“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’” (Romans 1:17).
As they appear in the Greek text, this English phrase is but two words—an adverb (kathos) and a verb (gegraptai). Though few in number, they are mighty and impactful. In addition to their enduring testament to the preciseness of God’s word (see Tuesday’s blog) and an indissoluble link between the Scriptures’ Old Testament and New Testament (see yesterday’s post), they also are a proclamation of the permanence of God’s Word.
There are two things about gegraptai which warrant further investigation and thoughtful contemplation.
First, the Greek tense used by the inspired penman is called the perfect tense. It was employed in Koine Greek to indicate an abiding result which has been the culmination of a process. This is most appropriate in reference to the written revelation of God’s will because it was not instantaneous. The process which began with Moses around 1500 B.C. ended about forty men later with the apostle John near the close of the first century A.D. The abiding result of this sixteen-century process are the Scriptures.
Second, an equally valid translation of gegraptai is “as it stands written”. This thought, inherent in this word, speaks of the permanence of God’s word. Unlike the grass of the field, it is imperishable (Isaiah 40:6-8; 1 Peter 1:24-25). Unlike heaven and earth, the Scriptures will not pass away (Matthew 24:35). Jesus’ words stand written with such permanence they will judge humanity at the judgment (John 12:48).
The word of God stands “as it is written”. It is permanent.