From: John Barach (
Date: Wed Aug 25 1999 - 17:22:02 EDT


I'm working on Romans 1:16-17 and came across the difficult phrase EK
PISTEWS EIS PISTIN. Now that I have read several commentaries, I seem
to be no further ahead and slightly more confused.

I note that there are a few options:

(1) The phrase speaks of advancing from one degree of faith to another:
a process of development leading to a goal. A parallel may be seen with
2 Cor. 2:16 ("of death to death ... of life to life"); 2 Cor. 3:18
("from glory to glory"); Ps. 84:8 ("from strength to strength"); and
Jer. 9:3 ("from evil to evil"). The latter two in particular share the
same EK ... EIS ... structure found in Rom. 1.

One form of this view says that (a) God's righteousness is revealed
savingly to those who believe (EK PISTEWS) and (b) that God's
righteousness is revealed in such a way as to produce faith (EIS

(2) The phrase simply means to say that this righteousness is by faith
from start to finish, so that the complex phrase is really only an
intensive way of saying "by faith."

(3) The phrase indicates that this righteousness is manifested "by
faith" and it is manifested to everyone who believes ("to faith").
Thus, there is something of a parallel between this phrase and Rom. 3:22
(cf. Gal. 3:22). As John Murray argues, "From faith" indicates that one
benefits from this righteousness only by faith, while "to faith"
indicates that everyone who believes benefits.

(4) I am also aware that Torrance and others argue that EK PISTEWS
refers to *God's* faith(fulness) and not to man's response of faith.

Any further help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.



John Barach (403) 317-1950
Pastor-Elect, Trinity Reformed Church (URCNA)
113 Stafford Blvd. N.
Lethbridge, AB
T1H 6E3

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