An Exegetical Commentary
on the Greek New Testament
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1 Thessalonians •
2 Thessalonians •
2 & 3 John
The full appropriation of God's promised blessings are ours through faith apart from law-obedience.
The studies on this site are guided by the central Pauline text, "the righteous out of faith will live", Habakkuk 2:4, expounded by the apostle in the following terms:
FAITH = RIGHTEOUSNESS = BLESSINGS = WORKS.
As opposed to:
FAITH = RIGHTEOUSNESS + WORKS = BLESSINGS. Nomism (the heresy confronted by Paul);
FAITH + WORKS = RIGHTEOUSNESS = BLESSINGS. Legalism (the heresy confronted by Luther);
FAITH = RIGHTEOUSNESS = BLESSINGS - (minus) WORKS. Libertarianism (the heresy confronted by James).
"faith" = reliance on the grace of God operative in the faithfulness of Christ, ie. Christ's faith + our faith;
"righteousness" = the state of being right before God, right-standing before God, covenant compliant
"justification" = judged right, covenant compliant before God / set in the right before God;
"works" = submission to the law of Moses / God's law in general, which law serves the following ends:
i] to expose sin and so reinforce a reliance on divine grace;
ii] to guide the life of a child of God.
"blessings" = the promised blessings of the covenant / the fullness of new life in Christ;
The Pauline formula, FAITH = RIGHTEOUSNESS = BLESSINGS = WORKS, is established in Romans and Galatians, and to a lesser extent his other letters, as Paul addresses the issue of nomism. Nomism (pietism), the heresy promoted by the members of the circumcision party, the Judaizers, is the belief that, although a person is justified by faith, law-obedience is essential both to restrain sin and shape holiness (sanctify) for the full appropriation of God's promised blessings. Against this, Paul contends that "the righteous out of faith will live", and this "apart from works of the law", Rom.3:28. For Paul, holiness / righteousness, and thus the full appropriation of the promised blessings of the covenant, is possessed in union with Christ on the basis of faith (Christ's faithfulness and our faith response), and this apart from law-obedience. Works / law-obedience is but the natural fruit of faith, and to this end Paul encourages us to be what we are in Christ.
Although a matter of contention, these note presume that Paul functions as the inspired exegete of Jesus, such that to properly understand the teachings of Jesus it is necessary to interpret them in line with Pauline theology, ie. to understand the gospels, particularly the synoptic gospels, it is necessary to read back the above Pauline formula, particularly as it relates to the Law. These notes also presume that the authors of the synoptic gospels, although faithful to the received tradition, in varying degrees edit and arrange that tradition in line with Paul's bias of grace.
Key: • Awaiting completion.
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Greek font: These notes were in preparation long before the adoption of unicode polytonic Greek fonts and so it is necessary to load the legacy TekniaGreek font created by Teknia to read the Greek text. For a compressed Stuffit file, Mac / PC, go to the Teknia Greek font download page. A free version of Stuffit Expander can be obtained from the Stuffit site. For a compressed zip file, Mac / PC, go to FontsForWeb.com. For iPhone, iPod, or iPad, the application AnyFont will load and enable a zip download of the TekniaGreek font. TekniaGreek cannot be displayed on android phones or tablets.
Commentary: Synopsis / Argument, Context, Structure, Interpretation, ..... is provided for each passage. Link New Testament Expositions for the Church Year provide a pew-level verse-by-verse commentary on the passage. Where there is no link exposition, a verse-by-verse commentary is provided in the technical notes.
Text format: i] The Greek word or phrase; ii] limited parsing; iii] the English text, NIV and/or NIV11; iv] - a simple English translation; v] Syntax, where necessary; vi] Comment.
Greek standard: The translation notes aim at College level, years 2/3 - accents and smooth breathings are only used where necessary. Those with rusty Greek will find Dr. Rob Plummer's Daily Dose of Greek a great help to get up to speed. Five days a week he offers a two minute video tutorial on a New Testament verse via an email link.
Print format: These notes and link-studies are print-friendly in A4 format. Adjustments may be necessary for screen viewing.
Inclusive language: Numerous older translations and paraphrases are used throughout the studies to enhance the meaning of the text. Latitude will need to be given to their sexist language.
Translations: the translations provided in bold are from the NIV and/or NIV11. The full text is not provided under the requirements of copyright and it is recommended that at least the NIV11 be at hand when consulting these notes.
The illustrated church is St. James, Byaburra, Grafton diocese, NSW
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