It is well known that Bishop Wright maintains that the ‘righteousness of God’ in Paul should be understood as ‘God’s covenant-faithfulness’.
The counter argument proposed by Stephen Westerholm points out that ‘when Paul speaks of God’s promise he never speaks of God’s righteousness, and when he speaks of God’s righteousness he never speaks of God’s promises’ (Perspectives Old and New on Paul: The “Lutheran” Paul and His Critics [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004], p. 292)
I personally wonder if this Westerholmian argument is not an exaggeration, and whether it really takes account of thematic resonations within larger lines of Pauline argumentation.
Wright himself, though not naming names, responds as follows:
‘Exegesis needs the concordance, but it cannot be ruled by it. It is no argument against calling Paul a covenantal theologian to point out the scarcity of diathēkē in his writings. We have to learn to recognise still more important things, such as implicit narratives and allusions to large biblical themes. Just because we cannot so easily look them up in a reference book that does not make them irrelevant’ (Paul: Fresh Perspectives [London: SPCK, 2005], 26)But who is right?