Did Paul teach that Jesus was divine and should be worshiped as such? How should this be viewed in relation to Jewish and Jewish-Christian monotheism? The debate over these and related questions has been raging in academic circles -- but it also has profound implications for church practice.
In this book Chris Tilling offers a fresh contribution to the long-running debate on whether or not Paul’s Christology is divine. Refocusing the debate on the exegetical data and reengaging more broadly with the sweep of themes in Paul’s letters, Tilling’s innovative contribution is one that cannot be ignored.
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Chris Tilling is senior lecturer in New Testament Studies atSt. Mellitus College and visiting lecturer in theology at King'sCollege London.
Douglas A. Campbell is professor of NewTestament at Duke Divinity School. His other books includeThe Quest for Paul's Gospel: A Suggested Strategy.
N. T. Wright
"The case for an early high Christology has recently been made from many convergent angles. Here Chris Tilling adds a fresh and important element — that the relationship between the Christian and Christ was seen by Paul on the model of that between Israel and God."
Michael J. Gorman
"An innovative, perceptive, and highly significant account of the apostle Paul's understanding of Christ's divine status as it is discerned in his relation to believers within the church. Chris Tilling's book is a must-read for all interested in Paul's Christology and in its inseparable connection to Christian community."
"Tilling achieves a major advance in the task of rediscovering the full significance of Paul's Christology. He joins other scholars who have recently been arguing that Paul sees Jesus Christ as truly divine, and he adds a very fruitful fresh perspective, focusing on the way believers relate to the living Christ as divine."
Stephen E. Fowl
"Dramatically advances the discussion of Pauline Christology. Tilling's control of ancient sources allows him to correct several significant misunderstandings and misperceptions regarding Paul's claims about Christ. . . . His keen analysis of long-standing scholarly problems moves several sterile debates in new and promising directions."
Michael F. Bird
"Masterful. . . . Tilling effectively opens up a new line of inquiry into early devotion to Jesus, beyond stalled debates about identity and function, and sets forth a new paradigm where Jesus' nature and activity relate to believers the same way as YHWH related to the Israelites. An erudite and learned volume on one of the most contested areas of New Testament studies."
"Tilling has provided one of those rare works that tackles an impossibly large and difficult problem regarding Christian origins and has offered an hypothesis that is sure to engage all those who continue to wrestle with Pauline Christology."
The Bible Today
“The author’s purpose and guiding question throughout this study is whether Paul considered Christ to be divine, or put another way, whether Pauline Christology is a ‘divine Christology.’ . . . Tilling makes a compelling case for his ‘relational’ approach to the issue, and his affirmation of this dimension of Paul’s Christology is a genuine contribution.”
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