Anyone who enters into Pauline theological studies today will easily encounter the fact that there are scholars and exegetes who think that the term “works of law” or ergōn nomou—appearing first in Galatians (2:16[3x]; 3:2, 5, 10), and then appearing again in Romans (3:20, 28)—actually does designate something other than “works/deeds/actions required by the Mosaic Law,” or at least something a bit more specific than just “observing the law” (NIV) in general. These proposals, though, have been met with a great deal of criticism, and even some hostility, by those of particular theological traditions. Alternatives to the customary meaning of “works of law” have been proposed more frequently, as New Testament theologians, over the past fifty years or so, have had greater access to ancient Jewish literature and resources, and this information has had to be considered in their exegesis.
The New Testament Validates Torah Study
What Does “Under the Law” Really Mean? A Further Study – The New Testament Validates Torah Study – Part 1
This further study, of what “under the Law” really means, will consider some of the strengths and weaknesses today’s Messianic Believers have, especially when a Christian family member or friend exclaims “We’re not under the Law!” Not only will this analysis provide some more detailed answers to those who are skeptical of a Messianic’s Torah obedience, but it is engaged with contemporary thought and opinion surrounding the terminology “under the Law,” and why “under the Law” meaning “obedient to the Torah of Moses” is a poor conclusion.
Not enough evangelical Christians today are familiar with the fact that the expectation of the New Covenant, as it is commonly called, is something rooted within some distinct prophecies of the Hebrew Bible or Tanach.
Matthew 5:17-19, which preface the Sermon on the Mount which follows, are some of the most important verses of the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament) for today’s Messianic movement. These verses speak of the Messiah’s intent to fulfill, and not abolish, the Mosaic Law. But what does it mean that the Messiah was to come and fulfill the Law? Does it just pertain, as is commonly thought, to the prophetic agenda of accomplishment that is realized by the Messiah’s arrival? Or, is there a multi-layered dynamic of the Messiah’s coming to “fulfill” the Torah, which must be taken into consideration? Has the Law been “fulfilled and thus abolished,” as many people today conclude? If this is in error, then what might need to be corrected in some Believers’ view of the Torah?
Literally speaking, the genitive clause (genitive is the Greek case indicating possession) dia pisteōs Iēsou Christou should be rendered as “through faith of Jesus Christ” (YLT). Some modern study Bibles are having to place footnotes for verses like Galatians 2:16, indicating the alternative rendering, “Or by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.”