Chapter Six: The Purpose and Ultimate Goal of Worship in Paul
C H A P T E R S I X The Purpose and Ultimate Goal of Worship in Paul 6.1. Preliminary Remarks Paul as we have seen viewed worship as a relationship between the human subject, either individually or collectively with others, and the divine object: God. We saw that at several points in his letters Paul also included the risen Jesus within the worship context of the faith community, particularly in the area of invocation, prayer, including his wish prayers in his epistolary salutations. We also saw the use of hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs being sung to the risen Jesus, although this only appears in Eph 5:19.1 In this chapter, I seek to investigate what Paul perceived to be the Zielangabe, the purpose and the ultimate goal of worship. What is the end purpose of worship, and what is achieved ultimately in worship according to Paul? In order to examine these questions, we turn to an important passage which many scholars believe was rooted in the worship environment of the early Christian movement, namely, the Carmen Christi (Phil 2:6–11). I deal with the Carmen Christ because of its climatic point which ends with the glory of God. The Carmen Christi also appears to contain some overlap with what we have examined in this book, particularly the place of the risen Jesus in Christian worship, the expressions of bowing the knee, and confession. Most importantly the Carmen presents a trajectory that begins with Jesus and ends...
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