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“Faith(fulness) of the Son of God”? Galatians 2:20b Reconsidered1

In: Novum Testamentum
Author: van Nes Jermo1
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  • 1 , Leuven
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Abstract

For more than a century, contributors to the πίστις Χριστοῦ debate have focused primarily on the linguistic and theological issues involved without recognizing the potential relevance of a text-critical variant of Gal 2:20b. It is argued that if preference is to be given to the variant reading ἐν πίστει ζῶ τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ as based on both external and internal evidence, its immediate context encourages an objective genitive understanding—“I live by faith in God and Christ.” As such, Gal 2:20b might offer an interpretative clue to the other πίστις Χριστοῦ expressions in the Pauline corpus.

Abstract

Abstract

For more than a century, contributors to the πίστις Χριστοῦ debate have focused primarily on the linguistic and theological issues involved without recognizing the potential relevance of a text-critical variant of Gal 2:20b. It is argued that if preference is to be given to the variant reading ἐν πίστει ζῶ τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ as based on both external and internal evidence, its immediate context encourages an objective genitive understanding—“I live by faith in God and Christ.” As such, Gal 2:20b might offer an interpretative clue to the other πίστις Χριστοῦ expressions in the Pauline corpus.

Introduction

Whether the Pauline phrase πίστις Χριστοῦ (cf. Rom 3:22, 26; Gal 2:16, 20, 3:22; Phil 3:9; possibly Eph 3:12) is best understood as expressing an objective genitival relationship (“faith in Christ”) or a subjective genitival relationship (“faith[fulness] of Christ”) still continues to be debated among NT scholars.2 From the end of the nineteenth century onwards, numerous lexical, syntactical, and theological arguments have been offered in support of each view.3 Because grammar alone was shown to be inadequate for determining the meaning of πίστις Χριστοῦ, it is theology more than linguistics that drives the contemporary debate.4

However, as David Parker notes, “[w]hat is most necessary is for theological debate to be informed by text-critical research, and to develop arguments on the basis of what is known about the manuscripts and the textual tradition.”5 The importance of textual criticism in the πίστις Χριστοῦ debate was first stressed by Barry Matlock, who pointed to the 𝔓46 reading of Gal 3:26—διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ—which might have served as early commentary on the majority text (i.e. the text supported by most textual witnesses) of Gal 3:26—διὰ τῆς πίστεως ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.6 Wally Cirafesi and Gerald Peterman recently criticized a seeming contribution to the πίστις Χριστοῦ debate by showing how the evidence presented in favor of a subjective genitive interpretation was not supported by the manuscript tradition.7

Similarly, the present study aims to make a case for the objective genitive interpretation of the πίστις Χριστοῦ expression by reconsidering the Ausgangstext (“initial text”) of Gal 2:20b. Since most editions of the Greek NT and its translations have accepted the reading ἐν πίστει ζῶ τῇ τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ, not much attention has been given to any of its variant readings, including ἐν πίστει ζῶ τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ. In the first part of this study, however, it will be argued that the latter reading is to be preferred over the majority text. Upon acceptance of this textual variant, as will be shown in the second part, an objective genitive interpretation finds better support from its immediate context.

I. The Text of Galatians 2:20b

Considering the manuscript evidence, there are five possible readings of Gal 2:20b:8

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Obviously, variants (4) and (5) are not likely candidates for being the intended text of Gal 2:20b. While the latter is the shortest reading, its external attestation by a manuscript dating from the thirteenth century makes it no more than a conjectural emendation.10 Both readings are also unfit for the text of Gal 2:20, because “God giving himself up” would be an expression anomalous to Paul. Variant (3) as attested by the eleventh-century manuscript 1925 is best explained as a correction of variant (5), which might have originated early. Therefore, either variant (1) or (2) should be taken into consideration, but despite the impressive list of textual witnesses for θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ, most scholars have accepted υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ as the (intended) autographic text-form of Gal 2:20b.

Bruce Metzger suggested that due to parablepsis a scribe originally wrote τοῦ θεοῦ (cf. ms. 330) and so later copyists were forced to add either τοῦ υἱοῦ or καὶ Χριστοῦ in order to make sense of the verse’s dictum. Because “Paul nowhere else expressly speaks of God as the object of a Christian’s faith,” he (and the editorial committee of the United Bible Society’s Greek NT) rejected θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ as the initial text of Gal 2:20b.11 Similarly, Richard Longenecker argues that υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ as found in the main codices and almost all versions and patristic witnesses was probably original, because θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ would be a hapax legomenon in Paul.12 Pointing to the qualifying phrase τοῦ ἀγαπήσαντός µε καὶ παραδόντος ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἐµοῦ following upon υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ, Ben Witherington also slightly favors this reading because it clearly indicates that the action of Christ is in view.13 Finally, Richard Hays in his influential study (though not discussing alternative readings of Gal 2:20b) draws attention to a parallel in Rom 5:15—ἐν χάριτι τῇ τοῦ ἑνὸς ἀνθρώπου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, which is taken to support the idea that both passages portray “Christ as the active agent and Paul as the instrument through which and/or for whom Christ’s activity comes to expression.”14

