Especially since the publication of H. D. Betz’s commentary in 1979 much attention has been given to rhetorical analysis of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Discussion has focused on the species of Galatians’ rhetoric, i.e., whether it is forensic, deliberative or epideictic; little attention has been given to its style. This paper is an attempt to supply that lack. It begins by describing stylistic ornamentation of Galatians with respect to vocabulary and syntax and proceeds to discuss the presence of plain, middle and grand styles in Galatians. Finally it considers the implications of stylistic analysis for interpretation of Galatians.
Paul's testimony of his post-conversion experience in Galatians—the only place in the New Testament this is found—is the starting point for the rest of his polemic against his opponents who avert the gospel he first taught his readers. What is interesting is that he highlights or emphasizes certain portions of his testimony, using the linguistic method of prominence. As others have written already, prominence in Hellenistic Greek is conveyed in many ways, but one major way is by the writer's choice of verbal aspect. By first identifying a theory of prominence in the Greek of the New Testament, the paper then applies that theory to Gal 1:11–2:10 to discover that Paul emphasizes preaching and gospel related items in his testimony.