From: Philip L. Graber (
Date: Thu Jun 13 1996 - 10:05:06 EDT

On Thu, 13 Jun 1996, Mike Phillips wrote:

> > From: "Cepuch, Pete (AZ15)" <>, on 6/12/96
> 10:33 PM:
> > v9-not having the righteousness(justification)out of torah BUT
> > through(dia)the faith of Christ(there it is again-in context
> > I think this justification is a gift to believers through
> > HIS faith(faithfulness)not ours),
> Does the allusion to Torah (or even nomos) occur in the text? If not,
> one might just as easily construe Paul as lamenting his former vehemence
> as a disciple of Gamaliel, i.e., a particular brand of Judaism(s) among
> many, one of which may be (for Paul) Christianity (as he was in the midst
> of comprehending it).

NOMOS does occur in the text. The context seems to indicate that Paul is
not lamenting anything or lashing out at enemies or anything of the sort.
Rather, he is presenting himself as an example to his readers, as he has
already done previously, along with presenting Christ as the ultimate
example for them to follow (in ch. 2), and presenting Timothy and
Epaphroditus also as examples to follow. What Paul is an example of is
one who had much to boast about (he is not ashamed of his status or
behavior AS A JEW, but proud of it), but counts it as nothing compared to
being found in Christ. His point about righteousness and the NOMOS is
similar to what it is in Romans 4, that there is righteousness apart from
NOMOS, i.e., APART FROM BEING A JEW, just as Abraham's faith was reckoned
to him as righteousness prior to his being circumcised (i.e., being marked
as a member of God's people), not because of it. His [Gentile] readers,
then, are to imitate him in counting all things loss for the sake of
knowing Christ, not in being a Jew. There is no point in Gentiles
imitating his Jewishness, but there is everything to be gained from
imitating his conforming himself to Christ's death, which is also an
example of how to imitate Christ. This reading of the context also
supports Carl Conrad's reading of SUMMORFIZO/MENOS as middle/reflexive,
since Paul's point seems to be to give an example from his own experience
that he wants his readers to follow.

DISCLAIMER: The above comments are intended as comment on the text of
Philippians, not as theological discourse.

Philip Graber Graduate Division of Religion
Graduate Student in New Testament 101 Bishops Hall, Emory University Atlanta, GA 30322 USA

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