Rebuttal of the nomist critique, 6:1-11:36

5. The vindication of grace, 9:1-11:36

ii] Israel's condemnation is its own doing, 9:30-10:21

a) Israel's unbelief stems from nomism


In the first major part of his fifth rebuttal argument against the nomist critique that his gospel is flawed (given that most Jews have rejected it), Paul established that not all Jews are part of God's true Israel and therefore it must be recognized that no person can "establish a legitimate claim on God's favor based on national heritage .... God carries out his purposes with freedom uninhibited by human notions of what ought to be", Mounce. Now, in the second part of his argument, 9:30-10:21, Paul establishes that God's promises to Abraham always rested on faith and it was Israel's inclination to attain "righteousness" by obedience to the law of Moses, rather than faith, that has led to the bulk of Jews being excluded from the covenant. "The Gentiles, who did not make "righteousness" their quest, have found it - and found it by faith; whereas Israel, though it was all their aim, have missed it. Why? Because their method, works, was wrong", Hunter, v30-32a. Israel "missed the climax of salvation history, 'stumbling' over Jesus Christ, v32b-33, the embodiment of 'the righteousness of God', 10:3, climax of the law, 10:4, and focus of God's word of grace in the new age of redemptive history, 10:6-8", cf. Moo.


i] Context: See 9:1-6a.


ii] Background: See 1:8-15.


iii] Structure: This passage, serving to argue that Israel's unbelief stems from its reliance on the law, presents as follows:

Proposition: In its pursuit of righteousness Israel has stumbled over the law, v30-33.


Israel's unbelief stems from a dependence on law rather than grace, 10:1-4.


iv] Thesis: See 3:21-31.


v] Interpretation:

See 9:1-6a.


In chapters 9-11 Paul progresses his argument against the law-bound believers in Rome ("the weak", nomists, members / associates of the circumcision party - believers who saw their Christian life progressed by submission to the law of Moses) who were aligning themselves with historic Israel and its institutions (in particular the Torah). It may seem that Paul's gospel of grace has little impact on faithful Jews and is therefore suspect, but in truth spiritual Israel has always been other than historic Israel, Paul now exposes the root cause of historic Israel's loss, namely, the heresy of nomism (that law-obedience is essential to restrain sin and to shape holiness [sanctify] for the full appropriation of God's promised blessings [the promised blessings of the Abrahamic covenant = life.]). The Roman nomists, of course, are toying with the same heresy and if they don't change their ways, they too will face God's wrath.


Righteousness: Again we come to a passage which is shaped by the word dikaiosunh, "righteousness" - see Issue [i] in 6:15-23. The sense of the word is certainly confused by the phrases tou qeou dikaiosunhn, "the righteousness of God", thn idian dikaiosunhn, "their own righteousness", and nomon dikaiosunhV, "a law of righteousness.". Dumbrell suggests that "the righteousness on view is membership in the New Covenant", but more is probably intended. "Righteousness" is that state of being in the domain of righteousness = "the righteousness of God" / the righteous reign of God / his setting everything right. A person in the domain of righteousness ek, "out of / on the basis of", faith (Christ's faithfulness + our response of faith), judged covenant compliant, right before God and holy, appropriates in full the promised blessings of the covenant. The Gentiles never sought such, but found it through faith, while the Jews thought the key to their standing in the domain of righteousness was law obedience rather than faith, and so, stumbling over the law, they failed to attain their goal.


In v31 Paul tells us that the people of Israel pursued, and failed to attain nomn dikaiosunhV, "law of righteousness." This phrase has prompted an endless search for its intended meaning. As usual, the genitive is the cause of our woes. These notes take the genitive as adjectival, attributed, "law righteousness", ie., the righteousness that comes from the law", 10:5.

