Πιστισ Χριστου In Galatians 2:16 -- By: Debbie Hunn
TynBull 57:1 (2006) p. 23
Πιστισ Χριστου In Galatians 2:16
Clarification From 3:1-6
Because grammar alone is inadequate to determine the meaning of πίστις Χριστοῦ, whether ‘faith in Christ’ or ‘faith[fulness] of Christ’, some scholars now observe that exegesis must judge between the theories. This article is an attempt to use exegesis to determine the meaning of πίστις Χριστοῦ in Galatians 2:16. The argument proceeds in two steps: the first is to confirm that ἀκοή πίστεως in Galatians 3:2, 5 refers to the faith of the Galatians (‘hearing with faith’), and the second is to establish the link between ἀκοή πίστεως in 3:2, 5 and πίστις Χριστοῦ in 2:16. The article concludes that πίστις Χριστοῦ in Galatians 2:16 refers to human faith.
Morna Hooker perceived in 1989 that the question of whether to classify the genitive in πίστις Χριστοῦ as subjective or objective is ‘one which cannot be settled on the basis of appeals to grammatical construction alone’.1 A subjective genitive in the passages containing πίστις Χριστοῦ (Rom. 3:22, 26; Gal. 2:16, 20; 3:22; Eph. 3:12; Phil. 3:9) denotes faith Christ has in God or his faithful obedience to God, and an objective genitive the faith Christians have in Christ.2
Since Hooker wrote, scholars have continued to offer grammatical arguments, but theology more than grammar has driven the debate from
TynBull 57:1 (2006) p. 24
the start. Marcus Barth, for example, rejects the objective genitive because, ‘If Christ’s own faith counted nothing, and if men were totally delivered to the since...
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