While most interpreters of Galatians accept the majority reading by either relying upon these arguments15 or neglecting alternative readings,16 at least six arguments can be given which question the priority of υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ.17 First, Metzger’s conjecture about the scribal omission of τοῦ υἱοῦ involves an imaginary process which seems plausible only when τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ was written in plene, because the parallel diphthongs of τοῦ υἱοῦ and τοῦ θεοῦ could have been more easily confused. However, in some of the majuscule witnesses to the majority text (א, A) an abbreviated form of the nomen sacrum θεοῦ is found (ΘΫ),18 which reduces the parallel diphthongs in this phrase from four to three (ΤΟΥΥΙΟΥΤΟΥ). Given that no Y’s are used in the 20 letters preceding the first τοῦ, it is questionable whether a scribe whose eyes passed immediately to the second τοῦ would have missed the three Y’s and two O’s in the 6 letters preceding it. This is certainly possible, but not at all probable. By the same token, τοῦ θεοῦ can be explained as an accidental scribal error arising from faulty hearing or an intentional scribal corruption to state Jesus’ divinity.19 Either way, the question of the original wording of Gal 2:20b must be left open.20

Second, the awareness among textual critics that the initial text is not necessarily reflected in the majority of manuscripts should make one cautious about accepting υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ as original.21 Rather, “the variant most likely to be original is the one that best accounts for the origin of all competing variants.”22 In this case, it is easier to see why a scribe would have altered the reading θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ to υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ rather than vice versa, because “Son of God” language is much more akin to Paul (cf. Rom 1:4, 5:10, 8:3, 29, 32; 1 Cor 1:9, 15:28; Gal 1:16; 4:4; 1 Thess 1:10).23 Why would a scribe change a well-known Pauline expression into a less familiar phrase? Alternatively, an anti-Patripassionist scribe could well have (mis)interpreted καὶ as to function epexegetically (“Christ, who is God”), which would suggest God’s passibility, and altered the reading to avoid this implication.24 Scenarios like these are supported by the external evidence, because θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ as witnessed by 𝔓46 and Codex Vaticanus enjoys the earliest manuscript support.25

Third, the objection raised by Longenecker about the uniqueness of θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ equally applies to υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ. Including the (first) article, both variants in their exact text-form are not found in any of Paul’s undisputed writings. In the disputed Paulines, however, τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ is used only once (cf. Eph 4:13), whereas τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ is used even twice (cf. 1 Tim 5:21; 2 Tim 4:1). Metzger correctly observes that in neither of these two instances is it intended to denote “having faith in God”, but he presupposes (even if correct) an objective genitival relationship in Gal 2:20b. For Paul, it was common to speak of having faith in God (cf. Rom 4:24; 1 Thess 1:8) as well as the faithfulness of God (cf. Rom 3:3). Since it was also common for Paul to speak of faith in and/or of Christ (cf. Rom 3:22, 26; Gal 2:16, 3:22; Phil 3:9), the phrase ἐν πίστει ζῶ τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ need not be considered un-Pauline.

Fourth, it is difficult to explain why the expression τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ is introduced in Gal 2:20b. Paul does speak about God’s Son in Galatians (cf. 1:16; 4:4),26 but he uses the names of God and Christ so frequently (cf. 1:1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 20, 22, 24; 2:4, 6, 16, 17, 19, 20a, 21; 3:1, 6, 8, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29; 4:4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 19; 5:1, 2, 4, 6, 21, 24; 6:2, 7, 12, 14, 16, 18) that it makes the majority text more difficult to accept.

Fifth, by pointing to the phrase τοῦ ἀγαπήσαντός µε καὶ παραδόντος ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἐµοῦ following upon Gal 2:20b in support of a christocentric reading, Witherington ignores vv. 1:3-4a—χάρις ὑµῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡµῶν καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ δόντος ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἁµαρτιῶν ἡµῶν. The wording is similar to 2:20, because God and Christ are both mentioned while the work of Christ is emphasized by a qualifying participle phrase. Moreover, it has been effectively argued that Gal 2:20 as a depiction of justification by faith is better to be interpreted in the context of vv. 15-20.27 Up to v. 20, Paul’s point is—as Ronald Fung aptly summarizes—“that, although in seeking to be justified in Christ believers become ‘sinners’ in that they do not possess the law (v. 17a), this is but an outworking of the principle of dying to the law in accordance with its own demands, and the purpose and result of freedom from the yoke of the law is not to lead them to sin, but to enable them to live for God.”28 This theme of living a new life is continued in v. 20, but ζάω being the governing verb it might be as much a further explication of, v. 19, “living with God” (ἵνα θεῷ ζήσω) as of “being crucified with Christ” (Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωµαι). Since the character of the new life as presented by Paul thus seems bi-focal rather than christocentric, θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ would make perfect sense in the context of vv. 15-20.29

