A New Perspective
This New Perspective stands in stark contrast to the reformed ideas primarily formed by Martin Luther in his response to the Catholic Church— fifteenth century. Luther created the solution to a crisis that Paul never had, in light of what he was going through, within the Catholic Church. To counter this, Stendahl in The Apostle Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West, asserts that Paul sees himself before Christ as living in a robust and clean conscience, "he does not think about the shortcomings in his obedience to the Law, but about his glorious achievements as a righteous Jew…"1 Furthermore, Sanders believes that Torah obedience is not a condition, nor was it considered sufficient, for Israel's salvation.2 Paul looks at salvation for Israel through only one lens— a requirement of faith in Christ (Ro. 10:5-13). Like modern-day Christians, First century Jews attempted to keep themselves separate to maintain identity in the face of a pagan world while awaiting God's kingdom. In short, keeping of the Law isn't required for Christians today or Jews yesterday; righteousness with God has always come to God's people through faith— simul justus et peccator. Noone at any time since the fall of humanity, not Moses, nor Ezra, nor any of the prophets, nor the great Rabbi's, made claims that they were made perfect and holy before God, through the working of the Holy Law — excluding Jesus. Paul teaches us that the Law is good if we use it correctly (Ro. 7:16, 1 Tim. 1:8).
Rabbi, Rabbi, Rabbi
Dr. Stacy rightly lectures that "…a dour draconian dispirited religion of legalism that rendered its adherents in a catch-22 of have to, but cannot, would've been hardly recognizable as an authentic expression of Judaism by first-century Jew."3 In all ways pertaining to Christianity, we are the recipients of God's Law and its fulfillers. God's Law is written in humanity accusing or defending (Ro 2:15). In the Mishnah, fifth division of Holy Things, Rabbi Zabachim states an unclean person who eats [Holy Things], since he touched it, has rendered it as unholy. The opposite is also true if a clean person eats from unclean [Holy Things] is free (Zabachim 13:2 D-F).4 If an unclean member of God's house were to take communion, they would make themselves unholy. Paul takes an identical stance on eating [Holy Things], “ὁ γὰρ ἐσθίων καὶ πίνων κρίμα ἑαυτῷ ἐσθίει καὶ πίνει μὴ διακρίνων τὸ σῶμα” (NA28; 1 Cor. 11:29). Paul agrees with the common interpretation of the Law, and as Christians, we observe that Law, even when we examine ourselves before His memorial supper (1 Cor. 11:31). Paul considered the Law and the commandments as "ἁγία καὶ δικαία καὶ ἀγαθή" (Ro. 7:12). Jesus also agreed with the interpretation of the Law, and He was the fulfillment of it (Ro. 8:2). Aside from being a perfectly Holy God, He is also the most brilliant human mind to ever exist. Rabbi Mattiah, in the Talmud, teaches that "danger to life overrides the prohibitions of the Sabbath."5 The idea that if someone needs life-saving medicine, then the laws are to be suspended because it is the right thing to do. When he healed on the Sabbath, he kept the Law and the Rabbi's interpretation of the Law. The problem was much more profound; the general population had created a new law, one that never existed. So if the Law is holy, and Jews never expected that they could keep the Law, why bother at all? Perhaps, the paradox between upholding the Law and doing away with it is one of our own making.6 That is, we are asking the wrong question when we attempt to say, "yes, they do" or "no, they don't", keep the Law. Paul teaches us that all of these things are just shadows to what is to come, but the substance of the Laws belong to Christ (Col. 2:17).
Simul Justus Et Peccator
"Just once and sinner," in one sense, we are justified; from another perspective, we are sinners. There is only redemption through Jesus Christ apart from the perfect Law of Christ, revealed by Moses in the Torah. Left alone, even if every holy and perfect Law were kept digitally, every soul would still be ἁμαρτωλοὶ/רָשָׁע (in error as a wicked person). Paul summarizes this idea in Romans 5:19, for through Adam we were made ἁμαρτωλοὶ, through Christ, we are made δίκαιοι/צַדִּיק (innocent). The works of the Law or anything that we could do apart from God will fail, even as we approach digital righteousness. The tragic tale of perfect humanity, tossing away a relationship with God, and embracing a new legal path to perfection in His absence, sounds like Adam & Eve and the post-modern Church. Man can now reach to the stars and laugh at Gods laws, for His curse towards בָּבֶל (Babel), has been removed. In Daneyal Anis's intriguing work, Deep Leaning Using Python, he explains the foundational stones to a new house, which are being built upon man's algorithms or laws.7 With it, humanity is showered with gods mathematical laws daily and being blessed with mana from heaven to magnify his own robust achievement. The ἐκκλησία has done what Paul feared it might, allow "elemental spirits [to] undermine the rituals and practices of the faith, causing them to be used in the flesh and not in the Spirit" (Gal. 3:23-4:5; Col. 2:16).8 This is the first whimpering of a much larger, man-based law, the abiding singularity, a new living and emerging artificial consciousness built on the back of Deep Learning Concepts.9 In the end, even if humanity proceeds unchecked indefinitely, and technology removes all of God's barriers through genetics and integrated technologies, man will not be made perfect by the Law of God or Man, but only by the blood of the lamb through faith, can humanity be made righteous before a Holy creator.
2. Peter Stuhlmacher, Revisiting Paul’s Doctrine of Justification: A Challenge to the New Perspective (Westmont, IL: IVP Academic, 2001), 4.
3. Stacy, Robert W. 2021. “The New Perspective On Paul” New Testament Orientation II 2021, Liberty University. Video of Lecture.
4. Jacob Neusner, The Mishnah : A New Translation (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988), 727.
5. Ibid., 278.
6.Krister Stendahl, Final Account: Paul’s Letter to the Romans (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1995), 4.
7. Daneyal Anis. Ultimate Step By Step Guide To Deep Learning Using Python: Artificial Intelligence And Neural Network Concepts Explained In Simple Terms (Daneyal Anis, 2020).
8. Googlin, Jamin, and Kyle Strobel. The Way Of The Dragon Or The Way Of The Lamb: Searching For Jesus’ Path Of Power in A Church That Has Abandoned It (Carol Stream, IL: Harper Collins Publishers, 2007), 184.
9. Daneyal Anis. Ultimate Step By Step Guide To Deep Learning Using Python: Artificial Intelligence And Neural Network Concepts Explained In Simple Terms (Daneyal Anis, 2020), 185.