.2.40.

93. Rhetorica Ad Herennium, 1.9.14.

94. Cicero, De Inventione, XX.

95. Aristotle, Art of Rhetoric, 3.16.

96. Paul covered his life leading up to his conversion in one sentence (Gal. 1:13-14); a great number of years are mentioned only in passing because they do not greatly contribute to the main thrust of his argument. He briefly glossed the following two episodes (1:18-20, 21-24). All non-essential information is avoided so that the events are limited to the identification of characters, location, and action. When he describes the Jerusalem meeting (2:1-10) he dwells longer on the event because of the connection of the issues to the content of the overall message of Galatians. The Antioch incident (2:11-14) receives the adequate amount of attention for his purposes, weighty but brief. Paul does not dwell too long on any one point, but provides a thorough enough presentation to allow for a cogent defense.

97. Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, 4.2.52.

98. Cicero, De Inventione, XXI.

99. Gal. 1:13 begins with an acknowledgement of a shared body of knowledge concerning Paul’s activity. There is an assumption of a pre-existing awareness of what has happened; the problem occurs over the interpretation of these facts. Paul is affirming what the readers already know and attempting to expand on that base of knowledge. The events leading up to the second visit to Jerusalem (2:1-10) are the facts of his travels, without much interpretation. Conflicts at Jerusalem and Antioch are similarly presentations of the basic facts; nothing appears stretched or sensationalized.

100. Gal. 1:18, 21; 2:1.

101. Horst Balz, “Epeita,” in Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, eds, Horst Balz and Gerhard Schneider, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993), 20. Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, rev. and aug. by Henry Stuart Jones (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960), 615. Walter, F. Bauer, W. Danker, W. F. Arndt, and F. W. Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3d ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 361.

102. Ibid.

103. While this reference does not contain the terms to evince a temporal relation, it can be applied through association with the other two verses. Gal. 1:18 and 2:1 have temporal moorings. The obvious place for Gal. 1:18-20 stands between the two Jerusalem visits. It appears unlikely that Paul would be personally unknown in the Judean churches after the fourteen years, especially if compared with his missionary activity recorded in Acts. It would be nonsense to include this statement if it preceded his first visit to Jerusalem. With its strong sequential idea and a straight reading, Gal. 1:18 draws its temporal sense from the other two epeita.

104. Luke indicates that Paul’s conversion experience occurred on a road to Damascus in Acts 9, 22, and 26.

105. The most important consideration is not where he was, but where he was not. Paul was not in Jerusalem where he might have interacted with those who were apostles. He was not in the center of Christianity where he might have received instruction on the Gospel. His physical separation from the apostles suggests his apostleship and message were received separate from the human authorities (Gal. 1:1, 11-12).

106. J. Louis Martyn, Galatians, in the Anchor Bible series, Vol 33A (New York: Doubleday, 1997), 229.

107. Betz, Galatians, 105. Longenecker, Galatians, 63.

108. Balz, Exegetical Dictionary, 538. Liddell and Scott, Greek-English Lexicon, 1265. Bauer, Greek-English Lexicon, 731.

109. F. Blass, and A. Debrunner, A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, trans. and rev. Robert W. Funk (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961), 193.

110. Each instance of hote occurring in Galatians uses the aorist in the related verb, with one exception. Galatians 4:3 uses the imperfect instead of the aorist. This is merely a use which is less common than the aorist. BDF cites the possibility of the verb occurring in the aorist, imperfect, perfect, present and future.

111. Cicero, De Inventione, XX.

112. Johannes Munck, Paul and the Salvation of Mankind (Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1959), 100-103.

113. Ronald Y. K. Fung, The Epistle to the Galatians, in the NICNT series (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1988), 106. Bruce, Galatians, 128.

114. Longenecker, Galatians, 64.

115. Martyn, Galatians, 231.

116. Betz, Galatians, 16.

117. In this case, the location is found in Gal. 1:17.

118. These include Galatians 1:15; 1:18; 1:21; 2:1; 2:11.

119. Munck, Paul, 101.

120. Ernest De Witt Burton, The Epistle to the Galatians, in the International Critical Commentary series (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1975), 102.

121. Galatians 2:12 - hote de and 2:14 – all hote.

122. Lyons, Autobiography, 134.

123. Brinsmead, Galatians – Dialogical Response to Opponents, 69.

124. Paul Koptak, “Rhetorical Identification in Paul’s Autobiographical Narrative: Galatians 1:13-2:14,” in The Galatians Debate, ed. Mark D. Nanos (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc., 2002), 166.

125. Troy Martin, “Apostasy to Paganism: The Rhetorical Stasis of the Galatian Controversy,” Journal of Biblical Literature 114 (1995): 448.

126. One historical description is neglected: Gal. 1:13-14. Paul records an account of his anastrophen pote in to Ioudaismo. The thrust of the narratio is to establish Paul’s gospel as coming from God and not from human authorities. Paul’s conduct before Christianity is enlightening, but proves little with regard to his gospel. The five episodes are those conversion/post-conversion visits Paul makes which are highlighted by the aforementioned inclusio.

127. Paul calls the Jerusalem elders ton dokounton enai ti (2:6). He speaks of the acknowledgement provided by men rather than the authority which comes from God.

128. kata prosopon auto (Gal. 2:11) has the idea of “face to face.”

129. Assigning a title such as “Pope” assumes a formalized hierarchy which would develop later. The organizational structure of ecclesiastical authority is not in place in the nascent stages of Christianity.

130. A glance at the Gospel of Mark reveals Peter’s prominence. Seven of the twelve disciples only appear in a list of the disciples in Mark 3:16-19 (Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alpheaus), Thaddaeus, and Simon of Cananaen). Aside from this initial listing, Andrew appears two times along Peter, James, and John in Mark 1:16-20; 13:3. James and John, the sons of Zebedee, appear three other times with Peter in Mark 5:37; 9:2, 14:33. Peter shows up independent of other named apostles in Mark 8:29-33; 10:28; 11:21. Only Judas appears independently; this happening during his betrayal of Jesus (Mark 14:10, 43).

131. Matt. 17:1ff; Mark 9:1ff;

132. Mark 5:37; Luke 8:51

133. Matt. 10:2; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14

134. Matt. 16:16; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20

135. apokalypsai ton hyion autou (Gal 1:16) parallels di apokalypseos Iesou Christou (Gal. 1:12). Iesou Christou should be considered a plenary genitive, where Jesus Christ is both the object and subject of the revelation.

136. Longenecker, Galatians, 37.

137. The gospel Paul preached in Syria and Cilicia was seen as consistent with the accepted form of the gospel in the Judean churches (1:23). Both messages could be understood under the single term pistin.

138. Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, 4.2.132.

139. Brinsmead, Galatians – Dialogical Response to Opponents, 51.

140. Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, 4.4.4.

141. Betz, Galatians, 114.

142. Martin, Galatians, xcv.

143. Gal. 3:28-29 eliminates racial, socio-economic, and gender distinctions within the Christian community. All members belong equally to Abraam sperma.



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Updated: Friday, June 16, 2006 10:22 AM