Author Faculty (Discipline)


Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2001

Publication Details

This article was originally published as:

Cole, H. R. (2001). The Christian and time-keeping in Colossians 2:16 and Galatians 4:10. Andrews University Seminary Studies, 39(2), 273-282.


Traditionally, Col2:16 and Gal 4: 10 are understood as the negation of Christian observance of Jewish time-keeping schemes, including Sabbath observance. However, Troy Martin has recently proposed radical reinterpretations of these two verses, which are consistent with the continued Christian observance of the Jewish religious calendar.' For Martin, the major problem with the traditional interpretations of Col 2:16 and Gal 4:lO is that each verse is understood in terms of the other, i.e., Gal 4:10 is read as confirmation that the evaluation of the Jewish calendrical list in Col 2:16 is negative, while Col 2:16 is read as confirmation that the calendar of Gal 4: 10 is Jewish rather than pagan? However, Martin argues that the critics of the Christian church in Colossae were probably not condemning the Colossians for failing to keep the Jewish calendar. Instead, they may have been condemning them for continuing to observe it.) Likewise, Martin contends that Paul is condemningpagan rather than Jewish observances in Gal 4:10.4 The purpose of this article is to evaluate each claim in turn.


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