The Living Tradition of Living in the Law
Paul’s Use of Leviticus 18:5
Keywords:law, faith, righteousness, Paul, intertextuality, horizon fusion, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Romans, Galatians
This essay addresses Paul’s quotations of Leviticus 18:5 in Galatians and Romans. Starting from the interpretive tradition of Leviticus 18:5, intertextuality between the quotation and the surrounding texts is traced along with echoes of Leviticus 18:5 throughout each epistle. It is demonstrated that Paul interpreted Leviticus 18:5 in Galatians in connection to the reward of life. In Romans, on the other hand, Paul interpreted Leviticus 18:5 as the law written on the hearts of those who are in Christ –thus fulfilling its covenantal function. Rather than implying inconsistency, Paul’s different applications of Leviticus 18:5 are consistent with the unity of his view on the law.
Chibici-Revneanu, Nicole. “Leben Im Gesetz: Die Paulinische Interpretation von Lev 18:5 (Gal 3:12; Röm 10:5).” Novum Testamentum, Vol. 50, No. 2 (2008): 105–119.
Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project, and Hebrew Union College. Targum Jonathan for the Prophets, 2000.
Cranfield, C. E. B. The Epistle to the Romans 1-8. International Critical Commentary. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1975.
_______. The Epistle to the Romans 9-16. International Critical Commentary. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1975.
DeSilva, David A. Introducing the Apocrypha: Message, Context, and Significance. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2002.
Dunn, James D. G. Romans 9-16. Word Biblical Commentary 38B. Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1988.
_______. The Theology of Paul the Apostle. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Pub Co, 2006.
Gadamer, Hans-Georg. Truth and Method. Trans., Donald Marshall and George Weinsheimer. New York: Continuum, 1975.
Gathercole, Simon J. “Torah, Life, and Salvation: Leviticus 18:5 in Early Judaism and the New Testament.” In From Prophecy to Testament. Ed., Craig A. Evans, 126–145. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2004.
Hartley, John E. Leviticus. Word Biblical Commentary 4. Dallas, TX: Thomas Nelson, 1992.
Hays, Richard B. Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1993.
_______. The Faith of Jesus Christ: The Narrative Substructure of Galatians 3:1-4:11. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1983.
Jewett, Robert, and Roy David Kotansky. Romans. Hermeneia. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2007.
Joüon, Paul. A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew. Rome: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblio, 1991.
Martyn, J. Louis. Galatians. Anchor Yale Bible. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010.
McCartney, Dan. “The New Testament’s Use of The Old Testament.” In Inerrancy and Hermeneutic: A Tradition, a Challenge, and a Debate, 101–106. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Pub Group, 1988.
Milgrom, Jacob. Leviticus 17-22: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. Anchor Yale Bible. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008.
Moo, Douglas J. The Epistle to the Romans. New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996.
Schreiner, Thomas R. “Paul’s View of the Law in Romans 10:4-5.” Westminster Theological Journal, Vol. 55 (1993): 113–135.
_______. Romans. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1998.
Silva, Moisés. Interpreting Galatians: Explorations in Exegetical Method. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001.
Sprinkle, Preston M. Law and Life: The Interpretation of Leviticus 18:5 in Early Judaism and in Paul. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007.
The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition Vol. 1: Q1-4Q273-Vol II: 4Q274-11Q31 CD, 1997.
Thielman, Frank. Paul and the Law: A Contextual Approach. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994.
VanderKam, James C., and Peter W. Flint. The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Their Significance for Understanding the Bible, Judaism, Jesus, and Christianity. San Francisco, CA: Harper Collins, 2002.
Wakefield, Andrew Hollis. Where to Live: The Hermeneutical Significance of Paul’s Citations from Scripture in Galatians 3:1-14. Boston, MA: Brill, 2003.
Watson, Francis. Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith. New York: T & T Clark International, 2004.
Wright, N. T. Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009.
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.