Galatians: Worship for Life by Faith in the Crucified and Risen Lord

By John Paul Heil

An overview of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, proposing a new interpretation of its structure and themes.

ISBN: 9780227177570


In his commentary, John Paul Heil presents two new proposals regarding Paul’s letter to the Galatians. First, he demonstrates an entirely new chiastic structure embracing the entire letter, based on strict linguistic and textual criteria rather than on conceptual or theological themes. This chiastic structure accords with the view that Galatians was originally performed orally in a setting of communal worship.

Second, Heil offers a new proposal for a key theme that runs throughout Galatians, as expressed by the subtitle of this book – ‘Worship for Life by Faith in the Crucified and Risen Lord’. Here, ‘worship’ is considered to be a comprehensive concept that includes liturgical, cultic, or ritual worship as well as the moral behaviour that is to complement it as ethical worship in accord with the biblical tradition. ‘Life’ refers both to the present way of living as well as to future eternal life. ‘Faith’ refers to the acceptance of divine grace available to the believer because of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 175

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

John Paul Heil is Professor of New Testament at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He received his Doctorate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, and is a priest of the Archdiocese of St Louis. His publications include The Gospel of Matthew: Worship in the Kingdom of Heaven (James Clarke, 2018) and The Gospel of John: Worship for Divine Life Eternal (2016).



1. Introduction
2. Galatians 1:1–10
3. Galatians 1:11–24
4. Galatians 2:1–14
5. Galatians 2:15–21
6. Galatians 3:1–5
7. Galatians 3:6–16
8. Galatians 3:17–29
9. Galatians 4:1–7
10. Galatians 4:8–20
11. Galatians 4:21–31
12. Galatians 5:1–13
13. Galatians 5:14–26
14. Galatians 6:1–18
15. Conclusion

Scripture Index
Author Index


Endorsements and Reviews

This creative re-reading of Galatians as a primarily doxological and liturgical text, is grounded in a sound and imaginative literary framework. The result is a wealth of fresh insights, unencumbered by many of the age-old arguments within which Pauline scholarship is often embroiled, a keener appreciation of the centrality of the resurrection than is often afforded Galatians, and a plausible account of Paul’s rhetorical objectives as they pertain to a life of worship.
Andrew Boakye, University of Manchester