Even so, as I read Joslin's book I've noticed a number of phrases that make me scratch my head, and I would like to avail myself of your assistance, if you're able to make sense of these passages. I'll only provide two, but these are representative of Joslin's writing style:
[W]hen taken as a whole, what the writer of Hebrews envisions for the law in the [New Covenant] is its transformation. It is now viewed through the lens of Christ, and as such there is transformation that involves fulfillment and internalization. There are continuous and discontinuous aspects of the law, and this continuity and discontinuity turns on the hinge of Christ. (2)
This quote comes from the first chapter and as such introduces Joslin's thesis. I'm not convinced that the sentences I've quoted actually say anything. How is the law transformed? What does "viewed through the lens of Christ" mean vis-à-vis the law? In what sense is the law "fulfilled" and "internalized," and why are these things "transformation"? But since there remains the entire rest of the book, I'm willing to put these questions on hold. I can't figure out, however, how the subject of Joslin's last phrase ("this continuity and discontinuity") performs the action of the verb ("turns"), and how the door metaphor ("on the hinge of Christ") explains either the verb or the relationship of the double subject. Any help?
On a different note, Joslin provides a lengthy survey of Jews' view of the law/Law/Torah in the Second Temple period; such a survey is no easy task. Toward the beginning of his discussion of 2 Maccabees (34–37), Joslin writes,
After giving them the law Jeremiah is said to exhort his readers "not to let the νόμος depart from their hearts" in 2:3. What seems to be clear is that the specific referent for νόμος is the written commandment of the law of Moses. (34)
Again, I'm thirty-some pages into a lengthy monograph (330+ pages), so a lot of Joslin's argument is still to come. But already Joslin has mentioned a half-dozen times or so that he sees νόμος [nomos; "law"] and διαθήκη [diathēkē; "covenant"] as related terms but absolutely rejects that they are [near?] synonyms. So his comment on 2 Macc 2.3—that "the specific referent for νόμος is the written commandment of the law of Moses"—strikes me as a bit self-serving. Why is Jeremiah's exhortation limited to the written text he gives to the departing deportees? Or, at least, why does this limitation "seem to be clear"? The same text "seems clear" to me to refer to the written text as a cultural/material artifact that metonymically referenced any number of things simultaneously: the written text, the specific commandments inscribed therein, the covenant mediated via those commandments and communicated in that text, the interpretive traditions mediating the text's meaning and significance (and so the proper means of observation), the appropriate stance vis-à-vis the gentiles among whom the exiles would live, etc.
Given the important role this point will play in Joslin's argument, I'm baffled that he seems content to assert this interpretation without any argumentation whatsoever. With a flick of the wrist and a "seems to be clear," the point is made. Or perhaps, once again, my hermeneutic is failing me. Any suggestions?