ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ and John Chrysostom (part 2)

This post is part of a series. Parts: one, three.

I’ve continued to work carefully through the relevant πίστις Χριστοῦ texts. Romans 3 was the next in the list. Quite interestingly, Chrysostom’s text doesn’t appear to have Jesus in it! Here’s how it reads:

Εἰπὼν γοῦν, ∆ικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ, ἐπήγαγε, ∆ιὰ τῆς πίστεως, εἰς πάντας καὶ ἐπὶ πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας.

The NA27 reads:

δικαιοσύνη δὲ θεοῦ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας.

I assume that makes a “faithfulness of Jesus” rendering impossible here, and that seems consistent with the rest of the passage. Right before quoting quoting v. 22, he says,
“So that no one may say, ‘and how are we saved, as those who have not accomplished any of these great things [the great deeds of the OT saints]?’ He shows that we who enter in [ie, the Gentiles?] have no small place in this matter. I’m speaking of faith.”

Later he says, “Therefore do not doubt! It [righteousness] is not from works (εξ εργων), but with faith (απο πιστεως). Do not flee the righteousness of God! Its goodness is two-fold, as it is easy to attain and always available. Do not be ashamed or blush.

Apparently (as John goes on to explain) some where making fun of justification by faith, claiming it was an “easy” or “feminine” doctrine. Overall, John’s focus here is on righteousness. Faith doesn’t get much mention. It comes up a few times in contrast with works, but John spends much more time explicating God’s righteousness as manifested in Jesus. He wants particularly to defray the claim that Christianity is an innovation. He spends a lot of time showing the “types” in the Old Testament, and how they were fulfilled in Christ.

So, there’s quite a bit going on in his homily, but not much directly referring to faith. The omission of “of Jesus Christ” in his text is quite curious, but otherwise it’s fairly evident that the faith in view here is human faith. That’s also clear in Romans 1:16-17, which I didn’t mention. The next post will look at Philippians 3, and then I’ll move onto Ephesians, where it really gets interesting!


ἐν πίστει Χριστοῦ,
αλεξανδρος

5 thoughts on “ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ and John Chrysostom (part 2)

  1. No good reason. If anything it was to distinguish from εκ, though mistranslating a word in order to differentiate it in English is hardly a sufficient reason to do so. Looking at the LSJ, I see now that “with” is hardly a good translation. Απο seems to throw me off fairly often. I have noticed that John seems to use απο with πιστις and εκ with works, while Paul seems to use εκ for both. Perhaps they’re just equivalent for John, or is there something more to it?

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