His Parable about the Shepherd dividing the sheep and the goats speaks vividly to His standard of justice. Amos 5:18-27 is an important text for understanding First Testament prophetic religion and social justice. Now we're to righteousness. My power and influence, same thing. And so the question is, in the biblical vision, will I be aware of and make their problem part of my responsibility? My hunch is that on healthcare debate...I mean, I actually don't understand the details. Tim: Yeah, it is. And it's not simple. Christâs indictment against the rich is not toward all who are wealthy; rather it extends to those who gained their wealth by trampling down others and who refuse to use it to help the suffering of others. Jon: But someone who's really just more about the free market, might go like, "No, everyone has an equal opportunity, so let's not mess with things. Link to our Justice video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A14THPoc4-4. You can see how it works out. Tim: If you look at how they're tied together, tzedakah is the standard of right, equitable relationships between the two of us, and mishpat are the actions that you take to create that standard and to do it. Because most people that win the lottery their lives get destroyed, either because they just start overspending and they become miserable because it's not actually making them happy. Isaiah 56:1-12 Thus says the Lord: âKeep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed. In later Hebrew, and even still today, the word tzedakah is now one of the basic words in modern Hebrew for a gift to the poor. It is this caring for the poor, the abused and abandoned, the ill and the immigrants, the widows, and orphans, that constitutes justice in Christâs kingdom. Tim: It means He judges fairly, He sees what's happening in the world and He does and will bring recompense and judge fairly. "But if a man is righteous and practices mishpat and tzedakah..." The righteous person, when you see that word in the Bible, the righteous, it's taking that word tzedakah and it's turning it into an adjective tzadiyk. Is that the case throughout the Old Testament? Tim: Just like that. Jon: But how else can you do right by someone other than mishpat? He chose â itâs Moshe Weinfeld - he chose the word social justice. Jon: It's never just internal thing like integrity? There was no social safety web in the early Roman Empire for the poor. Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do good. Well, that's where we're heading next week. James only mentions the Lord twice by name in all his five chapters. Jon: Thanks for listening to this episode of The Bible Project. Tzedakah will be a belt around his loins and faithfulness a belt around his waist. He thinks, the best definition of that phrase is not to translate each word individually, but to use one phrase for it. Do what is right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you and to display my righteousness among you. Some people it will be through certain kinds of social programs, for other people would be through educational benefits. There's a large homeless population in Portland. You can ask me questions like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A14THPoc4-4. Education, and insight, and wisdom. The same with, like, location banks, and this kind of thing. There will eventually be an inversion of statusâthe rich will be brought down and the victims of injustice will be elevated. I can't think of like an example. We care about justice because of justice, because it's right. I try to but it is really complicated. Seek justice. In English the words righteousness and justice are two different words. 4. Justice is a biblical motif that curves its way through the entire biblical narrative and has its climax in Jesus. The book is called "Justice: Rights and Wrongs." Jon: The first three things all really help me or can very easily. We get a sense of this from Jeremiah 9:24: âI am the Lord who exercise kindness, justice and righteousnessâ. And it's through from the Torah to the prophets, and as we'll talk about right on into the New Testament as well. we'll see here, also, justice and righteousness, its primary meaning is my posture towards the vulnerable and the poor in my community. Consider Revelation 15:2-3: âAnd I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And he had this a chip on his shoulder about it because he saw the really seedy side of things. Justice is a primary theme in the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation. It's a relationship word. That's what every lottery winner should ever do. I mean, if we want to say we're trying to be faithful to the Bible and its wisdom about justice, I don't know... Tim: You just read it. Psalm 99. Fight for the rights of widows. The New Testament makes it clear that we are not to be content with just waiting for the Lordâs return to bring justice to this earth. Rather, the one who boasts in anything has only one thing to boast about. Tim: That's right. It's like a one year Boys Ranch. In Isaiah 11, he talks about "Out of the stump of Israel when it was cut down by the nation's, there'll be a shoot that springs up out of the old stump. You may have noticed that we've been talking for two weeks about justice and we haven't even brought up Jesus. Finally, the Book of Revelation confirms that justice will be eternally established at the consummation of all things. God in the New Testament. Tim: Because it's not just about food. Other prophets, working in the sister kingdom of Judah, are indignant about similar things. Tim: Yeah. His most famous book was