Paul’s Portrayal of Jesus in the Epistles
Following his conversion on the road to Damascus, Paul was tasked with spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles (Acts 9). (Acts 9). Prior to this, he was a hater of Christians and a murderer of Christians. His words may be found in Acts 22:20–21: “And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was spilt, I likewise stood by, consenting unto his death, and preserved the raiment of them who slaughtered him.” After that, he said to me, “Depart, because I will send thee far away to the Gentiles.” As a result, his picture of Jesus in the Epistles (letters) that he composed is highly personal, as you might expect.
To be more specific, Paul describes Jesus in each of his letters in a unique way (with the exception of Philemon which was a personal letter of appeal to a slave owner).
My list contains passages from the book of Hebrews because, despite the fact that it is a little known book, I think Paul penned it.
Jesus the Peacemaker
1–2 The book of Romans As a result, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also gain access by faith to this grace in which we stand, and we exult in the hope of the glory of God.
Jesus the Lord of Glory
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:8 that Which none of the princes of this world were aware of, for if they had been aware of it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory in the first place.
Jesus the Only Foundation
1 Corinthians 3:11 (New International Version) Because no other foundation can be placed than the one that has already been established, namely is Jesus Christ.
Jesus the Our Passover
1 Corinthians 5:7–8 (New International Version) Purge out the old leaven, so that you may be a new lump, as if you had never been leavened before. Due to the fact that Christ himself was sacrificed for us, we should observe the feast with unleavened bread, not with old leaven, not with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of honesty and truth.
Jesus the Destroyer of Death
1 Corinthians 15:24–26 is a biblical passage. Then comes the culmination, when he will have handed the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will have abolished every rule, authority, and power on the earth. It is necessary for him to continue to reign until he has subdued all of his adversaries. To be sure, death is the final adversary that must be defeated.
Jesus the Light of the Gospel
2 Corinthians 4:4 (New International Version) Those in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, lest the beautiful gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine upon them.
Galatians 5:1 is the first verse in the book of Galatians. Stand firm, therefore, in the liberty that Christ has purchased for us, and do not allow yourself to get caught again in the yoke of slavery.
Jesus the Measure of a Perfect Man
Paul writes in Ephesians 4:13 that I believe that we will all come to a complete man, to the measure of the full stature of Christ, until we are all united in the faith and in the knowledge of theSon of God.
Jesus the Prize
Paul writes in Philippians 3:8 that Yes, without a doubt, and I consider all things to be loss because of the excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord: for him I have suffered the loss of all things, and consider them to be trash, in order that I may gain Christ.
Jesus the Head of the Church
Colossians 1:18 is a biblical passage. The head of the body, the church, is Christ, who is the beginning of creation, the firstborn from the dead, in order that he could have the preeminence in all things.
Jesus the Advent
1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 (New International Version) After all, the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a mighty cry, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. After that, we who are alive and remain will be taken up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will be with the Lord for all of ever.
Jesus the King of Kings
Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:15, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” Which he will demonstrate in his time, as the glorious and sole Potentate, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords; and
Jesus the Judge of All
Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:16. I therefore accuse thee in the presence of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his coming and reigning on the earth;
Jesus the Redeemer
Titus 2:14 (New International Version) And he gave himself up for us, in order that he may redeem us from all our sins and purify unto himself a particular people, eager for good deeds.
Jesus the Captain
1 Thessalonians 2:10 As a result of bringing many sons to glory, and as a result of making the captain of their salvation complete by suffering, it fell to him, for whom all things are and through whom all things are, to bring many sons to glory.
Jesus the High Priest
Scripture verse: Heb. 2:10 When He brought many sons to glory, it was His will to make the captain of their salvation complete by suffering since He is the One for whom and through whom all things exist.
Jesus the Author and Finisher of Faith
12:2 (Hebrews 12:2) Consider Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the humiliation, and has been seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Paul had a distinct viewpoint on Jesus, which you can read about here. His Jewish religion was deeply held, and yet God chose him to be the one to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles when the Jews turned away from the message (Romans 11). He remained steadfast in his commitment to proclaim Jesus and to create churches with the purpose of doing the same. So thankful that God preserved Paul for this reason, and that it is because of him that the gospel has been spread to me! More information on Paul may be found here: Apostle Paul’s Biography and Characteristics Scripture quotes are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible as a resource.
