favourite epistleAdrian Graffy

In the five hundredth anniversary year of the Reformation, Adrian Graffy takes a fresh look at Martin Luther's favourite epistle. The author is a priest in the Diocese of Brentwood.

"The Epistle to the Galatians is my epistle. To it I am as it were in wedlock. It is my Katherine."1 One might have expected, quite reasonably, that it would have been the Letter to the Romans which gained first place in Luther's affections. Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ is after all its strongest focus. But even a superficial reading of Galatians quickly shows why Luther preferred Galatians. They are of course sister epistles, Galatians the earlier writing, and Romans written later. But Galatians was written in the heat of the moment when Paul discovered that his way of preaching, his gospel proclaimed to the Gentiles without the burden of the Law, was being undermined by emissaries from Jerusalem and from Antioch, while Romans, without doubt Paul's greatest composition, was written calmly some time later to a community he did not know, a community to whom he wished to present himself and his enormously influential understanding of the good news of Jesus Christ (Rom. 15.16).

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