Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 35

[JSNT 52 (1993) 93-126]


Given the veritable growth industry that is New Testament scholarship on Paul's letter to the Galatians, it is all the more remarkable that so little attention has been paid to one of its most intriguing and prob lematic texts, Gal. 4.12-20. This versight is largely attributable to the widespread estimation of this passage as a rather opaque parenthetical and personal appeal which is of uncertain relation to the letter's more weighty theological argumentation.1 This article intends to challenge such a view by demonstrating that there is an inner coherence to Gal. 4.12-20which proves to be a text of greater historical and theological significance than is normally allowedin that its determinative appeal is not, as is commonly thought, to some unspecified illness, but 1. Thus Longenecker (1990: 188, citing Burton, Schlier and Mussner) can say, 'Commentators have often treated 4.12-20 as a passionate and emotional, though also somewhat erratic and irrational, outburst, which largely defies analysis*. While not to be discounted entirely, the attempt by Betz (1979: 220-37) to arrive at a more unified reading by viewing the section as 'a string of topoi belonging to the theme of "friendship" ( )' (p. 221) is weakened by various difficulties: e.g., a disproportionate dependency upon possible Graeco-Roman parallels at the expense of more pertinent, corresponding biblical material; an inability to account for the forceful language; the admission that certain puzzling remarks, loose connections, and abrupt turns still remain; and the implausibility of Paul trying to further his response to the Galatian crisis by means of a (mere) appeal to past friendship. Indeed, from what follows, it will become evident that the friendship topos is at a further remove from Paul's immediate concerns than Betz would have us believe.


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)

to a context of conflict and persecution which attended Paul's original mission among the Galatian Christians. This claim will (1) be estab lished primarily through a detailed exegesis of the passage in question, and will then (2) be corroborated by locating the new reading within the wider contexts of the argument of Galatians 4, and the additional evidence for persecution in both Galatians and Paul's missionary experiences elsewhere. 1. An Exegesis of Galatians 4.12-20 1.1. Introduction Inasmuch as there is a scholarly consensus on these verses it is that Paul is endeavouring to dissuade the Galatians from their current pre occupation with the Torah-based demands of the so-called 'Agitators', by appealing to their former devotion to him during the illness that caused him first to preach his Christ-centred gospel to them.2 The predominance of this 'illness' interpretation is evident from the English translations of the important vv. 13-14a; thus, for example, the Revised Standard Version: 'You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first; and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me. . .' 3 Such a rendering is replicated in modern English and German language commentaries.4

2. Note however the alternative proposal of Giittgemanns (1966: 170-94) who, while never contesting the illness interpretation (nor suggesting an alternative perse cution hypothesis), argues that *the weakness of the flesh (' )' in Gal. 4.13 constitutes not the reason {Grund) but the way (Modus) of Paul's proclamation: i.e., as a manifestation of the crucified Christ Cals Epiphanie des ', p. 185). Initially the Galatians accepted both the apostle and his gospel but now, under the influence of the opponents, they have rejected both in favour of a heavenly Spirit-Christ. Giittgemanns's close association with Schmithals's now discredited thesis concerning the identity of the Galatian opponents as JewishChristian Gnostics has compromised his observations in several important respects (e.g., his exegesis of * in 4.13 and in 4.14, and his sugges tion that the Galatians now view Paul's weakness as constituting the temptation of a demon possessed ). See also the proposal of Binder 1976: 2-5 (n. 20 below). 3. Compare: *a physical infirmity' (NRSV); 'bodily illness* (NEB); and 'illness'
(JB, NIV).


Variously: '[bodily] illness/infirmity [of the flesh]' (Lightfoot, Burton, Betz,



There has, of course, been much disagreement over the exact nature of the illness, with malaria, epilepsy, ophthalmia, rheumatism, and severe neuralgia or hysteria comprising the major proposals on offer.5 Many commentators now caution that the compressed nature of Paul's remarks require agnosticism concerning the precise diagnosis. Nevertheless, it remains widely accepted that Paul is referring to some form of sickness, and various attempts have been made to corroborate this by reference to his 'thorn in the flesh* (2 Cor. 12.7), likewise interpreted as a thinly-veiled reference to illness.6 The alternative proposed herebodily weakness due to the trauma of persecution has been suggested in the past,7 but with little acceptance and no attempt to ground it in a thorough exegesis of the relevant verses.8

Bruce, Fung and Longenecker); 'Krankheit [des Fleisches]' (Lietzmann, Schlier), '[kranken] Krper' (Becker), but more literally 'Schwache/Schwachheit des Fleisches' (Oepke, Mussner, Lhrmann, Borse, Rohde)although the last group then explicates the phrase as *ein[e] Krankheit/Erkrankung'. 5. Amongst the many discussions on this matter, see, e.g., Ramsay 1899: 9497; Gttgemanns 1966: 162-65,173-77; and Borse 1984: 153-56. 6. Contrast the various compelling arguments of Mullins 1957; Binder 1976: 711; Barr 1980, et aL, to the effect that 2 Cor. 12.7 and context must be viewed as an allusion to Paul's persecution by certain adversaries. 7. Significantly by a number of the Church Fathers (Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyrus, Augustine), Aquinas, and Luther. Cf. additional references in Schlier 1949: 148 . 5. Among more recent commentators, see Ridderbos 1953: 30, 166-67; Bligh 1966: 380; and Longenecker 1990: 191, who equivocates. See also Menoud 1953: 165-67; and Lyons 1985: 149, 166. Perhaps the most compelling, but extremely brief, advocacy of this position is that of Harvey 1985: 88. 8. It is worth emphasizing at the outset that our proposalbodily weakness due to the trauma of persecutionis so formulated in order to emphasize that Paul's condition is a direct result of being ill-treated, and that the argument of 4.12-20 as a whole can only be properly understood in the light of this scenario. Thus, while the evidence is such that the precise source, nature and physical consequences of this illtreatment upon Paul can never be known, it is likely that it took the form of imme diate and significant bodily harm (analogous to the nature and traumatic effect of those punishments listed in 2 Cor. 11.23b-29). This proposal obviously need not rule out the possibility that Paul's ill-treatment may have had a long-term debilitating impact upon his health, and might even have occasioned one of the pathological conditions suggested by advocates of the 'illness' interpretation. (Although clearly the latter is not the focus of the appeal in 4.12-20 and any attempts to make it so lead to a serious misreading of the passage.)


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)

1.2. *Become as 1. . .' (Galatians 4.12) While G.W. Hansen and Richard Longenecker have perhaps over 9 emphasized the importance of Gal. 4.12, nevertheless the fact that it contains the first imperative of the letterreinforced by the vocative and the verbal petition suggests that it is programmatic for what follows and warrants careful scrutiny. It is, however, fraught with difficulties of both translation and interpretation. In the history of the exegesis of this verse, two main problems have been identified. Most commentators posit that the first problem is the need to clarify the initial request ( ) by supplying the two unstated verbs which, they believe, are assumed by the justifica tion which immediately follows ( ). Most then settle for an amplified reading such as [or ] .10 The second problem is to determine both the exact nature of the shared experience being recollected in the second clause, and what it is that has since transpired among the Galatians such that it necessitates Paul's present appeal. Once these difficulties have been addressed, commentators have then offered the following three (often overlapping) interpretations.11 1. Paul is appealing to the Galatians as a father who cherishes and longs for the reciprocal love of his children so that there might be mutual friendship and confidence (Bruce 1982: 208). This reading serves to highlight the strong relational element within Paul's appeal, but there is no apparent textual justification for the shared experience which it posits as the basis of that relation. 2. The vast majority of commentators maintain that Paul is urging the Galatians to free themselves from the Law. On this reading, the first clause ( ) calls the Galatian^ to emulate Paul's own current Law-free state. The second clause ( ) may be taken either (a) as drawing an analogy between Paul's former life in Judaism (cf. 1.13-14) and the Galatians' preoccupation with the Law, or (b) more probably, as an allusion to the fact that when Paul first preached the gospel to the Galatians, he abandoned any pretentious

9. Cf. Hansen 1989:47-48; Longenecker 1990: 184-89. 10. Cf. the discussions in Burton 1921: 236 and Longenecker 1990: 189. 11. It is a common deficiency of all of these interpretations that they bear little relation to the following verse (4.13) if this is understood as referring to an illness.



claims to his Jewish status and lived as a Gentile among them (cf. 12 2.17; 1 Cor. 9.19-23). This interpretation has the advantage of recalling the context of Paul's original preaching which is clearly a focus of the following verses. Even more significant is that it relates the appeal of 4.12 to the problem which Paul is addressing in the epistle as a whole: the Judaizing of the Galatian Christians. However, it entails a convoluted and inexplicable shift from that which Paul has in view in the first clause (the Galatians as Judaizers or about to Judaize) to that in view in the second clause (the Galatians as Gentiles).13 3. Paul is not simply calling the Galatians to adopt his Law-free existence but is also urging them 'to become like him in his loyalty to the gospel of Christ. . . to protect and defend the freedom gained by faith in Christ'.14 As with reading 2, this interpretation has the merit of its applica bility to the situation in Galatia, although now with a more direct reference to the conflict involved. However, there is no consideration as to what verbs are necessarily presupposed by this reading, and no discussion as to how the current conflict might be related to the circumstances that attended Paul's original ministry in Galatia. We now intend to offer an alternative reading which develops the strengthswhile avoiding the weaknessesof the foregoing interpre tations, and which more fully integrates the appeal of 4.12a into the argument of this part of the letter. First it is necessary to address the near universal desire of commen tators to supply verbs in 4.12a. This is a strange tendency, not only because neither Paul nor later copyists appear to have thought them necessary, but also because all of the proposals currently on offer face insurmountable difficulties.

