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Showing posts from January, 2018

The Revolution 5: What happened on Good Friday? Paul’s letters

Fifth post on N.T. Wright, 2016. The day the revolution began: Reconsidering the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion. London: SPCK.The day the revolution began is divided into four parts, and this post attempts to summarise the fourth chapter of Part Three. This is the second of four chapters in which Wright examines the New Testament texts—here Paul's letters other than Romans—to answer the question, What exactly happened on the first Good Friday?. The previous post (The Revolution 4) on Tom Wright's book is here.Paul's letters other than RomansWright's goal in this chapter is to make sense of the ‘bewildering range of imagery’ in these letters. Passages from them say in various ways two things that the early Christians had recognised:Humans were to be saved for the new creation, sharing in royal priestly work in the present world and in world to come.
That goal was attained by means of ‘the death of Jesus, through which the powers of sin and death were defeated’: ‘Jesus, r…

The Revolution 4: What happened on Good Friday? The witness of the Gospels

Fourth post on N.T. Wright, 2016. *The day the revolution began: Reconsidering the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion*. London: SPCK.
The day the revolution began is divided into four parts, and this post attempts to summarise the third chapter of Part Three. This is the first of four chapters in which Wright examines the New Testament texts—here the Gospels—to answer the question, What exactly happened on the first Good Friday? The question can be answered historically (what happened) or theologically (what it meant). But to get to a theological answer, Wright says, we have to go via the history. The previous post (The Revolution 3) on Tom Wright's book is here.

In the four Gospels the theological meaning of Jesus’ death is not found in abstract statements but in the way they narrate Jesus’ life and death. They agree that Jesus proclaimed God’s kingdom coming ‘on earth as in heaven’, by what he said, by his healings and exorcisms, and by his celebrations with ‘sinners’. In Jesus’ langu…

The Revolution 3: The Old Testament narrative and Jesus’ passover meal

Third post summarising N.T. Wright, 2016. The day the revolution began: Reconsidering the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion. London: SPCK.The day the revolution began is divided into four parts, and this post attempts to summarise the first and second chapters of Part Three, where Wright looks at how the New Testament writers interpreted the Old Testament and at how, through the last supper, this interpretation reaches into the New Testament narrative itself. The previous post (The Revolution 2) on Tom Wright's book is here.

Continuing the Old Testament narrativePaul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:3: ‘What I handed on to you at the beginning, you see, was what I received, namely this: “The Messiah died for our sins in accordance with the Bible…”.’ The way Paul introduces this strongly suggests that this was the universal proclamation of early Christians, and the words ‘in accordance with the Bible’ point us to early Christian interpretation of the Old Testament.

Looking back at the Old T…

The Revolution 2: Jesus in the thought world of the earliest Jewish Christians

“In accordance with the Bible”: Jesus in the world of Jewish ideasSecond post summarising N.T. Wright, 2016. The day the revolution began: Reconsidering the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion. London: SPCK.The day the revolution began has four parts, and this post attempts to summarise Part Two. Here Wright fleshes out the ideas at the end of Part One and enters into his promise to take us inside the earliest Christians' heads. He outlines the Old Testament history which they believed was fulfilled by Jesus. The previous post (The Revolution 1) on Tom Wright's book is here.
The goal of the crossWright has said in Part One that knowing what Jesus accomplished on the cross includes knowing what he did it for. Central to this purpose is the Revelation vision:Glory to the one who loved us, and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and father—glory and power be to him forever and ever. Amen. (1:5–6)You are worthy to take the scroll;
You are worthy…