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The Remonstrant
03-10-2014, 10:23 AM
Link:
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?725-Open-Theism&p=27647&posted=1#post27647


I don't think this is really a question about open theism. Rather, it's a question about the Incarnation. Was Jesus really human with human limitations? It's pretty clear from other parts of the Gospel that he knew he was going to have to die. Even if God doesn't determine all details of the future, surely this is one case where he did. If we were computers, it would be silly to pray for a cup to pass when you knew it wouldn't, and in fact couldn't if you were going to complete a mission you had accepted. But for a human it's completely natural, I think.

I think the Gospels suggest that whatever certainty Jesus had about God to some extent was obscured during this period. While there are other ways to explain it, I think his cry from the cross that God had abandoned him was real, that as the person taking the consequences of our sins, he was for a time separated from the consciousness of God. I understand that this is paradoxical for someone who is the incarnation of God, but our understanding of what it meant for Jesus to be identified with God needs to be based on the Biblical account.


I do not personally believe the Father ever abandoned the Son. In his angst Jesus may have felt as though he had, but the Father and Son are/were one (not in the modalistic sense, though). Jesus' cry on the tree resonates with the suffering of God's righteous servants throughout the centuries.

There was never a break in the trinity. God vindicated Jesus by raising him from the dead. Never was the Father angry with the Son, nor did he use him as an object to vent his wrath out on.1 For those inclined to believe otherwise, I would suggest they read Psalm 22 in its entirety. Verse 24 is especially relevant: "For he [God] has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him" (ESV2). Jesus' own words in John's Gospel also confirm this interpretation.


"When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him." (John 8:28,29)
This would include the cross.


Notes

1 Many evangelicals will find this statement unsettling as they believe Jesus was literally punished by the Father on the cross in order to pay a sin debt (either for the elect's sake or the whole world).

2 All Scripture quotations are taken from the English Standard Version, emphasis added.



This makes me wonder what you think the purpose of Jesus' death was, but that sounds like a topic for another thread, if you're so inclined.

This will set the stage for forthcoming posts addressing the purpose(s) of Jesus' death on the cross. (Obviously this veers off the topic of "Open Theism". Hence the new thread.)

RBerman
03-21-2014, 10:49 AM
Were you coming back to this topic, Remonstrant?

The Remonstrant
03-22-2014, 06:56 AM
Were you coming back to this topic, Remonstrant?

Yes, I will need to post some reflections this week (I hope).

lee_merrill
03-22-2014, 02:22 PM
Never was the Father angry with the Son, nor did he use him as an object to vent his wrath out on.
But see Isaiah 53:
Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. (Is 53:10)

Also: the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Is 53:5)

Yes, Jesus was punished for our sins.

Blessings, Lee

apostoli
03-26-2014, 07:16 AM
What Did Jesus' Death on the Cross Accomplish?

Well! Obviously, it put an end to the truancy of the sacrificial system of the Jews. Several times in the OT YHWH declares he did not want sacrifices but mercy...

Also see Ezekiel 18 where YHWH declares mankind's judgements as in error, for YHWH declares that the sins of the Father cannot be passed onto the son, nor the sins of the son be passed onto the father. So from this scripture it can be deduced that Jesus' suffering and death had no atoning benefit, except in the context of demonstrating to us obedience to his Father, and acting as our example...that said the kinsman redeemer (the penalty of sin is death) is an entirely different subject...the Son freeing us from the slavery of sin (of course we can resell ourselves, our choice to accept the freedom granted...).

Paprika
03-26-2014, 07:23 AM
In John's Gospel:


But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.


It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.

apostoli
03-27-2014, 11:33 AM
In John's Gospel: But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.

It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.
True! But according to A.John it was Caiaphas' father-in-law, the (dethroned) high priest Annas who tried and condemned Jesus (Jn 18:13-24). Caiaphas' only role was as the legally appointed magistrate - only he could take the case to Pilate. I've seen it argued that he was forced to do so by his father-in-law and his cohorts, after all Caiaphas' position was dependent on their support - true or not, it is an interesting speculation, especially given the cites you provided and especially that " being high priest that year he prophesied"...

In short, Matthew, Luke & Mark not being eye witnesses to the events got it all wrong. A.John being our only direct witness, gives us an insight into the workings of the Temple, the Sanhedrin and Jewish custom, is our only reliable witness...and he tells us that the atrocities inflicted on Christ were Annas' work...not Caiaphas...

Of interest: Annas and his family ruled the temple for decades, all of his sons were high priest at one time or another (cp. Lk 3:2; Acts 4:6). The Talmud curses their memory, mainly because of their corruption and cruelty...

Obsidian
03-27-2014, 12:40 PM
So from this scripture it can be deduced that Jesus' suffering and death had no atoning benefit, except in the context of demonstrating to us obedience to his Father, and acting as our example...

So is it your official position that the mosaic law does not allow sins to be atoned for via sacrifice?

The Remonstrant
03-27-2014, 01:08 PM
So is it your official position that the mosaic law does not allow sins to be atoned for via sacrifice?

It is my official position that Hydrox are superior to Oreos.

RBerman
03-27-2014, 02:36 PM
It is my official position that Hydrox are superior to Oreos.

Now, that is a false teaching.

RBerman
03-27-2014, 02:37 PM
So is it your official position that the mosaic law does not allow sins to be atoned for via sacrifice?

If memory serves, Apostoli has an idiosyncratic take on the Old Testament, thinking that it documents what Moses said should be done, but not what God actually wanted done.

Cow Poke
03-27-2014, 04:11 PM
:popcorn:

hedrick
03-27-2014, 07:37 PM
My official position is that in both OT and NT, God wants primarily repentance. Ps 51 and passages in the prophets say that sacrifice is not necessary. Thus I tend to think it is effectively a sacrament, a way of making repentance more real for the person, but not strictly speaking necessary.

Jesus' words of institution, Rom 6, and Heb 9-10 all regard Jesus' death as a covenant sacrifice, to establish the covenant of Jer 31:31, writing the Law into our hearts. Thus I see the purpose of Jesus' death as being primarily to change us, rather than to change God. Of course that doesn't remove the vicarious element. He did suffer punishment on our behalf. (Punishment is what happens when there isn't repentance, and at times may be useful as an adjunct to repentance.) I rather like Calvin's discussion of the atonement. He sees Jesus' obedience as the key. Not just his obedience in death, but during his entire life. That becomes ours because in faith we are united to Christ is what he calls a "community of righteousness."

Of course historically different atonement theories have seen the atonement directed at us, God, Satan, and even the Accounting Office. Some of these (particularly ransom theory) seem to me to be the result of taking metaphors too literally. Ransom is a great way to talk about Jesus' death until you ask who the ransom is paid to.

robrecht
03-27-2014, 08:00 PM
Very true, hedrick. Sometimes it seems as if the entirety of theology is but a misunderstanding of metaphor.

The Remonstrant
03-28-2014, 04:37 AM
My official position is that in both OT and NT, God wants primarily repentance. Ps 51 and passages in the prophets say that sacrifice is not necessary. Thus I tend to think it is effectively a sacrament, a way of making repentance more real for the person, but not strictly speaking necessary.

Jesus' words of institution, Rom 6, and Heb 9-10 all regard Jesus' death as a covenant sacrifice, to establish the covenant of Jer 31:31, writing the Law into our hearts. Thus I see the purpose of Jesus' death as being primarily to change us, rather than to change God. Of course that doesn't remove the vicarious element. He did suffer punishment on our behalf. (Punishment is what happens when there isn't repentance, and at times may be useful as an adjunct to repentance.) I rather like Calvin's discussion of the atonement. He sees Jesus' obedience as the key. Not just his obedience in death, but during his entire life. That becomes ours because in faith we are united to Christ is what he calls a "community of righteousness."

Of course historically different atonement theories have seen the atonement directed at us, God, Satan, and even the Accounting Office. Some of these (particularly ransom theory) seem to me to be the result of taking metaphors too literally. Ransom is a great way to talk about Jesus' death until you ask who the ransom is paid to.

:thumb:

Paprika
03-28-2014, 04:55 AM
:pot:
The gospels - our main sources for the crucifixion event - in general do not see the crucifixion as 'atonement', whatever that is supposed to mean, or at least not explicitly. We shouldn't import what Paul or the author of Hebrews says about the cross into the gospel narratives, which will most likely result in us missing out what the narratives intend to convey. Rather, we should read the gospels as story - of course with Jesus' self-understanding of his own death at the center - and let them tell of the event from their own perspectives (keeping in mind that each gospel differs in perspective and emphases).

footwasher
03-28-2014, 05:37 AM
When Tyndale chose the word "atonement" (he didnt invent it as held by some) to represent what happened in the OT sacrificial ceremony, he walked in the footsteps of the writers of NT Scripture, who used words like sarx, Adonai, psyche etc., to convey Hebrew terms.

He was trying the convey the idea of kippur, the covering over of sins by the sprinkling of blood on the mercy seat. The sins were still there, God chose to ignore them, because of the blood.

Atonement as a term was already in use, to convey the act of making peace, by convincing the injured party to overlook the harm done to him, making at-one in the process:

For God was in Christ, and made agreement between the world and him self, and imputed not their sins unto them: and hath committed to us the preaching of the atonement (2 Cor 5:19, Tyndale)

And before Tyndale:

Shakespeare’s “Richard the Second,” written in 1597, Richard, failing to reconcile the two feuding noblemen, the Duke of Hereford and the Duke of Norfolk, orders them to fight a duel:

We were not born to sue, but to command:
Which since we cannot do to make you friends,
Be ready, as your lives shall answer it,
At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert’s day;
There shall your swords and lances arbitrate
The swelling difference of your settled hate:
Since we cannot atone you, we shall see
Justice design the victor’s chivalry.


......

In “Richard the Third,” we find the Duke of Buckingham saying about Richard to the queen,

“Ay, madam: he desires to make atonement between the Duke of Gloucester and your brothers.”

What Buckingham is telling the queen is that Richard wishes to get her brothers and Gloucester to make up.

KingsGambit
03-28-2014, 06:30 AM
I always find your posts illuminating, hedrick.

The Remonstrant
03-28-2014, 06:38 AM
:pot:
The gospels - our main sources for the crucifixion event - in general do not see the crucifixion as 'atonement', whatever that is supposed to mean, or at least not explicitly. We shouldn't import what Paul or the author of Hebrews says about the cross into the gospel narratives, which will most likely result in us missing out what the narratives intend to convey. Rather, we should read the gospels as story - of course with Jesus' self-understanding of his own death at the center - and let them tell of the event from their own perspectives (keeping in mind that each gospel differs in perspective and emphases).

:thumb:

Paprika
03-28-2014, 06:44 AM
:thumb:
I think we have to learn to read the crucifixion as part of an exodus narrative, this time of course the slavemasters are sin and death. This Paul also does.

The Remonstrant
03-28-2014, 06:50 AM
I think we have to learn to read the crucifixion as part of an exodus narrative, this time of course the slavemasters are sin and death. This Paul also does.


And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure [exodos], which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. (Luke 9:30,31 ESV)
And concerning the Pauline literature, Romans 6 would probably be the primary text you have in mind.

robrecht
03-28-2014, 06:51 AM
I always find your posts illuminating, hedrick.
Yes, indeed. It would be interesting to look up some Middle English uses of the verbal/adverbial form atonen, where you already see the combination of the words 'at' + 'one'. Any Chaucer fans out there? Wycliffe already used the verb 'oneing' and the noun 'onement'. St Thomas More used 'atonement' long before Shakespeare, also with respect to Richard III.

themuzicman
03-28-2014, 06:59 AM
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.


and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

Justification came to all men, propitiation made for the whole world.

Why is the OP even a question?

Paprika
03-28-2014, 07:03 AM
And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure [exodos], which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. (Luke 9:30,31 ESV)
And concerning the Pauline literature, Romans 6 would probably be the primary text you have in mind.
It isn't just about explicit mention of slavery, but also deliverance and freedom language. So yes, Romans 6-8, but the major references include also Galatians 3-5; minor ones include Colossians 1 and Galatians 1.

The Remonstrant
03-28-2014, 07:21 AM
Justification came to all men, propitiation made for the whole world.

Why is the OP even a question?

The question posed in the title of the opening post is not concerned so much with the scope or the extent of atonement specifically (although that is, of course, extremely important).

dacristoy
03-28-2014, 08:45 AM
Of course historically different atonement theories have seen the atonement directed at us, God, Satan, and even the Accounting Office. Some of these (particularly ransom theory) seem to me to be the result of taking metaphors too literally. Ransom is a great way to talk about Jesus' death until you ask who the ransom is paid to.

The Father...

The Remonstrant
03-28-2014, 09:08 AM
The Father...

Where does it explicitly say in Scripture that Jesus was offered as a ransom to the Father?

robrecht
03-28-2014, 09:31 AM
The Father...We are not enslaved to or otherwise held captive by the Father. The actual metaphors of ransom and redemption as they were actually practiced in Judaism at the time are very interesting.

The Remonstrant
03-28-2014, 09:39 AM
We are not enslaved to or otherwise held captive by the Father. The actual metaphors of ransom and redemption as they were actually practiced in Judaism at the time are very interesting.

The whole notion that the Father requires a payment of some sort to quell his wrath strikes me as a rather pagan notion. If we are to maintain a unity within the godhead, there is no possible way the Father could ever be at enmity with the Son. God is not at enmity with God.

robrecht
03-28-2014, 09:53 AM
The whole notion that the Father requires a payment of some sort to quell his wrath strikes me as a rather pagan notion. If we are to maintain a unity within the godhead, there is no possible way the Father could ever be at enmity with the Son. God is not at enmity with God.
I agree, of course.

Paprika
03-28-2014, 10:08 AM
The whole notion that the Father requires a payment of some sort to quell his wrath strikes me as a rather pagan notion. If we are to maintain a unity within the godhead, there is no possible way the Father could ever be at enmity with the Son. God is not at enmity with God.
Do you think it's possible for the Son to be a substitute yet while not being at emnity with the Father?

The Remonstrant
03-28-2014, 10:29 AM
Do you think it's possible for the Son to be a substitute yet while not being at emnity with the Father?

Yes. I think we should be careful not to conflate penal substitution with substitution itself. In other words, Jesus may be considered our substitute, yes, but this does not mean his substitutionary work on our behalf was necessarily penal in nature. Substitutionary atonement may be affirmed, but penal substitution need not be.

The Remonstrant
03-28-2014, 10:32 AM
Yes. I think we should be careful not to conflate penal substitution with substitution itself. In other words, Jesus may be considered our substitute, yes, but this does not mean his substitutionary work on our behalf was necessarily penal in nature. Substitutionary atonement may be affirmed, but penal substitution need not be.

This impression seems difficult to shake, however, seeing as evangelicals typically assume "substitutionary atonement" and penal substitution are synonymous. They are not.

Paprika
03-28-2014, 10:45 AM
This impression seems difficult to shake, however, seeing as evangelicals typically assume "substitutionary atonement" and penal substitution are synonymous. They are not.
Must penal substitution result in wrath directed at the substitute?

The Remonstrant
03-28-2014, 10:54 AM
Must penal substitution result in wrath directed at the substitute?

Must substitution be penal in nature?

Paprika
03-28-2014, 10:57 AM
Must substitution be penal in nature?
No. But I'd like an answer to my question.

hedrick
03-28-2014, 12:42 PM
Do you think it's possible for the Son to be a substitute yet while not being at emnity with the Father?

Yes. In the OT, unrepented sin pollutes the land. I believe we can see this in operation around us. I think Is 53 and the atonement result when someone takes those consequences on himself. When we join him in faith, we accept responsibility for what he did for us, and thus repent. I don't believe Jesus was really at enmity with the Father, but his quotation of Ps 22 from the cross may suggest that part of the consequences he accepted was at least a subjective separation from the Father.

This is why when I suggested people who ransom might be paid to, one of my possibilities was the Accounting Office. God is certainly angry at sin, and as sinners qua sinners. But his anger isn't the problem. It's the existence of sin that hasn't been dealt with that is the problem. And that's an objective situation that has consequences. Our problem isn't that God demands someone to punish before he will forgive us, but that by failing to repent, we create an imbalance in the Force that he to be dealt with. I think in the OT unhandled sin is actually seen as this kind of objective force.

Jesus didn't say all of this. What he said was that his blood was the blood of the new covenant. That makes his death a covenant sacrifice. The covenant is normally understood to be a reference to Jer 31:31. So it seems to be reasonable to say that he expected his death to give us new hearts, writing the new Law into our hearts. This seems to be to be in effect repentance. In my opinion, Rom 6 is a reasonable reflection on the significant of jesus' death, as Jesus presumably understood it. When we have faith in Christ, we become responsible creatures before God, being renewed as part of the new covenant.

Perhaps this is an over interpretation of what Jesus actually said, but I think the signs are there.

Unlike many Christians, I don't think God needed to sacrifice Christ in order to forgive sins. After all, he forgave people before Christ. But before he can establish the Kingdom, or the new covenant, he needs a way to deal with the consequences more completely. Act 17:30, Rom 3:25-26. (Note that I am not saying that he completely ignored sin, just that he accepted a general repentant attitude that didn't deal with it in the way that the new covenant does.)

Paprika
03-28-2014, 01:10 PM
Hedric: I find your usage of "Force" and the ransom idea rather curious, but otherwise I agree completely. The new covenant would also be understood to be a fulfillment of the promise in Deut 30, which Paul uses extensively in Romans 10.

dacristoy
03-28-2014, 01:14 PM
Where does it explicitly say in Scripture that Jesus was offered as a ransom to the Father?
1. Deuteronomy 12:27
And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the Lord thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the Lord thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh.
1. Isaiah 1:11
To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

The blood sacrifice is offered to God
Hebrews11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

the appeasement of the blood of Christ is the substitution for the blood of bulls and goats offered to God in the old covenant.
13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.
19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Romans 5
King James Version (KJV)
5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Remonstrant
03-28-2014, 01:35 PM
1. Deuteronomy 12:27
And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the Lord thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the Lord thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh.
1. Isaiah 1:11
To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

Hebrews11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.
19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Romans 5
King James Version (KJV)
5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

We may say that Jesus was offered as a purification offering for sins, yes, but none of the texts you cited speak of Jesus being offered as a ransom to the Father in order to appease God's wrath.

The Remonstrant
03-28-2014, 01:40 PM
Unlike many Christians, I don't think God needed to sacrifice Christ in order to forgive sins. After all, he forgave people before Christ. But before he can establish the Kingdom, or the new covenant, he needs a way to deal with the consequences more completely. Act 17:30, Rom 3:25-26. (Note that I am not saying that he completely ignored sin, just that he accepted a general repentant attitude that didn't deal with it in the way that the new covenant does.)

I'm inclined to agree. The point seems to be that we are to think of Christ's sacrifice as an expiation for sins. Jesus does not die in order to propitiate the wrath of God, but to expiate sins. This seems especially clear throughout First John.

The Remonstrant
03-28-2014, 02:56 PM
[B]ut if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses [katharizei] us from all sin. . . . If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse [katharisē] us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:7,9 RSV)1

. . . he is the expiation [hilasmos] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (2:2)

You know that he appeared to take away [arē] sins, and in him there is no sin. (3:5)

In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation [hilasmon] for our sins. (4:10)

Throughout First John there is a special emphasis on the removal of sins. We are given no indication that the Father is the object of propitiation. Sin needs to be cleansed and taken away because it taints the purity of our relationship with the Creator. God's holiness is not the obstacle, but our impurity. Our sins need to be removed, not God's wrath placated by the death of his Son.


Note

1 All Scripture quotations are taken from the Revised Standard Version.

RBerman
03-29-2014, 03:53 AM
The gospels - our main sources for the crucifixion event - in general do not see the crucifixion as 'atonement', whatever that is supposed to mean, or at least not explicitly. We shouldn't import what Paul or the author of Hebrews says about the cross into the gospel narratives, which will most likely result in us missing out what the narratives intend to convey. Rather, we should read the gospels as story - of course with Jesus' self-understanding of his own death at the center - and let them tell of the event from their own perspectives (keeping in mind that each gospel differs in perspective and emphases).
1) The gospels don't "see" the cruxifixion as anything explicitly; they give the historical account with very little editorial elaboration about its significance. However, they do place the event within the Passover context which implicitly draws in the idea of blood shed and spread to protect God's people from God's adverse judgment.

2) I appreciate your comment about understanding the gospels on their own terms. It drives me nuts when OT passages especially are immediately used to discuss Jesus without a thought for what they meant in their local context. Conversely, a bare biblical theology which ignores systematic considerations is no proper theology at all. If elsewhere in the Bible, God tells us what various historical accounts mean, then we are bound to incorporate what he tells us into our understand of the historical sections themselves.

3) John's gospel, at least, (1:29) is clear that Jesus came as "the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." This would have called to mind the Passover lamb of Exodus 12 as I mentioned above (1 Peter 1:12 specifically links Jesus to Exodus 12's "lamb without blemish"), as well as the "lamb led to the slaughter" who bears God's wrath for the sake of the people in Isaiah 53. Acts 8:26-35 specifically calls out this connection between Isaiah 53's "lamb" and Jesus as being obvious to the first Christians, in the full light of Jesus' death and resurrection.

4) None of this should be understood as prejudicial to other aspects of Jesus' person and work; propitiation for sin was not his only purpose, as Hedrick rightly notes. But it certainly is one key aspect, and any theory of Jesus which omits it is missing something important.

Paprika
03-29-2014, 04:33 AM
1) The gospels don't "see" the cruxifixion as anything explicitly; they give the historical account with very little editorial elaboration about its significance. However, they do place the event within the Passover context which implicitly draws in the idea of blood shed and spread to protect God's people from God's adverse judgment.
Actually, I think Luke, at least, is pretty explicit with exodon, as The Remonstrant pointed out above, coupled with Jesus's quotation of Isaiah in Luke 4. That is:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”


2) I appreciate your comment about understanding the gospels on their own terms. It drives me nuts when OT passages especially are immediately used to discuss Jesus without a thought for what they meant in their local context. Conversely, a bare biblical theology which ignores systematic considerations is no proper theology at all. If elsewhere in the Bible, God tells us what various historical accounts mean, then we are bound to incorporate what he tells us into our understand of the historical sections themselves.
Yes, I agree.

RBerman
03-29-2014, 04:39 AM
The whole notion that the Father requires a payment of some sort to quell his wrath strikes me as a rather pagan notion. If we are to maintain a unity within the godhead, there is no possible way the Father could ever be at enmity with the Son. God is not at enmity with God.


Yes. I think we should be careful not to conflate penal substitution with substitution itself. In other words, Jesus may be considered our substitute, yes, but this does not mean his substitutionary work on our behalf was necessarily penal in nature. Substitutionary atonement may be affirmed, but penal substitution need not be.


This impression seems difficult to shake, however, seeing as evangelicals typically assume "substitutionary atonement" and penal substitution are synonymous. They are not.

Why would intra-divine enmity be required in order for Christ to pay a penalty owed by someone else, as in "penal substitution?" One might argue that the whole OT system of animal sacrifices seems like "a rather pagan notion" compared to what we are used to today, but the fact that such practices were common throughout the ancient world could just as easily speak to a shared original understanding, albeit corrupted and variegated over time. Certainly the concept of a burnt offering is one of the oldest in the Bible (Gen 4:3-4), and the idea that offerings are in some sense for sin is almost as ancient (Job 1:5). As to what that sense is, read on:


The point seems to be that we are to think of Christ's sacrifice as an expiation for sins. Jesus does not die in order to propitiate the wrath of God, but to expiate sins. This seems especially clear throughout First John.



[B]ut if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses [katharizei] us from all sin. . . . If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse [katharisē] us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:7,9 RSV)1

. . . he is the expiation [hilasmos] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (2:2)

You know that he appeared to take away [arē] sins, and in him there is no sin. (3:5)

In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation [hilasmon] for our sins. (4:10)

Throughout First John there is a special emphasis on the removal of sins. We are given no indication that the Father is the object of propitiation. Sin needs to be cleansed and taken away because it taints the purity of our relationship with the Creator. God's holiness is not the obstacle, but our impurity. Our sins need to be removed, not God's wrath placated by the death of his Son.

Why did you choose to use RSV for this quotation? Your usual preference is ESV, which uses "propitiation" for hilasmon-group words not only in 1 John 2:10 and 4:4, but most tellingly in Hebrews 2:17, which describes the OT sacrificial system as involving "propitiation for the sins of the people." If 1 John were as clear on "expiation, not propitiation" as you suggest, then we wouldn't see so many Bible translations (not only ESV, but also KJV, ASV, NKJV, HCSB, NASB, Young's, Douay-Rheims, etc.) using "propitiation" here, would we? (Interestingly, though the 1599 Geneva Bible uses "redemption" or "reconciliation" in these passages, its footnote for Romans 3 leaves no guess as to the sense meant: "Christ is he, which suffered punishment for our sins, and in whom we have remission of them.") Doesn't it beg the question of whether 1 John teaches propitiation or not, when you choose to quote only the one translation (one considered dubious among evangelicals due to its origins in the liberal mainline) that uses "expiation" rather than the several that use "propitiation," especially when your preferred translation uses "propitiation"? At the very least, transparency demands that you acknowledge the controversy over the translation of hilasmon-group words before citing a translation that leans toward a minority position. The issue will not be decided by the translation of that single word, but by the general question of whether the Bible depicts sin as something that generates wrath in God, thus requiring propitiation in the first place.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the idea of sacrifice protecting God's people from God's judgment appears in Exodus 12. The OT is quite clear that the sacrifices are to remove the guilt of sin (e.g. Leviticus 4:13,22; 5:1-6; etc.), and that guilt makes one liable to wrathful punishment by God (Exodus 32:7-10; Lev 10:1-6; 18:25; etc.). This makes it quite difficult to separate expiation from propitiation, practically speaking, although conceptually they can be distinguished.

Romans 1-3 commingle the ideas of expiation, forgiveness, and propitiation as well. "The righteousness of God" (1:17) correlates with faith, whereas "the wrath of God" (1:18) is upon those who do not honor God (1:21) and who thus "deserve to die." (1:32) God's "wrath and fury" are upon "those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth." (2:8) We need to obtain "the righteousness of God through faith in Christ Jesus for all who believe" (3:22) so that we can receive justification, the favorable judgment, "in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith." If one reduces hilasmos to mere expiation rather than including propitiation, it becomes difficult to see what all the wrath/fury/"deserve to die" fuss was about, or how Jesus addresses it. Contra Hedrick, Romans 4:1-12 does indeed use an accounting metaphor to explain the way that righteousness can be forensically reckoned to the unrighteous, through faith.

So while one can readily assent that atonement does have an element of expiation, I do not see on what grounds one can deny an aspect of quelling God's wrath toward people for their sins, i.e. propitiation. God does not treat sin simply as a disease we have haplessly acquired, and from which we must be cured. There is an element of blame and justice as well.


We may say that Jesus was offered as a purification offering for sins, yes, but none of the texts you cited speak of Jesus being offered as a ransom to the Father in order to appease God's wrath.

I agree with you and Hedrick that the ransom metaphor can be taken too far. The "ransom" texts of the NT (Matt 20:28; Mark 10:45; 1 Tim 2:6; 1 Peter 1:18; Rev 5:9) do not specify God as the one to whom ransom is being paid. The idea in view there is simply that of rescue by payment: rescue from "the futile ways inherited by your forefathers" (1 Tim 2:6), or from "the power of Sheol" (Hosea 13:14), or from foes and perils (Isaiah 35:10; 43:3; 51:11; Jer 31:11). This doesn't mean that the wrath of God is not a peril for which we need a solution, of course. Those whose sins are not covered are enemies of God (Rom 5:10; 11:28; Phil 3:18). Some try to construe this enmity in only one direction, i.e. solely from man toward God, with God not bearing any wrath toward those who hate him, but that doesn't do justice to the text in my estimation.

dacristoy
03-29-2014, 12:42 PM
I'm inclined to agree. The point seems to be that we are to think of Christ's sacrifice as an expiation for sins. Jesus does not die in order to propitiate the wrath of God, but to expiate sins. This seems especially clear throughout First John.

The soul that sinnith, it shall die. This is the decree of God...
Christ paid that penalty through his death for all of us. Ergo we were ransomed by the death of Christ to appease the righteousness and holiness of this decree issued by God...

14.Matthew 20:28
Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Matthew 20:27-29 (in Context) Matthew 20 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations

15.Mark 10:45
For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Mark 10:44-46 (in Context) Mark 10 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations

16.1 Timothy 2:6
Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
1 Timothy 2:5-7 (in Context) 1 Timothy 2 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations

To whom did he give himself as a ransom for many...

Paprika
03-29-2014, 02:21 PM
Besides the exodus, the cross is the climax of the kingdom of God/heaven and Messiah narrative strands in the gospels - because it is at the cross the Jesus is publicly proclaimed King. One could almost say that at the cross He was paradoxically enthroned.

hedrick
03-29-2014, 02:48 PM
The soul that sinnith, it shall die. This is the decree of God...
Christ paid that penalty through his death for all of us. Ergo we were ransomed by the death of Christ to appease the righteousness and holiness of this decree issued by God...

Just to be clear: the point of this passage is not that anyone who sins in any way will die unless someone else dies for them. Ezek 18 is

* about unrepentant people, as vs 21 makes clear; to be saved one only has to repent
* a repudiation of the idea that children take on responsibility for their parents' sins

If anything, taken literally, it would be a rejection of the idea of transferring responsibility to anyone else.

dacristoy
03-29-2014, 07:08 PM
Just to be clear: the point of this passage is not that anyone who sins in any way will die unless someone else dies for them. Ezek 18 is

* about unrepentant people, as vs 21 makes clear; to be saved one only has to repent
* a repudiation of the idea that children take on responsibility for their parents' sins

If anything, taken literally, it would be a rejection of the idea of transferring responsibility to anyone else.

I have to agree with you here. my point is still valid, wrong scripture chosen for support... Huummmm, now where is that drawing board?

