Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Justification and Justice
A good point that Mark Seifrid makes in his various works on "righteousness" language in the OT/NT is that the biblical authors are not concerned with abstract ideas of right, righteousness, or justice, but with the actual enactment of justice. In other words, righteousness is not simply about declarations, states, and position, it must ultimately be tied to an execution of justice by the Lord. A good example that lines up with Seifrid's point is of course the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8. A text that speaks to a similar idea is the Joseph Apocryphon in the DSS (4Q372) which in frag. 1 says: "He said, 'My Father and my God, do not abandon me to the hands of the nations. Execute judgement for me so that the humble and poor may not perish'." I don't know what the Hebrew word is here (sedaq or misphat), but the idea resonates precisely with what Seifrid is talking about; what is more executing judgement is bound up with the idea of salvation.