A thorough and complete exegetical and theological examination of the one of today's most pressing questions: What does it mean to be in "union with Christ"?
Paul and Union with Christ is a theological interdisciplinary work that encompasses hermeneutics, historical theology, exegesis, and constructive/systematic theology. Part 1 provides a methodological review that sets the stage for the work Campbell will do.
Part 2 recapitulates the views of leading biblical scholars and/or theologians on 'union with Christ' starting in the late 19th Century with the work of Adolf Deissman (1892) and covering the major treatments of the issue up to Michael Gorman (2009). From this historical-theological analysis, Campbell frames the conceptual issues in play and prepares the reader for engagement with the biblical text.
The exegetical section, part 3, of Paul and Union with Christ is the heart of the book and contains 5 chapters. Here Campbell examines lexical data and literary structure as well as Paul's use of metaphor in reference to 'union with Christ'. Many of these chapters are highly technical and restricted to only discussion and examination of Greek phrases, but they also provide the necessary in-depth analytical study to adequately elucidate Paul's understanding of 'union'.
The final section of the book articulates a constructive theology of 'union with Christ'. This topic is examined in its relationship to the work of Christ--with which Campbell believes 'union' to be inextricably linked--as well as the trinity, the Christian life, justification, and a host of other topics.
Readers of Paul and Union with Christ will need to have at least one strong year of Greek, and preferably two. That is not to say that non-Greek readers cannot benefit, but the degree of benefit absent knowledge of Greek will be minimal.
Paul and Union with Christ fills the gap for biblical scholars, theologians, and pastors pondering and debating the meaning of union with Christ.
Following a selective survey of the scholarly work on union with Christ through the twentieth century to the present day, Greek scholar Constantine Campbell carefully examines every occurrence of the phrases in Christ, with Christ, through Christ, into Christ, and other related expressions, exegeting each passage in context and taking into account the unique lexical contribution of each Greek preposition. Campbell then builds a holistic portrayal of Pauls thinking and engages contemporary theological discussions about union with Christ by employing his evidence-based understanding of the theme.
This volume combines high-level scholarship and a concern for practical application of a topic currently debated in the academy and the church. More than a monograph, this book is a helpful reference tool for students, scholars, and pastors to consult its treatment of any particular instance of any phrase or metaphor that relates to union with Christ in the Pauline corpus.
Constantine R. Campbell is Associate Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is the author of several books, including Paul and Union with Christ; Verbal Aspect, the Indicative Mood, and Narrative; and Outreach and the Artist. Dr. Campbell is a preacher, musician, and author, and lives in Chicago.
A valuable reference work for all students of New Testament theology.
-I. Howard Marshall
Here there is no reductionism, but sure-footed guidance through the biblical evidence and sensible, even-handed conclusions. Highly recommended.
Campbell succeeds in showing that a close reading of these prepositional phrases can shed light on Paul's deepest theological convictions.
A crucial resource for exegetical reflection and precision on such an important topic.
-Michael S. Horton
Campbell's tour de force will be the authoritative book on the subject for decades to come.
-Michael F. Bird
Carefully examines all the expressions related to 'in Christ', sensibly explains their meaning within each context, and insightfully integrates the results into Paul's overarching teaching and practice. This book is an invaluable tool.
-Peter T. O'Brien
Constantine Campbell demonstrates the theme's important role in theology. his book is a helpful reminder of how essential this idea is for our understanding of Paul.
-Morna D. Hooker
Impressive for its comprehensive scope, its careful attention to exegetical deatil yet with the overall theological picture also in view...this book is bound to benefit anyone interested in this important topic.
-Richard B. Gaffin Jr.