The Remonstrant
03-30-2014, 04:59 AM
Why did you choose to use RSV for this quotation? Your usual preference is ESV, which uses "propitiation" for hilasmon-group words not only in 1 John 2:10 [sic] and 4:4 [sic], but most tellingly in Hebrews 2:17, which describes the OT sacrificial system as involving "propitiation for the sins of the people." If 1 John were as clear on "expiation, not propitiation" as you suggest, then we wouldn't see so many Bible translations (not only ESV, but also KJV, ASV, NKJV, HCSB, NASB, Young's, Douay-Rheims, etc.) using "propitiation" here, would we? (Interestingly, though the 1599 Geneva Bible uses "redemption" or "reconciliation" in these passages, its footnote for Romans 3 leaves no guess as to the sense meant: "Christ is he, which suffered punishment for our sins, and in whom we have remission of them.") Doesn't it beg the question of whether 1 John teaches propitiation or not, when you choose to quote only the one translation (one considered dubious among evangelicals due to its origins in the liberal mainline) that uses "expiation" rather than the several that use "propitiation," especially when your preferred translation uses "propitiation"? At the very least, transparency demands that you acknowledge the controversy over the translation of hilasmon-group words before citing a translation that leans toward a minority position. The issue will not be decided by the translation of that single word, but by the general question of whether the Bible depicts sin as something that generates wrath in God, thus requiring propitiation in the first place.

English Translations of 1 John 2:2 and 4:10: Expiation, Propitiation, or Atoning Sacrifice

I had originally thought of including a footnote in my post above where I briefly address the translation issue, but decided not to. My intent was not to hide the evidence. I knew this would come up and I would almost certainly have to address it at some point anyway.

You are correct that numerous (i.e., the majority) of conservative formal equivalence English translations of the Bible render hilasmos/hilasmon "propitiation" in 1 John 2:2 and 4:10, as in the English Standard Version:


He is the propitiation [hilasmos] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (2:2)

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation [hilasmon] for our sins. (4:10)

On the other hand, the various English dynamic equivalence translations of the Bible almost invariably interpret hilasmos neutrally, as in the New Revised Standard Version:


. . . he is the atoning sacrifice [hilasmos] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (2:2)

In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice [hilasmon] for our sins. (4:10)

And, as I quoted above, the Revised Standard Version prefers "expiation" to "propitiation" (or even the rather neutral "atoning sacrifice"):


. . . he is the expiation [hilasmos] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (2:2)

In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation [hilasmon] for our sins. (4:10)

You are correct that the RSV stands in the minority in opting for "expiation" instead of "propitiation" or "atoning sacrifice".2


Notes

1 All emphases to translations added.

2 While choosing to render hilasmos/hilasmon as "propitiation" in 1 John 2:2 and 4:10, the translation committee of the Lexham English Bible were at least honest enough to have included "expiation" and "atoning sacrifice" in the LEB's margin notes as possible alternative renderings of the term. Many conservative English translations fail to note any alternatives to "propitiation" in these texts (e.g., ESV, HCSB, NASB, NKJV). I find this absence especially negligible in the recent Holman Christian Standard Bible, which is easily one of the most heavily footnoted English translations currently available on the market. Why did the HCSB translation committee omit any mention of the controversy from the Holman Bible's margins or its bullet notes? There appears to be a real bias on the part of the various evangelical, conservative translation committees in favoring "propitiation" over alternate renderings. "Propitiation" would, of course, seem to better comport with a theory of penal substitution than simply "expiation".

The Remonstrant
03-30-2014, 06:17 AM
RBerman:

There is more to respond to, of course, but I wanted to get that out of the way first.

Paprika
03-30-2014, 07:17 AM
I have to agree with you here. my point is still valid, wrong scripture chosen for support... Huummmm, now where is that drawing board?
Hebrews: "Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins."

The Remonstrant
03-30-2014, 07:42 AM
It is my official position that Hydrox are superior to Oreos.


Now, that is a false teaching.

How did I miss this post?

:smile:

Yes, I quite like dry humor myself.

hedrick
03-30-2014, 10:47 AM
Hebrews: "Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins."

Again, it's important to see the context of this verse. Hebrews sees blood as purification. It does not speak of sacrifice as punishment, nor of God as needing appeasement. Indeed 9:15 ff seems to see Jesus' death as a covenant sacrifice establishing the new covenant. It refers specifically to the covenant sacrifice by which Moses establishes the first covenant. 9:20 cites the passage that the Words of Institution cite: "“This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you.” 10:5-6 cites Ps 51 on God not needing the OT sacrifices, and ends up (again, paralleling the Words of Institution) citing Jer 31:31 on the new covenant.

The overall impression one gets from Heb 9 - 10 is that it is based on the Words of Institution, and sees the purpose of Jesus' death as purifying us by writing the Law into our hearts, not appeasing God's anger.

Paprika
03-30-2014, 11:36 AM
hedrick: My bad, I had taken dacristoy to be arguing for substitution instead of penal substitution.

hedrick
03-30-2014, 11:50 AM
hedrick: My bad, I had taken dacristoy to be arguing for substitution instead of penal substitution.

It's possible that I overreacted, but his position seems to be "Christ paid that penalty through his death for all of us. Ergo we were ransomed by the death of Christ to appease the righteousness and holiness of this decree issued by God..." I object to any concept that the goal of the atonement is to appease God.

dacristoy
03-30-2014, 02:51 PM
OK gentlemen. guess this is a learning experience for me…

Hebrews 9: 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

To "whom" is scripturally specified, but the why and for what is not... Why...

This passage neatly summarizes the Gospel of Jesus Christ: that he died for our sins and rose again from the dead. True faith in Jesus means believing in his life, death, and resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:2-5 (NIV)
2 By this gospel you are saved,(A) if you hold firmly(B) to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received(C) I passed on to you(D) as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins(E) according to the Scriptures,(F) 4 that he was buried,(G) that he was raised(H) on the third day(I) according to the Scriptures,(J) 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,[b](K) and then to the Twelve.(L)

hedrick
03-30-2014, 03:56 PM
To "whom" is scripturally specified, but the why and for what is not... Why...


That's the reason for the discussion. Christ dying for sins is all over the place. What's not so clear is how his death deals with them. I've given some suggestions, based primarily on Jesus' words and Rom 9, but I don't think you'll find most of the theories of the atonement, particularly not penal satisfaction,.

The quotation from Heb 9:14 is interesting, but I'm not sure quite how you understand it. All offerings are ultimately to God, whether sin offerings, covenant sacrifices, or even fellowship offerings. Indeed our whole lives should be an offering to God. (Rom 12:1) One of the biggest problems in this area is that people stitch together sentences from all over Scripture into ideas that none of the authors were thinking of.

dacristoy
03-30-2014, 06:35 PM
That's the reason for the discussion. Christ dying for sins is all over the place. What's not so clear is how his death deals with them. I've given some suggestions, but I don't think you'll find most of the theories of the atonement, particularly not penal satisfaction, based primarily on Jesus' words and Rom 9.

The quotation from Heb 9:14 is interesting, but I'm not sure quite how you understand it. All offerings are ultimately to God, whether sin offerings, covenant sacrifices, or even fellowship offerings. One of the biggest problems in this area is that people stitch together sentences from all over Scripture into ideas that none of the authors were thinking of.
I use to be sure as to how I understood it, not as positive as I was before. More study before I reply...
May God Bless...

hedrick
03-30-2014, 07:04 PM
I use to be sure as to how I understood it, not as positive as I was before. More study before I reply...
May God Bless...

One of the things that surprises me is that Reformed theology fixated on penal substitution. Calvin himself used many images of the atonement. In the chapter in the Institutes he primarily used Rom 9. He said that Christ' obedience became ours through our faith in Christ. So how did penal substitution come to be the mandatory Reformed understanding?

My theory is that it was at least in part a response to the modernist crisis of the late 19th / early 20th Cent. It led conservatives to defend what was being attacked so strongly that it came to take on a role that it hadn't before.

Take a look at a reasonable presentation on theories of the atonement. Wikipedia has a good introduction, then separate articles on the major views. You'll find a variety of models, often coexisting with each other. But penal substitution is relatively late.

But to me the critical question is what the goal of the atonement is. Is it, as in Hebrews, to purify us, or is it to appease God? There's lots of talk about ransom, atonement, etc. But I have been unable to find anyplace in Scripture where it says that God can't forgive us without punishment.

The difficulty is that certain understandings have become so ingrained that we read words, and they call in associations that aren't explicitly there. Hence phrases about Jesus dying for our sins, being the lamb of God or our ransom, all of which are neutral in terms of specific models of the atonement, get cited as if they meant our favorite theory. I've participated in many of these discussions, and so far the only passages I've found that really talk about how the atonement works suggest that its goal is to regenerate us. Rom 6, Jesus words, and Heb 9 -10 speak of that in different ways.

I find it particularly odd that few classical treatments of the atonement seem to pick up on both Jesus and Heb 9 saying that Jesus' death was a covenant sacrifice. Indeed one particularly conservative Reformed author argued with me that there was no such thing in the OT as a covenant sacrifice and thus Jesus quotation of Ex 24:8 (also in Heb 9:20) can't possibly refer to Moses' covenant sacrifice. (You'll find covenant sacrifices also associated with establishment of the covenants with Noah and Abraham.)

That understanding that Jesus' death (and resurrection) purifies us fits perfectly into Reformed theology, since Calvin's ordo salutis starts with God deciding to save us, grafting us into Christ, and regenerating us through that union with him. Faith, justification and sanctification are a result.

Paprika
03-30-2014, 10:14 PM
It's possible that I overreacted, but his position seems to be "Christ paid that penalty through his death for all of us. Ergo we were ransomed by the death of Christ to appease the righteousness and holiness of this decree issued by God..."
I think a good question that a penal view has to answer will be what punishment did Christ bear for us that we would otherwise have to bear? It's certainly not death - since many Christians have died. Probably the answer would be that Christ was separated from God for us...which would explain the heavy support for the separation interpretation of Matthew 27:46/Mark 15:34.


I object to any concept that the goal of the atonement is to appease God.
But surely you cannot deny that God's wrath is upon sinners - both against their unrighteousness (Romans 1) which will be meted out on the day of judgment (Romans 2), but not upon those in Christ - having been justified, we are at peace with God. So the aim of the atonement may not have been appeasement, but it resulted in appeasement. Indeed, as Paul says, "since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God" , which is of course, future tense.

Paprika
03-30-2014, 10:22 PM
I would like to highlight an often undernoticed aspect of the substitution effected by Christ death. From Galatians 3:


For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
For Paul, the subject of "us"- probably the Jews- were under the curse of the Law. However, Jesus, who wasn't under the curse, became a curse "for us", with the result that we have "redeemed" from the curse, we are no longer under the curse. This, of course, fits into the logic of the letter: having been set free from the curse, do you Galatians want to rely on the works of the law and be under the curse again?

Now, this is the point of the substitution: that the blessing of Abraham might "come to the Gentiles", so that they might "receive the promised Spirit through faith". I believe that the blessing is adoption as sons of God as per the parallel in Galatians 4:
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because we are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts.

Of course, here it is adoption and not "merely" atonement - but I do not mean to say that these two are antithetical and have to be played off against one another. Rather, my point is that our usual categories and models aren't big enough or completely appropriate, and we, as always, have to go back to the texts.

hedrick
03-31-2014, 04:54 AM
First, Christ becoming the curse seems to be about Gentiles. After all, the section climaxes in the statement "in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles"

My understanding is that Christ effectively became a Gentile, one cursed by the Law. One can argue that he became in effect a sinner, but sin isn't actually mentioned in this section, and it seems very specifically aimed at Gentiles. However the argument can clearly be extended to include sinners in general and not just Gentiles, so I don't think that distinction is so important.

So if Christ became one outside the Law, and thus joined us, how does that save us? The argument continues in 15-18. Paul says that the promise (of free justification?) was made to Abraham and his offspring, and his offspring was Christ. Those who Christ joins and identifies himself with outside the Law become his people and receive through him the promise of justification. One commentary I read agreed with Paprika that the blessing is adoption. That's certainly introduced in 4 as a benefit. But that section of 3 seems to be focused on justification by faith.

Paprika
03-31-2014, 06:10 AM
One commentary I read agreed with Paprika that the blessing is adoption. That's certainly introduced in 4 as a benefit. But that section of 3 seems to be focused on justification by faith.
The thing is that having faith and thus being justified is inseparable from becoming a son of Abraham.



Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”

Also Romans 4:


That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”

Of course, being the son of Abraham is not necessarily synonymous with being a son of God.

dacristoy
03-31-2014, 08:49 AM
hedrick: My bad, I had taken dacristoy to be arguing for substitution instead of penal substitution.

What criteria do you use to separate the two?

From my perspective there is one penalty (Penal) for sin (disobedience) and that penalty is death, Christ died for our sins. The penalty for sin is death. Through his death we are once again allowed to live....

Paprika
03-31-2014, 08:59 AM
What criteria do you use to separate the two?
Penal substitution is a subset of substitution.

RBerman
03-31-2014, 12:33 PM
RBerman: There is more to respond to, of course, but I wanted to get that out of the way first.

Thank you. In light of the translation data that you and I recounted, do you still think it's accurate to say that 1 John clearly teaches expiation rather than propitiation?


How did I miss this post?

:smile:

Yes, I quite like dry humor myself.

But dry Oreos are always better with milk.

RBerman
03-31-2014, 12:45 PM
One of the things that surprises me is that Reformed theology fixated on penal substitution. Calvin himself used many images of the atonement. In the chapter in the Institutes he primarily used Rom 9. He said that Christ' obedience became ours through our faith in Christ. So how did penal substitution come to be the mandatory Reformed understanding? My theory is that it was at least in part a response to the modernist crisis of the late 19th / early 20th Cent. It led conservatives to defend what was being attacked so strongly that it came to take on a role that it hadn't before.

I agree. I am opposed to a strictly penal substutitionary view of the atonement, just as I am opposed to a view which denies a penal substitutionary element to the atonement. An overemphasis on penal substitution, to the detriment of a moral exemplar element for instance, tends toward just the sort of easy-believism that one finds in the unhealthier sectors of the 20th century evangelical church. The opposite error, downplaying penal substitution in favor of moral exemplar or Christus Victor themes, tends toward legalism, as we imagine that acting like Jesus can earn us God's favor. Christus Victor alone tends to neglect Christ's death as an incidental that was necessary for his triumphant resurrection. Even Ransom theory, properly understood, has its place in reminding us that we have been rescued from the world and must not be of it. When I teach on the atonement, I teach all four.


But to me the critical question is what the goal of the atonement is. Is it, as in Hebrews, to purify us, or is it to appease God? There's lots of talk about ransom, atonement, etc. But I have been unable to find anyplace in Scripture where it says that God can't forgive us without punishment.
"Can't" may not be the right word. How about "won't"? In Roman 3, Christ's propitiation is mentioned in the same breath as God being "both just and the justifier." I understand this to mean that, within God's salvation economy, he shows his justice by only justifying those whose sins have been propitiated by Christ, through the faith which unites them to Christ.


That understanding that Jesus' death (and resurrection) purifies us fits perfectly into Reformed theology, since Calvin's ordo salutis starts with God deciding to save us, grafting us into Christ, and regenerating us through that union with him. Faith, justification and sanctification are a result.

Since we are invoking John Calvin, it's only fair to see what he himself has to say about the passage I mentioned:


Being justified freely, etc. A participle is here put for a verb according to the usage of the Greek language. The meaning is, — that since there remains nothing for men, as to themselves, but to perish, being smitten by the just judgment of God, they are to be justified freely through his mercy; for Christ comes to the aid of this misery, and communicates himself to believers, so that they find in him alone all those things in which they are wanting. There is, perhaps, no passage in the whole Scripture which illustrates in a more striking manner the efficacy of his righteousness; for it shows that God’s mercy is the efficient cause, that Christ with his blood is the meritorious cause, that the formal or the instumental cause is faith in the word, and that moreover, the final cause is the glory of the divine justice and goodness.

With regard to the efficient cause, he says, that we are justified freely, and further, by his grace; and he thus repeats the word to show that the whole is from God, and nothing from us. It might have been enough to oppose grace to merits; but lest we should imagine a half kind of grace, he affirms more strongly what he means by a repetition, and claims for God’s mercy alone the whole glory of our righteousness, which the sophists divide into parts and mutilate, that they may not be constrained to confess their own poverty. — Through the redemption, etc. This is the material, — Christ by his obedience satisfied the Father’s justice, (judicium — judgment,) and by undertaking our cause he liberated us from the tyranny of death, by which we were held captive; as on account of the sacrifice which he offered is our guilt removed. Here again is fully confuted the gloss of those who make righteousness a quality; for if we are counted righteous before God, because we are redeemed by a price, we certainly derive from another what is not in us. And Paul immediately explains more clearly what this redemption is, and what is its object, which is to reconcile us to God; for he calls Christ a propitiation, (or, if we prefer an allusion to an ancient type,) a propitiatory. But what he means is, that we are not otherwise just than through Christ propitiating the Father for us. (Calvin's Commentary on Romans 3:24, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom38.vii.viii.html)

Here Calvin affirms the importance of both Christ's active obedience (i.e. his perfect life, that vicariously satisfies God's demand for us to be perfect) and Christ's passive obedience (i.e. his propitiatory death, satisfying God's demand that the guilt of sin be punished). In the following section of his commentary, Calvin goes on to affirm expiation as well, but not to the exclusion of propitiation. Many other examples from Calvin's thoughts could be cited along the same lines.

RBerman
03-31-2014, 01:11 PM
First, Christ becoming the curse seems to be about Gentiles. After all, the section climaxes in the statement "in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles" My understanding is that Christ effectively became a Gentile, one cursed by the Law. One can argue that he became in effect a sinner, but sin isn't actually mentioned in this section, and it seems very specifically aimed at Gentiles. However the argument can clearly be extended to include sinners in general and not just Gentiles, so I don't think that distinction is so important. So if Christ became one outside the Law, and thus joined us, how does that save us? The argument continues in 15-18. Paul says that the promise (of free justification?) was made to Abraham and his offspring, and his offspring was Christ. Those who Christ joins and identifies himself with outside the Law become his people and receive through him the promise of justification. One commentary I read agreed with Paprika that the blessing is adoption. That's certainly introduced in 4 as a benefit. But that section of 3 seems to be focused on justification by faith.

Where do you get that Galatians 3 is about Christ becoming like a Gentile outside the law? Here's the text in question:


For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:10-14)

The ones cursed by the Law in this passage are not Gentiles, but unfaithful Jews. Even the quotation (“Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”) is a reference to the end of Deuteronomy 27, in which this quotation concludes a long list of ways that the Children of Israel can fall under God's curse:


15 “‘Cursed be the man who makes a carved or cast metal image, an abomination to the Lord, a thing made by the hands of a craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen.’
16 “‘Cursed be anyone who dishonors his father or his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
17 “‘Cursed be anyone who moves his neighbor's landmark.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
18 “‘Cursed be anyone who misleads a blind man on the road.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
19 “‘Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
20 “‘Cursed be anyone who lies with his father's wife, because he has uncovered his father's nakedness.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
21 “‘Cursed be anyone who lies with any kind of animal.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
22 “‘Cursed be anyone who lies with his sister, whether the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
23 “‘Cursed be anyone who lies with his mother-in-law.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
24 “‘Cursed be anyone who strikes down his neighbor in secret.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
25 “‘Cursed be anyone who takes a bribe to shed innocent blood.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
26 “‘Cursed be anyone who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

Don't you agree that this list of curses is a warning to the Israelites that they are to avoid doing certain things? So when Paul quotes this text in Galatians 3, his point to a Gentile audience is, "Why do you want to become Jewish anyway? Look at all these laws you'll have to keep perfectly if you want salvation through Judaism! Foolish Galatians. Better to trust in Christ, who took these curses onto himself on the cross, bearing God's wrath. That's the better way to become a 'child of Abraham' who enjoys God's favor."

hedrick
03-31-2014, 04:18 PM
I get that Gal 3 is about Gentiles from the context. vs 8 and 14. I agree that the original passage was what you say. But this would not be the only time Paul repurposed an OT passage. The conclusion of 3:13 is "the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles," not "and so we see that Christ redeemed sinners."

hedrick
03-31-2014, 04:48 PM
As far as I know, everyone agrees that there was some kind of substitution on the cross. If you're willing to throw away everything except the Synoptics you might be able to avoid substitution, though even that would be hard. But the moment you say Christ suffered for us, he is to some extent our substitute. Metaphors such as calling him the Lamb of God point to that. Similarly referring to him as ransom.

I'm about a hardcore against penal substitution as you'll find. But when I teach it in Sunday School I still talk about Jesus as taking the consequences of our sin. The OT sees unrepented sin as polluting the land. The prophets see it as causing God to have foreigners punish Israel. Jesus sees it leading to 70 AD, and on an individual level to judgement.You can see it today. it creates areas of cities where you can't go, and economic crises The Logos didn't deserve that kind of consequence. But if we stay as far from traditional substitution as possible, at the very least the Logos decided to join us and experience the consequences of sin with us. The moment you allow any of Is 53, Heb, Jesus as Lamb, etc, you've got Jesus experience consequences to some extent in our place.

Where I draw the line with penal substitution is the idea that God has to be appeased. He is certainly angry at sin. But the way you deal with that is repentance, maybe even vicarious repentance, though I think Jesus expected us in union with him to experience repentance ourselves. I am not convinced that the NT says that God's anger has to be appeased by Jesus' death. Rather, I think in his love for us, he came to join us and take on the our sin himself and deal with it, thereby renewing our hearts and purifying us (joining the words of institution and Heb 9).

It comes down to whether you understand Rom 3:25 as atonement or propitiation. (The passages in 1 John use the same word and have the same issue.)

Paprika
03-31-2014, 10:22 PM
I get that Gal 3 is about Gentiles from the context. vs 8 and 14. I agree that the original passage was what you say. But this would not be the only time Paul repurposed an OT passage. The conclusion of 3:13 is "the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles," not "and so we see that Christ redeemed sinners."
The law brings a curse. So if Paul speaks of Christ redeeming those under the law from the curse, that must at the very least include Jews who are under the curse.

Re 3:8 and 14: the point has always been that the Gentiles would be blessed through the Jews, so the context shouldn't be treated as either Jew or Gentile.

and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed

Paprika
04-01-2014, 12:48 AM
Just a bit more context for Gal 3: previously Paul writes that


“If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through πίστεως |Ἰησοῦ| Χριστοῦ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by πίστεως Χριστοῦ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

It's rather dense, but I've highlighted the important aspect. This is my understanding: as a Jew, Paul was under the Law. As with all the other Jews, he could not keep the Law fully and was under the curse. Jesus the Messiah was able to keep the Law*, and was not under the curse. Yet He became a curse for them by dying on a tree, because the Law curses those killed on a tree. Now, if a Jew dies he is no longer under the law. But because of how Paul is in the Messiah, the Messiah's death is imputed to them, meaning that those in the Messiah have died, and died to the Law as the Messiah has. This is why Paul can say he has been crucified with the Messiah, and has died to the Law through the Law (cf the parallel train of thought in Romans 7:1-6, especially verse 4).

*which would come out more fully if you translate as subjective genitive, though my reading doesn't hang on this point. I wish to emphasise: how to translate pisteous Christou isn't the main point of this post, so please don't focus on this at the expense of the larger argument, which is to explicate the passages in Galatians 2 and 3.

RBerman
04-01-2014, 06:57 AM
I get that Gal 3 is about Gentiles from the context. vs 8 and 14. I agree that the original passage was what you say. But this would not be the only time Paul repurposed an OT passage. The conclusion of 3:13 is "the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles," not "and so we see that Christ redeemed sinners."

The blessing of Abraham is that he enjoyed God's favor and was promised various benefits as a result. Paul had already outlined the benefits of God's favor in the previous paragraph at the end of Chapter 2. His concern is, "How can I be seen as justified, rather than a sinner?":


We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. (Gal 2:15-21)

Within that Gal 2 context, Paul's message concerning Gentiles in Galatians 3 is that the "promises of Abraham" involve justification, the forgiveness of their sins, the imputation of Christ's own righteousness to them. Gal 2 tells them what they get, and Gal 3 tells them the right (faith) and wrong (law-keeping) ways to try to get it. Paul doesn't quote Genesis 15:6 ("Abraham believed God, and it [belief] was counted toward him as righteousness") in Galatians 3 as he does in the very similar discussion in Romans 4, but the parallelism of the thought seems clear.

RBerman
04-01-2014, 07:22 AM
Where I draw the line with penal substitution is the idea that God has to be appeased. He is certainly angry at sin. But the way you deal with that is repentance, maybe even vicarious repentance, though I think Jesus expected us in union with him to experience repentance ourselves. I am not convinced that the NT says that God's anger has to be appeased by Jesus' death. Rather, I think in his love for us, he came to join us and take on the our sin himself and deal with it, thereby renewing our hearts and purifying us (joining the words of institution and Heb 9).

It comes down to whether you understand Rom 3:25 as atonement or propitiation. (The passages in 1 John use the same word and have the same issue.)
Propitiation is a kind of atonement (reconciliation), so it's not quite right to say that the issue is "propitiation vs atonement." The issue is whether those passages intend to include or exclude propitiation as a significant factor in atonement. If you translate hilasmos and its cognates as "propitiation," as was common in both Vulgate and in extra-biblical texts, then the ball game is over. This was how the early church understood it; in the Vulgate, the "mercy seat" on the Ark of the Covenant was translated into Latin as the propitiatorum, the "place of propitiation" for the OT Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) sacrifice.


Exodus 25:17 (Hebrew) wə·‘ā·śî·ṯā ḵap·pō·reṯ zā·hāḇ ṭā·hō·wr; ’am·mā·ṯa·yim wā·ḥê·ṣî ’ā·rə·kāh, wə·’am·māh wā·ḥê·ṣî rā·ḥə·bāh.

Exodus 25:17 (Septuagint) καὶ ποιήσεις ἱλαστήριον ἐπίθεμα χρυσίου καθαροῦ δύο πήχεων καὶ ἡμίσους τὸ μῆκος καὶ πήχεος καὶ ἡμίσους τὸ πλάτος

Exodus 25:17 (Vulgate) Facies et propitiatorium de auro mundissimo: duos cubitos et dimidium tenebit longitudo ejus, et cubitum ac semissem latitudo.

Exodus 25:17 (ESV) “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth."

We see the same comparing the Vulgate, Greek, and English for Hebrews 9:5, as part of the discussion of how Jesus fulfills the Levitical sacrificial system. In the description of the Ark, we find:


Hebrews 9:5 (Greek NT) ὑπεράνω δὲ αὐτῆς χερουβιμ δόξης κατασκιάζοντα τὸ ἱλαστήριον περὶ ὧν οὐκ ἔστιν νῦν λέγειν κατὰ μέρος

Hebrews 9:5 (Vulgate) superque eam erant cherubim gloriæ obumbrantia propitiatorium: de quibus non est modo dicendum per singula.

Hebrews 9:5 (ESV) Above it [the Ark of the Covenant] were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.

The word used for the mercy seat, ἱλαστήριον in Greek, propitiatorium in Latin, is the same word which appears in Romans 3:25 to describe Jesus' atoning work:


Romans 3:25 (Greek NT) ὃν προέθετο ὁ θεὸς ἱλαστήριον διὰ τῆς πίστεως ἐν τῷ αὐτοῦ αἵματι εἰς ἔνδειξιν τῆς δικαιοσύνης αὐτοῦ διὰ τὴν πάρεσιν τῶν προγεγονότων ἁμαρτημάτων

Romans 3:25 (Vulgate) quem proposuit Deus propitiationem per fidem in sanguine ipsius, ad ostensionem justitiæ suæ propter remissionem præcedentium delictorum

Romans 3:25 (ESV) whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

The point is that the same propitiation which the sacrifice on the mercy seat indicated in the OT, Jesus' sacrifice indicates in the NT. You would have to argue that the Vulgate was simply wrong in these places, that Hebrew kapporeth, Greek hilasterion, and their cognates should not have been translated into Latin propitiatorum and propitiatonem, and into English "propitiation," which is simply a transliteration of the Latin word and is intended to have the same meaning.

But even putting that aside, I must disagree that the argument comes down to just the translation of those single words in those single verses. Those words got those translations in those verses precisely because the whole thrust of the Levitical system was that God requires appeasement for sins. It's unpalatable to some moderns, but true all the same. I showed in previous posts how Leviticus links man's guilt from sin, God's wrath over sin, and the propitiatory sacrifices all together. Jesus came to fulfill that Levitical system by offering himself as the appeasement.

Out of love, the Son did this. Out of love, the Father made this plan. We appreciate God's love most fully when we comprehend this. We don't do God any favors by denying the very real issue of propitiation which he has revealed to us.

footwasher
04-01-2014, 08:32 AM
I've often studied this explanation, but have never found out why the Jewish translators of the Septuagint preferred expiation to propitiation:

Quote
The case for translating hilasterion as "expiation" instead of "propitiation" was put forward by C. H. Dodd in 1935 and at first gained wide support. As a result, hilasterion has been translated as "expiation" in the RSV and other modern versions. Dodd argued that in pagan Greek the translation of hilasterion was indeed to propitiate, but that in the Septuagint (the oldest Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament) that kapporeth (Hebrew for "atone") is often translated with words that mean "to cleanse or remove" (Dodd, "The Bible and the Greeks", p 93). This view was challenged by Leon Morris who argued that because of the focus in the book of Romans on God's wrath, that the concept of hilasterion needed to include the appeasement of God's wrath (Morris, Apostolic Preaching of the Cross, p 155).
Theologians stress the idea of propitiation because it specifically addresses the aspect of the Atonement dealing with God's wrath. Critics of penal substitutionary atonement state that seeing the Atonement as appeasing God is a pagan idea that makes God seem tyrannical ([[Stricken by God?, Eerdmans: 2007). In response to this theologians have traditionally stressed that propitiation should not be understood as appeasing or mollifying God in the sense of a bribe or of it making an angry God love us, because it is God who—both in the Old and New Testaments—provides the propitiation. "I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls" (Lev 17:11). God, out of his love and justice, renders Himself favorable by his own action.
On this point proponents of penal substitution are virtually unanimous. John Stott writes that propitiation "does not make God gracious...God does not love us because Christ died for us, Christ died for us because God loves us" (The Cross of Christ, p 174). John Calvin, quoting Augustine from John's Gospel cx.6, writes, "Our being reconciled by the death of Christ must not be understood as if the Son reconciled us, in order that the Father, then hating, might begin to love us" (Institutes, II:16:4).

http://propitiation.askdefine.com/

RBerman
04-01-2014, 03:44 PM
I've often studied this explanation, but have never found out why the Jewish translators of the Septuagint preferred expiation to propitiation:

Quote
The case for translating hilasterion as "expiation" instead of "propitiation" was put forward by C. H. Dodd in 1935 and at first gained wide support. As a result, hilasterion has been translated as "expiation" in the RSV and other modern versions. Dodd argued that in pagan Greek the translation of hilasterion was indeed to propitiate, but that in the Septuagint (the oldest Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament) that kapporeth (Hebrew for "atone") is often translated with words that mean "to cleanse or remove" (Dodd, "The Bible and the Greeks", p 93). This view was challenged by Leon Morris who argued that because of the focus in the book of Romans on God's wrath, that the concept of hilasterion needed to include the appeasement of God's wrath (Morris, Apostolic Preaching of the Cross, p 155).
Theologians stress the idea of propitiation because it specifically addresses the aspect of the Atonement dealing with God's wrath. Critics of penal substitutionary atonement state that seeing the Atonement as appeasing God is a pagan idea that makes God seem tyrannical ([[Stricken by God?, Eerdmans: 2007). In response to this theologians have traditionally stressed that propitiation should not be understood as appeasing or mollifying God in the sense of a bribe or of it making an angry God love us, because it is God who—both in the Old and New Testaments—provides the propitiation. "I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls" (Lev 17:11). God, out of his love and justice, renders Himself favorable by his own action.
On this point proponents of penal substitution are virtually unanimous. John Stott writes that propitiation "does not make God gracious...God does not love us because Christ died for us, Christ died for us because God loves us" (The Cross of Christ, p 174). John Calvin, quoting Augustine from John's Gospel cx.6, writes, "Our being reconciled by the death of Christ must not be understood as if the Son reconciled us, in order that the Father, then hating, might begin to love us" (Institutes, II:16:4).

http://propitiation.askdefine.com/

I find that a helpful clarification; God's love is logically prior to the propitiation of God's wrath, and indeed is the engine behind said propitiation.

hedrick
04-01-2014, 03:45 PM
For me, the problem both with propitiation and appeasement is that they suggest something that convinces God to do something. But as RBerman points out, advocates of penal substitution don't mean that. Calvin is very clear that despite the fall, God finds something in us that he cares about, and establishes the cross as a way to save us. That's why I think it make more sense to say that sin creates a discombobulation of the universe which has to be dealt with (no, God can't just ignore it without damage), and Jesus takes it on himself. When you allow for appease and propitiate not really meaning what they sound like, it's not clear to me whether there's much of a difference.

