This study argues that a more attentive focus on the sociohistorical context of Paul's letters can lead to a fruitful theological exploration of Paul's theology that approximates fairly closely some of the key emphases of the Reformed/Lutheran tradition. Though the Reformation tradition of exegeting Paul's letters has properly grasped many of the central themes of Paul's theology, it has often lacked attention to historical particularity and social realism. Yet, a better grasp of the particulars can lead to a richer theological paradigm. As an example, this study examines Gal 2:11–21 with specific attention given to "works of law," "faith of Christ," and "righteousness" in order to demonstrate how one might shift from historical criticism to a theological interpretation within the Reformed/Lutheran tradition.

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