One of the most crucial sections in Wright’s whole exposition begins on pp.815ff. Here he argues that the purpose for which God had intended Israel was fulfilled in and through Jesus the Messiah. Christ is the place where the God of Abraham and the people of Abraham meet, according to Wright. He is monotheism and election all wrapped up into one person. He will go on to argue that the death of Jesus on the cross brought to fulfillment the whole purpose of election (which was apparently to save the world).
Key to understanding Tom’s perspective is his insistence that the term ‘Christos’ is used by Paul as more than just a cipher or even just a second name for Jesus. It is a Jewish title announcing that Jesus is the long promised Jewish messiah. I think there are texts where this becomes clear, such as Rom. 9.5 or 1 Cor.1.23- it was as the Jewish messiah that Jesus was crucified, not merely as a human being. In the 7 main Pauline letters we have some 270 references to Jesus as Christos,another 70 in Ephesians, Colossians and 2 Thess. and another 30 in the Pastorals. The term is ubiquitous. I agree that Paul believed, and that this term indicates, that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. The question is whether there are places where it is used more as just a name (an alternative name for Jesus), or is it always carrying the freight of signifying Jesus is the Jewish messiah. I suspect that there are various places where it ‘functions’ as a name, even though it never loses the overtones of its Jewish meaning. And when it functions as a name, sometimes it will be overpressing the term to read into this or that particular verse the whole Pauline theology about the Jewish messiah. This time around, Tom places major stress on Rom. 15.1-12, and so the resurrection of the Davidic King is the sign that he is to rule the nations. One wonders how all this Davidic focus in Paul comports with, or at least coheres with the strong emphasis in the Gospels on Jesus being Son of Man, something Paul does not call Jesus. It is possible to argue that Paul uses the terminology of Last Adam as an alternative way of speaking of such a theme, but in fact the Son of Man in Dan. 7 is not Adam, he is in fact a being who comes down from heaven to judge the world, and rule forever and be worshipped by all nations.