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The Rhetoric of        in Paul: Galatians 2.16, 3.22, Romans 3.22, and Philippians 3.9

by R. B. Matlock
Journal for the Study of the New Testament ()

Abstract

The question of πίσ-ns Χρίστου in Paul (Gal. 2.16, 20; 3.22; Rom. 3.22, 26; Phil. 3.9; cf. Eph. 3.12) is impossible to avoid and has proved particularly resist- ant to resolution. The single most frequent exegetical argument made against the objective genitive reading ('faith in Christ') on behalf of the subjective geni- tive reading ('the faithfulness of Christ') is that the former creates an unaccep- table redundancy in several instances, where one finds two or more TTÍOTIS/ πιστεύω phrases side by side (Gal. 2.16; 3.22; Rom. 3.22; Phil. 3.9). Using this question of redundancy as a point of departure, this article offers a fresh look at these four verses, accounting for five of the seven TTÎOTIÇ Χρίστου phrases. This is not primarily a negative critique of this redundancy argument, however, but rather a positive inquiry into the inter-relation of and interaction between these πίστ^/ττιστεύω phrases and the other elements of their respective contexts— and the role such considerations might play in their own right in disambiguating moT\s Χρίστου. The aim is not to offer a complete exegesis of the texts in question, but to attend specifically to matters that bear on πίστις- Χρίστου, and more particularly to matters of rhetoric/style/structure. In this way, I will offer a number of exegetical observations that weigh heavily in favor of the objective genitive reading.

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