Saturday, March 25, 2006

1 Cor 8 to 10 block

My blogging time has been largely taken up with writing responses to those who have commented on my ‘Inerrancy? Pt.3’ post, so I won’t waffle now. I’ll continue this series over the weekend. I’ve really been enjoying the discussion it has engendered, so thanks for your input.

Today I started working on 1 Cor 11, having at last finished my more extensive exegesis of 1 Cor 8:1-10:22, a passage that will be an important bow in my thesis argument. But, boy, am I glad that the first draft is behind me. I was stuck on it for weeks.

In case you don’t know, my work concerns Pauline Christology. I’m looking at the question, ‘Is Paul’s Christology divine?’, i.e. (to use the words of Bauckham), ‘Is Christ, for Paul, included in the “divine identity”, or is he external to it?’

To be honest, I’m looking forward to seeing what sort of response my thesis will generate in this field of debate, so I’m keen to get it written. But I won’t summarise my argument here – top secret!, I will just say that I’m convinced that Paul’s Christology is a divine Christology.


At 3/25/2006 2:12 AM, Anonymous Isaac said...

Divine with no subordination(ism)?

At 3/25/2006 7:38 AM, Anonymous J. B. Hood said...

Have you posted on 1 Cor 8.1ff?

At 3/25/2006 10:13 AM, Anonymous Exiled Preacher said...

Have you ready Wrighty's "Paul in Fresh Perspectives"? Chaper 5, "Rethinking God" may be helpful to you.



At 3/25/2006 1:54 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Isaac,
Divine but subordinate.

JB, I don't think I have, no. Why you ask?

Guy, thanks for this. Yes, I find Wright's approach helpful - its fullest expression is in his Climax of the Covenent. What did you think of that chapter?

At 3/25/2006 4:02 PM, Anonymous J. B. Hood said...

I'd just be interested to hear your comments on "re-worked shema in 1 Cor 8.6. NTW picks this up in his newer work but especially in Climax; Hays has interesting takes on such things as well. What say you, oh Pauline christologist?

While I'm commenting, let me add (randomly--you seem not to consider random comments a crime!) that I have major difficulties myself in separating out "ecclesiocentric," "ecclesiotelic" (Hays in Conversion, after critics), "theocentric," and "Christocentric" strands of emphasis in Paul's use of the OT/Torah. This is an important issue in 1 Cor, my own playground of Matthew, and the NT as a whole. Any thoughts on this? Of recent Pauline scholars, Hays tends to focus on ecclesiology; Terence Donaldson rather does something similar; what about Tilling? Is he telling? Or am I tilling the wrong tell?

At 3/25/2006 6:43 PM, Anonymous Exiled Preacher said...

Hi Chris,

Sorry, I haven't read Climax of the Covenant. But the chapter in Fresh Perspectives was very helpful, especially his treatment of Philippians 2, Romans 8 & 10 & 1 Corinthians 8. I like the way Wright demonstrates that Paul's theology was fundamentally trinitarian.

"As every serious reader of Paul has long recognised, though not so many have explored to the full, the cross of Jesus the Messiah stands at the hearts of Paul's vision of the one true God." (p. 96). Amen to that!

My favourite work on Christology is Donald Macleaod's The Person of Christ in the Contours of Christian Theology series (1988 IVP). This book is a real classic. It is packed full of exegesis and mature theological reflection. Macleaod writes within the framework of Nicea and Chalcedon, but he is not afraid to challenge the traditional formulas when necessary. He interacts with the likes of Barth, Pannenbeg & Moltman too. It is well written and often deeply moving.

See also Macleod's Jesus is Lord, Christology Yesterday and Today(Mentor 2000). Two chapters are devoted to the Christology of Moltman & Pennenberg respectiveley.



At 3/25/2006 7:29 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Guy,

I do recommend Climax, a great read.

I actually have the Macleod’s Jesus is Lord: Christology Yesterday and Today, which I had totally forgotten about. So now you’ve reminded me, I’ll go pick it off the shelf! In it, he also examines Moltmann and Pannenberg. Ta.

Hi JB,

Well, I’ve just finished my first draft on 1 Cor 8:6 and the context. I think the best two works on this are the ones you quote: Hays’ Corinthians commentary and Wright. Wright’s essay in Climax is nothing short of brilliant. I think they are correct to see 8:6 as a reworked Shema. I think they are wrong, however, to restrict the christological significance of the passage to this verse (as also others have done so negatively: Dunn, Schrage) – the significant matters are worked out in extraordinary ways right through to 10:22.

As to the Christ-theo-ecclesio centric readings, I think it depends, at least in Paul, on what he is trying to do. In 1 Cor 10, for example, Paul is unquestionably christocentric in his us of the OT, but it is in the service of ecclesiology. I don’t think Paul can be reduced to a formula in the way he deals with the OT – he is more flexible.

At 3/26/2006 7:30 PM, Anonymous Hacksaw Duck said...

The idea that Paul could have "reworked" the shema without inviting the unmitigated abhorrence of the Jews -- who would have completely dropped the lesser controversy over circumcision and kosher laws -- is extremely unlikely. Nowhere in the New Testament do we see the Jews attack Paul on the grounds that he compromised monotheism. They most certainly would have had he tinkered with the shema.

At 3/26/2006 11:03 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi SteveJ, welcome to my blog.

Well, your argument is, of course, a well worn one. Dunn, Harvey, de Jonge etc. have all used it to deny a Pauline divine-Christology. There are, however, at least in my opinion, many problems with it. Perhaps I'll post on this subject in more detail in the future, but for now I would recommend Hurtado's discussion on this point in Lord Jesus Christ.

On top of that, there is the fabulous work, The Spirit’s Relation to the Risen Lord in Paul by Mehrdad Fatehi, in which he attends to the Dunnite variety of your argument.

A problem is that the argument you cite is an argument from silence (though Hurtado may want to challenge this as say there is positive evidence against it!), and one that does violence to much evidence in the Pauline corpus. An inductive reading of Paul’s letters can help remedy this.

Not only that, the argument can be turned on its head. How could Paul say some of the things he did to converted pagans when it would be an obvious conclusion for them to assert a ‘divine’ Christology, at least after the pattern of the cults. Paul didn’t seem bothered to have allowed this ‘misunderstanding’ of divine-Christology however.

Anyway, this is all far too brief to do justice to my response to the point you raise, so perhaps I’ll attend to it in a later post.

Many thanks for your comment,


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