An attributed genitive here is not widely accepted. Taken as epexegetic we end up with possibilities like "Israel, who pursued the Law which facilitates / "teaches", Lagrange ["was intended and designed to show", Cranfield] / promises / "demands", Schilier / leads to / points to / "imparts", Cassirer / "by conformity to which they hope [for]", Bruce .... righteousness (covenant compliance / right-standing before God)." If we don't accept an attributed genitive here we end up with the Jews pursuing the law, rather than righteousness. Fitzmyer suggests that Paul is using "law" and "righteousness" in a double sense having drawn on the Wisdom of Solomon 2:11 for the term "law of righteousness." Jewett sees irony here and similarly sees Wisdom as the source of Paul's logic. Paul uses the phrase "law of righteousness" to "depict typical Jewish striving .... evoking Paul's own zealous pursuance of the law prior to his conversion", an "obedience to the law" in order to achieve "righteousness". Like the unconverted Paul, a faithful Jew may believe he had attained "to a righteousness under the law blameless", but in reality "he did not attain a law" (lit), ie. he did not even come close to completing it and so forfeited the prize, namely, his covenant status." The Law seemingly secures/retains righteousness, the "seemingly" expressing the negative aspect of the Wisdom allusion, and "secures/retains" expressing Jewish nomism. Note that the reverse is grammatically unsound, eg. "the righteousness that comes from obeying / is based on (NRSV) / ....... the law."

It is likely that we have here a negative reference to the pursuit of law-righteousness. This is often taken to express legalism, ie. salvation by obedience to the law, although it is unlikely that Jews thought that obedience attained covenant standing. Israel's problem was nomism, not legalism; they used the Mosaic law to restrain sin and thus improve holiness for blessing. This heresy undermines the truth that faith is the only means of participation in the domain of righteousness / grace and thus of accessing the promised blessings of the covenant. So, the bulk of Israel failed to attain the promised blessings of the covenant, while some Gentiles did attain them, and this out of faith. Paul's argument is always focused on those believers who, at this very moment, were being sucked into the heresy of nomism with its potential to undermine their standing before God.

Note that new perspective commentators, at this point, argue that Israel had "confused the law and the righteousness it speaks of, with works like circumcision which serve to make righteousness a function of Jewish identity (peculiarity / a marker of race)..... They confused zeal for God with the fervor for ethnic purity", Dunn. Dumbrell, always with his own perspective, argues that Israel rightly applied themselves to the Mosaic law up to the coming of Christ, in that the Mosaic law properly expressed covenant membership and served as a tool for sanctification. After the cross, the Mosaic law neither defined new covenant status, nor served to sanctify, since faith in union with the renewing work of the Spirit now serves these ends. Israel's continued reliance on law-obedience after the cross served only to deny their new covenant membership.


In 10:4 Paul tells us that "Christ is the culmination / termination of the law", teloV ... nomou CristoV, "Christ is end of law." Scholars are divided as to the sense of this statement. See Moo. Osborne provides a nice summary of the various options, n. p265. Selwyn, in his commentary on first Peter, argues that the word never means "fulfillment", "consumption", but only ever "end", therefore "termination." Those who accept this view tend toward the traditional interpretation that the "end of the law" means that Christ has put to bed, once and for all, the false idea that law-obedience can "establish" right-standing before God. Yet, it is hard to believe that even a faithful Jew thought law-obedience could "establish" right-standing. It is certainly likely that they thought that law-obedience could restrain sin to improve holiness for the appropriation of the promised Abrahamic blessings (ie. their problem was nomism rather than legalism). See the new perspective on Paul. Christ has certainly "terminated" the nomist option with his idealized teaching on the law, eg., The Sermon on the Mount. Any sensible reading of the sermon is bound to accept that Christ's words are beyond doing.

Other ways of understanding this idea are: a) Christ "completes the law" in the sense of giving us a complete understanding of God's perfect expectations; b) Christ "fulfills the law" in the sense of doing it perfectly; c) Christ "is the goal of the law", "meeting its entire intention by his obedience of faith", Dumbrell. Commentators often hold a combination of (a) and (b) and sometimes link it to the meaning "termination." "Christ fulfills the underlying intention of the law and supersedes it", Leenhardt. Sandy and Headlam argue for termination. Cranfield argues that Paul's intention in the passage is to display Christ as the embodiment of the law, but he happily includes fulfillment and termination. The trend seems to be that "end" "implies the cessation of the validity of the old Law", Black.

