Date of Award

5-1-2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Historical Theology

First Advisor

Robert Rosin

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

1 Corinthians 10:16-17 ; 1 Corinthians 11:23; 1 Corinthians 12:27 ; 1 Corinthians 7:23; 1 Timothy 1:9; 2 Corinthians 13:5 ; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Acts 15:10; Acts 4:34- Acts 5; Colossians 1:27; Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 3:17 ; Ezekiel 20:25; Galatains 2:19; Galatians 1:1; Galatians 1:11; Galatians 1:4-5; Galatians 2:11-14; Galatians 2:16; Galatians 2:18; Galatians 2:19; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 2:21; Galatians 3; Galatians 3:10-19; Galatians 3:19-25; Galatians 3:19-28 ; Galatians 3:19-4:7; Galatians 3:21-30; Galatians 3:23-29; Galatians 3:24; Galatians 3:25; Galatians 3:26; Galatians 3:27 ; Galatians 3:4; Galatians 4:1-7; Galatians 4:19; Galatians 4:2; Galatians 4:22f.; Galatians 4:2-3; Galatians 4:24; Galatians 4:4; Galatians 4:6; Galatians 5:13; Galatians 5:14; Galatians 5:17; Galatians 5:24; Galatians 5:6; Hebrews 11:6; Hebrews, 7:12; Isaiah 10:22-23; Isaiah 26:18; Isaiah 52; John 1:23; John 14:23; Leviticus 26:10; Luke 2:33-40; Luke 3:1-6; Matthew 11:5; Psalm 65:5; Psalm 67:17; Psalm 77:2; Psalm 83:6; Psalm 96:11; Psalm 100:2; Psalm 101; Psalm 101:14; Psalm 101:5; Psalm 104:10; Psalm 105:3; Psalm 106:10 ; Psalm 109:3; Psalm 110: 3; Psalm 110:7; Psalm 113b:1; Psalm 115:10 ; Psalm 117:1; Psalm 118: 76; Psalm 118:1; Psalm 118:116; Psalm 118:146; Psalm 118:174; Psalm 118:25 ; Psalm 118:65; Psalm 121:4; Psalm 122:1; Psalm 125:4; Psalm 129; Psalm 13:3 ; Psalm 142:1; Psalm 15:4; Psalm 18:2; Psalm 18:9; Psalm 2:7; Psalm 31:10; Psalm 35:11; Psalm 36:6 ; Psalm 41:2 ; Psalm 44; Psalm 44:2; Psalm 59:3 ; Psalm 67:13; Psalm 67:14; Psalm 70:2; Psalm 71:2 ; Psalm 77:10 ; Psalm 77:2; Psalm 77:5; Psalm 77:7; Psalm 79:17; Psalm 84; Psalm 84:3; Psalm 84:6; Psalm 88:15; Psalm 88:44; Psalm 89:15; Psalm 96:11; Revelation 12:1; Revelation 12:5; Romans 1:17; Romans 1:18; Romans 11:32; Romans 13:9; Romans 2:12; Romans 3; Romans 3:10, 19 ; Romans 3:20; Romans 3:27; Romans 4:7; Romans 4:9; Romans 5:20; Romans 6:3; Romans 7; Romans 7:1; Romans 7:10; Romans 7:12; Romans 7:13; Romans 7:14; Romans 7:22; Romans 7:23, 25 ; Romans 7:6; Romans 8:15; Romans 8:19; Romans 8:2; Romans 8:3; Romans 8:9 ; Romans 9:28; Titus 3:5;

Abstract

Herrmann, Erik H. "'Why Then the Law?' Salvation History and the Law in Martin Luther's Interpretation of Galatians 1513-1522." Ph.D. Diss., St. Louis, MO: Concordia Seminary, 2005. 283 pp.

This study examines Luther's early exegesis of Galatians 3: 19-4:7 and its relationship to his theological development, especially his doctrine of law and gospel. Luther's earliest exegetical lectures on the Psalms (1513-15) demonstrate essential agreement with the interpretation of Galatians common throughout the exegetical tradition. The law's function is understood solely in terms of its preparatory role in salvation history among Old Testament Israel. It has no value beyond the coming of Christ, who instead imparts the new law of the gospel. Like the Old Testament itself, the law ought to be interpreted spiritually, a type and shadow of the evangelical law.

In Luther's lectures on Paul, first Romans (1515-16) and then Galatians (1516-17), a new understanding develops which interprets Paul's doctrine of the law more broadly so that its preparatory role is applicable in all times. Coupled with an increasingly more radical view of sin, Luther comes to interpret Galatians as a description of the law's theological function on the individual conscience, regardless of the dispensation of salvation history. Rather than a veiled type foreshadowing the spiritual doctrines of the gospel, the law prepares one for the gospel by revealing man's sin, a testimony to the fundamental human situation. Important in this transformation are the anti-Pelagian writings of Augustine, which Luther read thoroughly during this time, and his dispute with late scholastic theology and its doctrine of merit. Luther's published commentary on Galatians in 1519 along with the Weihnachtspostille of1522 represent the public presentation of this interpretation of Paul, marking the beginning of Luther's influence on the history of Pauline exegesis. These are especially significant in the context of Luther's relationship to the German reform movement and his escalating conflict with the papacy.

A final chapter makes some further observations on the possible consequences that Luther's interpretation of the law had for hermeneutics. Unlike traditional spiritual exegesis which is grounded in the progression of revelation in salvation history, Luther finds the distinction of law and gospel better equipped to address the problem of application. The four-fold method of interpretation is eventually abandoned in favor of this distinction as the primary hermeneutical approach to the Scriptures.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Share

COinS