Paul Never Says “by Faith Alone”: A Pauline Studies Pet Peeve

Paul Never Says “by Faith Alone”: A Pauline Studies Pet Peeve

During my reading for preliminary exams (generally a frustrating exercise, given that I was forced to read lots of infuriating scholarship without the ability to respond to it anytime soon), one mistake came up surprisingly often in the literature: Pauline scholars—who of all people should know better—referencing the “Pauline” doctrine of “salvation/justification by faith alone.” Yikes. It’s no wonder laypeople are so consistently misinformed on this point if scholars focusing on Paul regularly make this mistake themselves.

I was especially surprised to see someone of the stature of Jimmy Dunn making this mistake throughout the collection of his essays in The New Perspective on Paul. Obviously Dunn is a tremendous scholar, but it is a mystery to me how he can make statements like this:

Putting the point from Paul’s perspective, Paul was clear that justification is by faith alone: to regard any ‘works of the law’ as essential (in addition to faith) undermines ‘faith alone’. The gospel principle is clear: ‘no one is justified by works of the law, but only (ean mē) through faith in Jesus Christ’ (Gal. 2.16). [p. 25]

Apparently in the absence of Paul every saying “faith alone,” one must try to stretch ἐὰν μή to mean “only” (and only “only”). Unfortunately, that isn’t what it typically means in phrases like this, instead meaning something like “unless” or “without,” resulting in “a person is not justified by works of the law unless through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.” (I suppose this is worth a later post.) More Dunn:

That’s right, country music fans, not one of Paul’s letters teaches “faith alone.”

The thought of earning ‘the election of grace’ by the ‘works’ (to be subsequently) performed by the elect people is far from the thought. The challenge to Paul’s mission was rather that those who accept the gospel and receive the Spirit ought therefore to do the works of the covenant’s law, and that failure to do these works amounts to a refusal to accept the terms of God’s covenanted favour. That is what was at issue, and that is what Paul denied: God’s acceptance was by grace through faith alone. [p.51]

No. A thousand times no! Paul’s argument is that the old covenant had achieved its purpose and was fulfilled when Christ fulfilled its curses in his own person. Paul protested a going back to the old covenant, back to the flesh, once the new (the Spirit) had come. Paul was not arguing against covenantal nomism, which he upholds (as even Ed Sanders admits with respect to 1 & 2 Corinthians).

The primary question was whether these works were obligatory (also) for Gentile believers. Paul’s response had been clear: only faith was necessary; to require works of the law in addition to faith was to subvert the gospel of justification by faith alone (Rom. 3.28; 9.30-32; Gal. 2.15-16). Here the thought seems to have broadened out to refer to human effort in general as inadequate to the demands of salvation; salvation could be accomplished only by grace alone through faith alone. [p. 56]

So let me get this straight: Paul’s answer was something he never says?

But if, on the other hand, Paul is entirely serious, on the ground that ‘everyone who does good’ refers only to the Christians, then Paul’s theology of justification by faith alone has to be qualified as final justification by faith and by works accomplished by the believer in the power of the Spirit. If Paul is thus vulnerable to such a charge being levied against him, despite his insistence elsewhere that justification is by faith alone and entirely on the basis of grace, then at the very least the charges brought against Judaism’s ‘covenantal nomism’ should be a good deal less fault-finding. [pp. 87–88]

Argh. This whole section is invalidated by the problem that Paul never upheld a “theology of justification by faith alone,” nor did Paul bring charges against “Judaism’s ‘covenantal nomism’.”

The most frustrating thing about this is that I found so much of value in this volume (and others like it), only for everything to get dashed on the rocks of “faith alone.” Precision is so important in exegesis, and if we’re to do honest exegesis of Paul that isn’t simply an apologetic for the Paul of the Reformers, we should really insist that we start with what Paul actually says rather than what other interpreters have said he said. This requires that we drop “faith alone” when discussing Paul, since Paul does not ever use this phrase. It is perfectly fine to use this term when discussing Reformation theology, but it is out of place in a historical examination of the Apostle himself (except perhaps to point out that he never makes use of the phrase).

