From: George Blaisdell (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Feb 13 1999 - 14:44:04 EST
This is just a summary from this thread, which [thread] was very helpful
to me. ~ Someone else used to do a summary that was much better than
this one of mine in a dialogue format.
The "Rectify" suggestion seems to be promising, as it works in both the
active and the passive voices, as well as in the middle [inner] voice.
Recto- and Right seem, as well, to have good congruence.
I too have been having problems with "Justify", mostly because this word
in modern English seems to lose sight of the right-just connection of
its root. [ie Anyone can 'justify' anything, and generally rather
wrongly! Plus the idea of 'self justification' also seems pollutive.]
From: "Mark Goodacre"
On 10 Feb 99 at 14:33, Mark D. Taylor wrote:
> I would even drop the word "justified" which is employed so
>often and instead use "was made righteous" or "was declared
>righteous". And I think if you stick to "righteous", the English
>translations don't have to make a decision as to a "judicial"
>interpretation or not. Before learning Greek I didn't understand at
>all what Justified meant, but now realize
>that it is simply the passive voice of DIKAIW.
Not really -- the active voice of DIKAIOW is often translated
into English with "justify". The reason is our lack of a good English
verb to correspond to the noun "righteousness", which, everyone agrees,
is the best way to translate DIKAIOSUNH. One way of getting round this
has been to translate DIKAIOSUNH as "justification" and then DIKAIOW as
"to justify", but it is not entirely satisfactory for the reasons you
point out -- it presses DIKAIO- words too far in a forensic direction,
problematic for verses like 6.7.
We should not underestimate the difficulty·.
How do we deal with the problem? There are a variety of
solutions. Tom Wright suggests re-introducing the verb "to rightwise"
for DIKAIOW. Ed Sanders simply invents two fresh verbs: "to faith" and
"to righteous". He says that he hopes that these will have made it into
the OED before he dies. If one takes this suggestion seriously, one
can at least begin to make sense of passages like the above (especially
if one also translates EQNH consistently). For your Romans 6.7 passage
we would then have the individual being "righteoused from sin".
Just a few thoughts
From: Jonathan Ryder
JL Martyn, in his recent commentary on Galatians in the Anchor
Bible series uses the word group 'rectify, rectification', stressing
both imputed status and effected change (I think I'm remembering
Two other points:
1) with regard to translating DIKAIOW as 'to free' when ref to
APO hAMARTIAS I think some interpreters take Paul's ref to
sin, death and law etc as (cosmic) powers from which freedom
2) I believe the word group for righteousness/righteous etc in
OT can be translated 'salvation', 'vindication', 'deliveration' perhaps
with primary eschatological sense·
From: "Joseph Garnier"
I appreciate your reasoning. It caused me to reevaluate my
understanding of the word, and I have noticed a pattern throughout the
GNT regarding its usage.
>The forensic sense needs to be retained or else the logic of
>the passage is lost. Freedom from the law (i.e. justification) is the
>dynamo that unleashes the power of sanctification (see Rom 6:14).
>Notice how Paul elaborates on this in Rom 7:1-6. .
I have found that DIKAIOW does hold the meaning justify in every
occurrence of it when it takes the active voice, but this does not hold
when it is passive. Striving to retain the forensic sense of the word,
seems that the difference being expressed is transitive: God justifies,
versus intransitive: I am absolved. I went through each case and it
works out well with this understanding.
From: "James S. Murray"
I was wondering if Acts 13:38, 39, which uses a similar greek
construction of DIKAIOUTAI (passive) with APO PANTWN, would aid
in this discussion. In this case, the idea seems to be linked with
AFESIS hAMARTIWN. If so, then DIKAIW might also incorporate the idea
of being released.
Also, it seems to me that Paul directly links DIKAIW with
APOLUTRWSIS in Rom. 3:24. Possibly for Paul, justification and
redemption are Related concepts or are like different sides of the same
coin, so that in Rm 6:7, Paul may well have had "Freed" in mind, though
not a freedom independent from justification.
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