The Dongola Times

(Anachronistic) Dispatches from the Kingdom of Makuria.
19th of February, 2012

The Other One

There is another instance, in Romans, of this “What, then, shall we say?” that I like. Romans 9:30-32:

What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.
τι ουν ερουμεν οτι εθνη τα μη διωκοντα δικαιοσυνην κατελαβεν δικαιοσυνην δικαιοσυνην δε την εκ πιστεως
ισραηλ δε διωκων νομον δικαιοσυνης εις νομον δικαιοσυνης ουκ εφθασενδιατι οτι ουκ εκ πιστεως αλλ ως εξ εργων νομου προσεκοψαν γαρ τω λιθω του προσκομματος
Yes: the rhetorical question, then the implication of what has been said prior. What, then, shall we say? That the strangest of things has happened: the Gentiles—who never sought righteousness—have attained to righteousness (a righteousness that is by faith), and yet the Jews—who pursued righteousness via the Law—have not reached it. —Because they, like almost all other groups, peoples, and religions, pursued righteousness as though it was by works, rather than as though it was by faith.