Jerome, Commentary on Galatians, [J.P. Migne, Editor]. Patrologiae Tomus XXVI. Paris: D’Ambroise, Pres La Barriere D’Enfer, ou Petit-Montrouge, 1845. pp. 307-438.
In Galatians 3:21ff, the apostle Paul asks if God’s Law is opposed to his promises. He says that is not the case, but that the Law cannot bring life through justice. That can only come through faith in the promise of God in Christ. Jerome’s observation, made very briefly, is that the promise gives life but that the Law shows a stark contrast, as it is not able to create life. Jerome makes it clear that the hope in God’s promise looks to the future coming of Christ, “who will deliver an end to promises” (Jerome, Galatians, 367). Further, he makes it clear that we should not think the Scripture creates sin, but that it shows sin, just as a judge assesses crime and decrees a penalty.
Verses 24-26 describe the Law as a “paedogogus,” directing us to Christ (Jerome, Galatians, 368). Jerome is clear that the paedogogus is not the teacher or the father, but another person who enforces control of the child and helps him grow to maturity. In exactly the same way, the Mosaic law prepares people to trust Christ. The Christian is related to God by faith. Jerome sees the law as the “mother of faith” (Jerome, Galatians, 368).
Verses 27-28 describe the similarity of all the baptized, who have “put on” Christ. Jerome here notes the command of Romans 13:14 to put on Christ and relates it directly to being baptized, the way we are dressed in Jesus (Jerome, Galatians, 369). Jerome considers it a mark of heresy and hypocrisy when people question whether those baptized have been dressed in Christ. He is clear that being baptized into Christ, not circumcision or uncircumcision, makes one equal in Jesus, not Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female (Jerome, Galatians, 369).
Galatians 3:29 concludes the ideas of the chapter - those who are Christ’s are the children of Abraham, heirs of the promise. Jerome again emphasizes that Jesus is both the seed and the promise, the one in whom we believe. He delivers the promise to all Christians.