Did Paul think Jesus was God?
The Apostle Paul is credited with writing the earliest Christian writings that have survived to this day. In the case of First Thessalonians, Paul’s earliest writings date from approximately A.D. 51, and in the case of Acts, they date from roughly 20 years after the death of Jesus in A.D. 30. It’s worth noting that Paul’s opinions on Jesus were unprecedented in the Judaism of his day. Paul considered Jesus to be God in his mind. From this, it becomes plausible to conclude that Paul had a high Christology, in which Jesus was worshipped and devoted in a way that had no obvious precedence in the Judaism of the first century and that was unique to Paul.
1 It is noteworthy to observe that Paul never provides a systematic defense of his beliefs about Jesus (Christology). In the churches to whom he writes, he takes his love to Jesus and belief in his divinity for granted, just as he does in his own.
1. Jesus is Yahweh
One of the most compelling evidences that Paul believed Jesus to be Yahweh is the fact that he applied monotheistic Old Testament verses that specifically referred to Yahweh to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is perhaps the most compelling evidence that Paul believed Jesus to be Yahweh (Romans 10:13 cf. Joel 2:32; 1 Cor. 1:31 cf. Jer. 9:24; 1 Cor. 2:16 cf. Isa. 40:13; 1 Cor. 10:26 cf. Ps. 24:1; 2 Cor. 10:17 cf. Jer. 9:24 for just a few examples). As an example, 1 Corinthians 2:16 relates to Isaiah 40:13, which is found in the context of some of the most emphatic monotheistic declarations found in the whole Old Testament, including verses like as (cf.
- 1 A.
- 2 When a New Testament author quotes from the Old Testament, the Old Testament material is typically written in ALL CAPS in many current translations of the Bible.
- In Romans 10:13, Paul, on the other hand, takes the Lord reference from Joel 2:32 and applies it to Jesus.
- As a side note, the Lord in 1 Corinthians 1:11 is a reference to Jesus, while the quote is a reference to God, or more specifically Yahweh.
- Refer to Isaiah 40:131 in 1 Corinthians 2:16.
- “But we have the mentality of Christ,” says the author.
- Comments: The Lord in the context of 1 Corinthians 2 is identified as Jesus, but the Lord in the context of Isaiah 40:13 is identified as Yahweh.
- 1 Corinthians 10:26; cf.
- 1 Corinthians 10:26; cf.
- Jeremiah 9:242; 2 Corinthians 10:17) 10:17; 1 Corinthians 10:17 “However, HE WHO BOASTS IS TO BOAST IN THE LORD,” says the Bible.
Comments: The Lord in the context of 2 Corinthians 10 is Jesus, while the Lord in Jeremiah 9:24 is Yahweh.
2. Jesus Receives Prayer
During their devotional practices, the early Christians prayed to Jesus for his return and blessing, and they were even referred to as those who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus, which suggests that such prayer was a regular component of their devotional practices (1 Cor. 1:2; 16:22; 2 Cor. 12:8; Rom. 10:13). 1 Corinthians 1:2 and Romans 10:13, for example, both make use of an Old Testament verse referring to Yahweh, which was the exclusive name for God in the Hebrew language, to apply it to Jesus.
3. Jesus Receives Hymns
They also wrote songs in which Jesus is described as pre-existent and engaged in the themes of creation, redemption, and end-time salvation, among other things (Phil. 2:6-11). Only God was the Creator, and the fact that Jesus participated in that act suggests that He may be considered as uniquely partaking in God’s identity or as God Himself. Additionally, the fact that Paul believed Jesus was pre-existent suggests that he very probably believed in the incarnation, or Jesus’ coming to earth in the form of a human being (cf.
4. Jesus is Pre-Existent
As previously established, Paul held the belief that Jesus existed prior to the creation of the world (cf. Rom. 8:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; 10:4; 15:47; 2 Cor. 8:9; Gal. 4:4). As far as I can tell, this is completely compatible with the concept of Jesus being incarnated as a person.