22 Comments
  • Stephen C. Carlson
    Posted at 15:01h, 03 June Reply

    Maybe Dunn was reading Paul in the original German?

  • David Burnett
    Posted at 10:44h, 14 July Reply

    I hear ya man. It truly is frustrating.

  • Daniel
    Posted at 15:32h, 29 September Reply

    I think, though the phrase may never be used, the principle certainly is. “However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.” -Romans 4:5

    “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” – Ephesians 2:8

    I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

    • Jason A. Staples
      Posted at 12:06h, 07 October Reply

      Quite the opposite. Neither the phrase nor the principle are used.

      Firstly, When Paul says faithfulness is credited as righteousness, he does not say a person is justified or saved “by faith alone,” nor does his larger argument come anywhere close to saying such a thing.

      Secondly, when Ephesians says a person has been saved by grace, that rules out any possibility that it is “by faith alone,” as grace (χάρις) is always and everywhere a term involving reciprocity. Paul saying that salvation is covenantal and predicated on faithfulness by no means suggests “by faith alone”—quite the opposite!

  • Rita Schmeck
    Posted at 14:40h, 21 November Reply

    I am a little confused…In Galatians 2:16 doesn’t Paul say that man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith of Jesus Christ?

    • Todd Gack
      Posted at 14:43h, 21 November Reply

      By our acts of obedience a born again believer reveals his faith, which is why faith without works is dead.

    • Jason A. Staples
      Posted at 14:55h, 21 November Reply

      1) Not all works are “works of the law”; that is a subset of “works” qualified by “of the law.”
      2) “Justified” is not the same as “saved.”
      3) If you read just a little further in Galatians, Paul says, “Whatever a person sows, that he will also reap,” warning the Galatians that they need to obey and produce the fruit that will lead to eternal life.

  • Andy Doerksen
    Posted at 15:53h, 03 August Reply

    So if the classic evangelistic scenario were to transpire in my own case – I die and go the Pearly Gates and am asked, “Why should you be allowed into Heaven?” – I could answer “Partly through faith in Christ, and partly by my own works” . . . ?

    Nowhere does the Bible _say_ “Trinity,” either, but the concept is definitely taught. Sames goes for salvation by faith alone.

    • Jason A. Staples
      Posted at 16:00h, 03 August Reply

      No. The correct answer would be “by grace” (χάρις), which by definition includes works. Your strawman response wrongly suggests that the works of faithfulness required for salvation must be “my own,” as though any works a person does could be performed without the empowerment of God’s grace. The concept of salvation by faith alone never appears in the New Testament.

      Instead, salvation is consistently presented as the result of the reciprocal process of grace, which provides the means of justification, and justification results in the righteousness that saves. And the glue that binds that reciprocal grace relationship from beginning to end is faithfulness (πίστις). But it is incoherent to suggest that πίστις is the only thing necessary, as it depends on the other aspects of the process just as they depend upon it.

  • Andy Doerksen
    Posted at 16:01h, 03 August Reply

    I expressed it this way to someone else recently: Calvin grasped the biblical teaching that “we are saved by faith alone, but saving faith is never alone.” (Paraphrased) In other words: genuine saving faith produces spiritual fruit. This is consistent with the doctrine of “faith alone.”

    The thread can be seen clearly in Galatians:

    “. . . [D]id you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by  hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? . . . For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. . . . But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. . . . But the fruit of the Spirit is . . .” (3:2-3; 5:5-6, 16).

    Paul also uses the term /chōris/, “apart [from],” multiple times in his argument to the Romans about justification (3:21, 28; 4:6) – yet doesn’t hesitate elsewhere to say that God expects good works as part of our new life in Christ (8:6-13). If we are justified through faith “apart from” works, then obviously we’re justified by faith alone.

