Romans 1:17
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
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(17) The gospel attains its end, the salvation of the believer, by revealing the righteousness of God, i.e., the plan or process designed by Him for men to become just or righteous in His sight. The essential part on man’s side, the beginning and end of that plan, is Faith. For which there was authority in the Old Testament, where it is said, “The just shall live by faith.”

The righteousness of God.—By this is not meant, as might, perhaps, be supposed, an attribute of the divine nature—as if the essential righteousness of God were first made known through the gospel. St. Paul goes on to show in Romans 1:19-20, that so much at least of the nature of God might be known without any supernatural revelation. “Of God” means in the present instance “which proceeds from God.” And the “righteousness” which thus “proceeds from God” is that condition of righteousness in man into which he enters by his participation in the Messianic kingdom. The whole object of the coming of the Messiah was to make men “righteous” before God. This was done more especially by the death of Christ upon the cross, which, as we learn from Romans 3:24-26, had the effect of making God “propitious” towards men. The benefit of this act is secured to all who make good their claim to be considered members of the Messianic kingdom by a loyal adhesion to the Messiah. Such persons are treated as if they were “righteous,” though the righteousness that is thus attributed to them is not any actual merit of their own, but an ideal condition in which they are placed by God. This is the well-known doctrine of justification by faith. (See Excursus A: On the Meaning of the word Righteousness in the Epistle to the Romans, and Excursus E: On the Doctrine of Justification by Faith and Imputed Righteousness.)

Revealed.—God’s purpose of thus justifying men is in process of being revealed or declared in the gospel. It is revealed theoretically in the express statements of the way in which man may be justified. It is revealed practically in the heartfelt acceptance of those statements and the change of life which they involved. To the Romans the moment of revelation was that in which they first heard the gospel. St. Paul wishes them to know the full significance—the philosophy, as it might be called—of that which they had heard.

From faith to faith.—It is by faith that man first lays hold on the gospel, and its latest product is a heightened and intensified faith. Apart from faith, the gospel remains null and void for the individual. It is not realised. But when it has been once realised and taken home to the man’s self, its tendency is to confirm and strengthen that very faculty by which it was apprehended. It does that for which the disciples prayed when they said, “Lord, increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).

The just shall live by faith.—The words are part of the consolatory answer which the prophet Habakkuk receives in the stress of the Chaldean invasion. Though his irresistible hosts sweep over the land, the righteous man who puts his trust in God shall live. Perhaps St. Paul intended the words “by faith” to be taken rather with “the just” than as they stand in the English version. “The just by faith,” or “The man whose righteousness is based on faith,” shall live.

The Apostle uses the word “faith” in his own peculiar and pregnant sense. But this is naturally led up to by the way in which it was used by Habakkuk. The intense personal trust and reliance which the Jew felt in the God of his fathers is directed by the Christian to Christ, and is further developed into an active energy of devotion.

“Faith,” as understood by St. Paul, is not merely head-belief, a purely intellectual process such as that of which St. James spoke when he said “the devils also believe and tremble”; neither is it merely “trust,” a passive dependence upon an Unseen Power; but it is a further stage of feeling developed out of these, a current of emotion setting strongly in the direction of its object, an ardent and vital apprehension of that object, and a firm and loyal attachment to it. (See Excursus B: On the Meaning of the word Faith.)

Romans 1:17. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed — This expression sometimes means God’s essential, eternal righteousness, including both his holiness and justice, especially the latter, of which, together with his mercy, the word is explained, Romans 3:26; where we read, To declare his righteousness: that he might be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus; this his essential righteousness being eminently shown in condemning sin, and in justifying the penitent, believing sinner. But frequently the expression means that righteousness by which a man, through the grace of God, is accounted and constituted righteous, or is pardoned and renewed, namely, the righteousness of faith, of which the apostle speaks, Php 3:9, terming it the righteousness which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness of God (Gr. εκ θεου, from God) by faith: namely, acquittance from guilt, remission of sins, or justification through faith in Christ; or, as he expresses himself, Romans 4:5-8, faith imputed for righteousness, namely, through Christ’s obedience unto death, who was delivered for our offences, and raised for our justification. See this matter more fully explained in the notes on Romans 3:20-25; Romans 9:30-31; and Romans 10:3-9. The meaning of the apostle, in the verse now under consideration, would be more manifest if his words were more literally translated, which they are by Doddridge and Macknight, thus: For in it (namely, the gospel) the righteousness of God by faith is revealed to our faith, or, in order to faith. “This translation,” says the latter of these divines, “which results from construing the words properly, affords a clear sense of a passage which, in the common translation, is absolutely unintelligible. Besides, it is shown to be the right translation by other passages of Scripture, in which the expression, δικαιοσυνη εκ πιστεως, righteousness by faith, is found, Romans 3:22; Romans 9:30; Romans 10:6; Php 3:9. Righteousness by faith is called the righteousness of God, 1st, Because God hath enjoined faith as the righteousness which he will count to sinners, [through the mediation of his Son,] and hath declared that he will accept and reward it as righteousness. 2d, Because it stands in opposition to the righteousness of men: which consists in sinless obedience to the law of God. For if men gave that obedience, it would be their own righteousness, and they might claim reward as a debt.” We may observe, further, the righteousness of faith is termed the righteousness of God, because God appointed and prepared it, reveals and gives, approves and crowns it. It is said to be revealed, because, whereas it was but obscurely intimated to the Jews, in the covenant with Abraham, and in the types of the Mosaic law; it is now clearly manifested in the gospel to all mankind. The expression, in our translation, from faith to faith, is interpreted by some of a gradual series of still clearer and clearer discoveries; but the translation of the clause given above, namely, the righteousness of God by faith is revealed in order to faith, seems evidently to express better the apostle’s meaning. As it is written — St. Paul had just laid down three propositions: 1st, Righteousness is by faith, Romans 1:17; Romans 2 d, Salvation is by righteousness, Romans 1:16; Romans 3 d, Both to the Jews and to the Gentiles, Romans 1:16. Now all these are confirmed by that single sentence, The just shall live by faith: which was primarily spoken of those who preserved their lives, when the Chaldeans besieged Jerusalem, by believing the declarations of God, and acting according to them. Here it means, he shall obtain the favour of God, and continue therein, by believing. The words, however, may with propriety be rendered, The just by faith, that is, they who by faith are just, or righteous, (as δικαιοι signifies,) shall live. “This translation is agreeable both to the order of the words in the original, and the apostle’s design; which is to show that the doctrine of the gospel, concerning a righteousness by faith, is attested even by the prophets. Besides, it represents Habakkuk’s meaning more truly than the common translation. For in the passage from which the quotation is made, Habakkuk describes the different dispositions of the Jews about the time they were threatened by the Chaldeans. Some of their souls were lifted up; they presumptuously trusted in their own wisdom and power, and, contrary to God’s command, refused to submit to the Chaldeans, and were destroyed. But the just, or righteous, by faith, who believed God and obeyed his command, lived. However, as the reward of faith is not confined to the present life, persons who are just or good, by believing and obeying God, shall certainly live eternally.” — Macknight.

