Re: Houtos in Matt 5:19

Re: Carl Conrad's limb

Many English translations keep away from this limb (i.e., lusEi =
"invalidates") but the NRSB footnotes it as "annuls" and the NASB climbs right
out on it with the same, "annuls."  Many of us were introduced to the wonderful
world of the greek verb with the root luw, to loose.  Rienecker/Rogers goes
back to this root, adding the nuances: to repeal, repeal, annul, abolish,
citing BAG.  The RSV finds "relaxes" to be a nice middle position.

So far, a sturdy enough limb.  But what to make of Carl's view (perhaps here is
the real limb) that this is a 'Jewish Christian viewpoint, of an objection to
the Pauline doctrine that "Christ is the end of the Law," or an objection, if
not to that doctrine itself, to the kind of understanding of that doctrine
against which the letter of James also enters powerful objections'?

Without entering the debate of the Jesus Seminar, as to whether this particular
phrase should be printed in red, pink, gray, or black, it would nevertheless
appear that Matthew is a fairly early work, as also appears to be the case for
James.  This raises the question as to how it might be a reaction to Pauline
doctrine.  What if (oops, a pauline-sounding argument coming!) Jesus himself
has asserted this sentence (i.e., red-letter saying) to distinguish his own
doctrine of the law from that of the non-pharisees of his day, even as he
distinguishes it from the pharisees (v.20)?  What if this is Jesus himself
being quite pauline (the law making sin utterly sinful)?  That is, what if
Jesus instructs his disciples to stand neither with the legalists nor with the
antinomians, since neither group fully grasps the depth of the law?
Rev. Robert W. Schaibley, Sr. Pastor
Zion Ev. Lutheran Church
Fort Wayne, Indiana