Rom 10.4: The law points to (or intends) Christ.

The thrust of the passage suggests, then, that Paul uses nomos in the sense of Torah as it stands for scripture: the OT, not as something ‘old’ which has been abrogated by Christ but rather as the living word of God (Paul’s only Bible!), ever true to itself (9.6) and, therefore, ever valid and new… It now appears that Rom 10.4 is less ambiguous than it seemed at the beginning. On philological and contextual grounds, it appears that it should be understood teleologically: that Christ brings to the believer the righteousness promised in Scripture… Paul insists that submission to the righteousness of God (identified with Christ) is, in fact, obedience to the law (10.3-8)… It could be debated whether in Rom 9-11 Paul interprets history through Scripture or the other way around. But it is undeniable that Paul’s hermeneutical starting point is his belief in Jesus as the Messiah who has come. If Paul sees the OT as witnessing to Christ, it is because he has first seen Christ. So, in the light of the Christ event Scripture takes on a new perspective for Paul. Since Christ is the fulfillment and climax of God’s revelation to mankind, it follows that he is the key to the understanding of Scripture… God has so acted in Christ that the focal point of history, which gave meaning to the whole process, no longer lies in the remote arché [beginning] but in its fulfilled telos.


Badenas, Robert, Christ the End of the Law: Romans 10.4 in Pauline Perspective, Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1985. pp. 148-150.

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