1:16,17 In these verses the apostle opens the design of the whole epistle, in which he brings forward a charge of sinfulness against all flesh; declares the only method of deliverance from condemnation, by faith in the mercy of God, through Jesus Christ; and then builds upon it purity of heart, grateful obedience, and earnest desires to improve in all those Christian graces and tempers, which nothing but a lively faith in Christ can bring forth. God is a just and holy God, and we are guilty sinners. It is necessary that we have a righteousness to appear in before him: there is such a righteousness brought in by the Messiah, and made known in the gospel; a gracious method of acceptance, notwithstanding the guilt of our sins. It is the righteousness of Christ, who is God, coming from a satisfaction of infinite value. Faith is all in all, both in the beginning and progress of Christian life. It is not from faith to works, as if faith put us into a justified state, and then works kept us in it; but it is all along from faith to faith; it is faith pressing forward, and gaining the victory over unbelief.For - This word implies that he is now about to give a "reason" for what he had just said, a reason why he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. That reason is stated in this verse. It embodies the substance of all that is contained in the Epistle. It is the doctrine which he seeks to establish; and there is not perhaps a more important passage in the Bible than this verse; or one more difficult to be understood.

Therein - In it, ἐν οὕτῳ en houtō, that is, in the gospel.

Is the righteousness of God - δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ dikaiosunē Theou. There is not a more important expression to be found in the Epistle than this. It is capable of only the following interpretations.

(1) some have said that it means that the attribute of God which is denominated righteousness or justice, is here displayed. It has been supposed that this was the design of the gospel to make this known; or to evince his justice in his way of saving people. There is an important sense in which this is true Romans 3:26. But this does not seem to be the meaning in the passage before us. For,

(a) The leading design of the gospel is not to evince the justice of God, or the attribute of justice, but the love of God; see John 3:16; Ephesians 2:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:16; 1 John 4:8.

(b) The attribute of justice is not what is principally evinced in the gospel. It is rather mercy, "or mercy in a manner consistent with justice," or that does not interfere with justice.

(c) The passage, therefore, is not designed to teach simply that the righteousness of God, as an attribute, is brought forth in the gospel, or that the main idea is to reveal his justice.

(2) a second interpretation which has been affixed to it is, to make it the same as goodness, the benevolence of God is revealed, etc. But to this there are still stronger objections. For.

(a) It does not comport with the design of the apostle's argument.

(b) It is a departure from the established meaning of the word "justice," and the phrase "the righteousness of God."

(c) If this had been the design, it is remarkable that the usual words expressive of goodness or mercy had not been used. Another meaning, therefore, is to be sought as expressing the sense of the phrase.

(3) the phrase "righteousness of God" is equivalent to God's "plan of justifying people; his scheme of declaring them just in the sight of the Law; or of acquitting them from punishment, and admitting them to favor." In this sense it stands opposed to man's plan of justification, that is, by his own works: God's plan is by faith. The way in which that is done is revealed in the gospel. The object contemplated to be done is to treat people as if they were righteous. Man attempted to accomplish this by obedience to the Law. The plan of God was to arrive at it by faith. Here the two schemes differ; and the great design of this Epistle is to show that man cannot be justified on his own plan, to wit, by works; and that the plan of God is the only way, and a wise and glorious way of making man just in the eye of the Law. No small part of the perplexity usually attending this subject will be avoided if it is remembered that the discussion in this Epistle pertains to the question, "how can mortal man be just with God?" The apostle shows that it cannot be by works; and that it "can be" by faith. This latter is what he calls the "righteousness of God" which is revealed in the gospel.

To see that this is the meaning, it is needful only to look at the connection; and at the usual meaning of the words. The word to "justify," δικαιόω dikaioō, means properly "to be just, to be innocent, to be righteous." It then means to "declare," or treat as righteous; as when a man is charged with an offence. and is acquitted. If the crime alleged is not proved against him, he is declared by the Law to be innocent. It then means to "treat as if innocent, to regard as innocent;" that is, to pardon, to forgive, and consequently to treat as if the offence had not occurred. It does not mean that the man did not commit the offence; or that the Law might not have held him answerable for it; but that the offence is forgiven; and it is consistent to receive the offender into favor, and treat him as if he had not committed it. In what way this may be done rests with him who has the pardoning power. And in regard to the salvation of man, it rests solely with God. and must be done in that way only which he appoints and approves. The design of Paul in this Epistle is to show how this is done, or to show that it is done by faith. It may be remarked here that the expression before us does not imply any particular manner in which it is done; it does not touch the question whether it is by imputed righteousness or not; it does not say that it is on legal principles; it simply affirms "that the gospel contains God's plan of justifying people by faith."

The primary meaning of the word is, therefore, "to be innocent, pure, etc." and hence, the name means "righteousness" in general. For this use of the word, see Matthew 3:15; Matthew 5:6, Matthew 5:10, Matthew 5:20; Matthew 21:32; Luke 1:75; Acts 10:35; Acts 13:10; Romans 2:26; Romans 8:4, etc.


17. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed—that is (as the whole argument of the Epistle shows), God's justifying righteousness.

from faith to faith—a difficult clause. Most interpreters (judging from the sense of such phrases elsewhere) take it to mean, "from one degree of faith to another." But this agrees ill with the apostle's design, which has nothing to do with the progressive stages of faith, but solely with faith itself as the appointed way of receiving God's "righteousness." We prefer, therefore, to understand it thus: "The righteousness of God is in the gospel message, revealed (to be) from (or 'by') faith to (or 'for') faith," that is, "in order to be by faith received." (So substantially, Melville, Meyer, Stuart, Bloomfield, &c.).

as it is written—(Hab 2:4).