    So although fruit / good works are a natural part of the Christian life, we never have grounds to claim, “I was saved partly by faith and partly by my works” (Eph. 2:8-10). And if works aren’t a causal factor in our salvation, then logically we are saved by faith alone, because there’s nothing left over.

    The key, I believe, to grasping the nuance in James is his phrasing in 2:14: “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that [lit. “the”] faith save him?” (NASB) Thereafter in his discussion through v. 26, when James refers to “faith,” he has in mind merely professed faith, raw intellectual assent – not the legitimate personal trust that receives the Holy Spirit and engenders fruit in the believer’s life.

    Yes, I realize that justification =/= “salvation” in total. Nonetheless, the same principle is applied consistently throughout the Bible: salvation by grace through faith alone. Yes, works must be part of a believer’s life, but they’re works generated by the power of the Holy Spirit through faith; hence it’s never “faith PLUS works.” It’s faith; period. And real faith will produce works.

    Not really seeing what’s so difficult here.

    • Jason A. Staples
      Posted at 23:53h, 06 August Reply

      Calvin quite simply got this wrong (in addition to besmirching the character of God throughout his theological system, as John Wesley pointed out). The New Testament nowhere teaches the concept or doctrine of “faith alone.”

      Instead, when Paul explains the process of salvation, he makes it very clear that it is a matter of works: “Accomplish/work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to work according to his good pleasure” (Phil 2:12–13). But he distinguishes between “works of law”/”works of the flesh,” which he adamantly insists do not save, and “the works of faithfulness” (1 Thess 1:3/2 Thess 1:11)/”obedience of faithfulness” (Rom 1:5), which are empowered by God’s grace and are salvific.

      Paul repeatedly emphasizes that the final judgment will be based upon works and that this is true for all, believers or unbelievers. But he declares that those who trust Christ will receive grace that empowers them to righteousness and thereby to works that lead to a good judgment (Rom 2 is basically explaining this very thing).

      For Paul, it is not that a person’s belief brings salvation and that the byproduct of that salvation is that a person produces good works. It’s rather that God’s grace makes a person righteous, which leads to salvation when that person’s righteous works produced by walking by the spirit are ultimately judged. This is quite different from Calvin’s distortion of Paul’s teaching.

      I don’t see what’s so difficult here, either. Unfortunately, several very influential theologians over the centuries have polluted the stream sufficiently to complicate matters.

      • Jeff R.
        Posted at 22:09h, 30 September Reply

        Seeing as you seem very knowledgeable about this, I have a question regarding Paul and his apparent contradictions with Jesus, the largest of which are on whether we still need to keep the Mosaic law.

        Here is the verse where Jesus says we still need to:
        Matthew 5:17-19: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not [h]the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches [i]others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever [j]keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

        Luke 16:16-17: 16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God [n]has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one [o]stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.

        And there is also the more specific scenario where Paul says it’s ok to eat meat sacrificed to idols, but says one shouldn’t due to hurting another’s conscience. This contrasts with what Jesus says in Revelation in some of His messages to the churches, where He condemns eating food sacrificed to idols. The first two points brought up in this link have relevant verses on what I just talked about:

        https://www.jesuswordsonly.com/books/175-pauls-contradictions-of-jesus.html

        I don’t agree with most of the points brought up in this link, but these two points I do, as I can see no solid argument against them. The only one I’ve heard was that Jesus was talking about the moral law that continues, not the ritualistic one, but that argument gets debunked when one looks at the instances where the Greek word behind “law” in that scenario was used, and sees that’s it’s talking about ritualistic as well as moral instances of the Mosaic law.

        • Jason A. Staples
          Posted at 14:47h, 04 October Reply

          The problem is that Paul does not proclaim the abolition of the law at all, so the basic premise of the distinction is mistaken. Paul himself would agree with both of those passages, as he makes it very clear that he understands his mission as to “establish the law” (Rom 3:31).

