The many righteous before God in the Jewish scriptures – all without Jesus Christ

Genesis 6:9:

‘These are the descendants of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God.’

Job 1:1:

‘There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.’

James 2:21:

‘Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?’

Luke 1:5-6:

‘In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord.’

—o0o—

There are in fact many examples of people in the Torah who were described as “righteous before God”. Not one believed Jesus died for them. Noah, Abraham and Job lived long before the Law was given to Moses. Zechariah and Elizabeth lived under the Law.

(All quotations from the NRSV).

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Categories: Bible

34 replies

  1. I’ve never come across a Christian theologian trying to deal with why they believe the blood atonement took place well into human history. I’m sure lay Christians will be thinking the blood atonement would make more sense if it happened before Adam and humanity came into the world rather than 1000s of years into the human experience on Earth.

    Ken…

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s an odd for a theist to say – time has no meaning for the creator of time.

      Like

    • Well Kev, this question really arises from the issue of all those people (including Prophets in the Old Testament) who never believed in a man dying for their sins – yet these people were still righteous and were saved.

      Liked by 2 people

    • But time has meaning for creation

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a self-refuting argument – why did allah wait until the 7th century to correct a religion that he was largely responsible for creating? And you have avoided the point – time is meaningless to god, he can save in whatever way he pleases.

      Like

    • Very bad comparison, Kev.
      Allah had already delivered his message and what he wants from people before the 7th. The corruption was done by people, so if he punished them, they deserved to be punished.
      The real problem is when God kept punishing people for not being righteous while he had already known that no one can be rightous unless the blood of “his son” gets shed.

      Like

  2. zeph 3:13

    the remnant of Israel;
    they shall do no wrong
    and utter no lies,
    nor shall a deceitful tongue
    be found in their mouths.
    Then they will pasture and lie down,
    and no one shall make them afraid.

    who were the remnant of israel?
    this was the righteous remnant ?

    Like

  3. Yawn. In Sunday school as kids we dealt with this. The cross points up and down. Symbolising the linking of God and man. The cross also points horizontally in that it reaches backwards in time and forwards in time.

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    • so tell me did Abraham put his faith in the cross of Jesus?

      How was Abraham righteous according to James 2:21?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Paul

      Where do any of the true prophets ever say that you are made righteous through he five pillars of islam?

      No one can be righteous enough to meet the true god’s purity – anyone who says otherwise is not righteous, but self-righteous.

      Like

    • How was Abraham righteous according to James 2:21?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Paul, the Apostle you were named after explains all this. For instance we could talk about Indians in the Amazon rain forest who have never heard the gospel.

      The point is Christ is the final Judge he decides who gets into heaven. His blood can atone even those who have never heard of him.

      The Patriachs knew there was a messiah coming and looked forward to his day.

      Like

    • “The Patriachs knew there was a messiah coming and looked forward to his day.”

      Really? I don’t recall Moses or Noah or Abraham looking forward to a Messiah, or expecting a Messiah to die for their sins.

      Let’s test your theory: How was Abraham justified according to James 2:21?

      Liked by 1 person

    • “The Patriachs knew there was a messiah coming and looked forward to his day.”

      where did abraham look forward to putting 1 person, 2natures between him and yhwh?
      for abraham the divine being was enough, not some pagan contradictory natured creature

      Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn back from their ways and live.

      so when did abraham think that yhwh thought he had pleasure in the death of yhwh ?

      Like

  4. Not sure what the big deal about James 2:21 is? The book of James is all about works being proof of faith.

    The atoning death is foreshadowed in the garden of Eden. “He will crush your head; you will bruise his heel”.

    Jesus said the patriachs looked forward to his day and rejoiced.

    David even gives us a glimpse of this in action in Psalm 110. He forsaw Jesus returning to heaven.

    Like

    • Answer the question you have been asked 5 times now

      Your avoidance of it is so embarrassing it would make a good comedy sketch 😂😂

      How was Abraham justified according to James 2:21?????

      Liked by 1 person

    • Really! Muslim apologetics and its reliance on “gotcha” is embarrassing. The book of James has to be read as a whole. Just like the whole of the bible has to be read as a whole.

      The book of James is not part of the Injeel so why do do you or any other muslim care what’s in it?

      The answer to James 2:21 is by faith. Read the whole of James. Faith is a proof of works. We are saved by faith. We have had 2000 years of theologians reconciling Romans and James.

      Like

    • Oops. I mean works is a proof of faith.

      Like

    • “The answer to James 2:21 is by faith”

      James 2:21:

      ‘Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?’

      Like

  5. Hmm. You know McLatchie has parodied this line of muslim apologetics. He says he can prove stheism is correct from the shahada. It contains the words “there is no god”.

    Really a sunday school knows there is no conflict berween Romans “the just shall live by faith” and James “faith without works is dead”.

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  6. Paul, christian theology 101. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

    Like

  7. Pretty sure James says by my works I will show you my faith.

    Not sure why you want to make a big deal about Job being “blameless and upright”. So what! God called David “a man after my own heart” And we all know the story about Bathsheeba.

    “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Hey Jesus didnt sin that must mean he is God.

    Like

  8. Yep. Job blameless and upright. The whole point of the story is that bad things happen to good people. He was a good bloke. Thats why his good character is established at the start. Sinless? Nah.

    Like

    • Ibn Maajah narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin.” 🙂

      Like

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