I conjecture that this is why the LXX translators chose not to use propitiate, because in normal Greek usage it meant something that not even RBerman would want to say.

But I don't see why Rom 3:25 is such a key point in supporting propitiation. It just says that God had passed over sin but now deals with it through Christ's death. It seems pretty neutral in terms of explanation.

RBerman
04-01-2014, 03:52 PM
For me, the problem both with propitiation and appeasement is that they suggest something that convinces God to do something. But as RBerman points out, advocates of penal substitution don't mean that. Calvin is very clear that despite the fall, God finds something in us that he cares about, and establishes the cross as a way to save us. That's why I think it make more sense to say that sin creates a discombobulation of the universe which has to be dealt with (no, God can't just ignore it without damage), and Jesus takes it on himself. When you allow for appease and propitiate not really meaning what they sound like, it's not clear to me whether there's much of a difference.

I conjecture that this is why the LXX translators chose not to use propitiate, because in normal Greek usage it meant something that not even RBerman would want to say.

Which Septuagint passages are we talking about?

Certainly the Christian view of propitiation places God's will logically prior to everything, whereas the pagan view of propitiation generally denies that the gods have even simple foreknowledge, let alone Calvinistic foreordination. For a pagan, the gods have passions which get riled up and have to get calmed down by sacrifices so that they don't kick the cat, so to speak. Whereas for Christians, God's wrath/fury over sin is not just a pouty snit, but a result of his holy righteousness which brooks no rebellion. Just as God's love is not some abstract emotion but is our way of describing God's favorable disposition which causes him to perform certain good deeds toward people, so too God's wrath is not abstract but describes the reality that due to sin, divinely ordained adverse repercussions (not just impersonal tit-for-tat karma) are on the way. In his love, God chose to bear those adverse repercussions himself, in and through Christ. Thus is God both just and the justifier.

hedrick
04-01-2014, 03:57 PM
Which Septuagint passages are we talking about?

You said "but have never found out why the Jewish translators of the Septuagint preferred expiation to propitiation:" That's what I was referring to.

RBerman
04-01-2014, 03:59 PM
You said "but have never found out why the Jewish translators of the Septuagint preferred expiation to propitiation:" That's what I was referring to.

Actually, that was Footwasher who said that. I don't know what passages he's talking about either.

hedrick
04-01-2014, 04:14 PM
Looking at our discussion, it seems to me that “appease” has two problems:

* it is misleading
* it focuses the atonement in the wrong place

It is misleading because at least in English “appease” is a loaded word. It implies things about God that aren’t true.

I think it focuses the atonement in the wrong place because it suggests that our main problem is that God wants to or needs to punish us, and he has to find a way to avoid that.

It’s certainly true that sin can result in punishment. But Christ’s death is part of a way of dealing with that that starts by changing our relationship to God. Yes, it averts his wrath. But it averts it as a side effect of justification. Being grafted into Christ changes our relationship with God. Forgiveness is an implication of that. But the basic function of the atonement is to set up a situation where we can be reconciled with God, which means we are no longer his enemy, and thus in the judgement Christ will be by our side. Appeasing God’s wrath implies to me that the atonement is focused somehow on getting rid of God’s wrath directly, not in changing our relationship to him to one where wrath no longer applies.

This terminology tends to support a concept of Christianity (which I'm sure RBerman does not support) that its main goal is to save our butts from hell. That's an effect, and Jesus is not above using it for motivation, but the main purpose is to reconcile us with God and make of followers of God and members of his Kingdom.

robrecht
04-01-2014, 04:15 PM
I find that a helpful clarification; God's love is logically prior to the propitiation of God's wrath, and indeed is the engine behind said propitiation.How can we say what is logically prior in God?

RBerman
04-01-2014, 06:36 PM
How can we say what is logically prior in God?

Only with great trepidation. We know of God's wrath over sin. Yet, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

RBerman
04-01-2014, 06:42 PM
Looking at our discussion, it seems to me that “appease” has two problems:

* it is misleading
* it focuses the atonement in the wrong place

It is misleading because at least in English “appease” is a loaded word. It implies things about God that aren’t true.

The same could be said of every human term applied to God. He's not identical to our own fathers, for instance. Yet by way of analogy, we routinely apply to God terms which imperfectly fit the use of those same terms apply in other settings. So we use the term in question and then clarify the boundaries of its applicability.


I think it focuses the atonement in the wrong place because it suggests that our main problem is that God wants to or needs to punish us, and he has to find a way to avoid that.

It’s certainly true that sin can result in punishment. But Christ’s death is part of a way of dealing with that that starts by changing our relationship to God. Yes, it averts his wrath. But it averts it as a side effect of justification. Being grafted into Christ changes our relationship with God. Forgiveness is an implication of that. But the basic function of the atonement is to set up a situation where we can be reconciled with God, which means we are no longer his enemy, and thus in the judgement Christ will be by our side. Appeasing God’s wrath implies to me that the atonement is focused somehow on getting rid of God’s wrath directly, not in changing our relationship to him to one where wrath no longer applies.

This terminology tends to support a concept of Christianity (which I'm sure RBerman does not support) that its main goal is to save our butts from hell. That's an effect, and Jesus is not above using it for motivation, but the main purpose is to reconcile us with God and make of followers of God and members of his Kingdom.

"Main goal" depends entirely on what other aspects of Christ's atoning work one is willing to affirm. As I've said before, a bare penal substitution view of atonement leads to an unhealthy easy-believism and to antinomianism. And conversely, rejection of penal substitution leads to some combination of a theoretical neglect of God's holiness and justice, and/or a legalistic attempt to earn God's favor by following Christ's example. So yes, a lopsided penal view is a problem. But not a fully orbed view of the atonement which includes penal substitution alongside other balancing truths.

I see it similarly to how justification without adoption or sanctification causes problems. The concepts can, and must, be distinguished, even though they co-occur. It needn't be the case that, "our main problem is that God wants to punish us." It only has to be a legitimate problem, not the main one. "How can you escape God's wrath for your disobedience?" is certainly a theme upon which Scripture exhorts us to meditate.


Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels [to Moses] proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? (Hebrews 2:1-3)

Paprika
04-02-2014, 07:31 AM
I find that a helpful clarification; God's love is logically prior to the propitiation of God's wrath, and indeed is the engine behind said propitiation.
Could you clarify what you mean by logical prior with respect to God's love and wrath?

robrecht
04-02-2014, 07:41 AM
Only with great trepidation. We know of God's wrath over sin. Yet, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.That's not what I mean. How can we say anything at all about what is 'logically prior' in God?

dacristoy
04-02-2014, 08:05 AM
Looking at our discussion, it seems to me that “appease” has two problems:

* it is misleading
* it focuses the atonement in the wrong place

It is misleading because at least in English “appease” is a loaded word. It implies things about God that aren’t true.
Such as...


I think it focuses the atonement in the wrong place because it suggests that our main problem is that God wants to or needs to punish us, and he has to find a way to avoid that.

Absolutely plausible that a holy God would need to impose a consequence and a penalty when we "volitionally" choose to disobey him...

RBerman
04-02-2014, 08:17 AM
That's not what I mean. How can we say anything at all about what is 'logically prior' in God?

That was the question I was answering. Footwasher's quotation elaborates on this topic.

footwasher
04-02-2014, 09:02 AM
This article explains how expiation and propitiation are both present in the Atonement:

Quote
You just stole a piece of candy and you’ve been caught by the furious store owner.

a) Jesus intercedes and offers to pay for the candy and the store owner is mollified. This is expiation.

b) Jesus intercedes and goes to jail for your crime and to the satisfaction of an offended store owner. This is propitiation.

http://helpmewithbiblestudy.org/2JesusChrist/AtonementExpiationVsPropitiation.aspx

Apparently, Dodd was mistaken in stating ALL instances of kapporet and its cognates were translated as expiation in the LXX:

Quote
Dodd's study is also criticized by David Hill in his detailed semantic study of hilasterion, in the book Greek Words and Hebrew Meanings: Studies in the Semantics of Soteriological Terms. Hill claims that Dodd leaves out several Septuagint references to propitiation, and also cites apocryphal sources.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propitiation

robrecht
04-02-2014, 09:36 AM
That was the question I was answering. Footwasher's quotation elaborates on this topic.Which quotation of Footwasher are referring to? Tyndale, Shakespeare, Leviticus, Stott, Augustine-Calvin, Wikipedia?

RBerman
04-02-2014, 10:13 AM
Which quotation of Footwasher are referring to? Tyndale, Shakespeare, Leviticus, Stott, Augustine-Calvin, Wikipedia?

I was thinking of post 76.

robrecht
04-02-2014, 01:04 PM
I was thinking of post 76.
How does that address the idea of determining what is 'logically prior' in God? Do you not believe in the traditional metaphysical idea of God's simplicity, essentially that we cannot define or comprehend God with our human intellect such that we cannot fathom divisions within God? Do you believe that God has revealed logical priorities within himself? How does that work? He wants to punish us, but that would logically contradict his love for us, so to avoid contradicting himself he makes his love a priority over his anger and justice? Or God the Father sent God the Son to satisfy God's anger, requirement of just retribution, or something like that?

hedrick
04-02-2014, 02:14 PM
Dodd's study is also criticized by David Hill in his detailed semantic study of hilasterion, in the book Greek Words and Hebrew Meanings: Studies in the Semantics of Soteriological Terms. Hill claims that Dodd leaves out several Septuagint references to propitiation, and also cites apocryphal sources.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propitiation

I actually looked at Hill. This isn't a technical issue. "dodd just missed some passages, so he's wrong." Hill and Dodd evaluate the same evidence differently. Much of this is because the OT isn't really explicit about how sacrifices worked, so people read their own assumptions into it

Conservatives normally think that God requires punishment for all sin. Hence the OT sacrifices are seen as punishment. I don't think that's consistent with Jesus' teachings, which see God as happy to forgive us if we repent, without leaving a further debt. I see the conservative view is ultimately a Protestant holdover from the medieval Catholic view that even after God is reconciled, there's something further due. The result of this is an assumption the Jesus' death satisfies that requirement, in parallel with the sacrificial system, which played that role also. These assumptions are deeply enough ingrained that they produce different understandings of the same passages and the same words. Liberal Protestants, who largely don't (I'm coming to believe) share the Western Augustian perspective are tending to be influenced by anabaptist and Eastern voices on issues such as the atonement.

robrecht
04-02-2014, 02:22 PM
I actually looked at Hill. This isn't a technical issue. "dodd just missed some passages, so he's wrong." Hill and Dodd evaluate the same evidence differently. Much of this is because the OT isn't really explicit about how sacrifices worked, so people read their own assumptions into it

Conservatives normally think that God requires punishment for all sin. Hence the OT sacrifices are seen as punishment. I don't think that's consistent with Jesus' teachings, which see God as happy to forgive us if we repent, without leaving a further debt. I see the conservative view is ultimately a Protestant holdover from the medieval Catholic view that even after God is reconciled, there's something further due. The result of this is an assumption the Jesus' death satisfies that requirement, in parallel with the sacrificial system, which played that role also. These assumptions are deeply enough ingrained that they produce different understandings of the same passages and the same words. Liberal Protestants, who largely don't (I'm coming to believe) share the Western Augustian perspective are tending to be influenced by anabaptist and Eastern voices on issues such as the atonement. I agree with what you are saying, but I think you might be misinterpreting "the medieval Catholic view that even after God is reconciled, there's something further due." The idea of penance is simply repentance, of allowing oneself to be changed ever more completely by God's grace and expressing our thankfulness to God and praise of his glory. It is not because God's forgiveness is not complete, bur our conversion is not fully complete.

hedrick
04-02-2014, 03:29 PM
The other basic assumption I see here is the concept that righteousness means moral perfection, and that salvation has to be merited. Since we obviously aren't perfect and can't merit anything, God is thought to credit us with Christ's righteousness. I certainly do accept substitution. But I think this, like the idea that sin must always be punished, has no basis in the Bible. I recently looked at all occurrences of righteous or righteousness. In all but 2, it indicated living as God wants. This is not perfection, but includes repentance when needed. Plenty of normal people are called righteous.

Conservative Protestants most often quote two passages. One of a place in Malachi where the prophet is very discouraged about Israel, and says that no one is righteous. As far as I can tell this is not intended as a doctrinal statement that no one but Christ is righteous, but comes from that context. Paul quotes that passage, of course. One issue I've come to see in inerrancy is that it seems to lead people to ignore characteristic treatments of an issue and focus on the most unusual treatment, as here.

Anyway it's interesting to watch Calvin treat Romans. I generally agree with his treatment of the atonement in the Institutes, but when he looks at justification by faith he takes it for granted than when Paul says our faith is imputed as righteousness, he really means that Jesus' righteousness is imputed to us. I see no basis for that in the text. I don't think it causes problems for Calvin's overall theology, but it does lead to some odd detailed exegesis.

As far as I can see, when Paul says that faith is imputed as righteousness, he means that God treats our faith as fulfilling his requirement, i.e. it is treated as living the way God wants us to, which is what righteousness means.

robrecht
04-02-2014, 03:49 PM
The other basic assumption I see here is the concept that righteousness means moral perfection, and that salvation has to be merited. ... Who is it that you think are making these basic assumptions? I agree with you about inerrancy.

hedrick
04-02-2014, 04:01 PM
Who is it that you think are making these basic assumptions? I agree with you about inerrancy.

Calvin, certainly, but as far as I know, classic Reformation theology see righteousness as something that we can't have and can only be imputed from Christ. I don't know early theology as well as the Reformation, but my impression is that some of this goes back to Augustine.

robrecht
04-02-2014, 04:07 PM
Calvin, certainly, but as far as I know, classic Reformation theology see righteousness as something that we can't have and can only be imputed from Christ. I don't know early theology as well as the Reformation, but my impression is that some of this goes back to Augustine.I must have misunderstood. I though you were saying that the basic assumptions were that some assume that we should continue to strive for ever more perfect moral perfection in order to merit salvation. I though maybe you were trying to characterize Catholics this way. We do believe the former but not the latter.

hedrick
04-02-2014, 04:41 PM
I must have misunderstood. I though you were saying that the basic assumptions were that some assume that we should continue to strive for ever more perfect moral perfection in order to merit salvation. I though maybe you were trying to characterize Catholics this way. We do believe the former but not the latter.

Of course we should strive for perfection, but not to merit salvation.

No, my understanding of a common Protestant view is that in order to be saved we have to be righteous, and we can only be righteous if we are sinless. Since this is impossible, Christ's righteousness is imputed to us. I think this misunderstands both the Biblical meaning of righteous and Paul's use of imputation.

I'm not describing Catholic views here, though it seems that the Protestant position I'm describing could only have arisen in the Catholic West, particularly in the 16th Cent.

robrecht
04-02-2014, 04:49 PM
Of course we should strive for perfection, but not to merit salvation.

No, my understanding of a common Protestant view is that in order to be saved we have to be righteous, and we can only be righteous if we are sinless. Since this is impossible, Christ's righteousness is imputed to us. I think this misunderstands both the Biblical meaning of righteous and Paul's use of imputation.

I'm not describing Catholic views here, though it seems that the Protestant position I'm describing could only have arisen in the Catholic West, particularly in the 16th Cent.I'm not sure how much we are to blame, but I don't deny it. It seems like maybe he was a little imbalanced and probably never should have been accepted into a religious order. I don't know if the story about his fear of being killed in a lightning storm is true or not but it sounds like he suffered from a bad case of scruples and seized on a rather simplistic reading of Paul as a way out of his dilemma. I also think he had a genuine desire to reform abuses of the church, but he may have been much more effective had he remained within the Church of his day. But I've never really studied his biography so I apologize if I have offended any Protestants and I am open to being corrected.

hedrick
04-02-2014, 06:32 PM
Just to be clear: I never intended to be speaking about the merits of the Reformation or Catholic vs. Protestant theology.

My position is that Luther was right on several key points, including the definition of justification, but that there were other areas that the Reformation didn’t go far enough. Part of that was a matter of time. They could only do so much. Part is that we have found things since about 1st Cent Judaism that change the way we understand some of the NT.

As far as I know the two issues I mentioned: the necessity of punishment to deal with sin, and righteousness as sinlessness, are not inventions of the Reformers. I think the first goes back at least to Anselm. The second may as well.

Luther’s concept of righteousness is at times very close to justification: it is right status before God. Indeed that’s probably what he is best known for. I have no problem with that understanding. However when the exegesis gets more detailed, we start seeing the idea that humans can’t be righteous, so Christ’s righteousness has to be imputed. This is normally done with a citation to Rom 3:10.* We are credited with Christ’s perfection. I think that’s a mistake, and that Paul never quite says that. What Paul says is that we are justified by faith in Christ. In the end the results are similar, because both Calvin’s (and probably Luther’s) exegesis leaves us with a proper standing before God because of faith in Christ. But I think Paul’s way to stating that is that our faith in Christ is imputed as righteousness, not that Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us.

In some ways it doesn’t matter, but when we start discussing the atonement, I think the concept that proper standing before God requires perfection, and that has to be imputed from Christ, is part of the conservative Protestant handling of the atonement with which I disagree. It also has effects when we start taking about inclusivism.

———————

* So how about Rom 3:10. In context it says that we will never become righteous through our works. His point isn’t that Christ is sinless so his perfection is credited to us, but that our righteousness actually comes from faith.

Note by the way that this appears to be a citation of Ps 14:1, where the “no one” seems to refer to fools who say there is no God. It’s not clear whether Paul intends that limitation or not.

Incidentally, much of Calvin’s treatment of Rom 3:10 is just fine. However if you follow the whole context, he does end up in commenting in 3:22 in importing the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, and in the process defining righteousness as holiness.

RBerman
04-02-2014, 07:11 PM
I actually looked at Hill. This isn't a technical issue. "dodd just missed some passages, so he's wrong." Hill and Dodd evaluate the same evidence differently. Much of this is because the OT isn't really explicit about how sacrifices worked, so people read their own assumptions into it.

Give us more credit than that! It's not as if the term "propitiation," and its connotations, has no place in the history of Christian theology, or of the way hilasmos, hilasterion, and similar words were used in Biblical and extra-Biblical documents.


Conservatives normally think that God requires punishment for all sin. Hence the OT sacrifices are seen as punishment. I don't think that's consistent with Jesus' teachings, which see God as happy to forgive us if we repent, without leaving a further debt. I see the conservative view is ultimately a Protestant holdover from the medieval Catholic view that even after God is reconciled, there's something further due. The result of this is an assumption the Jesus' death satisfies that requirement, in parallel with the sacrificial system, which played that role also. These assumptions are deeply enough ingrained that they produce different understandings of the same passages and the same words. Liberal Protestants, who largely don't (I'm coming to believe) share the Western Augustian perspective are tending to be influenced by anabaptist and Eastern voices on issues such as the atonement.

God is happy to forgive, precisely because Christ has propitiated God on behalf of all those who call upon his name. This view may be shared between Protestants and medieval Catholics, but it can be found much earlier, as evidenced by the Vulgate texts I discussed previously, not to mention the Greek NT itself.

RBerman
04-02-2014, 07:14 PM
I also think [Luther] had a genuine desire to reform abuses of the church, but he may have been much more effective had he remained within the Church of his day.
Remaining was Luther's hope as well. Unfortunately, he was excommunicated when he refused to shut up about his concerns.

robrecht
04-02-2014, 07:22 PM
Remaining was Luther's hope as well. Unfortunately, he was excommunicated when he refused to shut up about his concerns.Excommunication could have been avoided, I suspect, and even if not, is never final. I think if Luther had been more politically astute and less apocalyptic, he could have had a greater effect upon the church and been less manipulated by the German nobility. But, again, I am no expert in 16th century politics.

robrecht
04-02-2014, 07:38 PM
Just to be clear: I never intended to be speaking about the merits of the Reformation or Catholic vs. Protestant theology.

My position is that Luther was right on several key points, including the definition of justification, but that there were other areas that the Reformation didn’t go far enough. Part of that was a matter of time. They could only do so much. Part is that we have found things since about 1st Cent Judaism that change the way we understand some of the NT.

As far as I know the two issues I mentioned: the necessity of punishment to deal with sin, and righteousness as sinlessness, are not inventions of the Reformers. I think the first goes back at least to Anselm. The second may as well.

Luther’s concept of righteousness is at times very close to justification: it is right status before God. Indeed that’s probably what he is best known for. I have no problem with that understanding. However when the exegesis gets more detailed, we start seeing the idea that humans can’t be righteous, so Christ’s righteousness has to be imputed. This is normally done with a citation to Rom 3:10.* We are credited with Christ’s perfection. I think that’s a mistake, and that Paul never quite says that. What Paul says is that we are justified by faith in Christ. In the end the results are similar, because both Calvin’s (and probably Luther’s) exegesis leaves us with a proper standing before God because of faith in Christ. But I think Paul’s way to stating that is that our faith in Christ is imputed as righteousness, not that Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us.

In some ways it doesn’t matter, but when we start discussing the atonement, I think the concept that proper standing before God requires perfection, and that has to be imputed from Christ, is part of the conservative Protestant handling of the atonement with which I disagree. It also has effects when we start taking about inclusivism.

———————

* So how about Rom 3:10. In context it says that we will never become righteous through our works. His point isn’t that Christ is sinless so his perfection is credited to us, but that our righteousness actually comes from faith.

Note by the way that this appears to be a citation of Ps 14:1, where the “no one” seems to refer to fools who say there is no God. It’s not clear whether Paul intends that limitation or not.

Incidentally, much of Calvin’s treatment of Rom 3:10 is just fine. However if you follow the whole context, he does end up in commenting in 3:22 in importing the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, and in the process defining righteousness as holiness.
Hedrick, have you also considered the interpretation of a subjective genitive in the meaning of the pistis christou? I think this allows a more Jewish (and less anachronistic Lutheran) understanding of Paul.

RBerman
04-04-2014, 07:32 AM
Hedrick, have you also considered the interpretation of a subjective genitive in the meaning of the pistis christou? I think this allows a more Jewish (and less anachronistic Lutheran) understanding of Paul.

Even then, Romans 3 would still be talking about the benefits of "the faith of Christ" for all who believe, so Luther's key insight would still apply.

Paprika
04-04-2014, 07:48 AM
Even then, Romans 3 would still be talking about the benefits of "the faith of Christ" for all who believe, so Luther's key insight would still apply.
Was Abraham's faith "the faith of Christ"?

RBerman
04-04-2014, 07:57 AM
Was Abraham's faith "the faith of Christ"?
Abraham believed Christ, in shadows.

hedrick
04-04-2014, 08:05 AM
Hedrick, have you also considered the interpretation of a subjective genitive in the meaning of the pistis christou? I think this allows a more Jewish (and less anachronistic Lutheran) understanding of Paul.

I know it's a possibility. The context seems more in favor of faith in Christ. I don't doubt that Abraham was justified by a faith that wasn't explicitly in Christ. However most (though arguably not all) of Romans, and 3:24 in particular, is about faith in Christ. I don't think 3:22 alone would change the picture much.

Paprika
04-04-2014, 08:05 AM
Abraham believed Christ, in shadows.
What we have in Romans 4 is that "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness". It isn't Christ's faithfulness or righteousness that is imputed, but Abraham's own faith that God would fufill his promises that was counted as righteousness.

Paprika
04-04-2014, 08:09 AM
I know it's a possibility. The context seems more in favor of faith in Christ. I don't doubt that Abraham was justified by a faith that wasn't explicitly in Christ. However most (though arguably not all) of Romans, and 3:24 in particular, is about faith in Christ. I don't think 3:22 alone would change the picture much.
I have a question for you: what is the dikaiosune theou and how is it manifested through pistis christou?

dacristoy
04-04-2014, 08:30 AM
I know it's a possibility. The context seems more in favor of faith in Christ. I don't doubt that Abraham was justified by a faith that wasn't explicitly in Christ.

Justified, to be declared right with God. Salvation is not the issue. Right with God today, wrong tomorrow, This is why Abraham's faith was imputed to him as righteousness; which will earn rewards in heaven, not salvation. Only faith that is through Christ has the power to save...

Paprika
04-04-2014, 08:37 AM
Justified, to be declared right with God. Salvation is not the issue. Right with God today, wrong tomorrow, This is why Abraham's faith was imputed to him as righteousness; which will earn rewards in heaven, not salvation. Only faith that is through Christ has the power to save...
So are you saying that Abraham isn't saved or won't be saved?

RBerman
04-04-2014, 08:45 AM
What we have in Romans 4 is that "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness". It isn't Christ's faithfulness or righteousness that is imputed, but Abraham's own faith that God would fufill his promises that was counted as righteousness.

I would not dispute that. My point was that even if the specific phrase pistis Christou was translated "the faith of Christ" rather than "faith in Christ" in Romans 3, the surrounding text still affirms the point you (and Luther) were making about the role of personal faith in justification.

dacristoy
04-04-2014, 08:46 AM
So are you saying that Abraham isn't saved or won't be saved?

Of course not.

http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/justification/
Accordingly it is not surprising that salvation is often viewed in legal terms. The basic question in all religion is, "How can sinful people be just (i.e., be justified) before the holy God?" Justification is a legal term with a meaning like "acquittal"; in religion it points to the process whereby a person is declared to be right before God. That person should be an upright and good person, but justification does not point to qualities like these. That is rather the content of sanctification.

Justification points to the acquittal of one who is tried before God. In both the Old Testament and the New the question receives a good deal of attention and in both it is clear that people cannot bring about their justification by their own efforts. The legal force of the terminology is clear when Job exclaims, "Now that I have prepared my case, I know I will be vindicated" ( Job 13:18 ).

We are saved by grace, not of works lest any man should boast...

Paprika
04-04-2014, 09:04 AM
I would not dispute that. My point was that even if the specific phrase pistis Christou was translated "the faith of Christ" rather than "faith in Christ" in Romans 3, the surrounding text still affirms the point you (and Luther) were making about the role of personal faith in justification.
I understand that Luther argues that personal faith results in imputed righteousness, and would not agree with him on that point.

RBerman
04-04-2014, 09:20 AM
I understand that Luther argues that personal faith results in imputed righteousness, and would not agree with him on that point.

Ah, I misunderstood your point. Romans 4 does not mention Christ's righteousness; its focus is on faith as the instrumental means by which those with faith are declared righteous. Jesus' role in justification is explored in Romans 5, which expands on the brief claim at the end of Romans 3 that Christ's blood, like the Ark's mercy seat, functioned to propitiate the sins of those who receive it by faith.

hedrick
04-04-2014, 09:52 AM
I have a question for you: what is the dikaiosune theou and how is it manifested through pistis christou?

There maybe different shades of meaning in different places. But the basic meaning of God's righteousness is his commitment to do the right thing (as it is for humans). In the context of Romans it's his commitment to his covenant and his determination to save his people.

robrecht
04-04-2014, 10:20 AM
Even then, Romans 3 would still be talking about the benefits of "the faith of Christ" for all who believe, so Luther's key insight would still apply.Not necessarily. The subjective genitive would also affect the understanding of the immediate context as well, 'the faith(fulness) of Christ for all who believe/trust (as Christ did)'. This also fits better the parallel with Abraham and other Pauline contexts, 'though perhaps not all.

Paprika
04-04-2014, 10:29 AM
Not necessarily. The subjective genitive would also affect the understanding of the immediate context as well, 'the faith(fulness) of Christ for all who believe/trust (as Christ did)'. This also fits better the parallel with Abraham and other Pauline contexts, 'though perhaps not all.
Indeed, it highlights how God is faithful to his covenant promises, which is the context set out by Romans 3:3-5.

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son...

robrecht
04-04-2014, 10:29 AM
I would not dispute that. My point was that even if the specific phrase pistis Christou was translated "the faith of Christ" rather than "faith in Christ" in Romans 3, the surrounding text still affirms the point you (and Luther) were making about the role of personal faith in justification.
Personal faith in terms of specific believing specific soteriological doctrines or personal faith as in trusting God as Jesus himself did? I think Paul is saying the latter.

Paprika
04-04-2014, 10:30 AM
But the basic meaning of God's righteousness is his commitment to do the right thing (as it is for humans). In the context of Romans it's his commitment to his covenant and his determination to save his people.
I agree. Should we then say that Abraham's credited righteousness is covenantal in nature as well?

robrecht
04-04-2014, 10:38 AM
I know it's a possibility. The context seems more in favor of faith in Christ. I don't doubt that Abraham was justified by a faith that wasn't explicitly in Christ. However most (though arguably not all) of Romans, and 3:24 in particular, is about faith in Christ. I don't think 3:22 alone would change the picture much.
See Posts 120, 122. I don't think 3,24 is about faith in Christ in a doctrinal sense but rather the means and power by which we are redeemed (3,24) by following the example of the faithfulness of Christ (3,26).