The just shall live by faith—This golden maxim of the Old Testament is thrice quoted in the New Testament—here; Ga 3:11; Heb 10:38—showing that the gospel way of "LIFE BY FAITH," so far from disturbing, only continued and developed the ancient method.

On the foregoing verses, Note (1) What manner of persons ought the ministers of Christ to be, according to the pattern here set up: absolutely subject and officially dedicated to the Lord Jesus; separated unto the gospel of God, which contemplates the subjugation of all nations to the faith of Christ: debtors to all classes, the refined and the rude, to bring the gospel to them all alike, all shame in the presence of the one, as well as pride before the other, sinking before the glory which they feel to be in their message; yearning over all faithful churches, not lording it over them, but rejoicing in their prosperity, and finding refreshment and strength in their fellowship! (2) The peculiar features of the gospel here brought prominently forward should be the devout study of all who preach it, and guide the views and the taste of all who are privileged statedly to hear it: that it is "the gospel of God," as a message from heaven, yet not absolutely new, but on the contrary, only the fulfilment of Old Testament promise, that not only is Christ the great theme of it, but Christ in the very nature of God as His own Son, and in the nature of men as partaker of their flesh—the Son of God now in resurrection—power and invested with authority to dispense all grace to men, and all gifts for the establishment and edification of the Church, Christ the righteousness provided of God for the justification of all that believe in His name; and that in this glorious Gospel, when preached as such, there resides the very power of God to save Jew and Gentile alike who embrace it. (3) While Christ is to be regarded as the ordained Channel of all grace from God to men (Ro 1:8), let none imagine that His proper divinity is in any respect compromised by this arrangement, since He is here expressly associated with "God the Father," in prayer for "grace and peace" (including all spiritual blessings) to rest upon this Church (Ro 1:7). (4) While this Epistle teaches, in conformity with the teaching of our Lord Himself, that all salvation is suspended upon faith, this is but half a truth, and will certainly minister to self-righteousness, if dissociated from another feature of the same truth, here explicitly taught, that this faith in God's own gift—for which accordingly in the case of the Roman believers, he "thanks his God through Jesus Christ" (Ro 1:8). (5) Christian fellowship, as indeed all real fellowship, is a mutual benefit; and as it is not possible for the most eminent saints and servants of Christ to impart any refreshment and profit to the meanest of their brethren without experiencing a rich return into their bosoms, so just in proportion to their humility and love will they feel their need of it and rejoice in it.

It will give light to this whole Epistle, to explain what is here meant by

the righteousness of God. Some do thereby understand the whole doctrine of salvation and eternal life, which is revealed in the gospel; and they make it the same with the faith of God, Romans 3:3, and with the truth of God, Romans 3:7. Others, by the righteousness of God, do understand that righteousness whereby a man is justified, or stands just and righteous in the sight of God: and it is called the righteousness of God, to distinguish it from our own righteousness, Romans 10:3, and because it is appointed, approved, and accepted by him, it being such as he himself can find no fault with. Further, it is called

the righteousness of God, because it was performed by him, who is God as well as man, and imputed unto us: hence he is said to be made righteousness unto us, and we are said to be made the righteousness of God in him; we having his righteousness, as he had our sins, viz. by imputation. This is often called the righteousness of faith, because by faith it is apprehended and applied. And again, it is called the law of righteousness, Romans 9:31, in opposition to that law of righteousness whereby the unbelieving Jews sought to be justified.

Revealed; the law of God discovers no suchway of justifying a sinner, nor is it taught by reason or philosophy: the gospel only makes a revelation of it; which occasioned the apostle’s glorying in it.

From faith to faith: this apostle seems to delight in such repetitions, and there is an elegancy in them: see Romans 6:19 2 Corinthians 2:16 2 Corinthians 3:18. The words are variously interpreted: from the fiath of the Old Testament to the faith of the New; so that no person ever was or shall be justified in any other way. Or, from a lesser faith to a greater; not noting two faiths, but one and the same faith increasing to perfection. He saith not, from faith to works, or from works to faith; but from faith to faith, i.e. only by faith. The words to be must be understood: q.d. The gospel reveals the righteousness of God to be from faith to faith. The beginning, the continuance, the accomplishment of our justification is wholly absolved by faith.

The just shall live by faith: some refer these words, by faith, to the subject of this proposition, the just; and thus they render it: The just by faith shall live; and so read, the foregoing proposition is the better proved thereby. There is some diffculty to understand the fitness of this testimony to prove the conclusion in hand; for it is evident, that the prophet Habakkuk, in whom these words are found, doth speak of a temporal preservation; and what is that to eternal life?

Answer. The Babylonian captivity figured out our spiritual bondage under sin and Satan; and deliverance from that calamity did shadow forth our deliverance from hell, to be procured by Christ: compare Isaiah 40:2-4, with Matthew 3:3. Again, general sentences applied to particular cases, are not thereby restrained to those particulars, but still retain the generality of their nature: see Matthew 19:6. Again, one and the same faith apprehends and gives us interest in all the promises of God; and as by it we live in temporal dangers, so by it we are freed from eternal destruction.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed,.... By "the righteousness of God", is not meant the essential righteousness of God, the rectitude of his nature, his righteousness in fulfilling his promises, and his punitive justice, which though revealed in the Gospel, yet not peculiar to it; nor the righteousness by which Christ himself is righteous, either as God, or as Mediator; but that righteousness which he wrought out by obeying the precepts, and bearing the penalty of the law in the room of his people, and by which they are justified in the sight of God: and this is called "the righteousness of God", in opposition to the righteousness of men: and because it justifies men in the sight of God; and because of the concern which Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit, have in it. Jehovah the Father sent his Son to work it out, and being wrought out, he approves and accepts of it, and imputes it to his elect: Jehovah the Son is the author of it by his obedience and death; and Jehovah the Spirit discovers it to sinners, works faith in them to lay hold upon it, and pronounces the sentence of justification by it in their consciences. Now this is said to be "revealed" in the Gospel, that is, it is taught in the Gospel; that is the word of righteousness, the ministration of it; it is manifested in and by the Gospel. This righteousness is not known by the light of nature, nor by the law of Moses; it was hid under the shadows of the ceremonial law, and is brought to light only by the Gospel; it is hid from every natural man, even from the most wise and prudent, and from God's elect themselves before conversion, and is only made known to believers, to whom it is revealed:

