Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Two new reviews of Paul’s Divine Christology

I need to apologise for this horrendously self-promoting post. I’ll go and stub my toes a few times as punishment. But before that:

a) Johnny Walker has written a very kind review here. He concludes:

Tilling's defense of a divine Christology in Paul is the sharpest to date. He builds off the work of Hurtado, Bauckham, and Fee, while strengthening their individual arguments by filling crucial lacunae in their work. Similarly, he confronts the strongest opponents in such a way that avoids endless debates over exegetical minutia. The sheer range of data discussed and included will make any formidable critique a colossally demanding effort. Any future work on Paul's Christology will ignore Tilling's argument to its own peril.

I like the word “peril” and I plan to use it more! I was particularly glad to see that he understood something my critics have missed: "Paul's Christ-relation need not be identical to God-relation ... rather, it must only show a deep compatibility". Quite right! This is something I discuss in chapter 10.

b) Also now available is my friend, Dr Carl Sweatman’s Stone-Campbell extremely lucid and kind review, here. Carl’s own PhD, “The Spirit and the Cross, Divine Wisdom and  Communal  Discernment: A Critical Exploration of 1 Corinthians 2:1–3:4” is one to read and Carl a scholar to keep on your radar!

He concludes:

Tilling is to be commended not only for his ability to engage fairly and thoroughly with scholars on both sides of the debate but also for his patient exegesis and rereading of the primary and secondary sources, and allowing the data to direct the outcome of the argument. Tilling’s monograph serves as an example of how to do scholarly research in NT studies. In terms of weaknesses, one will be hard-pressed to find any, unless of course one wishes that Tilling brought in the disputed Pauline letters as a way for either comparison or contrast with the undisputed ones. Fortunately, at least for one disputed letter (Ephesians), Tilling has already addressed this concern in the 2012 Festschrift for Max Turner

2 Comments:

At 7/24/2014 7:42 AM, Blogger Edward T. Babinski said...

Do we know that some of Paul's longer letters like 1 Cor, and Romans might not be singular letters but collections of letters and/or other material added by a later editor(s)?

What can one say when one compares the Christology in the letters deemed most likely Pauline, compared with letters that are disputed or considered by many to not be Pauline? In other words what differences can one detect when comparing letters?

Do we know how Christological controversies might have affected early edits to Paul's letters?

And granted that Paul's descriptions of Jesus were complimentary with Jesus being divine, what does that mean?

Did the Jewish emphasis on monotheism lead to Jesus being considered an incarnation of the one God, rather than say, a divine figure in His own right, a divinely appointed vice-regent sent to reveal God, the final prophet of prophets of the end time?

Would the historical Jesus of Nazareth have agreed with Paul's view of him, or with how he would later be depicted in each of the Gospels?

Why do you think God left us with other people's opinions and stories about Jesus instead of letting Jesus speak for himself and preserving that text?

Why do you think God did not leave us any first-person copies of letters or reports featuring tales of people meeting Jesus of Nazareth or even saying they were going to hear him preach, nor any letters of a first person sort by people who saw the post-resurrection Jesus? The closest we come are Paul's words, "he appeared to me."

Yet God knew we would dig up the Dead Sea Scrolls, informing us concerning a pre-Christian apocalyptic group waiting for the final battle between the sons of light and darkness? A group that also writes in several places of their expectations of resurrections? The Dead Sea Scrolls only add more questions to the mix.







 
At 7/25/2014 1:55 PM, Blogger Chris Tilling said...

Curious set of questions! On literary integrity, an older German tradition spliced up letters. Since the advent of rhetorical studies, these have largely been debunked. But I wouldn't stake my life on 2 Cor 6:14 being "original" to the "first draft" (see http://blog.christilling.de/2006/10/is-2-cor-614-71-non-pauline_13.html), nor 2 Cor 10-13. Most others I'm less persuaded by.

On comparison with other letters, Christology as I propose is much the same throughout.

Some of the other qsts interesting, but running out of time!

 

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