Finally, the reading θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ fits better with the overall concern of Galatians—the true Gospel. According to Bernard Lategan, Gal 2:19-20 functions as one of the key transitions in the structure of the letter and expresses the theological basis on which this Gospel rests.30 As v. 20—ζῶ δὲ οὐκέτι ἐγώ, ζῇ δὲ ἐν ἐµοὶ Χριστός• ὃ δὲ νῦν ζῶ ἐν σαρκί, ἐν πίστει ζῶ τῇ τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ/θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ τοῦ ἀγαπήσαντός µε καὶ παραδόντος ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἐµοῦ—sums up Paul’s concept of Christian existence, it anticipates the theological and ethical sections which follow in Gal 3-4 and 5-6 while simultaneously it underlines the argument of Gal 1-2. Recently it has been shown how Paul’s Gospel in 1:13-2:21 is substantiated by setting up two categories—seeking to please people or seeking to please God (cf. 1:10a)—and defended by means of his independence from the apostles (cf. 1:11-2:14) and his subsequent life motivation (cf. 2:15-21).31 The argument of Gal 1-2 is thus primarily driven by Paul’s desire to please God in order to be a true servant of Christ.

Given these considerations, it seems both the external and internal evidence for ἐν πίστει ζῶ τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ outweigh the evidence for ἐν πίστει ζῶ τῇ τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ. Upon acceptance of this “new” reading of Gal 2:20b, it raises the question how it relates to the πίστις Χριστοῦ debate. Was Paul speaking of “(the) faith(fulness) of God and Christ” or “faith in God and Christ”?

II. Translating Galatians 2:20b

Linguistically, there is not much new in the phrase ἐν πίστει ζῶ τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ τοῦ ἀγαπήσαντός µε that contributes to its meaning except for the reduction of the definite articles from four to three. For Douglas Campbell, it would still be “an appositional construction that fulfills all the grammatical expectations in Koiné [Greek] of a subjective relationship (i.e., it is a fully arthrous arrangement).”32 Campbell’s analysis seems to be supported by the analogy found in Rom 3:3—τὴν πίστιν τοῦ θεοῦ. In both phrases, πίστις and θεός take the definite article. However, in Rom 3:3 its usage is truly articular, referring to “the faithfulness of the (one and only) God,” while in Gal 2:20b its usage is appositional. As Gordon Fee comments, “[i]n typical fashion, Paul has phrased his contrasts in poetic chiasm”: ὃ δὲ νῦν ζῶ ἐν σαρκί, ἐν πίστει ζῶ τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ . . ., “where the word order ζῶ ἐν σαρκί, ἐν πίστει ζῶ calls for the defining τῇ because of the intervening ζῶ.”33 The analogy, therefore, is imprecise and will remain inconclusive as long as there is no decisive study which demonstrates that nouns followed by a definite article and genitive modifier invariably express a subjective genitival relationship. The grammatical parallel as claimed by Hays in Rom 5:15 appears to be inconclusive as well, because of the real difference—as Hays himself admits—that the phrase is appended as a modifier of χάρις, whereas in Gal 2:20 the appositional phrase functions as a modifier of πίστις.34 Consequently, the genitival relationship in Gal 2:20b cannot be determined by its grammar but should be determined by its context.

Accepting the θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ variant, Stephen Carlson argues for a subjective genitive interpretation mainly because (1) “Paul does not otherwise describe two faiths for a Christian” and (2) “Paul’s statement that he is no longer living but Christ living in him” (cf. Gal 2:20a) suggests that the faithfulness of God and Christ “implicitly contrasts with Paul’s own faithfulness inherent in his life in the flesh (ὃ δὲ νῦν ζῶ ἐν σαρκί).”35 The first argument, however, is weakened by its similar need for two separate references to support the subjective genitive reading. Whereas only Rom 3:3 refers unambiguously to God’s faithfulness (all references to Christ’s faithfulness are disputed), Rom 4:23 and Gal 2:16 clearly refer to having faith in God and Christ respectively. Moreover, when Paul speaks of a “gospel of God” (cf. Rom 1:1, 15:16; 2 Cor 11:7; 1 Thess 2:2, 8, 9) and a “gospel of Christ” (Rom 15:19; 1 Cor 9:12; 2 Cor 2:12, 9:13, 10:14; Gal 1:7; Phil 1:27; 1 Thess 3:2), does this mean that there are two different gospels to be believed in?

