The Bible is indeed an amazing book. In the academic world alone many thousands of scholars continue year after year to find it an inexhaustible mine in which they dig and delve and probe and experiment; and as the years go by the vast amount of scholarship devoted to the critical and analytical study of the sacred text shows no sign of diminishing. The great pitfall which intellectual activity of this kind does not always succeed in avoiding is that of a perspective which has room only for technicalities, thus tending to permit preoccupation with the letter to smother the spirit of the text and to forget that the primary purpose of Holy Scripture is to make man “wise unto salvation which is through faith in Christ Jesus.” But that the sacred text should be searched and pondered is a vital task of the Church in every generation.
The Expository Times (January, 1957) contains a stimulating article by Professor T. F. Torrance of Edinburgh on “One Aspect of the Biblical Conception of Faith.” We have by now become familiar with the contention that in the New Testament the word “faith” (pistis) should in important instances be understood as “faithfulness”, particularly divine faithfulness. For example, Romans 1:17—“The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith”—may, as Dr. Torrance points out, be taken to mean that God’s righteousness is revealed from God’s faithfulness to man’s faith. “God”, he expounds, draws man within the sphere of his own faithfulness and righteousness and gives man to share in it, so that his faith is embraced by God’s faithfulness.” Or again, Romans 3:3 may be rendered: “Shall their faithlessness make of none effect the faithfulness of God?” Other significant texts mentioned are Romans 3:22 and ...1
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