N.T. Wright’s Galatians– Part Nineteen

N.T. Wright’s Galatians– Part Nineteen July 24, 2021

Q. When we get to the whole issue of ‘sperma’ in Gal. 3.16, I was not clear whether or not you were saying that Paul says Christ is the seed, or Christ and all believers are the seed of Abraham. In any case, since ‘in Christ’ is incorporative, and as you point out sometimes Paul even uses the term ‘Christ’ to refer to his body, i.e. his people, why is it important to say that ‘sperma’ itself is collective in sense? Are you taking ‘sperma’ to mean ‘offspring’, but there is another word for that. Could you clarify?

A. Christos is clearly ‘collective’ in some passages for Paul; so your phrase ‘Christ and all believers’ would then be tautologous. Sperma does indeed mean ‘offspring’ but the singular masks the fact that this could be a single human being or a whole family.

Q. I really like the analogy of Torah (p. 231) being like a booster rocket that as specific, limited purpose, which when fulfilled is then left behind. The booster rocket is a good thing, but it is not needed any more when one has reached the right altitude. We could use more analogies like this. If you do not mind, I will borrow it.

A. Feel free. I have used it for many years and it seems to make the point.

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