Carlson’s second argument seems only to account for Christ’s faithfulness, but it has been cogently argued that according to Gal 3:21-26 “God’s covenantal faithfulness is revealed in and through the faithfulness of Jesus the Messiah, the representative Israelite” (cf. Rom 2:17-24; 3:1-8).36 Other passages in Galatians expressing God’s faithfulness in Christ might include 1:1, 4, 6, 15; 2:21; 3:18, and 4:4-7. Yet the antithetical parallelism in Gal 2:20b between Paul’s faithfulness inherent in his life “in the flesh” on the one hand and his living by the faithfulness of God and Christ on the other can be sustained only if ἐν σαρκί is used in an ethical sense. Most commentators, however, interpret the phrase ὃ δὲ νῦν ζῶ ἐν σαρκί as referring to Paul’s earthly existence (cf. 2:16; 2 Cor 10:3; Phil 1:22, 24; Phlm 16). Not only is the postpositive particle δέ continuative, clarifying what Paul means by ζῇ δὲ ἐν ἐµοὶ Χριστός (v. 20a), also the relative pronoun ὅ is best interpreted as an accusative of content, being a pronominal substitute for the verb ζῶ. The adverb νῦν probably denotes a time subsequent to the change expressed in the phrases νόµῳ ἀπέθανον and Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωµαι (v. 19). As such, v. 20 in all likelihood refers to the remainder of Paul’s earthly (and not sinful) life as a Christian.37

An objective genitive interpretation of θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ, on the other hand, makes better sense in the immediate context of Gal 2:20.38 This has been shown by several recent studies. Jae Lee, for instance, has demonstrated that Paul’s emphasis from Gal 2:15 onwards is on the human act of believing. In support, he points to vv. 15-16, which can be structured symmetrically:39

A: Ἡµεῖς φύσει Ἰουδαῖοι καὶ οὐκ ἐξ ἐθνῶν ἁµαρτωλοί• (2:15)

B: εἰδότες [δὲ] ὅτι οὐ δικαιοῦται ἄνθρωπος ἐξ ἔργων νόµου ἐὰν µὴ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, (2:16a)

C: καὶ ἡµεῖς εἰς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν ἐπιστεύσαµεν, (2:16b)

B’: ἵνα δικαιωθῶµεν ἐκ πίστεως Χριστοῦ καὶ οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων νόµου, (2:16c)

B’’: ὅτι ἐξ ἔργων νόµου οὐ δικαιωθήσεται πᾶσα σάρξ. (2:16d)

According to Lee, prominence must be given to v. 16b, because it is the only independent clause (except for v. 15, which is verbless) and its message is highlighted by the implied contrast between the emphatic markers ἡµεῖς and πᾶσα (σάρξ) in v. 16d. Since “all people will not be justified by works of the law,” Paul declares that “even we have believed in Christ Jesus.” This is to suggest that the focus in v. 16 “is not just on the antithesis between the law and πίστις Χριστοῦ, or on a contrast between God’s deed and any human act, but on Paul’s act of believing in Jesus for justification.”40 Similarly, Paul could say that he lives “by faith in (God and) Christ” (cf. 2:20b), also because his emphasis on believers’ faith frequently recurs in the remainder of the letter (cf. 3:2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 22, 26; 5:5, 6).

In particular, Debbie Hunn has shown how Paul’s discussion of justification by faith in Gal 2:15-21 is continued in 3:1-5. Re-examining the phrase ἀκοῆς πίστεως (3:2, 5), Hunn counters the common interpretation “hearing of/with faith”41 or “the message that evokes/elicits faith”42 by arguing that the comparison to Abraham’s faith (cf. 3:6-9) limits πίστις in 3:2, 5 to human faith (cf. Rom 4:3, 5). Accordingly, Paul’s discussion in 2:15-21 of ἐργα νόµου and πίστις Χρίστου as contending means of justification are paralleled by ἐργα νόµου and ἀκοή πίστεως in 3:1-5. By equating the justification of Gentiles with the blessing of Abraham (cf. 3:8) and the blessing of Abraham with the sending of the Spirit (cf. 3:14), Paul wants the Galatians to understand that their reception of the Spirit is now proof of their own justification, which was not the result of doing “works of the law” but because of having “faith in Christ.”43

For James Dunn, it is an inescapable conclusion that the ones ἐκ πίστεως in Gal 3:6-7 “can be reckoned as Abraham’s sons precisely and only because they believe as Abraham believed.”44 Because the ones ἐκ πίστεως are those who believed as Abraham believed, it must refer to the Galatians’ own faith. This not only is a strong argument for the objective genitive interpretation of the πίστις Χρίστου references in Galatians, it also is supportive of the θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ reading of Gal 2:20b. As both a believer in Christ (cf. 2:16) and a descendant of Abraham (cf. 3:14), who believed (in) God (cf. 3:6), it is not inappropriate for Paul to say that he is living his new life “by faith in God and Christ.”

Finally, a subjective genitive understanding of θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ as attested by 𝔓46 is difficult to match with the 𝔓46 reading of Gal 3:26—διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ—as commentary on the majority text—διὰ τῆς πίστεως ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ. Witherington, who himself rejects the variant reading of Gal 2:20b, is therefore not mistaken when he asserts that “[w]hatever the origin of this variant, it appears clear that these scribes did not understand the subject here to be ‘the faithfulness’ of God or Christ, but rather faith in them.”45

Conclusion

Based on both external and internal evidence, it has been argued that in Gal 2:20b the reading θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ is to be preferred over the majority text. Thus far the potential relevance of this variant reading for the πίστις Χριστοῦ debate has been left unnoticed, because contributors to the debate have been predominantly concerned with the exegetical and theological issues involved. Whether or not the arguments presented here in favor of the variant reading have proved convincing, it should nonetheless be taken into consideration more seriously as it might contribute significantly to the debate.

