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Nochmals zu den ‘schwachen und unfähigen Elementen’ (Gal 4.9): Paulus, Philo und die στοιχεια του κοσμου

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 March 2008

Universität Siegen, Fachbereich 1: Evangelische Theologie, Adolf-Reichwein-Straße 2, 57076 Siegen, Deutschland


The key for conceptualizing both the Galatians' former pagan religion and an existence ‘under the Jewish law’ as ‘serving the στοιχεια’ (Gal 4.3, 9) lies in their characterization as ‘weak and impotent’ in Gal 4.9. As suggested by passages in the writings of Philo, the στοιχεια do not possess inherent creative power and thus are unable to solve the anthropological problem of sin. To overcome the passion of σαρξ, Philo suggests a process of forming and strengthening the immortal soul by way of the Mosaic law. Paul, by contrast, denies the renewing, life-giving power of the νομος and thus categorizes the law as στοιχεια του κοσμου.

2008 Cambridge University Press

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Für hilfreiche Hinweise danke ich Herrn Prof. Dr. Michael Bachmann.