From: Mike Phillips (
Date: Thu Jun 13 1996 - 17:25:44 EDT

Thank you for your keen (apt) reply. Nomos does occur in the text, and your
exposition is a bit clearer for me than the one which preceded mentioning
Torah. I don't think I am too clear about nomos (I'm not sure anyone is too
clear about nomos) and how Paul uses it, and whether he uses it in various
different ways at different times. That's what prompted my question. I
realize it is a sensitive theological topic, which is why I took pains to
address the grammatical aspects -- your reply was on target and I thank you.
If it's possible (and if others think it would be fruitful) to pursue this in
this same vein (i.e. grammatically, I would love to sit back and glean from the
takes of "you'all" (as Machen would say <wink>).

> From: "Philip L. Graber" <>, on 6/13/96 2:05 PM:
> 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

Mike Phillips
Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana USA (
Hebrew Union College - JIR, Cincinnati, Ohio USA (a grad student)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:44 EDT