Paul and the Law: what he did not say

Brian Rosner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


As Betz observed in 1979, Paul never says that Christians are supposed to 'do' the Torah. This article seeks to develop the argument of omission in relation to Paul and the law. What else does he not say? According to Rom. 2.17-29, Jews 'rely on' the law, 'boast' in the law, know God's will through the law, are educated in the law, have light, knowledge and truth because of the law, are to 'do', 'observe' and 'keep' the law, on occasions 'transgress' the law, and possess the law as a 'written code'. Not only does Paul not say these things about Christians vis-à-vis the law, he shifts the focus from the law to something else using the same words and concepts. Such omission and substitution suggests that the Law of Moses holds a very different place for Jews than for Christians in Paul's thought.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-419
Number of pages15
JournalJournal for the Study of the New Testament
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Paul
  • the law
  • letter
  • commandments
  • hermeneutics
  • ethics


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