- Paul writes in Romans 8:3, “For God accomplished what the Law, weak as it was through the flesh, could not: He sent His own Son, in the form of sinful flesh, to be offered as a sacrifice for sin, and by doing so, He condemned sin in the flesh.” “Yet for us, there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist
- And one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things and through whom we exist,” says 1 Corinthians 8:6, “Yet for us, there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist
- And one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things and through whom we exist.” The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:4, “And they all drank from the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.” “The first man is of the earth, earthly
- The second man is of the heavens,” says 1 Corinthians 15:47. According to the Bible’s 2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was wealthy, yet for your sake He became poor, in order that you may become rich through His poverty.”
- Galatians 4:4, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent out His Son, who was born of a woman, and who was born under the Law.”
5. Jesus is Creator
Paul also recognized Jesus as the Creator, saying, “Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things and for whom we exist; and one God, the Son, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” (See 1 Corinthians 8:6). “Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who fashioned you from your mother’s womb: “I, the LORD, am the creator of all things, stretching out the heavens by Myself and spreading out the earth by Myself,” according to Isaiah 44:24.
Paul, on the other hand, claims that Jesus created everything.
The fact that Paul was well acquainted with this Isaiah 44:24 passage, owing to his grasp of the surrounding context in Isaiah 40-44, as evidenced by his numerous other allusions to Isaiah, is also crucial to note (1 Cor.
6. Other Indications
Other substantial signs exist that the early Christians, such as Paul, considered Jesus in the same way that they did the Father. The first step was for these early Christians to formulate creedal declarations in which Jesus was the focal point (Rom. 1:3-4; 10:9-10). Secondly, they defined their worship sessions as a “gathering in the name of the Lord” (1 Cor. 5:4). Third, they baptized new believers in the name of Jesus (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27). A sacred supper, known as the “Lord’s Supper,” was celebrated on the fourth day of the week (1 Cor.
As a result, it is reasonable to reach the conclusion reached by David Capes, that “these activities show that early Christians worshipped Jesus and thought of him in the same manner that one thinks of God.” 3 David Capes’s Old Testament Yahweh Texts in Paul’s Christology is a valuable resource.
7. When Did Paul Think Jesus was God?
A significant dilemma emerges when we examine the fact that Paul saw Jesus as a manifestation of God. When did the belief in Jesus as the Son of God first begin to spread? Philippians 2:5-11, which is most likely a pre-Pauline hymn, has one of the oldest evidence of this trust in Jesus as God that we have. The book of Philippians was composed about the year 60 A.D. Because the song was written before the book of Philippians was written, we may assume that it was written in the 1950s or possibly in the 1940s.
This would basically shift the belief in Jesus’ deity back to the 1930s or 1940s, at the earliest possible.
Furthermore, it is noteworthy that Paul travels to Jerusalem in Galatians 1-2, yet we have no record of any of the first apostles disagreeing with or challenging Paul’s high opinions of Jesus.
8. What does this mean?
We should take note of the fact that even in the earliest Christian literature that we have, Jesus is already getting a level of devotion that had no precedence in the Judaism of the historical period in question. This early commitment to Jesus came on like a bolt from the blue, profoundly and explosively abrupt. Some academics have claimed that Jesus was worshipped as both Deity and the crucified and risen Lord at all times, and that there was never a moment when this was not the case. When it comes to the concept of Jesus being pre-existent and coming to earth in the form of a person, or the concept of Jesus being God, this is not something that took years to develop and was somehow contrived by the apostle John somewhere around the late first century.
Jesus in Paul’s Gospel (Chapter 4) – Jesus according to Paul
Introduction When Paul summarizes or otherwise identifies the topic of his teaching, he nearly always does it in the context of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Paul writes in Romans 15:19, “I have thoroughly spread the good news of Christ from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum.” First Corinthians chapter 2 verse 2 says, “For I resolved to know nothing among you but Jesus Christ and him crucified.” The resurrection of Christ is announced in 1 Corinthians 15:12. 2Cor1:19—For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you is the Son of God, and he is the Son of God.
In the event that someone arrives and declares a different Jesus than the one we proclaimed in 2Cor11:4— The apostle Paul writes in Galatians 1:15–16, “God was pleased to disclose his Son to me in order that I may proclaim him among the Gentiles.” Paul writes in Galatians 3:1 b, “Jesus Christ was openly shown as crucified before your very eyes!” I rejoice that Christ is being proclaimed in every way, whether from false motivations or from genuine ones, according to Philippians 1:18.
