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Title: Rectitude  
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Subject: Bushido
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"Righteous" redirects here. For the 1994 funk album, see Righteous (album).

Righteousness (also called rectitude) is an important theological concept in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism (Dharma), and Zoroastrianism. It is an attribute that implies that a person's actions are justified, and can have the connotation that the person has been "judged" or "reckoned" as leading a life that is pleasing to the god/s portrayed in these belief systems.

William Tyndale (Bible translator into English in 1526) remodelled the word after an earlier word rihtwis, which would have yielded modern English *rightwise or *rightways. He used it to translate the Hebrew root צדקים (TzDYQ), tzedek, which appears more than five hundred times in the Hebrew Bible, and the Greek word δίκαιος (dikaios), which appears more than two hundred times in the New Testament.

Hebrew Bible

Main article: Tzadik

Righteousness is one of the chief attributes of God as portrayed in the Hebrew Bible. Its chief meaning concerns ethical conduct (for example, Leviticus 19:36; Deuteronomy 25:1; Psalm 1:6; Proverbs 8:20). It is used in a legal sense; while the guilty are judged, the guiltless are deemed righteous. God's faithfulness to His covenant is also a large part of His righteousness (Nehemiah 9:7-8).

Righteousness also relates to God's role as saviour; God is a "righteous saviour" (Isaiah 61), and a deliverer (Isaiah 46:12-13). The righteous are those who trust that they will be vindicated by the Lord God (Psalm 37:12-13).

Hebrew definition

The Hebrew word for righteousness is tseh'-dek, tzedek, Gesenius's Strong's Concordance:6664—righteous, integrity, equity, justice, straightness. The root of tseh'-dek is tsaw-dak', Gesenius's Strong:6663—upright, just, straight, innocent, true, sincere. It is best understood as the product of upright, moral action in accordance with some form of divine plan.

In the Book of Job the title character is introduced to us as a person who is "perfect" in righteousness.

New Testament

The New Testament continues the Hebrew Bible's tradition of the ethical (1 Corinthians 4:4) aspects of righteousness.

Jesus asserts the importance of righteousness by saying in Matthew 5:20, "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." Jesus also re-affirms the Laws of Moses by saying in Matthew 5:19, "Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

However, Romans 9-11).

Paul writes to the Romans that righteousness comes by faith: "...a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.'" (new testament church a "Church Of Righteousness".

The James 2:11-12).

Saint Peter describes 2 Peter 2:7-8.


Righteousness is mentioned several times in the Qur'an.[1] The Qur'an says that a life of righteousness is the only way to make it to Heaven.

We will give the home of the Hereafter to those who do not want arrogance or mischief on earth; and the end is best for the righteous.
— The Holy Qur’an, Sura 28(Al-Qasas) Verse 83

Type of saint

In the Harrowing of Hell).

See also


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