A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The New Testament Word/Phrase of the Week

The New Testament bible scholar, Dr. Tom Wright, has produced a glossary of New Testament words/phrases that is really helpful for the study of scripture. What I like most about his definition of New Testament words is that he helps us to know what a Jewish person from the 1st century would have understood these words/phrases to mean. Too often, we allow our 21st century world view to get in the way of the original meaning.

Here is the New Testament word/phrase of the week: Son of God

Originally a title for Israel (Exodus 4:22) and the Davidic king (Psalm 2:7); also used of ancient angelic figures (Genesis 6:2). By the New Testament period it was already used as a messianic title, for example, in the Dead Sea Scrolls. There, and when used of Jesus in the gospels (e.g. Matthew 16:16), it means, or reinforces, "Messiah", without the later significance of "divine." However, already in Paul, the transition to the fuller meaning (one who was already equal with God and was sent by him to become human and to become Messiah) is apparent, without loss of the meaning "Messiah" itself (e.g. Galatians 4:4).


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