Romans chapter 3 says that "there is no one righteous -- not even one." If there is no one righteous, why is Jesus considered the righteous one? Does righteous mean "sinless"? What is the Greek definition? I would be interested to know this as I am working on a World Religious Traditions class and one of my classmates put this question to me. I'm not sure how to approach the matter. -- Nina Rivera (Farmingdale, New York)

Romans 3, quoting Psalms and other Old Testament passages, is painting a picture of human life apart from God. It is a generalization. Of course it does not apply to Jesus Christ -- 1 Corinthians 1:30! -- despite the fact that the text doesn't name him as an exception. (For another passage requiring a similar, common sense understanding of the text, see 1 Corinthians 15:27.)

In the Bible, righteousness is not necessarily a synonym of "sinlessness." Look up the instances of the word righteous in your concordance, and you will see that there were righteous human beings who were definitely not sinless. (For example, Lot in 2 Peter 2!) As for the technical definition meaning of the Greek word dikaios, it means "righteous, just, right, upright."

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