from faith to faith; that is, as say some, from the faith of God to the faith of men; from the faith of preachers to the faith of hearers; from the faith of the Old to the faith of the New Testament saints; or rather from one degree of faith to another; for faith, as it grows and increases, has clearer sights of this righteousness, as held forth in the Gospel. For the proof of this, a passage of Scripture is cited,

as it is written, Habakkuk 2:4;

the just shall live by faith: "a just", or righteous man is, not everyone who thinks himself, or is thought by others to be so; nor are any so by their obedience to the law of works; but he is one that is made righteous by the righteousness of Christ imputed to him, which is before said to be revealed in the Gospel. The life which this man lives, and "shall live", does not design a natural or corporeal life, and a continuance of that, for such die a natural death, as other men; nor an eternal life, for though they shall so live, yet not by faith; but a spiritual life, a life of justification on Christ, of holiness from him, of communion with him, and of peace and joy; which spiritual life shall be continued, and never be lost. The manner in which the just lives, is "by faith". In the prophet Habakkuk, the words are, "the just shall live" "by his faith" Habakkuk 2:4); which the Septuagint render, "by my faith": and the apostle only reads, "by faith", omitting the affix, as well known, and easy to be supplied: for faith, when given by God, and exercised by the believer, is his own, and by it he lives; not upon it, but by it upon Christ the object of it; from whom, in a way of believing, he derives his spiritual life, and all the comforts of it.

{6} For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from {z} faith to faith: {7} as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

(6) The confirmation of the former proposition: we are taught in the gospel that we are instituted before God by faith, which increases daily, and therefore also saved.

(z) From faith, which increases daily.

(7) The proof of the first as well as of the second proposition, out of Habakkuk, who attributes and gives to faith both justice and life before God.

Romans 1:17 illustrates and gives a reason for the foregoing affirmation: δύναμις Θεοῦ ἐστιν εἰς σωτ. π. τ. πιστ., which could not be the case, unless δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ κ.τ.λ[400]

δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ] That this does not denote, as in Romans 3:5, an attribute of God,[401] is plain from the passage cited in proof from Habakkuk 2:4, where, by necessity of the connection, ὁ δίκαιος must denote the person who is in the state of the δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ. Comp Romans 3:21 ff. It must therefore be an ethical relation of man that is meant; and the genitive Θεοῦ must (otherwise in Jam 1:20)[403] be rendered as the genitive of emanation from, consequently: rightness which proceeds from God, the relation of being right into which man is put by God (i.e. by an act of God declaring him righteous). Comp Chrysostom, Bengel, and others, including Rückert, Olshausen, Reiche, de Wette, Winer, p. 175 [E. T. 232]; Winzer (de vocib. δίκαιος, δικαιοσύνη, et δικαιοῦν in ep. ad p. 10); Bisping, van Hengel, Ernesti, Urspr. d. Sünde, I. p. 153; Mehring; also Hofmann (comp his Schriftbew. I. p. 627); Holsten, z. Ev. d. Paul. u. Petr. p. 408 f.; Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 330 f.; Rich. Schmidt, Paulin. Christol. p. 10. This interpretation of the genitive as gen. originis, acutely and clearly set forth anew by Pfleiderer (in Hilgenfeld’s Zeitschr. 1872, p. 168 ff.), is more specially evident from Romans 3:23, where Paul himself first explains the expression δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ, and that by δικαιούμενοι δωρεὰν τῇ αὐτοῦ χάριτι, which is turned in Romans 1:26 to the active form: δικαιοῦντα τὸν ἐκ πίστεως; comp Romans 1:30; Romans 8:33, according to which the genitive appears equivalent to ἐκ Θεοῦ (Php 3:9), in contrast to the ἐμή and ἰδία δικαιοσύνη (Romans 10:3), and to the δικαιοῦν ἐαυτόν (Luke 12:15). The passage in 2 Corinthians 5:21 is not opposed to this view (as Fritzsche thinks); see in loc[407]; nor are the expressions δικαιοῦσθαι ἐνώπιον Θεοῦ (Romans 3:20), and παρὰ Θεῷ (Galatians 3:11), for these represent a special form under which the relation is conceived, expressing more precisely the judicial nature of the matter. Hence it is evident that the interpretation adopted by many modern writers (including Köllner, Fritzsche, Philippi, Umbreit), following Luther: “righteousness before God,” although correct in point of substance, is unsuitable as regards the analysis of the genitive, which they take as genitive of the object. This remark applies also against Baur, who (Paulus, II. p. 146 ff.) takes the genitive objectively as the δικαιοσύνη determined by the idea of God, adequate to that idea; whilst in his neutest. Theol. p. 134, he prefers to take the genitive subjectively: the righteousness produced through God, i.e. “the manner in which God places man in the adequate relation to Himself.”

The following remarks may serve exegetically to illustrate the idea of δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ, which in the Gospel is revealed from faith:

Since God, as the holy Lawgiver and Judge, has by the law imposed on man the task of keeping it entirely and perfectly (Galatians 3:10), He can only receive and treat as a δίκαιος (who is such, as he should be)—as one normally guiltless and upright, who should be so, therefore, habitually—the person who keeps the whole law; or, in other words, only the man who is perfectly obedient to the law can stand to God in the relation of δικαιοσύνη. Such perfection however no man could attain; not merely no Gentile, since in his case the natural moral law was obscured through immorality, and through disobedience to it he had fallen into sin and vice; but also no Jew, for natural desire, excited by the principle of sin in him through the very fact of legal prohibition, hindered in his case the fulfilment of the divine law, and rendered him also, without exception, morally weak, a sinner and object of the divine wrath. If therefore man was to enter into the relation of a righteous person and thereby of a future participator in the Messianic blessedness, it was necessary that this should be done by means of an extraordinary divine arrangement, through which grace and reconciliation should be imparted to the object of wrath, and he should be put forward for the judgment of God as righteous. This arrangement has been effected through the sending of His Son and His being given up to His bloody death as that of a guiltless sacrifice; whereby God’s counsel of redemption, formed from eternity, has been accomplished,—objectively for all, subjectively to be appropriated on the part of individuals through faith, which is the ὄργανον ληπτικόν. And, as this plan of salvation is the subject-matter of the Gospel, so in this Gospel that which previously, though prefigured by the justification of Abraham, was an unrevealed μυστήριον, namely, righteousness from God, is revealed (ἀποκαλύπτεται), inasmuch as the Gospel makes known both the accomplished work of redemption itself and the means whereby man appropriates the redemption, namely, faith in Christ, which, imputed to him as righteousness (Romans 4:5), causes man to be regarded and treated by God out of grace and δωρεάν (Romans 3:24) as righteous (δίκαιος), so that he, like one who has perfectly obeyed the law, is certain of the Messianic bliss destined for the δικαιοί.[408] The so-called obedientia Christi activa is not to be included in the causa meritoria of the divine justification; but is to be regarded as the fulfilment of a preliminary condition necessary to the death of Jesus, so far as the justification of man was objectively based on the latter; without the complete active obedience of Christ (consequently without His sinlessness) His passive obedience could not have been that causa meritoria (2 Corinthians 5:21).

