Paul's Letter to the Galatians has played a major role in the history of theology, especially in the Church's teaching on grace, faith, and justification. This commentary argues that Paul's doctrine of justification by faith is essentially social in nature and has important ecumenical implications for the Church today. In its original setting, Galatians established a foundation for the unity of Jewish and Gentile Christians: all are justified by the faith of Jesus Christ.
In addition to illuminating the historical situation that led Paul to write his Letter to the Galatians, this commentary pays careful attention to the rhetorical structure of this letter and its theological message. The author provides a fresh translation of Galatians, critical notes on each verse of the text, and a careful commentary of the letter in light of Paul's theology.
Theories abound on the question of Galatians, why it was written, what it says, and what the implications of that message are. Yet few scholars have devoted themselves at length to this letter. What sets this work apart is its extent and detail, and its academic rather than popular intent.
Frank J. Matera is the Andrews-Kelly-Ryan Professor of Biblical Studies at the Catholic University of America. A past president of the Catholic Biblical Association of America, he is the author of Strategies for Preaching Paul (Liturgical Press); New Testament Ethics: The Legacies of Jesus and Paul; New Testament Christology; and a commentary on Second Corinthians in the New Testament Library Series.