It becomes clear, when these and other representative expressions are taken into consideration, that the apostle declares Jesus both as the crucified Messiah (see notably 1 Cor 1:18–2:5) and as the resurrected and alive Lord (see especially 1 Cor 15:51–56).
The death and resurrection of Jesus are inextricably linked, according to him, as expressed in the creedal expressions that he occasionally utilizes (1 Cor 15:3–5; 1 Thess 4:14).
He also believes that Jesus will come soon, that “the day of the Lord” is not far away (Romans 13:11–12a; 1 Thessalonians 1:9–10; 5:2).
Paul as a Witness to the Resurrection of Jesus
Submitted by Charles L. Quarles When people think of the witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection, they think of people like Peter, John, the surviving members of the Eleven, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome, Cleopas, and his companion, to name a few. Paul may possibly receive an honorable mention at the very most. After all, he did not see the stone that had been rolled away from the path. When the angel announced, “He is not here, for he has risen!” He did not hear it because his ears were closed.
Paul was, without a doubt, absent throughout the forty days following the resurrection, during which Jesus gave his followers with several indisputable evidence of his divinity.
Jesus’ appearance to Paul after his resurrection is described in length three times in the Book of Acts, and it is also referenced to several times by Paul himself in his letters.
As a result, Paul is not only a credible witness to the resurrection of Jesus, at least according to the canons of history, but he is also one of the most important of all of these witnesses to the resurrection.
THE POST-RESURRECTION APPEARANCE TO PAUL
Acts 9:1–19, 22:6–16, and 26:12–23 provide detailed accounts of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances to Paul and the apostles. After Paul’s initial narration of the encounter, Luke could have saved a great deal of time and space by simply writing, “And Paul told to the crowd/Agrippa how Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus,” or anything along those lines, instead of going into great detail. The fact that Luke insisted on documenting the episode in detail three times in Acts demonstrates how significant the incident was in Luke’s thinking at the time.
When two or more accounts agree on something, it is called consensus.
- The circumstances (9:2, 22:5, and 26:12) — Paul was heading to Damascus in order to extradite incarcerated Christians to Jerusalem for trial. When did the event occur? (22:6
- 26:13) — It happened around noon or midday. The event took place on the route from Jerusalem to Damascus, near Damascus, according to the Scriptures (9:2–3, 22:6, 26:13). An angelic light shone around Paul on three separate occasions (9:3, 22:6, and 26:13). Reaction (9:4, 22:7, and 26:14) — Paul (and his friends) dropped to the ground, seemingly out of awe for what they had seen
- Throughout the book of Samuel, a voice calls out, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (9:4–5, 22:7–8, 26:14–15). “Who are you, Lord?” Paul asks in response. When asked who he is, the Lord responds, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” There is just a tiny difference between the three summaries of the dialogue. The term “the Nazarene” is included in the 22:8 story. “It is difficult for you to kick against the goads,” the narrative from 26:14 continues. (“Verses in this article are taken from the HCSB translation unless otherwise specified.”)
- Paul received two commands from the Lord: “Get up and go into the city, and you will be informed what you must do.” (9:6) and “Get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (22:00) Result (9:8—9
- 22:11) – Paul is blinded by the brilliance of the light, and he must be carried into Damascus by hand. He also fasts for three days after the incident.
There are significant discrepancies between the two accounts, particularly in terms of the experience of spectators and Paul’s call to the Gentile mission. In 9:3, bystanders heard a voice but did not see anyone as the story progressed. The passersby in 22:9 were able to see the light, but they were unable to hear it. There is no substantial conflict between the two reports of the bystander’s visual experience in the two narratives. Luke merely stated that they were able to see the dazzling light, but not the person (Jesus) who spoke from the light as Luke had previously stated.
- A voice was heard by the companions in 9:3, but the description in 22:9 makes it clear that only Paul comprehended the words said by the voice in 9:3 and 22:9.
- The stoning of Stephen, as recorded in Acts 6:9 and 7:58, demonstrates that Paul collaborated with the leaders of the Synagogue of the Freedmen.
- Because of the linguistic barrier that prevented Hellenists from participating in traditional synagogue service, this particular congregation was most likely founded.