RBerman
04-04-2014, 11:11 AM
Not necessarily. The subjective genitive would also affect the understanding of the immediate context as well, 'the faith(fulness) of Christ for all who believe/trust (as Christ did)'. This also fits better the parallel with Abraham and other Pauline contexts, 'though perhaps not all.

If the message of Romans 3 is that we must have faith like Jesus had in order to be justified before the Father, we are all sunk! Especially after Romans 2 and 3 have reminded us how bad we are.

robrecht
04-04-2014, 11:25 AM
If the message of Romans 3 is that we must have faith like Jesus had in order to be justified before the Father, we are all sunk! Especially after Romans 2 and 3 have reminded us how bad we are.
Surely you believe that we are all called to take up our cross and follow Jesus, right?

RBerman
04-04-2014, 11:48 AM
Surely you believe that we are all called to take up our cross and follow Jesus, right?

By all means! But not as a way to be justified before God.

Obsidian
04-04-2014, 12:35 PM
The subjective genitive would also affect the understanding of the immediate context as well, 'the faith(fulness) of Christ for all who believe/trust (as Christ did)'.

Why couldn't it just be saying "the faith witnessed by, founded by, or promoted by Christ"?

Romans 3
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

robrecht
04-04-2014, 12:45 PM
Why couldn't it just be saying "the faith witnessed by, founded by, or promoted by Christ"?

Romans 3
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
I consider that to have essentially the same meaning.

robrecht
04-04-2014, 12:48 PM
By all means! But not as a way to be justified before God.
Do you think we are justified by having a correct view of soteriology?

Why shouldn't we have the same faith in the Father as Jesus?

Obsidian
04-04-2014, 12:52 PM
Where does the Bible even specifically say that Jesus had faith in the Father?

robrecht
04-04-2014, 12:56 PM
Where does the Bible even specifically say that Jesus had faith in the Father?
Did he not pray to the Father? You don't think Jesus had faith in the Father?

RBerman
04-04-2014, 01:22 PM
Do you think we are justified by having a correct view of soteriology?

Not as such. However, our view of soteriology entails certain beliefs about Christ and about our sin, and those two things impact our justification.


Why shouldn't we have the same faith in the Father as Jesus?
The same in what sense? In intensity, yes. In content? No, because the Father and Son have done distinct things and have distinct roles in the life of the Christian. But again, Romans 3 does not say that our justification hangs on whether we have achieved as much faith as Jesus has. In the context of Romans 3, Jesus is not our example, but our substitute, propitiating God's wrath on the mercy seat. (He is our example in other texts, however.)

robrecht
04-04-2014, 02:32 PM
Not as such. However, our view of soteriology entails certain beliefs about Christ and about our sin, and those two things impact our justification.


The same in what sense? In intensity, yes. In content? No, because the Father and Son have done distinct things and have distinct roles in the life of the Christian. But again, Romans 3 does not say that our justification hangs on whether we have achieved as much faith as Jesus has. In the context of Romans 3, Jesus is not our example, but our substitute, propitiating God's wrath on the mercy seat. (He is our example in other texts, however.)
Only one verse of Chapter 3 relates to the metaphor of propitiation. Whether Jesus is our example here depends upon whether one reads a subjective genitive here, and that also directly affects the 'content' (read nature) of our faith in the Father.

Obsidian
04-04-2014, 03:47 PM
Did he not pray to the Father? You don't think Jesus had faith in the Father?

Faith in him to do what? Save him from his sins?

I don't think the Bible ever even says that Jesus had any faith, so I don't see why you would make that the cornerstone of your soteriology. You can infer from various passages, e.g., Hebrews 12:2, that Jesus expected God to raise him from the dead and set him in charge of the kingdom. And Jesus expected God to answer prayers. But the Bible doesn't actually use the word "faith." The word faith is applied to trust in Jesus, or in John 5:24 to faith in the Father with regard to Jesus.

robrecht
04-04-2014, 03:55 PM
Faith in him to do what? Save him from his sins?

I don't think the Bible ever even says that Jesus had any faith, so I don't see why you would make that the cornerstone of your soteriology. You can infer from various passages, e.g., Hebrews 12:2, that Jesus expected God to raise him from the dead and set him in charge of the kingdom. And Jesus expected God to answer prayers. But the Bible doesn't actually use the word "faith." The word faith is applied to trust in Jesus, or in John 5:24 to faith in the Father with regard to Jesus.
This very passage, and others, speak of the "faith(fulness) of Christ," but people interpret this differently.

Obsidian
04-04-2014, 04:02 PM
If you want to get into the areas where Christ really did have faith, then they would tend to be those areas that I already listed -- e.g., believing that God exists, expecting God to raise you from the dead, expecting God to reward your (good) works, expecting God to hear your prayers. Christians do have to believe that God exists to be saved, and that he will raise them from the dead. In that sense their faith is similar to Christ's faith. But although that is a true statement, I still doubt that it is what Romans 3 is referring to. The people that try to use this passage to teach that we need to be perfect like Christ to get to heaven don't really mean the "faith" of Christ (individual thoughts that Jesus believed). They mean that we must have the works of Christ.

robrecht
04-04-2014, 04:17 PM
If you want to get into the areas where Christ really did have faith, then they would tend to be those areas that I already listed -- e.g., believing that God exists, expecting God to raise you from the dead, expecting God to reward your (good) works, expecting God to hear your prayers. Christians do have to believe that God exists to be saved, and that he will raise them from the dead. In that sense their faith is similar to Christ's faith. But although that is a true statement, I still doubt that it is what Romans 3 is referring to. The people that try to use this passage to teach that we need to be perfect like Christ to get to heaven don't really mean the "faith" of Christ (individual thoughts that Jesus believed). They mean that we must have the works of Christ.
Which is why some tranlate as the faithfulness of Christ, not as individual thoughts of Christ or of believers about Christ.

The Remonstrant
04-04-2014, 10:27 PM
Do you think we are justified by having a correct view of soteriology?

Why shouldn't we have the same faith in the Father as Jesus?


If the message of Romans 3 is that we must have faith like Jesus had in order to be justified before the Father, we are all sunk! Especially after Romans 2 and 3 have reminded us how bad we are.


Surely you believe that we are all called to take up our cross and follow Jesus, right?


By all means! But not as a way to be justified before God.


Do you think we are justified by having a correct view of soteriology?

Why shouldn't we have the same faith in the Father as Jesus?

I think it is safe to assume that Jesus had faith in the Father. Surely his life of faithfulness presupposes he did. In this, I believe Jesus also serves as our example. He is our example for obedience and faithfulness to God. E.g., Paul urges the church of Corinth "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1). I take it you both would agree (robrecht and RBerman).

As far as Romans 3 is concerned, justification by faith in Christ as our Substitute is the main thrust of vv.21-26. (Christ's faithfulness to the Father and the Sinaitic Covenant are surely presupposed.) Paul is focusing on the sacrificial death of Jesus and its role in the economy of salvation, whether this be viewed as expiatory or propitiatory in nature (or perhaps some admixture of the two). While there is certainly no antithesis between believers emulating the example of Christ and Jesus' death on behalf of the fallen human race (Paul maintains both), in v.21 Paul indicates that "the righteousness of God" he has in view "has been manifested apart from law" (RSV, emphasis added). This would appear to serve as a tip-off that Jesus' incarnational obedience to the Torah is not Paul's focus in this text. Note v.28: "For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law" (emphasis added). The law does not serve a salvific function (cf. 3:19,20; 4:15; 5:20; 7:7ff.). Paul places the emphasis on fallen human beings individually and collectively placing faith in Jesus' sacrificial offering for sins in order to receive forgiveness, not imitating Jesus' lifelong faithfulness to the Father (though the latter is surely not unimportant). If Paul were stressing the necessity of persons attaining the level of faith Jesus had in the Father in order to be forgiven their sins and placed in the right with God, I believe it would be safe to say that this would not be grounds for rejoicing but despair. (RBerman already touched upon this above.)

footwasher
04-05-2014, 01:08 AM
It all hinges on the expansion of the word eternal life. Eternal life is the life lived that brings about eternal benefits, permanent benefits, as opposed to the futile life that unspiritual people live, that leads to storing up of treasure that is destroyed by rust and vermin.


What deeds are deserving of eternal treasure? The deeds that lead to blessings to the world. Christ is the blessing to the world, as planned by God in His promise to Abraham, for it was through his seed that the world was to be blessed, through reconciliation.

What held the world from being friends with God? Sins enacted. Sinfulness. Jesus was the expiation for sins enacted by a symmetrical obedience, all the sins of the world being reversed by His stupendous act of obedience (Christ pays the candy store a divine life, an adequate payment). Jesus was the propitiation for the world's sinfulness (God goes to jail to satisfy the vengeance required by the candy store, an adequate punishment).

Before Christ, no body could live the eternal life. Those in the Kingdom could, earning even the least the sobriquet "greater than John the Forerunner".

What empowered believers to live the life eternal? Faith in Christ. Resulting in becoming the "righteousness of God", replicating the "faithfulness of Christ".

Quote
Paul’s argument in 2 Corinthians 5:21 is that the apostles are the “servants of God” (cf. 6:4) through whom God is seeking to reconcile these Corinthian believers to himself—just as in Isaiah 49 God used his servant to reconcile Jacob to himself. They are ambassadors, through whom God makes his appeal to the Corinthians; they implore the Corinthians to be reconciled to God (5:20). The apostles are in a position to perform this task because they are in Christ, through whom “God was reconciling the world to himself” (5:19). Jesus became sin—he was crucified as an enemy of Israel and of YHWH, a blasphemer, a false claimant to the throne of Israel. But that led, paradoxically, to real enemies of God such as Paul becoming the “righteousness of God”, the means by which YHWH is justified. As Wright says in the podcast, the apostles embody the covenant faithfulness of God in their ministry.

In effect, what Paul is claiming is that the apostles are right, they embody the rightness of God, they are justified in making this appeal, because they are in Christ, as is clearly evidenced by their suffering (6:4-10)—they carry in their bodies the dying of Jesus (4:10). This is not an abstract argument about the imputation of righteousness through faith. It is a practical argument: the apostles make their appeal on the ground that they are acting out the role of Christ-like servants, who commend themselves by accepting, as Jesus accepted, hardships, persecution, distrust, abuse, and punishment.


http://www.postost.net/2013/04/wright-white-righteousness-god-2-corinthians-521

robrecht
04-05-2014, 03:39 AM
I think it is safe to assume that Jesus had faith in the Father. Surely his life of faithfulness presupposes he did. In this, I believe Jesus also serves as our example. He is our example for obedience and faithfulness to God. E.g., Paul urges the church of Corinth "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1). I take it you both would agree (robrecht and RBerman). So far, so good. The rest, not as much.


As far as Romans 3 is concerned, justification by faith in Christ as our Substitute is the main thrust of vv.21-26. (Christ's faithfulness to the Father and the Sinaitic Covenant are surely presupposed.) Paul is focusing on the sacrificial death of Jesus and its role in the economy of salvation, whether this be viewed as expiatory or propitiatory in nature (or perhaps some admixture of the two). While there is certainly no antithesis between believers emulating the example of Christ and Jesus' death on behalf of the fallen human race (Paul maintains both), in v.21 Paul indicates that "the righteousness of God" he has in view "has been manifested apart from law" (RSV, emphasis added). This would appear to serve as a tip-off that Jesus' incarnational obedience to the Torah is not Paul's focus in this text. Note v.28: "For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law" (emphasis added). The law does not serve a salvific function (cf. 3:19,20; 4:15; 5:20; 7:7ff.). Paul places the emphasis on fallen human beings individually and collectively placing faith in Jesus' sacrificial offering for sins in order to receive forgiveness, not imitating Jesus' lifelong faithfulness to the Father (though the latter is surely not unimportant). If Paul were stressing the necessity of persons attaining the level of faith Jesus had in the Father in order to be forgiven their sins and placed in the right with God, I believe it would be safe to say that this would not be grounds for rejoicing but despair. (RBerman already touched upon this above.)

To say that justification by faith in Christ as our substitute presupposes an objective genitive that is a forced reading of the text in my opinion. In addition, the word 'substitute' does not appear in the text. And, although I don't deny it, I also do not think Christ's faithfulness to the Sinaitic Covenant should be stressed here since, as you say, we are speaking of the righteousness of the God being manifest apart from the law. Before discussing (or getting bogged down in) expiation vs propitiation, I think we should follow the text with respect to redemption. From what is Paul saying that we are being redeemed? The Law, of course, and it's witness to our sin and death.

God's righteousness is being manifest apart from the law. This redemption from the law that is wrought by Christ Jesus, God has put forward (to us) as the locus of reconciliation through Christ's faith by means of his blood to make manifest God's righteousness (apart from the law) because of his overlooking previously committed sins, in God's forbearance to manifest his righteousness at this time in order that he might be righteous and make righteous the one (who lives) by the faith of Jesus.

To emphasize a sacrificial offering for sin in order to receive forgiveness is precisely to emphasize a requirement of the sacrificial law, but God's righteousness is being manifest here apart from the law, since, as you say, the law does not serve a salvific function.

By the way, I never said anything about Paul stressing the necessity of persons attaining the level of faith Jesus had in order to be forgiven and made righteous. I leave that up to God, who, according to Paul's gospel, will judge the secret thoughts of all.

Paprika
04-05-2014, 05:15 AM
in v.21 Paul indicates that "the righteousness of God" he has in view "has been manifested apart from law" (RSV, emphasis added). This would appear to serve as a tip-off that Jesus' incarnational obedience to the Torah is not Paul's focus in this text. Note v.28: "For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law" (emphasis added).
I think, given that the earlier part of Romans 3 sets up the unfaithfulness of the Jew compared to the faithfulness of God, and with the understanding that dikaiosune theou refers to God's covenant faithfulness, Paul is indicating that at this point he is focusing on the Abrahamic covenant: that God's faithfulness to the Abrahamic covenant is (apocalyptically) revealed through the pisteos Christou for all who πιστεύοντας.

(At this point I would like to pause and note that translating as the subjective genitive does not in any way diminish the believer's faith: you get "the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who have faith". On the other hand, if you translate as the objective genitive, you get the slightly awkward rendering of "the righteousness of God through the faith in Jesus Christ for all who have faith").

Christ's faithfulness doesn't consist of merely keeping the Law - though as a Jew His faithfulness to God must necessarily result in keeping the Law - but it reaches its climax by going to death on a cross.

(We lose by translation that relation between 'righteousness' and 'justification' - in the Greek both share the same root. But this relation is crucial to understand Paul's thoughts - to 'justify' is to make 'righteous'. Similarly 'believe' and 'faith'.)

RBerman and robrecht are right to point out that we are not supposed to have the faith(fulness) of Jesus, but of Abraham. Romans 4:


For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

The faith of Abraham that God gives life to the dead and calls into existence things that do not exist is the faith that we have when we believe that God raised Jesus from the dead; this is the faith that justifies us, that results in God declaring us righteous (cf Romans 10:9).

RBerman
04-05-2014, 07:09 AM
Only one verse of Chapter 3 relates to the metaphor of propitiation. Whether Jesus is our example here depends upon whether one reads a subjective genitive here, and that also directly affects the 'content' (read nature) of our faith in the Father.

If you are right, and we are justified if we have faith like Jesus' faith, we are doomed. We already covered that ground but did not find agreement. But I don't think a subjective genitive is the correct reading of pistis Christou, and even if it were, the surrounding text fits the sola fide view so well that it doesn't even matter. Even Douay Rheims, no friend of Protestant theology, while rendering a subjective genitive in Romans 3:22, nevertheless speaks of those who "believe in him" later in that verse, rather than those who believe like him as you proposed.

robrecht
04-05-2014, 07:27 AM
If you are right, and we are justified if we have faith like Jesus' faith, we are doomed. We already covered that ground but did not find agreement. But I don't think a subjective genitive is the correct reading of pistis Christou, and even if it were, the surrounding text fits the sola fide view so well that it doesn't even matter. Even Douay Rheims, no friend of Protestant theology, while rendering a subjective genitive in Romans 3:22, nevertheless speaks of those who "believe in him" later in that verse, rather than those who believe like him as you proposed.I don't think we are doomed. Rather we are saved, justified and sanctified in Christ, the new Adam. Focus on sola fide need not exclude the work of faith, not merely the fides quae, but also the fides qua, not just 'that which we believe', but 'that by which we believe', the grace of faith permeates our whole being and our whole lives if we do not hinder the work of grace that has begun in us.

RBerman
04-05-2014, 07:39 AM
I don't think we are doomed. Rather we are saved, justified and sanctified in Christ, the new Adam. Focus on sola fide need not exclude the work of faith, not merely the fides quae, but also the fides qua, not just 'that which we believe', but 'that by which we believe', the grace of faith permeates our whole being and our whole lives if we do not hinder the work of grace that has begun in us.

I was with you up to the "if we do not hinder..." part. My resistance to God's grace is one of the things from which I need to be saved, by God's grace. If my resistance thwarts grace, then functionally grace is inert. But as for the rest, yes, sola fide is not at war with sola gratia.

"Work of faith" can be a tricky phrase in the context of contrasting faith and works as competing paradigms of obtaining justification. But we arestraying from the topic of atonement.

robrecht
04-05-2014, 07:47 AM
I was with you up to the "if we do not hinder..." part. My resistance to God's grace is one of the things from which I need to be saved, by God's grace. I don't disagree with this. Not sure what you are disagreeing with exactly.
If my resistance thwarts grace, then functionally grace is inert. I'm not sure what you are trying to say here.


But as for the rest, yes, sola fide is not at war with sola gratia.

"Work of faith" can be a tricky phrase in the context of contrasting faith and works as competing paradigms of obtaining justification. It is only as tricky as you want to make it. Does not Paul tell the Philippians to work out their salvation in fear and trembling.

RBerman
04-05-2014, 07:51 AM
I don't disagree with this. Not sure what you are disagreeing with exactly. I'm not sure what you are trying to say here.
Just raising a Calvinist quibble with your wording, and perhaps your paradigm. A tangental point in a discussion about atonement.


It is only as tricky as you want to make it. Does not Paul tell the Philippians to work out their salvation in fear and trembling.

He does. In some contexts, "work of faith" makes sense, and in others it does not.

robrecht
04-05-2014, 07:57 AM
Just raising a Calvinist quibble with your wording, and perhaps your paradigm. A tangental point in a discussion about atonement.

He does. In some contexts, "work of faith" makes sense, and in others it does not.I am not a Calvinist, that is very true, so I may not even pick up on Calvinist quibbles, let alone desire to resolve them. I think 'work of faith' makes perfect sense here. It is faith that saves, not works of the law. I am not speaking of the law, but of the reality of faith in our lives. The Christian life is not always easy. Grace can be hindered by ourselves and others and we must live a life of continual conversion. Is that not a work of faith? Perhaps you would prefer to call it something else?

RBerman
04-05-2014, 08:14 AM
I think 'work of faith' makes perfect sense here. It is faith that saves, not works of the law. I am not speaking of the law, but of the reality of faith in our lives. The Christian life is not always easy. Grace can be hindered by ourselves and others and we must live a life of continual conversion. Is that not a work of faith? Perhaps you would prefer to call it something else?

Ephesians 2 and Romans 4, discussing justification, say that we are saved by faith, not works. In that context, the phrase "work of faith" obscures the intended dichotomy, and I would rather just speak of faith. But in the Philippians (for instance) context of walking with God, I have no objection to speaking of "works of faith." Works are a part of our sanctification, which is one aspect of our salvation.

Obsidian
04-05-2014, 08:28 AM
To emphasize a sacrificial offering for sin in order to receive forgiveness is precisely to emphasize a requirement of the sacrificial law.

Incorrect. The law did not advocate human sacrifice.


To say that justification by faith in Christ as our substitute presupposes an objective genitive that is a forced reading of the text in my opinion. In addition, the word 'substitute' does not appear in the text.

This statement is an example of your throwing out supposed knowledge of a foreign language as though it constituted wisdom. That is one major problem I have with all the supposed Greek speakers on this forum (probably none of whom, I would imagine, can even speak Greek). We are interpreting here, not translating.

"Faith of Christ" means Christianity. And I don't see how it's relevant whatsoever whether the word "substitute" appears in this text.

robrecht
04-05-2014, 08:29 AM
And, among other things, James tells us that 'the proving of our faith worketh patience. And we should let patience have [its] perfect work, that we may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.' Did Calvin have the same difficulties with James that Luther did?

RBerman
04-05-2014, 08:34 AM
And, among other things, James tells us that 'the proving of our faith worketh patience. And we should let patience have [its] perfect work, that we may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.' Did Calvin have the same difficulties with James that Luther did?

Not that I am aware. In James' evidentiary context, the joint discussion of faith and works makes perfect sense.

robrecht
04-05-2014, 08:40 AM
Incorrect. The law did not advocate human sacrifice.

This statement is an example of your throwing out supposed knowledge of a foreign language as though it constituted wisdom. That is one major problem I have with all the supposed Greek speakers on this forum (probably none of whom, I would imagine, can even speak Greek). We are interpreting here, not translating.

"Faith of Christ" means Christianity. And I don't see how it's relevant whatsoever whether the word "substitute" appears in this text.
I never said or implied that the law advocates human sacrifice! But are you not familiar with the idea advanced by some that Christ's sacrifice was required and that it was foreshadowed by the sacrifices required by the law? I recall your preference for literal translation. Translation by means of a subjective genitive here is much more literal than the somewhat forced interpretation of an objective genitive with an inactive noun. If you do not believe me, that's fine with me, in fact I encourage you to learn Greek and try to prove me wrong.

Do you think it is OK to substitute words that are in the text with those that are not?

robrecht
04-05-2014, 08:48 AM
Not that I am aware. In James' evidentiary context, the joint discussion of faith and works makes perfect sense.
Do you think that James and Paul meant something radically different when they spoke of faith?

Note: This is a rhetorical question.

Obsidian
04-05-2014, 08:50 AM
I never said or implied that the law advocates human sacrifice! But are you not familiar with the idea advanced by some that Christ's sacrifice was required and that it was foreshadowed by the sacrifices required by the law?

Of course I'm aware of it. Paul specifically makes that point in verse 21.

Romans 3:21
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets

Christ's execution was foreshadowed by the law, and yet was illegal. So your assertion that justification apart from the law should preclude substitutionary atonement is absolutely faulty. It wouldn't be "witnessed by the law" if it weren't a substitutionary atonement.


I recall your preference for literal translation.

I just gave you the literal translation. Faith of Christ means Christianity.


Do you think it is OK to substitute words that are in the text with those that are not?

Honestly, this is an irrelevant and inane question.

RBerman
04-05-2014, 08:50 AM
Do you think that James and Paul meant something radically different when they spoke of faith?

Note: This is a rhetorical question.
Then I guess no answer is needed? That too was a rhetorical question. :lol:

robrecht
04-05-2014, 08:57 AM
Then I guess no answer is needed? That too was a rhetorical question. :lol:
Depends on whether you understand the point being made.

robrecht
04-05-2014, 09:20 AM
Of course I'm aware of it. Paul specifically makes that point in verse 21.

Romans 3:21
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets

Christ's execution was foreshadowed by the law, and yet was illegal. So your assertion that justification apart from the law should preclude substitutionary atonement is absolutely faulty. It wouldn't be "witnessed by the law" if it weren't a substitutionary atonement.

I just gave you the literal translation. Faith of Christ means Christianity.

Honestly, this is an irrelevant and inane question.
So you would now amend your earlier translation to something like the following?

21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by >>Christianity<< unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

You seem to be saying that the righteousness of God is being made manifest here apart from the law and illegally and yet it was foreshadowed by the law. Is that correct?

God illegally manifested his righteousness?

Are you saying that Paul is here emphasizing a substitutionary sacrificial offering for sin in order to receive forgiveness?

Obsidian
04-05-2014, 09:37 AM
Yes, yes, and yes. And at the time, the word Christianity probably did not even exist

footwasher
04-05-2014, 10:00 AM
This reminds me of a funny misunderstanding.

Quote
But one is not justified by faith by believing in justification by faith (this, I think, is what Newman thought Protestants believed), but by believing in Jesus.

http://www.thepaulpage.com/the-shape-of-justification/


Not as such. However, our view of soteriology entails certain beliefs about Christ and about our sin, and those two things impact our justification.


The same in what sense? In intensity, yes. In content? No, because the Father and Son have done distinct things and have distinct roles in the life of the Christian. But again, Romans 3 does not say that our justification hangs on whether we have achieved as much faith as Jesus has. In the context of Romans 3, Jesus is not our example, but our substitute, propitiating God's wrath on the mercy seat. (He is our example in other texts, however.)

robrecht
04-05-2014, 10:08 AM
Yes, yes, and yes. And at the time, the word Christianity probably did not even exist
I think 'the law and the prophets', which is subsumed in the witness of a singular participle, more likely represents a common collective reference to the Jewish scriptures, not to a specific set of laws pertaining to substitutionary sacrifice.

If the "faith of Christ" is to be literally translated by a word that did not yet exist at the time of Paul, isn't that more of an interpretation, rather than a literal translation of the worlds that Paul did use? If it is a correct interpretation, then how did Paul's actual words express this in Paul's mind? Is the "faith of Christ" essentially the collection of beliefs, doctrines and dogmas that Jesus (and now we also) hold to be true?

If holding the correct doctrines of Christianity is what justifies us, then how are justified by a substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus?

Paprika
04-05-2014, 10:12 AM
Christ's execution was foreshadowed by the law, and yet was illegal
"without the law" doesn't mean illegal, which means prohibited by the law.

footwasher
04-05-2014, 10:24 AM
Romans 3:21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.

My paraphrase without Paul's flowery figures of speech:

But now without recourse to observing Torah a fulfilment of the promise to Abraham is revealed, exactly as Scripture prophesied, a fulfilment through faith in Christ for all who believe, because there is no difference between Jew and Gentile (as demonstrated in ch 1 and 2) because all are sinners (contrary to the belief by Jews of their automatic sinlessness through having Abraham as their father) and all (even the Gentiles who replaced Israel are justified by grace and not because Israel fell short, or the Gentiles performed better, lest anyone should boast) being justified by grace through the redemption available in Christ, whose sentence God acknowledged publically as acceptable propitiation, by raising Him from the dead, contingent on belief of the one substituted for.

The same to be applied for the rest:


This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.

Paprika
04-05-2014, 10:33 AM
all are sinners (contrary to the belief by Jews of their automatic sinlessness through having Abraham as their father) and all (even the Gentiles who replaced Israel are justified by grace and not because Israel fell short, or the Gentiles performed better, lest anyone should boast) being justified by grace
You've missed out "fallen short of the glory of God".

footwasher
04-05-2014, 10:37 AM
I don't do Hebrew parallelism, especially when I put things in a nutshell.

;)


You've missed out "fallen short of the glory of God".

Paprika
04-05-2014, 10:48 AM
I don't do Hebrew parallelism, especially when I put things in a nutshell.

;)
Parallelism doesn't necessarily imply synonymity :tongue:

Obsidian
04-05-2014, 10:49 AM
I think 'the law and the prophets', which is subsumed in the witness of a singular participle, more likely represents a common collective reference to the Jewish scriptures, not to a specific set of laws pertaining to substitutionary sacrifice.

Well you can spin it however you feel like. But don't pretend that you're being more literal with the text.


If holding the correct doctrines of Christianity is what justifies us, then how are justified by a substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus?

Romans 4
3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

robrecht
04-05-2014, 11:03 AM
Well you can spin it however you feel like. But don't pretend that you're being more literal with the text.

Romans 4
3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
I do not disagree with anything at all in Romans 4. I am certainly being more literal with the text, but I have not explained it very well. Give me some time and I will try to do better.

footwasher
04-05-2014, 11:10 AM
Well you can spin it however you feel like. But don't pretend that you're being more literal with the text.



Romans 4
3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.


Umm, a Sadducee would consider Law to mean the Pentateuch. The prophetic writings, if at all used, would be considered commentary. A Pharisee (and modern Judaism) would understand it as a collective reference, as mentioned, to mean ALL the OT canon, as well as Talmud.

Insisting on literalism is to miss out on the immense richness of the text.

Obsidian
04-05-2014, 12:10 PM
So you disagree that the law testified about Christ?

footwasher
04-05-2014, 12:42 PM
The rich meaning of the Law testifying about Christ

OT salvation:

Jew observes Torah properly, minor and weightier issues, and dies, is killed by the Law, like the Publican in the Temple, unlike the dodgers who fall back on a technicality, God's promise to Abraham's seed and only observe tithing of mint and cummin and avoid justice, mercy and faithfulness, like the self righteous Pharisee. (Paul trades technicality for technicality: Seed is singular and applies only to Christ, not all observers of Law, wrongly interpreted as distinct markers of Judaism, to be observed to identify who is a Jew, has Abraham as his father).

God hears the petition of righteous Jews like Zacharias and Elizabeth, and gives them peace. To Job, Abraham and David, God reveals His solution: He will send a Redeemer who will enable law keeping, remove sin. OT saints who believe will be happy because God assures them He will not hold their sins against them.

NT salvation:

NT saints like Zacharias and Cornelius are shown the actual Messiah.


So you disagree that the law testified about Christ?

robrecht
04-05-2014, 12:57 PM
Aside from the other contexts and the grammatical difficulties here:

verbal object of a nonactive noun?
Paul uses a preposition for an objective sense even with an active noun
εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας (3,22)

… the fundamental issue I have with the way that this is typically translated here as an objective genitive by those who follow Luther (Glauben an JEsum Christum), is that:

the righteousness of God (3,21)
borne witness to by the law and the prophets (not by us)
the righteousness of God (3,22)
who justifies by his grace as a gift (3,24)
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
whom God put forward as a place of mercy (3,25)
by his blood
to make manifest his righteousness
because of his passing over of sins
by means of the patience of God (3,26)
to manifest his righteousness at this time
to be himself righteous
the one who makes righteous
for which we cannot boast (3,27)

… this righteousness of God is nonetheless supposedly made manifest by
our faith?
even ‘though we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? (3,23)

Does anyone else see how out of place this objective genitive interpretation is in this context that in so many ways suggests the simpler, more fundamental meaning of the more literal subjective genitive?

