b-greek-digest V1 #551

b-greek-digest           Saturday, 21 January 1995     Volume 01 : Number 551

In this issue:

        Re: Eph. 2:8-9 & Rom. 3-4 


From: Bruce Terry <terry@bible.acu.edu>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 16:37:58 CST
Subject: Re: Eph. 2:8-9 & Rom. 3-4 

This discussion about whether the faith of Jesus Christ is objective or
subjective is interesting.  From the viewpoint of sentence grammar it could be
either; the genitive can express a lot of semantic relationships.  From the
perspective of discourse grammar, however, the relationships which are
activated in the mind are those relationships that are already present there on
existing frameworks.  This provides a theoretical framework for doing what we
have already been doing anyway: going to other passages to see what light they
may shed on the framework structures already built up.

With this in mind, I note first that dia pistews in Eph. 2:8 is not here
modified by Ihsou Cristou; rather it is contrasted with ex ergwn in the next
verse.  In passing, it seems rather obvious that the works are those of humans;
therefore, by analogy the faith is that of humans as well, although I guess it
is possible to argue that human works are constrasted with divine faithfulness.

But where I really want to go is to Romans 3 and 4 where there is a similar
discussion (I do not see much difference between being saved through faith and
being declared righteous through faith).  Here in 3:22 we do find that the
righteousness of God is dia pistews Ihsou Cristou.  The advantage of this
passage is that Paul spends a whole chapter (4) elaborating on this with the
expression "faith reckoned as righteousness."  Here it is obvious that faith is
human faith: 1) Episteusen de Abraam twi qewi (4:3); 2) pisteuonti ...
logizetai h pistis autou eis dikaiosunhn (4:5); and 3) tois pisteuousin epi ton
egeiranta Ihsoun (4:24).  Of course, God is the One doing the reckoning, so
there is no reason to boast about our faith, either.

Thus I would reason that since the faith connected with righteousness is human
faith, in Romans 3:22 the expression pistews Ihsou Cristou would be an example
of objective genitive: here He is the object of our faith.  All of this is not
to deny his faithfulness, which is apparent elsewhere.

Bruce Terry                            E-MAIL: terry@bible.acu.edu
Box 8426, ACU Station		       Phone:  915/674-3759
Abilene, Texas 79699		       Fax:    915/674-3769


End of b-greek-digest V1 #551


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