- If any of their own number had seen the light and heard the commotion on the Damascus Road, they would have been an especially suited group for Paul’s message.
- Although the evidence is insufficient to identify why the spectators heard but did not comprehend the voice that spoke to Paul, this theory is at the very least reasonable given the circumstances.
- The third account indicates that Paul received and then transmitted to Ananias Paul’s divine call to take Christ’s name into the Gentile world (Acts 9:6,15; 22:10, 15).
- They must be opened by faith in Me so that they may be transformed from darkness into light and from the power of Satan to God (Acts 26:16b –18).
It would be impossible to argue that this account contradicts the earlier accounts without assuming that Luke had forgotten the content of the previous accounts, despite the fact that the same essential account had been recorded twice and despite the fact that the last account only occurred four chapters before the episode of Paul’s appearance before Agrippa.
As a result, the most likely explanation for the discrepancy between the first two stories and the final story is that Luke retrojected the commission given by Jesus through the prophet Ananias into the Damascus Road incident in order to strategically shorten the tale.
Most likely, Paul himself served as Luke’s source for these reports.
Luke had regular and direct access to Paul’s witness, as evidenced by both the Book of Acts and Paul’s writings to the Corinthians.
During the time that Paul was writing his Prison Epistles (Col 4:14), Luke was present with him, and the two had become so close that Paul referred to him as “the beloved physician.” Furthermore, Luke’s accounts of Paul’s experiences are corroborated by allusions in Paul’s correspondence (1 Cor 9:1; 15:8).
THE NATURE OF THIS APPEARANCE
Whether the apparition of the risen Jesus to Paul was an objective or subjective event is a point of contention among academics for centuries. The Acts’ accounts lend weight to the idea that the experience was objective in nature. Even though they did not see Jesus, onlookers noticed the light from heaven and fell to the ground with Paul. They were also aware of the voice (though for reasons not explicitly identified they did not understand thewords uttered bythevoice). As a result of these considerations, it is reasonable to conclude that Jesus’ apparition to Paul was no simple vision that occurred solely in his mind.
Bruce Chilton determined that Paul’s experience was not an objective occurrence that other people experienced (or might have witnessed) alongside him, but rather a “personal moment of revelation,” a “mystical breakthrough,” based on the words “uncoverhis Son in me” (Gal 1:16).
For the most part, those who support this point of view appear to believe that the Greek prepositionenis is the equivalent of the common English gloss “in.” This idea is supported by the glosses that are utilized in many current translations of the Bible.
NASBAlthough the NRSV and the ESV (both of which I believe correctly translate the clause “was pleased to reveal his Son in me,” italic The comments give the sense that the Greek preposition is the equivalent of the English preposition “in,” which would appear to imply that the translators chose an alternate interpretation for religious rather than linguistic grounds when translating the text.
Paul’s Damascus Road experience was objective, but the prepositional word “in me” underlined the interior revelation that occurred as a result of the incident, according to F.
Bruce, Gordon Fee,Don Garlington, William Hendriksen, Bruce Longenecker, and Leon Morris.
Theologians like as Longenecker, for example, contend that theen emoiof 1:16 relates to theen emoiof 2:20 (“Christ dwells in me”), which is analogous to the phrase “in our hearts” in 4:6 and so stresses the interior reality of the Christian experience.
The prepositional phrase “God was pleased to disclose” does not work in the same manner as the statements “Christlives” (2:20) and “God sent the Spirit of his Son” (John 14:16), hence it cannot be assumed to function in the same way as the statements “Christlives” and “God sent the Spirit of his Son” (4:6).
The main Greek lexica and grammars demonstrate that the Greek prepositionenis capable of a surprising number of various meanings, as seen in the following examples.
The passage Galatians 1:16 is cited as an example of this use in a number of these resources (Nigel Turner; BDAG; BDF).
Prepositions with a personal object are frequently employed with verbs from the semantic domain “reveal” or “make known,” and this type of usage is common when the preposition has a personal object as well.
The preposition indicates a place (1 Kgs 8:53; 1 Chron 16:8; Ps 76:15; Prov 3:6; Ezek 22:10; 1 Macc 15:9), defines the means or cause (1 Sam 6:2; 2 Sam 22:16; Ezek 16:36), or acts as a marker for the indirect object (1 Kgs 8:53; 1 Chron 16:8; Ps 76:15; Prov 3:6; (Judg 5:2; 2 Sam 6:20; Prov 11:13; Isa 64:1).
