re: Re: PISTIS in Romans 1, yet

From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Fri Oct 13 1995 - 07:55:45 EDT

Since you reference my post, this gives me a chance to make a correction and a

I erred and meant to write EIS PISTIN, not EIS PISTEWS, for the last part of
Romans 1:17. Please realize that it was another person who asked about the
meaning of Romans 1:17, and I just gave a response, quoting from Richard
Young's grammar.

Yes, I am aware of the point(s) you raise. "The righteous will live by his
faithfulness." The two relevant questions are: 1) should the Hebrew word be
translated "faith" or should it be translated "faithfulness"; and 2) is this
about a1) the righteous person's faith in God or a2) faithfulness to God, or
about b) God's ("His" rather than "his") faithfulness toward the righteous

(The same could possibly be said about Genesis 15:6--did God credit
righteousness to Abraham, or did Abraham credit righteousness to God; what do
the pronouns/verbs refer to? The importance of these textual/linguistic
questions for Christian theology are profound, because they imply a misreading
or misunderstanding of the text(s) by Paul, and these are crucial texts for

Another question, which you raise, has to do with what texts were used by Paul
for his citation--LXX, a non-proto-Masoretic Hebrew text, or what?

Support for Paul, though, comes from a surprising place (at least I was
surprised to see this). In Geza Vermes translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, if
my memory serves me well, he translates this part of the Habbakuk
pesher/commentary as "the righteous shall live by faith"--i.e., his faith in
the Teacher of Righteousness. Apparently the Qumran scribes/community believed
the meaning of Habbakuk 2:4 was "faith" in the Teacher of Righteousness rather
than "faithfulness" to the Teacher of Righteousness. A recent reprint of
Ringgerer's(?) 30-year-old book on the theology of Qumran, (preface by James
Charlesworth), which I skimmed last week, addresses this comment on Habbakuk in
a way, if I recall, which downplays the salvific ability of the Teacher of
Righteousness, but I don't think it disagreed with the idea of having faith in
that person (versus faithfulness to him).

What do you think?

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