These notes take the view that the word is best understood as a "goal / purpose / climax", Jewett. The Mosaic law certainly functions to guide the life of faith, but primarily it serves to expose sin and thus point the sinner to God's saving mercy, which mercy is ultimately realized in Christ. Thus "Christ is the goal of the law."


v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 9:30

Israel's unbelief stems from its reliance on the law, 9:30-10:4: i] In its pursuit of righteousness Israel has stumbled over the law, v30-33. "What do we now draw from all this?" How is it that those who never had the law of Moses and so had no reason to pursue covenant membership, end up members, blessed by God's saving mercy, while Jews, who have the law and live it to the full, end up missing out? It is possible that we have two questions here, v30a and v30b-31, with the second question expecting the answer "yes", cf. NAB. The presence of oJti, "that", indicates that a question is intended. Most commentators opt for a statement, but a question should not be ruled out; "shall we say that ....?"

oun "[what] then" - therefore. Possibly just resumptive, introducing a new step in Paul's argument, or inferential, "what then is the conclusion of this discussion?", Sandy and Headlam. Of course, Paul still has in mind the issue of "the place of Israel in God's purposes", Davies.

eroumen (eipon) fut. "shall we say?" - Deliberative future, cf., v14.

oJti "that" - Possibly introducing a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing the answer to Paul's question, as NIV, although it may well be causal, as 9:6b (gar, "for"); "for the Gentiles, who did not ....."

eqnh "the Gentiles" - There is no article, so "some Gentiles", Dumbrell, obviously believing Gentiles.

ta mh diwkonta (diwkw) pres. part. "who did not pursue" - not pursuing, seeking, running after, hastening, pressing on. The present tense is probably conative; "were not trying to pursue", TEV. The participle serves as an adjective, attributive, limiting "Gentiles"; "Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have won the race (= "righteousness" ??)."Here probably with the image of a foot race in mind; "striving", "pursuing", even "overtaking".

dikaiosunhn (h) "righteousness" - just, right. See Issues [ii] above. Moo suggests that righteousness has two meanings in this passage, but this seems unlikely. Dunn suggests "a righteousness defined by the covenant between God and Israel." Here then lies the dilemma, the Gentiles never strove for righteousness but gained it, Israel strove for it, but lost it. Some commentators think that there is an ellipsis here, the intention being "law of righteousness." See "Interpretation" where "law of righteousness" is discussed, a sense that may be intended here in Paul's use of "righteousness". Phillips attempts to draw out this possible link; "that the Gentiles who never had the law's standard of righteousness to guide them, have attained righteousness, righteousness-by-faith", Phillips. Given that "Gentiles" is "some Gentiles" (believing Gentiles) then Paul may well have in mind this idea. Leenhardt disagrees, stating "the pagan world did not seek righteousness, for they were ignorant of the law", Leenhardt.

katelaben (katalambanw) aor. "obtained" - attained, seized, won [righteousness], cf. BAGD. Consummative aorist, emphasizing the end of the action; "Won".

de "-" - but, and. Here serving to introduce an explanation of, or intensification of "righteousness", so "righteousness, that is, a righteousness of faith."

ek + gen. "by [faith]" - [a righteousness] out of, from / based on [faith]. A righteousness "derived from faith in Christ Jesus", Fitzmyer, ie. origin / basis, "based on." Often expressed instrumentally "through faith", NRSV. Yet, as already noted in these studies, "out of / based on faith" does seem to have a technical sense which is inclusive of Christ's faith, his faithfulness to the cross, and our faith in his faithfulness. Right standing before God rests one what God has done for us in Christ ("faith / faithfulness of Christ") and our faith/belief in Christ's faithfulness.


