Stone-Campbell Journal Conference
Stone Campbell Scholars Community
Stone Campbell International

Divine Forgiveness in Paul? Justification by Faith and the Logic of Pauline Soteriology

David Lertis Matson 
Professor of Biblical Studies
Hope International University

Please Login to access this article.


Pauline scholars remain puzzled by the virtual absence of forgiveness language in Paul. The problem, however, is more than a lexical curiosity; it penetrates to the core of Pauline soteriology. Rather than forgive, God justifies sinners by regarding the death of the sinner as having taken place in union with the substitutionary representative death of Jesus on the cross. This model of a God who exacts payment for sin is incompatible with forgiveness, but only in this way is God both just and justifier. The result is a compelling answer to one of the common objections to traditional atonement theory, with important implications for Christian life and theology.

Join Now
Volume 26 Issue 1

Current Issue:
VOLUME 26, No. 1
Spring 2023



William R. Baker
SCJ Editor 

James Sedlacek
Review Coordinator

Betsy Chastain
Conference Registration & Subscription Manager
(513) 284-5835

Joni Sullivan Baker
Director of Development and Communications

Jeff Painter
Conference Paper Coordinator & Copyeditor
Advertising Manager