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10:4 – Doesn’t This Verse Say That Christ Has Ended the Law?
by Michael Bugg
For Christ is the end of
the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
The word here translated “end” is telos (τελος), which means “goal,” not “termination of” (see 6:22). In some cases this can imply an end, but it is not required by the word, and in this case cannot be Paul’s intent. Why? See 3:31—“Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish (istoomen, ιστωμεν, lit. hold up or uphold) the law!” Indeed, as we study chapters 3-8, we see Paul carefully walking a tightrope, stressing on the one hand that salvation is by faith rather than by keeping the Torah (4:1ff), and repeating on the other that this is not a license to sin (6:1, 15), which he holds is still defined by the Torah (7:7).
Indeed, that sin is defined by Torah—or rather, in opposition to the Torah—is shown simply by comparing the words in their original language: Torah is the noun form of the verb yarah (ירה), which literally means “to hit the mark,” and has the connotation of “to teach.” The best translation of Torah is not therefore “law” (Gr. nomos, νομος) but “teachings.” Conversely, sin (chattah חטאה in Hebrew, amartia αμαρτια in Greek) literally means, “to miss the mark”—the dead opposite of Torah. This is why the Apostle John writes, “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness (anomian, ανομιαν), and sin is lawlessness” (anomia, ανομια, 1 Jn. 3:4).
Is Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus
Christ, the goal of the Torah! Of
course! Did He bring about its end?
Absolutely not! See Mat. 5:17-19, where He explicitly denies
teaching against the Torah. If He
did, He would be a false prophet, not the Messiah King of
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