Is Israel's pursuit of "a law of righteousness" to be viewed negatively, or is their pursuit right and proper? Paul's language is probably a poke in the eye to the law-bound nomist believers in Rome, increasing the irony of a situation where irreligious Gentiles obtain the blessings of the covenant, while zealous Jews don't. Leenhardt nicely summarizes Paul's logic here. "The pagan world did not seek righteousness, for they were ignorant of the law, and this ignorance protected them from the difficulty to which Israel succumbed: that is, the bad use of the law, which degenerated into a mere pretext to establish merit and to win (better "advance holiness / righteousness") righteousness."

"but" - but, and. Here adversative, as NIV.

Israhl "Israel" - Israel's failure to realize the covenant is the very danger now facing the Roman nomists. The heresy that has infiltrated Israel, namely nomism, has led to their rejection of Christ ("they stumbled over the stumbling stone"), and it is this very heresy that is now affecting the law-bound believers in Rome (Jewish believers and their Gentile associates).

diwkwn (diwkw) pres. part. "who pursued" - pursuing. Conative present tense. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "Israel".

dikaiosunhV (h) gen. "[a law] of righteousness / [the law] as a way of righteousness" - [a law] of righteousness. It seems more than likely that the genitive is adjectival, attributed, where the head noun "law" limits the genitive "righteousness"; The Gentiles did not pursue righteousness ("law righteousness" ????), whereas Israel did pursue a "law righteousness", a nomistic type of righteousness (so Longenecker), and this through their devotion to the law, cf. v32 - this in pursuit of thn dikaiosunhn thn ek nomou, "the righteousness that comes from the law", 10:5. For "righteousness" see Issues above. As for "law", it may refer to "a principle or rule or order", Murray; "while the chosen people were seeking a law that would put them right with God", TEV (better, "keep them in the right with God"), although the law of Moses, or God's law generally, is more likely. See "Interpretation" above.

ouk efqasen (fqanw) - aor."has not attained it / their goal" - [to that law] did not arrive, catch up with, attain. Variant "law of righteousness" is an obvious fix-up so the NIV "it" is not true to the Gk. Presumably Paul still has in mind the Mosaic law, although other possibilities exist, eg., "the law of the Spirit", Origin. A satisfactory explanation of Paul's intent here is allusive so most commentators assume at least a contraction (ellipsis), although a double meaning "law / righteousness" is possible. Possibly "legal righteousness", Bruce, or better "did not succeed in fulfilling that law", NRSV.

eiV + acc. "it / their goal" - to [law]. This preposition + acc. serves as a predicate nominative; "did not attain the law" = "did not achieve the law's requirements."


Paul's fellow Jews lost their favored position before God because they pursued it through law-obedience rather than faith. They used the law as a mechanism for advancing their spiritual life, assuming that law-obedience secured an obligation from God. Yet, the purpose of the law is to lead us to rest on the faithfulness of God, to rest on his promised mercy. By failing to understand the true purpose of the law, Israel ultimately stumbled over God's mercy realized in Christ.

dia ti~ "why not" - This construction forms a question asking the reason for something; "why?", "why so", Dunn. "Why did Israel not retain their covenant standing having zealously applied themselves to the law of Moses?"

oJti "because" - Introducing a causal clause explaining why Israel did not gain that they pursued.

ek + gen. "[they pursued it not] by [faith]" - [it was not] out of [faith]. For ek pistewV see thn ek pistewV, v31. The verb must be supplied in v32a, eg. "they rested on a system of merit .... and not a system of simple faith", Pilcher. The NIV "pursued" is widely accepted, although some argue for a participle, "because seeking/pursuing it not from faith ...." "Relied on", Moffatt, works well. Even better, "their efforts were not based on faith but, mistakenly, on deeds", REB.

all (alla) "but" - Strong adversative.

wJV "as if" - The particle may here express "with the thought that", cf. BDF 425(3); "they pursued righteousness with the thought that it could be attained out of / on the basis of / by works." Paul's use of wJV is important since he is not suggesting that righteousness could be gained by works of the law if one were faithful enough, so "as though it were possible to attain righteousness by means of works", Leenhardt. Note how a supplied verb requires a supplied object, which of course, causes no end of confusion, eg. Schreiner struggles to explain how the object "law" can be wrongly pursued by "works" and properly pursued by "faith". The REB approach above seems best.