12. Stated most succinctly in Lightfoot 1890: 174, nuanced variations of this interpretation are arrived at in virtually all of the modern commentaries (with Betz [1979: 222-23] taking the most circuitous route via Lucian's Toxarisi). Occasionally this reading is tied to the suggestion that Paul is also urging the Galatians to imitate his apostolic example (cf. Mussner 1974: 305-306; Rohde 1989: 183). 13. So Burton 1921: 236, 'Thus while addresses them as sub ject to law, or on the point of becoming so, looks at them as Gentiles, without the advantages of law*. 14. To our knowledge, this approach was first suggested by Hansen (1989: 157, italics added) who correlates the four imperatives in 4.12,30,5.1 and 5.13.


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)

As noted earlier, by far the predominant 'solution' proffered is to establish a correspondence with the imperative in the first clause ( ) by adding either the perfect or second aorist middle of the same verb in the second clause ( [or ] ). This interpretation postulates that, at some point in the history of his relationship with the Galatians, Paul consciously took upon himself their status or situation. The appeal of 4.12a thus depends for its force upon either (a) the fact that the Galatians have now moved away from that shared situation and that Paul is now calling them to return to it: 'Become again as I am [and as you were] because I became as you were', or (b) Paul is simply asking for a reciprocal response but in a new and unrelated area: 'Become as I [in new situation Y] because I became as you were [in former situation XTOption (a) is impossible to sustain for it demands that, at some stage, Paul positively embraced an element in the Galatians' situation which he at that time lacked and which, although they have now rejected it, Paul has come to value so highly that he wishes them to return to it. It is impossible to provide a plausible scenario which meets all of these requirements. Some scholars have posited a scenario involving the Law (namely, option 2 as critiqued above) but this is implausible because in 4.8-11 Paul has just characterized the former state of the Galatian Christians not as a positive (or even a neutral) state outside the Law, but as a negative existence in pagan enslave ment. Thus it is not easy to see how or why Paul could so readily claim [or ] . Option (b) is also very weak: the exact substance of Paul's appeal is far from self-evident, requiring hypotheses concerning two unstated and different contexts. Even if two different contexts could be sup plied, it is clear that the force of the appeal is severely undermined by the lack of correspondence between the two clauses. In the light of these difficulties, the main alternativesupplying the present tense ()might appear more appealing: 'Become as I because I am as you are'. However, the major obstacle with this solu tion is that the appeal is then exclusively focused upon the present, while the following verses clearly look back to Paul's past relationship with the Galatians. Thus there is no connection between the initial appeal and the remarks which follow. Additionally, with the possible exception of option 3, none of the hypotheses concerning the substance



of the appeal is intelligible when the present tense is supplied. Given that the attempt to supply verbs where Paul has omitted them only serves to complicate the exegesis, it may be that 4.12a is in some way coherent as it stands. We suggest that this is indeed the case if Paul is understood to be referring, in his use of and , to the whole historyboth past and presentof his relationship with the Galatians and to their shared identity within that relationship. Thus, Paul's appeal may be taken as a reiteration of his long-standing desire that, as both he and they have beenand remainin the same situa tion ( ), they must continue to take him as their paradigm and imitate his response to that ongoing shared situation ( ). The second problem must now be addressed: the exact nature of the shared experience being recollected, and what has since transpired among the Galatians such that it necessitates Paul's present appeal. Building upon option 3 above, we would argue that the shared experi ence which is referred to in the second clause of the appeal must be understood as conflict and persecution. That this is an integral part of the history of Paul's dealings with the Galatians will be confirmed by the exegesis which follows, where it is demonstrated that Paul's remarks in 4.13-15 allude to a context of conflict and persecution within which he first established a relationship with the Galatians. That such conflict, suffering and persecution is also a current problem for Paul is confirmed by 5.11, and that Paul believes the Galatians' present difficulties stem from such hostility is a recurring theme throughout the epistle (e.g. 1.7-8; 3.4; 4.17, 29-30; 5.1, 7-12, 15; 6.12). Therefore, Paul's appeal in 4.12a concerns the fact that, in the face of the current opposition, the Galatians have ceased to follow his paradigmatic example of faithfulness in sufferingitself based upon that of Christ (2.19-20)and have instead accepted the demands of the Agitators and begun to Judaize. Having originally embraced Paul's gospel and pattern of life (e.g., 4.14, 15, 18) they have now succumbed and fallen back into slavery (4.8-11) such that Paul despairs of them ever again modelling themselves on him and so having Christ formed in them (4.11, 19-20; cf. 1 Cor. ll.l). 1 5 Thus,
15. Note the similar construction of the appeal at 1 Cor. 11.1: 'Become imitators of me, just as I also of Christ ( , )'. See also a similar use of at Gal. 6.14, where Paul follows his condemnation of


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)

this verse is consonant with other such appeals in which Paul exhorts his churches to imitate him in his faithful suffering (e.g. 1 Thess. 1.6; Phil. 3.17; 1 Cor. 4.16). This interpretation of 4.12a above therefore recognizes the relational element of the appeal (cf. 1) and, in addition to acknowl edging that it is addressed to the Galatians because they have accepted the Law rather than being faithful to the gospel of Christ (cf. 2 and 3 above), it postulates a context of suffering and persecution in both the past and the present. This enables the verse to stand without the addi tion of verbs, to follow coherently upon Paul's prior account of the Galatians' present behaviour (4.8-11), and to introduce his recol lection of the circumstances which attended his original preaching (4.13-15). This reading now allows a coherent rendering of the otherwise obscure statement which immediately follows: .16 The forceful verb , infrequent in Paul's letters, means 'to act unjustly, harm in relation to other men'.17 Evidently Paul believes that, in his earlier dealings with them, the Galatians could have wronged himalways a distinct possibility inasmuch as others some times did. If Paul's appeal is taken as a call to faithfulness in the face of hostility, then it makes sense for Paul to follow it with the affirmation that the Galatians did not wrong him, because, rather than actively opposing and rejecting him, they actually accepted his gospel (1.9). 18 Confirmation that this is indeed the scenario in view will be found in the exegesis of Gal. 4.13-15 which now follows in sections 1.3 and 1.4 below.

those who compel circumcision in order to avoid persecution with the remark 'But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world (' )'. Cf. the reciprocal and polemical use of at 2 Cor. 11.21D-22. 16. Most commentators see no link with Paul's initial appeal. Cf. the succinct itemization of interpretations in Burton 1921: 237-38; Rohde 1989: 188; and Longenecker 1990: 190. 17. Brown 1978: 575, with reference to 1 Cor. 6.7, 8; 2 Cor. 7.2, 12; Phlm. 18; cf. Col. 3.25. 18. Of particular interest here is the use of the verb in relation to the offender at Corinth (2 Cor. 7.12).

GODDARD AND CUMMINS 111 or Ill-Treated?


1.3. On Account of the Weakness of the Flesh' (Galatians 4.13-14a) Commentators have rightly noted that the limited and tacit nature of the information supplied in Gal. 4.13-15 renders any reconstruction of the circumstances of Paul's initial ministry in Galatia problematic. However, some reconstruction is required if any sense is to be made of Gal. 4.12-20 as a whole, and (as will be seen) a viable hypothesis is by no means impossible. We begin with the key phrase * (4.13a). This is the lynchpin of the traditional illness' reading. However, any such interpretation of this phrase is immediately suspect because of the problem of just how a reference to illness could be connected to the initial appeal and statement concerning possible wrongdoing.19 An alternate understanding of the term (and of our key phrase) seems desirable, and for this we turn to its significant usage within Paul's Corinthian correspondence.20 While it is important to be sensitive to the semantic range of (and ) within the Pauline corpus, it may be argued that at the heart of Paul's understanding of and its cognates is the crucified Christ in whose flesh weakness is revealed (1 Cor. 1.18-2.5; 2 Cor. 13.4). Paul, however, insists that Christ's weakness is replicated in the humiliation and suffering endured by his faithful disciples, not least himself. The clearest extended expression of this is to be found in 2 Corinthians 10-13 21 whereto quote from David Alan Black's study of Paul can claim that 'My weakness is Christ's weakness, the only legitimate representation of the crucified Messiah and his gospel, the assurance that God is now manifesting his Son in and through my life...' (Black 1984: 132).22 It is also evident

