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This legal framework for understanding justification all hinges on the concept of justice as understood in the pagan Greek culture of the time - ''dikaiosis''. The ancient, pagan Greeks, Thucydides for one, adhered to a juridical understanding of this concept as punishment. It is valid to assume that St. Paul was familiar with these pagan concepts since this [Greek culture] was his immediate cultural context. The question arises: What do we do with St. Paul’s Jewish heritage and culture that was no less familiar to St. Paul, but was surely of more importance to him? Dr. Alexandre Kalomiros in ''The River of Fire'' proposes that the traditional eastern Christian and patristic view of justification is more compatible with the nature of the Christian God. He says, "The word dikaiosune,
“justice, ” is a translation of the Hebraic word tsedaka. This word means “the divine energy which accomplishes man’s salvation. ” It is parallel and almost synonymous to the other Hebraic word, hesed, which means “mercy, ” “compassion, ” “love, ” and to the word emeth which means “fidelity, ” “truth. ” This gives a completely other dimension to what we usually conceive as justice. This is how the Church understood God’s justice. This is what the Fathers of the Church taught of it - God is not just, with the human meaning of this word, but we see that His justice means His goodness and love, which are given in an unjust manner, that is, God always gives without taking anything in return, and He gives to persons like us who are not worthy of receiving."
Kalomiros sees justification primarily in an eschatological manner. For Kalomiros, justification is both present and future, eliciting submission in loving response to the unmerited love of God by those who would respond in faith. So, for the Eastern Christian, it is this imparted “righteousness”, ''dikaiosune'', (instead of a juridical justification) that is culminated eschatologically in the fullness of time through the mercy of God by our loving response, in faith to Him.
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