ex ergwn "by works" - out of / on the basis of works. As for ek pistewV.

prosekayan (proskoptw) aor. "they stumbled over" - they tripped up against, struck against. Constative aorist. Schreiner argues for an implicit "therefore". "The stone that makes people stumble", Goodspeed. Of course, the big question is, what does the stone represent? Possible suggestions include "justification by faith", Mounce, but far better "Jesus the messiah whom the Jews have rejected", Hunter, also Dumbrell, Morris ("the Jews lack of faith prevented them from recognizing their Messiah"), etc. God himself is Israel's stone of stumbling, Isa. 8:14, a stone in Zion that will not harm the faithful, but crush the unrighteous. "Christ has become the stone over which they (Israel) stumbled, whereas for those who believe he has become the cornerstone set up by God himself, on which they can build without fear of failure, shame, or stumbling", Fitzmyer.

proskommatoV (a atoV) gen. "stumbling" - [the stone] of stumbling. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting stone, "they stubbed their toe on a toe-stubbing stone", but possibly idiomatic / producer, a stone that causes one to stumble, "the stone that makes people stumble", CEV.

tw/ liqw/ (oV) "the [stumbling] stone" - Dative of direct object after the proV prefix verb "strike against."


With a combination of Isaiah 8:14 and 28:16 Paul makes the point that "Israel failed to recognize the stone God laid in Zion, and she bears responsibility accordingly", Morris.

kaqwV "as [it is written]" - as [it has been written]. This comparative is used to express a standard introduction for a scriptural quote.

idou pres. "see" - look at. "Pay attention", TH.

en + dat. "in [Zion]" - [I place in Zion] a stone. Local, expressing space.

proskammatoV (a atoV) gen. "that causes people to stumble" - of stumbling. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "stone", as NIV.

kai "and" - Probably best taken to introduce an explanation, "that is to say, a rock on which they will trip", TH.

skandalou (on) gen. "[a rock] that makes them fall" - [a rock] of offense. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "rock". The word primarily refers to "a trap" and thus to the situation faced when trapped, so "a rock to cause them trouble." The image is of a fixed block of stone which, if a person is not careful / does not look where they are going, can cause them to trip and stumble.

oJ pisteuwn (pisteuw) pres. part. "the one who trusts" - [and] the one believing. The participle serves as a substantive.

ep (epi) + dat. "in [him]" - on [him]. Possibly causal; "because of him / on the basis of him", but usually taken as spacial, "on, in, upon him", with much the same sense as the way eiV and en is used with pisteuw, "believe into him / on him."

ou kataiscunqhsetai (kataiscunw) fut. pas. "will never be put to shame" - will not be put to shame. Predictive future. Will not be ashamed before God (assurance), so "will never be disappointed", CEV.


ii] The righteousness that is through faith in Christ, the end of the law, v1-4. "My hearts desire is for the salvation of my people. But alas, they go the wrong way about it - they want to save themselves by works. Faith is the true way", Hunter, v1-4. In v1 Paul declares his love for his fellows Jews and so prays that they may be saved.The subject matter continues, although there is an obvious step in the argument and so we would have expected de.

adelfoi "brothers" - "Brothers in Christ", Morris.

men "-" - A men .... de adversative comparative / correlative construction is commenced but abandoned as illogical with de replaced with gar in v2; "on the one hand I desire ..... but on the other ?????" Note the reshaping by Hunter above.

thV ... kardiaV (a) gen. "[my] heart's" - [the desire] of heart [of me]. The genitive is probably ablative expressing source / origin, the source of Paul's desire being his heart.

h eudokia "desire" - the good pleasure, wish, desire. Expressing heightened emotion; "my deepest desire", NEB.

proV + acc. "to [God]" - toward. Spacial.

uJper + gen. "the Israelites" - on behalf of [them]. Expressing benefit / advantage, "on behalf of, for the sake of", but possibly reference / respect, so Harris. The NIV rightly takes the liberty of telling us who the "them" are. "My continual prayer to God on their behalf", Pilcher.

eiV "that [they may be saved]" - is to / for [their salvation]. Here expressing purpose / end-view / aim; "has their salvation as its (the prayer's) purpose", Moule.