Time (2 Cor 11:6; 2 Thess 2:6; 1 Pet 1:5), place (John 9:3; 2 Cor 2:14; 4:10, 11); 1 Tim 3:16 (Col 3:4), instrument or means (Rom 1:17; 1 Cor 3:13; 2 Cor 11:6; 1 John 3:10; 4:9), method (Eph 6:19), and indirect object (Rom 1:17; 1 Cor 3:13; 2 Cor 11:6; 1 John 3: (Rom 1:19; 1 Cor 11:19; 2 Cor 5:11).
- The employment of theenphrase in conjunction with linguistic constructions relating to revelation in theLXX, the NT, and notably elsewhere in Paul severely limits the interpretative alternatives available to the reader.
- Taking a mechanical approach to exegesis, Chilton’s handling of the preposition simply equatesenwith “in” and overlooks the complexities of Greek grammar in order to simplify his argument.
- According to J.
- Lightfoot, the preposition here means “through,” and it serves to identify Paul as the agent through whom God revealed the Son to others in the New Testament.
- Lightfoot’s view has been embraced by a few contemporary commentators, such as Timothy George.
- No unambiguous examples of theenexpressing personal agency can be found in the constructions reviewed above, despite the fact that theenwas employed to represent means or instrument in those constructions.
- Scholars such as Udo Schnelle are accurate in asserting that the word emoiin Galatians 1:16 “is to be interpreted as the simple dative,” as Udo Schnelle explains.
- In one instance, Paul claimed he was as much of an apostle as the Twelve and the Lord’s brothers: “Am I not an apostle?” he asked.
- The Greek language of both questions suggests that a positive response is appropriate.
- In addition, Paul included himself, Cephas, the Twelve, the Five Hundred (including James), and the remainder of the apostles on a list of individuals who were visited by the resurrected Jesus.
- “Appeared” is the same word that is used in 15:5, 6, and 7 to describe the people who found the empty tomb, saw the risen Jesus in the upper chamber, and ate with him on the beaches of the Sea of Galilee, among other things.
We must emphasize that both of these comments are featured in one of Paul’s letters that is universally accepted as authentic, even by skeptical critical scholars, and that was written relatively early in his ministry (probably mid-50s).
Paul saw Jesus’ death as vital to the gospel (Rom 1:1–8; 1 Cor 15:3–4), and hence as needed for the forgiveness of sinners (Rom 1:1–8; 1 Cor 15:3). (1 Cor 15:17). According to him, Jesus’ resurrection provided the foundation for believers’ hope in the resurrection (1 Cor 15:20–28) as well as their bravery in the face of severe persecution (1 Cor 15:29b–34). The apostle Paul did not have to depend solely on the witness of others when he proclaimed about the resurrection of Jesus. Paul appears to have referred to his own firsthand account of Jesus’ post-resurrectionappearance in order to support his claims.
When Paul went to Jerusalem, he made a point of emphasizing the fact that he “had seen the Lord on the way and that he had talked to him,” and it was on this premise that Barnabas and eventually the disciples in Jerusalem welcomed Paul (Acts 9:26–28).
Acts 13:32 states that Paul is identifying himself as an equally trustworthy witness to the resurrection, as evidenced by the words “And we ourselves proclaim to you the good news of the promise that was promised to our forefathers.” The Resurrection of Jesus was a central theme in Paul’s teaching at Thessalonica (Acts 17:3), Athens (17:31), and most likely in Corinth as well (Acts 17:4).
- Taking all of the evidence into consideration, Paul should be considered to be one of the most prominent witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- QUARLES, PhD, is a Professor of New Testament Studies and Biblical Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also serves as the Director of Graduate Studies.
- 1 Rabbi Paul: An Intellectual Biography (New York: Doubleday Religion, 2004), p.
- Bruce Chilton, Rabbi Paul: An Intellectual Biography (New York: Doubleday Religion, 2004).