Obsidian
04-05-2014, 02:52 PM
God's righteousness is made manifest by the fact that God can condemn sin through the sacrifice of Jesus, without condemning his own people.

The word "For" in the following section signifies that the next several verses are all going to combine to answer your confusion.

Romans 3
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

The fact that you are seemingly scared of the substitution theory is what's holding you back from understanding the chapter.

robrecht
04-05-2014, 03:05 PM
God's righteousness is made manifest by the fact that God can condemn sin through the sacrifice of Jesus, without condemning his own people.

The word "For" in the following section signifies that the next several verses are all going to combine to answer your confusion.

Romans 3
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

The fact that you are seemingly scared of the substitution theory is what's holding you back from understanding the chapter.
I have no fear of the substitution theory. Perhaps you did not notice that my argument for translating with the more literal subjective genitive is completely independent of any interpretation for or against substitutionary atonement. Perhaps you could try and address the actual argument rather than trying to falsely portray me as fearful. Such ad hominem elements do not inspire confidence in the merits of your position.

Obsidian
04-05-2014, 05:34 PM
I did address your argument. It doesn't say that God's righteousness is manifested by people's faith. It says that his righteousness is manifested by the sacrifice of Christ, coupled with the forgiveness of all who believe.

robrecht
04-05-2014, 06:05 PM
I did address your argument. It doesn't say that God's righteousness is manifested by people's faith. It says that his righteousness is manifested by the sacrifice of Christ, coupled with the forgiveness of all who believe.
Oh, that was an argument? Actually, you said: "God's righteousness is made manifest by the fact that God can condemn sin through the sacrifice of Jesus, without condemning his own people." The only problem is that neither one of those statements is a possible translation of the Greek text and neither one even touches upon the question of subjective or objective genitive, which is what I addressed in my argument. Either respond to the argument that I made based upon the text or propose your own argument based on the actual text. I think that is a reasonable expectation from someone who claims to prefer a literal translation of the text. Fair enough?

But I congratulate you for not engaging in an ad hominem.

Obsidian
04-05-2014, 06:16 PM
Are you blind? I specifically quoted four verses full of text to answer your question. Do you have an objection to the KJV? Will you be able to understand my argument if I start typing it in Greek?

robrecht
04-05-2014, 06:22 PM
Are you blind? I specifically quoted four verses full of text to answer your question. Do you have an objection to the KJV? Will you be able to understand my argument if I start typing it in Greek?
The genitive in question appears in Romans 3,22. You cited the the KJV of Romans 3,23-26. Do you see why this does not address the issue?

Obsidian
04-05-2014, 06:25 PM
Almost always, the word "For" will explain the previous verse(s). You posed a question. I answered it. I think you are not engaging this issue honestly. It's like you can only grasp concepts if they are couched in fancy linguistics terms.

robrecht
04-05-2014, 07:36 PM
Almost always, the word "For" will explain the previous verse(s). You posed a question. I answered it. I think you are not engaging this issue honestly. It's like you can only grasp concepts if they are couched in fancy linguistics terms.
I am a very honest person. Sad that you make such an accusation. Which grammatical terms did you not understand? I will gladly explain. Which question of mine did you answer, the primary one about the objective genitive? The 'for'-clause does not relate to the subjective/objective genitive issue.

Obsidian
04-05-2014, 08:56 PM
I understand it all. The point is that you are being passive aggressive and, I think, willfully obtuse.

robrecht
04-05-2014, 09:18 PM
I understand it all. The point is that you are being passive aggressive and, I think, willfully obtuse.
I have no aggression toward you. My only passion is for the Word of God. If you understand, then address the argument and drop the ad hominem. Why complain about simple grammatical terms?

Paprika
04-05-2014, 10:51 PM
Does anyone else see how out of place this objective genitive interpretation is in this context that in so many ways suggests the simpler, more fundamental meaning of the more literal subjective genitive?
Perhaps reference to Romans 5:15-19 will complete the argument:


But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.
Here Paul is obviously elaborating on the grace and the gift of God that brought justification - the verdict of righteousness - in Romans 3: the one act of righteousness of Jesus the Messiah, which is his obedience, and thus his faithfulness.

footwasher
04-05-2014, 11:51 PM
Robrecht wrote:

this righteousness of God is nonetheless supposedly made manifest by
our faith?
even ‘though we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? (3,23)

Does anyone else see how out of place this objective genitive interpretation is in this context that in so many ways suggests the simpler, more fundamental meaning of the more literal subjective genitive?

If your appeal to choosing the available grammatical options is through reasoning, then the reasoning of the above two statements is possible.

The righteousness of God, His obligation to keep the promise to Abraham, was worked out in Jesus's disciples by faithing into Christ, entry into the Promised Land in the flesh, which gave rest from their own labours, just as God entering His rest ceased to engage in laboring. This faithing into Christ was sufficient, replacing works of the law, which could not manifest the righteousness of God any way, since the law manifested death, inability, not descent from Abraham, and God's wrath remained on them. So the Judaizers needed to cease and desist from promoting the doctrine of faith in Christ plus works of the law.

Faithing into Christ for Gentiles who previously had no hopes of partnering with God in blessing the world was a gift, not a reward for not falling short like the Jews, because they like the Jews HAD fallen short, in their case of what their consciences required and the wrath of God also continued to remain on them. So the Gentile faction had to stop boasting about their ascendancy and the disenfranchising of Israel.

The case for a subjective genitive is strong for dikaisyne theou, but less probable for pistis Christou, given the several mentions of the importance of faith IN Christ for both Jew and Gentile, the topic of discussion of the Book of Romans as a whole, and ch 1 and 2 in particular:

Romans 3:26
English Standard Version
It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

New American Standard Bible
for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

King James Bible
To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

In fact the faithfulness of Christ was in FULFILLING the law, not something a disciple could do without faith IN Christ.


Romans 3:31Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

Paprika
04-05-2014, 11:56 PM
The case for a subjective genitive is strong for dikaisyne theou, but less probable for pistis Christou, given the several mentions of the importance of faith IN Christ for both Jew and Gentile, the topic of discussion of the Book of Romans as a whole, and ch 1 and 2 in particular:
See my earlier post (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1203-Aspects-of-Atonement-What-Did-Jesus-Death-on-the-Tree-Accomplish&p=39555&viewfull=1#post39555) that "translating as the subjective genitive does not in any way diminish the believer's faith".


In fact the faithfulness of Christ was in FULFILLING the law, not something a disciple could do without faith IN Christ.
Nope. See my post (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1203-Aspects-of-Atonement-What-Did-Jesus-Death-on-the-Tree-Accomplish&p=39880&viewfull=1#post39880) above.


Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.
Here Paul is obviously elaborating on the grace and the gift of God that brought justification - the verdict of righteousness - in Romans 3: the one act of righteousness of Jesus the Messiah, which is his obedience, and thus his faithfulness.

footwasher
04-06-2014, 12:20 AM
Dikaiosune theou, God's faithfulness is not a commitment to justify towards acceptability, ritual clean-ness, but to justify towards being a blessing to the world:

2 Corinthians 5:17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

******20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


See my earlier post (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1203-Aspects-of-Atonement-What-Did-Jesus-Death-on-the-Tree-Accomplish&p=39555&viewfull=1#post39555) that "translating as the subjective genitive does not in any way diminish the believer's faith".

Nope. See my post (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1203-Aspects-of-Atonement-What-Did-Jesus-Death-on-the-Tree-Accomplish&p=39880&viewfull=1#post39880) above.

How does Paul's gospel help a believer to uphold the Law?

Paprika
04-06-2014, 12:45 AM
How does Paul's gospel help a believer to uphold the Law?
He doesn't say that the gospel upholds the Law but that faith does (Romans 3). I'll be using Galatians 2 and 5 to shed light on the exposition in Romans:


For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.


For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Paul here says that the law is fulfilled if one loves one's neighbour. And if one walks by the Spirit, the fruit (singular) of the Spirit allows one to fulfill the law.

So for Romans, we must first start at chapter 2:


For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus...For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.
Paul's talk about the law is rather complicated not least because of the varied ways he uses the word "law" - I won't pretend I have a complete explanation - but here it should be clear that "what the law requires" is not physical circumcision, and that Paul is setting up a scenario here that Gentiles who do not have the law - the written code - and yet can do what the law requires, they are then circumcised by the Spirit.

In Romans 7, Paul speaks to the Jews:

Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?
...
Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.The Jews in Christ now do not serve in the old way of the written code but in the new way of the Spirit, because they have died to the law (the death of the Messiah - his crucifixion - is imputed to them) and they are no longer under law. Things now promptly get somewhat confusing because in Romans 8, Paul talks about the "law of the Spirit of life":



There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
At this juncture, I want to point out how Paul is following the exact same line of argument as in Galatians: the Jews in Christ have died to the law, and now serve in a new way: by walking according to the Spirit, they - not just the Jews but also the Gentiles (remember the scenario above?) - fulfill the law.

So the law is upheld by walking in the Spirit, because according to the flesh no one could keep the law. But now, apart from the written code, because God has done what the law could not do by sending the Son and the Spirit, we can now do the requirement of the law.

I would conjecture that the "law of faith" (Romans 3) and the "law of the Spirit" (Romans 8) are the same thing and that Paul is using these phrases metaphorically to describe the aspect of the Spirit's activity that guides us into purity and thus keeping us from sin, which the Mosaic Law also did (cf Psalm 119).

footwasher
04-06-2014, 07:14 AM
Paprika wrote:

So the law is upheld by walking in the Spirit, because according to the flesh no one could keep the law. But now, apart from the written code, because God has done what the law could not do by sending the Son and the Spirit, we can now do the requirement of the law.

The question is whether the law is upheld by the faithfulness of Christ or faith in Christ. IOW does the law get upheld by Christ's obedience without faith in Christ? Which is what you are saying.

Paprika version
21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for (Jew and Gentile in the Church, the new man)

all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

Empowering of being blessings to the world triggered by faithfulness of Christ for both Jew and Gentile.

footwasher version
21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for (Jew and Gentile in the Church, the new man)

all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;


IOW, empowering towards being blessings to the world, triggered by faith in Christ for both Jew and Gentile.

Paprika wrote

I would conjecture that the "law of faith" (Romans 3) and the "law of the Spirit" (Romans 8) are the same thing and that Paul is using these phrases metaphorically to describe the aspect of the Spirit's activity that guides us into purity and thus keeping us from sin, which the Mosaic Law also did (cf Psalm 119).

The Mosaic Law (Covenant written on the heart for Gentiles) kept us from sinning by killing our hubris, confidence about keeping the Law, humbling us towards petition, like the Publican, Zacharias and Cornelius.

The Law of Faith (with no Law to oppress us, but the gift of rest in Christ) keeps us from sinning by giving life, through union with Christ.

Besides, "all those who believe" is an umbrella term for Jew and Gentile in the Church, not for "all those who have faith in Christ" as as Robrecht claims, my view shown by the phrase "all have sinned", the argument of ch 1 and 2.

Paprika
04-06-2014, 07:24 AM
The question is whether the law is upheld by the faithfulness of Christ or faith in Christ. IOW does the law get upheld by Christ's obedience without faith in Christ? Which is what you are saying.
That's not what I'm saying. When I argue that pisteos Christou in 3:22 should be rendered "faithfulness of Christ" I am not arguing that the faith that upholds the law (3:31) is the faithfulness of Christ.



Besides, "all those who believe" is an umbrella term for Jew and Gentile, not for "all those who have faith in Christ" as as Robrecht claims, my view shown by the phrase "all have sinned", the argument of ch 1 and 2.
As I said in an earlier post (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1203-Aspects-of-Atonement-What-Did-Jesus-Death-on-the-Tree-Accomplish&p=39555&viewfull=1#post39555), what is translated as "believe" and "faith" in the Greek has the same root. 3:22 is δικαιοσύνη δὲ θεοῦ διὰ πίστεως |Ἰησοῦ| Χριστοῦ εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας. It is thus entirely appropriate and accurate to render "all whose who believe" as "all those who have faith".

footwasher
04-06-2014, 07:35 AM
Manifesting of God's righteousness is synonymous with upholding the Law, towards the redemption of Creation.

Analyse this:
All those who believe, ie are in the Church are not all those who have faith in Christ.

Hint
Why should Paul desire to preach the Gospel to a Church that already had a gospel?

Romans 1:15So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome


That's not what I'm saying. When I argue that pisteos Christou in 3:22 should be rendered "faithfulness of Christ" I am not arguing that the faith that upholds the law (3:31) is the faithfulness of Christ.


As I said in an earlier post (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1203-Aspects-of-Atonement-What-Did-Jesus-Death-on-the-Tree-Accomplish&p=39555&viewfull=1#post39555), what is translated as "believe" and "faith" in the Greek has the same root. 3:22 is δικαιοσύνη δὲ θεοῦ διὰ πίστεως |Ἰησοῦ| Χριστοῦ εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας. It is thus entirely appropriate and accurate to render "all whose who believe" as "all those who have faith".

robrecht
04-06-2014, 09:06 AM
Robrecht wrote:

If your appeal to choosing the available grammatical options is through reasoning, then the reasoning of the above two statements is possible. Those two statements only have validity for me as part of the larger argument I presented above.


The righteousness of God, His obligation to keep the promise to Abraham, was worked out in Jesus's disciples by faithing into Christ, entry into the Promised Land in the flesh, which gave rest from their own labours, just as God entering His rest ceased to engage in laboring. This faithing into Christ was sufficient, replacing works of the law, which could not manifest the righteousness of God any way, since the law manifested death, inability, not descent from Abraham, and God's wrath remained on them. So the Judaizers needed to cease and desist from promoting the doctrine of faith in Christ plus works of the law.I think that Paul would say that God's righteousness can also be made manifest in his judgment of those who do not live according to the law. So I would not say that the law, or works of or failure to follow the law, could not manifest the righteousness of God. The righteousness of God cannot be attributed to us through our works of the law, but the righteousness of God still stands, regardless of our justification or lack thereof.


Faithing into Christ for Gentiles who previously had no hopes of partnering with God in blessing the world was a gift, not a reward for not falling short like the Jews, because they like the Jews HAD fallen short, in their case of what their consciences required and the wrath of God also continued to remain on them. So the Gentile faction had to stop boasting about their ascendancy and the disenfranchising of Israel. Where do you see indications of the Gentile faction boasting about their ascendancy and disenfranchising of Israel? I do see Paul clearly referring to Israel and therefore Jewish Christians boasting in the law.


The case for a subjective genitive is strong for dikaisyne theou, but less probable for pistis Christou, given the several mentions of the importance of faith IN Christ for both Jew and Gentile, the topic of discussion of the Book of Romans as a whole, and ch 1 and 2 in particular:

Romans 3:26
English Standard Version
It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

New American Standard Bible
for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

King James Bible
To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

In fact the faithfulness of Christ was in FULFILLING the law, not something a disciple could do without faith IN Christ.


Romans 3:31Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

In no way am I diminishing the importance of believing in and trusting Christ Jesus. The reading of the subjective genitive does not diminish the importance of believing in Jesus. For example the reading of the subjective genitive here sees a complementarity of Jesus' faithfulness and our faith in Jesus. The righteousness of God has been manifested through the faith of Jesus Christ for all who believe. You cannot use an interpretation of an objective genitive in Rom 3,26 to support an objective genitive in 3,22. Both are genitives that need to be interpreted, together or separately. I am happy to listen to your arguments for why Rom 3,26 must be an objective genitive and then consider if that overcomes the complementarity of 3,21-22: The righteousness of God has been manifested through the faith of Jesus Christ for all who believe.

Nowhere. Absolutely nowhere have I said that a disciple could fulfill the law without faith in Christ.

As for the faithfulness of Christ, I believe it was more than merely fulfilling the law, for Christ himself was faithful even when he was cursed by the law as one who hangs upon a tree. Let's take a look at this passage:

Gal 3,11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” 12 But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, “Whoever does the works of the law will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

Is this not also true for Jesus. Does not he also live by faith? Or is he merely righteous by works of the law?

I agree with Rom 3,31, but do not understand how you are using it to support an objective genitive.

I am intrigued by your expression 'faithing into Christ'. Do you mean by this 'trusting in Christ' as opposed to believing particular doctrines about Christ?

footwasher
04-06-2014, 10:13 AM
Robrecht wrote:

Those two statements only have validity for me as part of the larger argument I presented above.

Okay.


I think that Paul would say that God's righteousness can also be made manifest in his judgment of those who do not live according to the law. So I would not say that the law, or works of or failure to follow the law, could not manifest the righteousness of God. The righteousness of God cannot be attributed to us through our works of the law, but the righteousness of God still stands, regardless of our justification or lack thereof.

God's righteousness in this discussion pertains to His obligation to fulfill His promise to Abraham to rescue Creation through his descendants.

God made a vineyard, installed a winepress, gave charge of it to Israel, but she did not manifest God's fruit (much less God's righteousness) confession of corporate sin leading to justification, although individually, those who were of the remnant did bear fruit. Christ, the second son, obeyed where the first son did not ( a very Jewish theme, Adam-Christ, Cain-Abel, Esau-Jacob) and took on the national identity of Israel, succeeded and bore fruit.


Where do you see indications of the Gentile faction boasting about their ascendancy and disenfranchising of Israel? I do see Paul clearly referring to Israel and therefore Jewish Christians boasting in the law.

Romans 11:17But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either.


In no way am I diminishing the importance of believing in and trusting Christ Jesus. The reading of the subjective genitive does not diminish the importance of believing in Jesus. For example the reading of the subjective genitive here sees a complementarity of Jesus' faithfulness and our faith in Jesus. The righteousness of God has been manifested through the faith of Jesus Christ for all who believe.

"All who believe" is an umbrella term for "Jews and Gentiles in the church".


You cannot use an interpretation of an objective genitive in Rom 3,26 to support an objective genitive in 3,22. Both are genitives that need to be interpreted, together or separately. I am happy to listen to your arguments for why Rom 3,26 must be an objective genitive and then consider if that overcomes the complementarity of 3,21-22: The righteousness of God has been manifested through the faith of Jesus Christ for all who believe.

Nowhere. Absolutely nowhere have I said that a disciple could fulfill the law without faith in Christ.

When you attach a subjective genitive choice to Rom 3:22 and accept that "all who believe" is an umbrella term for "all the factions in the Church" you have eliminated "faith in Christ" from the mix.


As for the faithfulness of Christ, I believe it was more than merely fulfilling the law, for Christ himself was faithful even when he was cursed by the law as one who hangs upon a tree. Let's take a look at this passage:

Gal 3,11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” 12 But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, “Whoever does the works of the law will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."


Is this not also true for Jesus. Does not he also live by faith? Or is he merely righteous by works of the law?

The requirements of the Law, the pinnacle of it, is to present an unblemished sacrifice to God, of which the sin offering is a type. Obviously Israel was not in the running to BE that sin offering, which is why God sent His Son, fulfilling that which Abraham, speaking through the Spirit prophesied, that God would provide the Lamb. In fulfilling the Law and manifesting the righteousness of God, we were in turn empowered to become the righteousness of God through faith in Christ:

2 Corinthians 5:21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


I agree with Rom 3,31, but do not understand how you are using it to support an objective genitive.

See above.


I am intrigued by your expression 'faithing into Christ'. Do you mean by this 'trusting in Christ' as opposed to believing particular doctrines about Christ?

See above.

robrecht
04-06-2014, 10:51 AM
Thanks for identifying the reference to Rom 11,17-21.


"All who believe" is an umbrella term for "Jews and Gentiles in the church".

When you attach a subjective genitive choice to Rom 3:22 and accept that "all who believe" is an umbrella term for "all the factions in the Church" you have eliminated "faith in Christ" from the mix.Nonsense. If you translate πάντας τοὺς πιστεύονταςas "all those believing" you are in no way eliminating the language of faith for believers. If, however, you mistranslate it as "Jews and Gentiles in the church", then you are indeed mistranslating it and suppressing the language of faith. But I have not done that.


The requirements of the Law, the pinnacle of it, is to present an unblemished sacrifice to God, of which the sin offering is a type. Obviously Israel was not in the running to BE that sin offering, which is why God sent His Son, fulfilling that which Abraham, speaking through the Spirit prophesied, that God would provide the Lamb. In fulfilling the Law and manifesting the righteousness of God, we were in turn empowered to become the righteousness of God through faith in Christ:

2 Corinthians 5:21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Relevance to the subjective/objective genitive question in Rom 3,22? Are you imagining perhaps that I am disputing that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ? In no way, am I disputing this. Perhaps you are still thinking of one element of my argument in an atomistic way, whereas I was speaking of the larger context of the passage. Even here, we see that we might become the righteousness of God in him. This is comparable to my interpretation of the complementarity of faith in Rom 3,21-27.


See above. Sorry, but I still do not see how you are using Rom 3,31 to support the interpretation of an objective genitive in Rom 3,22. Do you imagine that the subjective genitive somehow nullifies, rather than establishes, the law?


See above.I am still curious as to what nuance you are intending by 'faithing into Christ'.

footwasher
04-06-2014, 11:42 AM
Robrecht wrote:

Nonsense. If you translate πάντας τοὺς πιστεύονταςas "all those believing" you are in no way eliminating the language of faith for believers. If, however, you mistranslate it as "Jews and Gentiles in the church", then you are indeed mistranslating it and suppressing the language of faith. But I have not done that.

Your objection was to the redundancy of the faith term, convincing you to choose "faithfulness of Christ" and "all who believe", as the existing "faith in Christ" in most translations would make "all who believe" redundant. Thus:

Robrecht's version:
21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all those who have faith in Christ; for there is no distinction; 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

In the process you have lost the intent of Paul's message: both Jew and Gentile have no advantage as far as sinlessness is concerned (you do know that historically, Jews considered everybody else except themselves as sinners, I hope?)

The conjunction 'for" is used to introduce the ground or reason for something previously stated, in this case the availability of redemption for "all who believe", the reason being that "there is no distinction", no one is righteous, all have sinned, all need redemption, even Jews, through faith in Christ.


Relevance to the subjective/objective genitive question in Rom 3,22? Are you imagining perhaps that I am disputing that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ? In no way, am I disputing this. Perhaps you are still thinking of one element of my argument in an atomistic way, whereas I was speaking of the larger context of the passage. Even here, we see that we might become the righteousness of God in him. This is comparable to my interpretation of the complementarity of faith in Rom 3,21-27.

You claimed that Christ's faithfulness was more than fulfilling the Law.

Robrecht wrote:

As for the faithfulness of Christ, I believe it was more than merely fulfilling the law, for Christ himself was faithful even when he was cursed by the law as one who hangs upon a tree.

The point is that becoming a curse WAS not apart (!) from the Law, it was the teleos, the whole goal of the Law:

Matthew 22:37And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38“This is the great and foremost commandment. 39“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40“On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

The next two points require a recap of ch 1, 2 and 3 so if you are patient and do not introduce new elements into the mix, I will launch into that encapsulation. It may be in the form of a lengthy tirade, I fear...

;)

robrecht
04-06-2014, 12:24 PM
Robrecht wrote:

Your objection was to the redundancy of the faith term, convincing you to choose "faithfulness of Christ" and "all who believe", as the existing "faith in Christ" in most translations would make "all who believe" redundant. You have greatly simplified my argument! Note the use of the preposition here and elsewhere and the rest of my argument.


Thus:

Robrecht's version:
21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all those who have faith in Christ; for there is no distinction; 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Please do not make up translations and claim they are mine.


In the process you have lost the intent of Paul's message: both Jew and Gentile have no advantage as far as sinlessness is concerned (you do know that historically, Jews considered everybody else except themselves as sinners, I hope?) I have in no way diminished Paul's message about Jews and Gentiles. While you may want to understand or perhaps even translate Paul's use of "an umbrella term" as "Jews and Gentiles in the church", you cannot fault me for sticking to Paul's actual words. If Paul uses the language of faith to refer to all those who believe, he is still nonetheless referring to all those [Jews and Greeks] who believe, though he does not explicitly mention here "Jews and Gentiles in the church".


The conjunction 'for" is used to introduce the ground or reason for something previously stated, in this case the availability of faith for "all who believe", the reason being that "there is no distinction", no one is righteous, all have sinned, all need redemption, even Jews, through faith in Christ. I do not disagree with this, but I do not see why you consider this relevant to the question of a subjective or objective genitive.


You claimed that Christ's faithfulness was more than fulfilling the Law.

Robrecht wrote:

The point is that becoming a curse WAS not apart (!) from the Law, it was the teleos, the whole goal of the Law ... It would be better to include the text of Galatians that I also cited. Otherwise, you risk misunderstanding and misrepresenting what I said. I in no way say that Christ crucified being cursed by the law was apart from the law. That would be an oxymoron. But being cursed by the law should not be understood as faithfully following the commandments of the law. Christ's faithfulness, in my opinion, and I believe also in Paul's opinion, is more than merely following commandments of the law. You may disagree. If so, please explain how the faithfulness of Christ did not exceed merely following commandments of the law. If you agree, well, just say so.



Matthew 22:37And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38“This is the great and foremost commandment. 39“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40“On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friendsDo you imagine that I disagree with this?

robrecht
04-06-2014, 12:28 PM
Later addition by footwasher:


... The next two points require a recap of ch 1, 2 and 3 so if you are patient and do not introduce new elements into the mix, I will launch into that encapsulation. It may be in the form of a lengthy tirade, I fear...

;) I have not introduced any new elements into the mix, but I would appreciate it if you not misrepresent my position, either directly or by innuendo. Also, I am still curious as to what nuance you are intending by 'faithing into Christ'. Perhaps you could answer that question before launching into lengthy tirades. Finally, do you really think that lengthy tirades are all that helpful?

robrecht
04-06-2014, 12:36 PM
Emphasis mine:
... The point is that becoming a curse WAS not apart (!) from the Law, it was the teleos, the whole goal of the Law:

Matthew 22:37And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38“This is the great and foremost commandment. 39“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40“On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. One last question: Do you really mean to say that 'becoming a curse was the teleos, the whole goal of the Law'? If so, please explain what you mean by that? Oops, that's a second question, I guess, depending on how you answer the first one.

footwasher
04-06-2014, 01:41 PM
The church in Rome had probably been started by those who returned from Pentecost in Jerusalem. It's doctrinal foundations are not very firm evidenced by the constant friction between the Jewish and the Gentile factions within it. In addition, external circumstances have exacerbated the problem. Claudius has just died, enabling the Jews who were banished from Rome by him for causing the repeated clashes and disturbances their differences with Gentiles and other Jews have created to return. News from Jerusalem is disturbing, the Temple authorities facing turmoil. The Gentiles view the returnees with suspicion: are these events the precursors of a final and non-reversible rejection by God of Israel?

Into this situation comes Paul with his kerygma, the Gospel of God. Formerly the church in Rome has received a barebones Gospel, understood that belief in Christ results in justification, but Paul must impress upon them that this justification is more than forensic, it is organic. In Adam, death had primacy, but in Christ, believers can reign in life. God's righteousness, then, as life giver, is the main theme of the Book of Romans.

Romans 1:16For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

Paul first establishes the framework in which this righteousness is manifested. In Ch 1 he lays out the status of the Gentiles, their suppression of God's revelation, leading to God giving them over to their sins. In Ch 2, the Jews fare no better. In fact they turn out worse, since they have extra access to revelation, and still fall short.

The answer to the situation of both is of course to do the Law, rather than just be passive hearers.

Romans 2:12For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

Romans 2:25For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.

Having established that both Jew and Gentile have no advantage as far as requirements for righteousness and instructions towards that are concerned, he announces the new way towards that righteousness, not through doing, but through faith.

Romans 3:21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe;

Adding that this way is applicable equally, again, to both Jew and Gentile.

Is he replacing the result of doing with the result of believing? Yes. Will the last nullify the Law? No, it will establish the Law, an improvement over the result of doing.

We see that the main issues in Ch 1, 2 and 3 are the equal statuses of Jew and Gentile, and the necessity to uphold the Law.

Since Paul is conveying a new understanding of the Gospel, with more benefits, superior methods and better results, he must be careful not to lose, nullify, existing norms.

The better result is a new, tangible, different life. It is achieved through faith. Paul must insert these new packets of information in every statement, at every opportunity.


Conclusion
It would be counter productive, go against the grain of the previous material, for Paul to mean a subjective genitive for pistes Christou, if in the process he loses the information he intends to convey . Lose momentum, knock the wind out of his own sails.

Why would he want to do that? Rhetorically speaking.

robrecht
04-06-2014, 01:59 PM
the church in Rome had probably been started by those who returned from Pentecost in Jerusalem. it's doctrinal foundations are not very firm evidenced by the constant friction between the Jewish and the Gentile factions within it. In addition, external circumstances have exacerbated the problem. Claudius has just died, enabling the Jews who were banished from Rome by him for causing the repeated clashes and disturbances their differences with Gentiles and other Jews have created to return. The Gentiles view them with suspicion: are these events the precursors of a final and nonreversible rejection by God of Israel?

Into this situation comes Paul with his kerygma, the Gospel of God. Formerly the church in Rome has received a barebones Gospel, understood that belief in Christ results in justification, but Paul must impress upon them that this justification is more than forensic, it is organic. In Adam, death had primacy, but in Christ, believers reigned in life. God's righteousness, then, as life giver, is the main theme of the Book of Romans.

Romans 1:16For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

Paul first establishes the framework in which this righteousness is manifested. In Ch 1 he lays out the status of the Gentiles, their suppression of God's revelation, leading to God giving them over to their sins. In Ch 2, the Jews fare no better. In fact they turn out worse, since they have extra access to revelation, and still fall short.

The answer to the situation of both is of course to do the Law, rather than just be passive hearers.

Romans 2:12For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

Romans 2:25For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.

Having established that both Jew and Gentile have no advantage as far as requirements for righteousness and instructions towards that are concerned, he announces the new way towards that righteousness, not through doing, but through faith.

Romans 3:21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe;

Adding that this way is applicable equally, again, to both Jew and Gentile.

Is he replacing the result of doing with the result of believing? Yes. Will the last nullify the Law? No, it will establish the Law, an improvement over the result of doing.

We see that the main issues in Ch 1, 2 and 3 are the equal statuses of Jew and Gentile, and the necessity to uphold the Law.

Since Paul is conveying a new understanding of the Gospel, with more benefits, superior methods and better results, he must be careful not to lose, nullify, existing norms.

The better result is a new, tangible, different life. It is achieved through faith. Paul must insert these new packets of information in every statement, at every opportunity.


