Justified by "the" faith?

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Joined: August 9th, 2015, 10:05 pm

April 5th, 2018, 7:05 am #1

I'm discussing justification with a Eastern Orthodox chap over at CFcom. Here's a question I asked him the other day, and the answer he gave me. My interest is principally in his statement that the Bible's translation, "justified by faith", should actually read, "justified by THE faith", due to the Greek. Is that what the Greek actually says, and if so, why isn't it translated that way? (you are welcome to comment about anything else he had to say in his reply as well, of course!)  

Here is the Q & A:

My Question: What does it mean to you (personally/as an EO) to be "justified by faith". IOW, what do you believe the Bible means when it says that, on a practical level?

His Answer: If you look in the Bible, in the Greek, it almost never says "Justified by faith..." It always says: "Justified by the Faith*..." And the logical question then, since it is always preceeded by the article "the" Faith, then WHICH Faith does it mean? And the answer is: "The Faith of Christ." And then one must ask: Which Faith is Christ's Faith? And the answer to that question is "The Faith that Christ discipled to His Apostles whom He sent forth to disciple all the nations." And THAT Faith is only Biblical in a derived way, because it is the Faith from which the New Testament was manuscripted... And it is the Faith of the Eastern Orthodox Ekklesia...

So that for me personally as an Eastern Orthodox Christian, being Justified by the Apostolic Faith of Christ means living a confessional life of repentance in unceasing prayer and labors to my last breath confessing Christ as my God and Savior...

In practice, that means living in an almost constant state of unimaginable Joy... I cannot imagine this life I live as being even a smidge better than it is, and yet every day it gets better and better, and it matters not a whit what events transpire in the world that happen to me... I thank God for having this great sense of Peace and Joy all the time... And I am approaching the end now, I surmise... I could be wrong... Not my call, unless God tells me to make the call... It happens often enough...

*Romans 5
1 Δικαιωθέντες οὖν ἐκ πίστεως εἰρήνην ἔχομεν πρὸς τὸν θεὸν διὰ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ 

There's an example of the Greek above, and here it is translated below (NASB). Is the article "the" included in Δικαιωθέντες ?  (because I don't see it otherwise)

Romans 5
1      Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanks for your help 🙂

Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for. ~Charles H. Spurgeon

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Joined: July 28th, 2008, 9:13 am

April 6th, 2018, 5:59 am #2

Greek τὸν (ho) appears in the Romans 5:1 quote above, meaning the, this, that, these, etc. It is used as a definite article for θεὸν (theos), as in the God, or simply God.

Greek has no indefinite articles as we do in English: a, an

In the Greek a word either has a definite article or has no article at all.

So to say to a Greek in Jesus' day, "house" (no article), you would be met with "What is a house?" The reason is that the absence of an article qualifies, characterizes, defines, or describes an object or person.

If you say to that same Greek, "the house" (definite article, the, present), you will be met with "Which house?" The reason is that the presence of a definite article particularizes, draws attention to, points out, or marks out, an object, or a person. Think of the definite article as a finger pointing at something. 

So in John 1:1, we read literally that, Word was with the God. The use of the article points out exactly which member of the Godhead (God the Father) was with Jesus Christ. 

Moreover, in John 1:1, we read, Word was with God (no article used). Which is to say the Word was the very divine essence of God.

More on this topic:
http://www.ibiblio.org/koine/greek/less ... n2dcl.html

Romans 5:1 in various translations:

When dealing with EO folks, keep in mind that they are all about theosis, becoming divine in union with Jesus in their walk of faith. That drives all their theology.
AMR (a.k.a. Patrick)
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