The Apostle Paul on the Return of Jesus – Faith Church
A frequent idea in biblical interpretation is to draw on the more obvious passages of Scripture to aid in the understanding of the less obvious portions of Scripture. To begin, let’s consider what Jesus and Paul (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit) had to say about the Book of Revelation. I believe that most of us would agree that it is a symbolic book that is difficult to interpret at times. Following up on our discussion of what Jesus taught concerning his second coming and the events leading up to it in last week’s column, we will now shift our attention to what Paul said in his writings.
- The books of 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 are two of the most important passages in which Paul portrays the coming of Jesus.
- This would appear to suggest that Jesus’ second coming would be something that everyone may witness and will not take place in secrecy as some have speculated (also see Titus 2:13 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7 on the public nature of his return).
- Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 that the dead will be revived imperishable and that those who are still alive will be converted into new creatures (also see Philippians 3:20-21).
- In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul elaborates on what would take place, as it appears that some people were concerned that those who were already dead would miss out on Jesus’s second coming.
- (1 Thesslonians 4:17).
- Following their meeting with the dignitary, those who had met him would accompany him into town, and so Paul informs us that both the dead and the live faithful would accompany Jesus when he returns to the earth.
- Of course, we need point out that this is only true for those who are in Christ, and that there will be vengeance on those who do not believe in Jesus.
In 1 Corinthians 15:51, Paul describes how everything happens in “the blink of an eye,” so it appears to take place in an instant.
Throughout the New Testament, Paul predicts that Jesus would come as a thief in the night, when we are least expecting it.
This is the gist of Paul’s teaching in 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11, and it is also the gist of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24-25: we should be prepared for this to happen at any time.
“He opposes and exalts himself against every so-called deity or object of devotion,” writes Paul, “to such an extent that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
This could indicate that this figure places himself at the center of the church and causes people to look to him instead of God (it could also be metaphorical language drawing upon the imagery from the Old Testament).
It should be noted, however, that there aren’t many specifics provided about this individual by which one may attempt to identify him.
As a result, Paul informed the Thessalonians that this amount had not yet been disclosed because “he who restrains it will continue to do so until he is out of the way.” While there have been a variety of different theories about the identity of the one who is offering restraint, it is important to remember that this is not some sort of divinely sanctioned means; we should not be concerned with who or what is restraining but rather with the fact that something is currently preventing the forces of evil from advancing.
This statement regarding restraint serves as a gentle reminder that everything is taking place according to God’s schedule (God always performs everything at the appropriate time – see Galatians 4:4; 1 Timothy 2:6; Titus 1:3; Romans 5:6; etc.).
This teaching on wickedness is also seen in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, which states that “in the end days, there will be periods of trouble.” “For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, lacking self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness but denying its power,” says the Bible.
We are warned that things will grow worse in the end, but that does not imply that things are OK in the meantime; 2 Thessalonians 2:7 informs us that the mystery of lawlessness is at work, albeit partially able to operate.
Keep in mind that God always wins, and we must be prepared.
“After that, the lawless one will be revealed,” Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 2:8.
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Jesus the Lord according to Paul the Apostle: A Concise Introduction: Fee, Gordon D., Nordling, Cherith: 9780801049828: Amazon.com: Books
“Gordon Fee is regarded as one of the most distinguished New Testament scholars of our day. With this emphasis on Jesus as Lord, he provides the church with a practical, convincing, and even eye-opening illustration of Paul’s high Christology, which is both compelling and eye-opening. The author provides a thorough examination of important texts as well as the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in Paul’s letters. This is a novel that demands your consideration.” Professor Klyne Snodgrass of North Park Theological Seminary “Fee’sJesus the Lord according to Paul the Apostleis a book that makes the fruits of his years of careful work on Paul’s letters and Christology more widely available.
This work, which is both intertextually rich and theologically controversial, asks us to reassess established academic conceptions of Paul’s theology in light of the source evidence offered by Paul’s own writings, which is noticeably absent from previous scholarship.” Asbury Theological Seminary’s Craig S.
While doing so he shows how paying close attention to the textual contexts of Paul’s remarks on Jesus may yield important insights about Paul’s Christology.
Ciampa says: “So many of Fee’s scholarly and practical passions are brought together inJesus the Lord according to Paul the Apostle, including his careful reading of texts, his emphasis on Christian behavior (as opposed to ‘works,’) his interest in the Spirit, and his work as a bridge builder between biblical studies and systematic theology, among others.
