The Inaugural Leon Morris Lecture in New Testament Studies

Posted on May 15 2013

Public Lecture by Rev Dr Brian Rosner
Leon Morris Lecture
Paul and the Law: Keeping the Commandments of God

Monday 24 June
Commencing at 10am with refreshments
Followed by the book launch of 'Paul and the Law: Keeping the Commandments of God' by Brian Rosner, launched by Colin Kruse.
RSVP essential

Come and hear Rev Dr Brian Rosner, Ridley Melbourne's Principal, give a lecture on 'Paul and the Law: Keeping the Commandments of God?'. The lecture will be followed by the launch of Brian's book of the same title.

Click to RSVP

Endorsements for Paul and the law: Keeping the Commandments of God  by Brian Rosner

I have to confess that I find many discussions of Paul and the law of Moses to be monumentally dull and uninspiring. Not so this one! It has held my interest right through, and I have appreciated especially the ways in which it examines the texts closely and shows that the key to understanding Paul on this topic lies in close attention to the details of his wording that differentiate the relationships between the law and Jews and Gentiles and indicate its different functions. This is a fresh solution to a difficult puzzle that may sadly be overlooked by its publication in a readable-level series rather than in a technical reader-unfriendly one with a maze of references and footnotes. It fully deserves to be placed alongside such profound classics as C. H. Dodd’s According to the Scriptures, which is written in the same limpid manner.

I. Howard Marshall
Professor Emeritus of New Testament, University of Aberdeen


One of the great frustrations of scholars is that even when they think they have made a valid and valuable point, sometimes it seems as if no one is listening.  This complaint however could never be made against Brian Rosner and his new book on Paul and the Law.  The book is in part a response to my lament that his previous work did not explicate the various ways Paul viewed the Mosaic law and the Mosaic covenant.  Rosner has responded to this complaint with gusto, providing us with one of the best overall treatments of Paul and the Law I have ever seen.  Unlike some treatments, Rosner does not try to over-simplify or over-synthesize the various things Paul says about the Law, but rather allows the complexity and variety of Paul's views on the subject to shine through plainly.  His insight that Paul reads the OT, including the Law, as both prophecy and wisdom that is of value and help to Christians is crucial.  Highly recommended.

Ben Witherington, III
Amos Professor of NT for Doctoral Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary,
Doctoral Faculty, St. Andrews University, Scotland 


This is one of the most helpful books on one of the most confusing subjects in NT theology. The great challenge for the interpreter is to put together Paul’s various and sometimes contradictory-sounding statements concerning the law into a coherent whole. The virtue of this book is the fair hearing it gives to all the Pauline texts on the law. Rosner brings an exceptional clarity to the subject. I commend this book as one of the best and most illuminating treatments available.

Donald A. Hagner
George Eldon Ladd Professor Emeritus of New Testament
Fuller Theological Seminary


“In the flurry of publications that address Paul’s view of the law, scholars sometimes miss the steady and unique contribution made by Brian Rosner. This can no longer be the case. After years of wrestling with this perennial debate, Rosner offers yet another outstanding study. While many books focus solely on the law’s soteriological role, Rosner forces us to ask different questions and look at the law through the different categories of Repudiation, Replacement, and Reappropriation. No serious student can afford to understand Paul’s view of the law without giving due attention to Rosner’s new book.”

Preston M. Sprinkle
Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, Eternity Bible College
Author of Paul and Judaism Revisited.


“Although Paul's account of the Mosaic Law has helped to shape a range of Christian approaches to the Old Testament, there is disagreement about exactly what he did and did not mean to say. In this much-needed book, Brian Rosner offers a succinct, clear, and comprehensive analysis of Paul's complex statements on this issue - one that rightly keeps in view the canonical context in which these statements should be read.”

Francis Watson
Professor of New Testament Exegesis
University of Durham


 “This is hard-working and richly satisfying biblical theology. Brian Rosner shows how fruitless it is to ask, ‘What was Paul's attitude to the OT Law?’ without first clarifying, ‘The law as what?  The law functioning in what capacity?’  Answering those questions, he shows that it is not only possible, but essential, to take with full seriousness Paul's negative and his positive words about the law, which otherwise seem so puzzlingly contradictory. In that way he helps us out of a particularly unnecessary and divisive argument today around issues of justification and sanctification, by taking at full biblical gospel strength both the free grace of God's salvation and the call for holiness of life on the part of those who have received it -  or what Paul probably meant by ‘the obedience of faith.’  I want to read this book again, and again, and will certainly be making frequent use of it in teaching and preaching.” 

Christopher J. H. Wright
International Ministries Director, Langham Partnership
Author of Old Testament Ethics for the People of God.

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