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C.E.B. Cranfield

Judaism or Christ

"To practise the observances of Judaism while rejecting Christ is to be left with only the letter of the law, without the spirit (cf. ROM 7:6; 2 Cor 3:6); but the letter of the law in separation from the Spirit is the law - so to speak - denatured, for the law of God is by nature 'spiritual' (7:14). The literal observance of circumcision and other ceremonies of the law was valuable and significant as a 'shadow of the things to come', a pointer forward to Christ; but to regard these things as possessed of an independent value in themselves quite apart from Him is to be left with a mere empty 'shadow' in isolation from the 'the body' which gives it meaning "cf. Col 2:16f)."

In his reference to the early church he says,

"For to know that the goal of the law is Christ is to know that now that He, to whom the ceremonies pointed, has come, their literal observance cannot any longer be obligatory...and with regard to the legalism of contemporary Judaism Paul even seems to go so far as to put it on the same level as, or, at the least, to suggest that it has much in common with, paganism."

C.E.B. Cranfield, "A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans" the International Critical Commentary (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark Limited, 1957) p. 851-852