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Ferdinand Christian Baur.

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finite, whatever importance it may seem to have when regarded by
itself, can appear no otherwise but in its finiteness and nothingness;
while, on the contrary, to him who lives only in the finite, and has
never learned to direct himself towards the absolute, the absolute
does not exist at all; it is a sphere entirely closed to his
consciousness; it is a thing altogether transcendent and incompre-
hensible ; he can hold it for nothing but foolishness. This is the
difference between the psychical and the pneumatical man; the
psychical man does not receive into himself the spiritual, the divine,
that which is the contents of the spiritual Christian consciousness,
for to him it is foohshness; it transcends his consciousness, he can-
not comprehend it, because it must be spiritually comprehended.
The spiritual man, on the other hand, possesses the adequate form
of comprehension for everything, but he himseK is beyond the ade-
quate comprehension of every one who is not himself spiritual (1 Cor.
ii. 14, 15). This is the absolute superiority of the stand-point of
the Christian consciousness. He who occupies the absolute stand-
point possesses in it the absolute standard for everything that is
merely relative ; but he who holds to the relative, the finite, will
always remain in an inadequate relation to the absolute. In all
this we have the explanation which the apostle himseK has given
us of the principle of his Christian consciousness.



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SECOND CHAPTER

THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION. — (1.) IN ITS NEGATIVE ASPECT :
o avOpciyiro^ ov Bifcatourai ef cfyyoov vofiov.

The Christian consciousness is, in its principle, as we have
shown, an essentially spiritual one ; the spirit which speaks in it
is the spirit of God himself. Being a spiritual consciousness in
this sense, it is further the consciousness of the sonship of God,
of communion and union with God, of reconciliation with Him.
Since, however, this reconciliation with God is, as the Christian
idea of it implies, a thing that has had a beginning, the first question
to be asked in order to a more definite understanding of the contents
of the Christian consciousness is, how this reconciliation has been
brought about. The answer to this question is found in the chief
proposition of the Pauline doctrine, — that man is justified, not by-
works of the law, but by faith. In this antithesis of the SiKaioavvri
ef epr/dDv vdfiov, and the SiKauxrvvrf i/c irlareo^, the apostle's
doctrine moves through its essential momenta. In the conception
StKatoavprj, it has its roots in the soil of the Jewish religion, to
which that conception belongs ; but in the peculiar Christian con-
ception of faith, it departs from that religion, and takes up an
attitude of decided opposition to it. These two conceptions are
what we have first of all to consider in seeking to develop the
Pauline doctrine.

In the idea of Sixatoa-vvr), Judaism and Christianity have their
point of meeting, a fact which of itself may show that the meaning
of the term must be wider than the Jewish use of it, viz., righteous-
ness as the statutory perfection of the citizen in the theocratic
state, or, morality in its merely legal aspect. In the apostle Paul's



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Chap. IL] THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION. 135

language BiKauxrvvrj is a conception applicable to both Judaism
and Christianity, and must thus have a higher and more general
meaning ; righteousness is not here a term of a particular religion,
but of a universal one. By the expression SiKauxrvmj, the apostle
denotes that adequate relation towards God, to bring man into
which is the highest task of religion. Eeligion is to make man
blessed, to give him that Jgy, that fto^, which is so closely related
to ZiKaiocrwq, Man can become blessed only by having in
himself that which is the condition of blessedness, and the con-
ception of BucauxrvvTf is in general just this moral conformation
which is the condition of his blessedness, and therefore puts him
in his right relation towards God. The expression denotes, broadly,
the adequateness of the relation subsisting between God and man ;
and since this adequateness can be realized only on the side of
man, by man's having in himself what answers to the idea of (Jod,
the word hiKcuoawq comes to have an almost entirely subjective
meaning ; it signifies that condition of man which answers to the
will of God, or his justification. Since however, this subjective
element on man's side has a real meaning only in so feir as it
answers to something objective, the word hiKaioavvrj is used
further in a more definite sense to express this objective relation.
AiKaioavvq is called BiKauxrvinf Beov (Eom. i. 17, iii. 21, 22, x. 3,
2 Cor. V. 21). The genitive Qeov does not signify the originator,
so that the SiKaioo'ujnj Beov would be the SiKauxrwrj which God
gives ; if so, it would only refer to the BiKaioavvrf Ik irloTea)^ ; it
could not refer to BiKauxrvinf generally (as in the passage PhiL iii.
9, to which the interpreters who take Oeov in this sense appeal, it
is yet only StKatoawrj efc Trterreo)? which is BiKauxrvinj e/c 0€ov),
the Geov can only be taken objectively ; the BiKaioa-wrf Oeov is
that hiKauxrvvr} which is occupied with God, which can take its
direction only towards God, and can be determined only by the
idea of God, by that which God essentially is, and sets up as the
absolute standard. In so far it may be said that the BcKaioa-vinj
Beov is the righteousness which avails before God (compare with
this, SiKaiova-Oou evdnriov &€ov, Eom. iii. 20; BiKaiova-Oai irapa 0€^,



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136 LIFE AND WOBK OF PAUL, [Part III.

