Whose faith?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by robycop3, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. robycop3

    robycop3
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    Romans 3:22, KJV
    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:

    same verse, NKJV: even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all[a] who believe. For there is no difference;

    I recently had a discussion of this verse, and the othere which say 'faith OF Christ' in the KJV. I argued that JESUS has no faith; instead, He has SURE, EMPIRICAL, FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE. Faith is belief in something not seen, and there's NOTHING that Jesus hasn't seen, can't see, or doesn't know.

    Been a long time since I had a course in grammar, so I don't remember the tech term, but I believe the AV men used 'of' in the same sense in those verses as they did when they wrote "Wisdom is justified OF her children", where 'of' means 'by'; only in the case of Romans 3:22, etc. they used 'of' for 'in'.

    The KJV isn't wrong here, but neither are the MVs which say 'in'. We have simply gotten away from commonly using 'of' as a function word in the sense the AV men more frequently used it. However, we DO use it in this sense daily in one instance-"O'CLOCK." This is simply a contraction for "of the clock", which coulda just-as-easily been "ON the clock". However, that phrase has taken on an entirely-new meaning since then, so we stick with "o'clock".

    Well, whadda YOU think? Does Jesus have faith, or is faith a strictly-human thing God gave us?
     
  2. av1611jim

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    Since faith is trust in something or someone ; yes Jesus has faith.

    He had total faith in His Father. Although He did have a moment there on the Cross; My God my God, Why......?
     
  3. EdSutton

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    I think you should rethink the options you have asked, personally. They seem to ask the choice between apples and hamburgers, to me. If I'm a vegetarian, I have only one; if I am a meat lover, and allergic to apples, again, I have only one. But if I want more than one thing for my lunch, and do not fit the above categories, I am still supposed to choose between the two??

    It don't work that way!

    Ed
     
  4. TCGreek

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    1. The text under consideration is: δικαιοσύνη δὲ θεοῦ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας· οὐ γάρ ἐστιν διαστολή·

    2. KJV: "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:"

    3. NASB: "even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;"

    4. The expression under consideration really is: διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

    a. Is it through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ?

    b. Or is it through faith in Jesus Christ?

    5. Dr. NT Wright, Bishop of Durham, takes it as "the faithfulness of Jesus Christ." Now you have to read his reason (s) for taking it thus. Jesus the Messiah is seen as the long awaited Messiah to bring salvation, fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant. But Jesus was able to do that because of his faithfulness, hence διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

    6. Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, in his now famous, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, presents both possibilities and favors διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, as subjective genitive, that is, the faith/faithfulness of Christ.

    7. Dr. Richard A. Young, PhD from Bob Jones University, argues that διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, is objective genitive, favoring the translation, "through faith in Jesus Christ," in Gal. 2:16, where the Greek is identical.

    8. Dr. Douglas Moo, Blanchard professor of NT at Wheaton Graduate School, favors διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, as objective genitive, "faith in Jesus Christ." He, however, noted that a growing number of scholars are leaning toward the subjective genitive, "the faithfulness of Jesus Christ."

    My own position is that there are good arguments for taking it either as objective or subjective genitive. The Greek construction allows for either position.

    1. If it is subjective genitive, then it is the faithfulness of Christ to God's law, thus making him our atonement and perfecter of our faith (Rom 8:3, 4; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 5:8, 9).

    2. If objective genitive, then it is our faith in Jesus Christ because he became our righteousness, being obedient to the Father's will and dying on the cross.

    3. A third possibility is Plenary Genitive, where both the ideas of objective and subjective genitives are seen together without contradicting one another: "Through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ we have faith in Jesus Christ."
     
    #4 TCGreek, Jul 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2007
  5. Charles Meadows

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    It makes no sense in context to say that Jesus Christ has/had faith. What would be argued, as TC Greek pointed out, is the faithfulness of Christ - as opposed to our faith in Christ.

    This is a large part of the substance of the whole "New Perspective" movement. Both are feasible in terms of linguistic issues. The question is which one makes more sense theologically. I opt for the objective genitive, (our faith in Christ), which I think makes more sense of New Testament Christology. This is certainly a hot topic however - and those who have opinions are forced to admit that the opposing side does have valid arguments.
     
  6. franklinmonroe

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    Praise God that there are translations available to us (especially non-Greek scholars) that render this verse each way in English so that we may be able to compare and think about the potential theological implications!
     
  7. Salamander

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    Simple, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God".

    If Jesus weren't faithful we would have no Saviour.

    Since the word of God came by holy men as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, faith originates from the Originator/ God Himself.
     
  8. Charles Meadows

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    The implications here are significant. If we are not saved by our faith in Jesus but rather by Jesus' faithfulness to God's promises then salvation by faith is in jeopardy.
     
  9. EdSutton

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    Well said.

    Ed
     
  10. npetreley

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    I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Can you rephrase that in the form of a question?
     
  11. TCGreek

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    There's something wrong with this statement. Step back and look at it again in the light of Scripture.

    1. It is precisely because the Son was faithful to the Father, why he became our perfect sacrifice. This can be demonstrated all through Scripture (Hebs 5:8, 9; 4:14; John 4:34; 6:38).

    2. Phil.2:8 says, "And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (ESV, emphasis mine). He became obedient. Obedience required "faithfulness" on the part of our Lord.

    3. And I am saved and we all are saved because Jesus not only died on the cross and was raised, but he also fulfilled the Law of God perfectly.

