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.
The idea of the just living by faith is so very central to Paul’s argument in Galatians that Jerome provides us with many biblical references to the real importance of being justified by grace through faith in Jesus (Jerome, Galatians, 359). Jerome goes on to show that all we do is to be done by faith. Throughout, Jerome uses both Old Testament and New Testament passages.
Galatians 3:13-14 speaks to the manner in which Christ has made it possible to be justified by faith: he has become a curse for us. The concept of redemption is very important to Jerome at this point. He points out that Christ did not purchase us, but that he owned all creation originally. However, creation was taken from Christ, through the Law, forcing Christ to redeem us from the Law (Jerome, Galatians, 360). Jerome quotes Isaiah 50:1 and Romans 7:14 to show that humans have sold themselves into captivity to the Law. Because Pal argues that all who live under the Law are cursed, Jerome asks whether “those who are under the Gospel of Christ and who do not do his commands are accursed or not?” (Jerome, Galatians, 360, personal translation). Jerome’s issue seems to be whether there are actual commands and obligations in the Gospel.
Jerome notes that the Septuagint of Deuteronomy 21:22-23 does not entirely agree with Paul’s quotation (Jerome, Galatians, 361). He spends considerable effort quoting various commentators, tracing the reasons they give for someone to be hanged on a tree (Jerome, Galatians, 361). Jerome’s conclusion is that such a hanging would be reserved for those who committed blasphemy or otherwise attacked Christianity in an overt manner (Jerome, Galatians, 362). Jerome goes on to identify numerous passages in which the Scripture refers to people as “cursed” (Jerome, Galatians, 362). He then draws many examples of Christ being condemned on behalf of His people, so they could receive the blessing which belonged to Christ.