Class Notes: 8/10/2023
The book of Romans part 155; Rom 3:21;
In our verse-by-verse study of Romans we had just started Rom 3:21; before we stopped last time.
Rom 3:21; "But now without law the righteousness of God." It begins with the enclitic particle "de" used as an adversative conjunction.
It introduces a contrast between self-righteousness produced by keeping the law and God's perfect imputed righteousness from God's integrity on the basis of doctrine.
Then the adverb of time, "nune" (now), plus the nominative singular subject "dikaiosune" (righteousness) with it is "theos" (of God) an objective possessive genitive.
"Dikaiosune" is a second stage word construction in the organization of the Greek language. In the 9th century BC during the time of Homer there were two words, a noun and an adjective "dikh" and "dikaios," were simple words representative of Homer's time.
Multi-syllable words did not come into the Greek language until the time of Attic Greek. In the 5th century B.C. when thought became much deeper it required some special technical words. So the Greeks invented a suffix that comes off of the "dik" base that meant righteousness in Homeric Greek.
But when the suffix "sunh" is added you move into abstract thought. The translation here in the NASB is "But now apart from the law the righteousness of God."
However while the word (righteousness) as we understand it can be correct in this case it isn't sufficient because it does not encompass the complete meaning of the word, nor does it recognize the changes that initially occurred in Classical Greek and then later on in Koine Greek.
The noun "dikh" and the adjective "dikaios" definitely have a connotation of righteousness, but even that changed. "Dikaios," for example, by the time it reached Koine Greek meant many things in addition to righteousness.
Among other things, it means the thinking of a judge. But when you add "sunh" to this you have a legal connotation. It becomes an abstract legal noun and because it is, it is universally mistranslated (righteousness) in the New Testament.
"Dikaionune" means fair and equitable in dealing with others, it meant virtue, justice, integrity, and justice as a characteristic of a judge, justice as the thinking of a judge butt also means the integrity of a judge.
The word connotes not just righteousness but righteousness as a principle leading to action and thought: thinking action because the thinking is correct. This was its general development as far as the Greek language is concerned, but the Bible adds another dimension.
The Bible relates "dikaiosune" to God with "dikaiosune theou." This particular phrase makes a huge change in "dikaiosune" because it is now used to describe God's perfect righteousness, justice and integrity.
Remember, "dikaiosune" is an abstract noun that always has the connotation of integrity. Righteousness is the principle of God's integrity in relationship with all of God's attributes.
When used of the believer it is a synonym to "eusebeia," translated (godliness) in the NASB. It is the technical word for the believer who is functioning in maximum adjustment to God's justice or total relationship with God's integrity from function inside of God's GASP system.
When "dikaiosune" is used to describe man because of man's depravity it takes on the technical meaning of "justification," or possessing part of God's integrity. It can be justification or salvation adjustment to God's justice but it can also refer to justification from capacity at spiritual maturity because that is another principle of vindication from God's integrity.
Justification means that God's justice is free to bless man without compromising His perfect character or any of His attributes. There is never any blessing for mankind from God until we have God's very own righteousness because there can be no justification without it
This means that where contact with man is concerned "dikaiosune" is generally translated "justice." In this verse "theos" is in both the possessive and the subjective genitive. The integrity belongs to God and God's integrity is our point of contact with God.
So we will translate "dikaiosune theos" not as the (righteousness of God) but as the (integrity of God), emphasizing God's righteousness as the principle of integrity and God's justice as the function of God's integrity.
The subjective genitive of the noun "theos" also demands some explanation. A subjective genitive is where the noun in the genitive case produces the action. That's why "dikaiosune theos" generally means (justice).
Under the connotation of possessive genitive "dikaiosune theos" indicates the integrity of God emphasizing God's perfect (righteousness).
Righteousness belongs to God as a principle because it is part of His essence. The subjective genitive also includes man in the principle, but the possessive genitive views God alone because God's integrity that is comprised of both His righteousness and justice belongs to God alone.
In his fallen state man is only entered into a relationship with God's integrity through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Because of man's position after the fall in the Garden of Eden the justice function of God's integrity always takes precedence in God's dealings with mankind.
Depending on man's attitude toward Jesus Christ the justice function of God's integrity either condemns man or blesses man. John 3:18,36;
God's integrity initially condemns man but then for those who believe in Jesus Christ there is salvation or justification adjustment to God's integrity
This means that both condemnation and vindication or justification come from God's integrity.
For those who remain maladjusted because they have chosen to reject Jesus Christ as savior there is both punishment in time followed by eternal judgment.
The forensic or judicial connotation of "dikaiosune theos" includes justification or vindication by grace as described in Rom 5:1.
Forensic justification means the possession of God's righteousness as the result of salvation adjustment to God's justice so God recognizes that the person who is a believer in Jesus Christ has God's perfect righteousness. 2Cor 5:21;
Rom 3:21; " now but apart from law" de (but) "nyni (now) then the adverb "choris" (apart) used as an improper preposition is in the genitive case, plus the genitive of "nomos" (law) no definite article so any law but in the context of our verse the Mosaic Law is in view so "apart or without law."
"dikaiosune theos" (righteousness of God) "is manifested" the perfect passive indicative of the verb "phanero" (has been manifested) meaning to reveal, to make known, to show, to demonstrate, to attest to or to manifest.
NASB translates it "manifested." The perfect tense is a dramatic perfect, emphasizing the results of the action of the verb. The passive voice: the righteousness belonging to God's perfect integrity has been revealed.
The indicative mood is declarative for the historical reality or fact that doctrine is the means whereby God's integrity is revealed to man. This integrity was revealed previously.
"being witnessed" from the present passive participle "martureo" (witness). It means to be a witness in a trial, to testify in a trail, or to confirm facts in a trial. The present tense is the present tense of duration denoting what has already started in the past that continues into the present time.
The passive voice: God's righteousness that belongs to His integrity receives the action of the verb. This is a circumstantial participle that refers to the existence of the canon of scripture.
Every human author in the Old Testament was actually in court, giving testimony, presenting facts about God's integrity so the Old Testament canon is regarded as a great courtroom where the facts will be brought out.
"being witnessed by the law and the prophets" "martuereo" (being witnessed) plus "hypo" (by) then the ablative of "o nomos" (the Mosaic Law), and "o prophetes" the OT prophets) also in the ablative.
The ablative is not the regular case for the means or the instrumental but it can be used when the expression of means is accompanied by its origin or source.
This means that what the Old Testament prophets wrote down in the Old Testament Scripture is the origin or source of the disclosure or manifestation of God's integrity.
Expanded Translation Rom 3:21; "But now apart from law the righteousness belonging to the integrity of God has been revealed, being confirmed by the law and the prophets."
The doctrine of the Word of God is the manifestation, the testimony and the revelation of God's integrity. Bible Doctrine is the verbalization or the communication of God's integrity.
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