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Title: Law and life : the interpretation of Leviticus 18:5 in early Judaism and in Paul
Author: Sprinkle, Preston M.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines the interpretation of Lev 18:5 (".which if a person does he will live by them") in early Judaism and in Paul. The apostle Paul cites the passage on two occasions (Gal 3:12; Rom 10:5) and his interpretation of it is highly debated. While scholars often discuss its meaning in Paul, a thorough examination of Lev 18:5 in the OT and early Judaism has been virtually ignored. This thesis, then, seeks to contribute to our understanding of Paul's view of the law in relation to early Jewish soteriology through the lens of their respective interpretations of Lev 18:5. First, I look at the original context of Lev 18, along with its later interpretations in Ezekiel, Nehamiah, and the Septuagint. Second, I examine its interpretive tradition in early Judaism (200 B.C.E. - 100 C.E.). Many of the documents examined here understand Lev 18:5 along similar lines: obedience to the law is a necessary pre-condition for the attainment of eternal life. Third, I examine the use of Lev 18:5 I Paul, where it is cited on two occasions and each time opposed to other OT passages, Hab 2:4 (in Gal 3:11-12) and Deut 30:12-14 (in Rom 10:5-8). Paul opposed Lev 18:5, we argue, because it expresses a soteriological formulation that is contrary to the gospel of faith. Leviticus 18:5 requires human deeds as a pre-condition for external life, while the gospel of faith testifies to God's unilateral saving action. Following our study of Paul, we conclude with a comparison between early Jewish and Pauline views of Lev 18:5. here, we note the similarities and differences between Paul and his Jewish contemporaries on this passage and offer some implications for Paul's view of the law.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available