19. Betz (1979: 224) opens his remarks on 4.13-14 with the acknowledgment that they are 'atfirstpuzzling*. 20. The occurrence of the phrase at Rom. 6.19 is cited by Binder (1976) in arguing that what is at issue in Gal. 4.13-16 is Paul's existence apart from God. While no doubt Paul would readily concur that the general phenomenon of humanity apart from God is a contributing factor to that in view at Gal. 4.12-20 (not least as expressed in opposition to his gospel), from what follows it will become apparent that a more specific scenarioPaul's bodily weak ness due to persecutionis required in order to account for the phrase in its immediate context. 21. E.g., 2 Cor. 11.30; 12.5, 9; and 13.4, 9. 22. Such an understanding is evident throughout Paul's letters, both where


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)

that a central element of this weakness for Paul is that it is exhibited in the suffering endured as a result of his faithfulness to the gospel. Thus, to take account of a particularly difficult but significant example from 2 Corinthians 10-13, Paul concludes one of his so23 called 'trial lists' (2 Cor. 11.21b-29) that is, a catalogue of various hardships that he has undergonewith the rhetorical questions: , ; , ; Commentators have long debated the precise meaning of this text. However, Michael Barr has cogently argued that the verbs and are to be taken as synonymous references 24 to 'stumbling'; that, by comparison with Dan. 11.33-35 25 (Theodotion), it becomes clear that Paul is viewing himself as among the wise and faithful who stumble under the weight of their 26 persecution at the hands of the wicked; and that this stumbling is understood to be a function of the great eschatological trial which is experienced byand 'refines' (thus )all those who are faithful to God. Barr goes on to argue that this understanding of at 2 Cor. 11.29 is also evident in Paul's use of the noun in the verses that follow.27 Given the above, it is prima facie possible that in his use of the phrase ' at Gal. 4.13 Paul is reminding the Galatians that it was on account of bodily weakness due to some form * weakness' language is employed (e.g., 1 Cor. 2.3; 4.10) and where it is not (e.g., Phil. 3.10). 23. Cf. Rom. 8.35-39; 1 Cor. 4.9-13; 2 Cor. 4.7-12; 6.4-10; 12.10a; on which see Schrge 1974 and, more recently, Fitzgerald 1988. 24. Barr 1975: 510, noting that in 55 per cent of instances in the LXX where translates a Hebrew original, the underlying word is some form of the verb 'XD, 'to stumble'. 25. 'And those among the people who are wise shall understand many things; and they shall stumble/fall () by the sword andflame,by captivity, and by the plunder of days. When they stumble/fall ( ) they shall receive a little help... and some of those who are wise shall stumble/fall () to refine them ( ) and that they may be chosen and revealed, until the end-time; for it is yet for the time appointed.' ET from Barr 1975: 511. 26. In Dan. 11.33-35 'the wise' are, of course, those Jews faithful to the covenant whounder the duress of battle, torture and martyrdomresist the Hellenizing campaign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, and are thereby deemed to have an exemplary effect upon the people of Israel (cf. 2 Mace. 6.18-7.42). 27. Barr 1975: 513 in reference to at 2 Cor. 12.5,9 (2x), 10; 13.4.



of persecution that he first28 preached the gospel to them.29 Furthermore, following Barr's nuanced interpretation of 2 Cor. 11.29with its evocation of the Maccabaean martyrsit is likewise possible that both Paul and the Galatians accepted this 'weakness of the flesh' as the burden of the suffering righteous, and as exemplifying the efficacious self-sacrifice of Christ himself.30 We shall seek to substantiate such an interpretation in the detailed exegesis that follows. We may pursue this matter by now undertaking a careful assessment of the peculiarly forceful language of 4.14a, and 31which Paul uses in reminding the Galatians that, at the time of his initial contact, he brought with him (in his flesh) something that amounted to a temptation/trial for them: \ . 32 First, we may note that the noun is used elsewhere in Paul's undisputed letters only at 1 Cor. 10.13 where it refers to the dangers of idolatrywhether

28. Commentators are generally agreed that the adjective is to be taken as 'first* or Originally* rather than 'the former (of two)*, thus excluding the possibility of more than one visit by Paul to the Galatians. See the discussions in Burton 1921: 239-41; Mussner 1974: 307; and contrast Lightfoot 1890:175. 29. Successive commentators rightly note that grammatically plus the accusative can only refer to the ground/reason of Paul*s initial preaching, as opposed to the state/condition, which would require plus the genitive . Indeed, Lightfoot (1890: 174) chastizes the Latin Church Fathers for taking refuge in the ambiguous Latin preposition per (= 'through')as in 'per infrmitatem', which a number of them took as a reference to persecution (cf. . 7 above). However, it needs to be stressed that plus the accusative taken causally as in 'because of/on account of weakness*, does not exclude from view any attendant circumstances that may have contributed to that cause (such as that argued for here: bodily weakness due to persecution). Cf. Longenecker 1990: 190, who sensibly avoids any confusion by noting that plus the accusative 'expresses the occasion of the preaching... not the means... or limiting condition*. 30. It is one of the characteristics of the messiah in Pss. Sol. 17.37-42 that, blessed by God's wisdom and righteousness, neither he nor his flock will 'weaken/stumble' in the midst of affliction. Cf. also the collocation of , and at Mk 14.38 = Mt. 26.41. 31. Confronted with such terminology, proponents of the illness hypothesis resort to discussions of severe physical disfigurement causing revulsion (so Burton 1921: 241) or demon possession engendering fear (so Lietzmann 1971:28). 32. The textual variants are obviously later attempts to alleviate the grammatical awkwardness of the otherwise strongly attested . Cf. Metzger 1971: 596.


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)

pagan or Jewish (cf. Gal. 4.8-11)which threaten apostasy from the 33 one true God. The cognate verb is found more 34 frequently and carries equally serious implications. Of particular significance to our thesis concerning Gal. 4.12-20 is the situation in view at 1 Thess. 3.4-5. There Paul is concerned that testing in the form of opposition and persecution may have nullified his original work amongst the Thessalonians:
For when we were with you, we told you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction; just as it has come to pass, and as you know. For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent that I might know your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted [tested] you and that our labour would be in vain ( ).

Given the theological significance of , and by analogy with Paul's remarks in 1 Thess. 3.4-5 in particular, it may be suggested that in Gal. 4.14 the apostle is likewise reminding the Galatians that when he first ministered among them there was a distinct danger that they would fall away from God because of the attendant threat of opposition and persecution. Secondly, the focal point of the Galatians' is Paul's own flesh/body: . 35 Although it is to anticipate our dis cussion in section 2.2 below, it is important to note at this point certain evidence in Galatians and elsewhere which strengthens our claim that this temptation in Paul's flesh/body must be understood in relation to persecution. Thus, for example, Paul concludes his letter with the injunction 'Henceforth let no one cause me trouble, because I bear the marks of Jesus in my body ( )' (6.17). Although is here replaced with , there is an obvious parallel with 4.14a, and Paul is indisputably referring to marks of persecution about which the Galatians appear to have some knowl edge. With the usual provisos concerning authorship, the other text of note is Col. 1.24 where Paul claims to 'fill up the shortfall of the sufferings of Christ '. Whatever else this difficult
33. Note, however, the use of at Acts 20.19 in reference to the persecution of Paul; cf. Acts 15.26 where the Western text (D) adds . 34. 1 Cor. 7.5; 10.9, 13; 2 Cor. 13.5; Gal. 6.1 and 1 Thess. 3.5. 35. Commentators are generally agreed that in 4.14 refers to Paul's flesh/body.



verse might mean, it employs the identical phrase \ in reference to the apostle's suffering and affliction in the course of his apostolic ministry. Thirdly, Paul resorts to two extremely forceful verbs to describe how the Galatians might have rejected the in his own flesh/body: and . The latter verb is not found in the LXX, and is also a NT hapax legomenon. However, various com mentators, predisposed to the traditional illness interpretation, and influenced by Schlier's word study (1964: 448-49), have taken it to mean that the Galatians did not 'spit out' at Paul in a gesture of defence against his sickness and the related threat of demonic activity. It is true that certain Graeco-Roman sources do attest to such an 36 understandingprincipally in their use of the Latin verb despuo, 37 but also the Greek verb . However, it has to be said that Schlier has overplayed his case, ignoring other instances where the pertinent terms are employed either literally with no reference to illness ('spit out...breath, water, wine, oil, venom', etc.) 38 or metaphorically ("despise, detest, spurn', etc.) 39 The metaphorical use is especially dominant in classical usage of the cognate verb . 40 And, significantly, the only extant instance of the latter in ancient Jewish Greek literature is to be found in Jos. Asen. 2.1, where it is employed in parallel with our second key term to convey disdain: 'And Aseneth was despising and scorning every man... ' 4 l 36. Cf. Plautus, Captivi 550; Asinaria 38; Varro,D* Re Rustica 1.2.28; Tibullus, Elegiae 1.2.56,98; and Pliny, Naturalis Historia 10.69; 24.172; 25.167; 26.93; 27.131; 28.35-36. 37. Cf. Theophrastus, Characteres 16; Lucan, Apologia de Mercede Conductis 6see also in his Menippius 7. 38. On , cf. Homer, Odyssey 5.322; Aristophanes, Vespae 792; Theocritus, Idyllia 24.19; Meleager, in Anthologia Graeca 5.197; Plutarch, Moralia 328C; Epictetus, Dissertiones 3.12.17, Encheiridion 47; and Oppianus, Haliutica 5.646. On despuo, see Petronius, Satyricon 135.6. 39. On despuo, cf. Catullus, Carmen 50.19; and Persius, Saturae 3.3,4.35. On , see Plutarch, Moralia 801 A. 40. Cf. Aristophanes, Ranae 1179; Demosthenes, De Corona 200; Dionysius Halicarnassensis, De Demosthene 31.22; and Lucian, where literal spitting is employed as an act of disdain (often directed at unworthy philosophers), e.g., Cataplus 12; Juppiter Tragoedus 48,52; Icarmenippus 30; Piscator 34; and Fugitivi 21. 41. ... (Greek text, Philonenko 1968; ET Burchard in Charlesworth 1985: 203).


