Pauline influence on Synoptic Christology

Over at Near Emmaus Daniel Levy asks, “Does Pauline Christology have Implications on how we Understand Synoptic Christology?”. I would reply “much in every way”.

First, the Pauline letters (at least the undisputed ones) precede the Synoptic Gospels, so we should expect either influence or convergence.

Second, Paul used traditional material in his letters similar to the Synoptics and in many ways created a tradition about who Jesus was that was probably known to the Synoptic Evangelists.

Third, Paul probably influenced the debate and discourse of Christians communities in the Diaspora to some degree.

Fourth, it is fairly certain that Mark and Luke imbibe a Pauline vibe into their Gospels; it is probable that Matthew at least confronts issues raised by Paul; and it is conceivable that followers of John and Paul had an Ephesian rendezvous at some point.

Fifth, for specific examples, we could say that Paul and the Synoptic agree on things like: Jesus’ pre-existence, identification with the Lord of Israel, Jesus’ mission to Israel and relevance for Gentiles, the necessity of faith and devotion in him, cross as important for his work, locating Jesus against scriptural figures like Son of David, Isaianic Servant, and Messiah.

Sixth, on this topic see the freshly available Paul and the Gospels (see sidebar for link to Amazon.com).

  • Daniel James Levy

    Thanks for the pingback, Dr. Bird.

    Your work on Paul and Jesus has been greatly appreciated over here.

    I hope to read your book, when I can afford it one day (only a college student). Haha.

    What do you think about Simon Gathercole’s work on Christology within the synoptics?

  • Daniel James Levy

    Thanks for the pingback, Dr. Bird.

    Your work on Paul and Jesus has been greatly appreciated over here.

    I hope to read your book, when I can afford it one day (only a college student). Haha.

    What do you think about Simon Gathercole’s work on Christology within the synoptics?

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  • http://www.ntmark.wordpress.com Mike K.

    I was able to get an advanced preview of Crossley’s chapter and look forward to reading your contribution in the book. Definitely there is the question of what to make of those intriguing parallels between Paul and Mark (euangelion, the theology of the cross and power through weakness, perhaps an ambivalent view of Peter & the Twelve or the brothers of Jesus, etc) but I might question some items on your list (e.g. does the Synoptic Tradition really have pre-existence or a full identification of Jesus with the Lord of Israel? Is the Servant influencing Mark 10:45 or rather is it Dan 7 and the Maccabean martyrs?). But I will have to read the book :)

  • http://www.ntmark.wordpress.com Mike K.

    I was able to get an advanced preview of Crossley’s chapter and look forward to reading your contribution in the book. Definitely there is the question of what to make of those intriguing parallels between Paul and Mark (euangelion, the theology of the cross and power through weakness, perhaps an ambivalent view of Peter & the Twelve or the brothers of Jesus, etc) but I might question some items on your list (e.g. does the Synoptic Tradition really have pre-existence or a full identification of Jesus with the Lord of Israel? Is the Servant influencing Mark 10:45 or rather is it Dan 7 and the Maccabean martyrs?). But I will have to read the book :)

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  • Jim Waddell

    i hope you don’t mind the shameless self-promo here, but my recently published book on Paul’s christology in part addresses this issue. Best, Jim Waddell

    http://www.amazon.com/Messiah-Comparative-Enochic-Pauline-Christian/dp/0567580326/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322855376&sr=1-1


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