Conclusion
It would be counter productive, go against the grain of the previous material, for Paul to mean a subjective genitive for pistes Christou, if in the process he loses the information he intends to convey . Lose momentum, knock the wind out of his own sails.

Why would he want to do that? Rhetorically speaking. I do not think that the subjective genitive goes against the previous material, 'though I do think some of your reconstruction of the situation of the Roman church is too speculative for me to pretend it has any real bearing on the subjective/objective genitive question. If perhaps you want to make a more specific reference to how the situation in Rome relates to this question, that might be worth discussing.

In the meantime, look at 1,16-17. The one who is righteous will live by faith. Does that only apply to Christian believers? Does it not also apply to Abraham? Is it impossible that it might apply to Jesus as well? The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel through faith for faith. Why the complementarity of faith? I've sometimes wondered if Paul might be speaking of the righteousness of God being revealed in the gospel through the faith of Christ for the faith of all believers.

footwasher
04-06-2014, 02:05 PM
The discussion is, as usual, becoming unwieldy. Even normal conversation need reiterations, expressing in different ways. Let's set some ground rules. Divide the questions into separate threads, maybe?

robrecht
04-06-2014, 02:08 PM
The discussion is, as usual, becoming unwieldy. Even normal conversation need reiterations, expressing in different ways. Let's set some ground rules. Divide the questions into separate threads, maybe? I don't think I have the patience to try and follow multiple threads. If an issue is unwieldy, it may be better to keep it all in one place, to try and achieve some unity. In the meantime, perhaps you could just respond to my comments/questions so far.

Paprika
04-06-2014, 07:07 PM
Manifesting of God's righteousness is synonymous with upholding the Law, towards the redemption of Creation.

Analyse this:
All those who believe, ie are in the Church are not all those who have faith in Christ.

Hint
Why should Paul desire to preach the Gospel to a Church that already had a gospel?

Romans 1:15So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome
How on earth is all this relevant to Romans 3?

robrecht
04-06-2014, 07:57 PM
How on earth is all this relevant to Romans 3?I think he wants to claim that 'all those who believe' in Rom 3,22 includes some who do not believe in Jesus Christ. Hey, I just reads 'em; I don't make 'em up.

hedrick
04-07-2014, 04:07 AM
I looked at all uses of “faith” in Paul. I note that in NRSV most of the places where “faith in Christ” appears there’s a note that it can also be “faith / faithfulness of Christ.” It’s an alternative that I would find attractive because it deals with inclusivism. That is, if justification is by faith, but not specifically faith in Christ, then that makes justification a possibility for some non-Christians.

I do think Rom 2 and the example of Abraham suggest that there is justifying faith that is not explicitly in Christ. But Paul also teaches that Christ is appropriated by faith. I opt for “faith in Christ” for two reasons (both following the Word Commentary on Romans): (1) there’s no clear treatment of Christ’s faith / faithfulness other than these ambiguous passages. That is, there’s no parallel to Paul’s discussion of Abraham’s faith. (2) There are passages that are unambiguous, e.g. Rom 10:14, Gal 2:16. Phil 1:29.

I do think Paul sees hope for non-Chritians who have faith in God. But his letters are addressed to Christians, for whom faith is specifically in Christ.

Obviously Christ was faithful, and had faith. It would not be a problem for me if Paul sometimes refers to that. But even if he does, I think there are enough other passages to indicate that Christians appropriate Christ’s faithfulness through faith in him.

Paprika
04-07-2014, 04:27 AM
I looked at all uses of “faith” in Paul. I note that in NRSV most of the places where “faith in Christ” appears there’s a note that it can also be “faith / faithfulness of Christ.” It’s an alternative that I would find attractive because it deals with inclusivism. That is, if justification is by faith, but not specifically faith in Christ, then that makes justification a possibility for some non-Christians.

I do think Rom 2 and the example of Abraham suggest that there is justifying faith that is not explicitly in Christ.
Romans 4 makes it clear (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1203-Aspects-of-Atonement-What-Did-Jesus-Death-on-the-Tree-Accomplish&p=39555&viewfull=1#post39555) that "it will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification." I agree that it does not rule out some form of inclusivism, though Paul is emphasising the faith in God "who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist".


But Paul also teaches that Christ is appropriated by faith. I opt for “faith in Christ” for two reasons (both following the Word Commentary on Romans): (1) there’s no clear treatment of Christ’s faith / faithfulness other than these ambiguous passages. That is, there’s no parallel to Paul’s discussion of Abraham’s faith. (2) There are passages that are unambiguous, e.g. Rom 10:14, Gal 2:16. Phil 1:29.

Do see this post (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1203-Aspects-of-Atonement-What-Did-Jesus-Death-on-the-Tree-Accomplish&p=39880&viewfull=1#post39880) on precisely this issue: Paul does speak unambiguously of Jesus' faithfulness in Romans 5, though he doesn't use pistis language.

The Remonstrant
04-07-2014, 05:28 AM
Do see this post (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1203-Aspects-of-Atonement-What-Did-Jesus-Death-on-the-Tree-Accomplish&p=39880&viewfull=1#post39880) on precisely this issue: Paul does speak unambiguously of Jesus' faithfulness in Romans 5, though he doesn't use pistis language.

In Romans 5:19 "the one man's disobedience" (Adam) is contrasted with "the one man's obedience" (Christ). In light the preceding verse and the surrounding context (5:6ff.), Jesus' "one act of righteousness" (i.e., the Lord's sacrificial death on the cross) is in view. Paul is comparing the first man's transgression (the "one trespass", v.18) with Christ's submission to a shameful death on the cross (cf. Philippians 2:8). You can attempt to import the whole of Jesus' obedience to the Torah into this passage, but only at the expense of overlooking the context. The lifelong obedience of Jesus to the Father is not in view.

Paprika
04-07-2014, 05:50 AM
You can attempt to import the whole of Jesus' obedience to the Torah into this passage, but only at the expense of overlooking the context. The lifelong obedience of Jesus to the Father is not in view.
I am not importing "the whole of Jesus' obedience to the Torah into this passage". What I am doing, is showing that the "free gift" of "grace" in Romans 3 that leads to justification - the declaration of "dikaios" - is here in Romans 5 "by" and "through" the dikaiomatos and obedience of Jesus Christ.

Noting the covenant nature of dikaiosunein Romans 3, we should then translate pisteos Christos as the faithfulness of Christ: God's dikaiosune is manifested through Jesus Christ's dikaiomatos, his pisteos or faithfulness, a free gift of grace that leads to justification (dikaioma) and righteousness (dikaiosune)

footwasher
04-07-2014, 09:21 AM
I don't think I have the patience to try and follow multiple threads. If an issue is unwieldy, it may be better to keep it all in one place, to try and achieve some unity. In the meantime, perhaps you could just respond to my comments/questions so far.

Okay.
Robrecht wrote:

You have greatly simplified my argument! Note the use of the preposition here and elsewhere and the rest of my argument.

Your argument was that the sentence was awkward if "faith in Christ" was the understanding of pisteos Christos.


(At this point I would like to pause and note that translating as the subjective genitive does not in any way diminish the believer's faith: you get "the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who have faith". On the other hand, if you translate as the objective genitive, you get the slightly awkward rendering of "the righteousness of God through the faith in Jesus Christ for all who have faith".

The awkwardness is present if all those who have faith means all Christians, but its not awkward if it means Jews and Gentiles, which is true, because of the reasons given, all have sinned, a parallel being found in v9:

9What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;

10as it is written,
************“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;


Please do not make up translations and claim they are mine.

This is the parallel of your translation, as seen side by side here:


Robrecht's version according to footwasher:
21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all those who have faith in Christ;

Robrecht's actual version
you get "the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who have faith".

So please don't nitpick.


I have in no way diminished Paul's message about Jews and Gentiles. While you may want to understand or perhaps even translate Paul's use of "an umbrella term" as "Jews and Gentiles in the church", you cannot fault me for sticking to Paul's actual words. If Paul uses the language of faith to refer to all those who believe, he is still nonetheless referring to all those [Jews and Greeks] who believe, though he does not explicitly mention here "Jews and Gentiles in the church".

Actually he does:

9What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;

10as it is written,
************“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;


I do not disagree with this, but I do not see why you consider this relevant to the question of a subjective or objective genitive.

Because an objective genitive will not render the sentence awkward as you claim by seeing a redundancy where there is none, "all who believe" being understood as "without exception", not "all who have faith in Christ".


It would be better to include the text of Galatians that I also cited. Otherwise, you risk misunderstanding and misrepresenting what I said. I in no way say that Christ crucified being cursed by the law was apart from the law. That would be an oxymoron. But being cursed by the law should not be understood as faithfully following the commandments of the law. Christ's faithfulness, in my opinion, and I believe also in Paul's opinion, is more than merely following commandments of the law. You may disagree. If so, please explain how the faithfulness of Christ did not exceed merely following commandments of the law. If you agree, well, just say so.

You said Christ being cursed by the law was more than merely fulfilling the law, implying He was exceeding his brief, implying his faithfulness was extraneous to requirements of the law, by using a word like "even".


As for the faithfulness of Christ, I believe it was more than merely fulfilling the law, for Christ himself was faithful even when he was cursed by the law as one who hangs upon a tree. Let's take a look at this passage:

Gal 3,11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” 12 But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, “Whoever does the works of the law will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

Is this not also true for Jesus. Does not he also live by faith? Or is he merely righteous by works of the law?

The point is that Israel bit off more than she could chew by asking for the Law. Consider this: Israel asked for Torah, instruction. God gave Israel the instructions that was meant for Christ. Try to work this out.


Do you imagine that I disagree with this?

Funny thing is that when the Jewish teachers asked for the way to eternal life, Christ gave them the same instructions that God gave. It was still out of their reach because of the weakness of the flesh. I reiterate, Torah was given to Christ and Christ only. Israel could only observe it in the breach to observe it well.

Paprika
04-07-2014, 09:25 AM
Your argument was that the sentence was awkward if "faith in Christ" was the understanding of pisteos Christos.

(At this point I would like to pause and note that translating as the subjective genitive does not in any way diminish the believer's faith: you get "the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who have faith". On the other hand, if you translate as the objective genitive, you get the slightly awkward rendering of "the righteousness of God through the faith in Jesus Christ for all who have faith".

I believe I wrote that, not robrecht.

Paprika
04-07-2014, 09:28 AM
The point is that Israel bit off more than she could chew by asking for the Law. Consider this: Israel asked for Torah, instruction. God gave Israel the instructions that was meant for Christ. Try to work this out.
Care to show that Israel asked for Torah? I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

footwasher
04-07-2014, 09:49 AM
What Israel asked for:

Deuteronomy 5:22“These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly at the mountain from the midst of the fire, of the cloud and of the thick gloom, with a great voice, and He added no more. He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me. 23“And when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders. 24“You said, ‘Behold, the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire; we have seen today that God speaks with man, yet he lives. 25‘Now then why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any longer, then we will die. 26‘For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? 27‘Go near and hear all that the LORD our God says; then speak to us all that the LORD our God speaks to you, and we will hear and do it.’

What Israel did when they realized that Law was given to show her her inadequacy, that Law was given because of transgression:


Jeremiah 7:17“Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18“The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to spite Me. 19“Do they spite Me?” declares the LORD. “Is it not themselves they spite, to their own shame?” 20Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and on beast and on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched.”

What God intended originally, before Law was given:

Jeremiah7:21Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat flesh. 22“For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23“But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.’


Care to show that Israel asked for Torah? I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

Paprika
04-07-2014, 09:52 AM
Deuteronomy 5:22“These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly at the mountain from the midst of the fire, of the cloud and of the thick gloom, with a great voice, and He added no more. He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me. 23“And when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders. 24“You said, ‘Behold, the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire; we have seen today that God speaks with man, yet he lives. 25‘Now then why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any longer, then we will die. 26‘For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? 27‘Go near and hear all that the LORD our God says; then speak to us all that the LORD our God speaks to you, and we will hear and do it.’
:doh:

footwasher
04-07-2014, 10:15 AM
My bad, Robrecht's faulty reasoning keeps haunting me:


Aside from the other contexts and the grammatical difficulties here:
verbal object of a nonactive noun?
Paul uses a preposition for an objective sense even with an active noun
εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας (3,22)

… the fundamental issue I have with the way that this is typically translated here as an objective genitive by those who follow Luther (Glauben an JEsum Christum), is that:
the righteousness of God (3,21)
borne witness to by the law and the prophets (not by us)
the righteousness of God (3,22)
who justifies by his grace as a gift (3,24)
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
whom God put forward as a place of mercy (3,25)
by his blood
to make manifest his righteousness
because of his passing over of sins
by means of the patience of God (3,26)
to manifest his righteousness at this time
to be himself righteous
the one who makes righteous
for which we cannot boast (3,27)

… this righteousness of God is nonetheless supposedly made manifest by
our faith?
even ‘though we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? (3,23)

Does anyone else see how out of place this objective genitive interpretation is in this context that in so many ways suggests the simpler, more fundamental meaning of the more literal subjective genitive?


I believe I wrote that, not robrecht.

Want to fault my analysis?

Paprika
04-07-2014, 10:18 AM
Want to fault my analysis?
If I want to critique your critique of my analysis, I'd rather do so after you've separated your critiques of robrecht's and my position.

robrecht
04-07-2014, 11:25 AM
My bad, Robrecht's faulty reasoning keeps haunting me: Once you identify my faulty reasoning, I would be happy to entertain your demonstration that it is faulty.


So please don't nitpick.Sorry, I don't consider this to be nitpicking. There are a variety of ways of translating the Greek text and I rarely (if ever?) propose any single translation to represent the only way or even the best way to understand the Greek text. Without being able to query the author, translations are always tentative and, even when one can query an author, multiple translations can and sometimes should be offered to illustrate ambiguity and to bring out possible nuances of the source language. Exegesis should be on the Greek text.


To me, this is more likely to be a nitpick:
Actually he does:

9What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin ...
The discussion concerned whether one should understand or translate 'unto all them that believe' in Rom 3,22 as "Jews and Gentiles in the church". My point, which you apparently misunderstood (no worries, it happens to the best of us) was that, while both groups should certainly be understood to be included in this phrase, Paul did not use those words here. Certainly, I must not have expressed this clearly enough, but do you really think I would claim that Paul never used these words anywhere? Sometimes people immediately try to seize upon an apparent mistake without actually trying to understand what must be the intended meaning.


You said Christ being cursed by the law was more than merely fulfilling the law, implying He was exceeding his brief, implying his faithfulness was extraneous to requirements of the law, by using a word like "even". No, my use of the word 'even' does not imply that "Christ was exceeding his brief", at least I don't think it does since I'm not even sure what you mean by this. Nor does my use of "even" imply that Christ's faithfulness "was extraneous to requirements of the law."

What I said was:

As for the faithfulness of Christ, I believe it was more than [ie, including, not extraneous, but more than] merely fulfilling the law, for Christ himself was faithful even [the offending word] when he was cursed by the law as one who hangs upon a tree. Let's take a look at this passage:

Gal 3,11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” 12 But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, “Whoever does the works of the law will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

Is this not also true for Jesus. Does not he also live by faith? Or is he merely righteous by works of the law?

Can you explain how you get 'extraneous to the law' from what I and St Paul said?


The point is that Israel bit off more than she could chew by asking for the Law. Consider this: Israel asked for Torah, instruction. God gave Israel the instructions that was meant for Christ. Try to work this out. I will need your help in working this out. Can you please explain a little more about how this relates to Rom 3,22? Are you saying something like because the law was never intended for Israel, they could never have become righteous by following the law, and only Jesus could follow the law that was only intended for him, and therefore Christ's faithfulness to the law and not to anything or anyone else is the manifestation of the righteousness of God, ... and therefore Christ's faithfulness cannot be any part of Rom 3,22 because it is referring to our belief about or faithing into Christ, who was faithful to the law and only to the law? You see the difficulty I'm having? Perhaps you could explain what you mean so that I don't make any mistakes trying to work it out on my own.

footwasher
04-07-2014, 11:46 AM
Robrecht wrote:

I have not introduced any new elements into the mix, but I would appreciate it if you not misrepresent my position, either directly or by innuendo. Also, I am still curious as to what nuance you are intending by 'faithing into Christ'. Perhaps you could answer that question before launching into lengthy tirades. Finally, do you really think that lengthy tirades are all that helpful?

Israel cries out to God and God sends Moses to rescue her from oppression in Egypt. However, let's not forget it was God who got Israel into trouble in the first place. He gave Joseph a dream that turned his family against him, leading to his enslavement in Egypt, setting of a chain of events leading to oppression in Egypt for all Israel. (Parallel to God's causing the expulsion of Adam from the Garden into the oppression of the world). Why? To teach faithing!

Israel followed Moses into the desert. Was it an act of faith in God? No. It was an act advantageous to herself. It was not even a show of faith that blessed those who have not seen yet believed because they saw God's powerful deeds in working out their deliverance. What would have been an act of faith was if the Israelites continued to be loyal to God when He withheld water from them, when their living conditions fell below those in Egypt.

So the meaning of faithing is now becoming clearer: it involves loyalty. When God says jump, we ask, "How high?" not "Why?" or even "Why, oh! why?" Joshua and Caleb are good examples, God's poster boys for faithing.

The converts who joined the church saw it as escaping wrath, believing that was what they needed to do to be saved. The jailer, Simon Magus, the Ethiopian eunuch, etc. In the church, they drank from the Rock, learnt about the desired end result, to be loyal to God, their real Father, and not to themselves or to entities that were not their fathers. They were free to do what they wanted with their dependencies, their insecurities, their fears, free to keep them or abandon them. Unlike the Israelites, who had no such freedom. The latter needed to obey God's commands.

For example, when God told Israel to confront the Canaanites, it was to be obeyed. That's how faith, loyalty was exhibited then.

However, when God tells us to confront our dependency on material security, on serving Mammon, we can ask for terms of peace. It would be shameful to claim to be filled with the Spirit when we aren't, it would be lying to the Holy Spirit, and it would be shameful when we cannot succeed in our task to confront our dependency on material security, when we fail to complete building the tower we claimed to have the ability to do. Really, God does not expect us to go cold turkey, because His yoke is gentle, His burden light.

Terms of peace are also demonstrations of loyalty, of faithing. And loyalty, faith in Christ, results in the manifestation of the righteousness of God...

Luke 14:25Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28“For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29“Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31“Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32“Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

Luke 16:1Now He was also saying to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions. 2“And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4‘I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.’ 5“And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6“And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7“Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8“And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. 9“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.
******10“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. 11“Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? 12“And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Do you understand?

Let those who have ears hear...

Then again, the Kingdom of God is like a field...

robrecht
04-07-2014, 01:32 PM
Robrecht wrote:


Israel cries out to God and God sends Moses to rescue her from oppression in Egypt. However, let's not forget it was God who got Israel into trouble in the first place. He gave Joseph a dream that turned his family against him, leading to his enslavement in Egypt, setting of a chain of events leading to oppression in Egypt for all Israel. (Parallel to God's causing the expulsion of Adam from the Garden into the oppression of the world). Why? To teach faithing!

Israel followed Moses into the desert. Was it an act of faith in God? No. It was an act advantageous to herself. It was not even a show of faith that blessed those who have not seen yet believed because they saw God's powerful deeds in working out their deliverance. What would have been an act of faith was if the Israelites continued to be loyal to God when He withheld water from them, when their living conditions fell below those in Egypt.

So the meaning of faithing is now becoming clearer: it involves loyalty. When God says jump, we ask, "How high?" not "Why?" or even "Why, oh! why?" Joshua and Caleb are good examples, God's poster boys for faithing.

The converts who joined the church saw it as escaping wrath, believing that was what they needed to do to be saved. The jailer, Simon Magus, the Ethiopian eunuch, etc. In the church, they drank from the Rock, learnt about the desired end result, to be loyal to God, their real Father, and not to themselves or to entities that were not their fathers. They were free to do what they wanted with their dependencies, their insecurities, their fears, free to keep them or abandon them. Unlike the Israelites, who had no such freedom. The latter needed to obey God's commands.

For example, when God told Israel to confront the Canaanites, it was to be obeyed. That's how faith, loyalty was exhibited then.

However, when God tells us to confront our dependency on material security, on serving Mammon, we can ask for terms of peace. It would be shameful to claim to be filled with the Spirit when we aren't, it would be lying to the Holy Spirit, and it would be shameful when we cannot succeed in our task to confront our dependency on material security, when we fail to complete building the tower we claimed to have the ability to do. Really, God does not expect us to go cold turkey, because His yoke is gentle, His burden light.

Terms of peace are also demonstrations of loyalty, of faithing. And loyalty, faith in Christ, results in the manifestation of the righteousness of God...

Luke 14:25Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28“For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29“Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31“Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32“Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

Luke 16:1Now He was also saying to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions. 2“And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4‘I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.’ 5“And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6“And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7“Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8“And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. 9“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.
******10“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. 11“Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? 12“And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Do you understand?

Let those who have ears hear...

Then again, the Kingdom of God is like a field...
Wow. I'm really glad I asked. I never would have gotten all that from your terse "See above" statement.

I think I understand. Where else do you see this particular idea of 'faithing' in Paul's writings?

hedrick
04-07-2014, 03:14 PM
Do see this post (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1203-Aspects-of-Atonement-What-Did-Jesus-Death-on-the-Tree-Accomplish&p=39880&viewfull=1#post39880) on precisely this issue: Paul does speak unambiguously of Jesus' faithfulness in Romans 5, though he doesn't use pistis language.

But that's the point. Paul uses other language.

Paprika
04-07-2014, 06:22 PM
But that's the point. Paul uses other language.
So?

footwasher
04-08-2014, 11:18 AM
I dont have the patience to format footnotes and citations, but heres a link:

Quote
In sum, Paul’s occasion-purpose for writing Romans is threefold: (1) he was going west and needed to have a base of operations in a church that shared both his vision and his theology; (2) he knew that his life was in danger and wanted to give something of a more balanced, systematic presentation of his gospel, to leave as a memorial; and (3) he detected anti-Semitism arising in the Roman church through the influence of Claudius’ edict (to expel Jews from Rome in AD 49) and wanted to give a theologically-based correction to this attitude.

https://bible.org/seriespage/background-material-and-argument-book


Answering chronological-ly...

Robrecht wrote:

One last question: Do you really mean to say that 'becoming a curse was the teleos, the whole goal of the Law'? If so, please explain what you mean by that? Oops, that's a second question, I guess, depending on how you answer the first one.

The point is that you view Rom 3 as a description of how God's righteousness is released by the faithfulness of Christ, the subjective genitive option, for those in the church. There is almost a sense that it is a done deal, fait accompli, once you join a church, once you are in Christ.

Really, Rom 1, 2 and 3 is Paul telling Gentiles and Jews they have no special favour from God, neither Jews for having Abraham as ancestor through possessing the Law, nor Gentiles for escaping persecution and genocide in both Rome and Jerusalem leading to displacement and rejection of the Jews. Before the Cross, God's wrath rested on all mankind, without exception, and it was only averted by doing the Law, obeying God's commands, leading to failure, in turn leading to petitioning God for mercy, like the Publican, Zacharias and Cornelius, and God not turning them away but revealing the Redeemer to them, as He had to Job, Abraham and David and giving His sheep to Christ.

Now, after the Cross, the requirements of the Law have been abolished, replaced by the requirement for faith in Christ, because that is how the manifestation of God's righteousness is now available to all, again without exception, not because of God's wrath, but to avoid perishing.

IOW, dont treat Romans as a "how to get saved manual", but as a "who needs saving manual". Jews and Gentile both assumed they were already saved and Paul is disabusing them of the notion (a lesson for today as well, yes?).

The Law which was supposed to give life gave death instead. A blemish free sacrifice is one which gives life, so only Christ could fulfill the Law. That was the plan, the righteousness of God in fulfilling His promise to Abraham. In turn, those who are loyal to Christ receive life because of his faithfulness, obedience.


I do not think that the subjective genitive goes against the previous material, 'though I do think some of your reconstruction of the situation of the Roman church is too speculative for me to pretend it has any real bearing on the subjective/objective genitive question. If perhaps you want to make a more specific reference to how the situation in Rome relates to this question, that might be worth discussing.

In the meantime, look at 1,16-17. The one who is righteous will live by faith. Does that only apply to Christian believers? Does it not also apply to Abraham? Is it impossible that it might apply to Jesus as well? The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel through faith for faith. Why the complementarity of faith? I've sometimes wondered if Paul might be speaking of the righteousness of God being revealed in the gospel through the faith of Christ for the faith of all believers.

How can Abraham live by faith if Christ had not been sent yet? No one "lived" before the Spirit was given, not even John the Fore runner, who was the greatest amongst those born of women.

Galatians 3:12However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”— 14in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Only Christ practised the Law, only He lives because of it.

In turn, we can live through faith in Him, by receiving the Spirit...

robrecht
04-08-2014, 12:49 PM
"Do you really mean to say that 'becoming a curse was the teleos, the whole goal of the Law'?" I'm still curious as to exactly how you would answer this. I have a better sense of your theology and how only Jesus was able to live by the law, but does it follow that the whole goal of the law, its telos, so to speak, was for Jesus to be cursed?


The point is that you view Rom 3 as a description of how God's righteousness is released by the faithfulness of Christ, the subjective genitive option, for those in the church. There is almost a sense that it is a done deal, fait accompli, once you join a church, once you are in Christ. I would not say 'released' but rather 'made manifest', as I believe Paul is saying. Please do not go beyond my words and try to describe what they almost say.


Really, Rom 1, 2 and 3 is Paul telling Gentiles and Jews they have no special favour from God, neither Jews for having Abraham as ancestor through possessing the Law, nor Gentiles for escaping persecution and genocide in both Rome and Jerusalem leading to displacement and rejection of the Jews. I agree with this except I think Paul's view of the attitude of some Gentile Christians toward Jews was that it was based on the Jews' having rejected Jesus, not based merely some political/civil advantage gained over Jews on account of Claudius' edict. Paul does not seem to mention or allude to this as the cause of the Gentile Christian attitude he critiques. As for hypothetical reconstruction of the situation behind Paul's letter without reference to cues contained in the letter, I do not know how likely or definitive this scenario is. Suetonius may be understood as saying that only 'those Jews were expelled who were constantly making disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus'. But even if Suetonius was speaking of all Jews being expelled, one must also take into account the possible reality behind 'the disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus'. It is quite possible that Jewish Christians (perhaps even Gentile Christians considered as Jews) were at least among those being expelled. One must also take into account thsoe who argue for a different timeframe for the expulsion. In the end, however, it is most reliable to stick to the indications that can be seen more clearly in the actual text of Paul that we have.


Now, after the Cross, the requirements of the Law have been abolished, replaced by the requirement for faith in Christ, because that is how the manifestation of God's righteousness is now available to all, again without exception, not because of God's wrath, but to avoid perishing. Are you quite certain that Peter, as depicted in the first half of Acts, would agree about even the dietary requirements of the Law being abolished? And what about the moral requirements of the Law, do not steal, do not murder, do not commit adultery, etc. Surely those requirements of the Law have not been abolished, right? This takes us back to the whole purpose of the Law, its telos, so to speak. Did God command us not to murder only so that we would learn that we are unable to murder and that only Jesus was able to avoid murdering someone?


IOW, dont treat Romans as a "how to get saved manual" ... I don't think that I do.


In turn, those who are loyal to Christ receive life because of his faithfulness, obedience. This is very close to my understanding of the passage being discussed.


How can Abraham live by faith if Christ had not been sent yet? How do you think St Paul would answer this question. Did not Abraham believe God and was accounted as righeous? Or should we assume that Paul can only be speaking of Abraham living by faith in Christ. If we make that assumption, are we not assuming the very interpretation of Rom 3,22 that you want to demonstrate?

footwasher
04-09-2014, 07:57 AM
Once you identify my faulty reasoning, I would be happy to entertain your demonstration that it is faulty.

Is this your view?

In Romans 3:22, you understand pistes Christos to mean faithfulness of Christ, not faith in Christ.

Is this your view?

You understand that sinners, those who have fallen short of the glory of God could never cause Him to manifest His righteousness in their lives by having faith in Christ, so what triggers God's righteousness is really the “faithfulness of Christ”.


Aside from the other contexts and the grammatical difficulties here:
verbal object of a nonactive noun?
Paul uses a preposition for an objective sense even with an active noun
εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας (3,22)

… the fundamental issue I have with the way that this is typically translated here as an objective genitive by those who follow Luther (Glauben an JEsum Christum), is that:
the righteousness of God (3,21)
borne witness to by the law and the prophets (not by us)
the righteousness of God (3,22)
who justifies by his grace as a gift (3,24)
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
whom God put forward as a place of mercy (3,25)
by his blood
to make manifest his righteousness
because of his passing over of sins
by means of the patience of God (3,26)
to manifest his righteousness at this time
to be himself righteous
the one who makes righteous
for which we cannot boast (3,27)

… this righteousness of God is nonetheless supposedly made manifest by
our faith?
even ‘though we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? (3,23)

First of all, the phrase
'though we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? (3,23)

should read:
'for we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? (3,23)'

The conjunction 'for' introduces the reason God's rigteouness must be manifested in the lives of both Jew and Gentile: both have fallen short of God's glory, both need saving, there is no distinction:

Romans 3:21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

You seem to have used the phrase “faith in Christ” to question the ability of the believer to have effective faith, when what is being discussed is the universal need for salvation unto sanctification, without exception, contra the belief of the Jewish and Gentile factions of the church in Rome, as seen in the parallel:

3:9What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;
10as it is written,
“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;

Besides, why should our defective faith prevent God from doing what He promised? Scripture says just the opposite:

Matthew 17:20And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Its not the quality of your faith that is important, its the power of the One you have faith in.


"Do you really mean to say that 'becoming a curse was the teleos, the whole goal of the Law'?" I'm still curious as to exactly how you would answer this. I have a better sense of your theology and how only Jesus was able to live by the law, but does it follow that the whole goal of the law, its telos, so to speak, was for Jesus to be cursed?
The Law was given to bring life:

Romans 7:10I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

How did it do that? Through atonement.

Was Christ sent to make that atonement? Yes.

If yes, then Christ was meant to use the Law to give life and so that was the telos of the Law. Why else would Christ come to fulfill the Law?

I would not say 'released' but rather 'made manifest', as I believe Paul is saying. Please do not go beyond my words and try to describe what they almost say.
Released and made manifest are synonyms in the sense both mean triggered, kicked off, initiated. I used “released” to help other readers of the post, since "made manifest" is kinda antiquated. If faith in Christ does not initiate the righteousness of God in our lives, what does?