          Paul also doesn’t say it’s “ok to eat meat sacrificed to idols”; this is again a misunderstanding. Rather, he has to explain why, in the light of his gospel, people shouldn’t eat meat sacrificed to idols. His response is that there is nothing inherently wrong or dangerous with eating the meat itself, but eating that meat while knowing it is sacrificed is an unloving act and should therefore not be done. Those passages are ultimately about the reason meat sacrificed to idols is forbidden, not licensing the behavior.

          Paul plainly teaches that his gospel is all about people receiving the capacity to fulfill the “righteous requirements of the law” (Rom 2:29) and doing so, resulting in their salvation. Anyone who teaches that Paul’s gospel was against law-keeping or that the law was abolished is incorrect.

  • William knight
    Posted at 15:55h, 20 July Reply

    I write things down as I study scriptures and for inspiration and possibly edification but came across your article Grace Faith justification what was Paul really teaching as I said I write things down which I wrote this about a week prior to reading this article and it goes as such in the day of my trouble I will call upon you oh God 4 you will answer me amen thank you Jesus with loving thankfulness and teach me your love your loving kindness amen lead me into all good works by faith in Jesus through Jesus for True righteousness fill my heart with your grace oh God so that the restraints of the law I can fulfill through Christ Jesus with love and joy oh how wonderful is your great love oh Lord how great is your mercy oh how great are t h e e I believe in you by faith in t h e e to do all things with peace in t h e e

  • Frank Voutsakis
    Posted at 21:49h, 28 December Reply

    Every parable of Jesus in all 4 Gospels point to His teachings. The core of this is love of thy neighbor, repentance, forgiveness, obedience to God’s word, and most of all mercy. Nearly all, if not every single parable has this as its goal. The parables categorically point to works as that which exhibits faith in and to God. The mere profession of faith in God on one;s lips is done even by the false prophets and indeed even by the demons.. James 2:19

    One cannot reconcile the doctrines of “by faith alone” or “by grace alone” or “by scripture alone” with Matthew 25:31-40 or the parables of Jesus as a whole, or the Sermon on the Mount or the Prayer that Jesus gave us. These solas are theological doctrines made by men to exalt themselves, not the word of God as given by Christ. Jesus preached the Commandments anew. This was His word. Those who love him follow his teachings. See e.g. John 14:15-24 or indeed the entire Gospel of John.

    Paul preached a theology and christology and set all of Christendom on the course it has taken., divided and laced with the venom of the father of lies. Some of the church fathers and especially the reformers hung on Paul’s words as if he were the Christ. And we all know they had their agendas.

    • Jason A. Staples
      Posted at 23:20h, 28 December Reply

      You must not have read the post. It’s not Paul’s theology that has done what you suggest; it was those who came after him. Like Jesus, Paul taught that works were necessary for salvation. For example, Philippians 2:12 says, “Work out [could also be translated “achieve] your salvation with fear and trembling.”

      • ChangWan Choe
        Posted at 20:25h, 15 February Reply

        In your response above, you wrote, “Philippians 2:12 says, “Work out [could also be translated “achieve] your salvation with fear and trembling.” I think verse 12 has to be read with verse 13 because it seems to be talking about the role of God’s grace in a saved person’s good work. It seems to be a stretch to say these verses seems to be advocating faith+works. It seems to be along the lines of “you are saved, live by the Spirit”

        • Jason A. Staples
          Posted at 11:32h, 16 February Reply

          Yes, Phil 2:12 must be taken together with 2:13. But you are mistaken that it is “the role of God’s grace in a saved person’s good work.” The problem is that you are presuming that the person is already saved, but the passage does not work that way. Instead, it is the role of God’s grace in the justified person’s life, which culminates in final salvation. It’s not “you are saved, live by the Spirit,” but rather, “You have been justified, live by the Spirit that you might be saved.”

  • David Sprague
    Posted at 21:32h, 11 March Reply

    Jason,
    You seem to be an alternative point of view from “jesuswordsonly” and you give reasons. I will consider both views fairly and make up my mind. There is a lot to dispel as far as Paul having a stance against the law contrary to Jesus:

    Romans 10:4 New International Version (NIV)
    4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
    ?

