1 Corinthians 9:21

What Is the “Law of Christ”? A Bit of Research

Rightly understanding the relationship between today’s Christians and the law delivered to Moses depends on multiple factors. One of them is grasping the meaning of the NT phrase “law of Christ” (See this article and discussion from last week). The phrase, or a very similar one, occurs twice in most translations—in 1 Corinthians 9:21, and Galatians 6:2. How we understand the term influences whether we see Christ as placing believers under a different law, or if we take the view that parts of the Mosaic law simply continue across peoples and covenants, as well as the millennia.

The information here shouldn’t settle the question for anyone, but may provide a start for those who want to dig deeper.

1 Corinthians 9:21 variations:

To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. (ESV)

…though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ… (NASB)

… (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law)… (NIV)

… (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ)… (NKJV)

… (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,)… (KJV)

Galatians 6:2 reads virtually the same in every translation.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (ESV)

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