Dikaiosune: and justice
Did you know that the word justice does not appear in some translations of the New Testament? That could be a bit disconcerting for those who understand biblical social justice to be central to Christianity. The reality is that God’s heart for Justice is so integrally linked to His Righteousness that the original greek word used was “dikaiosune,” which has a meaning that fully encompasses the complexity of this characteristic of God (in the Old Testament the Hebrew word is “sedaqah”), but has always been translated into English New Testaments as the word “rightousness.” That means that in specific passages we can gain a fuller understanding of them by adding “and justice.”
I invite you to read the NIV passages below with “and justice” added and spend some time reflecting on them in light of our conversations.
Matthew 6:33: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and justice, and all these things will be given to you as well.
2 Cor. 5:21: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness and justice of God.
2 Tim 2:22: Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness and justice, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
1 Peter 2:24: He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness and justice; by his wounds you have been healed.