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The Faith of Jesus Christ: The Narrative Substructure of Galatians 3:1-4:11 (The Biblical Resource Series) Kindle Edition


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Length: 364 pages

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3926 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing; 2 edition (30 Nov. 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004E0Z4YO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x8c761858) out of 5 stars 11 reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c5df390) out of 5 stars Worth several readings 20 April 2003
By Mark Horne - Published on Amazon.com
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.
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c5df3e4) out of 5 stars Saved by faith in Christ or of Christ 19 Jun. 2004
By Douglas VanderMeulen - Published on Amazon.com
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.
42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c76dd08) out of 5 stars Brilliant! A Possible Solution to a Troubling Dilemma 12 Nov. 2005
By Robert P. Odle - Published on Amazon.com
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." The grammatical construction of the two phrases is identical.

Paul uses the identical construction in Romans 3:21-22 to say, "But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God through [the] faith OF Jesus Christ unto all them that believe...."

Again, the righteousness Paul is discussing is "of God" (genitive). That righteousness of God has been made available to human beings through the obedient faith OF Jesus Christ (also genitive)! It is the righteousness of God that is transferred into us as "believing ones."

Water baptism, then, makes a whole lot more sense. Three chapters later, in Romans 6:3-4 (as well as in other places in the New Testament) Paul says that at the point of our baptism - a passive act on our part; one in which God is the one doing the work - God transfers us INTO CHRIST!

Human redemption has been secured by the perfect, obedient faith of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. My faith does not produce my salvation; my faith leads me to submit to God's commandment and, at my baptism, God places me into Christ, where the redemptive work He accomplished is passively imputed to me as I am passively transferred into Him! All by the power and work of God!

So, neither is faith a human work nor is baptism a human work - both are my appropriate response to the completed work of God. And, because of the perfect faith of Jesus Christ, God can, and does at my baptism, transfer me into Him where the righteousness of God becomes mine!

Richard B. Hays, you're a genius. Thank you!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c5df798) out of 5 stars Jesus' Dogged Loyalty 3 Dec. 2009
By Michael Simone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.'

Well, how much more sense does Paul's argument make if it reads here, and in a number of other places: `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 THE FAITHFULNESS OF THE SON OF GOD who loved me and gave himself for me.'

It's worth a read. Follow out the argument. And then follow out how much more sense, for example, the flow of Romans makes when you read Rom 3:22 in this way. You don't need to know Greek to see it.

One thing: Hays makes it clear that this was his doctoral thesis in the early 80s. The publisher really wanted him to publish this and he did not have time to edit with 20 more years of insight. So he published it as is. But Appendix 2 was written recently and recasts and summarizes the burden of the book and will be a good synopsis for the lay reader.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c5df51c) out of 5 stars Challenge to one's theology, challenge to one's life 7 Nov. 2005
By Dale H. Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Hays avers his work doesn't supplant other approaches to understanding but that it is "complementary." Still he seems to have broken new ground and threatens, or rather enables, a fresh new understanding of Christ's atoning work and our response to it. While best known for giving us the translation "the faith OF Jesus" Hays himself is more enamored of the implied story behind Galatians (with strong apologetic implications) and Romans, too. He exposes the "myth of Paul the isolated religious genius who shared little or nothing with his Jewish-Christian contemporaries" but employed the given story of Jesus in his mainstream theology. Hays' work will nevertheless be difficult for the public in that it is a thesis simply made into a book. And it would have helped if the German, French, and Latin quotes (sometimes extensive) had been translated in this reprint of a landmark work.
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