“Paul’s Unique Appeal to Mimesis in Gal 4,12”

Bibliographic information:

Hudgins, Thomas. “Paul’s Unique Appeal to Mimesis in Gal 4,12.” Pages 399-412 in Nova et Vetera: Philological Studies in Honor of Professor Antonio Piñero. Estudios de Filología Neotestamentaria 11. Edited by Israel M. Gallarte and Jesús Peláez. Córdoba: El Almendro, 2016.



While the Greek word μαθητής is confined to the Gospels and Acts, the idea of imitation is prevalent throughout the New Testament letters. Even though the authors of these letters did not utilize the word μαθητής, they did carry on the important concept of mimesis in what they wrote. The first direct imperative in Galatians is an appeal for imitation—Paul’s exhortation for the Galatian believers to be like him (Gal 4,12). This study focuses on the most difficult appeal for imitation in the New Testament—Gal 4,12. In what way was Paul telling the Galatians to imitate him, and in what way was he imitating them? First, we look at implicit and explicit appeals for mimesis in general. Then, we turn our attention to Gal 4,12, concentrating specifically on the problem facing the churches in Galatia and what makes this appeal unique.


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