Heart Stuff in Romans 10

Heart Stuff in Romans 10 August 29, 2006

The Law comes to its goal in the Messiah; one is place “in” the Messiah by “believing”. In the Messiah one finds “righteousness.” Thus Rom 10:1-4. In 10:5 Paul sets those verses in context with Moses, who said that “the Torah life” is one noted by “doing” and Paul says doing the Torah is heart stuff.
Is Romans 10:5 (quoting Lev 18:5 — “person who does these things will live by them”) in contrast with 10:6ff (quoting Deut 30 — “from faith”/in the heart) or is 10:6 an explanation of how 10:5 will be done? Is 10:5 a “bad view of Torah” and 10:6 its alternative — Christ? Wright does not think 10:6 is in contrast with 10:5 — and this is a big, big issue. Lev 18:5 (Rom 10:5) is fulfilled by Deut 30 (Rom 10:6-7)!

Paul appeals to Deuteronomy 30 three times in Rom 10:5-7, and Wright finds great significance in this passage. It is a prediction of what life will be like for Israel beyond the Exile. It will be a time when Israel would do the Torah. 4QMMT confirms such a reading of Deut 30.
Thus, the Torah can be done because now, in Christ, that “word” has come down in Christ and is now “in” you. Everything happens “in Christ.”
Which means, acc to Wright, “the righteousness of faith” should be understood as “shorthand for his belief that in the Messiah God has at last done what he promised to Abraham” (663). The Torah envisaged Messiah and God’s covenant people, but it could not alone bring it about.

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