called "A Theology of Liberation.". This reading provides clarity to Matthewâs over-arching message about the kingdom that Jesus brings. His point when he talks about the Quartet of the vulnerable, he says, the reason why this is such a big deal for the Old Testament authors is something that's fairly universal to the human condition. Tim: To round that off - this is just about mishpat - beautiful, short, little poem in the book of Jeremiah that brings a lot of this together. "I put on tzedakah and it clothed me; I put on mishpat like a robe and a turban. So it's not about whether or not you have those things, it's whether you have them or whether you don't, who's going to define your identity, and what you think is really valuable. He was writing for a nonreligious audience, making a case for a biblical vision of justice. That's the big picture on justice and righteousness, mishpat and tzedakah. Box 12609 Oklahoma City, OK 73157 | Address: 7300 NW 39th Expy. The adjective Î´Î¯ÎºÎ±Î¹Î¿Ï dikaios pertains âto being in accordance with high standards of rectitude, upright, just, fair. Jon: It's interesting to live in a time where a lot of things do exist. Today, we're going to have a complicated conversation about justice and its related word righteousness. If it were simple, these problems won't like our communities... Jon: There are many different ways to think about that and many people have different opinions on how it should be done. And if he gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing, then he will find life. All the stuff we've been talking about. Here He portrayed the great separation in eternity being determined by how peopleÂ responded to the hungry, the thirsty, the strangers, the naked, the sick, and the prisoners. Here we go. On the contrary, they are extolling Him because His ways are âjust and true.â One day, all the saved from every generation who experienced injustice on the earth will worship the Lord and proclaim that the King was and is faithful and true, even in the midst of their difficulties. Anyway. Well, it can be easily misunderstood. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away.â. Jon: I mean, are there? Righteousness is an outward-oriented standard of how I relate to other people, particularly how I relate to people in difficult situations. It is not saying that. The point is, don't boast. Then their poverty makes them more likely to be taken advantage of. However, there are over a dozen references to the Sermon on the Mount and the theme of justice is echoed on every page. Jesus was showing us that, for multiplied millions of people, true justice will only come when we step into eternity. Jon: What provides the most straightness. But it's an exercise everybody has to go through, I think if you find yourself called into these kinds of roles. Tim: Yeah, sure. According to Jesus, justice is not only for the oppressed who need it and His followers who show it, it will also be meted out to those who oppose it and withhold it from others. They're being oppressed, which is wrong, and they're being taken advantage of, which makes them poor. If it were simple, these problems wouldn't break our communities. Next thing he knows it's turned into the next thing. "Tzedak" or "tzedakah" translated as righteousness both of them. Godâs righteousness is apart from the law and comes through faith in Christ and saves us. Restorative justice (also sometimes called "reparative justice") is an approach to justice that focuses on restoring what is good, and necessarily focuses on the needs of victims and offenders. Or do you let the free market decide in which case then really you're just creating more choice for people? This restorative versus retributive thing is blurring for me a little bit, because with the Exodus story, they kind of become one and the same, right? When we are only asking whether justice is even in there, we miss out on so much. Jon: You're talking about the word righteousness or tzedakah? That's true. Ï, á¼¡ Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: dikaiosuné Phonetic Spelling: (dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay) Definition: righteousness, justice Usage: (usually if not always in a Jewish atmosphere), justice, justness, righteousness, righteousness of which God is the source or author, but practically: a divine righteousness. It's the same. Tim: It becomes a breaking bad situation. Our conventional conception of righteousness is centred on an entity (a human being); Marshall's conception is centred on relationships. Historically, there have been many seasons in the history of the Jesus movement where networks of local churches created institutions that now in our day are a part of our centralized governments or part of our market economies like hospitals. Here's an example from Ezekiel chapter 18. At the same time, for Paul as for other New Testament writers there can be no doubt that human behavior has to be in correspondence to God's righteousness. It was encapsulated by this phrase that he coined, called, if you look at the God of the Bible, who reveals himself as the God of the Exodus - he calls it the God has a preferential option for the poor." That's just another whole wrinkle in the conversation. "I seek righteousness" is more ambiguous and complex. Tim: When you do mishpat, you are upholding righteousness. It's rarely because they set out to do it. But it offers one of the most complete poetic definitions of righteousness in the Old Testament. You have three triads of what is valuably contrasted with each other. It means "to make an excuse for." As. This is interesting. Jon: That's interesting because people would just say justice is the standard. DikaiosunÃ©. That just is the case. Jon: Hey, this is Jon at The Bible Project. Tim: This isn't saying, therefore, don't try and become wise... Tim: ...and don't try to generate wealth. There are some people. Bethany, OK 73008 | Phone: 405-787-7110. Acts 10:35 tells us that whoever fears God and works righteousness will be accepted by God. The aim of the conference was to show that the close cooperation of Jewish and Christian biblical scholars can help both sides to a deeper understanding of their common biblical heritage. But then there's the guy who's kind of like, he just needed one day a little extra money because his mom was sick or his daughter broke her leg or whatever, and he's like, "I know how I can do it." Now, that definition is different from both of our conceptions above. He'll strike the earth with a rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he'll slay the wicked. The Virgin Mary expressed this sentiment in part of her response to the news that she would give birth to the long-awaited Messiah. What God is about specifically is judging fairly on behalf of those who usually receive injustice, that is the vulnerable. The Lordâs words in that initial discourse and His subsequent ministry provide a glimpse of what His kingdom should look like in a world in which it is often not visible. And so you're making arguments from either side, and it just depends on what you think is more just a way to talk about it. Tim: Again, the common denominator is the poor. âJusticeâ appears only 11 times in the ESV translation, 9 times in the NASB, and 8 times in the NKJV. The Analytical Greek Lexicon gives the following definition of our word "righteousness," which in the Greek is dikaiosunÄ: fair and equitable dealing; justice; righteousness. That's worth memorizing and pondering in many occasions. Like, "Sure, yeah, we should take care of the poor, but let's do it through the church, not through the government. There is one last scene that merits our attention in the Apocalypse. Jon: It's a big debate right now with healthcare. • Episode 2. In a typical ancient Hebrew parallelism, the great truth about the inter-relationship of justice and peace is stated in these words, âLove and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.â (Psalm 85:10). Tim: About 10 years ago, he wrote I think the most robust case for a Christian vision of justice that is respected widely in just the academic ethical philosophy field. That's fine. Jon: Wrapping yourself and clothing yourself in this type of way of being. Jon: You said it could go too far. Tim: But integrity is also a relational word. It's mishpat and tzedakah. My riches. And the one who knows God will boast in that. Consider these examples: Matthew 5:6: âBlessed are they which do hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall be filled.â, Matthew 5:10: âBlessed are they which are persecuted for justiceâs sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.â, Matthew 6:20: âFor I say unto you, that except your justice shall exceed the justice of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.â, Matthew 6:33: âBut seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His justice; and all these things shall be added unto you.â. If you want a big lottery, the smartest thing to do is to not keep any of it. That's things that he doesn't do. Justice Jon: So if I have righteousness, it's because I'm in right relationship? I'm just going to just tinker with the weights. Just do it for a week and then we'll be back to normal." It's always referring to my righteousness towards someone. What is Social Justice & Righteousness in the Bible? His sense of justice not only extended to women in general, it reached to a Canaanite woman who sought Him on behalf of her sick daughter (Matthew 15:21-28) and to a Samaritan woman whom He encountered in need (John 4). But with tzedakah, he will render mishpat for the poor and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth. This is from Job. All to say, I think we can agree that people who are poor and who need food, we should take care of them. The word "tzedakah" gets translated in English as righteousness. Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and justice will look down from the sky.â), and Psalm 89:14 (âRighteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.â). that he knows his creator. He not only ministered to a thief, He redeemed a dying thief (Luke 23:32-33). It's a powerful metaphor forâ. His podcast is called Exploring my Strange Bible. 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed â 22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. Those who ministered to them will be granted entrance into His future kingdom while those who did not will be banished. These are his words. However, a strong case may be made that âjusticeâ is the better term to use in a number of passages. We're saying this is way more than just starting a food bank. Jon: Then there's the stability that comes. That's what I'm saying. Mishpat, which is both recompense, like confronting the whatever injustice and making sure it's accounted for. And he was a Christian who was very like, "Don't take care of the homeless. Hi Iâm Support Bot! Sort of there's a special biblical meaning of the word "justify" in our Bibles, but that's not how we actually use the English word "justify." The branch or the shoot is an image for the king, and the spirit breasts on him, the appointing spirit rests on him, the sevenfold spirit: Spirit of the LORD, wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, spirit