Re: Houtos in Matt 5:19

On Sun, 8 May 1994, Carl Conrad wrote:

> I would have to agree that there isn't much in the way of internal evidence
> for dating the letter of James other than the argument about faith and works
> in Chaper 2. Personally, however, I think that is quite enough for supposing
> it to be late enough to be a response, not necessarily to Paul's own doctrine
> but to a doctrine that Paul himself seems to have realized was a ready
> misunderstanding of his doctrine, namely that, SINCE Christ is the end of the
> Law, one is no longer subject to moral obligations.

> I do not believe that there is any
> real contradiction between Mt 5:17-20 and Paul's teaching about the Law, but
> it does seem to me that this passage in Matthew challenges the adherent to
> Pauline doctrine to modify, clarify or elucidate more precisely the matter of
> HOW Christ is the end of the Law: as annulment? as TELOS? or, as Matthew would
> evidently affirm, as PLERWSIS.

This is quite well stated, and I am inclined to agree with it.  It is
important to note that for all of the differences between Paul on the one
hand and Matthew and James on the other, there is no particular reason to
see them in contradiction to one another (in part because of their
differences--they are talking about different things much of the time),
and certainly no reason to suppose that either James or Matthew was
responding to Paul himself.

Philip Graber
NT grad student
Emory University