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)


Conversely, while is rare in classical Greek literature, it is found frequently in die sense of 'despise, reject, count as nothing' in the LXX and the OT pseudepigrapha. Often the context concerns die mutual rejection of God and the ungodly (whether Israel or her enemies),43 sometimes in circumstances which involve disdain directed at God's representatives.44 Thus T. Levi. 16.2 witnesses to the terrible events that transpired within Israel at the time of the Maccabaean crisis: 'You shall set aside the Law and nullify () the words of die prophets by your wicked perversity. You persecute just men: and you hate the pious; the word of the faithful you regard with revulsion'. 4 5 It is possible that Testament of Levi 16 has been reworked by a later Christian editor,46 and certainly this is the case in another instance of used in manuscript of T. Ben. 9.3 concerning a 'unique prophet': 'He will enter the first temple, and there the Lord will be abused and despised ( ), and will be raised up on wood.'47 Not surpris ingly, then, in the NT is employed to indicate the con tempt directed at Jesus (Mk 9.12; Lk. 23.11; Acts 4. II). 4 8 In Paul is found in reference to the * despised' followers of Jesus (1 Cor. 1.28).49 Given our earlier consideration of 2 Corinthians 3, it is worth noting in particular its occurrence at 2 Cor. 10.10
42. There are variant forms of the verb: , and . 43. Especially in the Psalms: 52 (53).5; 58 (59).8; 59 (60).12; 77 (78).59; 107 (108).13; 118 (119X118. Cf. also T. Levi 7.1; Pss. Sol. 2.32. 44. Cf. 1 Sam. 8.7; 10.19; 2 Chron. 36.16; Ezra 21.10 (cf. 1 Cor. 4.21); Wis. 3.11, 4.18. 45. ET Kee in Charlesworth 1983: 794. Thus, likewise within a Maccabaean context, / is also found both in reference to the afflicted faithful as 'those who are rejected and despised ( )' (2 Mace. 1.27), and to their oppressor, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, as 'contemptible ()' (Dan. 11.21, Theodotion). 46. This is suggested by the remark which immediately follows the above quotation: man who by the power of the Most High renews the Law you name "Deceiver", andfinallyyou shall plot to kill him, not discerning his eminence... * 47. Greek text in de Jonge 1964; ET authors' own. 48. Likewise, while is a NT hapax legomenon, its cognate / ('spit on') is used literally to convey contempt of Jesus during his passion: cf. Mk 10.34 * Lk. 18.32; Mk 14.65 * Mt 26.67; and Mk 15.19 = Mt 27.30. 49. Elsewhere in Paul it also means 'despise/disdain': cf. Rom. 14.3,10; 1 Cor. 6.4; 16.11; and 1 Thess. 5.20.



where, in a context of conflict, it denotes the disdain directed at Paul by certain detractors who characterize his "bodily presence [as] weak and his speech of no account ()'. We conclude that the available lexographical evidence strongly indi cates that the verbs and in Gal. 4.14 are to be taken as synonymous and forceful expressions of disdain and rejec tion. Furthermore, they may also suggest that Paul's arrival in Galatia as a representative of the gospel of Jesus Christ was attended by circumstances of conflict and persecution. Such an interpretation corroborates our antecedent arguments concerning and : Paul's own persecutionthe evidence of which was visible on his bodylikewise constituted a 'test' for the Galatians as to whether or not they, under the threat of comparable hardship, would remain faithful to the gospel and its apostle. 1.4. 'Received as an Angel, as Christ Jesus ' (Galatians 4.14b) This argument may be developed further by considering Paul's description of how, in actual fact, the Galatians did initially respond to him: , (4.14b). It is likely that the first comparison ( ) is an intentional echo of 1.8, and refers not simply to a messenger of God, but rather to a superhuman representative, an angel.50 While commen tators have often noted the similarity in terminology to Paul's 'thorn in the flesh' ( , 2 Cor. 12.7), and this may well be potentially illuminating,51 Paul's self-description as 'an angel of God' at Gal. 4.14b has remained particularly enigmatic. There are, how ever, two possible lines of interpretation which may be offered. First, though often ignored, the LXX usage deserves close attention. Here [] is used in reference to the angel of the Lord52 who "appears almost always to help either Israel or an indi vidual' and i s virtually a hypostatic appearance of Yahweh, the personified help of God for Israel' (So Brown 1975: 101). The possi ble implicationof significance for the argument of Galatians as a
50. Most modern commentatorsrightlyobserve that Paul normally uses for 'messenger* and for a superhuman being. Cf. Longenecker 1990: 192. 51. Cf. n. 6 above. 52. Cf., for example, Gen. 21.17 (N.B. Gal. 4.30); Exod. 14.19; Judg. 13.9; 2 Sam. 14.17; 19.27; Dan. 3.25 (92).


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)

wholeis that, notwithstanding his weakness due to persecution, the Galatians ('Israel of God', Gal. 6.16) gladly recognized Paul's divine commission and authority. We may also consider a second possibility which, given the disparate and difficult nature of the evidence, must be offered more tentatively, and which cannot be pursued in any detail here. In addition to the LXX's interchangeable use of the terms and ("holy ones') to denote angels,53 there is also some indication in the Jewish literature of a developing interplay between the afflicted saints on earth and their angelic counterparts in heaven. Thus, in the dramatic vision of Daniel 7, God (the Ancient)together with his thousands of ministering angels54brings an end to the persecution of the faithful among Israel at the hands of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, and inaugurates an everlasting dominion which is given to "the saints of the Most High' (7.18, 22, 25, 28). 55 Likewise, in the later Similitudes of Enoch (c. first century CE),56 the prayers and the blood of the persecuted righteous ascend to heaven, where they are joined by the supplications of 'the holy ones who dwell in the heavens above'. These intercessions do not cease until God executes judgment for them (47.1-4; cf. 97.5; 99.3), at which time the saints above and below are incorporated together.57 A similar vision of the eschatological vindication of the oppressed faithful is discernible in the NT. 58 Given our earlier claim of an analogy between 1 Thess. 3.4-5 and Gal. 4.14, it is of particular
53. Cf. Job 5.1; 15.15. 54. Dan. 7.10; cf. Deut. 33.2; Ps. 67.18 (68.17); Zech. 14.5. 55. Whether the latter denote persecuted Jews or celestial beings is much debated (see Goldingay 1989:176-78). We arc predisposed to follow Collins (1977:127-52) and his contention that any antithesis is false, and would suggest that in Daniel's vision of the everlasting dominion, the glorified saints and the heavenly angels are transposed together (see further below). For the evidence of a comparable interplay in the Qumran literature (e.g., 1QM 12), see especially Dequeker 1973. 56. The current consensus is that the Similitudes are to be dated from the first century, and that 1 Enoch as a whole is a composite workreflectingthe events before and after the Maccabaean crisis. See E. Isaac in Charlesworth 1983:7. 57. So, apparently, 1 En. 39.1: 'And it shall come to pass in those days that the children of the elect and the holy ones [will descend] from the high heaven and their seed will become one with the children of the people' (ET Isaac in Charlesworth 1983: 30). 58. Cf. ML 25.31; Lk. 18.7; Jude 14-15, and, of course, Revelation.

GODDARD AND CUMMINS 111 or Ill-Treated?


interest that Paul's remarks to the Thessalonians have their immediate conclusion in his prayer that, in spite of their testing, they remain steadfast and "unblamable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus ' (1 Thess. 3.13; cf. Zech. 14.5). Likewise in 2 Thess. 1.3-10 the Thessa lonians are encouraged to be faithful amidst persecution, assured that they will be vindicated when 'the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels ()' on the day 'when he comes...to be glorified with all his saints ( )' (cf. Rom. 8.17). We thus have the same interplay between the saints below and the angels/saints above, who are both transfigured together at the eschaton. Indeed, there is some indication that the persecuted Christian saints belownot least because they might soon be translated to be with the saints above via martyrdomare in some sense already regarded as 'angels'. Thus Stephen, 'his face...like that of an angel' (Acts 6.15) testifies to the long history of God's faithfulness to his people before he is killed even as he gazes into heaven to see the coming vindication of God (Acts 7.55-56). This identification of the martyrs and angels is also found in later Christian literature.59 It is thus just possible that Paul's use of in Gal. 4.14b ought to be plotted on this trajec tory of (admittedly) disparate evidence. If so, then it would suggest that, confronted with his , the Galatians received Paul 'as an angel' because his faithfulness in the midst of conflict and persecu tion had him on the verge of martyrdom and eschatological vindication.60 Such an interpretation also allows a natural correlation with the climactic second comparison: the Galatians received Paul . Elsewhere Paul often speaks of his imitation of Christ,

59. So, in Mart. Pol. 2.3, in reference to 'the noble martyrs of Christ' on the verge of death, who 'looked up to the good things which are preserved for those who have endured...shown by the Lord to them who were no longer men but already angels*. Cf. Herrn. Vis. 2.2.7 and Herrn. Sim. 9.25.2. See also Cyprian, Ep. 31.3 (c. 250CE), regarding those who 'have forsaken men...to stand among the angels... [who] have become, by confessing the name of Christ, a partner with Christ in his passion*. Cf. also the third-century Didascalia Apostohrum 19.5.1. 60. This interpretation may thus cast light on Paul's otherwise puzzling reference to the at 1 Cor. 4.9: they are the faithful saints/angels in heaven interceding on behalf of the afflicted apostlesthose who are 'like men sentenced to death', longing for thefinalrule of God.


