Jesus Creed

What does Paul mean when he says in Romans 10:4 that Christ is the “end of the Law”? Without getting into a massive hornet’s nest of stinging-bee theologians, I want to narrow the discussion to what Wright says about it and leave it to our readers to state their view.
First, he sums up the popular view as Lutheran: broadly speaking, the verse refers to Christ bringing the Law to its terminus because works-righteousness is put away.
Second, Wright finds problems with this view. (1) The end of the Law brings righteousness; the end of the Law is not opposed to righteousness. (2) The telos of the Law and righteousness are both nouns and means that the end the Law makes the status of righteousness available. (3) Telos/”end” most likely does not mean “termination” in Paul’s writings but “goal.”
Third, Romans 9–11 needs to be read as the narrative of Israel’s storied history: it comes to a “climax” or to its “goal” or to its “telos” in Christ.
Paul does not think the Torah needs to come to a termination but to its goal — it needs to be empowered to do what it always wanted to do.
Thus: “Christ (and the Spirit) are the goal of Torah, so that all who have faith, all who are in Christ Jesus, may have righteousness and life” (658). The Torah reaches its climax, not its termination, in Christ.
Notice how 10:4 finishes off: “so that there may be righteousness for ‘everyone’ who believes”. Do you think that the Torah’s completion in Christ does away with Jewish privilege, and do you suppose that is what Romans 10:4 means?

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus