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Does Faith Mean Faithfulness?

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When God reckons a person righteous, it is despite what they are-it is not because faith is righteousness.

With all the controversy that has raged about justification in the past generation, it is surprising that for some time the question of what faith is has remained more marginal. However, this issue has recently come into the foreground of both the church's and the academy's attention. The present essay aims to do justice both to Paul and James, and to clarify that faith is not itself righteousness but should be regarded as trust in Christ, which also has specific verbal content. It is also not an entity, however, which can ever be isolated in the Christian life from obedience, even though faith and obedience are not to be confused.

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1 [ Back ] In the preceding article, Professor Gathercole refers to J. W. van Henten's "The Tradition-Historical Background of Rom. 3:25: A Search for Pagan and Jewish Parallels" in M. C. De Boer's From Jesus to John (JSNTSS; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993), pp. 101-128; D. J. Moo's The Letter of James (Pillar New Testament Commentary; Leicester: InterVarsity Press, 2000), p. 140; J. Jeremias's "Paul and James" in ExpT 66 (1954-55), pp. 368-371; and Richard Hays's The Faith of Jesus Christ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001), p. 172, 297.

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Issue: "Covenant Confusion" July/August 2004 Vol. 13 No. 4 Page number(s): 31-36

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