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)


frequently with reference to his sufferings. Of particular signifi cance are such references in Galatians: in his person, he has been 62 'crucified with Christ' who now lives in him (2.19, 20; cf. 6.14). Indeed, "throughout this letter [Christ is] above all the crucified Christ' (Cosgrove 1988: 186), and it is thus highly likely that Paul is reminding the Galatians that it was because of his suffering that it was 'as Christ Jesus' that they first accepted him.63 1.5. 'Where is your Blessedness?' (Galatians 4.15-16) To Paul's dismay, his current reception is different. He momentarily alludes to the Galatians' present disposition with an ironical and rhetorical question: ; (4.15a). While commentators have laboured long in trying to decide whether is a subjective, objective or possessive genitive,64 little or no attention has been devoted to determining the precise nature of itself. However, as Baasland has observed in his little noticed article:
It seems natural to assume that Paul here follows the tradition of happi ness in suffering which wefindin primitive Christianity (James 1.2,12; 1 Pet 1.6,4.13; Rom. 5ff.). In Matthew 5.11, for example, the Beatitudes apply exactly to those who are persecuted (NB ), insulted and slandered... (Baasland 1984: 146).65

Viewed within this context, Paul's question makes perfect sense. Confronted with the Galatians' actual or impending Judaizing under the influence of the Agitators, he is compelled to ask what has become of their former capacity to experience blessing even in the midst of
61. E.g. 2 Cor. 2.14-17; 5.18-20; 13.3-4; Phil. 3.10-11; cf. Col. 1.23-25. 62. Note also Gal. 3.1: Paul 'portrayed Christ crucified' to the Galatians. The vivid and visual (rather than aural) language might possibly suggest that Paul himself tangibly represented the crucified Christ before the Galatiansnot least in the marks of persecution upon his body (cf. 6.17). 63. There may even be more to the Galatians' enthusiastic reception of (and devotion to, cf. 4.15) Paul 'as an angel, as Christ Jesus' than has been ventured here. On the important role of Jewish angelology for Christologynot least within early Christian devotionsee Hurtado 1988, who is in dialogue with, inter alia, Rowland 1982 (esp. 94-113) and Fossum 1985. 64. See Longenecker 1990: 193 who quite reasonably recommends that it be taken as a simple possessive genitive, and thus rendered: 'where, then, is your [former state ofj blessedness?' 65. Cf. at Rev. 14.13; 16.15; 19.9; 20.6; 22.7, 14.

GODDARD AND CUMMINS /// or Ill-Treated?


conflict and persecution. The question is all the more pressing if, as a comparative analysis of Paul's only other use of (in Rom. 4.6, 9) might suggest, the apostle believes that the Galatians' failure to be numbered among the suffering righteous calls into ques tion their covenantal status as the true children of Abraham. This understanding of may also provide die key to an intelligible interpretation of the interrelated (N.B. die ) but much debated remark, Tor I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me ( )' (4.15b). Commentators agree that the opening disclosure formula ( ) serves to emphasize the Galatians' former resolute commitment to Paul, but disagree as to what the obscure reference to 'plucking out [their] eyes' tells us about the exact nature of that commitment. There are three main proposals on offer: 1. 2. It is a measure of the Galatians' concern about Paul's eye infirmity.66 The eye being the most precious part of the body, it is a metaphorical expression of the Galatians' devotion to Paul and his ministry.67 It is an allusion to a common literary topos which espouses that true friendship requires a readiness to make the highest sacrifice.68


None of the above propositions is at variance with the argument we have developed thus far: it is at least conceivable that Paul sustained an eye injury in the course of ill-treatment, or that he is employing a metaphor or literary topos to indicate the extent of the Galatians' commitment to himself in the midst of his suffering. However, we now offer two further proposals, the second of which in particular merits serious consideration in that it appears to explain with greater
66. So O'Neill 1972: 61. Mussner 1974: 309 suggests that unless some such reading is adopted, and remain problematic. Cf. also Paul's oblique iemaik in 6.11. 67. Most commentators: e.g., Bruce 1982: 211; Longenecker 1990: 193. Cf. Deut 32.10; Ps. 17.8; Zech. 2.8. 68. Betz 1979: 227-28, citing Lucian's Toxaris 40-41 with its story of Dandamis's sacrifice of his eyes as his part in a bargain to gain the release of his friend Amizoces. The verb is not used in the account


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)

precision the full force of the expression in question. 4. There are certain references in the OT to Israel's enemies as 69 'barbs' or 'thorns' in her eyes; that is, as a source of her affliction. Num. 33.55 is especially noteworthy: But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell. In addition to the reference to eyes, one also thinks of Paul's charac terization of his Galatian opponents as 'those who trouble' (Gal. 1.7; 5.10, 12); the thinly-veiled injunction to 'cast out' those who persecute 70 (Gal. 4.30); and his 'thorn in the flesh' (2 Cor. 12.7). It might be suggested, then, that the 'barb/thorn' metaphor provides another possible interpretation of this difficult verse: Paul is expressing the Galatians' former preparedness to emulate Israel in their endurance of suffering and persecution. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that the metaphor remains somewhat imprecise: a 'barb/ thorn' in the eye is not quite the same thing as plucking out one's eyes! Thus, we offer another proposal. 5. Paul's exact terminologythat is, the verb and the noun is to be found in a number of Jewish and GraecoRoman texts to describe the 'plucking/gouging out of eyes' that was one of the many cruel tortures which might be imposed upon a help less victim by his oppressor.71 So, for example, we note that Paul's namesake, King Saul, overcomes the 'disdain'72 of certain detractors and earns the devotion of Israel by defeating the cruel Nahash the Ammonite, who agreed to enter into a treaty/covenant with besieged Jabesh-gilead only 'On the condition...that [he] gouged out all [their] right eyes ( )'

69. Num. 33.55; Josh. 23.13. 70. Further to . 6, Mullins (1957) has convincingly demonstrated that Paul's 'thorn in the flesh' draws upon Num. 33.55 and other OT references, and refers not to an illness but to persecution by certain adversaries. Likewise Barr 1980: 226-27. 71. Cf. Judg. 16.21 (Cod. Alex.; Cod. Vat has ) and 1 Sam. 11.2 (MTlpa); Josephus, Ant. 6.71; Dionysius Halicarnassensis, Antiquitates Romanae 5.54.2: Lucan, Deorum Concilium 5.1.5; Plutarch, Artaxerxes 14.5. 72. 1 Sam. 10.27; in the LXX the verb is , translating the Hebrew nn, which is elsewhere frequently rendered in the LXX by .




(1 Sam. 11.2). It may be suggested, then, that this practice provides the most precise and forceful background for the metaphor at Gal. 74 4.15. It is a measure of the Galatians' former in the midst of suffering, their voluntary identification with and commitment 75 to the persecuted apostle. The fact that hostility is also clearly a current problem is evident from Paul's polemical juxtapositioning of the Galatians' past and 76 present conduct. Hence his indignant exclamation in 4.16: 'So I have become your enemy by telling you the truth! ( 77 )'. Here, the term does not merely 78 denote "the alienated friend' but, consonant with biblical usage, refers to active hostility towards God and his people. The force of the word for Paul is evident in his discussions concerning humanity 79 outside Christ. Clearly he is angry at the complete reversal in the Galatians' position vis--vis both himself and the truth of his gospel of Christ crucified.80 It is they, not Paul, who have become enemies of the truth, a situation that can only be rectified if they once again become like him: faithful as Christ in the face of persecution and suffering (4.12a). Since Paul's climactic exclamation in 4.16 provides something of a break in the passage, our reconstruction thus far may now be 73. Josephus replicates this terminology in his account of this episode (Ant. 6.71). 74. Cf. also 4 Mace. 5.29-30, wherein the martyr Eleazar defies his tormentor Antiochus IV Epiphanes with the words: 'nor will I transgress the sacred oath of my ancestors concerning the keeping of the Law, not even if you gouge out my eyes (' ...)*. 75. Later Christian literature attests to the 'gouging out of eyes* as one of the tortures endured by Christian martyrs. 76. On the past/present motif in Galatians, correlated with the paradigmatic function of Pauline autobiography in the letter, see Lyons 1985:146-52. 77. Following Longenecker (1990: 193) and his linguistically preferredif minorityposition that 4.16 is not a rhetorical question but rather 'an indignant exclamation that draws an inference from what is stated in w. 14-15*. 78. So Betz 1979: 229. 79. Rom. 5.10; 11.28; Phil. 3.18; cf. Col. 1.21. See also the use of the term at 2 Thess. 3.15 in a warning not to treat anyone disobeying Paul's teaching as 'an enemy, but [to] warn him as a brother'. 80. Mussner (1974: 310) rightly notes that, for Paul, the truth of the gospel devolves upon Christ crucified. Note at 2.5, 14 and 5.7, where those whom Paul deems to be enemies of his gospel are clearly in view.


