The Justification of God: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Romans 9:1-23

ISBN: 0801070791
ISBN 13: 9780801070792
By: John Piper

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About this book

John Piper presents a careful, reasoned study of the doctrine of election. He dissects Paul's argument to highlight the picture of God and his righteousness painted in Romans 9. Undergirded by his belief that the sovereignty of God is too precious a part of our faith to dismiss or approach weak-kneed, Piper explores the Greek text and Paul's argument with singular deftness.

Reader's Thoughts


Very interesting to read the study that convinced Piper of Christian hedonism and to become a pastor. An excellent argument for double predestination in Romans 9. However, it's very academic and scholarly, with lots of iteration with other scholars and original languages. I don't recommend it unless you're really into Piper, the question of double predestination, or Bible scholarship.

Eric Molicki

Indispensable when studying Romans 9. Also excellent for wrestling with the reality of God's sovereignty AND human responsibility. Not light reading though...

William Dicks

This is probably John Piper's most important book he has written. "The Justification of God" is certainly not light-hearted reading, and is not meant for someone who does not want to think about the issue of the predestination of the elect. However, for those who are willing to think deeply while they read, this will be a very rewarding book.Through solid exegetical skills, Piper shows that predestination and election, as written about by Paul in Romans 9, is of the individual Christian and not corporate election of all those that have decided to follow Christ.A must read!


UGH! Why is it taking me so long to read this book??! I have read four other books in the same time span.


A hard book if you have not had Greek yet but well worth the effort.

L. R. Bouligny Bouligny

A very helpful treatment of this "controversial" chapter. Piper does a thorough job of taking this chapter apart. I do think he spends too much time building arguments from some of the OT passages, and those chapters of his book become tedious, as he overstates his case. However, he does make a conclusive case (not an easy read, and unless you have some experience with the original languages, you will get lost very quickly). .

Mike Reynolds

Straightforward, thorough, clear, and water-tight. This goes straight for the heart of the issue by arguing for the righteousness of God that is found in his allegiance to his own name and glory. Piper successfully argues for the freedom of God to elect according to his own will and his desire to exalt his name. I will revisit this regularly as I sharpen my greek over time in hopes to get even more out of it. It answers the objections of national election, historical election (instead of eternal destinies), Pharaoh's "self-hardening", etc. Worth your time.

Matt Rigney

I'm refraining from giving this book a rating simply because I miss a lot of the nuanced arguments that Piper makes from the original Hebrew and Greek. I will say that I thought it was a great book, but a difficult read. Very academic in nature, but theologically rich. Piper's main thesis, and one that I find compelling, is that in Romans 9, Paul is saying thatGod seeks above all things to uphold the honor and glory of his name. From passages in Exodus (especially Ex 33:19), he argues that the glory of God and his name (which Piper uses interchangeably) are shown most apparently in God's freedom to show mercy to whom he will show mercy and to harden whom he will harden. Would recommend to anyone looking to really dive into the heart of what has driven Piper for the last 30 years or anyone just looking for a solid exegesis of Romans 9.

Ryan Leichty

Tedious, often times difficult (primarily because of my lack of Greek or Hebrew understanding), but absolutely breathtaking. It's like climbing a mountain: challenging, but well worth the view.


The book that launched Piper into pastoral ministry, and an exquisite exposition of one of the premier biblical chapter's that clearly affirm the absolute sovereign freedom of God.

Jay Risner


Josh Shelton

This book was a huge paradigm shift for the way in which I see and understand God's Righteousness. This was totally taken up into the theology of Edwards in "The End For Which God Created The World."

Stacy Moss

John Piper deals truthfully and honestly with the Bible text of Romans 9.


Probably the best book ever written on the exegesis of Romans 9. A must read for every serious student of theology.

Jacob McGill

I have changed so much, and learned so much since reading this book that it would be unfair to rate this book now. I am able to say that Piper does some funny work with the glory of God and extracts Romans 9-11 out from the rest of Romans (so typical in much work written on Romans in recent history). He reads election as merely individualistic, ripped out of the covenental context that God established with Israel, and is so important for understanding Romans (see Rom. 1:17; 3:21-23). But I would really need to reread this to be fair.

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