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Galatians (Crossway Classic Commentaries) Paperback – May 11, 1998

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Undoubtedly the most powerful discussion of the truth of justification by faith prepared by any of the Reformers" J. I. Packer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

MARTIN LUTHER (1483–1546) was professor of Bible at Wittenberg University, and this exposition of Galatians came out of his classroom. Undoubtedly the most powerful discussion of justification by faith prepared by any of the Reformers, this commentary on Galatians has had a profound impact on many through the centuries, including both John and Charles Wesley. 

ALISTER MCGRATH is Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford, and the Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College in Oxford. He is also a noted author and co-editor of Crossway's Classic Commentary Series.

J. I. Packer (DPhil, Oxford University) serves as the Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College. He is the author of numerous books, including the classic best-seller Knowing God. Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.

J. I. Packer (DPhil, Oxford University) serves as the Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College. He is the author of numerous books, including the classic best-seller Knowing God. Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.

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Product Details

  • Series: Crossway Classic Commentaries (Book 15)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; First Thus edition (May 11, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891079947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891079941
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jonathan A Blevins on June 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is, in my estimation, the greatest non-canonical book ever written. Luther expounds Paul's epistle to the Galatians with an insight, power and depth of emotion which is sorely lacking in modern commentaries. He is not concerned with the various potential interpretations of "problematic passages" that fill the pages of other commentaries. From the very first page Luther cuts to the heart of the epistle-the doctrine of justification-in the way that only he can. His bold words and plain-sense interpretations result in a work filled with much of the same force and passion that characterized the epistle itself. The grace of God and the love of Jesus Christ cling to every word like the scent of a precious perfume. I cannot recommend this work highly enough. This is the very essence of the gospel as understood by the one who "rediscovered" the doctrines of faith and grace as he teaches us from the words of the one to whom God first revealed those doctrines. If you are looking for an up-to-date critical commentary or a greek-focused exegetical work then you will not find it here, but if you would hear a plain declaration of the power and wisdom of God then you will not find a better treatise apart from the Bible. (Note: This review is based upon the 415 page edition introduced by D. Stuart Briscoe--both are abridgments of Luther's actual commentary).
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Not too long ago I wrapped up a year-long study of Galatians. In the process, the Spirit used the book to bring the definition and perils of legalism to bear on my life. Just as in Galatians 3:1, seeing Christ clearly portrayed as crucified for my sins, how could I foolishly even presume to think that there was something that I could add to this salvation?! God used the book to literally change my life: making me fall deeper in love with Christ, shoving me to my knees at the foot of the cross, and revealing and removing many of my personal legalistic hopes of justification other than Christ.
That is what I love about Luther's commentary. Luther was learning this stuff and loving it as he was teaching it. He was not a theologian who had the benefit of walking in the steps of bible-loving, grace-espousing mentors. He was pierced by the word and the Spirit changed his heart by it. This is what you see in Galatians. During my study I read many great commentaries, but my favorite was Luthers. Luther acts in this commentary as both an exegete and a pastor. This is a commentary that you may just want to curl up with on the couch after you finish studying a section and read and read again. His passion is contagious.
(By the way, my other favorite Galatians commentaries were MacArthur's and Hendriksen's. Calvin's and Stott's came in a close #4 and #5). I hope this helps.
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Martin Luther (1483-1546 AD) became an Augustinian, Roman Catholic monk where he studied the Word of God diligently while still in the monastery. His study convinced him to post his 95 theses, statements he wanted to debate within the context of the Church to restore it. The rest is history as Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic church and became the first "Lutheran." Luther was convinced that: God justifies a person (declares him righteous and acquits him) by faith alone and not by works, each believer has access to God directly apart from any human intermediaries, and the Scriptures are the true source of authority for both faith and life. Many of his doctrines, especially on justification, he covered brilliantly in his commentary on Galatians. And rightly so, for Galatians was his favorite book, his "Katherine," and it was central to his understanding of the gospel.
Luther's Commentary on Galatians in the history of the Christian Church is very remarkable. It presents like no other of the central thought of Christianity: the justification of the sinner for the sake of Christ's merits alone. Luther also delineates the difference between Law (what God demands from us) and Gospel (what God has done and does for us); in this text, we understand his "simul justus et peccator," that is, a Christian is simultaneously 100 % saint and 100 % sinner.
To understand Christian theology and justification by faith, reading this commentary is proper, right, for our eternal good--for Luther explains the doctrines of the Scriptures in forthright boldness and clarity.
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As other reviewers have noted, Luther's commentary on the book of Galatians is not your average commentary. It is truly a classic that is worth the time and effort of any believer who is looking to gain a deeper understanding of this important book of the New Testament.

The central theme of Galatians is justification by faith, and Luther goes to great length explaining what it means, and why it is so central to the Body of Christ. Like other reviewers, I was struck by Luther's passion and precision of argument as he expounds on the text. I think this commentary has really opened my eyes in a new way to what Christ has done for all of us. It challenged me to think about a lot of aspects of my faith in a new light, and appreciate the fact that Christ is my redeemer, and has provided the thing I need most since I cannot accomplish it on my own.

I highly recommend this commentary to any Christian looking for a better understanding of Galatians. It may also be useful to read if you are struggling with your faith, and have doubts about whether or not the cross of Christ has found true meaning in your life. Luther's words will inspire you and educate you in the process. You will not be disappointed. Sola Fide.
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