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)

summarized. Paul appeals to his Galatian brethren, on the basis of their common experience of conflict and opposition, to become as he by remaining faithful to the gospel of Christ (4.12a). Towards this end, he recalls his original proclamation of that gospel to them. Although he bore upon himself the marks of persecution, and his gospel was clearly not without adversity, the Galatians did not wrong or despise him because of this trial, but rather received him as God's righteous representative (4.12b-14). At that time they also experienced the blessing that accompanies suffering, since, says Paul, they were so committed to both him and his message that they would even have plucked out their eyes and given them to him (4.IS). Given their former faithfulness under such affliction, Paul is all the more astonished that they should now regard him as their enemy because he insists on reasserting the truth of the gospel which they had once so readily accepted from him (4.16). 1.6. 'In Travail until Christ be Formed in you' (Galatians 4.17-20) Given the above, Paul's polemical remarks in 4.17 no longer appear as the sudden and harsh interruption they are often taken to be.81 Throughout the appeal both Paul and the recipients of his letter have been broadly considering the antagonism engendered by the apostle's ministry, and will have had in near view the Agitators who are currently leading the Galatian community away from him: 'They are zealous () towards you, but for no good purpose; rather they want to exclude you so that you may be zealous () towards them'. Various attempts have been made to soften the usual strong sense of in this verse.82 However, elsewhere it is clear that Paul can and does use - terminology in describing a passionate commitment to a cause which may even take the form of violent actionhis own former life as a zealous Pharisee being a case in point.83 In this instance Paul is concerned that the zeal is resulting in the exclusion84 of the Galatians from Paul (4.16), Christ (5.4) and/or
81. So Betz 1979:229; Longenecker 1990:194. 82. So, for example, Betz 1979:210 and Bruce 1982: 211. For the force of the term infirst-centuryJewish literature, see Hengel 1989: 177-83, and Wright 1992: 177. 83. Gal. 1.14; Phil 3.6. 84. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that Paul is engaged in wordplay on and . Cf. other possible wordplays at Rom. 2.29 and Phil. 3.2-3.



God (1.6), and in a concomitant misplaced zeal on behalf of the Agitators and their Torah-based 'gospel' (1.6-9). This rebuke and warning is followed by another enigmatic state ment which recommends an alternative zeal: (4.18a). Paul can speak positively of zeal in various contexts, notably in 2 Corinthians 10-13 concerning his divine zeal for his Corinthian community now being lead astray by false teachers/apostles preaching 'another Jesus...a different gospel' (2 Cor. 11.2-4). It is this kind of zeal that is now needed to combat the debili tating influence of the Agitators in Galatia. Unfortunately, once pre sent during Paul's initial ministry among the Galatiansperhaps thereby implying that a context of conflict required itsuch zeal is no longer in great supply (4.18b).85 That being the case, Paul is now "again in travail until Christ be formed in [them]' (4.19)a metaphorical reference to die demanding contexts of both his original (N.B. 'again') and current ministry among them.86 Fundamentally, the 'formation' that Paul has in view cannot be achieved simply by restoring unity within the now fractured body of Christ in Galatia,87 nor even by a revitalized personal relationship between each Galatian believer and Christ88 Rather, since 'Christ in us/you' is commonly linked by Paul to Christ's suffering and death,89 the closest parallel to 4.19 is found in Paul's earlier remarks in 2.19-20: Christ lives in Paul because he has died to the Law and has been crucified with Christ. Thus Paul's concern is that the Galatians (once again) become like him (4.12) precisely in this respect: being faithful to Christ in their lives even if this entails cocrucifixion. Unfortunately, given the situation as it currently stands,

85. If, as is likely, Gal. 1.8-9 bears upon Paul's original ministry in Galatia, its strong condemnatory language attests both to the conflict then current and to the depth of Paul's concern that the Galatians have moved away from their initial commitment to his gospel towards the 'non-gospel' of the Agitators. 86. Note that the eschatological horizon of this birth imagery provides further evidence that Paul (and the Galatians) are caught up in the suffering and turmoil that is an inevitable part of the deliverance out of the old age (including the old Israel) and birth into the new (cf. 1.4; 4.6; and 6.16 with, inter alia, Rom. 8.12-39). See also Rev. 12.2. 87. Contra Schlier 1949: 214. 88. Contra Longenecker 1990; 195, following Burton 1921: 249. 89. E.g., Gal. 2.19-20; 2 Cor. 13.4-5; Phil. 1.20-21; cf. Col. 1.24, 27.


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)

he can only conclude this appeal by expressing his pain and perplexity from afar (4.20). 1.7. Conclusion By way of summarizing our exegesis of 4.12-20, we may now itemize the arguments which clearly negate the traditional illness' interpreta tion and support the alternative reconstruction offered above. 1. Apart from vv. 13-14, there is absolutely no circumstantial evidence to suggest that Paul was ill. That the illness interpretation of these difficult verses has generated so many different hypotheses con cerning its precise natureor constrained agnosticism on the mat terin itself raises doubts about its veracity. 2. The opening appeal of 4.12 must be connected in some intelligi ble way to what follows. While any such intelligibility is impossible on the illness interpretation of 4.13-14, it is readily achieved by means of our alternative reading: Paul is calling upon the Galatians to resist the present demands of the Agitators and to return to the pattern of faithfulness in suffering which he exemplified at the time of his original ministry amongst them. 3. The peculiar and forceful terminology which Paul uses to des cribe his 'weakness', the Galatians' potential response (, and ), and their actual reception of him ( .,. ), is much more credible in relation to a context of opposition and conflict than to some indeter minate ailment. 4. That Paul's appeal throughout 4.12-20 constantly alternates between past and present, indicates that he believes the Galatians' current regrettable behaviour is unjustifiable (and, indeed, incompre hensible) in the light of their former commendable response to him. This notable feature makes little or no sense if he is merely recalling their kind treatment of a sick man. However, it is much more comprehensible if Paul's original visit was attended by hostility to his Law-free gospel, but the Galatians accepted him in spite of this. 5. The exegesis and reconstruction provided here allows a coherent and convincing interpretation of a text which has usually been deemed disjointed and reflecting an erratic train of thought. 6. Furthermore, 4.12-20 now presents itself not as a somewhat marginal and emotive plea of limited relation to the letter's more substantial line of argumentation, but as a text of great historical and



theological significance for the interpretation of Galatians and the reconstruction of Paul's missionary activities. 2. Galatians 4.12-20 in Wider Context We now intend to corroborate and strengthen this new interpretation of Gal. 4.12-20 by, in turn, briefly locating it within a series of wider contexts: (2.1) the argument of Galatians 4; (2.2) additional evidence of persecution in Galatians as a whole; and (2.3) further indications of hardships endured elsewhere by Paul in the course of his missionary activities. 2.1. Rereading of Galatians 4 One of the strengths of the interpretation of Gal. 4.12-20 presented here is that it enables this passage to make sense in the context of the argument of ch. 4 as a whole and, indeed, sheds fresh light on the central thrust of that argument. The chapter opens (4.1-7) with Paul's expansion and application of his argument concerning the relation of God's new action in Christ to his action in Israel through Law and promisean argument which climaxes with the conclusion that "There is neither Jew nor Greek...for you are all one in Christ Jesus' (3.629). Paul has taken the radical step of placing Jews apart from Christ on the same footing as pagans: effectively as slaves (4.1) under the (4.3). He then claims that God's way of dealing with this situation is through Christ and the Spirit (cf. 3.1-5), offering redemp tion to the Jewsthose (4.5a; cf. 3.13)and thereby allowing the Gentiles to join them in receiving adoption as children of Abraham (4.5b).90 The Galatian believers, Jew and Gentile alike, are thus able to cry out in the Spirit to God their Fathera cry that attests to the suffering, inheritance and glorious vindication which they now share with Christ (cf. Rom. 8.14-18). Paul then reminds the Galatiansas former pagans (4.8-9)of their past life of slavery, and calls for a life consonant with their new status of freedom in the covenant community (cf. 4.12). In practice, this will mean a refusal to be caught up in the ethnic Jewish obser vances as promulgated by the Agitators which, for Paul, is tantamount to a reversion back to pagan ritual (4.9-10). The whole appeal is, in

