Morna Hooker on “the Faith of Jesus”

Earlier this year Michael Bird highlighted an article by Morna Hooker in the Scottish Journal of Theology: 

Morna D. Hooker, “Another Look at πίστις Χριστοῦ,” SJT 69 (2016): 46-62.

In that article she joins a chorus of scholars who agree that at key moments in his letters Paul relates that redemption is centered in the faith or faithfulness of Jesus.  This is a position argued decades ago by Richard Hays.  Now, I’m pleased to note, many scholars have begun to read Paul this way.  As Hooker notes, this new reading has deep implications for Paul’s theology.Morna Hooker

To read Bird’s blog post click here.


When I was working on The Voice translation of the Bible with Thomas Nelson, I made and won the argument that “faith/faithfulness of Jesus” is how these texts ought to be read on the fact that the King James Version (1611) got it right!  Here are two examples:

Romans 3:22-23:

22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

And Galatians 2:20:

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Most modern translations take this as an objective genitive and render it “faith in Jesus” or “faith in the Son of God.”  In The Voice we translated those key passages as subjective genitives: Jesus exercises faith/ trust/ faithfulness (to God).  Hooker is correct that Jesus is clearly an object of faith in Paul; but in these and other key places when Paul is describing the essence of the gospel he is clear that our redemption is due to God’s rightness and Jesus’ faithfulness.

Michael Bird’s Review of THE VOICE translation

Dr. Michael F. Bird is a well known New Testament scholar.  When I met him a few years ago, he was teaching at Highland Theological College in northern Scotland.  Since then he has taken a prestigious post in Australia at Ridley Melbourne College.  Recently, he offered some reflections on The Voice translation.  Mike Bird

Here is his review:

Dr. Bird is an able commentator on culture and Scripture.  Look for his books and blogs.  In addition, he is one of the funniest people I’ve met, especially among scholars who tend to be a rather dour lot.  While Dr. Bird takes his subject seriously, he doesn’t take himself too seriously.   One person has called him the Conan O’Brien of evangelical scholars.