Theology Discussion: Telosis “End”

Theology Discussion: Hey guys, I was just reading Romans 10:4, and I found myself in a Greek dilemma. The word “End” is a trouble spot in the translation to English. The Greek (5056 telosis) is defined as (the end-goal, purpose), yet in the English we just translate “end” as “stop or done” (cut the cord and move on)… The word itself hit me weird as I read it tonight because the context totally changes depending on the way we translate that word.

You see, Chapter 10 starts out talking about the Righteousness of Israel that is continued from chapter 9. And this verse provides the primary reason why the gentiles have gained access to that righteousness while Israel has continued to struggle in attaining it.

Here would be the context of “Telosis” used in both ways.

1. “END” The old system of works righteousness did not work, Jesus came to fix the situation, now that old system of doing good works is dead/completed/obsolete/finished… New Testament, New Way, Christ covers and fulfills the old Law…

2. “The GOAL (or target)” The nation of Israel loved the Lord, yet were unable to attain righteousness in faith because they were not able to work toward the goal or objective of that righteousness which is Christ. There target of their faith was in “works” when it needed to be directed as faith in Christ, (even though good works is the fruit of righteousness). Israel was trying to hit the target blindfolded and they were missing.

What a difference this word makes in these two scenarios… I find as I read with “target” or “goal” in mind, the entire writings from the end of chapter 9 on into chapter 11 takes on a fresh meaning.

Because of disobedience, God hardened the hearts of Israel and many of those branches were broken off. We were grafted into the vine of promise through faith in Christ. If this is the case, it makes the warning of obedience in this faith (11:17-23) important as Paul warns us that God did not spare the natural branches, so we shouldn’t think that we are special as we have been grafted into that vine. That vine (Christ the vine, Israel the branches or base) is supporting us, not the other way around.

Jesus did not come to put an end to the Law, He is the fulfillment of it… He is the target or objective of righteousness. He is the goal to which we strive to seek holiness/eternal life. If we seek after Christ, we will take hold of His holiness (the righteousness of God)…

Anyway, I saw that tonight and I figured I would just share what God was placing on my heart. For if we are unwilling to do that, God cannot use us. That doesn’t mean I may not be wrong, but that is why we are called to sharpen each others swords. May God use our discussions to do just that.

Blessings to all of you…