Religion Past and Present

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(10,434 words)

[German Version]

I. The Term – II. New Testament – III. History of Doctrine – IV. Dogmatics

I. The Term

The earliest meaning of justification (like Ger. Rechtfertigung) was “administration of justice,” “legal process,” “execution of sentence,” even “capital punishment” (Elert), but early on it could also stand for defense and acquittal. In modern times it has come to be used only in the sense of vindication or legitimation. Hebrew צְדָקָה/ṣĕdāqāh and Greek δικαíωσις/dikaíōsis emphasize the de…

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Tietz, Christiane, Klaiber, Walter and Jüngel, Eberhard, “Justification”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 19 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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