Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Monday, March 27, 2006

John Bligh on Galatians

In 1969, Bligh published his commentary on Galatians wherein he reiterated his proposal set forth originally in Galatians in Greek that the entire Epistle to the Galatians could be diagrammed as “a carefully constructed symmetrical structure. This publication, together with Goulder’s 1963 article on “The Chiastic Structure of the Lucan Journey,” began a new interest in chiasmus. In his Foreword, Bligh issues this caveat: “However, too much importance should not be attached to this question; structural analysis is only an aid to the discovery of the right question and possible answers.”

The structural pattern of the Epistle, as diagrammed by Bligh, is as follow:

A Prologue, 1:1-1:12.

B Autographical Section, 1:13-2:10.

C Justification by faith, 2:11-3:4.

D Arguments from Scripture, 3:5-3:29.

E Central Chiasm, 4:1-4:10.

D’ Arguments from Scripture, 4:11-4:31.

C’ Justification by faith, 5:1-5:10.

B’ Moral Section, 5:11-6:11.

A’ Epilogue, 6:12-6:18.

Bligh notes, inter alia, that this chiastic structure, with B and B’, Paul intends to demonstrate that before his conversion he walked according to the flesh and since his conversion he has walked according to the spirit. Therefore Bligh notes that the purpose of the Autographical Section is not to assert “that Paul did not receive the gospel from the other apostles, but rather to show that throughout his Christian life he has been obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Copyrighted 2006


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