ἀποκαλύπτεται] is revealed; for previously, and in the absence of the Gospel, the δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ was and is something quite hidden in the counsel of God, the knowledge of which is first given in the Gospel (comp Romans 16:25; Acts 17:30). The prophecies of the Old Testament were only preparatory and promissory (Romans 1:2), and therefore were only the means of introducing the evangelical revelation itself (Romans 16:26). The present is used, because the Gospel is conceived of in its continuous proclamation. Comp the perfect, πεφανέρωται, Romans 3:21, and on the other hand the historical aorist φανερωθέντος in Romans 16:26. Through the ἀποκάλυψις ensues the φανεροῦσθαι, through the revelation the being manifest as object of knowledge.

ἐκ πίστεως εἰς πίστιν] may not be connected with δικαιοσ. (Luther, Hammond, Bengel, Koppe, Rückert, Reiche, Tholuck, Philippi, Mehring, and others), but rather—as the only arrangement which the position of the words admits without arbitrariness—with ἀποκαλύπτεται. So also van Hengel and Hofmann; comp Luke 2:35. The δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ, namely, is revealed in the Gospel ἐκ πίστεως, inasmuch as in the Gospel faith on Christ is made known as the subjective cause from which righteousness comes. Thus the Gospel, as the ῥῆμα τῆς πίστεως (Romans 10:8) and λόγος τῆς καταλλαγῆς (2 Corinthians 5:19), makes the divine righteousness become manifest from faith, which it in fact preaches as that which becomes imputed; for him who does not believe the ἀκοὴ πίστεως (Galatians 3:2), it leaves this δικαιοσύνη to remain a locked-up unrevealed blessing. But it is not merely ἐκ πίστεως, but also εἰς πίστιν; to faith (comp 2 Corinthians 2:16). Inasmuch, namely, as righteousness is revealed in the Gospel from faith, faith is aimed at, i.e. the revelation spoken of proceeds from faith and is designed to produce faith. This sense, equivalent to “ut fides habeatur,” and rightly corresponding alike with the simple words and the context, is adopted by Heumann, Fritzsche, Tholuck, Krehl, Nielsen, and van Hengel. It is not “too meaningless” (de Wette), nor “saying pretty nearly nothing” (Philippi); but is on the contrary emphatically appropriate to the purpose of representing faith as the Fac totum (“prora et puppis,” Bengel, Comp Baur, II. p. 161). See also Hofmann, Schriftbew. I. p. 629 f. comp Romans 6:19; 2 Corinthians 2:16. Therefore εἰς πίστιν is not to be taken as equivalent to εἰς τὸν πιστεύοντα, for the believer (Oecumenius, Seb. Schmid, Morus, Rosenmüller, Rückert, Reiche, de Wette, Olshausen, Reithmayr, Maier, and Philippi), a rendering which should have been precluded by the abstract correlative ἐκ πίστεως. Nor does it mean: for the furtherance and strengthening of faith (Clem. Al. Strom. v. 1, II. p. 644 Pott., Theophylact, Erasmus, Luther, Melancthon, Beza, Cornelius à Lapide, and others, including Köllner; comp Baumgarten-Crusius, Klee, and Stengel); for the thought: “from an ever new, never tiring, endlessly progressive faith” (Ewald; comp Lipsius, Rechtfertigungsl. p. 7, 116, and Umbreit), is here foreign to the connection, which is concerned only with the great fundamental truth in its simplicity; the case is different in 2 Corinthians 3:18. Quite arbitrary, moreover, was the interpretation: “ex fide legis in fidem evangelii” (Tertullian; Comp Origen, Chrysostom, Theodoret: δεῖ γὰρ πιστεῦσαι τοῖς προφήταις, καὶ διʼ ἐκείνων εἰς τὴν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου πίστιν ποδηγηθῆναι, Zeger, and others). Finally, to take πίστιν as faithfulness, and to understand πίστις εἰς πίστιν in the sense of faith in the faithfulness of God (Mehring), is to introduce what is neither in the words nor yet suggested by the context. Ewald in his Jahrb. IX. p. 87 ff., interprets: faith in faith, the reference being to the faith with which man meets the divine faith in his power and his good will (?). But the idea of “faith from beneath on the faith from above,” as well as the notion generally of God believing on men, would be a paradox in the N. T., which no reader could have discovered without more clear and precise indication. After ἐκ πίστ. every one could not but understand εἰς πίστ. also as meaning human faith; and indeed everywhere it is man that believes, not God.

καθὼς γέγραπται] represents what has just been stated, δικαιοσύνη.… πίστιν, as taking place in accordance with a declaration of Scripture, consequently according to the necessity of the divine counsel of salvation. He who from faith (on Christ) is righteous (transferred into the relation of the δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ) shall live (be partaker of the Messianic eternal life). This, as the Messianic sense intended to be conveyed by the Spirit of God (2 Peter 1:21) in the prophetic words, Habakkuk 2:4, “the righteous shall by his faithfulnessl[418] live” (attain the theocratic life-blessedness), is recognised by Paul, and expressed substantially in the language of the LXX., rightly omitting the μου, which they inaccurately add to πίστεως. In doing so Paul might, in accordance with the Messianic reference of the passage, connect ἘΚ ΠΊΣΤΕΩς (בֶאֱמוּנָתוֹ)—seeing that on this causal definition the stress of the expression lies—with ὁ δίκαιος; because, if the life of the righteous has ΠΊΣΤΙς as its cause, his ΔΙΚΑΙΟΣΎΝΗ itself can have no other ground or source. That he has really so connected the words, as Beza and others rightly perceived (see especially Hölemann, de justitiae ex fide ambab. in V. T. sedibus, Lips. 1867), and not, as most earlier expositors have supposed (also de Wette, Tholuck, Delitzsch, on Hab. l.c[419], Philippi, Baumgarten-Crusius, van Hengel, Ewald, and Hofmann), ἐκ πίστ. ζήσεται, is plain from the connection, according to which it is not the life ἐκ πίστ., but the revelation of righteousness ἐκ πίστ. that is to be confirmed by the Old Testament. The case is different in Hebrews 10:38. See further, generally, on Galatians 3:11.

