The Meaning of the Phrase ta stoicheia tou kosmou in Galatians

M.C. de Boer

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This article seeks a fresh answer to the difficult question of the meaning of the phrase τα στoιχεια τoυ κoσμoυ in Gal 4.3. The answer is sought by paying close attention to (1) the argumentative context of Paul's use of the phrase in the letter (he posits some sort of equivalence between the veneration of τα στoιχεια τoυ κoσμoυ and the observance of the Law; he does so for contextually relevant theological and rhetorical reasons), and (2) the cultural-historical context of the addressees, the Gentile believers in Galatia (τα στoιχεια are 'the gods' they once venerated; this veneration involved calendrical observances). © 2007 Cambridge University Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-224
Number of pages21
JournalNew Testament Studies
Issue number02
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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