If preference should be given to the reading ἐν πίστει ζῶ τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ, it seems the context of Gal 2:20 demands an objective genitive interpretation. Paul’s emphasis on the human act of believing in Gal 2:15-3:14, expressed in terms of the Galatians’ faith in Christ (cf. 2:16b) and Abraham’s faith in God (cf. 3:6), makes it hard to see why Paul as a descendant of Abraham (cf. 3:14) would not speak of living his life “by faith in God and Christ.” Of course, this is not to suggest that Paul used the phrase πίστις Χριστοῦ invariably with the same reference. However, the contextual evidence presented for the consistency of Paul’s argument (at least for Gal 2:15-3:14) makes the reading θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ another strong argument for the objective genitive interpretation of the πίστις Χριστοῦ phrase in the Pauline corpus.

1) Thanks are due to Geertjan Zuijdwegt, doctoral candidate at the Catholic University of Leuven, for pointing out to me the potential relevance of the variant reading of Gal 2:20 for the πίστις Χριστοῦ debate. Thanks are also due to the participants of the “Paul and Christology” session during the Galatians and Christian Theology conference held in July 2012 at the University of Saint Andrews, Scotland, for offering me stimulating feedback. Dr. Bruce Hansen and Prof. Dr. Heinrich von Siebenthal are to be thanked for their careful reading and insightful comments given on earlier drafts of this article.

2) Recent (mainly Anglo-Saxon) contributions to the debate include E.E. Johnson and D.M. Hay, eds., Pauline Theology: Looking Back, Pressing On (SBLSS 4; Atlanta, GA: Scholars, 1997; repr. 2002) 33-92; R.B. Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ: The Narrative Substructure of Galatians 3.1-4.11 (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002); P. Foster, “The First Contribution to the πίστις Χριστοῦ Debate: A Study of Ephesians 3:12,” JSNT 85 (2002) 75-96; S. Tonstad, “πίστις Χριστοῦ: Reading Paul in a New Paradigm,” AUSS 40 (2002) 37-59; R.B. Matlock, “‘Even the Demons Believe’: Paul and πίστις Χριστοῦ,” CBQ 64 (2002) 300-318; “ΠΙΣΤΙΣ in Galatians 3:26: Neglected Evidence for ‘Faith in Christ’?,” NTS 49 (2003) 433-439; “The Rhetoric of πίστις in Paul: Galatians 2:16, 3:22, Romans 3:22, and Philippians 3:9,” JSNT 30 (2007) 173-203; H. Choi, “ΠΙΣΤΙΣ in Galatians 3:5-6: Neglected Evidence for the Faithfulness of Christ,” JBL 124 (2005) 467-490; R.A. Harrisville III, “Before πίστις Χριστοῦ: The Objective Genitive as Good Greek,” NovT 48 (2006) 353-358; D. Hunn, “ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ in Galatians 2:16: Clarification from 3:1-6,” TynB 57 (2006) 23-33; B. Schliesser, Abraham’s Faith in Romans 4: Paul’s Concept of Faith in Light of the History of Reception of Genesis 15:6 (WUNT 2/224; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007); K.F. Ulrichs, Christusglaube: Studien zum Syntagma pistis Christou und zum paulinischen Verständnis von Glaube und Rechtfertigung (WUNT 2/227; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007); D. Heliso, Pistis and the Righteous One: A Study of Romans 1:17 against the Background of Scripture and Second Temple Jewish Literature (WUNT 2/235; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007); K. Han, Pauline Soteriology in Galatians with Special Reference to ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ (Ph.D. diss., University of Birmingham, 2007); P. Owen, “The ‘Works of the Law’ in Romans and Galatians: A New Defense of the Subjective Genitive,” JBL 126 (2007) 553-577; J.D.G. Dunn, “ΕΚ ΠΙΣΤΕΩΣ: A Key to the Meaning of ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ,” The Word Leaps the Gap: Essays on Scripture and Theology in Honor of Richard B. Hays (eds. J.R. Wagner, C.K. Rowe, and A.K. Grieb; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008) 351-366; J.H. Lee, “Against Richard B. Hays’s ‘Faith of Jesus Christ’,” JGRChJ 5 (2008) 51-80; K. Schenck, ‘2 Corinthians and the Πίστις Χριστοῦ Debate,” CBQ 70 (2008) 524-537; D.A. Campbell, The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009); “2 Corinthians 4:13: Evidence in Paul That Christ Believes,” JBL 128 (2009) 337-356; M.F. Bird and P.M. Sprinkle, eds., The Faith of Jesus Christ: Exegetical, Biblical, and Theological Studies (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2009); G.W. Peterman, “Δικαιωθῆναι διὰ τῆς ἐκ Χριστοῦ πίστεως: Notes on a Neglected Greek Construction,” NTS 56 (2010) 163-168; M.R. Whitenton, “After ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ: Neglected Evidence from the Apostolic Fathers,” JTS 61 (2010) 82-109; W.V. Cirafesi, “ἔχειν πίστιν in Hellenistic Greek and its Contribution to the πίστις Χριστοῦ Debate,” BAGL 1 (2012) 5-37; D.J. Downs, “Faith(fulness) in Christ Jesus in 2 Timothy 3:15,” JBL 131 (2012) 143-160.

