12 March 2015

Has there ever been a just or righteous person?

For those of you who read my last two posts, this must seem like a silly question. The Bible clearly says there are just and righteous people.

The Bible describes in great detail the characteristics of just and righteous people. Just people, for example, never get near menstruating women; and righteous people rejoice while washing their feet in the blood of the wicked. It may be hard to find people like that anymore, but their existence is assumed in dozens of verses throughout the Bible.

And while it is true that there are only two people in the Bible who were both just and righteous (Lot and Noah), there were quite a few that were one or the other.

Here's a list of the Bible's just people:

  1. Lot (2 Peter 2:7)
  2. Noah (Genesis 6:9)
  3. Joseph (Mary's husband) (Matthew 1:19)
  4. Simeon (Luke 2:25)
  5. John the Baptist (Mark 6:20)
  6. Joseph of Arimathaea (Luke 23:50-51)
  7. Cornelius the centurion (Acts 10:22)

And the Bible's righteous people:

  1. Abel (Hebrews 11:4, Matthew 23:35)
  2. Lot (2 Peter 2:7-8)
  3. Noah (Genesis 7:1; Ezekiel 14:14, 20; 2 Peter 2:5)
  4. Daniel (Ezekiel 14:14, 20)
  5. Job (Ezekiel 14:14, 20)
  6. David (2 Samuel 22:25)
  7. Zacharias son of Barachias (Matthew 23:35)
  8. Elisabeth (Luke 1:6)
  9. Zachariah (Luke 1:6)
So the Bible is clear about just and righteous people: there have been plenty of them.

But then there's this strange statement:

For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. Ecclesiastes 7:20
And these verses, saying that no one is clean or righteous. We are all just a bunch of unclean, unrighteous, filthy rags.
What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Job 15:14

We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6

Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words. Isaiah 41:26

There is none righteous, no, not one. Romans 3:10

So I give up. According to the Bible, has anyone ever been just or righteous?

It's a simple question. Is there a Bible believer who can answer it for us?

For more on this topic see Has there ever been a just person? and Has there ever been a righteous person?.

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