Date of Submission

January 2007


The thrust of this thesis is encapsulated in the title - Paul, Jerusalem and the Judaisers: The Galatian Crisis in Its Broader Historical Context - which reflects the author's insistence that reconstructing all the events surrounding the crisis that impelled Paul to compose his letter to the Galatians is essential to understanding this letter. The position taken in this study is that the Galatian crisis was initiated by a group of Judaising opponents acting under the direct authority of the Jerusalem church. The origins of this controversy can be traced back to the early dispute between the Hellenists and the Hebrews described in the Acts of the Apostles, which led to the expulsion of the Hellenists from Jerusalem and the establishment of the community in Antioch. Paul's opponents apparently cited Jerusalem as the source of and the warrant for their Law-observant gospel. In Galatians, Paul alludes to events involving Judaising opponents that transpired in Jerusalem and Antioch prior to the outbreak of the crisis at Galatia. Thus, the immediate background of the crisis is found in the Jerusalem Council (Gal 2:1-10; Acts 15:1-35) and the Incident at Antioch (Gal 2:11-14). Turning to the conflict in Galatia itself this thesis attempts to explore the links between these earlier events and the Galatian crisis. The primary avenue for this examination will be via a consideration of Paul's argument in Galatians. By the careful use of the mirror-reading technique, this thesis will endeavour to reconstruct the message and the origins of Paul's opponents. The thesis concludes with a brief examination of Paul's later conflicts with Judaising opponents at Corinth and Philippi, as well as the autobiographical material in Romans, all of which will provide an insight into the eventual outcome of the crisis in Galatia.

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


253 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Arts and Sciences