3) For an overview of these, see D.L. Stubbs, “The Shape of Soteriology and the Pistis Christou Debate,” SJT 61 (2008) 137-157, and M.C. Easter, “The Pistis Christou Debate: Main Arguments and Responses in Summary,” CBR 9 (2010) 33-47. For arguments presented by those who understand the phrase as referring to an objective reality outside a person’s subjective response to God, see now P. Sprinkle, “Πίστις Χριστοῦ as an Eschatological Event,” in The Faith of Jesus Christ, 165-184.

4) Cf. D. Hunn, “Debating the Faithfulness of Jesus Christ in Twentieth-Century Scholarship,” in The Faith of Jesus Christ, 26.

5) D.C. Parker, An Introduction to the New Testament Manuscripts and Their Texts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008) 187.

6) Matlock, “ΠΙΣΤΙΣ in Galatians 3:26,” 433-439.

7) See M.F. Bird and M.R. Whitenton, “The Faithfulness of Jesus Christ in Hippolytus’s De Christo et Antichristo: Overlooked Patristic Evidence in the Πίστις Χριστοῦ Debate,” NTS 55 (2009) 552-562, and W.V. Cirafesi and G.W. Peterman, “Πίστις and Christ in Hippolytus’s De Christo et Antichristo: A Response to Michael F. Bird and Michael R. Whitenton,” NTS 57 (2011) 594-603.

8) Cf. B.D. Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993) 86; R.J. Swanson, ed., New Testament Greek Manuscripts: Galatians (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House/Pasadena, CA: William Carey International University, 1999) 104; S.C. Carlson, The Text of Galatians and Its History (Ph.D. diss., Duke University, 2012) 129.

9) Capitals represent the text-critical editions by B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort, The New Testament in the Original Greek (Cambridge: MacMillan, 1881); H.F. von Soden, Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments in ihrer ältesten erreichbaren Textgestalt hergestellt auf Grund ihrer Textgeschichte (2 vols.; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1913); E. Nestle, K. Aland et al., Novum Testamentum Graece (28th ed.; Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012); M.A. Robinson and W.G. Pierpont, The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform (2nd ed.; Southborough, MA: Chilton, 2005); M.W. Holmes, ed., The Greek New Testament (Atlanta, GA: SBL 2010); K. Lachmann, Novum Testamentum Graece (Berlin: Reimer, 1831); S.P. Tregelles, The Greek New Testament (London: Bagster, 1870); and D.B. Weiss, Das Neue Testament (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1908) respectively.

10) In support of reading θεοῦ, J.C. O’Neill (The Recovery of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians [London: SPCK, 1975] 45) argued that “[t]he verb παραδίδωµι is used with God as the implied subject in Rom 4:25.” This argument is flawed because in Gal 2:20b God is giving up himself, whereas in Rom 4:25 it is Jesus whom God delivers up.

11) B.M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (2nd ed.; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994) 524.

12) Cf. R.N. Longenecker, Galatians (WBC 41; Dallas, TX: Word, 1990) 94.

13) Cf. B. Witherington III, Grace in Galatia: A Commentary on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998) 192.

14) Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ, 155.

15) So, for instance, K. Romaniuk, L’amour du Père et du Fils dans la sotériologie de saint Paul (AnBib 15; Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1961) 31; E.D.W. Burton, The Epistle to the Galatians (ICC; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1977) 139; H.D. Betz, Galatians: A Commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Churches in Galatia (Hermeneia; Philadelphia, PA: Fortress, 1979) 125, n. 104; Ehrman, Corruption, 86; A.M. Buscemi, Lettera ai Galati (SBF 63; Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing, 2004) 196; P.M. Magallón, “Estar crucificado juntamente con Cristo”: El nuevo status del creyente en Cristo. Estudio exegético-teológico de Gal 2,15-21 y Rom 6,5-11 (TGST 122; Rome: Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 2005) 94, n.185; F.J. Matera, Galatians (SP 9; Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2007) 96; J.-P. Lémonon, L’épître aux Galates (CbNT 9; Paris: Cerf, 2008) 97; M.C. de Boer, Galatians (NTL; Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2011) 141.

16) So, for instance, M.-J. Lagrange, Saint Paul: Épître aux Galates (EBib; Paris: Gabalda, 1925) lxxxiii-lxxxiv; F. Mussner, Der Galaterbrief (HThKNT; Freiburg/Basel/Wien: Herder, 1974) 182-183; F.F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Galatians (NIGTC; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982) 145; B. Corsani, Lettera ai Galati (CSENT 9; Genova: Marietti, 1990) 178-179; J.D.G. Dunn, The Epistle to the Galatians (BNTC; London: A&C Black, 1993) 146; J.L. Martyn, Galatians (AB 33A; New York: Doubleday, 1997) 259; J. van Bruggen, Galaten (CNT; Kampen: Kok, 2004) 94; T.R. Schreiner, Galatians (ZECNT 9; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010) 172-173.

