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The Faith of Jesus Christ: The Narrative Substructure of Galatians 3:1-4:11 (The Biblical Resource Series) Paperback – 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0802849571 ISBN-10: 0802849571 Edition: 2nd
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Product Details

  • Series: Biblical Resource (Book 56)
  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; 2 edition (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802849571
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802849571
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Mark Horne on April 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
Richard Hays argues that Paul is telling or appealing to a story in his argument with the Galatians--the story of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. There are many things of interest and value in this work. I will simply mention the provacative thesis that, many times, when our English Bibles translate "faith in Jesus Christ," Hays argues that Paul is actually referring to "the faith of Jesus Christ." Christ's own trust in God and his faithful obedience to the point of death on the cross is the crux of our salvation from the curse.
I still haven't decided if I'm sure Hays is right. As I have noted, the book is worth several readings. But for those looking for something meaty in New Testament theology, hermeneutics and/or literary theory, I think this should be at the top of your list.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Robert P. Odle on November 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Richard B. Hays argues that the passage in Galatians (2:16) translated into English as, "... a [human being] is not justified by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ ..." can be, and should be, translated differently.

Hays argues that the passage should be translated as it is literally given in the original koine Greek: "... a [human being] is not justified by the works of the law but through [the] faith OF Jesus Christ ..."

Of course, such a translation all but destroys the popular Protestant doctrine of "justification by faith only." The emphasis of most evangelicals is that it is OUR faith that saves us and that no "work" we perform can, in any way, contribute to our salvation.

Reasoning from this conclusion most of Protestantism has jettisoned water baptism as having any role to play in a person's salvation whatsoever. The fellowship through which I came to the Lord as a teenager, however, teaches that a person must be baptized in water to be saved. This has always confused me.

For years I have listened to the wrangling and agreed (secretly) that baptism could be considered a "work" if understood as a human work. On the other hand, if a human being is saved by "faith only" then I have never been able to understand why water baptism has played such a large role in Christian conversion through the centuries. What is the purpose of water baptism if a human being is saved by faith only?

Hays, if he is correct, solves the dilemma. His argument helps me see why water baptism has been the central initiation rite within Christianity from its inception.

If we are going to be consistent in our translation of the verse then the faith Paul is describing is as much "of Christ" as the works Paul is describing are "of the law.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Douglas VanderMeulen on June 19, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a highly technical work and you must have some knowledge of New Testament Greek to maximize its benefit. This is a work that all pastors, and laymen who work with the Greek text should interact. Hays makes a very cogent argument for certain passages normally translated "faith in Christ" to be the "faith or faithfullness of Christ" that is to say the "Subjective Gentive instead of the traditional "Objective Genitive." This position is not new and does have growing support by many serious Biblical language scholars. Agree or disagree with the author's conclusion, this is the type of exegetical issues that every Bible exeget should at least be conversant. The text will give you important data and exegetical information for drawing an infomred conclusion. The text is easy to follow. This second addition has a new introduction and two appedixes, one by Dr. James Dunn (Romans in Word Bible Commentary) who argues against Hays' thesis, followed by a response by Hays. These three additions are worth the price of the book. If Hays is correct, nothing of the cardinal doctrines of Christianity change, but how we might approach the teaching of Romans and Galatians will. For example, there would be a greater emphasis on preaching both the active and passive obedience of Christ, the federal headship of Christ and a defense against turning faith into a justifying work like Jacob Arminius tried to do.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Simone on December 3, 2009
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Don't be put off if you don't know Greek, German, French or Hebrew! You can read Appendix 2 in this book and get the gist of the argument!

English is less ambiguous about the difference between the `objective genitive' and the `subjective genitive.' For instance, in English the difference between `my faith in Jesus Christ' and `Jesus Christ's faithfulness to me' is clear. But in Greek, the same words, (pistis jesou christou) can mean either. (In English we call the genitive case the `possessive' case.)

`Pistos' is the Greek word for faith (nominative case). This word has a deep sense of loyalty, fidelity and dogged persistence. (The young General Josephus, just before the destruction of Jerusalem, was trying to convince a young Jewish zealot to give up his hot-headed resistance to Rome, he said to him, `εἰ μέλλοι μετανοήσειν καὶ πιστὸς ἐμοὶ γενήσεσθαι.' You might recognize this as `repent and believe in me,' the same words we find in the gospel. He means: `give up your old agenda and give me your loyalty.')

So when the Greek genitive is used of `faith' and `Christ' or `Jesus' or `Christ Jesus,' it can mean, `my loyalty (faithfulness) to Jesus,' or `Jesus loyalty (faithfulness) to me.

The burden of Hays argument is that many of these `pistis (jesou) christou' references in their various forms make much more sense of Galatians when they refer to the faithfulness of Jesus Christ and not our loyalty to him.

When I was young I memorized Gal 2:20: `I have been crucified with Christ; it is not longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by FAITH IN THE SON OF GOD who loved me and gave himself for me.
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