News

Radio:

July 1, 2013 – The Popp Off Show

June 27, 2013 – The Jeff Rense Program

June 26, 2013 – GCN’s The Josh Tolley Show

June 25, 2013 – The Valder Beebe Show

June 21, 2013 – The Good News Health Show with Bill Swail

June 20, 2013 – The 414 Project with Peter Heck

June 19, 2013 – The Florida Show, with Rhett Palmer

June 18, 2013 – AM Ocala Live with Larry Whitler and Robin MacBlane

June 16, 2013 – GCN’s Amerika Now

June 15, 2013 – 1550 Today, with Paul Roberts

June 13, 2013 – Ringside Politics with Jeff Crouere

June 11, 2013 – Michigan’s Morning Show with Steve Gruber and Jo Anne Paul

June 7, 2013 – The Real Side with Joe Messina

June 5, 2013 – Bill Marinez Live

Print:

On April 23, 2013, The Christian Post announced Michael Wood’s resolution of the 1,900-year-old issue of Paul’s view of law. Twenty hours later, the announcement was removed from their website.

Below is the original article announcing Michael Wood’s solution and the scholarly endorsement of his research.


Groundbreaking New Book, ‘Pauline Paradoxes Decoded,’ Earns Cryptographer Michael Wood Scholarly Endorsements.

Myles Collier

Christian Post, North America

April 23, 2013

Over the centuries, Paul’s view of law has been considered “one of the most puzzling and seemingly insolvable in biblical study,” according to James Sanders, an editor of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

David Horrell’s textbook explains why Paul’s view of law has puzzled scholars for so long: “The basic problem in interpreting Paul’s Christian view of the Jewish law is that he seems to say both positive and negative things about it.”

Cryptographer Michael Wood has proposed a simple solution that fully explains all of Paul’s positive and negative statements about law.

Wood’s solution is firmly rooted in Jewish history and he believes that the traditional Jewish division of law completely resolves every positive and negative statement written by Paul.

An example of Paul making both positive and negative comments about law is found in Galatians 5:4-6:2. In this short passage, Paul both denigrates and praises law (Galatians 5:4 denigrates law, 5:14 praises law, 5:18 denigrates law again, while 6:2 praises law again).

Many scholars consider Romans 2:13; 3.20 to be another example of the tensions in Paul’s view of law. In these verses, Paul wrote “only the doers of the law will be vindicated” and “by the works of the law no one will be vindicated.”

The Jewish law is known as the “Torah.” Ancient Jews separated the Torah’s commandments into two groups: commandments related to brotherly love, and commandments not related to brotherly love. Wood abbreviates the Jewish groupings as Ethics and Jobs, respectively.

Wood proposes that Paul viewed Jesus’ Law as being the utterance: “Love your neighbor as yourself” – a phrase which completely fulfills the Torah’s Ethics.

“This one-for-one relationship between Jesus’ Law and the Torah’s Ethics completely explains all of Paul’s positive and negative statements regarding law,” claims Wood. “This one-for-one relationship is the key which had eluded scholarship for centuries.”

Consider the previous example found in Galatians 5:4 through 6:2. Wood proposes Paul denigrates Torah (5.4), praises Jesus’ Law (5.14), denigrates Torah again (5.18), and praises Jesus’ Law again (6.2). Wood proposes Paul simply alternated between the two Laws.

However, in the previous example of Romans 2:13-3:20, Wood noticed that Paul referenced two different parts of the Torah. In Romans 2:26, Paul referenced the Torah’s Ethics (Greek: dikaiomata); whereas in Romans 3.20 Paul referenced the Torah’s Jobs (Greek: erga). Thus, Wood proposes that Paul essentially wrote: only the doers of the Ethics will be vindicated and by the Jobs no one will be vindicated.

In the Galatians’ example, Paul alternates between two laws: Torah and Jesus’ Law; whereas in the Romans’ example, Paul alternates between two parts of the Torah (Ethics and Jobs). A one-for-one relationship between Jesus’ Law and the Torah’s Ethics, as proposed by Wood, would fully explain why Paul did this.

Based on the one-for-one relationship, Wood has developed a single sentence which fully accounts for all of Paul’s positive and negative legal statements; a one-sentence solution which several leading New Testament scholars consider worthy of academic attention.

