Re: Gal 1:1, who sent Paul?

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Apr 14 1998 - 08:19:48 EDT

At 6:33 AM -0500 4/14/98, Arto Hoikkala wrote:
>Dear b-greekers,
>After reading Gal 1:1 I wondered that if Paul was sent *through* (DIA)
>God the Father, then *who* actually sent him? This led me to consider
>that Gal 1:1 contains an ABBA-structure, so that Paul is sent *through*
>Jesus Christ and *from* God the Father. But since I am definitely a Little
>Greek I am not sure whether this is grammatically possiblel. So, is there
>an ABBA-structure in Gal 1:1?
> Paul, an apostle, PAULOS APOSTOLOS
>A) not from men, OUK AP' ANQRWPWN
>B) nor through man, OUDE DI' ANQRWPOU
>B) but through Jesus Christ, ALLA DIA IHSOU XRISTOU
>A) and [from] God the Father, KAI QEOU PATROS
> who raised him from the dead. TOU EGEIRANTOS AUTON EK NEKRWN

I would not assume the ABBA structure and thereby understand an APO as
implicitly to be understood with QEOU PATROS; yet I would nevertheless
understand Paul's meaning to be that God the Father sent him through the
mediation of Jesus Christ. In view of the centrality of Paul's theme in
this letter--that his mission is independent of the authority of the
Jerusalem church, even though he believes himself to be acting with
integrity and keeping faith with the Jerusalem church, I believe that he
shapes even the salutation of the letter to underscore that independence of
any "merely human" authority: he was not sent by a human community nor
'authorized' by some ordaining human institution; rather he was ordained or
authorized through the instrumentality of Jesus Christ and God the Father.
I would understand the DIA with IHSOU CRISTOU as extending forward to
govern QEOU PATROS as well.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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