What was Paul's main point anyway?
Paul J. Bodin comments:
>In many ways the Seed/seeds
>distinction is a pretext that illustrates the point he really wants to
>make. Certainly there are allusions in this argument to discussions
>and/or teachings shared by Paul and the Galatians to which we are not
>privy, and it seems shallow to us today in part because of this lack,
>but it seems to me that Paul *was* in fact doing violence to the
>grammar of Genesis. Please understand, I don't think this reflects
>any lack of grammatical sophistication, either on Paul's part or on
>the part of his audience--I think he was using a rhetorical device
>common to the discourse of his teachers. The section certainly makes
What is the point Paul really wants to make? Isn't Paul claim that God
promised long ago that the Gentiles would be blessed by faith, and that
these promises beforehand were not negated by the Mosaic law (Gal 3:17-18)?
And that the promise to Abraham was a unilateral promise (Gal 3:19) based
solely on the character of God.
If Paul's understanding of Genesis is in error, then Paul's main point
("the point he really wants to make") is in error. Thus if Paul did
violence to the grammar of Genesis, he failed to show there was any
promise of the Gentiles from long ago.
Having accepted that Paul's use of seed/seeds is retorical device, it seems
a short step to say it is a retorical shorthand of a more sophisticated
arguement, especially since you agreed that there are allusions in this
arguement to discussions and/or teachings shared by Paul and the Galatians
to which we are not privy, and it seems shallow to us today in part because
of this lack.
It could easily seem to do violence to the grammar of Genesis, because
it we are taking Paul's shorthand as a literal arguement about number,
rather than a point about the context of the Abraham story with regard
to all/one-group being Abraham's seed and Ishmael not being included.
To summarize, what is Paul's main point other than his claim in Gal 3:8
"And the Scripture, forseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by
faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the nations
shall be blessed in you."
David John Marotta, Medical Center Computing, Stacey Hall
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