GaL iiL 11; HicaLov etvcu-irapa tjJ 66f>, Eom. iL 13) or the
integrUas gwB Deo satis/acit, since what is to avail before God, and
to be acknowledged by him as adequate, can be nothing but what
is founded in his own being, and nas its absolute basis in him the
absolute.^ This Bctcauxrvprf &€ov, then, is, generally speaking, the
adequate relation founded in God's own nature, in which, as the
idea of religion requires, man has to stand towards God. . There
are two forms in which this conception may be realized It will
be either BiKaioavprj ef cfyycav vdfjLov or SiKauxrvvr} Ik 7r/<7T€ci)9. Of
the former, however, the apostle asserts that though it is theoreti-
cally a possible form of the relation, yet it never exists in fact ;
that man ov hvKaLovrcu ef epycov vd/wv, that it is not possible in

^ Usteri (Entwicklung des Paulin. Lehrb., 4 Ansg. 89) explains diKaioavyrj
Bfov incorrectly. He says : — ** The righteousness which man seeks to achieve for
himself is called IbLa (c/ii)) biKaioarvvr}, Rom. x. 3, Phil. iii. 9. The other
righteousness is that which God imputes to men, which is given to men in the
way which God has instituted, by his free gift. This righteousness is ov kotcl
TO, Zpya ^n&v, but bapeav ;(aptri, Kara tov avrov IXcov, and is therefore called
biKaio(rvvTj €K Qeov, PhiL iiL 9, or simply hkKauxrvvt) Gcov, Rom. x. 3. The
biKcuo(rCvrj Oeov being thus the righteousness (of men) which emanates from God,
is also a manifestation of the divine nature (in men). And so the expression is
used as indicating simply a divine attribute, to signify that God's essence is both
righteousness in itself, and the source of righteousness."

The conception biKcuoavvtj Qeov will not be properly understood unless we
regard it as the general, which may appear in the form either of diKcuoavvtj cf
epycav vofjLov, which is theoretically a possible form of the relation, or of biKcuoavvrj
€K maT€(05. The biKaiocrvvrj is the general which is implied in these two par-
ticular forms of biKaioavvri, and in which these forms satisfy their own concep-
tion. But, not to insist on this, the biKaio(rvvr} Qeov cannot possibly be taken as
an attribute of God. God manifests his righteousness in it, it is true, but that
implies that man has that which places him in an adequate relation towards God.
It is this relation which is called hiKaiocrvvri Oeov. Now the diKaioavvrj ck wtV-
T€Ci>5 is an act of grace and not of righteousness (justice), and righteousness is not
the attribute that would be spoken of in the connexion. The author speaks some-
^ what differently, Neutest. TheoL 134. The genitive Qeov might be taken as the
genitive of the object : ** the biKcuoaxnn} which is founded on the nature of God,
or which avails before God ;" but the correct interpretation is to take it as the
genitive of the subject, "the righteousness proceeding from God as its cause, or
produced by God, i.e. the way in which God brings men into an adequate relation
to himself, the way opened up by God for this purpose, or indeed, the new theory
of justification which God has proclaimed.'' He therefore asserts that biKcuoavtni
&€ov is not a general term, including both Judaism and Christianity, and to be
divided into the two forms, the biKoiofrvvq i^ epyav and that ck wloTeas. — Editor.



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Chap. IL] THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION. 137

this way to obtain justification, salvation, life, and all that makes
up man's highest welfare. This is the apgstle's distinct and per-
petually recurring assertion. We have now to examine more
closely what this assertion implies and means.

