Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Religion, New Testament PhD
P. Richard Choi
Roy E. Gane
In Romans and Galatians, Paul refers to a spiritual death to sin (Rom 6:2) and to the law (Rom 7:4; Gal 2:19). As the means of the believer's death to the law, Paul mentions the "body of Christ" in Rom 7:4 and the "law" in Gal 2:19. These verses seem to suggest some sort of relationship between the body of Christ and the law, as well as between the law and sin. The purpose of this study is to determine the type of relationship between the body of Christ and the law, as well as between law and sin. The study consists of a survey of non-Jewish, Greco-Roman literature, and Jewish literature (Hebrew Bible and Second Temple literature) along with exegetical and theological analyses of relevant Pauline passages.
The study argues that the believer's death to sin (Rom 6:2) is spiritual in nature, consisting of a change in rulership. The believer's death to sin terminates the rule of sin but does not do away with sin’s existence in the believer's life. Furthermore, the believer's death to sin has soteriological significance; therefore it cannot be metaphorical. The believer's death to the law (Rom 7:4; Gal 2:19) is also spiritual, consisting of liberation from condemnation to death through the law of sin. The law of sin is the law of God, embodied in sinful human beings, which condemns them to death. The condemnation through the law of sin depends on rulership. The believer's death to the law of sin terminates the believer's condemnation to death, but not the existence of the law of sin in the believer's life. Regarding the means of the believer's death to the law, "the body of Christ" (Rom 7:4) refers to the crucified and resurrected body of Christ and "through the law" (Gal 2:19) refers to the law of God embodied in Christ, which enables the believer to live to God. In Rom 7:4, the believer experiences liberation from the law of sin by participation in the crucified and resurrected body of Christ. Similarly, in Gal 2:19, the believer also experiences liberation from the same law of sin by participation in the law of God embodied in Christ. Christ’s fulfillment of the law of God enables the believer's righteous status and liberation from condemnation to death. Both means of redemption—the crucified and resurrected body of Christ (Rom 7:4) and the law of God embodied in Christ (Gal 2:19)—centers in Christ's death on the cross.
Law (Theology); Bible. Romans 7:74--Criticism, interpretation, etc.; Bible. Galatians 2:19--Criticism, interpretation, etc.; Bible. Romans 7--Comparative studies; Bible. Galatians 2--Comparative studies
Bornand, Dominic, "The Body of Christ and the Law: A Comparative Study of Romans 7:4 and Galatians 2:19" (2023). Dissertations. 1782.
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