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The Identity of the Israel of God in Galatians 6:16

Who is the “Israel of God” in Gal. 6:16? Entire theological systems divide over the interpretation of this passage, which has an important bearing on the question of the relationship between Israel and the church. Yet, rather than being viewed through a pre-existing systematic-theological grid, Paul’s puzzling reference to the “Israel of God” in Gal. 6:16 ought to be studied first and foremost in the context of the entire epistle and especially in light of Paul’s anti-Judaizing polemic. Even this polemic, moreover, should be seen in the larger framework of the cross work of Christ and its implications for the new covenant community. When interpreting the passage, we will first consider syntactical and then theological issues. We will conclude with some biblical-theological observations.

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