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Worship and the Risen Jesus in the Pauline Letters

Series:

Tony Costa

The very essence of the existential relationship between the human and the divine is communicated by the English word, ‘worship’. Although the word appears to carry a univocal meaning in English, no such word per se exists in the Greek New Testament. The English word at best explains but does not adequately and completely define the dynamics involved in the relationship between humanity and God. Worship and the Risen Jesus in the Pauline Letters approaches the subject of Christian worship in respect to its origins from the perspective of the earliest New Testament writer: Paul. This book seeks to address the relative absence in scholarship of a full treatment of worship in the Pauline Letters. Closely related to the theme of Christian worship in the Pauline Letters is the person of the risen Jesus and the place he occupies in the faith community. This work proposes a proper working definition of, including criteria for, ‘worship’. Paul employed an array of Greek words as descriptors to communicate the various nuances and dimensions related to one’s relationship with God. ‘Worship’ also functioned for Paul as a boundary marker between believers and unbelievers vis-à-vis baptism and the Eucharist. The eschatological and teleological aspects of worship are also examined through a study of the Carmen Christi (Phil 2: 6–11). This study maintains that worship in Paul is not defined by any one word but is rather a composite and comprehensive personal religious relationship between the worshipper and God.

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Series Editor’s Preface

Extract

More than ever the horizons in biblical literature are being expanded beyond that which is immediately imagined; important new methodological, theological, and hermeneutical directions are being explored, often resulting in significant contribu- tions to the world of biblical scholarship. It is an exciting time for the academy as engagement in biblical studies continues to be heightened. This series seeks to make available to scholars and institutions, scholarship of a high order, and which will make a significant contribution to the ongoing bibli- cal discourse. This series includes established and innovative directions, covering general and particular areas in biblical study. For every volume considered for this series, we explore the question as to whether the study will push the horizons of biblical scholarship. The answer must be yes for inclusion. In this volume Tony Costa examines the role of worship in the context of Pauline letters and the Pauline communities. The importance of this work lies in the fact that it is a comprehensive exploration of the themes of Christian worship in relation to the risen Jesus Christ in Paul. Using an exegetical-theological meth- od, the author provides an extensive analysis of select Pauline pericopes that speak to Christian worship seeking to interpret and understand such from the social- cultural environment of Paul. I believe that this study will be of great benefit to the academy and the Church. The arguments and conclusions must be reckoned with. The horizon has been expanded. Hemchand Gossai Series Editor

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