Recovering Paul's Mother Tongue: Language and Theology in Galatians  -     By: Susan Eastman
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Recovering Paul's Mother Tongue: Language and Theology in Galatians

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2007 / Paperback

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Product Description

By "mother tongue" Susan Eastman means the tone, metaphors, and language that Paul uses in addressing the church in Galatia that have strong maternal connotations. Eastman closely examines the letter written to the Galatians finding a theme that very few have. She concludes that it is this maternal discourse demonstrates the very content of the good news. This is a different kind of commentary but one that promises to challenge, enlighten, and inform all scholars, pastors, and biblical students.

Susan Eastman is assistant professor of the practice of Bible and Christian formation at Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 232
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0802831656
ISBN-13: 9780802831651
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Publisher's Description

Paul's letter to the Galatians begins with a proclamation of deliverance from the present evil age and comes to a climax with the ringing cry "new creation!" The letter moves from the Galatian believers' new identity in Christ to the implications of that identity for their life together.

Susan Eastman here argues that Galatians 4:12û5:1 plays a key role in this movement: it displays the power of God's act in Christ, apart from the law, not only to generate the Galatians' new life in Christ but also to perfect it. Paul communicates to his converts the motivation and power necessary to move them from their ambivalence about his gospel to a faith that "stands fast" in its allegiance to Christ alone. Eastman argues that the medium and the message are inseparable. Paul's discourse or "mother tongue" -- packed with maternal images, vulnerable yet authoritative, and marked by personal suffering -- demonstrates the content of the good news.

Author Bio

Susan Eastman is associate professor of the practice ofBible and Christian formation at Duke University DivinitySchool, Durham, North Carolina, where she also directs theDoctor of Theology program.

Editorial Reviews

Richard B. Hays
— Duke Divinity School
"Susan Eastman's thought-provoking book advances our understanding on two levels at once. Her fine-grained exegetical work deepens our comprehension of the argument of Paul's letter to the Galatians. At the same time, her probing analysis of Paul's maternal and family metaphors offers a subtle alternative to current polarized positions concerning authority and power relations. Eastman demonstrates the transforming and sustaining power of the new 'cosmic relational matrix' in which Paul and his converts share as a result of God's grace in Christ. This is a book to be read closely and pondered by New Testament exegetes and pastoral theologians alike."

J. Louis Martyn
— Union Theological Seminary
"The engaging youth evangelist Howard Butt often issued a warning in the latter part of his conversion-oriented preaching: 'mountaintop experiences' can be followed ironically by 'saved souls and lost lives.' Similarly acknowledging the loss of staying power that sometimes plagues our churches, Susan Eastman listens carefully to Paul's Galatian letter, where she finds the apostle attributing such power to the gospel itself. She hears him using his mother tongue, that is, re-preaching the gospel in potent maternal metaphors that promise both the birth and the faithful endurance of the transformed family of God. Beware! Like Paul's letters themselves, this book precludes our being mere observers."

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