AiKaioavvrf e^ efyyayp vdfiov is the Jewish form of the BcKaiO"
a-wf) Geov, and is mediated by the law. The law is given to man
simply that he should observe it and work it out in practice ; and
thus, the law being given and known, the way in which man can
set himself in that adequate relation to God which answers to the
idea of religion consists in that practical disposition which issues
in active obedience, in keeping the commandments of the law.
The law, the works of which are the efyya vdfiov, is the law of
Moses, and thus it is only in the domain of the Jewish religion as
the religion of the law that the BiKauxrvvrj e^ efyycav vofiov can be
expected or attained. The moral law generally and the Mosaic
law were not distinguished from each other in the apostle's view,
since the Mosaic law in which God had declared his moral require-
ments, was the most perfect expression of the moral law with
which he was acquainted. Yet the heathen were not simply
avofwi to him. What the law aims at in general is the epyd^eaOai
TO arfaOov, Som. ii. 10. The law is first of all to bring home to
man's consciousness the good which he is to realize practically. Now
it cannot be denied that it is possible for the heathen also to do
right, and therefore they must be supposed to have at least some-
thing analogous to the law. When the Gentiles, the apostle says,
iL 14, do by nature, without positive revelation, what the law
commands, they are, without having any law, a law to themselves,
whereby they practically prove that the essence of the law (this
must be the sense of to cfyyov rod vdfwv ; that which the law is
abstractly, according to its fundamental contents, apart from the
particular form in which it is expressed, as in the Old Testament ;
the €pya vdfiov in their unity) is written in their hearts, while
their conscience bears witness at the same time with the thoughts
which of themselves accuse and excuse each other. There is thus,
as a standard of moral conduct, a natural law independent of all



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138 LIFE AND WORK OF PAUL. [Part III.

positive revelation, manifesting itself in conscience, to the truth of
which the conscience bears witness. Hence if it had been possible
at all to obtain the BiKauxrvvr^ Oeov through the epya vdfiov, this'
road was not quite closed against the heathen. In their case also it
was possible to obtain by the epyd^ea-Oui to aryaOov that blessed-
ness in which religion recognises the aim of man in his relations
God ward. But the SiKaiovo'Bai i^ cfyycov vofiov is not possible at
all ; there is no hucauxrvvrj ef cfyyoDv vofiov, even where the law is
declared with perfect clearness and impressiveness. On this
negative propositioD, first of all, the apostle's doctrine of justifica-
tion is based, and we have only to inquire in what way he arrives
at it. What is the reason that no true Scxaioa-vvr) Oeov can be
attained by any cfyya rod vofiov whatever ; is the reason of this to
be found in the law itself? We might almost be led to think so
when we find the apostle saying, GaL iii 21, el ehoO'q vofw^ 6 ixjva^
fievo^ ^ayoiroirja'ai, ovrto^; av eK vofiou rjv 17 Sucauxrvvrj, If, that is
to say, such a law were given in the Mosaic law as could itself
give life or save, then righteousness would actually come by the
law ; then it would be possible to be justified in the way of law,
through works of law. But this is by no means the case ; on
the way of the law no righteousness is to be obtained (c£ iii. 10).
Thus it is directly asserted here that the law ov Suvarai ^(aoiroirj-
aai ; but how can this be if it be promulgated by God, and given
to men on purpose to ^^(ooTrovi^aai'i Do we not read, GaL iii. 12,
*0 iroiria'a^ avra ^7]a'€Tai ev axrrol^ ? Nor can the apostle find the
reason of this ov Bvvaa-Oai ^tooiromv in the nature of the law itself,
for he recognises fully that the nature of the law is in itself spiritual
and good OvBafiev yap on 6 vofio<i TrvevfiaTiKo^ eariv, Eom. vii. 14
(cf. ver. 1 2 : oxrTe 6 fiev vofio^ ar/to<;, koL t) evToXrj ar/la koI Bixala
Kol a/yaO^), In any case, then, it was not the defectiveness or im-
perfection of the law that produced the want, but on the contrary,
the perfection of it, its spirituality, that it stands too far from him,
and too high above him for man to be able to fulfil it This may be
regarded as a defect in the law, but, in order to decide how far the
law itself is to blame, we must pass from the side of the law to the



