The expression τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου is one of the most discussed, and most disputed, phrases
in Galatians. In the following article, insight into the meaning of this phrase is sought by first
of all clarifying and summarising the full scope of issues which must be explained by any
interpretation of the phrase. Such a summary overview has often not appeared in various
scholarly discussions. Subsequently, the primary proposed interpretations are discussed with
the argument ultimately being made that it is Paul’s conception of ‘the world’ which provides
the key to a solution to the interpretive conundrum that best satisfies the entire context of
Paul’s letter and argument.