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.
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.”
Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee announces a new, multi-part teachings series for Shabbat School, where we will be reviewing approaches to Paul and his letters witnessed in today’s broad Messianic movement.
I am having difficulty understanding the writings of the Apostle Paul. In my spirit, I believe his letters to be inspired of the Holy One, but in reading them I sense that they might be opposed to Torah. Can you help me with this?