Interesting articles on Sola Fide and the Scriptural concept of “Justification” via Grace Online Library

“In other words we do not justify ourselves before God. God justifies us, and He does it–and this is the argument of the first four chapters–entirely apart from us and our works. It is not the result of any merit that is in us.”Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Exposition of Romans 8:28-30

“The Latin Vulgate, Jerome’s 4th century translation of the Scriptures, had been the official translation throughout the middle ages, and its integrity was generally assumed. But then came the Renaissance, a recovery of classical learning that included a return to the original Greek text of Scripture. As Oxford theologian Alister McGrath observes, the best example of the errors in the Latin Vulgate, corrected in tail end of the Renaissance, concerns its translation of the Greek word “dikaiosune,” which means “to declare righteous.” It is a legal term, a verdict. But the Latin Vulgate had translated “dikaiosune” with the Latin word iustificare, which means “to make righteous.” Erasmus and a host of classical scholars recognized that the Greek text required an understanding of justification that referred to a change in status rather than to a change in behavior or mode of being. Again, Erasmus had no doctrinal stake in this matter. He was not only a loyal son of the Roman church; he had engaged in heated polemics with Luther over free will. Nevertheless, he was Europe’s leading authority on the classical languages and could not overlook the glaring mistranslations. For this reason it has been said that Erasmus laid the egg that Luther hatched. It is quite remarkable that the Roman Church would continue to embrace its erroneous view of justification, given the advances in scholarship by their own best minds.”Michael Horton: Are We Justified by Faith Alone?

“Dikaiosune…” How’s that pronounced? As spelled?


  1. rowster says:

    I think it’s di-ka-io-su-ne. Anyway … interesting stuff, Ordo! Should you be interested in looking at an alternate exegesis, you might want to browse through (especially the fifth paragraph from the bottom).

  2. Paulo says:

    Hey, thanks, Rowie! I’ve been thinking on that exact issue myself: how the Epistle to the Romans and the Epistle of James both make reference to how “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” The article you pointed out helps a lot.

    I can always trust you for a sober and rational Catholic viewpoint. :)

  3. Paulo says:

    Wait… the comment script ate your link. Here it is…


  4. garver says:


    Actually, given the fact that the verb form (“dikaioun”) is an “-oo” form (like “douloun,” meaning “to make a slave”), at first glance it would seem to mean “to make righteous” (and in some contexts it may mean that). Jerome’s mistake is thus quite understandable.

    However, against the backdrop of Old Testament usage (e.g., throughout Isaiah) of the Hebrew root “zdq,” the Greek does definitely take on “law court” connotations of a verdict vindicating someone, within the wider context of God’s covenant promise to vindicate Israel.

    Most competent scholars today, Catholic or Protestant, readily admit the judicial force of the verb. But that doesn’t answer the further question of on what basis such a verdict is made by God and how we receive that verdict.

  5. rowster says:

    No problem, Pau! :) Oops about the link and thanks for fixing it. :)