I am a bit confused about the use of capital letter 'L' in the use of the word "law" (Matthew 5:17, James 2:10). What is the exact difference between the upper and lower case spelling? Is capitalization consistent? I thought that the 'L' could possibly refer to the ceremonial law, whereas 'l' to moral, but the scriptures make this far from certain. It also seems that different translations vary in their use of the capital. My lexicon gives the same Greek word for both Law and law. Any insights? -- James Lappeman (Cape Town)

No, distinctions with capital and small letters are not made in the Greek text. They are generally either all capitals or all smalls... hence the inconsistencies you discover. A good number of translators use 'L' to refer to the Mosaic Law, or the Decalogue (Ten Commandments), and 'l' to a specific ordinance or regulation of the Law.

This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only. © 2006. Reprints or public distribution is prohibited without the express consent of Douglas Jacoby.