‘The Righteousness of God’ in Paul

If the ground starts rumbling beneath your feet on Thursday at about 4:30pm ET, just know that it’s me reading my paper at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Providence, Rhode Island (a paper unrelated to the aforementioned amendment). For those who might be interested, here’s the abstract summary of my presentation.

‘God’s Inactive Righteousness: A Clarification Regarding the Meaning of Paul’s “Righteousness” Language’

by Denny Burk

Paul’s scattered references to the “righteousness of God” should be interpreted in light of the fact that his original audience would have heard his letters read aloud to them. I suggest two things about what Paul’s original audience would have heard as this letter was read to them: (1) they would not have heard the phrase “righteousness of God” as either a subjective or an objective genitive, but (2) they would have heard δικαιοσύνη as the nominalization of an attribute. These two observations will not enable us to say definitively what the correct interpretation of “righteousness of God” is in Paul’s letters (that is beyond the scope of this short paper), but they will help us to rule out some interpretations currently on offer.


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