Feb 8, 2012

Dunn on Jesus and the Law

James Dunn has uses two interesting metaphors for Jesus’ view of the Law. Dunn asks, “Did he [Jesus] use the law to penetrate to what was of primary importance in the relationship between God and his people? Did he think of the law more as an icon than an idol – a window through which one could look to see what God really wants of his people, rather than an object on which to focus attention as the goal in itself?"
For Dunn, the answer is that Jesus would see the Law more as an icon. He seems to suggest that Jesus was able to maintain veneration of Torah as God’s enduring gift for his people and yet reprioritize the function of the Law in relation to the kingdom. This approach sounds promising, but Dunn does not really tease out what the reprioritizing looks like exactly and it is there that I suspect there would be significant differences of opinion.
James D. G. Dunn, Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011), 111–12.

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