The imputation of Christ's righteousness: A study of key Pauline texts
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SubjectBible.--N.T.--Epistles of Paul--Theology.
Bible.--N.T.--Epistles of Paul--Criticism, interpretation, etc.
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[Greek terms romanized in description] This dissertation explores the question of whether Paul teaches that Christ's righteousness is imputed to the believer. Chapter 1 surveys various historical trajectories beginning with Luther, Melanchthon, and Calvin, and moving on through both Reformed and modern discussions of imputation. This chapter provides the backdrop that puts the exegetical chapters in perspective. Chapter 2 focuses on Romans 4: 1-8, with particular emphasis given to the Old Testament background of Genesis 15:6, the place of the text in Paul's argument, and the nature offaith. The quote from Psalm 32 is shown to be a clarifying statement of the meaning of "reckoned as righteousness." It is argued that Paul's main emphasis, in this text, is on forgiveness. Chapter 3 explores Romans 5: 19 in its larger context of 5: 12-21. Special emphasis is given on the semantic fields kathistemi ("made righteous"). It is argued in this chapter that Christ, as the second Adam, not only began where Adam left off, but recapitulated the role of Adam as covenantal head. The representative nature of the text argues for understanding that the action of the representative (Adam/Christ) "counts" for those who follow them. Chapter 4 argues that in 2 Corinthians 5:21 "made to be sin" derives from the Old Testament sacrificial system. This is combined with themes from Isaiah's servant songs. Again there is emphasis on Christ's representative death. It is argued that "become the righteousness of God in Him" cannot refer to covenantal faithfulness whether in regard to Paul or God, but does refer to the righteous standing the believer has before God in Christ. Chapter 5 seeks to develop a Pauline synthesis of the "key" texts. Shared themes are the basis of the synthesis. Other important texts are also considered, namely, 1 Corinthians 1:30, Philippians 3:9, and Romans 9:30-10:4. The discussion of these texts is narrowly confined to the issues related to imputation. It is argued that the imputation of Christ's righteousness is a valid Pauline synthesis; Christ's righteousness is the righteousness that is from God and is by faith. Special emphases in this chapter are, substitution, union with Christ, and Christ as second Adam. Objections are also considered and answered. Chapter 6 summarizes chapters 1-5, and ends with the main conclusions reached in the course of the work. On the basis of the synthesis reached through the exegesis ofthe relevant texts, it is concluded that the believer is counted "righteous" before God in Christ as a result of the imputation of Christ's righteousness.