90. Cf. Donaldson 1986.


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)

part, based upon Paul's concern that the Galatians are rejecting his efforts, his way of life in the gospel (4.11; cf. 4.19). Having placed these stark alternatives before the Galatians, Paul then (in 4.12-20) appeals to them to emulate himself by standing firm in their new covenant status, refusing to fall back under pressure into the old ways of Judaism or paganism, both subsets of the larger category of slavery. He encourages them towards this end by recalling his own example of faithfulness under persecution and their own initial enthusiasm for his message despite the ever present threat of a hostile reaction (4.12-15). He then uses the strong language of animosity and zeal to portray the present situation as one of bitter conflict between two mutually exclusive and antagonistic groups (4.16-19). In conclusion, he reiterates his fear that his work among them might have been in vain (4.20). While some of the Galatian Christians might well have been tempted to return to their former paganism, the main form of slavery currently on offer is that of Law observance. Paul therefore addresses those who wish to be under the Law by using the Sarah/Hagar allegory to critique the Law itself. He once again argues that there are two ways on offer, both rooted in Abraham, but leading to quite different ends. These are characterized as either the covenant of slavery, corresponding to the present Jerusalem (4.23a, 24-25), or the covenant of freedom and promise (4.23b, 26-27). Paul locates the Galatians within the latter group (4.28), but again stresses that these two groups are in conflict (4.29; cf. 4.12-20) and that there is no middle way. The Galatians are children of the free woman and they must stand firm, expelling those who are children of the slave woman (4.30-5.1). Thus Galatians 4 as a whole shows Paul setting a sharp and painful choice before the Galatians. He allows them no via media. Through both Scripture and the recollection of their shared experience he reminds them that, while the choice of Christ and freedom will result in conflict and persecution (4.12-20, 29), the only alternativein whatever guise, slaverymust be rejected 2.2. Persecution and Paul's Mission in Galatia: the Evidence of Galatians as a whole The earlier exegesis of 4.12-20 clearly provides evidence of persecution as being a significant element in Paul's dealings with the Galatian



Christians. However, apart from Ernst Baasland's discussion of the matter (1984), die significance of persecution in the letter as a whole 91 has gone unnoticed. By way of corroborating our reading of 4.1220 this additional evidence may now be briefly reviewed. Having initially warned the Galatians away from those now 'troubling' them with their Torah demands (1.6-9), Paul then admits to his own former life 'in Judaism' as a persecutor of the church (1.13, 23). Subsequently, with the conflict between Christ and the Spirit versus the 'works of the Law' clearly in view, he refers to the longsuffering of the Galatian believers: 'Having begun in the Spirit, are you now completing with the flesh? Have you suffered () so many things () in vain?'92 The obvious implication is that the Galatians had known suffering for some time prior to the present conflict Later, as already noted, in the course of his Sarah/Hagar allegory, Paul draws an analogy93 between the persecution by Ishmael (= 'the flesh') of Isaac (= 'the Spirit'), and the current situation 'as it is now' in Galatia (4.29). Whatever his precise justification, Paul evidently views the conflict in Galatia as standing within the long history of the persecution of God's faithful people by those (whether from within or without) who have rejected God's purposes. The letter also contains a number of references to Paul's own experiences of persecution, these understood as an almost inevitable corollary to his life and ministry. Thus, in the course of trying to safeguard his gospel against the incursion of the Agitators, he appeals to the Galatians: 'But if, brethren, I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted?' (5. II). 9 4 It is likely that the Galatians were all too aware that persecution was a regular byproduct of Paul's circumcision-free mission. This correlation between Paul's

91. Jewett 1971 treats persecution as the context within which the campaign of the Agitators is to be understood, but he says little about the Galatians' own experi ence of persecution or the importance of the theme in the letter as a whole. 92. Contrast Longenecker 1990:104, who, against the evidence in the LXX and the NT, and the majority of commentators, prefers to take as a reference to the Galatians' experience rather than suffering, could refer to the extent ('so many things') and/or the severity ('so great things') of the suffering. Cf. BAGD, 823. 93. Cf. Longenecker 1990:217 for a discussion of Paul's use of Gen. 21.9. 94. Perhaps another allusion to the circumstances which attended his initial visit to the Galatians.


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)

proclamation of the gospel, theological conflict, and suffering, is again found (in an inverted form) in his claim that those wishing the Galatians circumcised, do so 'only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ' (6.12). Finally, as noted earlier, Paul's concluding appeal'Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus' (6.17)probably refers to physical disfigurement due to persecution, a condition of which the Galatians were apparently well aware.95 It may thus be concluded that the reading of 4.12-20 offered above, rather than postulating a unique (and thus dubious) scenario, is actually supported by the tenor of the letter as a whole. From its inception in Galatia, Paul's gospel of the crucified Christ had inevitably engendered hostility and persecutionboth for Paul and his Galatian converts. Once faithful in spite of such conflict and suffering, some of the brethren are now succumbing to the influence of certain Agitators. Hence, it is Paul's burden to call them back to the truth of the gospel. 2.3. Persecution and Paul's Missionary Activity: the Additional Evidence Finally, and even more briefly, the broader NT witness to Paul's missionary experiences further confirms the hypothesis advanced here. The record of Acts is unlikely to have totally fabricated the numerous accounts of Paul's physical suffering and persecution.96 Of particular interest in relation to our reconstruction of Gal. 4.12-20 is the account of Paul's experience in Lystra (Acts 14.8-20) where, according to Luke, he was stoned and left for dead by Jews from Iconium and Psidian Antioch.97 As some commentators have observed, if the south Galatian hypothesis is followed then it could be this particular instance of persecution which lies behind the 'bodily weakness' that resulted in Paul's original preaching to the Galatians.98
95. So Pobee 1985: 95. 96. On the vexed matter of Acts and historiography, compare the representative positions of Haenchen 1971, Ldemann 1989, and Hemer 1989. 97. N.B. 2 Tim. 3.10-11 which suggests that Lystra was remembered in the early church as a place of particular hostility towards Paul. Cf. also the reference to stoning in 2 Cor. 11.25. 98. The fullest statement of this view is in Crafer 1913, cited in Pobee 1985: 134 n. 10. Cf. Ridderbos 1953: 30, 166-67.



However, if the north Galatian hypothesis is adopted, there is no difficulty in postulating that Paul experienced similar hardships in that part of Galatia. Within Paul's own writings there is also ample evidence of persecution, with the locus classicus being 2 Cor. 11.23-33:
... far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I have received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned... on frequent journeys... in danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from the Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren... (11.23b-26).

Significantly, in referring to the suffering which he and the Thessalonians had undergone, Paul also makes the same explicit correlation between faithfulness and persecution which we have noted in Galatians (cf. 1 Thess. 1.6; 2.2, 14-15; 3.3-5). Thus, in sharp contrast to the non-existent evidence for the claim that Paul preached to the Galatians because of some illness, there is a considerable body of Pauline material which undergirds our claim that the circumstances actually involved bodily weakness due to persecution. 3. Conclusion It has been argued that the language of Gal. 4.12-20 is most comprehensible when these verses are taken as referring to an original context of conflict and persecution rather than as an allusion to illness. This reconstruction also enables the passage to be read as a coherent whole which is fully integrated into the wider argument of the epistle (2.1), and the possibility of such an original context is plausible given both the evidence of Galatians (2.2) and the wider NT witness to Paul's missionary experiences (2.3). This argument, and the evidence presented in its defence, suggests several important possible lines of further enquiry with respect to both Galatians and Paul's ministry and theology more generally. These can only be noted here in the form of a cursory defence of our initial claim that Gal. 4.12-20 is of greater historical and theological significance than is normally allowed. 1. Any interpretation of Galatians as a whole requires a hypothesis concerning Paul's past dealings with the Christian community in


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)

Galatia. In offering evidence of a history of opposition, persecution and suffering, this passage provides an important background against which to reassess Paul's handling of the current situation of conflict and division. 2. Much of the evidence which supports our understanding of Gal. 4.12-20 (e.g. angels and martyrs, , travail) indicates that Paul interprets his experience of suffering as a faithful disciple of Christ within a decidedly eschatological framework. 3. Finally, this passage provides further evidence of the almost normative correlation between faithfulness to the crucified Christ and experience of persecution and suffering. Drawing on the terminology and theology of the suffering righteous in Israel which climaxes in that of the faithful Christ, Paul applies it to his own experience and to that of the Galatians."

WORKS CITED Baasland, E. 1984 Barr, M.L. 1975 1980 Becker, J. 1981

'Persecution: A Neglected Feature in the Letter to the Galatians', Studia Theologica 38: 135-50. 'Paul as "Eschatologie Person"', CBQ 37: 508-19. 'Qumran and the "Weakness" of Paul', CBQ 42: 216-27. 'Der Brief an die Galater', in J. Becker, H. Conzelmann and G. Friedrich (eds.), Die Briefe an die Galater, Epheser, Philipper, Kolosser, Thessalonicher und Philemon (Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht). Galatians: A Commentary on Paul's Letter to the Churches in Galatia (Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress Press). 'Die angebliche Krankheit des Paulus', TL 32: 1-13. Paul, Apostle of Weakness: Astheneia and its Cognates in the Pauline Literature (American University Studies Series, 7.3; New York: Peter Lang). Galatians in Greek (Detroit: University of Detroit Press). Der Brief an die Galater (Regensburg: Pustet).