    Thanks in advance,
    Dave

  • Troy G
    Posted at 16:55h, 29 May Reply

    I find your reasoning pedantic.
    You’re looking for magic words – “salvation by faith alone.”
    Paul’s teachings are mainly a ministry toward Gentiles and for the Jews – providing an argument of justification in Jesus Christ for Gentiles rather than under Mosaic / Jewish law. It is through that lens that we must understand what Paul is teaching. Under the law, the basic formula for salvation is obtained by righteousness (freedom from sin by keeping the law) + works in the law (e.g., sacrifice) for justification from sin. Works in the law, however, is done away with by Jesus Christ. You would seem to argue faith in Jesus Christ provides the justification from sin alone, but that righteous acts are still required in the form of good works. However, it is faith in Jesus Christ that provides both the act of righteousness and justification from sin, thereby satisfying all requirements for salvation. For example, Galatians 3 provides that we are all Abraham’s heirs in Jesus Christ and that belief (i.e., faith) is counted as righteousness. Romans 3-4 discusses this in depth.

    Ephesians 2 makes this most clear – “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

    Now, you say above that grace involves reciprocity and “by definition includes works,” but Paul says the opposite – that grace is a gift which is not of your own doing and “not a result of works.”

    You say that careful exegesis of Paul’s teachings are required, yet you suffer from that which you accuse Dunn (and nearly all mainstream Christianity), by ignoring some of Paul’s words in favor of other of Paul’s words. You are reading into what ‘grace’ is by looking at the circumstantial evidence rather than the words themselves.

    You cannot cite Romans 2 without considering Romans 3 and 4. In Romans 2, Paul sets up a strawman argument by saying that we will all be judged according to our righteousness and works, Jews and Gentiles alike. But in Romans 3, Paul makes clear that under that standard, we are all destined for damnation, for we all fall short. Rom 3:27-28 – “27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.”

    I’m not sure why Paul never used the magic words which would satisfy you – that it is by “faith in Christ alone” in which we are saved. Maybe there was not a phrase available to him which would convey this thought precisely. I think, rather, his contemporaneous audiences would have understood what he was saying without the need to include the magic words. Paul was writing to Jews and Gentiles so he put his teachings in a paradigm which they would most readily understand. But the result is the same. Paul emphasizes time and again that justification is by faith, and that good works are an outflow of that faith, that “we should walk in them.” Jesus did not say, “your works have saved you.” No, Jesus said “your faith has saved you.” Luke 7:50. While we can look to works as evidence of one’s faith, Jesus can judge our heart – he does not judge works, but judges faith.

    • Jason A. Staples
      Posted at 12:16h, 31 May Reply

      I’m afraid that nearly everything you have said here is quite simply wrong.

      1) It is not true that “under the law, the basic formula for salvation is obtained by righteousness (freedom from sin by keeping the law) + works in the law (e.g., sacrifice) for justification from sin.” You are assuming this, but it is completely incorrect. Throughout the Hebrew Bible, the formula is quite different. Instead, we find that God extends his grace to a specific covenantal people and then requires that they obey in order to maintain that covenantal relationship. There is no sense of earning God’s favor by keeping the law (which is God’s gracious gift to his people), and sacrifice has nothing to do with “justification” but rather atonement. Those are very different things.

      2) You are conflating justification and salvation. They are different concepts and different things.

      3) Πίστις does not mean “belief” but rather something fuller, closer to the English word “fidelity,” which better gets across the relational quality of that Greek term. To suggest that “belief” is counted as righteousness is not only to entirely miss the point of those passages but to ignore the repeated statements of Jesus himself. For example, Jesus explicitly says that not everyone who believes in him will be saved but only those who OBEY him: “Not everyone who says to me Lord LORD will enter into the kingdom of heaven but only the one who does the will of my father in heaven” (Matt 7:21). Those same people believed in him sufficiently to “prophesy in your name and in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many miracles” (7:22)—that’s not only belief, that is very strong belief. And yet, Jesus makes it very clear that this belief is insufficient for salvation. Instead, what matters is whether they obeyed God and lived righteously.