There is no question as to the enthusiasm the Jews have in their service to the living God. Yet, their religious zeal lacks knowledge. They have no understanding of God's freely-available saving righteousness and end up trying to secure their own self-deserving before God, v2-3.

gar "for" - Introducing a causal clause explaining why, at least partly, Paul has a positive attitude toward his fellow Jews.

marturw (marturew) pres. "I can testify" - I bear witness. "Can" is unnecessary, as if something Paul can do if asked, rather, "this I will say for them", Barclay.

autoiV dat. pro. "about them" - to them. The dative is obviously adverbial, expressing reference / respect; "concerning them."

oJti "that" - Introducing a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Paul can testify.

zhlon (oV) "zeal" - a zeal. Expressing religious enthusiasm / fervor, a "technical term for Jewish piety", Jewett, "an overwhelming desire to do his (God's) will", Dunn; "I know from experience what a passion for God they have", Phillips.

qeou (oV) "for God" - of God [they have]. The genitive is usually treated as verbal, objective, so they have zeal "for God."

alla "but" - Strong adversative.

kat (kata) + acc. "[their zeal is not] based on [knowledge]" - [not] according to [knowledge]. Expressing a standard / correspondence; "not in accordance with." "Jews have a zeal for God's honor, but it is not based on knowledge", Dumbrell. The sense is of a knowledge "not with discernment / recognition", Black, and thus Israel failed to recognize God's "saving activity" in Christ. In fact, Jewett argues for a stronger sense in that the "wording places unbelieving Jews squarely in the context of Paul's earlier argument concerning the universal human tendency to suppress the truth, developed in 1:18-31."


Cranfield suggests that the two participial clauses, "being ignorant ..." and "seeking ....." are explanations of Israel's lack of knowledge, v2, and that the main clause "did not submit ....." is the consequence. The Jews "are doing everything exactly backwards (= lack of knowledge, v2). They don't seem to realize that this comprehensive setting-things-right that is salvation, is God's business, and a most flourishing business it is. Right across the street they set up their own salvation shops and noisily hawk their wares. After all these years of refusing to really deal with God on his terms, insisting instead on making their own deals, they have nothing to show for it." Peterson.

gar "since" - for. Explanatory, rather than causal, explaining the reason behind Israel's blind zeal.

agnoounteV (agoew) pres. part. "they did not know" - not knowing, being ignorant of. Attendant circumstance participle, or adverbial, causal, "because", the present tense best viewed as customary. "This kind of ignorance involves a fundamental misperception of what God wills for the world, indeed, of who God is, as revealed in Christ", Jewett.

tou qeou (oV) gen. "[the righteousness] that comes from God / [the righteousness] of God" - For the function of the genitive here and the meaning of the phrase, see "the righteousness of God." Traditionally understood as "that status of being right with God which comes as his gift", O'Brien, as NIV, ie., a genitive of source, although best taken as possessive / subjective giving the sense "the saving activity of God", Talbert, "God's dynamic fidelity to his covenant promises", Dumbrell. So, "righteousness of God" in the sense of "God's righteous reign", his putting everything right.

zhtounteV (zhtew) pres. part. "sought" - seeing. As with "being ignorant", an attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the main verb "they did not submit", although possibly again adverbial, causal. The present tense is durative, expressing an ongoing searching, a "deliverate and sustained intention", Dunn, while the word itself carries an intensive sense. "Sought" probably expresses the idea that "Israel continued to devote itself to all that the Torah commanded in order to establish its status before God", Schreiner.