The δέ is, without having any bearing on the matter, adopted along with the other words from the LXX. Comp on Acts 2:17. A contrast to the unrighteous who shall die (Hofmann) is neither here nor in Habakkuk 2:4 implied in the text.

[400] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[401] It has been understood as the truthfulness of God (Ambrosiaster); as the justitia Dei essentialis (Osiander); as the justitia distributiva (Origen, and several of the older expositors, comp. Flatt); as the goodness of God (Schoettgen, Semler, Morus, Krehl); as the justifying righteousness of God (Märcker). According to Ewald it is the divine righteousness regarded as power and life-blessing, in the goodness of which man may and must fully participate, if he would not feel its sting and its penalty. Comp. Matthias on Romans 3:21 : a righteousness, such as belongs to God, consequently, “a righteousness which exists also inwardly and is in every respect perfect.”

[403] Where what is meant is the rightness required by God, which man is supposed to realise through exerting himself in works.

[407] n loc. refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

[408] Justification is simply imputative, an actus forensis, not inherent, and therefore not a gradual process, as Romang anew maintains, but produced by the imputation of faith. The new moral life in Christ is the necessary consequence (Romans 6:817. the righteousness of God] A phrase occurring elsewhere seven times in this Epistle (Romans 3:5; Romans 3:21-22; Romans 3:25-26, Romans 10:3 twice), once in the Gospels (Matthew 6:33), once in 2 Cor. (Romans 5:21), once in St James (Romans 1:20), and once in 2 Pet. (Romans 1:1). As regards Pauline usage, it is plain that Romans 3 is the locus criticus for its leading meaning, which meaning we may expect to find here. Romans 3:26 appears to supply the key to this meaning: the “righteousness of God” is something which is reached, or received, “through faith in Jesus Christ;” and it is “declared” in such a way as to shew Him “just, yet justifying.” On the whole it is most consistent with most passages to explain it of the “righteousness imputed by God” to the believer. (See esp. cch. 3 and 4 for explanations of imputation.) It is “God’s righteousness,” as being provided by Him and availing with Him. (“Die Gerechtigkeit die vor Gott gilt,” “the righteousness which avails with God,” is Luther’s paraphrase.)

It is objected that the word rendered “righteousness” denotes a real moral state. But this is only partially true. It quite as much tends to denote what makes a man clear in the eye of the law, satisfactory to justice; and just such is the effect, according to this Epistle, of the Work of Christ accepted by faith. With proper caution we may thus say that “righteousness,” in this and similar phrases, is often a practical equivalent for “Justification.”—In Matthew 6:33 the reference at least may be as above; in 2 Corinthians 5:21 we have another but cognate reference, viz. to the aspect of the justified before God; in 2 Peter 1:1 and James 1:20, the meaning seems to be quite different, though equally proper to the Greek words, viz. “the will of the righteous God.” For variations in this Epistle see notes on successive passages.

revealed from faith to faith] Q. d. “is unfolded, and displays faith, and only faith, as its secret, at each disclosure.” (1) The initial step, the entrance to justification, is faith: (2) The life of the justified is maintained by faith: faith is the starting-point and the course.—“Is revealed:”—a present tense in the Gr.:—is revealing. The idea is of a perpetually recurring process: “to each fresh discoverer it is revealed.” So of the opposite “revelation,” Romans 1:18.

as it is written] The formula of quotation, sanctioned by the Saviour Himself in His own all-significant use of Scripture at the Temptation. “It is written; it is written again.” (Matthew 4:4; Matthew 4:7; Matthew 4:10.)

This is the first direct quotation in this Epistle. In the 16 chapters the O. T. is directly quoted about 60 distinct times. See Introd. iv.

The original is in Habakkuk 2:4, and is lit. rendered, “And [the] just man, by his faith shall he live.” The context there defines the meaning of faith to be trust, confidence in another, as opposed to self-confidence. Such humility of trust marks the “just” man, the man right in God’s sight; and thereby he stands possessed of “life,” i.e., peace and security before God. This brief but profound sentence is here taken by the Apostle as the text of his great statement of Justification. So again in Galatians 3:11.—“By faith:”—lit. out of faith; i.e. in consequence of it, after it, as the condition on which “life” is given.

