"In asking about rabbinic rhetorics of concealment and disclosure, Hayes is asking what the rabbis knew about themselves, what we can know about them, and, I’d venture to say, what we can know about ourselves."
"Let me proceed from here by highlighting two distinctions used in the book, one of which may be over-used and the other under-used. The over-used dichotomy is between nominalist and realist approaches to law; the under-used dichotomy is between rational and irrational laws. After discussing these two matters a bit, I’d like to think more about those efforts to reduce “the Law” to one or two principles—usually rational ones."
"Paul, by contrast, in Hayes’ chapter four, “minds the gap.” Paul emphasizes the ways that Mosaic Law fails as divine law according to classical criteria: it is socially particular, it changes across time, it appears at a historical moment, it is arbitrary and irrational; abiding by such law does not lead to virtue. Two immediately related questions then emerge: Why does Paul do this, and how?"
"It is my contention, then, that both the Stoics and the biblical authors understood (and it is this they tried to guard against), that to accord immutability and truth to written laws, is the first step on the road to authoritarianism because the seduction of certainty and absolutes in the realm of the uncertain and relative (i.e., life), is beyond the ability of many mortals to resist."