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  1. SpoiledMilks
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great work on Christ's divinity
    September 24, 2018
    SpoiledMilks
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    You can read my full review at SpoiledMilks (5/9/18).

    How did a Jewish, middle class, Israelite man who was beaten, flogged, stripped, and nailed to a cross become to be believed and associated with the almighty God of Israel? In his book The Divine Christ, David Capes examines Paul's texts and argues both historically and theologically that Jesus was believed to be divine early on in the history of Christianity.

    In the first chapter Capes surveys the Hebrew and Greek words behind our English Bibles translate as "lord," "Lord," and "LORD."

    After knocking down the arguments of an early 20th century scholar in chapter two, in chapter three Capes examines Paul's writings where he refers to Jesus as kyrios. He uses it in four ways: for those who hold authority over others, for other gods and deities, and for the one God of Israel. The fourth way, the majority of Paul uses, refer to Jesus Christ. At the resurrection, Jesus received God's unique covenant name (YHWH).

    In chapters four and five, Capes notes that Paul unambiguously quotes thirteen OT texts which use the divine name Yahweh. About half of Paul's uses refer to the Father, with the others referring to Christ. Even his allusions to Yahweh texts refer to Christ.

    Capes helps the reader delineate between texts which refer to God or ChristYahweh texts are reserved for God "primarily in theocentric passages such as Rom. 911" (149). When Paul wants the reader to understand that the Father is in view, he clearly states it in the context or in an introductory formula. Paul uses kyrios to refer to Jesus in a pretty straightforward way, possibly because references to Jesus as kyrios make up most of Paul's uses.

    Paul has a pattern of associated Jesus with God, Jesus is the only one associated with God, he has received the divine name from God, Paul quotes and alludes to OT Yahweh texts and uses some of them to refer to Jesus, and Jesus was a real, historical figure who was a contemporary to Paul. He was not a legendary person of old (like Melchizedek). And so, a high Christology can be traced back to the beginning of the Christian movement.

    Recommended?

    Though this review is brief, Capes offers a good synopsis of Paul's use of the Yahweh texts. Especially in chapters 3-5. He gives enough information for some to be satisfied and to pique the interest of others to go searching for more. The divinity of Christ will be debated with each new generation, and Capes provides a way for us to understand the apostles' thinking, particularly Paul's. Some will be disinterested in the first two chapters, but they lay an important historical foundation for the need for this study. Capes' book could be read in tandem with Gordon Fee's Pauline Christology (see his more accessible work, Jesus the Lord according to Paul the Apostle), and anything by Larry Hurtado, especially his upcoming Honoring the Son.
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