Nomos and Pistis

With thanks to Adam Braun and Karl Barth, for their assistance so far. I've posted on this topic already, but this is an attempt at an abstract for it.

"Nomos and Pistis: The Freedom of Trust with Respect to Ways of Life in Romans 5-8"
Matthew A. Frost
The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago


In Romans 3:21-26, Paul makes a crucial break in his argument before the Roman audience. With the words CWRIS NOMOU, he sets Christ adjacent to Torah, and fashions divine justice into a space distinct from any given way of life. This follows his exposition in Romans 2, in which Paul fashioned divine judgment according to deeds into a space distinct from any given way of life. Since trust does not negate Torah, or other ways of ethical living, Paul is able to work from these points toward a goal of common ethical life in the Spirit. This is the overarching rhetorical goal of Romans 5-8: leading the mixed Hellenistic Judean and gentile audience from the realm and rule of sin, through the role of Christ in their respective adoptions by God, into the present realm and rule of the Spirit. In this way Paul sets right alignment with God (dikaiosunen) in terms strictly of God's own action, incorporating and transcending differing ways of life by removing that justifying function from the Hellenistic concept of nomos, with its implications of cultural identity, and establishing it strictly on the concept of pistis. This frames Paul's subsequent ethical exhortation.


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