Jan 30, 2012

Paul's View of Christ and the Law

I found this statement by Doug Moo as it relates to Paul's view of Christ in relation to the Law interesting.

“We have seen that Paul claims to have derived the essence of his gospel, focused in the epochal significance of Christ, from the revelation of Christ to him on the Damascus Road. Scholars have speculated that the same event might have been the impetus in Paul’s view of Christ as culmination of the Law. For Jesus’ death on a Roman cross would, according to the Law, have marked him as a man cursed of God (cf. Deut. 21:23, which, significantly, Paul quotes in Gal. 3:13). On the Damascus road, however, Paul is suddenly and unexpectedly confronted with the indisputable evidence that Jesus is none other than God’s Messiah. And this revelation confronted Paul with the choice between Messiah and the Law. For if the Law was the final and definitive expression of God’s will, then Jesus could not be the Messiah. But if Jesus was, in fact, the Messiah, then the Law must not have central place in the plan of God that Saul the Pharisee had given it.”

Douglas J. Moo, “The Christology of the Early Pauline Letters,” in Contours of Christology in the New Testament, ed. Richard N. Longenecker (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005), 175.

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