17) The priority of θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ has been defended earlier by P.M. Head, “Galatians 2:20: ‘I live by faith in God and Christ . . .,’ ” Evangelical Textual Criticism, entry posted March 15, 2006, http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.be/2006/03/galatians-220-i-live-by-faith-in-god.html (accessed July 9, 2012), and now recently by Carlson, The Text of Galatians, 129-135.

18) See Swanson, Manuscripts, 28.

19) So Ehrman, Corruption, 86.

20) Even if Metzger’s conjecture is correct, it does not rule out the priority of θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ over υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ as the intended text-form of Gal 2:20b.

21) Cf. G.D. Fee, “The Majority Text and the Original Text of the New Testament,” Studies in the Theory and Method of New Testament Textual Criticism (ed. E.J. Epp and G.D. Fee; SD 45; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1993) 183-208.

22) M.W. Holmes, “Reasoned Eclecticism in New Testament Textual Criticism,” The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis (ed. B.D. Ehrman and M.W. Holmes; SD 46; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1994) 344-345; “The Case for Reasoned Eclecticism,” in Rethinking New Testament Textual Criticism (ed. D.A. Black; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2002) 79; cf. Parker, New Testament Manuscripts, 180.

23) Cf. J.B. Lightfoot (St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians [rev. ed.; London: MacMillan, 1910] 119), who notes: “For θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ [may be pleaded] . . . the difficulty of conceiving its substitution for the other simpler reading.”

24) So Carlson, The Text of Galatians, 134.

25) According to Bruce Metzger and Bart Ehrman (The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration [4th ed.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008] 54, 68), 𝔓46 dates from about 200 C.E. while the completion of Codex Vaticanus slightly antedates Codex Sinaiticus in the fourth century C.E.

26) Dunn (Galatians, 64-65) correctly observes that sonship is an important theme in the letter, but in Gal 2:15-21 it does not contribute to Paul’s argument.

27) Cf. S. Shauf, “Galatians 2:20 in Context,” NTS 52 (2006) 86-101.

28) R.Y.K. Fung, The Epistle to the Galatians (NICNT; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988) 123.

29) A conclusion not drawn by Shauf himself, but he implies to be willing to accept the θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ reading. Cf. Shauf, “Galatians 2:20,” 101, n. 52.

30) See B.C. Lategan, “Is Paul Defending his Apostleship in Galatians? The Function of Galatians 1:11-12 and 2:19-20 in the Development of Paul’s Argument,” NTS 34 (1988) 411-430.

31) Cf. D. Hunn, “Pleasing God or Pleasing People? Defending the Gospel in Galatians 1-2,” Bib 91 (2010) 24-49.

32) Campbell, The Deliverance of God, 847; cf. 1149, n. 40.

33) G.D. Fee, Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2007) 225, n. 56.

34) Cf. Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ, 154.

35) Carlson, The Text of Galatians, 130, 132.

36) N.T. Wright, “The Letter to the Galatians: Exegesis and Theology,” Between Two Horizons: Spanning New Testament Studies and Systematic Theology (eds. J.B. Green and M. Turner; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000) 218-219.

37) Cf. Lagrange, Galates, 52; H. Schlier, Der Brief an die Galater (4th ed.; KEK; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1965) 102; Burton, Galatians, 138; Fung, Galatians, 124, n. 72; Longenecker, Galatians, 93; Martyn, Galatians, 258; Witherington, Grace in Galatia, 190-191; Mussner, Galaterbrief, 183; Van Bruggen, Galaten, 94.

38) Cf. Head, “Galatians 2:20,” but he does not support this interpretation.

39) Lee, “Against,” 72.

40) Lee, “Against,” 74.

41) So, for instance, Burton, Galatians, 147; Dunn, Galatians, 152.

42) So, for instance, Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ, 131; Martyn, Galatians, 288.

43) Cf. Hunn, “ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ,” 23-33.

44) Dunn, “ΕΚ ΠΙΣΤΕΩΣ,” 361.

45) Witherington, Grace in Galatia, 191.

  • 4)

    Cf. D. Hunn, “Debating the Faithfulness of Jesus Christ in Twentieth-Century Scholarship,” in The Faith of Jesus Christ, 26.

  • 5)

    D.C. Parker, An Introduction to the New Testament Manuscripts and Their Texts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008) 187.

  • 6)

    Matlock, “ΠΙΣΤΙΣ in Galatians 3:26,” 433-439.

  • 8)

    Cf. B.D. Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993) 86; R.J. Swanson, ed., New Testament Greek Manuscripts: Galatians (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House/Pasadena, CA: William Carey International University, 1999) 104; S.C. Carlson, The Text of Galatians and Its History (Ph.D. diss., Duke University, 2012) 129.

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  • 11)

    B.M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (2nd ed.; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994) 524.

