Writing on the Edge

Paul's Use of Hyperbole in Galatians

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Charles E. Cruise
  • Eugene, OR: 
    Pickwick Publications
    , October
     292 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


In Paul’s angry letter, everything is magnified. His obstructers have insidious motives, their Galatian victims are dense and on the brink of spiritual peril, and the law itself is outmoded and a malevolent taskmaster. How do we read beneath the rhetoric? Writing on the Edge surveys ancient Greco-Roman and modern linguistic sources on hyperbole and demonstrates that it is possible to separate out the effect of Paul’s edgy rhetoric on his ideas. Eleven criteria are applied to identify Paul’s most hyperbolic passages in Galatians, followed by a reinterpretation of those passages and the entire thrust of the letter. Paul’s true attitudes emerge, and a more consistent picture of the apostle materializes, one in line with his Torah-observant behavior in Acts.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Charles E. Cruise is Adjunct Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.


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