of knowledge, and the fear of the LORD. He's Peruvian. Righteousness in the Bible) and Peace are intertwined in the Bible. Tim: They just go learn how to take care of animals, the horses once they get out of juvenile hall. How that translates into specific policies and legislationâ. It is plain to see that there are many verses in the New Testament that admonish Christians to practice a life style of righteousness, doing right, obeying the Law of God and to pursue Justice. Help the oppressed. Jon: What you should boast in, what should make you stoked is your connection to God. If you look at all the, whatever, 200 some odd uses of it in the Old Testament, it's an ethical standard that consists of people in right relationships. Which doesn't mean that you disregard fairness in favor of the poor. Tim: Which provide the most straightness. Over 290 verses in the Old Testament and 70 in the New Testament contain direct statements of the mercy of God toward His people. And it's not simple. The word "justice" does not occur in the New Testament, and in most cases where we find "just" in the King James Version it is changed to "righteous" in the American Standard Revised Version. This is episode two of our Justice series. But thereâs a problem with looking for justice in the New Testament. It's something similar of...like an English we have this phrase of doing right by someone. Just recently - was it on a podcast or something - someone was interviewing him and finally kind of was getting his story. They actually invest it in mishpat kinds of things. What we have is an English word "justify," which is really. Many Bible readers fail to grasp the importance that the Scriptures place on justice. Justice and righteousness are central to the heart of God. What is Righteousness in the New Testament? But also, this other sense of mishpat, it's the majority, which is looking out for the situation of the vulnerable. Righteousness and Justice is: right relationships among all things in the created order of things. This article was first published in Encourage magazine. It's going to be a great conversation. This way of life that he was practicing is a way of life that embodies. You've done right by me. Jon: Because that's all it's coming down to is, should you give people who don't have the ability to buy health insurance, should you help them do it? Stay tuned for that. The idea of justice or righteousness (remembering that these are essentially the same) becomes more spiritual and ethical in the New Testament. The New Testament makes it clear that we are not to be content with just waiting for the Lordâs return to bring justice to this earth. Righteousness as understood in the OT (Old Testament) is a thoroughly Hebraic concept, foreign to the western mind and at variance with the common understanding of the term. By using this website, I acknowledge that I am 16 years of age or older, and I agree to the. In fact, there's a fixed phrase in Hebrew, justice and righteousness, that occurs about...it's over 50 times in the Old Testament alone. His name was Gustavo GutiÃ©rrez. Watch and Explore over 150 BibleProject videos. 2 Peter 3:13 we are waiting for â¦ a new earth in which righteousness [JUSTICE] dwells. The book of Isaiah, his poetry, especially about the future hope for the Messianic King is filled with this righteousness and justice language. There you go. But in Hebrew it's tzedakah. Justice and Righteousness. This sense of everyone receiving proper justice is brought out in Jesusâ story about the rich man who selfishly lived in extravagance while Lazarus dwelt in poverty and pain (see Luke 16:19-31). One of the questions I suppose is, is the best place for all of this justice to be acted out is in the government or is this something that should be happening through families or other institutions? Tzedakah. This is one example. But hospitals are a uniquely Christian contribution to the history of the human rights. How Do You Respond When God Says âNoâ. Because they're poor, they're more likely to essentially not have access because at that point, then you're manufacturing the marketplace. Tim: That's true. 3. So doing right by people through acts of mishpat, that's the foundation of God's ruling character. Jon: Mercy and justice show up a lot, and then this word righteousness is also showing up in the mix. Jon: When Paul uses the word "righteousness" in Greek - which is what? Jon: What makes God delight is mercy, justice, and righteousness. That is the biblical vision of mishpat. Justice and righteousness, its primary meaning is my posture towards the vulnerable and the poor in my community. Those two words are often paired together in the Bible. If you type âjusticeâ into a Bible word search engine, it doesnât appear much. That's part of our market economy. Righteousness. Tim: Well, you're upholding mishpat but you're doing so because of some standard or value. He's often misunderstood on that point. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Jon: When God says that He is righteous, He's just meaning He has right relationships with humans? Tim: Oh, correct, correct. You just have to be an expert; I think on the policy of whatever matter it is at hand - education or healthcare. Like that's the biblical view of justice? Tim: Yeah. That word has a lot of baggage for me. Specifically, I think Evangelicals are confused about how social justice/justice and righteousness fit into the New Testament. 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Social programs, for multiplied millions of people, particularly how I relate to other who!