Saturday, February 10, 2007

Paul, the Law, and the Jews

Did Paul expect Jewish Christians to adopt the non-Torah policy that he had for Gentiles?

"Because Paul cannot yield on this point [the gospel is available to Gentiles without having to proselytize] does not mean that he opposed all things Jewish or that he would discourage Jewish Christians from following a Jewish lifestyle after they had become Christians. This stipulation that Jewish Chrsitians recognise the right of Gentile Christians to be accepted into the people of God and continue to live a Gentile (Christian) lifestyle, does not mean that such Jewish Christians as recognised this, should not also have the freedom to continue to live in a Jewish life style. New Testament scholars have in the past tended to presume that all Jewish Christians who wished to continue to follow a Jewish life style must necessarily deny the right of Gentile Christians to follow a Gentile lifestyle. But logic does not demand this conclusion. The two positions i.e. Jewish Christians continuing to follow a Jewish pattern of life, and Gentile Christians continuing to follow a Gentile pattern of life, are not mutually exclusive."

William S. Campbell, Paul's Gospel in an Intercultural Context: Jew and Gentile in the Letter to the Romans (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1992), 100.

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