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Romans 10:2 – Not in accord with recognition

09-08-2021 - Posted by Hans

… For I am testifying to them that they have a zeal of God, but not in accord with recognition.

Paul credits his Jewish compatriots for their “zeal of God.” A zeal that he knew or recognized like no other. Their zeal pleads for them; they aim for the full one hundred percent of the law that was given to them by God.

The reproach in this verse is that Israel’s awareness does not match their zeal for the law. The word “recognition” in Greek is “epi-gnosis,” and literally means “on-knowledge.” Epi-gnosis presupposes knowledge, but goes beyond it. It is more than knowing: it is awareness of what you know.

True, the zealous Jewish people have devoted themselves to learning, and they have an enormous ready knowledge of what their scholars have said about the law. But that is quite different from understanding the law itself and awareness what God means by it. Carefully monitoring how, for example, boys should be circumcised on the eighth day, is quite different from realizing why. And how this ritual speaks of God’s plan and of resurrection and new life. Because that’s what God is about!