Romans 1:17. Δικαιοσὑνη Θεο͂υ, the righteousness of God) The righteousness of God is frequently mentioned in the New Testament, often in the books of Isaiah and Daniel, most often in the Psalms. It sometimes signifies that righteousness, by which God Himself is righteous, acts righteously, and is acknowledged to be righteous, ch. Romans 3:5; and also that righteousness, as it is termed in the case of [when applied to] men, either particular or universal, in which grace, and mercy also, are included, and which is shown principally in the condemnation of sin, and in the justification of the sinner; and thus, in this view, the essential righteousness of God is evidently not to be excluded from the business of justification, ch. Romans 3:25, etc. Hence it sometimes signifies this latter righteousness, by which a man (in consequence of the gift of God, Matthew 6:33) becomes righteous, and is righteous; and that, too, either by laying hold of the righteousness of Jesus Christ through faith, ch. Romans 3:21-22, or by imitating that [the former spoken of] righteousness of God, in the practice of virtue, and in the performance of good works, Jam 1:20. That righteousness of faith is called the righteousness of God by Paul, when he is speaking of justification; because God has originated and prepared it, reveals and bestows it, approves and crowns it with completion (comp. 2 Peter 1:1), to which, therefore, men’s own righteousness is opposed, Romans 10:3; with which comp. Php 3:9. Moreover, we ourselves are also called the righteousness of God, 2 Corinthians 5:21. In this passage, as well as in the statement of the subject [Proposition], the righteousness of God denotes the entire scheme of beneficence of God in Jesus Christ, for the salvation of the sinner.—ἀποκαλύπτεται, is revealed) Hence the necessity of the Gospel is manifest, without which neither righteousness nor salvation is capable of being known. The showing forth [‘declare.’—Engl. vers.] of the righteousness of God was made in the death of Christ, ch. Romans 3:25, etc. [ἔνδειξιν τ. δικαιοσύνης]; the manifestation and revelation of that righteousness of God, which is through faith, are made in the Gospel: ch. Romans 3:21, and in this passage. Thus there is here a double revelation made; (comp. Romans 1:18 with this verse) namely, of wrath and of righteousness. The former by the law, which is but little known to nature; the latter, by the Gospel, which is altogether unknown to nature. The former precedes and prepares the way; the latter follows after. Each is a matter of revelation (ἀποκαλύπτεται), the word being expressed in the present tense, in opposition to the times of ignorance, Acts 17:30.—ἐκ πίστεως εἰς πίστιν, from faith to faith) Construe the righteousness which is of or from faith, as we have presently after the just from faith [i.e. he who is justified,—whose righteousness is, of faith]. The phrase, from faith to faith, expresses pure faith; for righteousness of, or from faith, subsists in faith, without works. Εἰς denotes the destination, the boundary, and limit; see ch. Romans 12:3, and notes on Chrysostom’s work, De Sacerd, p. 415. So 1 Chronicles 17:5. I have gone [lit. in the Heb. I was or have been] מאהל אל אהל from tent to tent, where one and another tent [different tents] are not intended; but a tent [the tabernacle] as distinguished from [or independently of] a house or temple. Faith, says Paul, continues to be faith; faith is all in all [lit. the prow and stern] in the case of Jews and Gentiles; in the case of Paul also, even up to its very final consummation, Php 3:7-12. Thus εἰς sounds with a beautiful effect after ἐκ, as ἀπὸ and εἰς, 2 Corinthians 3:18, concerning the purest glory. It is to avoid what might be disagreeable to his readers, that Paul does not yet expressly exclude works, of which, however, in this Statement of Subject [Proposition], an exclusion of some kind should otherwise have appeared. Furthermore, the nature of a proposition, thus set forth, bears, that many other things may be inferred from this; for inasmuch as it is not said, ἐκ τῆς πίστεως εἰς τὴν πίστιν, from the faith to the faith, but indefinitely ἐκ πίστεως εἰς πίστιν from faith to faith, so we shall say [we may say by inference] from one faith to another, from the faith of God, who makes the offer, to the faith of men, who receive it, ch. Romans 3:2, etc.; from the faith of the Old Testament, and of the Jews, to the faith of the New Testament, and of the Gentiles also, ch. Romans 3:30; from the faith of Paul to the faith of the Romans, ch. Romans 1:12; from one degree of faith to still higher degrees, 1 John 5:13; from the faith of the strong to the faith of the weak, ch. Romans 14:1, etc.; from our faith, which is that of expectation, to the faith, which is to be divinely made good to us, by the gift of life [“The just shall live by faith”].—καθως, as) Paul has just laid down three principles: I. Righteousness is [of, or] from faith, Romans 1:17 : II. Salvation is by righteousness, Romans 1:16 : III. To the Jew and to the Greek, Romans 1:16. What follows confirms the whole, viz., the clause, the just by faith, shall live, which is found in the prophetical record, Habakkuk 2:4; see notes on Hebrews 10:36, etc. It is the same Spirit, who spoke by the prophets the Words, that were to be quoted by Paul; and under whose guidance Paul made such apposite and suitable quotations, especially in this epistle.—ζήσεται, shall live) some of the Latins, in former times, wrote the present ‘lives’ for the future “shall live” (vivit for vivet);[10] an obvious mistake in one small letter, and not worthy of notice or refutation. Baumgarten, following Whitby, refutes it, and observes, that I have omitted to notice it.

[10] ‘Vivit’ fg Vulg. and Iren. But ABCΛG have ζήσεται.—ED.

