The faith of Jesus Christ: an analysis of Paul's use of pistis Christou
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SubjectPaul, the Apostle, Saint--Contributions in the doctrine of justification
Bible. N.T. Epistles of Paul--Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Pistis (The Greek word)
[Greek words romanized in title and description] This dissertation defends the thesis that the Pauline phrase, pistis Christou ("faith of Christ" [Rom 3:22,26; Gal 2:16, 20; 3:22; Phil 3:9; Eph 3:12]), in its various contexts, is best translated as "faith in Christ" (objective genitive) and not "faith/faithfulness of Christ" (subjective genitive). Chapter 1 surveys the history of the debate from 1795 to the present. Chapter 2 gives an overview of the use of pistis ("faith") in the LXX and the rest of the NT corpus outside of Paul's letters. It is argued that the LXX usage of pistis supports the subjective genitive interpretation, but the NT usage argues for the objective genitive interpretation. Chapter 3 investigates the use of "faith" in the writings of the apostolic fathers. The research shows that the fathers use pistis along the lines of NT writers and the evidence from their writings also supports our thesis concerning the pistis Christou phrase in Paul. Chapter 4 addresses the nature of the genitive case, Paul's use of the genitives Christou, kuriou, and Theou. Also in chapter 4, the main arguments made in defense of the Subjective genitive interpretation are summarized and evaluated. Chapters 5-7 are exegetical in nature and make up the core of this dissertation. Arguments are made from the context of each letter in which the pistis Christou phrase appears (Romans, Galatians, and Philippians). First, the meaning of pistis Christou is sought in its immediate context and the results evaluated in light of the broader context of each letter. We found that in all these instances, the reading "faith in Christ" for pistis Christou is the more probable reading in context. Chapter 8 summarizes the results of this investigation and evaluates the thesis proposed in this dissertation. Appendices 1-4 cover topics such as (1) why the debate is limited to the subjective and objective genitives (appendix 1), (2) examples of subjective and objective genitives in the NT (appendix 2), (3) pistis in the rest of Paul's letters (appendix 3), and (4) pistis Christou in Ephesians 3:12 (appendix 4).