Re: Gal 2:20: EN PISTEI ZW TOU UIOU TOU QEOU, "faithfulness of the son of God?"

Carl W. Conrad (
Sun, 22 Sep 1996 14:53:40 +1000

At 6:44 PM -0500 9/21/96, wrote:
>In a message dated 96-09-21 12:47:13 EDT, you write:
> Yes, I think there's plenty of reason to understand the genitive here as a
> subjective genitive: it is not faith IN Christ but rather CHRIST's faith
> that saves. >>
>I'm not sure I understand what you are saying here. I understand subjective
>genitive. It's the soteriology you present that I don't get.

This is not a brand new idea, although I don't know to what extent it has won acceptance. As Jonathan noted in his reply to me, it is perhaps better to speak of Christ's _faithfulness_ than of his _faith_--his unwavering commitment to God the Father in the fulfilment of his mission to demonstrate divine love as the human function. I think one could take the Christ hymn of Phil 2:4-11 as an illustration of this proposition, and then go on and say that Jesus Christ's successful embodiment of this commitment, his _faithfulness_ is what the believer in him actually appropriates, along with the growing power to let that faithful Christ live in the believer's own self. So the proposition is that God's righteousness, DIKAIOSUNH, is at work in Christ incorporate in believers who, though sinful yet, are deemed DIKAIOI and are in the process of growing in DIKAIOSUNH.

What this understanding of PISTIS IHSOU XRISTOU does is shift the understanding of faith from being an act performed by the believer with Jesus Christ as its object to being an act performed by Jesus Christ for the believer. The initiative in redemption is thus recognized is clearly coming from God in Christ and in no way as springing from the believer.

I don't know if that's sufficiently clear or not. What do you think?

Regards, cwc