The Divine Christ
Paul, the Lord Jesus, and the Scriptures of Israel
For the past century, scholars have debated when and how a divine Christology emerged. This book considers the earliest evidence we have, the letters of Paul. David Capes, a veteran teacher and highly regarded scholar, examines Paul's letters to show how the apostle constructed his unique portrait of Jesus as divine through a rereading of Israel's Scriptures. This volume is ideal for courses on Paul, Christology, biblical theology, and intertextuality.
About the Series
The Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology series, sponsored by Acadia Divinity College, offers critical assessments of the major issues that the church faces in the twenty-first century. Authored by leading authorities in the field, these studies provide readers with requisite orientation and fresh understanding to enable them to take part meaningfully in discussion and debate.
1."Lord" and "Lord" in the Bible
2. Kyrios/Lord as a Christological Title
3. Jesus as Kyrios in Paul's Letters
4. YHWH Texts with God as Referent
5. YHWH Texts with Jesus as Referent
6. Pauline Exegesis and a High Christology
"David Capes reprises his own foundational work on this topic and engages the converging approaches of other scholars. The result is a comprehensive and accessible account of Paul's understanding of Jesus Christ as fully divine."
Richard Bauckham, emeritus professor of New Testament, University of St. Andrews
"Capes offers a brilliant examination of the meaning of 'Lord' in ancient Judaism, in modern scholarship, and in the Pauline Letters. What Capes demonstrates with acumen and insight is that Paul was among those who considered Jesus as Lord in the strongest possible sense, and the highest Christology we can imagine was indeed among the earliest. This erudite and learned volume is for anyone interested in the Christology of the early church."
Michael F. Bird, lecturer in theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia
"What is the most amazing thing that the New Testament writers do to exalt Jesus of Nazareth? Is it reporting all his 'I am' sayings in the Gospel of John or calling him 'the Messiah, God blessed over all' in Romans 9:5? Maybe it's all the ways he is worshiped, starting during his life but especially after his death and resurrection? Perhaps, but when do we consider all the New Testament texts that quote the Old Testament and apply to Jesus what is said about Yahweh, the one and only God of creation? English readers don't usually think of these passages, because we just see the word 'Lord' and move on. David Capes leads us on a sleuthing exercise to discover and understand the significance of these passages. Readers will be astounded at how many there are and will be greatly encouraged by what their meanings add up to."
Craig L. Blomberg, distinguished professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
"In this volume Capes extends the argument he first presented in his important book Old Testament Yahweh Texts in Paul's Christology and responds to some recent developments in scholarly discussion. By pressing home useful distinctions and carefully attending to textual and contextual features, Capes elucidates crucial aspects of the earliest and fully divine Christology. This volume sparkles with common sense and judicious judgment, shedding light on a perennially contentious issue. These debates concern matters of great significance, and I am grateful that Capes has once again contributed to these discussions."
Chris Tilling, senior lecturer in New Testament Studies, St. Mellitus College
"Every generation of students has to struggle anew with complex questions regarding the status and nature of Christ in the New Testament and early Christian thought. Capes proves himself an expert guide through Paul's Letters, especially Paul's use of Old Testament texts that apply the divine title 'Lord' to Jesus. When Christians called Jesus 'Lord,' what did this mean? Did the first Christians consider Jesus divine? How did they conceive of the unique lordship of Jesus in relation to the one God? To this weighty subject Capes brings proven expertise, crystal clarity of expression, and penetrating analysis of interpretations past and present."
Nijay K. Gupta, associate professor of New Testament, Portland Seminary
"What does it mean when Paul says 'Jesus is Lord'? In a clear and engaging style, David Capes takes us to the heart of Paul's theology, revealing the depth and nuance of this seemingly simple claim by showing how it is shaped by Paul's Old Testament citations and allusions. Capes extends the conclusions of his seminal work on Paul's early high Christology and makes the best of contemporary scholarship accessible without getting lost in the weeds. Both beginning students and seasoned scholars will benefit from this valuable work."
Ben C. Blackwell, assistant professor of Christianity, Houston Baptist University
"Capes offers a good synopsis of Paul's use of the Yahweh texts. He gives enough information for some to be satisfied and to pique the interest of others to go searching for more. The divinity of Christ will be debated with each new generation, and Capes provides a way for us to understand the apostles' thinking, particularly Paul's."
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