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Judaic Legalism

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Chapter Summary

In Galatians is found Paul's foremost polemic against the Judaizers' gospel. They held that a man is justified, reckoned righteous before God and made alive by works of the law. In the Pastoral Epistles we find explicit reference to the Ephesian and Cretan churches' problem with a Jewish legalism which was opposed to the normative Pauline teaching. The Epistle to the Hebrews, which is an exposition of the relations between Christianity and Judaism, is of special interest because of its title. Paul's opponents appealed to this fact and to the circumcision of Titus when they accused him of trying to please men (Gal. 1:10). Jewish practices, such as the festival cycle, which were less socially burdensome and more analagous to pagan observances, were the first to be accepted. This suggests degrees of perfection.

Keywords: ancestral law; Christianity; Judiac legalism; pastoral epistles; Titus circumcision



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