“An accessible, clear, and compact rendition of Fee’s considerably bigger Pauline Christology, written in an accessible, clear, and succinct style.
About the Author
He is professor emeritus of New Testament studies at Regent College in Vancouver, having received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in 1982. Numerous books, including Pauline Christology; God’s Empowering Presence; Paul, The Spirit, And The People Of God; as well as commentaries on 1 Corinthians, Revelation, Philippians; 1 and 2 Timothy; Titus; have been written by him or are based on his work.
He is also the coauthor of How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, which is available on Amazon.
Jesus and Paul
Modern critical study on the Bible has a strong tendency to tilt substantially toward skepticism in its conclusions. Those who adhere to the concepts and practices of this so-called scientific approach to Scripture begin with the premise that what is written does not accurately reflect what occurred or was said in the original. Instead, they claim that the writers, writing years later, simply recounted what they recalled, yet human memory is neither flawless nor impervious to ulterior intentions, as evidenced by the fact that it is unreliable.
They were ultimately produced to further a political goal rather than to provide factual descriptions of Christ’s life and the early history of the Christian church.
While his epistles were written to actual congregations in the midst of the turmoil of Christian life, they are now seen as part of the “Pauline agenda,” rather as genuine letters of education, encouragement, and sometimes criticism.
For the most part, these historians argue that Paul used the raw ingredients provided by the hazy account of Jesus’ life as well as His radical teaching to convert himself into the transcendent Son of God by employing crafty rhetoric.
Jesus did not leave a written record of Himself or His teaching; what has come to be known as Scripture was written a generation or two or three later, long enough that the reliability of oral transmission and the precision of recollection can be called into doubt.
Saul of Tarsus, afterwards known as Paul, is converted on the road to Damascus, and it is only at this point that the embryonic church appears to be structured and energetic enough to compete with established religions for the souls of the world.
On his trip back to Jerusalem, Paul influences a group of apostles and elders to agree with his point of view on the matter of circumcision and observance of Jewish religious ceremonial law.
Session letters also serve to train congregations on approved customs, while showing individuals how to apply Christianity to their everyday situations.
The intelligence and powers of Paul, if he were of such a mentality, could build and remake a new religion in his own image, as he did with the Romans.
Modern televangelists engage in this practice on a regular basis.
When Paul, “a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee” (Acts 23:6, Philippians 3:5), an avowed adversary and persecutor of the Way (Acts 8:1, 9:1-2, 22:4, I Corinthians 15:9, Galatians 1:13), wanted to elevate Jesus to the status of God, he had to ask himself: Why?
If such were the case, he would have been tragically unsuccessful, having died as a martyr in the ADmid-60s.
Aside from Paul’s real belief, devotion, and fervor for Jesus, there is no compelling reason for his ministry of praising Jesus as God to exist.
In his earliest account of his conversion, inGalatians 1:15-17, written in the early AD50s, he writes:But when it pleased God,.
He also writes:But when it pleased God,.
Aside from that, he flew to Arabia, a desert location where he participated in a three-year spiritual re-education program.
The many narratives of Paul’s conversion in Acts 9, 22, and 26, as well as other observations in his epistles, all make the same claim: that Christ Himself selected him to preach the gospel and, further, that Christ Himself opened Paul’s eyes to the reality of the gospel.
The gospels and acta, as well as some Old Testament Messianic predictions, all declare the Son’s deity long before Paul came into the picture.
According to Matthew’s first chapter, which may have been written in Hebrew or Aramaic rather than the current Greek translation, Jesus is descended from the prophet Isaiah 7:14, “which is translated, ‘God with us.'” Matthew also asserts that Jesus is descended from the prophet Isaiah 7:14.
Malachi had written the following earlier: “The Lord, whom you seek, will appear in His temple unexpectedly, as will the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you take pleasure.
We can’t get the feeling that the prophet is implying that the God of the Old Testament would soon come to His people.
From the time of his birth, God used him mightily to compose fundamental books that would guide Christians in God’s way down through the ages until the return of Christ.
In the same way that Moses was a devoted servant in the Lord’s home, but “this Onehas been deemed worthy of more glory., inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the building” (Hebrews 4:14). (Hebrews 3:3-5). Following that:At the Right Hand of the Father(17/17)