      4) Justification (being made righteous) is not justification if there is no justice. Put another way: If I were to transform you into a race car driver but you never got behind the wheel of a car, you never became a race car driver at all. In the same way, a person who has been transformed into a just person necessarily does acts of justice. Don’t stop at Galatians 3 (which you’re misinterpreting anyway). Continue reading to Gal 6, where Paul says, “Don’t be deceived: God will not be mocked. Whatever a person sows, that person will reap the same. For the one who sows to the flesh will reap corruption from the flesh. But the one who sows to the spirit will from the spirit reap eternal life.” Paul here explicitly instructs his Christian readers that they must live lives of obedience, sowing the good works of the spirit, in order to reap eternal life.

      5) Not only does Paul not say “the opposite” of the idea that grace involves reciprocity, but such a statement would have been impossible in Greek since the word for grace (χάρις) is a word that specifically refers to reciprocity. It would be like someone saying in English, “hot is cold” or “up is down.” It is true that grace is a gift that is not of a person’s own doing or “a result of works.” But it both enables and requires works. You’re confusing the origin (one cannot earn or work for grace) with the outcome (grace facilitates and demands works). To reiterate: grace is not the outcome of works, but works are the necessary outcome of grace, and without those works, grace is invalidated and ineffectual.

      The very definition of χάρις in the Greek language involves the strings attached to such a gift. It is a “favor” that means someone “owes” a return. And if there is no return reciprocated, then the relationship forged by χάρις has been turned down or terminated, with all of the benefits of that relationship no longer extended to the original recipient of the gift. Paul’s letters (and Jesus’ own statements) repeatedly emphasize exactly this sort of relationship. God has extended his grace, making people righteous (=justifying) through the spirit, which enables and motivates those people to fulfill the will of God. In response, those people are commanded to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12) precisely through the grace God has granted (Phil 2:13).

      6) Your reading of the progression from Rom 2 to 3 and 4 is similarly misguided. Romans 2 is no “strawman argument”; you have zero evidence for such a claim. Instead, it establishes the very foundation for the later chapters that assume the content of Rom 2. The problem addressed in Rom 3 and 4 (and beyond) is that everyone will be judged according to works as established in Rom 2, which is very bad news if people are unrighteous. Thus Rom 3 and 4 address the question of how an unrighteous person can become righteous. That is, how can a person come to be such that his/her actions will be judged as righteous? Paul’s answer is that no one can become righteous by doing righteous things (doing righteous things requires righteousness to begin with), so the process has to start with God’s grace empowering a person to do the things that please God. This is why Paul’s larger argument through these sections wraps up with Rom 8, in which he explains that God’s gracious gift is the spirit, which transforms and empowers the person to be righteous. “What the law was powerless to do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending his son … so that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in those of us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit” (Rom 8:3–4).

      7) This means that your entire reading is misguided. When Paul says, “justified by πίστις,” he does not mean that a person is “saved by belief.” He says that a person becomes righteous through fidelity to God—fidelity specifically provided for by God’s grace. Thus salvation is “by grace through fidelity,” with grace providing the power to be faithful, and faithfulness being lived out through the “obedience of fidelity” that Paul says he proclaims (Rom 1:5, 16:26).

      8) You say you’re not sure why Paul never used the magic words “by faith alone” and even speculate that “maybe there was not a phrase available to him which would convey this thought precisely.” This is most certainly not an option, as the phrase “by faith alone” does appear once in the New Testament: “so you see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:24). Paul certainly could have used the same phrase James did while leaving out the “not.” But Paul fundamentally agreed with James on this point; justification is not “by faith alone”—meaning the same negation applies to salvation all the more, since salvation depends on justification.

      9) When you say “he does not judge works, but judges faith,” you contradict every single statement about the judgment in the New Testament. You might want to consider the implications of that fact.

      Thanks for your comment. Hopefully this helps you understand the New Testament a little better.

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