Verse 17 - Romans 11:36. - II. THE DOCTRINAL PART OF THE EPISTLE. Verse 17 - Romans 8:39. - C. The doctrine of the righteousness of God propounded, established, and explained. Verse 17. - This verse, though connected in sequence of thought with the preceding verse, may properly be taken in conjunction with the doctrinal argument which follows, serving, in fact, as its thesis. For the righteousness of God is therein revealed from (or, by) faith unto faith: as it is written, But the righteous by (or, from) faith shall live. It is to be observed that ἐκ is the preposition before πίστεως in both clauses of the sentence, though our Authorized Version makes a difference. Further, we render, with the Authorized Version, "the righteousness of God," rather than "a righteousness," as in the Revised Version, notwithstanding the absence of the article. For what is meant is the definite conception, pervading the Epistle, of God's righteousness. If there were room for doubt, it would surely be removed by ὀργὴ Θεοῦ, also without the article, immediately following, and with the same verb, ἀποκαλύπτεται. The Revisers, translating here "tins wrath," have given in the margin as tenable "a wrath," apparently for the sake of consistency with their rendering of δίκαιοσύνη. But "a wrath of God" has no intelligible meaning. The expressions seem simply to mean God's righteousness and God's wrath. This expression, "the righteousness of God," has been discussed in the Introduction, to which the reader is referred. Its intrinsic meaning is there taken to be God's own eternal righteousness, revealed in Christ for reconciling the world to himself, rather than (as commonly interpreted) the forensic righteousness (so called) imputed to man. Thus there is no need to understand the genitive Θεοῦ as gen. auctoris, or as equivalent to ἐνώπιον Θεοῦ. The phrase is understood in the sense that would be familiar to St. Paul and his readers from the Old Testament; and it is conceived that this intrinsic sense pervades the whole Epistle even when a righteousness imputed to man is spoken of; the idea still being that of the Divine righteousness embracing man. It is not clear in what exact sense ἐκ πίστεως εἰς πίστιν is to be understood. Most commentators, taking δικαιοσύνη to denote man's imputed righteousness, connect ἐκ πίστεως with it, as if ἡ ἐκ had been written (as e.g. in Romans 10:6). But the absence of , as well as the collocation of words, seems rather to connect it with ἀποκαλύπτεται. It may be meant to express the subjective condition for man's apprehension, and appropriation, of God's righteousness. The revelation of it to man's own soul is said to be ἐκ πίστεως while εἰς πίστιν expresses the result; viz. faith unto salvation. A like use of the preposition εἰς is found in Romans 6:19; 2 Corinthians 2:15, 16; 2 Corinthians 3:18. In the last of these passages ἀπὸ δόξης εἰς δόξαν, has a close resemblance to the expression before us. The quotation from Habakkuk 2:4 seems mainly meant to illustrate what has been said concerning faith, though the word δίκαιος, which occurs in it in connection with faith, may have also suggested it as apposite, as is evidently the case in Galatians 3:11, where St. Paul quotes it in proof of the position that ἐν νόμῳ οὐδεὶς δικαιοῦται παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ. The prophet had in immediate view the trials of faith peculiar to his own time, and had cried, "LORD, how long?" But he had stood upon his watch to look out for what the LORD would say unto him; and an answer had come to him to the effect that, in spite of appearances, his prophetic vision would ere long be realized, God's promises to the faithful would certainly be fulfilled, and that faith meanwhile must be their sustaining principle - "The just shall live by his faith." So in the Hebrew. The LXX. has Ὁ δὲ δικαιός μου ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται (A.), or Ὁ δὲ δίκαιος ἐκ πίτεως μου ζήσεται (B). The variations do not affect the general sense of the passage. Now some, supposing St. Paul to connect ἐκ πίστεως with δίκαιος, as part of the subject of the sentence, would accuse him of giving the quotation a meaning not intended by the prophet, who evidently meant ἐκ πίστεως to go with ζήσεται, as part of the predicate. But there is no reason for attributing this intention to St. Paul, except on the supposition that he had previously connected ἐκ πίστεως with δικαιοσύνη, in the sense of ἡ ἐκ πίστεως. But we have seen reason for concluding that this was not so. The quotation, in the sense intended by the prophet, is sufficiently apposite. For it expresses that faith is the life-principle of God's righteous ones, while the whole passage at the end of which it occurs declares the salvation of prophetic vision to be entirely of God, to be waited for and apprehended by man through faith, not brought about by his own doings. Romans 1:17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed (δικαιοσύνη γὰρ Θεοῦ ἐν ἀυτῷ ἀποκαλύπτεται).

Rev., more correctly, therein is revealed a righteousness of God. The absence of the article denotes that a peculiar kind of righteousness is meant. This statement contains the subject of the epistle: Righteousness is by faith. The subject is not stated formally nor independently, but as a proof that the Gospel is a power, etc.

This word δικαιοσύνη righteousness, and its kindred words δίκαιος righteous, and δικαιόω to make righteous, play so important a part in this epistle that it is desirable to fix their meaning as accurately as possible.

Classical Usage. In the Greek classics there appears an eternal, divine, unwritten principle of right, dwelling in the human consciousness, shaping both the physical and the moral ordering of the world, and personified as Themis (Θέμις). This word is used as a common noun in the phrase θέμις ἐστὶ it is right (fundamentally and eternally), like the Latin fas est. Thus Homer, of Penelope mourning for Ulysses, θέμις ἐστὶ γυναικός it is the sacred obligation of the wife (founded in her natural relation to her husband, ordained of heaven) to mourn ("Odyssey," 14, 130). So Antigone appeals to the unwritten law against the barbarity of refusing burial to her brother.

"Nor did I deem thy edicts strong enough,

That thou, a mortal man, shouldst overpass

The unwritten laws of God that know not change."

Sophocles, "Antigone," 453-455.

See, also, "Odyssey," 14, 91; Aristophanes, "Clouds," 140; "Antigone," 880.

This divine ordering requires that men should be shown or pointed to that which is according to it - a definite circle of duties and obligations which constitute right (δίκη). Thus what is δίκαιος righteous, is properly the expression of the eternal Themis. While δίκη and θέμις are not to be distinguished as human and divine, δίκη has a more distinctively human, personal character, and comes into sharper definition. It introduces the distinction between absolute right and power. It imposes the recognition of a moral principle over against an absolutely constraining natural force. The conception of δίκη is strongly moral. Δίκαιος is right; δικαιοσύνη is rightness as characterizing the entire being of man.

There is a religious background to the pagan conception. In the Homeric poems morality stands in a relation, loose and undeveloped indeed, but none the less real, to religion. This appears in the use of the oath in compacts; in the fear of the wrath of heaven for omission of sacrifices; in regarding refusal of hospitality as an offense against Zeus, the patron of strangers and suppliants. Certain tribes which are fierce and uncivilized are nevertheless described as δίκαιοι righteous. "The characteristic stand-point of the Homeric ethics is that the spheres of law, of morals, and of religion are by no means separate, but lie side by side in undeveloped unity." (Nagelsbach).

In later Greek literature this conception advances, in some instances, far toward the christian ideal; as in the fourth book of Plato's "Laws," where he asserts that God holds in His hand the beginning, middle, and end of all things; that justice always follows Him, and punishes those who fall short of His laws. Those who would be dear to God must be like Him. Without holiness no man is accepted of God.

Nevertheless, however clearly the religious background and sanction of morality may be recognized, it is apparent that the basis of right is found, very largely, in established social usage. The word ethics points first to what is established by custom. While with Mr. Grote we must admit the peculiar emphasis on the individual in the Homeric poems, we cannot help observing a certain influence of social sentiment on morals. While there are cases like the suitors, Paris and Helen, where public opinion imposes no moral check, there are others where the force of public opinion is clearly visible, such as Penelope and Nausicaa. The Homeric view of homicide reveals no relation between moral sentiment and divine enactment. Murder is a breach of social law, a private and civil wrong, entailing no loss of character. Its penalty is a satisfaction to the feelings of friends, or a compensation for lost services.

Later, we find this social aspect of morality even more strongly emphasized. "The city becomes the central and paramount source of obligation. The great, impersonal authority called 'the Laws' stands out separately, both as guide and sanction, distinct from religious duty or private sympathy" (Grote). Socrates is charged with impiety because he does not believe in the gods of the state, and Socrates himself agrees that that man does right who obeys what the citizens have agreed should be done, and who refrains from what they forbid.


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