Wood’s one-sentence solution is as follows: “Only the Ethics are Jesus’ Law; the Torah’s Jobs are not.” The sentence expresses both levels upon which Paul’s letters alternate: Jesus’ Law/Torah and Ethics/Jobs. The sentence also expresses the relationships between Jesus’ Law, Ethics, Jobs, and Torah. In other words, according to Wood, the one sentence expresses the relationships that had eluded scholars for the last 1,900 years.

New Testament scholar Douglas Campbell of Duke’s Divinity School considers Wood’s proposal to be an “intelligent,” “interesting,” “well-argued” hypothesis that “has a lot of explanatory power.”

“Michael Wood’s one-sentence proposal is not only original and fresh, but an important contribution which the academic community needs to seriously consider,” Dr. Chris Tilling, of St. Mellitus College and author of Paul’s Divine Christology, told The Christian Post in a written response.

Dr. Campbell, after reviewing Wood’s one-sentence solution, believes the academic community at large should take his claim seriously and open a forthright scholarly discussion and debate.

“I would probably supply a slightly different explanation as to what’s going on. But I have to say, in all honesty, that my explanation isn’t necessarily better than Michael’s. Maybe he’s right … It’s an arguable position. I think you could make this case with academic integrity,” Campbell told CP.

A growing number of scholars are finding themselves persuaded by Wood’s claim to have reconciled Paul’s positive and negative comments regarding law.

“I am persuaded by Michael Wood’s one sentence. I do think it solves the problems, and mostly in the ways he says it does. This is incredible, and I am very grateful to him for it. After reading it, I went back and read through all the relevant portions of Paul’s letters, and I cannot find one place that remains contradictory in the strong sense. He’s done something truly remarkable.” Rev Dr. Colin Miller of Peter Maurin House told CP.

Campbell sees Wood’s solution as challenging the currently dominant and widespread view of Paul- including Paul’s perspective on the very nature of God himself.

“When you push back on Paul’s view of law, you end up with a different understanding of God. These questions are related. Who do you think God really is deep down? What’s He really like?” Campbell told CP.

Campbell detailed that the traditional explanation of Paul’s view on the law “makes God out to be retributive and judgmental.”

“[But] Michael’s explanation [of law] allows him to say that God is not,” he added. “He’s actually kind. He’s more like a mother or father who loves you unconditionally and going to hang on to you whether you screw up or not. Now there, in my view, Michael’s absolutely right.”

Wood’s proposal inadvertently impacts the issue of homosexuality- a hot topic among believers today. Christians know that Paul taught brotherly love fulfills the entire Law (Romans 13.8-9). Yet, many also believe Paul taught “no homosexual shall enter God’s Kingdom” (1 Corinthians 6.9). Wood’s proposal includes a reconciliation of these two texts.

“Wood’s discussion of homosexuality is thorough and fascinating; it recognizes the complexity of the issues involved and demonstrates that, in the end, if we are to take ‘Jesus’ Law’ seriously, then this debate must proceed in love,” Rev. Dr. Robert Moses told CP.

Wood put 12 years of research into a new book entitled, “Pauline Paradoxes Decoded,” which has taken an unusual approach of fusing scholarly research with an ongoing narrative.

“Wood’s manuscript has been a genuine delight to read, not only as a result of his gripping, original and important argument, but also because he has an ability to keep the reader engaged, almost as if one were reading a novel,” Tilling said.

It should be noted that Wood’s initial career was in the field of cryptography, not biblical studies. However, Wood gained recognition in his teenage years for memorizing Paul’s letters verbatim. Applying his cryptanalytic skills to the letters that he had memorized was a naturally fortuitous combination.

“There are a lot of things that I like about his work. And for him to have done all this by himself without any formal training, just by reading and thinking, is pretty incredible,” Campbell stated.

At the very least, the publication of Wood’s solution should spark a healthy debate and discussion in the Christian community. And, perhaps, the 1,900-year-old issue has finally been solved.

The article above originally appeared at: http://m.global.christianpost.com/news/most-puzzling-bible-issue-solved-paul-on-ethics-the-law-and-brotherly-love-94476/