I was recently on the Knowing Faith podcast with Jen Wilkin, J.T. English, and Kyle Worley. We had a great time focusing on some of my favorite verses in the Bible, Romans 3:21-26. Martin Luther called those verses, “The chief point, and the very central place of the Epistle, and of the whole Bible.”
This wonderful passage begins with a key line, “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law” (v.21). As I noted in the podcast, this phrase “righteousness of God” has occasioned much debate in the modern day. Is this a reference to God’s righteousness (subjective genitive)? Or a reference to righteousness from God (genitive of source)?
Put differently, does this phrase refer to God’s action or activity, or a righteous status bestowed upon humans as a gift from God?
To be sure, Romans uses the term in both ways at different points. But, generally speaking, a case can be made that genitive of source fits Paul’s argument rather well. Just a few quick considerations: [Read more…]