Pauls Works Of The Law In The Perspective Of Second Century Reception

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When Paul wrote that we are justified by faith apart from “works of the law” what did he mean? Matthew J. Thomas examines how Paul’s second-century readers understood the conflicting interpretations, how their readings relate to “old” and “new” perspectives, and what their collective witness suggests about the apostle’s own meaning.

What did Paul mean by “works of the law”? Paul writes that we are justified by faith apart from “works of the law,” a disputed term that represents a fault line between “old” and “new” perspectives on Paul. Was the apostle reacting against the Jews’ good works done to earn salvation, or the Mosaic law’s practices that identified the Jewish people? Matthew J. Thomas examines how Paul’s second-century readers understood these points in conflict, how their readings relate to “old” and “new” perspectives, and what their collective witness suggests about the apostle’s own meaning. Surprisingly, these early witnesses align closely with the “new” perspective, though their reasoning often differs from both modern viewpoints. They suggest that Paul opposes these works neither due to moralism, nor primarily for experiential or social reasons, but because the promised new law and covenant, which are transformative and universal in scope, have come in Christ.

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Description

SKU (ISBN): 9780830855261
ISBN10: 0830855262
Matthew Thomas
Binding: Trade Paper
Published: October 2020
Publisher: InterVarsity Press

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