Sundays With St. Paul: Nuances of “Law”


the archives near Emmaus

For our discussion groups this week, we were asked to interact with the 16th chapter of Westerholm’s Perspectives Old and New on Paul.[1] In this chapter, Westerholm discusses five key aspects of Paul’s usage of “law” (“nomos” in Greek[2]): its meaning, and its relation to “works,” faith, legalism, and Torah. Our goal was to utilize these nuances to find what Paul really meant when he used “law” – whether it be something ambiguous or something precise.

Another part of the assignment was to categorize all of Paul’s references to “law” as to what he might have meant by the term (i.e. Pentateuch, Sinaitic Law, OT in general, etc.). Although time-consuming, I found the exercise helpful in seeing how fluid “law” actually is, as Paul uses it. For instance, when Paul says, “So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good,”…

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