    4. When I put my faith in Jesus, his righteousness becomes mine and my sins become his (2 Cor 5:21).
     
  12. Charles Meadows

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    TC,

    I was basically referring to the whole "new perspective" movement. If we agree that "pistis Christou" means Jesus' faithfulness rather than our faith in Him the door begins to open for sola fide to be questioned signifcantly - especially given the context of this passage. If we are saved by the faithfulness of Christ - then this passage was not intending to say that faith alone saves us (as opposed to works). I say that the implications are significant because that moves us a bit closer to a covenantal nomism! Obviously there are volumes upon volumes to be discussed here!

    I realize that would hijack this thread and make it a "new perspective discussion". I've read Wright, Sanders, Dunn, and the others and have appreciated much of what they are saying. But in the end I agree with the traditional objective genitive reading.
     
  13. robycop3

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    Let's look at it from this perspective...BIBLICAL faith is the substance of things HOPED FOR, the evidence of things NOT SEEN. Is there anything Jesus HOPES for? is there anything he hasn't seen or cannot see? There's but one thing he didn't know, & that was the date of His return. otherwise, He knows all, sees all, & is Master of all, except His Father. And Jesus doesn't have "faith" in His father...He KNOWS Him intimately.

    Let us differentiate between 'faith and 'faithFUL'. Faith is trust in something not seen or at hand, while faithful is complete loyalty & steadfastness. Thus, Jesus is faithFUL to His Father, whom He has often seen & whom He's with right now, while WE have faith IN Jesus, whom we haven't seen, but in whom we fully trust as Lord & Savior.

    'Tis mostly a matter of semantics & older Bibles vs newer bibles. The older ones say 'of' while most newer ones say'in'. As TC Greek says, the construction of the Greek allows for either objective or subjective genitive, we must use context if the direct reading is unclear. Thus, I use the context that Jesus, as Master of all but His Father, with the same unlimited power & knowledge as His Father, is the OBJECT of faith, while being the very embodiment of all truth, the PERFECT object of all faith...while being Himself 100% FAITHFUL to His Father, and to every word He says. WE have faith in JESUS; HE is FAITHFUL to His Father, His father's words, & His own words.

    I still believe the KJV men used "of" in those verses as a function word meaning "in", "on", "by", "from", such as they also did in "wisdom is justified OF her children". They were NOT incorrect here...but that use isn't very common now, and COULD lead to some confusion.

    It appears that modern translators favor the objective genitive, but we can't rule out that the AV men also did, but used 'of' because of its common use in those days as described above. We see such use fairly frequently in Shakespeare's works, I. E, "She's OF a swoon".

    Thanx for the input so far, all!
     
  14. TC

    TC
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    But we are not saved by our faith. We are saved by grace through faith. Even the faith that we have is a gift from God. We don't have it in ourselves, so we cannot boast in any way. Salvation is of the LORD.
     
  15. MNJacob

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    Either translation is dependent upon the specific meaning applied to πιστεως
    if it is "faith" it is our faith in Jesus as Messiah, if it is "faithfulness" it is it the faithfulness of Christ. Both are complementary in that it is clearly not our own faithfulness but that of Christ, not our work but His.

    This is an interesting discussion, one that I had in my intermediate Greek class, with Dr. Jimmy Dukes. I believe that both positions are represent clear demonstrations of the necessity of human faith and the inadequacy of human works unto salvation.
     
  16. Brother Bob

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    If it were the faithfulness of Jesus and our faith played not part, then it would be universalism. We must have faith in Jesus.IMO
     
  17. robycop3

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    When we have faith, we believe in something for which we have no clear, absolute, empirical evidence. none of us have heard nor seen Jesus, but yet we believe in Him.

    OTOH, there's nothing which Jesus hasn't seen, can't see, or doesn't know. rather than FAITH, He has ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE.

    GRACE, which is unmerited favor, is another matter. Jesus exercises His grace because of our faith.
     
  18. franklinmonroe

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    True. Thayer's for pistis (Strong's #4102) has two possible definitions: 1) conviction of the truth of anything, belief (belief with the predominate idea of trust and confidence whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same); or 2) fidelity, faithfulness (that is, the character of one who can be relied on). Context should guide the proper rendering.

    The context of Romans Chapter 3 is the righteousness of God without the law. Witness Matthew Henry's comments for this phrase --
    It is by the faith of Jesus Christ, that faith which hath Jesus Christ for its object-an anointed Saviour, so Jesus Christ signifies. Justifying faith respects Christ as a Saviour in all his three anointed offices, as prophet, priest, and king-trusting in him, accepting of him, and adhering to him, in all these. It is by this that we become interested in that righteousness which God has ordained, and which Christ has brought in.​

    When Paul states that God's righteousness "[which is] by" (KJV) or "through" (NKJV), he is indicating the vehicle or instrument by which one obtains the "righteousness of God". While grammatically this may go either way, I don't think that the 'faithfulness' of Christ to the Father (while true) fits this passage. Paul continues discussing human faith, especially clear in verses 25, 28, and 31 (Romans 3:28, KJV) --
    Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.​
     
    #18 franklinmonroe, Jul 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2007
  19. TCGreek

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    The fact that Paul goes on to discuss human faith in Rom 3 is not sufficient reason to dismiss the possibility that this might be "The faithfulness of Jesus Christ.
     
  20. franklinmonroe

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    True, but I did not dismiss it. I acknowleged that "grammatically this may go either way". But with all grammatical things being equal, the context is a good guide.

    If Paul had been writing immediately before or after about the 'faithfulness of Christ', my hermeneutical method would have remained constant, but my resulting interpretation of verse 22 would have been different.
     

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