24 Sep '06 19:06>1 edit
Originally posted by jaywill[/b]I’m too tired to make more than just a few comments:
Upon close examination and comparison of Matthew with Romans 7 and 8 it is clear that Paul was teaching exactly the same thing that Christ was teaching.
You failed to quote the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:3,4 -
[b]"For what the law could not do, in that is was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin and conce living.
So Matthew's record of Christ's teaching is the same as Paul's teaching.
(1) Paul’s Christ/law dialectic is very complex—especially in Romans. This is one case where I think the whole thing needs to be examined, without pulling verses out.
(2) Admittedly, I did pull verses out. You asked for an example where Jesus and Paul seemed to say different things. The most clear-cut example I could find was the Ephesians verse (although there is apparently some scholarly dispute about whether Paul was, in fact, the author of Ephesians).
(3) The disparity of the Matthew and Ephesians statements about abolishing the law I still think is pretty sharp—there is not talk there about fulfilling the law, but abolishing it.
In order to reconcile the two, I think you need to re-interpret the “plain” text, which you have essentially done, basically using Romans to reinterpret Ephesians. I have, again, no objection to that, as long as someone knows that’s what they’re doing, and doesn’t claim it’s in any way obvious (and, in fact, it might make a difference if Paul was the author of Ephesians or not).
(4) It seems to me that doing away with certain aspects of the law is vastly different from “underplaying” them.
(5) It does not always seem clear to me what nomos refers to in the NT, or if it always refers to the same thing. Jesus in Matthew I think is clearly referring to the Torah, and not just halakha (the “legal” portion of Torah and its interpretation) or the “moral code.”
That’s all pretty sketchy, but now I’m too tired (after a long, late night). Perhaps at some point we can “arm” ourselves with the whole Pauline Christ/law dialectic, and have fun with that...
I really do recommend that you take a look at the Ehrman book. It will only shake your faith if your faith is too tightly bound to the “graven word.”