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Noch Einmal "Works of the Law": The Dialogue Continues

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Chapter Summary

Debating with Heikki Räisänen over issues of Pauline interpretation has been one of the most stimulating and enjoyable experiences of author's work on Paul. The opening hermeneutical gambit has to be the recognition that the phrase "works of the law" first emerged in what Paul obviously intended as an expression of "the truth of the Gospel" which had come under such threat at Jerusalem and Antioch. The clear implication of Gal 2:16 is that Paul saw the traditionalists as requiring "works of the law" in addition to faith in Jesus Christ. In short, Bachmann's attempt to resolve the issue of what Paul meant by "the works of the law" must be judged as misconceived. The current debate regarding "works of the law" in Paul has been carried forward without sufficient regard to the fact that the key word, "works", appears elsewhere in other passages where justification/acquittal is in view.

Keywords: Heikki Räisänen; Jesus Christ; Paul; works of the law



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