Neil Martin

Regression in Galatians

Paul and the Gentile Response to Jewish Law

[Regression im Galaterbrief. Paulus und die nichtjüdische Resonanz auf jüdische Gesetze.]

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Published in English.
Exposing strengths and weaknesses in the »Old,« »New« and »Radical New« Perspectives on Paul, Neil Martin's analysis of regression language in Galatians in its first-century context argues that the apostle's supposed anti-law polemic reflects an underlying antipathy for pagan, not Jewish religiosity.
In the first scholarly treatment of the topic, Neil Martin argues that the regression language in Galatians holds the key to understanding Paul's perception of the underlying crisis. Repeated references to going backwards describe the reanimation of expectations intimately associated with the basic religious practices (stoicheia) of his readers' pagan past. As the Galatians embraced the superficially-similar observances of Jewish Christianity, familiar practices were triggering the resumption of familiar modes of thought. With striking consequences for historic and contemporary debates about faith and works, the author finds a pagan misappropriation of Judaism, not Judaism itself, in the crosshairs of Paul's supposed anti-law polemic, uniting his warnings and commands in an integrated response to a pastoral emergency caused by the failure of the strong to accommodate the weakness of the weak.

Neil Martin Born 1973; 2008–11 Vice President of Innovation for Zondervan Harper Collins in Grand Rapids, Michigan; 2011–13 Associate Pastor of Crossroads Bible Church in Grand Rapids; 2019 DPhil in New Testament at Oxford University; currently Biblical Studies Tutor at the Pastors' Academy in London as well as serving on the staff of Oxford Evangelical Presbyterian Church.


The following reviews are known:

In: Review of Biblical Literature — https://www.sblcentral.org7 (03/2022) (Tyler A. Stewart)
In: New Testament Abstracts — 66 (2022), pp. 147–148
In: Theologische Revue —–3693 (Hans Förster)
In: Catholic Biblical Quarterly — 84 (2022), pp. 503–504 (Jeremy Wade Barrier)
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 146 (2021), pp. 920–922 (Karl Olav Sandnes)