PAULUS TONI TANTIONO, OFM CAP., SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN CHRIST. An Exegetico-Theological Study of Galatians 4,12-20 and Ephesians 4,12-16
The Apostle Paul must struggle to win back his churches in Galatia who are confused by a «different Gospel». He then tells them the truth of the Gospel (cf. Gal 2,5.14; 4,16) which he proclaimed before: the believer is justified by faith in Christ (cf. 2,15-21) rather than by the «works of the law» as the Judaizers were insisting. Believers are free from the observance of the prescriptions of the Jewish law (cf. 3,11) and from the yoke of the law (cf. 5,1). No Christian ought to be subject again to the Mosaic regime, for this system has been superseded by the grace of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is the new universal law for all. In another Pauline letter, the author to the Ephesians warns his addressees that in the face of «false doctrines» from outside and inside the Church, they should speak the truth in love (cf. Eph 4,14-15). The truth he means is the Gospel, i.e. the message brought by Jesus Christ, the proclamation of his life, deeds and message, his death and resurrection, but also the activity of proclaiming the Good News. In other words, the Gospel is the meaning that the Christ-event has had and still has for human existence. Speaking that truth, the Church can grow into Christ, her head. This study of these two passages shows how important and relevant it has been to speak the truth of the Gospel ever since the very first days of Paul’s evangelisation in the early Church up until the present, whether the particular circumstances be those of first century Asia Minor or 21st century Indonesia. The most effective way to announce that truth is in love (cf. Gal 5,13; 6,2; Eph 4,15-16), the love that comes to Christians from the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 5,22; Eph 5,2.18).
PAULUS TONI TANTIONO, born in 1964 in Pontianak, West Borneo-Indonesia, entered the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor in 1984. He completed his theology degree St. John Seminary in P.Siantar, Indonesia in 1992. He obtained his license in biblical exegesis at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome in 1997. After teaching Scripture studies for seven years at St. John Seminary, he went on to earn his doctoral degree in biblical theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in 2008.
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