RE: Objective Genitive in Rom. 3:22

From: Alan Wong (
Date: Mon Oct 04 1999 - 14:00:54 EDT

Hi Jim,

Jim Ellis wrote on Sun, 3 Oct 1999 13:16:07-0500:
> Hi Folks,
> I am new to the List. Pardon me if this question seems trivial to
> you.
> It seems almost redundant for Paul to say "even the righteousness
> of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe,"
> (Rom. 3:22). Why is it not appropriate to render "dia pistews
> Iesou Christou" as subjective rather than objective, i.e. "through
> the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for
> all those who believe."?

This is NOT a trivial question. It's an ongoing debate
right now in Pauline theology ... If you have a copy of Wallace,
he refers in his footnotes to papers arguing for both sides
of the arguments. Probably the most informative pair of articles
is the one in a SBL Seminar by Richard Hays (subjective) and
James Dunn (objective). One option that I think should be considered
is the plenary genitive.

Since the context of Rom 3:22 is talking about the righteousness
of God that has been revealed apart from the law (i.e. Christ's
work on the cross), it seems that here subjective genitive is
more probable. However, the argument for a subjective genitive
seems a little awkward considering Paul's interaction with the
faith of Abraham in Rom 4. Personally, I learn toward taking it
as an objective genitive, but I am still sympathetic toward the

-Grace & Peace,
Alan Wong
M.Div. candidate
Gordon-Conwell Seminary

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