Letters from the Apostle Paul make up a large part of the New Testament. The following epistles/letters are generally attributed to him, although some doubt his authorship of the book of Hebrews.
Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews.
On the subject of ‘law’ and ‘the Law,’ Paul’s writings sometimes seem contradictory. The Apostle Paul was a Pharisee before his conversion, so he should understand what he was writing and teaching. They had a whole ‘slew’ of laws that they kept.
(I included some of the laws of Judaism in the free series members of my VIP Readers’ Group received. E.G.
Sample of the Code of Jewish Law
The Code of Jewish Law is made up of four volumes and 221 Chapters which attempt to govern every aspect of the life of a Jew.
Chapter 3 deals with Dressing and Deportment.
“It is written (Micah 6: 8) “And to walk humbly with thy God.” Therefore it is the duty of every man to be modest in all his ways. When putting on or removing his shirt or other undergarment, he should be careful not to expose is body unduly. He should put it on or remove it while still lying covered in bed. He should never say to himself: “Lo, I am all alone in my inner chamber and in the dark, who can see me?” For the glory of the Holy One, blessed be He, fills the universe, and darkness and light are alike to Him, blessed be His name; and modesty and a sense of shame indicate humility before Him, blessed be His name.”
Chapter 4 deals with not thinking ‘holy thoughts’ in the lavatory.
Chapter 5 deals with the Cleanliness of Places Used for Holy Purposes.
There are many entries about not praying where there is excrement or urine… or bad odors
Was the Apostle Paul schizophrenic?
It can seem that way. Most of the teaching I received in church, or at Bible College held to the view that Paul said Christians did not have to keep the law.
Why then does he say…?
I do confess to you, however, that I worship the God of our fathers according to the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets,
Acts 24: 14. Berean Study Bible
It was important to me to know because my readers deserve an accurate background to the Apostle John Series of books. Then I read something written by a minister which said the definite article was not in the Greek translations of the Bible.
So, wanting accuracy in my books, I checked.
The Apostle Paul knew what he was talking about
With the understanding of Paul’s background, could it be that he sometimes refers to the Pharisaic law (which became Judaism), and the Law of God other times? He had been brought up in the strictest sect, Phariaism, as he said himself. In order to ‘protect’ the people from breaking the law and going back into captivity these laws were added. In fact, the opposite happened, the Law of God was stifled by these laws.
This is what Jesus meant in Mark 7: 8 when He said,
Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
So who was wrong, the Apostle Paul or the translators?
Choosing to be kind, perhaps the translators did not understand the two ‘law’ references that the Apostle Paul understood.
Romans 2: 15 is the only scripture about ‘the’ work and ‘the’ law that is accurately translated from the Greek. The definite articles are present.
It is an interesting study into the writings of Paul to go through them in a reputable Greek/English Interlinear.
The Pharisaic works in Jesus’ and Paul’s day were indeed the heavy burden that Jesus referred to…
They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.
But Jesus, who advocated keeping the commandments had a different view.
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John `4; 15
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
One question leads to another LOL