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Chap. II.] THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION. 139

side of man^ and inquire into the nature of man in its relation to
the law. This relation has already been suggested by the expres-
sion used of the law, Eom. vii. 14, that it is TrvevfiariKo^. If
man's nature were as spiritual as the law is spiritual, both would
agree together, so that any contradiction between them would be
out of the questioiL The spiritual purpose of the law would find
itself naturally and completely fulfilled in the spiritual nature of
man. But this harmony cannot take place, since man is not only
spiritual, but camaL In the flesh lies the reason why the vdfio^
is not Swdfievo<: ^(ooTrotfjaai, as for its own part it might be. The
apostle speaks. Bom. viii 3, of the aSvvarov rov vdfiov ev 50 'qaOevec
Sui T^9 aapKo^. The law's inability, as things are, to effect what
foj its own part it might have effected, is due to this, — that the
flesh crippled its power, that the strength of the law was broken
against the opposition which the flesh presented; and so it appeared
in this case only in its weakness and inability. As man then is
not only spirit, but, on one side of his nature at least, is flesh also,
and as the law, which is spiritual in its nature, cannot effect what
for its part it might have effected, what takes place in man when
the law comes to him with its demands is just that opposition by
which his whole nature is brought into conflict with itself, in which
the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh ;
and as soon as the flesh obtains the mastery, all those works appear
which the apostle calls ra epya rtj^ <rapKo^, GaL v. 19 sq. The aap^
is in one word the seat and organ of dfiapria, and the wages of sin
is death, Eom. vi. 23. Where sin is, death is also, as, even in the
first man, death came into the world along with sin, Eom. v. 12.
How then can the law make alive, when man, following the im-
pulses of his nature, and entangled in sin, which is the natural ope-
ration of the flesh, falls at once and entirely under the power of
death ? The law cannot but condemn what is opposite to the law
in man, and so is worthy of condemnation. It must pronounce
the verdict of death upon sin. Eegarded in this light, the law is
simply the ypdfifm which kills, and its office is the Bulkovui t^9
KaTaKpla-eax;, rov OavdroVs 2 Cor. iii. 6 sq. If, however, we are to



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140 LIFE AND WOBK OF PAUL. [Part III.

understand aright this opposition which the law, originally and
naturally life-giving, finds in the flesh of man, we must not take up
too narrow an idea of what is meant by the flesh. Man is flesh,
not only on one side of his nature; regarded according to his
natural constitution he is flesh altogether. The spirit, which is
the opposite of the flesh, has been imparted to man only through
the grace that was given in Christ. Originally, then, he can have
been nothing else but flesh. The flesh is therefore not merely the
body with its bodily impulses, it is the sensuous principle which
dominates the whole man in soul and body. Out of this arises
sin in all the various aspects it assumes in human life, so that sin
does not consist merely in the indulgence of bodily lusts and
desires.^ In himself, as he is by nature, man is only aapKiici^ or
'^v^LKo^ (hence Kara aapKa Trepiwarecv is, with our apostle, iden-
tical with Kara avBpoyrrov TrepnraTelv), he becomes irvevfuiTLKo^
when, through faith in the grace of God in Christ, he has received
the spirit into himself as the principle of his Christian conscious-
ness and life, cf. 1 Cor. ii. 14 ; iii. 1 sq. Thus it is very natural
that while man has no epya vdfiov to point to, but in place of these
only epya aapKo^, there can be no SiKau)V(rdai ef epyoDv vdfiov. If
the law be, as the apostle says, a i;ofw>9 7rv€VfiaTLKo<;, then the whole
relation of the law to man must bring to light that state of contra-
diction between spirit and flesh in which the law is nothing but
the condemnation of dfMaprca as the operation of the <rap^, and can
hold no other relation towards man but that of negation and hos-
tility. But the iiKatova-Oai e^ epyoov vo/jlov, as the apostle speaks
of it, must be held to imply that epya vofiov exist as weU as epya
a-ap/co*;. And thus, though man be essentially flesh, yet there
must be in him a spiritual principle which is at least analogous to
the divine wvevfia, and makes it possible for him not only Kara

^ In the Neutest. Theol. (and compare my observations, Theol. Jahrb. i. 83
sq., xiii. 301) it is asserted distinctly that according to the fundamental ideas of
the Pauline anthropology the aap^ is the material body, which, however, is not
conceived as inanimate, but as a being with life and peculiar impulses and powers
inherent in it ; that thus the ^^v^^ proceeds from it, and also the vovs or hiunan
irvtvfM, to be carefully distinguished from the divine Tri^vfia.



