Paul Frame Work is both Messiah and Apocalyptic

Wright argues unlike some authors of the last two centuries on Paul’s mind set or framework is both covenant and apocalyptic. That is each reinforces the other. He notes that many authors have ignored the concept of Messiahship. In kind of tong and cheek statement that when Paul spoke about Christos that he was just referring to Jesus’s last name.
For Wright Paul believe Jesus is the long awaited Jewish Messiah. I would agree with Wright with his dual take. For Paul Messiah is the following:
1. Royal Messiahship: Messiah is Israel’s true king
2. Israel: God’s People
3. World’s true Lord
4. Messiah will successfully defeat forces of Evil
5. Messiah will build the Temple: Place God will return and live there.
6. Messiah brings Israel’s history to its climax
For Paul the Israel is related to the Christos by the Flesh. Paul retells the covenant story of Israel from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and the Exodus. The Messianic Battle has been redefined not abandoned in Jesus and in particular Christ Crucified. Christ passion, death and resurrection is the renewed Temple built by God on the foundation of Jesus as Messiah and indwelling of the Spirit. The outpouring of God’s Spirit results in a covenant, renewal, resurrection from the dead that is rebuilding of New Temple and New Creation. Jesus is the true Son of David. What is true of Christ is true of his church. Membership in the church is in the one who believes that Jesus is the Messiah the Christos. For Paul Faith, faithfulness and fidelity are central.
Paul believes that Jesus is the great unveiling of all God’s mysteries in true apocalyptic sense. Jesus is the full disclosure if God’s saving plan. God’s long-awaited plan of salvation has come in Jesus. God has done what he said it would do. But indeed, that salvation may not look the way we thought it would. After all it wasn’t a political victory but is was a spiritual victory. Man may not be faithful but God remains faithful. In God’s plan fulfilled in Jesus the whole creation is freed from corruption, evil and death. Wright states and I concur at this point creation, covenant, Messiah and apocalyptic belong together.
God has made full provision for real problem human sin, in the sacrificial death of Jesus, in His faithful obedience to the Father’s saving plan. For many of Jews in their disbelief Jesus becomes a stumbling block. For Paul God’s saving plan has been fulfilled in Jesus. It is only human pride that prevents belief in the saving power of Christ crucified.
Paul also believed Jesus would return which is referred to as Parousia. That is Jesus would be present again and that he is the final secret revealed to All people. God’s true family being is one who believes that Jesus is O. At the end we have Jesus’s royal presence as Judge and Savior. Man is not God. For Paul Jesus is Lord not Caesar. So, what holds the covenant and messiahship together in apocalyptic Centre is Jesus the Messiah and him crucified. I would certainly agree Wright’s view that Paul’s framework would be both covenant and apocalyptic. I

3 thoughts on “Paul Frame Work is both Messiah and Apocalyptic”

  1. John, Thank you for your insights into Wright’s description of Jesus as Messiah and apocalyptic. We see that he refers to both Wisdom and the Torah and interprets them with a new, messianic lens, so to speak. Wright demonstrates this quite handily, keeping the “religious” rather than “political” aspects. I struggled a bit, but finally understood his take on apocalyptic. On page 54 Wright describes it as “sudden, dramatic, and shocking unveiling of secret truths…” I am not convinced there are “secret truths” as that may lead us to think God did not reveal everything in Jesus Christ. Perhaps the better description by Wright is later on that page: “Unlike anything before or since; but not quite unlike something yet to happen.”

    Therein lies the mystery of the parousia you referred to in your post above.

    Thanks again!

  2. Thank you, John, for an excellent analysis of the complex subjects of Messiah and Apocalyptic. I especially like the steps 1-6 you had written as a summary for Messianic message, followed by the explanation of the Apocalyptic as seen through Paul’s eyes with Jesus Christ as the central figure in the salvation plan. It does help me in reading the chapter a bit easier. Thanks again.

  3. John,
    I agree that in Jesus we saw a full revelation of God. However, the limited human understanding & lack of faith got in in the way preventing many from recognizing the son of God. Paul new this and tried to explained it in different way. Paul explained how Jesus was the new temple and true king. Great Job!! Thank you

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