So I'd like to talk briefly about some things that this article covered. First, here's the Scriptural passage we'll be examining:
"21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.
22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin [hupo hamartian], so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law [hupo nomon], imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.
24 So then, the law was our guardian [paidagogos] until Christ came [eis Christon, "to Christ"], in order that we might be justified by faith.
25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian," (Gal. 3:21-25)Here's the Christian vs. Messianic interpretation:
(1) the common Christian interpretation: the Law was only useful before Christ came, functioning as a strict guardian/tutor. But now that Jesus is here, we have no use for the Law anymore;
(2) a Messianic interpretation: a paidagogos, historically, was a preparatory teacher responsible for delivering the child to the finalizing teacher:
"The paidagogos was 'Orig. 'boy-leader'...whose duty it was to conduct a boy or youth...to and from school and to superintend his conduct gener.; he was not a 'teacher'...When the young man became of age, the [paidagogos] was no longer needed' (BDAG). In a classical sense, the paidagogos was a protector who was to guard young boys on their way to school until they reached a certain age," (from McKee's "'To Messiah' or 'Until Messiah Came'?").
And so the discipline/training instilled by the paidagogos was valuable! We should never throw away this training. And Paul even writes in 2 Timothy that the Law is useful for "training in righteousness" ("paideian ten en dikaiosune"). Thus, Gal. 3:24-25 does not question the value of the Torah
So that's a really quick overview. My apologies to McKee if I butchered the message of the article. But I recommend that readers purchase a copy of the book from which the article was adapted. Here's a link to check out:
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