In fact the faithfulness of Christ is sufficient for all men, but it is efficient only for those who believe!


I agree with this except I think Paul's view of the attitude of some Gentile Christians toward Jews was that it was based on the Jews' having rejected Jesus, not based merely some political/civil advantage gained over Jews on account of Claudius' edict. Paul does not seem to mention or allude to this as the cause of the Gentile Christian attitude he critiques. As for hypothetical reconstruction of the situation behind Paul's letter without reference to cues contained in the letter, I do not know how likely or definitive this scenario is. Suetonius may be understood as saying that only 'those Jews were expelled who were constantly making disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus'. But even if Suetonius was speaking of all Jews being expelled, one must also take into account the possible reality behind 'the disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus'. It is quite possible that Jewish Christians (perhaps even Gentile Christians considered as Jews) were at least among those being expelled. One must also take into account thsoe who argue for a different timeframe for the expulsion. In the end, however, it is most reliable to stick to the indications that can be seen more clearly in the actual text of Paul that we have.
The point is that the situation was fluid and transitional. Paul allowed Jewish Christians to observe Torah but he called them the weaker brothers. He expected them to mature and stop giving importace to “requirements of the Law”.


Are you quite certain that Peter, as depicted in the first half of Acts, would agree about even the dietary requirements of the Law being abolished? And what about the moral requirements of the Law, do not steal, do not murder, do not commit adultery, etc. Surely those requirements of the Law have not been abolished, right? This takes us back to the whole purpose of the Law, its telos, so to speak. Did God command us not to murder only so that we would learn that we are unable to murder and that only Jesus was able to avoid murdering someone?
Well Jesus did say that without Him we could do nothing. ;)

Joking aside, the Law is abolished. How? Well if a condition was brought about where immunity was suddenly given to you to sin with impunity, without suffering the consequences of the law, what would you call it? Abolish, that's what.

If the age for minors was raised from 18 to 78, then theoretically you could murder without being under the jurisdiction of the law.

Similarly, if the contract keeping you under the jurisdiction of the law was torn up, you could sin without being culpable. Well that's what happened when the parties to the contract died. The contract was torn up. Jesus took on the identity of humankind and died, thus nailing law to the cross. We died with Him, so there was no one to participate in the contract, making it null and void.

Now that the law has no hold on us should we then sin?


I don't think that I do.
You think the faithfulness of Christ causes the righteousness of God to be manifested in the lives of believers. It doesn't. Its faith in Christ which does. You are debating the issue. Using Romans. 'Nuff said.


This is very close to my understanding of the passage being discussed.
See above.


How do you think St Paul would answer this question. Did not Abraham believe God and was accounted as righeous? Or should we assume that Paul can only be speaking of Abraham living by faith in Christ. If we make that assumption, are we not assuming the very interpretation of Rom 3,22 that you want to demonstrate?
When Paul says live, he means entering God's rest, which is a state that awaits a day:

Hebrews 4:9So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.

Christ was very clear, even John the Forerunner, the greatest of all those born of women, did not have the opportunity to enter that rest, not even Abraham.


Sorry, I don't consider this to be nitpicking. There are a variety of ways of translating the Greek text and I rarely (if ever?) propose any single translation to represent the only way or even the best way to understand the Greek text. Without being able to query the author, translations are always tentative and, even when one can query an author, multiple translations can and sometimes should be offered to illustrate ambiguity and to bring out possible nuances of the source language. Exegesis should be on the Greek text.
To me, this is more likely to be a nitpick:

1.Actually he does:
9What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin ...
The discussion concerned whether one should understand or translate 'unto all them that believe' in Rom 3,22 as "Jews and Gentiles in the church". My point, which you apparently misunderstood (no worries, it happens to the best of us) was that, while both groups should certainly be understood to be included in this phrase, Paul did not use those words here. Certainly, I must not have expressed this clearly enough, but do you really think I would claim that Paul never used these words anywhere? Sometimes people immediately try to seize upon an apparent mistake without actually trying to understand what must be the intended meaning.
One more time, Rom 3:9 and Rom 3:22 are parallels.

No, my use of the word 'even' does not imply that "Christ was exceeding his brief", at least I don't think it does since I'm not even sure what you mean by this. Nor does my use of "even" imply that Christ's faithfulness "was extraneous to requirements of the law."

What I said was:
As for the faithfulness of Christ, I believe it was more than [ie, including, not extraneous, but more than] merely fulfilling the law, for Christ himself was faithful even [the offending word] when he was cursed by the law as one who hangs upon a tree. Let's take a look at this passage:

Gal 3,11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” 12 But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, “Whoever does the works of the law will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

Is this not also true for Jesus. Does not he also live by faith? Or is he merely righteous by works of the law?
Can you explain how you get 'extraneous to the law' from what I and St Paul said?

You said it was more than merely fulfilling the law.

If Christ fulfilled the Law, that was all that was needed, He didn't need to do more.


I will need your help in working this out. Can you please explain a little more about how this relates to Rom 3,22? Are you saying something like because the law was never intended for Israel, they could never have become righteous by following the law, and only Jesus could follow the law that was only intended for him, and therefore Christ's faithfulness to the law and not to anything or anyone else is the manifestation of the righteousness of God, ... and therefore Christ's faithfulness cannot be any part of Rom 3,22 because it is referring to our belief about or faithing into Christ, who was faithful to the law and only to the law? You see the difficulty I'm having? Perhaps you could explain what you mean so that I don't make any mistakes trying to work it out on my own.

I am saying that Christ's faithfulness to the law is never discussed by Paul in Rom 3:22. Manifestation of God's righteousness in a believers life through faith in Christ is being discussed, a new way of justification, required by both Jew and Gentile without exception, for all have sinned...

robrecht
04-09-2014, 07:24 PM
Is this your view?

In Romans 3:22, you understand pistes Christos to mean faithfulness of Christ, not faith in Christ.Perhaps. I actually think it quite probably refers to the faith(fullness) that originated with Christ. This is sometimes referred to as a genitive of origin. It is possible that a genitive of origin can contain nuances of both a subjective and objective genitive, but the subjective sense would definitely be more primary in the case of a genitive of origin here and in most cases. In a great many cases, perhaps the majority, the genitive of origin and the subjective genitive are virtually indistinguishable in meaning or translation and this is usually just referred to as a subjective genitive by the great majority of exegetes. And yet I believe that the genitive of origin is not sufficiently known or understood by most students (or professors) of Koine Greek. However, and this is very important, one must always be extremely cautious of interpretations that try to combine elements of differing senses. All too often people who advance such dual interpretations are merely trying to preserve two contrary senses because they do not want to decide, perhaps out of laziness, perhaps out of indecision, perhaps out of recognition of their own relative lack of training and experience, or perhaps because they just like both meanings and want to have their cake and eat it too. One of the greatest scholars of NT Greek alive today once told us to never, ever try to combine elements of both senses, that this was always bad, and must always, always be avoided. This was indeed extremely good advice, but I also saw the twinkle in his eye (he was quite a showman) and I imagine he was purposefully oversimplifying for the sake of teaching the class to be disciplined in their exegesis. Once one understands all those caveats, I would, with great fear and trepidation, when push comes to shove, actually prefer to understand this as a genitive of origin. But I could be wrong, of course.


Is this your view?

You understand that sinners, those who have fallen short of the glory of God could never cause Him to manifest His righteousness in their lives by having faith in Christ, so what triggers God's righteousness is really the “faithfulness of Christ”.No, I would not say that Christ's faith(fullness), or the faith(fullness) that originates with Christ, triggers the righteousness of God. God is not dependent upon Jesus' faithfulness in order for his righteousness to be triggered. This sounds very similar to what you said above, ie, "God's righteousness is released by the faithfulness of Christ." As I mentioned above, that is not my view.


First of all, the phrase
'though we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? (3,23)

should read:
'for we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? (3,23)' My words "even 'though" were part of the structure of my larger argument, not a translation of the Greek word γάρ


You seem to have used the phrase “faith in Christ” to question the ability of the believer to have effective faith ... No, not at all. Theology must always be derived from the text, not forced into the text or one's translation. Regardless, I do not question the ability of the believer to have effective faith, faith working through love, so to speak.



... when what is being discussed is the universal need for salvation unto sanctification, without exception, contra the belief of the Jewish and Gentile factions of the church in Rome, as seen in the parallel:

3:9What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;
10as it is written,
“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; I do not see Paul's words here as indicating that the Gentile Christians did not believe in the universal need for salvation unto sanctification. In Romans 11, Paul is concerned with boasting, overconfidence, or complacency, but I'm not so sure such boasting would be based in a belief that they had not needed to be saved, perhaps it was just a boasting that they were saved and complacency about their current status, and a lack of appreciation for the calling of Israel.


Besides, why should our defective faith prevent God from doing what He promised? It shouldn't! I never said or implied that it should.


Scripture says just the opposite ... So do I.


Its not the quality of your faith that is important, its the power of the One you have faith in. Agreed. But one should always seek to grow in faith, hope, and especially love.


The Law was given to bring life:

Romans 7:10I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

How did it do that? Through atonement. Through atonement the Law brought death? I would say rather that atonement brings new life. At-one-ment. It makes us one with God, the source of all life and love in the universe.


Was Christ sent to make that atonement? Yes.Yes.


If yes, then Christ was meant to use the Law to give life and so that was the telos of the Law. Why else would Christ come to fulfill the Law? This is a whole 'nother discussion. Some would say that Christ came to bring the law to completion, to perfect the law, to reveal the messianic law. That sounds about right to me, but this should probably be discussed in another context, where this statement is found.


Released and made manifest are synonyms in the sense both mean triggered, kicked off, initiated. I used “released” to help other readers of the post, since "made manifest" is kinda antiquated. If faith in Christ does not initiate the righteousness of God in our lives, what does? I think God's grace initiates righteousness and faith in our lives. As I said before and above, I do not see 'made manifest' as necessarily synonymous with 'triggered' or 'released' or similar words. I agree they are less antiquated, but I don't think they are synonymous, at least not synonymous enough to be a good translation in this context. Maybe we can come up with a less antiquated word. I think Christ made manifest (revealed, taught, incarnated, displayed, communicated) God's righteousness and we embraced it in our lives through grace. But I do think your addition of "in our lives" improves upon your earlier formulation.

Sorry, that's all I have time for tonight. Exhausted from too much work. Will try to finish up tomorrow night. Hope you can appreciate my perspective. Peace of Christ, robrect

robrecht
04-10-2014, 04:04 AM
In fact the faithfulness of Christ is sufficient for all men, but it is efficient only for those who believe! This sounds like Luther's sola fide, which I think is too simplistic. I believe more in the judgment of God, who will, according to Paul's gospel, judge the secrets of people through Christ Jesus. I do not know that much about Luther's sola fide theology, so I could be wrong about it being too simplistic. If anyone can better explain his sola fide theology, I am quite willing to be corrected.


The point is that the situation was fluid and transitional. I have no difficulty with that point, but that is different from the point you were making earlier. Have you abandoned your previous point about Gentile Christians in Rome feeling they had special favor from God based a questionable interpretation Suetonius? I believe that most situations are fluid and transitional, but I am not so sure that Paul was being critical of Gentile Christians who supposedly felt they had special favor from God because they were not, unlike the Jews, expelled from Rome. Your earlier idea is possible, of course, but I don't see it in the text of Paul, and I am reluctant to interpret a text based on assumptions regarding the historical situation and the supposed thoughts of some of Paul's listeners, people whom Paul had never even met. Do you understand my view that the text itself is more important and more reliable than possible historical reconstructions?


Paul allowed Jewish Christians to observe Torah but he called them the weaker brothers. He expected them to mature and stop giving importace to “requirements of the Law”. Paul's concern was that the knowledge of some might harm the faith of weaker brothers in some situations, but I'm not sure that Paul considered all Jewish Christians to be weaker brothers whom he would admonish because of an immature view of the Law. Did Paul automatically have this attitude toward all Jewish Christians such that this would influence how he would write to the Jewish Christians in Rome whom he had never met. It is certainly possible that Paul, himself a Jewish Christian, had such a view of all Jewish Christians, even those he had never met, but, again, I am reluctant to make this assumption an overly important factor in interpreting an ancient text.



Well Jesus did say that without Him we could do nothing. ;)

Joking aside, the Law is abolished. The entire law is abolished? The law against rape, murder, lying, stealing, adultery? Is the law really abolished? I don't think so.


How? Well if a condition was brought about where immunity was suddenly given to you to sin with impunity, without suffering the consequences of the law, what would you call it? Abolish, that's what. What?


If the age for minors was raised from 18 to 78, then theoretically you could murder without being under the jurisdiction of the law. What?


Similarly, if the contract keeping you under the jurisdiction of the law was torn up, you could sin without being culpable. Well that's what happened when the parties to the contract died. The contract was torn up. Jesus took on the identity of humankind and died, thus nailing law to the cross. We died with Him, so there was no one to participate in the contract, making it null and void. So we can now murder, lie, steal, commit adultery, without any concern about this being against God's law?


Now that the law has no hold on us should we then sin? No, we have learned our morality from God's law and from our own experience, and the experience of our ancestors. I think the law should still have a hold on us. The law is a good thing. It was not just part of God's plan for helping theologians to develop a theory of atonement.


You think the faithfulness of Christ causes the righteousness of God to be manifested in the lives of believers. It doesn't. Its faith in Christ which does. You are debating the issue. Using Romans. 'Nuff said. No, I am merely trying to better understand the text of Paul's letter to the Romans. I think Paul's perspective is more like Christ's own faithfulness, the faith that originated with Christ's faithfulness, has shown us the true righteousness of God, a righteousness of faith, obedience, loyalty, that we too are invited to share and put into practice in our own lives of love and witness to the truth. Our faith in Christ should bear witness to our lives of faithfulness to God, our love of neighbor, even enemies, and respect for all.


See above. What do you want me to see above?


When Paul says live, he means entering God's rest, which is a state that awaits a day:

Hebrews 4:9So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.

Christ was very clear, even John the Forerunner, the greatest of all those born of women, did not have the opportunity to enter that rest, not even Abraham. So what do you think Paul meant about Abraham having believed God and being accounted as righteous before God? Are you talking about some kind of soul-sleep? I'm having trouble following how this is supposed to relate to the subjective/objective question in Romans 3,22


One more time, Rom 3:9 and Rom 3:22 are parallels.One more time? That was not what we were discussing. Remember, you were disagreeing with a misunderstanding of something I said about whether or not we should translate 3,22 with Jews and Greeks. If you want to discuss how Rom 3,9 & 3,22 are parallel, we can do that, of course. Start by viewing the two verses synoptically and describe the similarities and differences. If that's what you want to discuss:


Τί οὖν; προεχόμεθα; οὐ πάντως· προῃτιασάμεθα γὰρ Ἰουδαίους τε καὶ Ἕλληνας πάντας ὑφ᾿ ἁμαρτίαν εἶναι, καθὼς γέγραπται ὅτι ...

... δικαιοσύνη δὲ θεοῦ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας. οὐ γάρ ἐστιν διαστολή, ...


You said it was more than merely fulfilling the law.

If Christ fulfilled the Law, that was all that was needed, He didn't need to do more. Is this supposed to relate to your critique of my use of the word 'even'? Jesus needed to be faithful and obedient to the Father. That was more than merely following the law. We have a different idea of what it means for Jesus to have fulfilled the law, but that would be better discussed in the context where Jesus says he came to fulfill the law.


I am saying that Christ's faithfulness to the law is never discussed by Paul in Rom 3:22. Manifestation of God's righteousness in a believers life through faith in Christ is being discussed, a new way of justification, required by both Jew and Gentile without exception, for all have sinned...I do not limit Christ's faithfulness to 'faithfulness to the law' and have already said that, obviously, Paul is speaking here about God's righteousness being made manifest apart from the law. I see no reason to limit Paul's meaning here to 'God's righteousness in a believer's life. I think the righteousness of God is not merely how it is manifested in a believer's life. The righteousness of God is a topic as broad as our whole understanding of (and complete inability to comprehend) God. Justification is part of this discussion, but it does not exhaust all of what Paul is saying here about God's righteousness and the redemption that he has accomplished through Jesus Christ. The faithfulness of Jesus Christ to God has been given to us so that we too might have the same kind of faithfulness toward God. In this sense our present way of being faithful, of trusting God, of believing in Christ, this life of faith in Christ that we lead, in fact, originated with Jesus' own faithfulness to God.

footwasher
04-10-2014, 02:03 PM
Perhaps. I actually think it quite probably refers to the faith(fullness) that originated with Christ. This is sometimes referred to as a genitive of origin. It is possible that a genitive of origin can contain nuances of both a subjective and objective genitive, but the subjective sense would definitely be more primary in the case of a genitive of origin here and in most cases. In a great many cases, perhaps the majority, the genitive of origin and the subjective genitive are virtually indistinguishable in meaning or translation and this is usually just referred to as a subjective genitive by the great majority of exegetes. And yet I believe that the genitive of origin is not sufficiently known or understood by most students (or professors) of Koine Greek. However, and this is very important, one must always be extremely cautious of interpretations that try to combine elements of differing senses. All too often people who advance such dual interpretations are merely trying to preserve two contrary senses because they do not want to decide, perhaps out of laziness, perhaps out of indecision, perhaps out of recognition of their own relative lack of training and experience, or perhaps because they just like both meanings and want to have their cake and eat it too. One of the greatest scholars of NT Greek alive today once told us to never, ever try to combine elements of both senses, that this was always bad, and must always, always be avoided. This was indeed extremely good advice, but I also saw the twinkle in his eye (he was quite a showman) and I imagine he was purposefully oversimplifying for the sake of teaching the class to be disciplined in their exegesis. Once one understands all those caveats, I would, with great fear and trepidation, when push comes to shove, actually prefer to understand this as a genitive of origin. But I could be wrong, of course.

Quote
The question is, Is it the right theology? What I didn’t care for about modernism was its tendency toward dogmatism; what I don’t care for about postmodernism is its tendency toward scepticism. I think we’ve jumped out of the frying pan of modernist certainty and into the fire of postmodern uncertainty. At bottom, historical investigation has to deal with probabilities. These fall short of certainty, but all views are not created equal.

https://bible.org/article/interview-daniel-b-wallace-textual-criticism


No, I would not say that Christ's faith(fullness), or the faith(fullness) that originates with Christ, triggers the righteousness of God. God is not dependent upon Jesus' faithfulness in order for his righteousness to be triggered. This sounds very similar to what you said above, ie, "God's righteousness is released by the faithfulness of Christ." As I mentioned above, that is not my view.

Wright views the righteousness of God to mean God's obligation to fulfil his promise to Abraham, His covenantal faithfulness that demonstrates HIS commitment to be righteous, law abiding, through Christ by whom He reconciled the world to Himself.

Quote
Paul’s argument in 2 Corinthians 5:21 is that the apostles are the “servants of God” (cf. 6:4) through whom God is seeking to reconcile these Corinthian believers to himself—just as in Isaiah 49 God used his servant to reconcile Jacob to himself. They are ambassadors, through whom God makes his appeal to the Corinthians; they implore the Corinthians to be reconciled to God (5:20). The apostles are in a position to perform this task because they are in Christ, through whom “God was reconciling the world to himself” (5:19). Jesus became sin—he was crucified as an enemy of Israel and of YHWH, a blasphemer, a false claimant to the throne of Israel. But that led, paradoxically, to real enemies of God such as Paul becoming the “righteousness of God”, the means by which YHWH is justified. As Wright says in the podcast, the apostles embody the covenant faithfulness of God in their ministry.

In effect, what Paul is claiming is that the apostles are right, they embody the rightness of God, they are justified in making this appeal, because they are in Christ, as is clearly evidenced by their suffering (6:4-10)—they carry in their bodies the dying of Jesus (4:10). This is not an abstract argument about the imputation of righteousness through faith. It is a practical argument: the apostles make their appeal on the ground that they are acting out the role of Christ-like servants, who commend themselves by accepting, as Jesus accepted, hardships, persecution, distrust, abuse, and punishment.

http://www.postost.net/2013/04/wright-white-righteousness-god-2-corinthians-521


IOW, God's righteousness is not an abstract phenomenon, but a manifestation of His saving action based on being faithful to His promise, in keeping with His law respecting character. This right action not limited to the atoning action of Christ, but including the ministry of those who are "in" Christ, through faithing, loyalty, in the doing of which they store up eternal treasure, thereby living the eternal life, rather than the futile life that results in treasure endangered by rust and vermin.

The attempt to live that type life resulting in some confusion here:

Galatians 3:1You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

God's righteousness is displayed in the lives of people who hear with faith, demonstrate loyalty!


My words "even 'though" were part of the structure of my larger argument, not a translation of the Greek word γάρ

Then I erred in pointing out a translation mistake that did not exist. My apologies.


No, not at all. Theology must always be derived from the text, not forced into the text or one's translation. Regardless, I do not question the ability of the believer to have effective faith, faith working through love, so to speak.

Why did you question, look askance at the ability of the faith of sinners to make manifest God's righteousness in their own lives?



I do not see Paul's words here as indicating that the Gentile Christians did not believe in the universal need for salvation unto sanctification. In Romans 11, Paul is concerned with boasting, overconfidence, or complacency, but I'm not so sure such boasting would be based in a belief that they had not needed to be saved, perhaps it was just a boasting that they were saved and complacency about their current status, and a lack of appreciation for the calling of Israel.

This brings up the question of what was the purpose for the writing of the letter to the church in Rome.

It was written to explain the strange happenings. The church was empty of Jews.

Why did God reject Israel? Wasn't God's calling irrevocable?
What made God replace Jews with Gentiles? The church in Rome was filled with Gentiles and all the Jews had been banished to Sardinia.
Were Gentiles already perfected, leading God to change His mind about having chosen Israel in the past?
Was the law still relevant? Should Gentiles observe Torah towards giving them the same acceptability as Jews?

In this state of flux, a slow hardening of stances was beginning to manifest:

Gentiles began to believe that God was slowly purging Jews from the Church, removing Jewish branches so that Gentile branches could be grafted in, indicating the inherent acceptability of Gentiles as they were and always been. Persecution of the Jews only reinforced this view.

Jews began to insist that Gentiles needed to convert to Judaism to be found to be acceptable, the state of being Jewish the only acceptable one. God's word had never failed. Obedience to the Law was what made one ritually clean, justified, acceptable.

Paul's letter came as a revelation. Both states were and had always been unacceptable, the Gentiles because they suppressed God's limited but adequate revelation to them, and Jews because they had more information of what God required from them and still disobeyed! As for those requirements, Abraham had been found acceptable, reckoned righteous even before the organized form of the law had been given, so it was not law that justified. It was faith, the same faith that Abraham had, his loyalty, his remaining in belief even when made an incredulous promise! The same faith that resulted when the law was obeyed, leading to realization of inadequacy, and petitioning to God for mercy. And deliverance. The faith that accepted the heavy burden and remained in belief that God would send a Way, a Truth, a Person to bring the petitioner to the Father, in whom there was life.

The Law brought death, a dead end, a realization that that which was meant to bring life was not accessible, do-able. But to those who were loyal, to those who did not murmur against God,

To some were given forgiveness and assurance of a future redemption:

Job 19:5“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
************And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.

******26“Even after my skin is destroyed,
************Yet from my flesh I shall see God.

John 8:56"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."

Psalm 32:2Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.

To others, a leading to the Redeemer:

Luke1:41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43“And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?

Acts 10:3About the ninth hour of the day he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God who had just come in and said to him, “Cornelius!” 4And fixing his gaze on him and being much alarmed, he said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God. 5“Now dispatch some men to Joppa and send for a man named Simon, who is also called Peter; 6he is staying with a tanner named Simon, whose house is by the sea.”


It shouldn't! I never said or implied that it should.

Yet you seemed to question the efficacy of the faith of those who have fallen short of the glory of God.


So do I.

See the above reply.


Agreed. But one should always seek to grow in faith, hope, and especially love.

Umm, Abraham's faith grew from a bit, to a lot, after he saw how God acted even with his inadequate faith...


Through atonement the Law brought death? I would say rather that atonement brings new life. At-one-ment. It makes us one with God, the source of all life and love in the universe.

The law brought death with the revelation of a dead end, the inability to do it and gain life. Christ's atoning work brought life to mankind. Since He identified with mankind, He was the first resurrection fruit, the first beneficiary of the atonement, and now a Man sits at the right hand of God.

Luke22:69Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.

Yes.


This is a whole 'nother discussion. Some would say that Christ came to bring the law to completion, to perfect the law, to reveal the messianic law. That sounds about right to me, but this should probably be discussed in another context, where this statement is found.


'kay.


I think God's grace initiates righteousness and faith in our lives. As I said before and above, I do not see 'made manifest' as necessarily synonymous with 'triggered' or 'released' or similar words. I agree they are less antiquated, but I don't think they are synonymous, at least not synonymous enough to be a good translation in this context. Maybe we can come up with a less antiquated word. I think Christ made manifest (revealed, taught, incarnated, displayed, communicated) God's righteousness and we embraced it in our lives through grace. But I do think your addition of "in our lives" improves upon your earlier formulation.


******
Romans 5:1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.


In him we become the righteousness of God:

2 Corinthians 5:21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

We are found in Him through loyalty, faith


Sorry, that's all I have time for tonight. Exhausted from too much work. Will try to finish up tomorrow night. Hope you can appreciate my perspective. Peace of Christ, robrect


It's certainly different from the evangelical perspective.

***

footwasher
04-11-2014, 09:30 AM
Robrecht wrote:

This sounds like Luther's sola fide, which I think is too simplistic. I believe more in the judgment of God, who will, according to Paul's gospel, judge the secrets of people through Christ Jesus. I do not know that much about Luther's sola fide theology, so I could be wrong about it being too simplistic. If anyone can better explain his sola fide theology, I am quite willing to be corrected.

We could do a study and point out what Luther found objectionable in the church, what Wright found objectionable with Luther and what we can discover was wrong with Wright , but its probably beyond the scope of this thread.

Originally Posted by footwasher
The point is that the situation was fluid and transitional.


I have no difficulty with that point, but that is different from the point you were making earlier. Have you abandoned your previous point about Gentile Christians in Rome feeling they had special favor from God based a questionable interpretation Suetonius? I believe that most situations are fluid and transitional, but I am not so sure that Paul was being critical of Gentile Christians who supposedly felt they had special favor from God because they were not, unlike the Jews, expelled from Rome. Your earlier idea is possible, of course, but I don't see it in the text of Paul, and I am reluctant to interpret a text based on assumptions regarding the historical situation and the supposed thoughts of some of Paul's listeners, people whom Paul had never even met. Do you understand my view that the text itself is more important and more reliable than possible historical reconstructions?

The key to interpretation is intentionality. If Paul's intention was to correct what he was worried was going wrong in the church at Rome, and what was wrong about the church in Rome was their wrong views about who needed saving, then writing this letter the way it is written is exactly how he would go about doing it. It would explain the strange direction the text takes in Ch 9 to 11. The evidence may be sketchy, but it lends itself to form several theories. Working like a detective, one can decide which is the most likely hypothesis. The problem with most hermeneutics is that they look at the details, when they should look at the big picture. Missing the forest in looking too closely at the trees. The result is unwieldy, disjointed constructs which in turn lead to a theology peppered with contradictions and paradoxes and mysteries. A predetermined free will with culpability. A law that is eternal but abolished, ended. Holding to ambiguity with no desire to reach clarity. Denominational loyalty that perpetuates the same. Good thing I'm a free agent.

Originally Posted by footwasher
Paul allowed Jewish Christians to observe Torah but he called them the weaker brothers. He expected them to mature and stop giving importace to “requirements of the Law”.


Paul's concern was that the knowledge of some might harm the faith of weaker brothers in some situations, but I'm not sure that Paul considered all Jewish Christians to be weaker brothers whom he would admonish because of an immature view of the Law. Did Paul automatically have this attitude toward all Jewish Christians such that this would influence how he would write to the Jewish Christians in Rome whom he had never met. It is certainly possible that Paul, himself a Jewish Christian, had such a view of all Jewish Christians, even those he had never met, but, again, I am reluctant to make this assumption an overly important factor in interpreting an ancient text.

1Cor 8:1Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. 2If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; 3but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.
******4Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. 5For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, 6yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.
******
1 Cor 8:7However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 8But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. 9But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? 11For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 12And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.

Don't expect teachings to be couched in modern day plain speak. This was how people expressed themselves then and they would have trouble understanding other forms. Cutting to the chase like we do today would have them floundering. Flowery speech was the flavour of the day, the lingua franca of the age.

Originally Posted by footwasher
Well Jesus did say that without Him we could do nothing. ;)

Joking aside, the Law is abolished.


The entire law is abolished? The law against rape, murder, lying, stealing, adultery? Is the law really abolished? I don't think so.

Once you digest that, you can chew on more material that Paul provides to reinforce that teaching. If someone's tyrannical spouse dies then one doesn't commit adultery if one gets married again to a gracious partner. That's what happened when the Law was nailed to the cross. Mankind was married to Mr Law, but when Mr Law was nailed to the cross, executed, mankind was free to remarry, to Mr No Law! Should mankind then sin? No-oooo! Because Mr No Law not only offered protection from prosecution, he also offered retraining, towards employment in the task of restoring of Creation:

Romans 6:*1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin.
******8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Originally Posted by footwasher
How? Well if a condition was brought about where immunity was suddenly given to you to sin with impunity, without suffering the consequences of the law, what would you call it? Abolish, that's what.


What?

Romans 7:6But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

Originally Posted by footwasher
If the age for minors was raised from 18 to 78, then theoretically you could murder without being under the jurisdiction of the law.


What?

Hey! Raise the age to 20 and the 18 year old perp is not culpable, lower it to 16 and he is liable to be prosecuted under the law meant for adults. Nothing changed in the person or his action, but the outcome changed... all because of a change in the terms and conditions, in the interpretation of the law and the administration of that interpretation.

Originally Posted by footwasher
Similarly, if the contract keeping you under the jurisdiction of the law was torn up, you could sin without being culpable. Well that's what happened when the parties to the contract died. The contract was torn up. Jesus took on the identity of humankind and died, thus nailing law to the cross. We died with Him, so there was no one to participate in the contract, making it null and void.


So we can now murder, lie, steal, commit adultery, without any concern about this being against God's law?