  • 12)

    Cf. R.N. Longenecker, Galatians (WBC 41; Dallas, TX: Word, 1990) 94.

  • 13)

    Cf. B. Witherington III, Grace in Galatia: A Commentary on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998) 192.

  • 14)

    Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ, 155.

  • 15)

    So, for instance, K. Romaniuk, L’amour du Père et du Fils dans la sotériologie de saint Paul (AnBib 15; Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1961) 31; E.D.W. Burton, The Epistle to the Galatians (ICC; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1977) 139; H.D. Betz, Galatians: A Commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Churches in Galatia (Hermeneia; Philadelphia, PA: Fortress, 1979) 125, n. 104; Ehrman, Corruption, 86; A.M. Buscemi, Lettera ai Galati (SBF 63; Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing, 2004) 196; P.M. Magallón, “Estar crucificado juntamente con Cristo”: El nuevo status del creyente en Cristo. Estudio exegético-teológico de Gal 2,15-21 y Rom 6,5-11 (TGST 122; Rome: Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 2005) 94, n.185; F.J. Matera, Galatians (SP 9; Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2007) 96; J.-P. Lémonon, L’épître aux Galates (CbNT 9; Paris: Cerf, 2008) 97; M.C. de Boer, Galatians (NTL; Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2011) 141.

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  • 16)

    So, for instance, M.-J. Lagrange, Saint Paul: Épître aux Galates (EBib; Paris: Gabalda, 1925) lxxxiii-lxxxiv; F. Mussner, Der Galaterbrief (HThKNT; Freiburg/Basel/Wien: Herder, 1974) 182-183; F.F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Galatians (NIGTC; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982) 145; B. Corsani, Lettera ai Galati (CSENT 9; Genova: Marietti, 1990) 178-179; J.D.G. Dunn, The Epistle to the Galatians (BNTC; London: A&C Black, 1993) 146; J.L. Martyn, Galatians (AB 33A; New York: Doubleday, 1997) 259; J. van Bruggen, Galaten (CNT; Kampen: Kok, 2004) 94; T.R. Schreiner, Galatians (ZECNT 9; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010) 172-173.

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  • 18)

    See Swanson, Manuscripts, 28.

  • 19)

    So Ehrman, Corruption, 86.

  • 21)

    Cf. G.D. Fee, “The Majority Text and the Original Text of the New Testament,” Studies in the Theory and Method of New Testament Textual Criticism (ed. E.J. Epp and G.D. Fee; SD 45; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1993) 183-208.

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  • 22)

    M.W. Holmes, “Reasoned Eclecticism in New Testament Textual Criticism,” The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis (ed. B.D. Ehrman and M.W. Holmes; SD 46; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1994) 344-345; “The Case for Reasoned Eclecticism,” in Rethinking New Testament Textual Criticism (ed. D.A. Black; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2002) 79; cf. Parker, New Testament Manuscripts, 180.

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  • 24)

    So Carlson, The Text of Galatians, 134.

  • 27)

    Cf. S. Shauf, “Galatians 2:20 in Context,” NTS 52 (2006) 86-101.

  • 28)

    R.Y.K. Fung, The Epistle to the Galatians (NICNT; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988) 123.

  • 30)

    See B.C. Lategan, “Is Paul Defending his Apostleship in Galatians? The Function of Galatians 1:11-12 and 2:19-20 in the Development of Paul’s Argument,” NTS 34 (1988) 411-430.

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  • 31)

    Cf. D. Hunn, “Pleasing God or Pleasing People? Defending the Gospel in Galatians 1-2,” Bib 91 (2010) 24-49.

  • 32)

    Campbell, The Deliverance of God, 847; cf. 1149, n. 40.

  • 33)

    G.D. Fee, Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2007) 225, n. 56.

  • 34)

    Cf. Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ, 154.

  • 35)

    Carlson, The Text of Galatians, 130, 132.

  • 36)

    N.T. Wright, “The Letter to the Galatians: Exegesis and Theology,” Between Two Horizons: Spanning New Testament Studies and Systematic Theology (eds. J.B. Green and M. Turner; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000) 218-219.

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  • 37)

    Cf. Lagrange, Galates, 52; H. Schlier, Der Brief an die Galater (4th ed.; KEK; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1965) 102; Burton, Galatians, 138; Fung, Galatians, 124, n. 72; Longenecker, Galatians, 93; Martyn, Galatians, 258; Witherington, Grace in Galatia, 190-191; Mussner, Galaterbrief, 183; Van Bruggen, Galaten, 94.

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  • 39)

    Lee, “Against,” 72.

  • 40)

    Lee, “Against,” 74.

  • 41)

    So, for instance, Burton, Galatians, 147; Dunn, Galatians, 152.

  • 42)

    So, for instance, Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ, 131; Martyn, Galatians, 288.

  • 43)

    Cf. Hunn, “ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ,” 23-33.

  • 44)

    Dunn, “ΕΚ ΠΙΣΤΕΩΣ,” 361.

  • 45)

    Witherington, Grace in Galatia, 191.

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