Betz, H.D. 1979 Binder, H. 1976 Black, D.A. 1984

Bligh, J. 1966 Borse, U. 1984

99. The authors are grateful to Canon A.E. Harvey and Dr N.T. Wright for comments on an early draft of this paper.



Brown, C. 1975-1978 The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (3 vols.; Grand Rapids: Zondervan). Bruce, F.F. 1982 The Epistle to the Galatians (NIGTC; Grand Rapids: Eerdmanns). Burton, E.deW. 1921 A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians (ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark). Charlesworth, J.H. 1983, 1985 The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 vols.; Garden City, NJ: Doubleday). Collins, J.J. 1977 The Apocalyptic Vision of the Book of Daniel (HSM, 16; Missoula, MT: Scholars Press). Connolly, R.H. (ed.) 1929 Didascalia Apostolorum (Oxford: Clarendon Press). Cosgrove, C.H. 1988 77w? Cross and the Spirit: A Study in the Argument and Theology of Galatians (Atlanta: Mercer University Press). Crafer, T.W. 1913 'The Stoning of Saint Paul at Lystra and the Epistle to the Galatians', 77M? Expositor 6.34: 375-84. Dequeker, L. 1973 'The "Saints of the Most High" in Qumran and Daniel', OTS 18: 13362. Donaldson, T.L. 1986 'The "Curse of the Law" and Inclusion of the Gentiles: Galatians 3.13-14*, NTS 32: 94-112. Fitzgerald, J.T. 1988 Cracks in an Earthen Vessel: An Examination of the Catalogues of Hardships in the Corinthian Correspondence (SBLDS, 99; Atlanta: Scholars Press). Fossum, J.E. 1985 77M? Name of God and the Angel of the Lord: The Origins of the Idea of Intermediation in Gnosticism (WUNT, 1/36; Tubingen: Mohr [Paul Siebeck]). Fung, R.Y.K 1988 77M? Epistle to the Galatians (NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmanns). Goldingay, J.E. 1989 Daniel (WBC, 30; Dallas: Word Books). Gttgemanns, E. 1966 Der leidende Apostel und sein Herr: Studien zur paulinischen Christologie (Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht). Hadas, M. 1953 The Third and Fourth Books of Maccabees (New York: Harper & Brothers).


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)

Haenchen, E. 1971 77M? Acts of the Apostles: A Commentary (Oxford: Basil Blackwell). Hansen, G.W. 1989 Abraham in Galatians: Epistolary and Rhetorical Contexts (JSNTSup, 29; Sheffield: JSOT Press). Harvey, A.E. 1985 'Forty Strokes Save One: Social Aspects of Judaizing and Apostasy', in A.E. Harvey (ed.), Alternative Approaches to New Testament Study (London: SPCK): 79-96. Hemer, C. 1989 77M Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History (WUNT, 49; Tbingen: Mohr [Paul Siebeck]). Hengel, M. 1989 77M? Zealots (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark). Hurtado, L.W. 1988 One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Jewish Monotheism (London: SCM Press). Jewett,R 1971 'The Agitators and the Galatian Congregation', NTS 17: 198-212. Jonge, M. de (ed.) 1964 Testamenta XII Patriarcharum (Leiden: Brill). Lietzmann, H. 1971 An die Galater (HNT, 10; Tbingen: Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 4th edn). Lightfoot, J.B. 1890 Saint Paul's Epistle to the Galatians (London: Macmillan). Longenecker, R.N. 1990 Galatians (WBC, 41 ; Dallas: Word Books). Ldemann, G. 1989 Early Christianity according to the Traditions in Acts: A Commentary (London: SCM Press). Lhrmann, D. 1978 Der Brief an die Galater (Zrich: Theologischer Verlag). Lyons, G. 1985 Pauline Autobiography: Toward a New Understanding (SBLDS, 73; Atlanta: Scholars Press). Martyn, J.L. 1985 Law Observant Mission to Gentiles: The Background of Galatians', SJT 38: 307-24. Menoud, P.H. 1953 'L'charde et l'ange satanque (2 Cor. 12.7)', in J.N. Sevenster and W.C. van Unnik (eds.), Studia Paulina in honorem Johannis de Zwaan (Haarlem: de Erven F. Bohn N.V.): 163-71. Metzger, . 1971 A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Stuttgart: UBS). Mullins, T.Y. 1957 'Paul's Thorn in the Flesh', JBL 76: 299-303.


Mussner, F. 1988 Oepke, A. 1957 Der Galaterbrief (HTKNT, 9; Freiburg: Herder, 5th edn).


Der Brief des Paulus an die Galater (THKNT; Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt).

O'Neill, J.C. 1972 77M? Recovery of Paul's Letter to the Galatians (London: SPCK). Philonenko, M. 1968 Joseph et Asneth: Introduction, texte critique, traduction et notes (SPB, 13; Leiden: Brill). Pbee, J.S. 1985 Persecution and Martyrdom in the Theology of Paul (JSNTSup, 6; Sheffield: JSOT Press). Ramsay, W.M. 1899 A Historical Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians (London: Hodder & Stoughton). Ridderbos, H.N. 1953 77M? Epistle of Paul to the Churches of Galatia (NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmanns). Rohde, J. 1989 Der Brief des Paulus an die Galater (THKNT, 9; Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt). Rowland, C.C. 1982 77M? Open Heaven: A Study of Apocalyptic in Judaism and Early Christianity (London: SPCK). Schlier, H. 1949 Der Brief an die Galater (KEK, 7; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 10th edn). 1964 '', TDNT, : 448-49. Schrge, W. 1974 'Leid, Kreuz und Eschaton. Die Peristasenkataloge als Merkmale paulinischer theologia crucis und Eschatologie', EvT 34: 141-75. Wright, N.T. 1992 77M? New Testament and the People of God (London: SPCK).

ABSTRACT Contrary to the scholarly consensus, Gal. 4.12-20 is not an erratic and illogical appeal alluding to some unspecified illness suffered by Paul, but rather a thoroughly coherent argument arising out of the apostle's recollection of the bodily trauma due to persecution which attended his original ministry in Galatia. Viewed within such a context, the constituent elements of the text are then more readily understood: the programmatic appeal of 4.12 is fully integrated into the line of thought which follows; the key phrase ' is given due weight; the forceful


Journal for the Study of the New Testament 52 (1993)

terminology (, , , , ) and the sudden shifts from the past to present adversity are explained; and new light is cast on Paul's reception 'as an angel' (4.14) and the Galatian*s willingness *to pluck out their eyes' (4.15). Furthermore, Gal. 4.12-20 may now be more easily integrated into the argument of the chapter as a whole, and can draw upon the corroborating evidence of persecution both elsewhere in Galatians and in other accounts of Paul's missionary experience.

Charles A. Kimball JESUS' EXPOSITION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT IN LUKE'S GOSPEL This work presents an inductive, exegetical analysis of Jesus' exegetical methods and expositions in Luke's Gospel in the light offirst-centuryJewish exegetical methods. Kimball focuses on the eight Lukan pericopes in which Jesus expounds explicit Old Testament quotations. This study concludes that in Luke's Gospel Jesus expounded Scripture as the basis for understanding his person and ministry, teaching his followers and inquirers, and debating his religious opponents. He employed many of the exegetical methods of ancient Judaism, yet he frequently offered interpretations of Scripture that were radically different from other Jewish teachers. In turn, he influenced the early church's biblical expositions in considerable measure. The christobgical expositions by the Jesus of Luke's Gospel used pesher fulfilment motifs and midrashic techniques to show that the Old Testament found its typological and prophetic fulfilment in Jesus; they are summarized in proem-like and similar commentary patterns. The doctrinal expositions used midrashic techniques to explain Scripture for proper doctrine and conduct; they are summarized in ye/ammedenu-ke patterns. Charles Kimball is Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Kingsvllle, Texas. d 35.00/$50.00 ISBN 1 85075 464 0 JSKT Supplement Series, 9 c. 330pp

^ s
Copyright and Use: As an ATLAS user, you may print, download, or send articles for individual use according to fair use as defined by U.S. and international copyright law and as otherwise authorized under your respective ATLAS subscriber agreement. No content may be copied or emailed to multiple sites or publicly posted without the copyright holder(s)' express written permission. Any use, decompiling, reproduction, or distribution of this journal in excess of fair use provisions may be a violation of copyright law. This journal is made available to you through the ATLAS collection with permission from the copyright holder(s). The copyright holder for an entire issue of a journal typically is the journal owner, who also may own the copyright in each article. However, for certain articles, the author of the article may maintain the copyright in the article. Please contact the copyright holder(s) to request permission to use an article or specific work for any use not covered by the fair use provisions of the copyright laws or covered by your respective ATLAS subscriber agreement. For information regarding the copyright holder(s), please refer to the copyright information in the journal, if available, or contact ATLA to request contact information for the copyright holder(s). About ATLAS: The ATLA Serials (ATLAS) collection contains electronic versions of previously published religion and theology journals reproduced with permission. The ATLAS collection is owned and managed by the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) and received initial funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The design and final form of this electronic document is the property of the American Theological Library Association.