That's what Paul says, but he also says, "Why would you want to do that, since it is a dead end? Instead look at the new opportunity present with the same atonement, entering God's rest, taking a break from self effort, riding on Christ's coat tails, the manifestation of the fulfilment of God's promise to Abraham, through faith in Christ, loyalty to Him."

Originally Posted by footwasher
Now that the law has no hold on us should we then sin?


No, we have learned our morality from God's law and from our own experience, and the experience of our ancestors. I think the law should still have a hold on us. The law is a good thing. It was not just part of God's plan for helping theologians to develop a theory of atonement.

Forget the law, eschew pietism! The law has no power over us!

Originally Posted by footwasher
You think the faithfulness of Christ causes the righteousness of God to be manifested in the lives of believers. It doesn't. Its faith in Christ which does. You are debating the issue. Using Romans. 'Nuff said.


No, I am merely trying to better understand the text of Paul's letter to the Romans. I think Paul's perspective is more like Christ's own faithfulness, the faith that originated with Christ's faithfulness, has shown us the true righteousness of God, a righteousness of faith, obedience, loyalty, that we too are invited to share and put into practice in our own lives of love and witness to the truth. Our faith in Christ should bear witness to our lives of faithfulness to God, our love of neighbor, even enemies, and respect for all.

Nope. In the letter to the church in Rome, Paul wants both Jews and Gentiles to avoid jumping to the wrong conclusions over God's temporary rejection of Jews . There was a purpose for the rejection and that purpose was so that God's original intention of choosing people based on loyalty, exemplified in Abraham's loyaty, to partner Him in restoring creation, that opportunity, that gift, could be fulfilled.

Originally Posted by footwasher
See above.


What do you want me to see above?

The reasoning for finding your view faulty.

Originally Posted by footwasher
When Paul says live, he means entering God's rest, which is a state that awaits a day:

Hebrews 4:9So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.

Christ was very clear, even John the Forerunner, the greatest of all those born of women, did not have the opportunity to enter that rest, not even Abraham.


So what do you think Paul meant about Abraham having believed God and being accounted as righteous before God? Are you talking about some kind of soul-sleep? I'm having trouble following how this is supposed to relate to the subjective/objective question in Romans 3,22

Abraham's righteousness was his ritual clean-ness, his acceptability before God, meaning now he could enter the camp. But he lived under law, whose result was a dead end, and not under grace, gift, which is life in Christ, a share in Him, in the task of restoring creation, what Talmud calls tikkun olam, life in Christ effected by the atonement, so that we could become the righteousness of God, just as Christ was the righteousness of God, through loyalty to Christ.

Originally Posted by footwasher
One more time, Rom 3:9 and Rom 3:22 are parallels.


One more time? That was not what we were discussing. Remember, you were disagreeing with a misunderstanding of something I said about whether or not we should translate 3,22 with Jews and Greeks. If you want to discuss how Rom 3,9 & 3,22 are parallel, we can do that, of course. Start by viewing the two verses synoptically and describe the similarities and differences. If that's what you want to discuss:

Τί οὖν; προεχόμεθα; οὐ πάντως· προῃτιασάμεθα γὰρ Ἰουδαίους τε καὶ Ἕλληνας πάντας ὑφ᾿ ἁμαρτίαν εἶναι, καθὼς γέγραπται ὅτι ...

... δικαιοσύνη δὲ θεοῦ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας. οὐ γάρ ἐστιν διαστολή, ...

C'mon, Romans 3:22 is a reiteration of Romans 3:9. which is a reiteration of ch 1 and 2. Look at the text:

Romans 3:9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;

What does "already" mean, if not that the teaching was expressed previously?

;)

Originally Posted by footwasher
You said it was more than merely fulfilling the law.

If Christ fulfilled the Law, that was all that was needed, He didn't need to do more.


Is this supposed to relate to your critique of my use of the word 'even'? Jesus needed to be faithful and obedient to the Father. That was more than merely following the law. We have a different idea of what it means for Jesus to have fulfilled the law, but that would be better discussed in the context where Jesus says he came to fulfill the law.

*Hebrews 10:1For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. 2Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? 3But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. 4For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,
************“SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED,
************BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME;

******6IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE.

******7“THEN I SAID, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME
************(IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME)
************TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.’”

8After saying above, “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them” (which are offered according to the Law), 9then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Originally Posted by footwasher
I am saying that Christ's faithfulness to the law is never discussed by Paul in Rom 3:22. Manifestation of God's righteousness in a believers life through faith in Christ is being discussed, a new way of justification, required by both Jew and Gentile without exception, for all have sinned...


I do not limit Christ's faithfulness to 'faithfulness to the law' and have already said that, obviously, Paul is speaking here about God's righteousness being made manifest apart from the law. I see no reason to limit Paul's meaning here to 'God's righteousness in a believer's life. I think the righteousness of God is not merely how it is manifested in a believer's life. The righteousness of God is a topic as broad as our whole understanding of (and complete inability to comprehend) God. Justification is part of this discussion, but it does not exhaust all of what Paul is saying here about God's righteousness and the redemption that he has accomplished through Jesus Christ. The faithfulness of Jesus Christ to God has been given to us so that we too might have the same kind of faithfulness toward God. In this sense our present way of being faithful, of trusting God, of believing in Christ, this life of faith in Christ that we lead, in fact, originated with Jesus' own faithfulness to God.

See what I have posted above about how Christ's atoning work , God's law keeping action, by making sin He who had no sin, so that the righteousness of God may be manifested in our lives, through faith in Him.

robrecht
04-12-2014, 06:56 AM
Robrecht wrote:

We could do a study and point out what Luther found objectionable in the church, what Wright found objectionable with Luther and what we can discover was wrong with Wright , but its probably beyond the scope of this thread. Yes, but regardless of the fact that it is beyond the scope of this thread, and you do seem to keep bringing up points that are extraneous to the question of the subjective/objective genitive in Rom 3,22, I think this is an important point worth responding to. I agree with many, most, if not all, of Luther's criticisms of the church of his day. That is completely beside the point. I've never studied his theology in detail, and, as I said, I am more than willing, even happy to be corrected and taught more about this, but my impression is that his theology of sola fide seems like an overly simplistic reading of St Paul's letters. And that does seem to be part of your interpretation of this passage.

As for Wright, I have read only a little bit about his preference for the subjective genitive and only relatively recently. While we may agree broadly, I am not dependent upon his position. But, in light of what I just said about Luther and this passage, I would be very interested in your presentation of Wright's view of Luther, and how you would critique Wright on this point.

I will try and pick out the most important points from your posts to respond to, but time limitations will keep me from responding to the entirety of your posts at this time. Hope you understand.

robrecht
04-12-2014, 07:07 AM
Why did you question, look askance at the ability of the faith of sinners to make manifest God's righteousness in their own lives? I did not do this, ever! As I think I've already said. I think you still have not understood my views. No doubt, because I may not have explained them well. But I wonder if you might also be making some assumptions based on other matters.

robrecht
04-12-2014, 07:46 AM
Quote
The question is, Is it the right theology? What I didn’t care for about modernism was its tendency toward dogmatism; what I don’t care for about postmodernism is its tendency toward scepticism. I think we’ve jumped out of the frying pan of modernist certainty and into the fire of postmodern uncertainty. At bottom, historical investigation has to deal with probabilities. These fall short of certainty, but all views are not created equal.

https://bible.org/article/interview-daniel-b-wallace-textual-criticism
I agree with Wallace's point about Westminster, textual criticism, and historical probabilities. Should I assume you do as well? Does this have anything to do with the question of the subjective/objective genitive in Rom 3,22? As for various theologies, please recall my point that theologies, right or wrong, should not read into a text, but one should strive to understand the text and therefore the theology of its author. Once that has been accomplished with a reasonable level of certainty, then one might adopt or adapt that theology to new questions. If the church cannot come to agreement on the meaning of a text, well then, we have discussions like these. But I still maintain that one's personal theology or confessional theology should not be read into or assumed to be the meaning of a text.

I'm curious why you chose not to even remotely address the point about subjective genitive of origin.

robrecht
04-12-2014, 09:18 AM
... God's righteousness is displayed in the lives of people who hear with faith, demonstrate loyalty! Yes, indeed. I think I have already said that we are in close agreement on this point.



Then I erred in pointing out a translation mistake that did not exist. My apologies.No problem.


Yet you seemed to question the efficacy of the faith of those who have fallen short of the glory of God. Nope, never have I questioned the efficacy of faith. That seems to be merely an assumption of yours.


The Law brought death, a dead end, a realization that that which was meant to bring life was not accessible, do-able. But to those who were loyal, to those who did not murmur against God,

To some were given forgiveness and assurance of a future redemption ...

The law brought death with the revelation of a dead end, the inability to do it and gain life. Christ's atoning work brought life to mankind. Since He identified with mankind, He was the first resurrection fruit, the first beneficiary of the atonement, and now a Man sits at the right hand of God. I agree, but my question was why did you say that through atonement the Law brought death? Did not the atonement bring new life with God?


******
Romans 5:1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. I, of course, do not disagree with this. My point was that God's grace initiates righteousness and faith in our lives. Do you not agree with sola gratia as proclaimed in the Catholic church at the Council of Orange in 529 against the semi-Pelagians, and later adopted by the reformers?


In him we become the righteousness of God:

2 Corinthians 5:21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

We are found in Him through loyalty, faith Of course, I agree with this also, but I would emphasize, as does Paul, that we become the righteous(ness) of God through Christ.


It's certainly different from the evangelical perspective.Indeed, but perhaps not as different as you seem to assume.


***
ἄ Why the alpha?

robrecht
04-12-2014, 09:32 AM
Paul allowed Jewish Christians to observe Torah but he called them the weaker brothers. He expected them to mature and stop giving importace to “requirements of the Law”.

1Cor 8:1Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. 2If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; 3but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.
******4Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. 5For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, 6yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.
******
1 Cor 8:7However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 8But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. 9But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? 11For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 12And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.
I don't think you should assume that Paul is speaking of all Jews or only of Jews when he speaks of those who are weaker. Not above where I have bolded the phrase "some, being accustomed to the idol until now." Surely that seems to indicate that Gentiles also may be understood here.

robrecht
04-12-2014, 10:06 AM
... Mankind was married to Mr Law, but when Mr Law was nailed to the cross, executed, mankind was free to remarry, to Mr No Law! ...

Well if a condition was brought about where immunity was suddenly given to you to sin with impunity, without suffering the consequences of the law, what would you call it? Abolish, that's what. ...

Similarly, if the contract keeping you under the jurisdiction of the law was torn up, you could sin without being culpable. Well that's what happened when the parties to the contract died. The contract was torn up. Jesus took on the identity of humankind and died, thus nailing law to the cross. We died with Him, so there was no one to participate in the contract, making it null and void.

robrecht: "So we can now murder, lie, steal, commit adultery, without any concern about this being against God's law?"

That's what Paul says, but he also says, "Why would you want to do that, since it is a dead end? Instead look at the new opportunity present with the same atonement, entering God's rest, taking a break from self effort, riding on Christ's coat tails, the manifestation of the fulfilment of God's promise to Abraham, through faith in Christ, loyalty to Him." ...

Forget the law, eschew pietism! The law has no power over us!
Would you call your view theoretically antinomian?

Jesus seems to have a very high regard for the moral commandments of the law. Do you think his attitude changed after his crucifixion?

robrecht
04-12-2014, 10:20 AM
Nope. In the letter to the church in Rome, Paul wants both Jews and Gentiles to avoid jumping to the wrong conclusions over God's temporary rejection of Jews . There was a purpose for the rejection and that purpose was so that God's original intention of choosing people based on loyalty, exemplified in Abraham's loyaty, to partner Him in restoring creation, that opportunity, that gift, could be fulfilled. How does this disagree with ANYTHING I have said?


The reasoning for finding your view faulty.

Originally Posted by footwasher
When Paul says live, he means entering God's rest, which is a state that awaits a day:

Hebrews 4:9So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.

Christ was very clear, even John the Forerunner, the greatest of all those born of women, did not have the opportunity to enter that rest, not even Abraham. Two questions. One, again, How does this disagree with ANYTHING I have said? Two, are you proposing some kind of soul-sleep here?


Abraham's righteousness was his ritual clean-ness, his acceptability before God, meaning now he could enter the camp. But he lived under law, whose result was a dead end, and not under grace, gift, which is life in Christ, a share in Him, in the task of restoring creation, what Talmud calls tikkun olam, life in Christ effected by the atonement, so that we could become the righteousness of God, just as Christ was the righteousness of God, through loyalty to Christ. Read Galatians. Paul was well aware of the fact that the Law came long after Abraham. Why do you say that Abraham lived under the law. Or are you saying that no laws whatsoever, not just the Law of Moses have been rendered null and void, serving no good purpose whatsoever? Paul tells us to respect civil authorities. Interesting that you seem to be saying that those who engage in תיקון עולם are sharing in the life of Christ.

robrecht
04-12-2014, 10:27 AM
C'mon, Romans 3:22 is a reiteration of Romans 3:9. which is a reiteration of ch 1 and 2. Look at the text:

Romans 3:9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;

What does "already" mean, if not that the teaching was expressed previously?

;) You do realize that Rom 3,9 comes before Rom 3,22, right? You were presumably be trying to show that Rom 3,22 is no more than a reiteration than Rom 3,9. I think it is more than that. Sure, 'all those believing' includes both Jews and Gentiles, but Rom 3,22 is not merely speaking about being under sin, but of the righteousness of God being made manifest in the faith(fullness) of Christ Jesus, the faith that originated with Christ Jesus, and which is now shared by all believers.

robrecht
04-12-2014, 10:35 AM
Originally Posted by footwasher
You said it was more than merely fulfilling the law.

If Christ fulfilled the Law, that was all that was needed, He didn't need to do more.

*Hebrews 10:1For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. 2Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? 3But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. 4For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,
************“SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED,
************BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME;

******6IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE.

******7“THEN I SAID, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME
************(IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME)
************TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.’”

8After saying above, “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them” (which are offered according to the Law), 9then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Do you imagine, by some wild and bizarre interpretation of anything at all that I have said, that I have ever said anything even remotely similar to 'the law makes perfect by sacrifices offered continually year by year'???

footwasher
04-12-2014, 12:43 PM
Luther tried to convert Jews and was angered by their resistance. He went back to Scripture and read Paul's criticism of Judaism to mean a criticism of their holding to legalism, salvation by works.

Wright feels that this view is misplaced, that the legalism Luther found was non-existent. Paul's criticism was aimed at Jewish dependence on nationality for salvation, since Abraham's seeds were identified as those who were circumcised, one of the requirements of the law. Strictly speaking they had faith in God generally, and to His promise to them as Abrahams seed specifically, as identified by those adopting the requirements of the Law.

Broadly, Second Temple Judaism depended not on good works for salvation, but on God's promise to Abraham, salvation being fulfilment, living the life that earned heavenly treasure, in this world and the world to come, olam haba. Partnering God, doing mitzvah to repair the world, tikkun olam, the reward being the opportunity to have more participation. Hence Talmud spelling out that the reward for doing mitzvah is the opportunity to do more mitzvot (Pirke Avot 4:2).

Wright is right in faulting Luther for believing Judaism's sin was holding to salvation through (good) works, but where Wright deviates from correct reasoning is in assuming the solution to the believers search for eternal life was in doing good works because God will judge believers according to the good works they have done in this life.

Not because there is inherently wrong in doing good works, but in inserting good works into the equation of God's future vindication of those who have faith, by confirming that those who had faith were indeed righteous, through a present favorable judgment, that favorable judgment being the call (election?).


3. Justification in the present is based on God’s past accomplishment in the Messiah, and anticipates the future verdict.* This present justification has exactly the same pattern.
(a) God vindicates in the present, in advance of the last day, all those who believe in Jesus as Messiah and Lord (Romans 3:21-31, 4:13-25, 10:9-13).* The law-court language indicates what is meant. “Justification” is not God’s act of changing the heart or character; Paul uses the verb “call,” the call that comes through the word and the Spirit, to denote that change.* “Justification” has a specific, and narrower, reference: It is God’s declaration that the person is now in the right, which confers on them the status of “righteous.”
(b) This present declaration unites all believers into a single people, the one family promised to Abraham (Galatians 2:14-3:29; Romans 3:27-4:17), the people whose sins have been dealt with and forgiven as part of the fulfilled promise of covenant renewal (Jeremiah 31:31-34).* Membership in this family cannot be played off against forgiveness of sins.* The two belong together.
(c) The event in the present that corresponds to Jesus’ death and resurrection in the past, and the resurrection of all believers in the future, is baptism into Christ (Galatians 3:26-29; Romans 6:2-11).* Baptism is not, as some have supposed, a “work” which one “performs” to earn God’s favor.* It is, for Paul, the sacrament of God’s free grace. Paul can speak of those who have believed and been baptized as already “saved,” albeit “in hope” (Romans 8:24).

http://ntwrightpage.com/Wright_BR_Shape_Justification.htm

Summary
Luther erred in labelling Judaism legalistic.

Wright errs in translating pistes Christeou as faithfulness of Christ. God's righteousness (being in the right by keeping His promise to Abraham by making the One who had no sin to be sin) is not effected in a believer's life by Christ's faithfulness, but by loyalty. It is through loyalty that a faithfulness that is like Christ's is effected in the life of the believer.

2 Cor 5:21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Romans 1:17
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed--a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

Please let me answer all your posts before posting again.


Yes, but regardless of the fact that it is beyond the scope of this thread, and you do seem to keep bringing up points that are extraneous to the question of the subjective/objective genitive in Rom 3,22, I think this is an important point worth responding to. I agree with many, most, if not all, of Luther's criticisms of the church of his day. That is completely beside the point. I've never studied his theology in detail, and, as I said, I am more than willing, even happy to be corrected and taught more about this, but my impression is that his theology of sola fide seems like an overly simplistic reading of St Paul's letters. And that does seem to be part of your interpretation of this passage.

As for Wright, I have read only a little bit about his preference for the subjective genitive and only relatively recently. While we may agree broadly, I am not dependent upon his position. But, in light of what I just said about Luther and this passage, I would be very interested in your presentation of Wright's view of Luther, and how you would critique Wright on this point.

I will try and pick out the most important points from your posts to respond to, but time limitations will keep me from responding to the entirety of your posts at this time. Hope you understand.

footwasher
04-12-2014, 12:58 PM
Quote
… this righteousness of God is nonetheless supposedly made manifest by
our faith?
even ‘though we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? (3,23)

You seemed to have done it in the above, in belittling the faith of sinners.


I did not do this, ever! As I think I've already said. I think you still have not understood my views. No doubt, because I may not have explained them well. But I wonder if you might also be making some assumptions based on other matters.

robrecht
04-12-2014, 01:05 PM
Please let me answer all your posts before posting again.Why? I don't think that would be helpful for three reasons. One, because of my busy schedule, I have to post when I am able; otherwise, I will never be able to respond to all your extraneous ideas. I would prefer to try to keep you on topic as much as I can. Two, if you continue to misrepresent my views (not purposefully), I insist on being able to correct you. Three, this will be a much more efficient way of engaging in this conversation rather than letting your continuing to compound post after post based on a misunderstanding.

Paprika
04-12-2014, 01:12 PM
Quote
… this righteousness of God is nonetheless supposedly made manifest by
our faith?
even ‘though we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? (3,23)

You seemed to have done it in the above, in belittling the faith of sinners.
For the last time, translating pisteos Christou as "faith(fulness) of Christ" instead of "faith in Christ" is not belittling the faith of sinners.

footwasher
04-12-2014, 01:13 PM
When Dr Wallace talks about probability, he is talking about trends. Is pistes christeous faith in Christ or faithfulness of Christ or even a genitive of origin, the faith that comes from Christ. The NT writers make several references to the ascendancy of faith and fulfilment over self effort and failure, so we see that trend. It helps in avoiding the agonizing that the uncertainty you have brings.


I agree with Wallace's point about Westminster, textual criticism, and historical probabilities. Should I assume you do as well? Does this have anything to do with the question of the subjective/objective genitive in Rom 3,22? As for various theologies, please recall my point that theologies, right or wrong, should not read into a text, but one should strive to understand the text and therefore the theology of its author. Once that has been accomplished with a reasonable level of certainty, then one might adopt or adapt that theology to new questions. If the church cannot come to agreement on the meaning of a text, well then, we have discussions like these. But I still maintain that one's personal theology or confessional theology should not be read into or assumed to be the meaning of a text.

I'm curious why you chose not to even remotely address the point about subjective genitive of origin.

robrecht
04-12-2014, 01:15 PM
Quote
… this righteousness of God is nonetheless supposedly made manifest by
our faith?
even ‘though we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? (3,23)

You seemed to have done it in the above, in belittling the faith of sinners.No. You are taking one element of a much larger argument completely out of context and thereby distorting its meaning, as if it were intended to stand on its own. Also, I can improve on the wording to make it clearer. The point of the argument is that there are a whole series of indications in the immediate context that render it more likely, in my opinion, that Paul would see the righteous of God made manifest by God and his Christ, first and foremost. That is not meant to deny that our lives of belief in God, his Christ, and our lives of faithfulness, do not also make manifest God's righteousness, but I consider this secondary to the action of God, his graciousness, and his Christ. To improve upon my wording, I should rather say something like: "yada yada yada … this righteousness of God is nonetheless supposedly made manifest primarily or only by our faith here in this immediate context? Hopefully that will make my meaning clearer.

robrecht
04-12-2014, 01:20 PM
When Dr Wallace talks about probability, he is talking about trends. Is pistes christeous faith in Christ or faithfulness of Christ or even a genitive of origin, the faith that comes from Christ. The NT writers make several references to the ascendancy of faith and fulfilment over self effort and failure, so we see that trend. It helps in avoiding the agonizing that the uncertainty you have brings.I do not brings agonizing. Please see my immediately previous post; it may save you some wasted effort. I am certainly not endorsing any contrary ascendancy of self-effort and failure over faith and fulfillment. But I do believe in an ascendancy of God, Christ, his faithfulness, and grace in general over our faith in Christ and faithfulness. Do you see how that is actually the opposite of endorsing any contrary ascendancy of self-effort and failure over faith and fulfillment?

footwasher
04-12-2014, 01:25 PM
The you should have left out your second statement.

God values our faith. He even chose someone who had fallen short to be the Father of many nations. All because he believed God's promise of a son.


No. You are taking one element of a much larger argument completely out of context and thereby distorting its meaning, as if it were intended to stand on its own. Also, I can improve on the wording to make it clearer. The point of the argument is that there are a whole series of indications in the immediate context that render it more likely, in my opinion, that Paul would see the righteous of God made manifest by God and his Christ, first and foremost. That is not meant to deny that our lives of belief in God, his Christ, and our lives of faithfulness, do not also make manifest God's righteousness, but I consider this secondary to the action of God, his graciousness, and his Christ. To improve upon my wording, I should rather say something like: "yada yada yada … this righteousness of God is nonetheless supposedly made manifest primarily or only by our faith here in this immediate context? Hopefully that will make my meaning clearer.

robrecht
04-12-2014, 01:28 PM
The you should have left out your second statement.

God values our faith. He even chose someone who had fallen short to be the Father of many nations. All because he believed God's promise of a son.No, I think the second statement, of Paul not me, is an important part of the immediate context. I certainly believe God values our faith, even 'though I also agree with Paul when he says that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

footwasher
04-12-2014, 01:35 PM
I repeat:

Your inclusion of the second statement indicated that a sinner's faith is not only secondary, but counterproductive.


No, I think the second statement, of Paul not me, is an important part of the immediate context. I certainly believe God values our faith, even 'though I also agree with Paul when he says that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

robrecht
04-12-2014, 01:37 PM
I repeat:

Your inclusion of the second statement indicated that a sinner's faith is not only secondary, but counterproductive.Please take that up with St Paul, whom I was quoting. I think it is important to look at all of the elements of the immediate context to understand Paul's meaning.

footwasher
04-12-2014, 01:41 PM
If you think the context will help your argument, include it and explain it.

We aren't even into the things of heaven yet, mired as we are in the things of this earth.

Wait till we unpack righteousness of God and loyalty.

robrecht
04-12-2014, 01:58 PM
Wright is right in faulting Luther for believing Judaism's sin was holding to salvation through (good) works, but where Wright deviates from correct reasoning is in assuming the solution to the believers search for eternal life was in doing good works because God will judge believers according to the good works they have done in this life.

Not because there is inherently wrong in doing good works, but in inserting good works into the equation of God's future vindication of those who have faith, by confirming that those who had faith were indeed righteous, through a present favorable judgment, that favorable judgment being the call (election?). But you do believe that God will judge all of us, even believers, right? I would not diminish the importance of good works of both believers and unbelievers. For believers they are an expression of our explicit faith in God and goodness and love for our neighbor and our enemies. For nonbelievers, even atheists, they are an explicit choice for the good, which is implicitly a choice for all goodness which comes from God.

Much of what you are attributing here to Wright is shared in common by the so-called 'new perspective' on Paul, which is hardly new and which predates Paul, and which does not necessarily endorse a subjective genitive.


Wright errs in translating pistes Christeou as faithfulness of Christ. God's righteousness (being in the right by keeping His promise to Abraham by making the One who had no sin to be sin) is not effected in a believer's life by Christ's faithfulness, but by loyalty. It is through loyalty that a faithfulness that is like Christ's is effected in the life of the believer. Again, you are practically saying the same thing as me. I just put the primacy on God, grace, and Christ. It is through the faithfulness of Christ that we are given an example and savior in whom we can believe, whose faithfulness we are called to imitate even unto death if necessary, but for most, in living our daily lives faithfully, faith working through love, in all the tedious details of our life that are made marvelous in the light of faith and love.

Rather than just saying that Wright is wrong, can you advance specific arguments for why it is wrong, arguments specifically based upon the text, its language, grammar, and immediate context, for why it is wrong?

robrecht
04-12-2014, 02:03 PM
If you think the context will help your argument, include it and explain it.

We aren't even into the things of heaven yet, mired as we are in the things of this earth.

Wait till we unpack righteousness of God and loyalty.That is precisely what my argument does, if you look at it as a whole. Look at all the elements of the immediate context that I cite, all of which point to the primacy of God and his Christ in the manifestation of God's righteousness.

Aside from the other contexts and the grammatical difficulties here:

verbal object of a nonactive noun?
Paul uses a preposition for an objective sense even with an active noun
εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας (3,22)

… the fundamental issue I have with the way that this is typically translated here as an objective genitive by those who follow Luther (Glauben an JEsum Christum), is that:

the righteousness of God (3,21)
borne witness to by the law and the prophets (not by us)
the righteousness of God (3,22)
who justifies by his grace as a gift (3,24)
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
whom God put forward as a place of mercy (3,25)
by his blood
to make manifest his righteousness
because of his passing over of sins
by means of the patience of God (3,26)
to manifest his righteousness at this time
to be himself righteous
the one who makes righteous
for which we cannot boast (3,27)

… this righteousness of God is nonetheless supposedly made manifest in this context first and foremost by
our faith?
even ‘though we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? (3,23)

Does anyone else see how out of place this objective genitive interpretation is in this context that in so many ways suggests the simpler, more fundamental meaning of the more literal subjective genitive as primary?

footwasher
04-12-2014, 02:38 PM
Mark 10

28Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.” 29Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, 30but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. 31“But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”


http://www.postost.net/2013/04/wright-white-righteousness-god-2-corinthians-521

Quote
Paul’s argument in 2 Corinthians 5:21 is that the apostles are the “servants of God” (cf. 6:4) through whom God is seeking to reconcile these Corinthian believers to himself—just as in Isaiah 49 God used his servant to reconcile Jacob to himself. They are ambassadors, through whom God makes his appeal to the Corinthians; they implore the Corinthians to be reconciled to God (5:20).

The apostles are in a position to perform this task because they are in Christ, through whom “God was reconciling the world to himself” (5:19). Jesus became sin—he was crucified as an enemy of Israel and of YHWH, a blasphemer, a false claimant to the throne of Israel. But that led, paradoxically, to real enemies of God such as Paul becoming the “righteousness of God”, the means by which YHWH is justified. As Wright says in the podcast, the apostles embody the covenant faithfulness of God in their ministry.

In effect, what Paul is claiming is that the apostles are right, they embody the rightness of God, they are justified in making this appeal, because they are in Christ, as is clearly evidenced by their suffering (6:4-10)—they carry in their bodies the dying of Jesus (4:10). This is not an abstract argument about the imputation of righteousness through faith. It is a practical argument: the apostles make their appeal on the ground that they are acting out the role of Christ-like servants, who commend themselves by accepting, as Jesus accepted, hardships, persecution, distrust, abuse, and punishment.



Luke 12:32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.

33“Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. 34“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Originally Posted by footwasher
... God's righteousness is displayed in the lives of people who hear with faith, demonstrate loyalty!

Yes, indeed. I think I have already said that we are in close agreement on this point.

Yet you have two sports cars! Truly, you are not far from the Kingdom of God!

Not!

Instead of positing abstract concepts, I'll lay out exactly what happens during the manifestation of God's righteousness.

People cry out to God for deliverance from the oppression of the world.
God shows them the escape route: baptism
Baptism takes one out of the world into the Church
They drink from the Rock
The drink is a message: place all your hopes on God

Some will react in a negative manner: if I place all my hopes on God, I'll lose my house and sportscars, my children will be enslaved by the sweatshops meant for those without a costly college education.

Some will reflect on the entire experience: the recognition of the Shepherd's voice, the commonality of the vision and desires and goals shared with the master, the hope of the promised land and the wedding feast, the confirmation of the truth of the message by signs and through answered prayer.

The first leading to abandoning of loyalty to God , the second leading to a confidence that the one who delivered them will continue to deliver them, persuading them to clothe themselves with the wedding garment.

To those that drink deeply, out of their hearts would flow streams of living water, revelation from Scripture to reconcile, restore the world to God.

For it is Scripture that cleanses, justifies, makes acceptable the sinner to God.

Just as Christ used Scripture to restore men to God

Luke 26:32They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”

Who in turn restore other men to God because they believed, were loyal, were constant in their feeling that God would continue to bless them:

Acts 8:39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing

Summary
Gods righteousness is His commitment to do right by fulfilling His promise to Abraham to bless the world through his Seed.

His Seed obeyed the Law and healed the world through His stripes,persecution, suffering insult, both before the Cross, with living waters and after the Cross with living waters.

The Cross was God making Christ who had no sin into a sin offering, so that so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Colossians 1:24Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions.

I apologize for the directness. Scripture is what it is laid out to be.