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Chap. IL] THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION, 141

capKa irepinrarelv, but to raise himself above the sphere of
the aap^ and of the av6p(iyn'o<i aapKiKo^ or '^rt^t#co9. This must
indeed be the ease ; for if man had nothing spiritual in him by
nature, he would not have even that natural receptivity which is
necessary for the entrance of the spiritual element, to be communi-
cated by God's grace. If then there be ep^^a vdfMov, which are
essentially different from the epya r^9 a-apKo^, how can it be main-
tained at the same time that there is no such thing as BiKaioauvff
€^ epycDv vdfjLov 1 Though they be not perfectly adequate to the
law, yet they must be of such a nature as to stand in no positive
opposition to it, as the epya aapico^ do, but only in a position more
or less inadequate. How then can it be said so nakedly that they
have no justifying power, and stand in a merely negative relation
to the SiKaioo-vvrj Beov ? Yet this is the apostle's assertion, and
the reason for this assertion is, that the epya vofiov cannot do away
with the might of the dftaprla which reigns in man's a-ap^. Thus,
in this case also, the law can only condemn that which is sin ; but
the peculiarity of the apostle's doctrine here is, that not only does
the law pass the condemning verdict on the sin actually existing
in contradiction to itself, but that it also brings sin to its full
reality in man. The reason of the ov BiKaiova-Oai ef epytov vofiov
is thus in the law itself after alL The negative part of the apostle's
doctrine of justification comes to a point in the proposition which
sounds so paradoxical : 17 Bvvafu^ rry; dftaprla^ vofio^, 1 Cor. xv*
56. What gives sin its power, its significance, and its reality —
what makes it become that which it is, what makes it sin, is the
law. How can this be ?

The answer to the question lies in the undeniable truth, that
sin is what it is essentially and simply through man's consciousness
of it ; where there is no conscioiisness of sin, there is no sin. Now
the consciousness of sin comes by the law ; for it is just the law
that says to man what he is to do or not to do, and thus the law
is to man the standard of his whole moral behaviour, to conform to
it or not. This is what the apostle insists upon so emphatically
in Rom. vii. At ver. 5, he says, " As long as we were living the life



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142 LIFE AND WORK OF PAUL. [Part III.

which is dominated by the flesh, the passions which lead to sins
were active in our members, being stirred up by the law, in order
to bear fruit for deatL" Then at verse 7 he asks, " What do I say
then ? is the law sin ? certainly not, but I would not have known
sin except through the law, and I would have known nothing of
lust if the law had not said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking
occasion therefrom, worked in me through the commandment
the whole of lust, for without the law sin is dead. I lived once
without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived,
and I fell into the power of death, and the commandment which
was given for life, was found by me to be a thing leading to death.
For sin, having thus taken its occasion, misled me through the
commandment, and by it slew me. The law indeed is holy, and
the commandment is holy, just, and 'good. Did that which is
good then become death to me ? No, but sin ; that it might appear
how sin through that which is good works death to me, that sin
through the commandment might appear as sinful as possible.*'
Vers. 7-13,

Thus sin is dead or slumbers in the consciousness as long as
the absence of consciousness of any law or prohibition precludes
transgression ; so soon, however, as one knows what one may do or
not do, sin begins at once to stir; it awakes, as it were, out of its
slumber, one becomes aware of the possibility of doing what he
should not do. With the knowledge of what is forbidden comes
also the desire to do it ; and if sin has once been committed, the
consciousness cannot be wanting that through it one has fallen into
the power of death, which the law makes the consequence of sin.
In proportion, therefore, as the consciousness of sin is awakened
through the law (8ia yap vd/wv eiriyvaxnf; aftaprla^, Rom. .
iii. 20), sin itself reaches its reality, because sin exists essentially
just in the consciousness that one has of it. Thus without the
law there is no sin, and yet the law is not the cause of sin. The
more the law brings home to a man the consciousness of sin, the
less is a justification through the law, a Bixaiovo-Oai ef epywv vdfiov,
possible. He feels only his antagonism to the law, or if he has



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Chap. II.] THE DOCTBINE OF JUSTIFICATION. 143

€pya vofjLov to show, he feels only the inadequate relation in which
they stiU stand to the law ; if the law can justify through ep^a
vdfiov, it can only justify him whose epya vdfiov are completely
adequate to the law, and extend to all its commandments. But
what does the moral consciousness say here, when it is brought to
confront the law ? All who seek to obtain justification in the way
of epya vofiov are under the curse, for it is written, " Cursed is every
one who does not keep all that is written in the book of the law
to do it," to carry it out in his acts. As long as the law stands,
therefore, no one can be justified before God, Gal. iiL 10. This is
the testimony which every man's moral consciousness bears to
him, and it is confirmed by universal experience among heathens
and Jews, as the apostle shows in the first chapters of the Epistle
to the Eomans. But not only does the law awaken the consciousness
of sin by saying to every man what sin is, and how much in what
he does and leaves undone is simply sin, so that at no point in his
life does he stand in a perfectly adequate relation to the law, so



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