sthsai (iJsthmi) aor. inf. "[sought] to establish" - The infinitive may be classified complementary, completing the sense of "sought", or epexegetic, or serving to form a dependent statement of perception expressing what they sought, even possibly adverbial, expressing purpose; see above. Possibly of setting up something that is theirs; "set up", NEB / or validating; "seeking to validate", Jewett / or mandating; "to mandate", Dumbrell".

thn idian "their own" - the / their own [righteousness]. The variant "their own righteousness" certainly solves the problem of "their own" what? Since "righteousness" is probably intended we must regard the variant as a nice fix, but not original. Usually translated "their own", although better "that which is peculiar to them", cf. BAGD. Those with a reformed bent understand the "what" as "a righteous status of their own earning", Cranfield, while those of a more liberal mind understand the "what" as a technical righteousness where "the law is used in a misguided way ... to enable sinful man in some way to deserve grace", Leenhardt. New perspective commentators lean toward "their own covenant identification", Dumbrell; Israel's "collective righteousness, to the exclusion of the gentiles", Howard, cf. Wright; "Israel's covenant-consciousness." Dunn; Israel sought to establish "its [own] status [standing] before God", Schreiner. Taking "righteousness" as in Issues [ii] above and assuming Pauline short-talk; "they set out to find their own way of accessing the promised blessings that belong to the domain of righteousness."

ouc uJpetaghsan (uJpotassw) aor. pas. "they did not submit to" - Possibly with a consecutive sense; "and as a result they did not submit ...." Moo makes the point that "not submitting is equivalent to not having faith." "The Jews were infused with blind zeal because they did not know ..... and sought ...... and so were unable to rest in the saving mercy of God."

th/ dikaiosunh/ (h) dat. "[God's] righteousness" - [to the righteousness] of God. Dative of direct object after the verb "to submit to" / a dative of the person or thing to which someone is subject to. "The righteousness of God" as above; "God's righteous reign."


iii] Concluding statement, v4. By returning to his thesis Paul identifies the primary source of Israel's problem, and by implication, the problem presently faced by the law-bound members of the church in Rome. Israel thought that the purpose of the law is sanctification to which end they were zealous, but the purpose of the law is to expose sin and so drive the sinner to God for mercy, which mercy is found in Christ. Christ is the end purpose / goal of the law rather than self-improvement. The statement is highly condensed and this obviously because Paul is doing nothing more than repeating himself.

gar "-" - for. Explanatory, rather than causal, introducing a reason/explanation for Israel's failure to access the covenant faithfulness of God expressed in his saving mercy / grace.

teloV (oV) "[Christ is] the end / culmination [of the law]" - [Christ is] end, goal, completion, termination, consummation, fulfillment, result, decision, etc. Emphatic by position, ie. in the Gk. the predicate, "end of law", leads. See "Interpretation" above. "Termination", Murray.

nomou (oV) gen. "of the law" - of law. The genitive is adjectival, partitive. Mosaic law / God's law in general - "the will of God as a rule of duty, no matter how revealed", Hodge., The "law" as a principle is argued by some, eg. Sandy and Headlam.

eiV "so that there may be" - to, for [righteousness]. Morris suggests the following possible meanings: reference / respect,"with reference to"; result, "so that"; or purpose "as a means to righteousness." Usually taken to express purpose, as NIV, so "toward" in the sense of "as a means to [access] righteousness"; "to bring righteousness", Zerwick. Of course, with the sense "God's righteousness" / "the righteous reign of God" / the domain of righteousness / grace, then an adverbial sense may be intended expressing reference / respect, "with respect to, with reference to."

panti dat. adj. "for everyone" - to everyone. The adjective serves as a substantive, dative of interest, advantage. In the sense of every believer, without distinction.

tw/ pisteuonti (pisteuw) dat. pres. part. "who believes" - the one believing. The participle may be classified as adjectival, attributive, limiting "all, everyone", or substantival standing in apposition to "everyone". "Every believer." The law has as its purpose the mercy of God in Christ, freely available to all who have faith, Jew and Gentile alike.


Romans Introduction



[Pumpkin Cottage]