Relating the Atonement to the Trinity. A Theological Interpretation of Galatians 3:13

Many theologians have built their claims on the nature of penal substitutionary atonement not only on Jesus’ cry of dereliction on the cross but upon the interpretation of a key Pauline text, Galatians 3:13. This paper will therefore consider this passage exegetically and theologically so as to relate a substitutionary atonement model that equally maintains a properly Trinitarian understanding of God. Specifically, we will note the omission of the phrase “ὑπὸ θεοῦ” from Paul’s quotation of Deuteronomy 21:23 provides the key to Paul’s use and interpretation of the text concerning Jesus’s death. The paper will show that Paul’s language of Christ becoming a curse (κατάρα) should not be employed to suggest division or hostility within the Trinity, nor should it be interpreted as an ontological reality. Instead, we may read Paul’s application of Deuteronomy 21:23 to the death of Jesus as that which enables us to view both the atonement and salvation as thoroughly trinitarian events.

4 thoughts on “Relating the Atonement to the Trinity. A Theological Interpretation of Galatians 3:13”

  1. brief
    The proposal is brief, but it appears to be more of a New Testament paper than a Theology paper. Nonetheless, it could bring fresh exegesis to this theological discussion.

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