This article engages critically with some recent re-interpretations of ethnic language in Paul, as represented by D.K. Buell and C.J. Hodge. I begin by arguing that their case against a metaphorical interpretation of Paul is weak, in that it is based on a problematic understanding of what metaphors are. Turning to Galatians, I attempt to demonstrate that, although Buell and Hodge correctly identify a paradox in Paul’s argument pertaining to his use of ethnic terminology, their own explanation of this paradox is unsatisfying. The essay ends with an attempt to approach the paradox in Paul’s argument from the perspective of a metaphorical reading of Paul.