Rev 19:8 Righteousness/Righteous deeds?
Bryant J. Williams III
bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Tue Oct 15 11:58:31 EDT 2002
DIKN + cognates have the meaning of "conformity to a norm" as the basic idea. This means that
usage will be fall in several areas to refer to legal, social, cultural, ethical norms. This
word group always has the legal and ethical aspect present, but it is the context that
determines which aspect is being emphasized. The uses of DIKAIOSUNH in Matthew 6:1 and James 2
have the meaning of "righteous deeds/acts," but Paul uses a legal aspect in Romans 3:20-26 and
Galatians 2. I might point out that Genesis 38:26 (LXX) has Judah proclaiming with reference to
Tamar, "She is more righteous (DEDIKAIWTAI) than I." Now, Tamar was conforming to the cultural
norm (later proscribed in Mosaic legislation) of the Levirate marriage, Judah had not. This is a
cultural/social aspect that is being emphasized here. It must be remembered that to the Jews,
and early Greek literature, that the "conformity to a norm" was a "divine norm." Thus, for Jews,
conformity to God's (YHWH's) revelation as found in the Tanak/OT.
Now, as to Rev 19:8, righteousness here is "righteous deeds." The context of the passage is not
of "justification." The bride, the church, is now being clothed in her wedding garment which is
the "righteous deeds of the SAINTS" (emphasis added). This is very Jewish in its description of
a wedding celebration.
Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
----- Original Message -----
From: "nick lunn" <nick_lunn at wycliffe.org>
To: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2002 10:41 AM
Subject: [b-greek] Rev 19:8 Righteousness/Righteous deeds?
> Revelation 19:7-8 (NIV) says:-
> Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the
> Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
> Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen
> stands for the righteous acts [TA DIKAIWMATA] of the saints.)
> Just about every English version I consulted translates TA DIKAIWMATA
> as 'righteous acts', 'righteous deeds' or 'good deeds'.
> If this is a correct translation of this neuter plural noun, then I
> find it strange. Such a reading seems to go against the Pauline
> doctrine of justification by faith rather than by works. But more than
> that, in this context (and elsewhere in Revelation, e.g. 3:18) the
> garments are said to be 'given', that is, they are not naturally our
> My question is: Is there anything to support the interpretation of
> this plural noun as signifying 'righteousness'? This is how the old
> KJV renders it. I note that Leon Morris in his commentary on the
> Revelation (Tyndale) understands the word in terms of a 'sentence of
> justification', that is, the divine pronouncement of acquittal
> bestowed upon each faithful believer - hence, he says, the plural
> form. Can this comment be substantiated?
> I'd appreciate your feedback.
> Nick Lunn
> Wycliffe Bible Translators
> B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
> You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [bjwvmw at com-pair.net]
> To unsubscribe, forward this message to $subst('Email.Unsub')
> To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek at franklin.oit.unc.edu
> This Mail has been Scanned for Viruses as a courtesy of
> Com-Pair Services
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.393 / Virus Database: 223 - Release Date: 9/30/02
This Mail has been Scanned for Viruses as a courtesy of
More information about the B-Greek