I was originally hoping to finish my dissertation by the end of this year, but things got really busy for me at work. So I have had to recalibrate. Now I'm aiming to finish by the end of next year, 2010. However, I have managed to write the first four chapters.
The fourth chapter is critical, because here I examine all occurrences of the two nouns for "righteousness" in the Hebrew OT (276 occurrences), as well as the translational equivalent in the Septuagint. I just submitted chapter 4 to Professor Seyoon Kim (my second reader) and he had some encouraging things to say. Although I need to beef up my argument in a couple of sections, he said, "You have put the needle to the balloon of the relational theory of righteousness."
Next up are chapters on the use of righteousness in Jewish literature, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, but especially Jewish Greek literature like the Letter of Aristeas, the Wisdom of Solomon, and Philo. My focus in these chapters will be to show that "righteousness" in Greek-speaking Judaism was not fundamentally different from its usage in the Hebrew OT or in extra-biblical Greek. In all three cases, it is fundamentally a norm concept rather than a relational concept.
Having critiqued the the NPP's interpretation of "the righteousness of God" as "God's covenant faithfulness," I will then make the positive case for the traditional Reformation interpretation of "the righteousness of God" in terms of the gift of righteousness (judicial status) from God, with a secondary meaning in Rom 3:25-26, namely, God's attribute of justice demonstrated via the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ.